Learning Ahead: Father’s Day

Father’s Day: Local Geography & Family Trees

Vistas & Byways

In 1910, inspired by the already established Mother’s Day, the first Father’s Day was proclaimed. It wasn’t until 1972 that it became a federal holiday to be observed on the third Sunday in June. Similar to Mother’s Day, consider celebrating this holiday with the father figures in your life. Give non-commercial gifts that are handmade or creative in thought to those you consider fatherly spirits by making cards and offering gifts that engage your creativity and our local community. (So much better than another tie or wallet!) Looking for the right words to share in your handmade card? Let poets inspire your muse! Many have shared emotions and stories as they relate to the father figure in their lives. Visit http://www.poets.org and search for “poems about fathers.”

June is a month that encourages time spent outdoors, so why not plan an excursion along one of the many Western Massachusetts scenic byways!  Along the way, you can stop at different farm stands, take photographs of beautiful country views, take a hike, and enjoy a picnic lunch at one of our many vistas. (See September/October Season issue of Learning Ahead for a list of area vistas.) Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: Father’s Day

Suggested Events for June 20th-26th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As someone new to the area, Hilltown Families has been a great source of information for events going on in Western Mass that
my almost 3 year old (and his parents!) will enjoy, as well as stories that are of interest. I appreciate the balance of fun, community-service, and educational events discussed and promoted on the site. It is great to have a one-stop shop for this information!” – Laura D. (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

60 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from!!!

Check out our featured post, 2015 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

Jun 20

Relaunch of Heather Has Two Mommies with author Leslea Newman at Odyssey Bookshop on Saturday, June 20 at 11am. FREE. Published originally 25 years ago this beloved story has been found on the shelves of many different families. Once known as the most challenged book in America, Heather Has Two Mommies has been given new life with new updated text, colorful, sweet illustrations but the same heartfelt message that it is love, and love alone, that makes a family. Odyssey Bookshop welcomes Leslea Newman to celebrate the relaunch of this beautiful picture book. Kids encouraged to celebrate their families in drawings at kids craft table! Perfect for all ages. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., South Hadley. RSVP required. Email RSVP@odysseybks.com

Jun 27

Join us for Franklin Land Trust’s 24th Annual Farm & Garden Tour on Saturday, June 27th from 10am-4pm. This is one day self-guided tour of the secret gardens, working farms and special places in Ashfield & Conway. Some highlights include: an off-the-grid home, bee yard, beautiful rock walls, wattle fence of alder whips, espaliered star magnolia, collection of heirloom roses (dating to the Roman Empire) an edible landscape, permaculture, herbs, habitats for native pollinators; one-of-a-kind barn artistically decorated with glass beads and jewelry, organic fruit farm and a country casual garden with easy care plants. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. $15 for a reserved luncheon. www.franklinlandtrust.org or 413-625-9151

Begins Jul 9

Dance this summer at The Center in Amherst! Enroll now for a 6 week session, starting Thursday, July 9th. In this 45 minute class for kids aged 2-6, students will leap, twirl and spin their way into the world of children’s literature. Using picture books, nursery rhymes and songs as inspiration, children will be introduced to the fundamentals of creative movement in a fun, nurturing environment. Whether they’re soaring like the red bird that brown bear saw, leaping and pouncing at the Wild Rumpus, or dancing the alphabet, kids will love this interactive class that honors the reader, and storyteller, in all of us. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com.

Fall Openings

Amherst Montessori School has Fall 2015 openings for pre-school and Kindergarten. Financial aid available! Amherst Montessori School nurtures the child’s spirit, curiosity, confidence, and leadership, building the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. AMS programs feature thoughtfully-prepared classrooms to support the child’s development, and a curriculum that integrates music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE, Spanish and more. Young Toddler through Sixth Grade. For more information or to schedule a visit, please call 413-253-3101 or email Shelley Poreda, Director, at sporeda@amherstmontessori.org. www.amherstmontessori.org

Jun 27

Join us on Saturday, June 27 from 10am-12noon for a meaningful morning volunteering with your family and your community! Free and open to everyone!

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Family Volunteer Days are held once a month and are open to everyone. Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place on Saturday, June 27th, 10am-12noon, Farming with Friends at Mountain View Farm. Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER) (Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden)

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit 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 advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 20th-26th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

11 Highlights for Father’s Day in Western MA

Calling All Sports Fans, History Buffs, Aviators, Foodies & Music Lovers!

On Sunday, dads and grandfathers with younger kids can enjoy a free train ride and round of mini golf at Look Park or take a free trolley ride at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. Other locations honoring dads and granddads on Father’s Day include Historic Deerfield which offers free admission, or a free ride on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round.

Happy Father’s Day! This Sunday, June 21, 2015, there are lots of opportunities to explore Western MA with the sons, fathers, step-fathers, and grandfathers in your life!

SPORTS FAN

Few events have the old time, hometown feel of a community baseball game! Don’t miss the 2nd annual Ashfield Baseball and Softball Jamboree  and old timers game on Sunday, June 21, 10:30am, which honors the long tradition of playing these sports in Ashfield. Folks can join in the games or enjoy spectating. Games will play throughout the day into the evening. 413-628-4441. The Field, Ashfield, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Other games happening on Father’s Day: Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 21st-27th, 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 discovered Hilltown Families about 3 years ago, shortly after the birth of my first child.  I grew up here, and felt like I had a pretty good grasp on community events and going-ons.  I read the local newspaper, worked in a public school, attended town meetings…but I still felt like I wasn’t ‘in the loop’ when it came to family-oriented life in the area.  Hilltown Families has definitely opened us up to new adventures, even things that have been going on for years that we just hadn’t ever checked out…” Lillian W. (Shelburne Falls, 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.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 26

Acupuncture and Cancer Care. There are increasingly complex and successful interventions for the treatment and management of cancer. While supportive care for symptom management has improved, there are many side effects of treatment and consequences of cancer that affect quality of life in cancer survivors. The Role of Acupuncture in Cancer Care, a Cooley Dickinson/Mass General Hospital lecture, will examine the role of acupuncture in the alleviation of symptoms of pain, bowel disorders, neuropathy, anxiety, and depression. The importance of a holistic approach to cancer care and survivorship issues will be reviewed. Thursday, June 26, 6pm. Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Registration required: www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes or 888-554-4234.

Jun 28

Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield (25 Greenfield Road) is hosting a Doll’s Day Out Luncheon on Saturday, June 28th at 11am. Whether it’s an American Girl doll or a beloved baby, every doll deserves a fabulous day out! The award winning kids menu will be available with a special sweet treat included. Adults will be offered the brand new lunch menu! Mrs. Claus will be making a special appearance with her own favorite doll and beautiful handmade doll clothes will be for sale. Call 413-665-1277 to make reservations for this great event! Chandlers.yankeecandle.com ($)

Springfield MuseumsSpringfield Science Museum. See stomping, roaring, robotic dinosaurs and life-like Ice Age mammals come to life! Experience the thrill of meeting enormous pre-historic creatures up close, including Maiasaura, Apatosaurus, and T-rex, along with a Woolly Mammoth and a family of Smilodon saber-toothed cats. The exhibit also includes dino-dig and fossil rubbing stations, plus a host of educational displays. The Springfield Museums are open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm (also open Mondays from June 30-August 30). There is a special exhibition fee of $5 in addition to museum admission for all visitors ages 3 and up to view Life Through Time. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org.

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. 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

The Amherst Survival Center has volunteer opportunities for teens ages 15yo+ on weekdays (not Wed). Shifts are typically 2 hours/week between 9am-3pm. There are several places for teens & adults to volunteer. In an inquire about volunteer opportunities for teens they responded, “We look for a minimum of a two hour/week commitment for a minimum of 8 weeks…If they are able to get here in the morning, we need help organizing and sorting through fresh bread and produce from area markets and farms which we then distribute to about 100 people/day. If they have a super organized closet, they may be a good fit for helping in our Free Store. Certain days we also need help serving lunch and doing dishes. And our Emergency Food Pantry often needs help keeping the shelves stocked and helping folks fill their carts with their monthly food “box.” Strong folks can help pick up furniture from around town in the mornings. And people who like to clean can help clean the place after 2:30PM. Lots and lots of options.” For more information visit their website at www.amherstsurvival.org or email tracey@amherstsurvival.org

Ticket Giveaway: 2014 Green River Festival! The 28th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 12th & 13th, 2014… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway, one pair for each day! With a free pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival! Find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 21st-27th, 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 June 14th-20th, 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

“For every school vacation, and each summer, Hilltown Families has provided resources for events to attend with our children! These opportunities have created precious memories that will last a lifetime!” Kristy D. (Hatfield, 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 55 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 55 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

Jun 14-Sep 14

Springfield MuseumsSpringfield Science Museum. See stomping, roaring, robotic dinosaurs and life-like Ice Age mammals come to life! Experience the thrill of meeting enormous pre-historic creatures up close, including Maiasaura, Apatosaurus, and T-rex, along with a Woolly Mammoth and a family of Smilodon saber-toothed cats. The exhibit also includes dino-dig and fossil rubbing stations, plus a host of educational displays. The Springfield Museums are open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm (also open Mondays from June 30-August 30). There is a special exhibition fee of $5 in addition to museum admission for all visitors ages 3 and up to view Life Through Time. For more information, visit www.SpringfieldMuseums.org.

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

The Amherst Survival Center has volunteer opportunities for teens ages 15yo+ on weekdays (not Wed). Shifts are typically 2 hours/week between 9am-3pm.  There are several places for teens & adults to volunteer. In an inquire about volunteer opportunities for teens they responded, “We look for a minimum of a two hour/week commitment for a minimum of 8 weeks…If they are able to get here in the morning, we need help organizing and sorting through fresh bread and produce from area markets and farms which we then distribute to about 100 people/day.  If they have a super organized closet, they may be a good fit for helping in our Free Store.  Certain days we also need help serving lunch and doing dishes. And our Emergency Food Pantry often needs help keeping the shelves stocked and helping folks fill their carts with their monthly food “box.” Strong folks can help pick up furniture from around town in the mornings. And people who like to clean can help clean the place after 2:30PM. Lots and lots of options.” For more information visit their website at www.amherstsurvival.org or email tracey@amherstsurvival.org

Ticket Giveaway: 2014 Green River Festival! The 28th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 12th & 13th, 2014… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway, one pair for each day! With a free pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival!  Find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 14th-20th, 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 June 22nd-28th, 2013

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

Pick up some rhubarb and strawberries at your local farmer’s market or roadside stand this weekend and make a pie with this delicious duo before the season has completely gone by! Want to PYO strawberries? See where our readers suggest going with the kids in our archived post, Q&A: Local Strawberries.

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. Click HERE to find out more.

BET BETS & MARK YOUR CALENDARS

4th of July Highlights! From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of 4th of July celebrations happening in Western MA beginning this weekend and for the next two weeks. Check out our 4th of July preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate in Western MA: 2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 22 & 23

Our Shire’s beloved Mutton & Mead Tavern & Inne will be hosting its annual festival for your merriment. Enjoy the realm’s finest Entertainers as the legend of Robin Hood unfolds around you! Witness the daring spectacle of Knights Jousting, and hear the dulcet tones of minstrels songs. Stroll the enchanted paths of Sherwood Forest, encountering faeries, pixies and wood sprites. Adorn yourself with Merchants’ wares. Feast on the kingdom’s best Victuals, Meads and Ales. A Fundraiser for the Montague Common Hall & The Foodbank of Western Mass. Bring canned goods for a discount at the gate! June 22-23, 10am-6pm, 210 Turners Falls Road, Montague, MA. $15 Adults, $10 Kids and Seniors. Visit www.MuttonAndMead.com for details. Huzzah!

Reg deadline: Jun 23

Music Together® for Valley Families offers music and movement classes for 0 – 5 year olds and the grownups who love them.Their summer session begins July 1, 2013 in Amherst, Belchertown and South Hadley. Beloved by millions of families and early childhood educators, the program is now taught in 48 states and 40 other countries and is celebrating their 25 anniversary! Pioneering the idea of research based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music education, it emphasizes and facilitates caregiver involvement in a child’s musical growth. Registration deadline: June 23. Limited financial aid available. Contact: 413-259-9400, www.valleymusicgroup.com and on Facebook.

Jul 3-6; Jul 17-20; Jul 31 – Aug 3

PaintBox Theatre is a theatre of improvisation and imagination for the whole family. Start with a children’s classic. Add three actors. Add the Paintbox stage & a screen. Add artwork (by kids). Add lots of audience participation & improvisation. Stir well. There you go: Paintbox! This season: Little Red Riding Hood, July 3-6; Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, July 17-20; and King Kong, Jr., July 31- August 3. All shows are presented in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Green Street, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton, MA. Call for more information: 413-585-3220. Or visit online at www.newcenturytheatre.org/paintbox.html.

Host families are needed for exchange students attending the Academy at Charlemont and other area high schools this fall. Hosting is a great way to learn first-hand about another culture and to share your life with an international student. Students from over 70 countries are available. Host families provide a place for the student to sleep, meals, and a warm home environment. Students have their own spending money and medical insurance. Single parents, young couples and empty-nesters are all encouraged to apply. Interested families should contact Ann Newsmith, 802-257-4710, exchangevt@gmail.com. PAX is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing mutual respect among the people of the world. www.pax.org.
Cooley Dickinson Hospital: After a career coaching and playing ice hockey, Don “Toot” Cahoon couldn’t even tie his shoes without agonizing pain. A few months after getting a new hip from the Joint Replacement Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, he was walking, jogging, biking and skating pain free. The Joint Replacement at Cooley is second to none. It has a spectacular record in terms of safety and infections. Those are two very serious considerations when you are having a procedure like this. To hear the rest of Toot’s success story and hear from other patients, visit www.TheTalkIsGood.com.

Sponsor: Cooley DickinsonCooley Dickinson Childbirth Center: Voted “Best” Again in the Valley Advocate’s Readers Poll. For Granby residents Alyssa and Philip LaFlamme, Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center was the comfortable choice. “From the moment I called to say I was on my way, I felt reassured and well taken care of,” said Alyssa, who praises labor and delivery nurse Terri Jay who “helped keep me calm when I had a few moments of panic.” Alyssa consistently received personalized care. “My friends have gone other places and they say they feel like a number at other hospitals.” The LaFlammes are not alone in their choice. For the third consecutive year, families have voted the Childbirth Center the Best Birthing Center in the Valley Advocate’s Readers’ Poll.

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

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! 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!


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 22nd-28th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

29 Community Highlights: Dragonflies to Damselflies. Father’s Day to Juneteenth.

Dragonfly or damselfly? Learn how to tell the difference between these two insects this weekend at the Mills River Environmental Center and the benefits they contribute to our larger ecosystem.

Dragonflies to Damselflies. The Hundred Dresses to The Hunger Games. Naturalists to Musicians.  Father’s Day to Juneteenth… These are just a few of the 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!

Happy Father’s Day!

On Father’s Day this Sunday, June 16th, dads and grandfathers with younger kids can enjoy a free train ride at Look Park in Florence, or Forest Park Zoo in Springfield. Or take an even bigger free train ride at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. Other locations honoring dads and granddads on Father’s Day include Historic Deerfield and Old Sturbridge Village, both of which will offer free admission on Sunday, and a free ride on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round. Check our Best Bets for Father’s Day highlights for more ways to spend time with the dad in your life this weekend in western Massachusetts!


Historic Homes & BuildingsMusic StudiesLawn Concerts Animal & Insect StudiesPlant StudiesLibrary AdventuresHistoryParent Workshops & Support


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 15th-21st, 2013

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

On Father’s Day this Sunday, dads and grandfathers with younger kids can enjoy a free train ride at Look Park in Florence, or Forest Park Zoo in Springfield. Or take an even bigger free train ride at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. Other locations honoring dads and granddads on Father’s Day include Historic Deerfield and Old Sturbridge Village which offer free admission, or a free ride on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round.

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. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS FOR FATHER’S DAY: Sunday, June 16th

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets! On Friday, June 21st at Mountain Park in Holyoke is Chicago, winner of the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award… and we’re giving away a 4-pack of lawn tickets for a group of friends to enjoy an evening out! Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner and gang of BFF’s for a fun evening away from the kids! Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, 06/18/13 @ 7pm (EST). Details here.

In Berkshire County from 8:30am-11:30am – NATURAL HISTORY & OUTDOOR ADVENTURE:  Canoe the Housatonic River through Bartholomew’s Cobble on a Father’s Day canoe trip.  Participants will learn about the river’s habitats and history while experiencing the many sights and sounds offered by this beautiful part of New England.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  $$

In Hampshire County at 1pm – COMMUNITY EVENT: All are invited to attend One Billion Fathers Rising, an event hosted by Umoja Now, that works to end violence and abuse in all communities across the globe.  There will be live poetry, music, and theatrical performances, as well as speakers.  Please bring a chair and come prepared to learn and make a difference in the world.  129 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.

In Franklin County at 2pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: Come celebrate Father’s Day and the upcoming Summer Solstice with Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center and Gaia Roots World Music at Unity Park in Turners Falls.  There will be demonstrations of Caribbean and West African rhythms, instruments, and songs.  People of all ages can then try their hand at drumming in a community music jam.  Please bring your own chair.  800-859-2960.  First Street.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

In Hampden County at 6pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Westfield Bank Sunday Night Concert Series at Stanley Park’s Beveridge Pavilion Annex is a great place to relax on the lawn with the family.  Pack a picnic dinner and come to the Park to enjoy live music, community, and time with the dad in your life!  Chairs available.  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 17

Little Bear Learn & Care is having a Preschool Open House on Monday, June 17th from 6-7:30pm. LBLC is located at 184 Northampton Street in Easthampton and all are welcome. Come visit their center and meet the teachers. Little Bear’s philosophy stresses that the preschool years are vital in developing skills needed to be successful later in life. The curriculum provides meaningful experiences which encourage development in social/emotional, physical and cognitive areas. The children’s interests lead the teachers in designing activities which actively involve them in the learning process. Limited slots are available for our summer and fall programs. Contact info: www.littlebearlearn.com/ maurybear@gmail.com You can also find them on Facebook!

Jun 22 & 23

Our Shire’s beloved Mutton & Mead Tavern & Inne will be hosting its annual festival for your merriment. Enjoy the realm’s finest Entertainers as the legend of Robin Hood unfolds around you! Witness the daring spectacle of Knights Jousting, and hear the dulcet tones of minstrels songs. Stroll the enchanted paths of Sherwood Forest, encountering faeries, pixies and wood sprites. Adorn yourself with Merchants’ wares. Feast on the kingdom’s best Victuals, Meads and Ales. A Fundraiser for the Montague Common Hall & The Foodbank of Western Mass. Bring canned goods for a discount at the gate! June 22-23, 10am-6pm, 210 Turners Falls Road, Montague, MA. $15 Adults, $10 Kids and Seniors. Visit www.MuttonAndMead.com for details. Huzzah!

Reg deadline: Jun 23

Music Together® for Valley Families offers music and movement classes for 0 – 5 year olds and the grownups who love them.Their summer session begins July 1, 2013 in Amherst, Belchertown and South Hadley. Beloved by millions of families and early childhood educators, the program is now taught in 48 states and 40 other countries and is celebrating their 25 anniversary! Pioneering the idea of research based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music education, it emphasizes and facilitates caregiver involvement in a child’s musical growth. Registration deadline: June 23. Limited financial aid available. Contact: 413-259-9400, www.valleymusicgroup.com and on Facebook.

Jun 24 – Aug 16

The Bement School offers a wide variety of summer programs for students from 15 months to 15 years. Located on a beautiful campus in historic Deerfield, Bement’s programs combine the summer fun of a traditional day camp with field trips and enrichment programs. The Preschool Program provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for the youngest campers. Adventures in Chinese is a full-day Chinese language and culture program. The Adventure Camp offers games, crafts, swimming, and field trips. The Junior Counselor Program gives teens experience working with children, developing valuable job skills, and enjoying summer fun. Summer programs run from June 24 to August 16. Call 413-774-7061 or visit bement.org/summer for more information.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital: After a career coaching and playing ice hockey, Don “Toot” Cahoon couldn’t even tie his shoes without agonizing pain. A few months after getting a new hip from the Joint Replacement Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, he was walking, jogging, biking and skating pain free. The Joint Replacement at Cooley is second to none. It has a spectacular record in terms of safety and infections. Those are two very serious considerations when you are having a procedure like this. To hear the rest of Toot’s success story and hear from other patients, visit www.TheTalkIsGood.com.

Sponsor: Cooley DickinsonCooley Dickinson Childbirth Center: Voted “Best” Again in the Valley Advocate’s Readers Poll. For Granby residents Alyssa and Philip LaFlamme, Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center was the comfortable choice. “From the moment I called to say I was on my way, I felt reassured and well taken care of,” said Alyssa, who praises labor and delivery nurse Terri Jay who “helped keep me calm when I had a few moments of panic.” Alyssa consistently received personalized care. “My friends have gone other places and they say they feel like a number at other hospitals.” The LaFlammes are not alone in their choice. For the third consecutive year, families have voted the Childbirth Center the Best Birthing Center in the Valley Advocate’s Readers’ Poll.

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

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! 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!


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 15th-21st, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

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Suggested Events 06/19/10-06/25/10

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Fresh baked croissants from Bread Euphoria at the Ashfield Farmers' Market. (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.

DINNER IN THE HILLTOWNS

Friday, June 18th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Tex-Mex Chalupa: grilled burrito with organic beans, rice, spinach, cheese, sour cream and homemade vegan sloppy joe mix. – Macaroni & Cheese – Indian Split Lentil Soup (Daal) – Gluten-free and vegan dishes too. BYOB. 268-7441

Friday, June 18th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Grilled lemon chicken or grilled lemon tofu; Grilled red onion; Locally raised Swiss chard with golden raisins and tamari roasted almonds; Oven roasted potatoes; Locally raised mixed green salad. Kids aged 6 and under eat free from 5 to 6:30! BYOB 628-4003

Friday & Saturday, June 18th-19th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Flank steak satay with peanut sauce and fresh cumber salad. Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Beer & wine available. 268-7757

FEATURED SUMMER CAMPS

THEATER CAMP: Look no further than Ashfield Community Theater Full Day Summer Arts Program at Sanderson Academy for affordable children’s Arts programs!  NOW SAVE $15 each when you sign up with a friend or sibling! There are 4 great Visual & Theater Arts sessions this year, but this discount applies only to Session #1 (TAKE STAGE: WRITING COMES ALIVEJuly 12-16) or #2 (ART OUTDOORS/BATIK & UKRANIAN EGGSJuly 19-23).   Both feature talented teaching artists, small groups, and lots of fun– from T-shirt design, to nature sculptures and photos, Word Collages, improv games, stage craft, and performances—this is a chance to learn through doing in creative and inspiring ways.  M-F, 9am-3:30pm. Regular Tuition: $180. Call 413-626-1976. Scholarships available!

GIRLS ART CAMP: ArtStar Girl’s Camp, July 5th-9th, for girls 8-12yo in Williamsburg, MA. Spend the day (10am-2pm) creating with batik, silkscreening and tie dye as well as experiencing hand sewing and book making! Girls will be encouraged to explore their own artist expression in a relaxed lounge like environment at the private home studio of Marie Westburg, artist and Art Therapist. Sessions are limited to eight so sign up now! Cost is $180 per child. See artstarlounge.com for more info. or email artstarmarie@verizon.net

BEST BET

Saturday, June 19th in Amherst: Family Concert with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts on Saturday (6/19) at 1pm. The proceeds from the concert go to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center.  More info here.

BULLETIN BOARD

Paintbox Theater

Warm welcome to Hilltown Families newest sponsor, PaintBox Theatre, Northampton's own innovative theatre of imagination and improvisation for the young and young at heart, in residence at New Century Theatre at Smith College for it's 7th year! - Interested in joining PaintBox Theatre in the support of the work of Hilltown Families? Find out how to become a sponsor too! Inquiries can be emailed to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events.

Marie Westburg of Williamsburg, MA writes: Did you know that the Center for Ecological Technology is offering free air sealing of homes! Call MassSave for an energy audit. Also, click here for info about Deep-energy Retro-fits that can make your home 80-90% more energy efficient.

Candy Bird Laflam of Goshen, MA writes: I wanted to “put it out there”, that the Goshen Women’s Softball Team is looking for players for our summer games. Anyone from 17-70 is welcome! Skill level isn’t as important as having fun. We play on Tuesday and Thursday evenings starting June 22- August 1st. Please email me Candy.Laflam@gmail.com or call me at 695-0427.

Katie Flanders writes: Any good preschools around the Hilltowns?

FREE CHILDBIRTH ED CLASS: The Hilltown Community Health Center will be offering a free childbirth education class next Saturday, June 19th, from 10am-2pm. This day-long format will prepare families for the childbirth experience in one session. Ann Buscemi, certified childbirth educator, will talk about what to expect in labor and delivery, as well as breathing and relaxation techniques. Call Lee at 238-5511 x155 for more information on location and to register.

Deadline to enter to win: June 22nd

ARENA CIVIC THEATRE will hold auditions for its fall musical ANNIE Friday June 25 at 6:30 pm at the Jones Library (Amherst) and Saturday June 26 at 5:30 pm at Artspace (Greenfield). Roles for 15 girls ages 7-14, 2 boys and 20 men and women ages 15-70. For more information contact director Martha King-Devine at devinekingmartha@gmail.com or http://www.arenacivictheatre.org. Annie will be produced at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Directed by Martha King-Devine with musical direction by Susanne Anderson and choreography by Melanie Reneris and Cara Leach.

FAMILY WELLNESS RESOURCE: Healthy Families is a statewide home visiting program for first-time mothers and fathers under the age of 21. They work with families beginning in pregnancy until their first baby turns three years old. They offer a range of services including home visiting, support groups, and help with resumes and job applications. They provide transportation to important appointments for parents and their infants/toddlers, parenting education information, referrals for community resources, general case management, and a non-judgmental listening ear. They work with both mothers and fathers, even if they are not living with their child. Be the best parent you can be, join Healthy Families today! Call 413-584-5690 x130, or email edlugosz@gcfcma.org.

Deadline to enter to win: July 11th

KIDS PHOTO CONTEST: MA 4-H Photography Contest. For current 4-H club members who are 8 to 18 years of age. Categories: action, people, animals, landscape, nature, waterscape, design, architecture, formal portrait. You may enter up to five photos that are unmounted, no smaller than 5″ x 7″ and no larger than 8″ x 10″, and each in a sheet protector. Up to 10 photos will be selected to be mounted and laminated for exhibit in the New England Center during the Big E. Entries are due in Waltham on July 5. Check out the entry guidelines on the 4-H website www.mass4h.org , click on News & Events, and then Upcoming Events.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Tune in every Saturday & Sunday - or anytime via Podcast!

This week on the HFVS, Yosi and the Superdads with be Guest DJing with a special Father’s Day Show, featuring music off of their new album, Super Kids Rock, along with their favorites by Brady Rymer, The Hipwaders, Steve Songs, Sara Hickman, and Dr. Noize.

Tune in on Saturdays from 9-10am, or listen to our podcasts HERE. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 6/19

    Deadline to enter to win: June 30th.

    FARMERS’ MARKETS

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Yosi and the Superdads with be Guest DJing with a special Father’s Day Show, featuring music off of their new album, Super Kids Rock, along with their favorites by Brady Rymer, The Hipwaders, Steve Songs, Sara Hickman, and Dr. Noize . Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    7:30am-9am – NATURE STUDIES: Notchview’s Nests at Notchview.  Join naturalist John Green for a bird walk exploring a variety of habitats during nesting season.  Call The Trustees of Reservations at 413 532-1631 x13 Windsor, MA (>$)

    9am-12Noon – LOCAL FOOD: Want to learn how to make jam with all those strawberries you’re picking?  North Amherst community Farm is having a Making Jam workshop in the Community Room Kitchen at Pulpit Hill Co-Housing.  Space is limited so call Beth at 259-1972 Amherst, MA ($)

    9am-5pm – NATURE STUDIES: Visit the Turners Falls Fishway. Underwater viewing windows offer visitors of all ages a chance to see American shad, sea lamprey and other migratory fish during their upriver spring journey to spawn. At Turners Falls Dam (behind town hall). 659-3714 Turners Falls, MA (Free)

    9:30am-4:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The many uses of berries will be investigated in a new program called “Berry Season” at the Historic Deerfield Museum. Used for food, medicine, and even for dyes and inks, berries were also a seasonal treat for early Americans. Visitors will explore the importance of berries to both Native Americans and English settlers in the 18th century, make berry ink, put together a refrigerator-jam kit to take home, and receive a berry recipe booklet. 774-5581 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA ($)

    All Day – COMMUNITY EVENT: Taste of Amherst happens this weekend with fun events for the kids, including: pony rides, face painting, hay rides, family music and much more. 253-0700 tasteofamherst.com Amherst, MA

    All Day – COMMUNITY EVENT: 15th Annual World Peace and Prayer Day. Blue Star Equiculture invites you to participate in a weekend of music, history, horses, and prayer for peace, on Burgundy Brook Farm, a family-friendly event. www.worldpeaceandprayerday.org Palmer, MA ($)

    10-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Forest Sensory Walk at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary.  Use your five senses to explore Laughing Brook in a whole new way. See how many items you can find on their “unnature trail,” listen to the many different sounds, smell and taste nature’s mints, and feel different textures. Registration required 584-3009 Hampden, MA (>$)

    10am-2pm – SAFETY DAY: Child safety seat checks, SAFE house demos, Sheriff’s office iris scan, and much more.  Food and fun too at the Anne Dunphy School (1 Petticoat Hill Rd.) 268-7237  Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

    10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: A Wheelie Good Time on the Manhan Rail Trail – Bring Strollers, wagon, bikes, trikes or just your feet for a child friendly stroll along the Manhan Rail Trail with the Easthampton Family Center.  Meet on Payson Ave at the Easthampton Safety Complex. Picnic Snack provided after the stroll. 563-7672 Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    10am-1pm – HIKE: Native Treasures of Bear Swamp. Experience vista views, diverse native flowers and ferns, towering trees, rocky outcrops, streams and wet meadows on this 3-mile moderate hike.  Trustees of Reservations members and Ashfield residents free.  To register call The Trustees of Reservations at 413 532-1631 x13 Ashfield, MA

    10am-5pm – CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Russian Cultural Festival: Kalinka.  Discover Russian culture with a day of Russian music, crafts, cuisine, kid activities, and more. Will be at the West Springfield High School (500 Amostown Road). 726-1352 sprinfieldru.com West Springfield, MA (FREE)

    10:30am – PARADE: Easthampton 225 Big Parade assembles on Williston Ave and continues on Union Street, Main Street and ends at Eastworks. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    10:30am-7pm – SUSTAINABILITY: Coop Power Sustainable Energy Summit at Nuestras Raices farm (24 Jones Ferry Rd.). Fun-filled family event this year with lots of hands-on activities. cooppower.coop Holyoke, MA (FREE)

    11am-12Noon – GARDEN ADVENTURES: Seeds and Weeds: Children’s Garden at Naumkeag.  Children ages five and under along with their caregivers and siblings are invited to participate in the planning and planting of a children’s garden through a combination of stories and guided activities. 298-3239 Stockbridge, MA

    11am-3pm – SOLSTICE CELEBRATION: Summer Solstice Celebration with the Berkshire Co-Op Market.  Events and shows include Harry: Dragon for Hire, music with David Grover, Roger the Jester, kids’ games, arts & crafts. 528-9697 berkshire.coop Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

    11am-3pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Storrowtown Village Museum will host an opening day celebration. Costumed interpreters will reveal what life was like in the 19th century with activities and guided tours through Storrowton Village’s historic buildings. 205-5051 thebige.com West Springfield, MA (>$)

    12Noon-4pm: COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Holyoke Heritage State Park celebration with music, games, entertainment and more.  Organized By: Centro Restauracion Emanuel. Holyoke, MA

    12Noon-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Grand opening of Wrapped! Search for the Essential Mummy at the Berkshire Museum. live camels on the lawn; live cobras, pythons, and other scary snakes inside, hieroglyphic crafts & face painting, and an Egyptian reception! 443.7171 berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE for members. >$)

    1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem perform a family concert at The Eric Carle Museum Picture Book Art. 658-1100 carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (>$)

    1pm – SCIENCE STUDIES: Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer.  Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more.  256-6234  amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Backyard Friends at Forest Park Zoo. Learn about animals indigenous to Massachusetts and Connecticut. 733-2251 forestparkzoo.org Springfield, MA (FREE w/admission)

    1-9pm – MUSIC FEST: There will be music all day at Millside Park as part of the Easthampton 225 celebration. easthampton225.com Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – CHESS: Drop-in Chess at the Forbes Library Mezzanine. Casual meets every Saturday the library is open. All competition levels are welcome. Drop in for part or all of the session. Bring your own set if you have one or use one of the library’s. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    1-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Explore the historic William Cullen Bryant Homestead, a Trustees of Reservation landmark. Cummington, MA (>$)

    2pm – SCIENCE ADVENTURES:  Space-tacular: Solar System with Rachel Roberts at Northfield Mountain. Hands-on science and art activities connected to the planets in the solar system.  Ages 5yo+ Pre-registration required – call 800-859-2960 Northfield, MA (FREE)

    2:30pm – LOCAL FOOD: The WAPF Northampton Chapter is co-sponsoring a Farm Tour at Sidehill Farm.  Meet their cows, tour their pastures and barn and enjoy some raw milk and yogurt. Great opportunity to get to know a local farmer, see where the milk comes from, and to try delicious raw milk if you haven’t yet had the pleasure. Click here for more info. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

    6pm – SPORTS FANS: Take the family out to the ballpark to see a Pittsfield Colonials baseball home game at Wahconah Park. www.pittsfieldcolonials.com Pittsfield, MA ($)

    7pm – COMMUNITY GATHERING: Star-light, Star-Bright: Bike-In Movie, Plant Swap & Local Food Pot-luck at Montview Neighborhood Farm Soccer Field. Plant Swap and Food starts at 7pm. Movie starts at dark o’clock (Shine Only). An evening of magic, intrigue & tikki torches as we celebrate the longest day of the year. Movies-under the stars, on the Montview soccer field, screening The Fantastic Mr. Fox. What to bring: plants and seeds to swap, a local/seasonal dish made with ingredients that you have gathered or grown (farmers markets and CSA food is great), blankets and beach chairs for the movie, bug spray or long-sleeved pants and shirts. 610-955-7168 montviewfarm.org Northampton, MA (FREE)

    8:45pm – DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater is featuring Toy Story (G) as their first show, and Prince of Persia (PG-13) as their second show this weekend. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Father’s Day Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village

    Old Sturbridge Village Offers Special Father’s Day Weekend Demos, Art & Music

    Bring your favorite dad to Old Sturbridge Village for Father’s Day Weekend and enjoy singing, dancing, artwork demonstrations and musical performances as part of Music & Art Weekend. On Saturday, June 19th an evening at the kiln is the highlight, and on Sunday, June 20th Dads get 50% off admission.

    Pops and their families can learn to play the jaw harp and tin whistle, have their silhouette made, learn 1830s-style contra-dancing, and enjoy musical performances, including: Tasteful Tunes and Devil’s Ditties, fife and drum music, a recorder concert, and a performance on the antique pipe organ in the Center Meetinghouse.

    “Of all the activities we demonstrate at the Old Sturbridge Village, firing the potter’s kiln is surely the most dramatic,” notes Jeff Friedman, of Princeton, MA, head of pottery interpretation at OSV. “It’s a rare opportunity to see an oven of such size roaring and glowing”

    Built with 15,000 bricks, the Old Sturbridge Village kiln is an “updraft bottle kiln,” of the style used in the early 1800s. When fully loaded for firing, the kiln holds 800 freshly glazed pots stacked 10 feet high. It takes three cords of wood stoked over 24 hours to bring the kiln to maximum firing temperature of 1,900 degrees. At that temperature, the kiln bricks glow and the flames roar, rising 24 feet high to come out of the top of the stack. The pottery is fired all night, and it takes another 40 hours for the kiln to cool before the dramatic “drawing the kiln” – unloading the finished wares.  Firing of the kiln happens only on Saturday, June 19th ($$).

    Highlights on Father’s Day weekend include:

    • Music on the Antique Pipe Organ
    • Try Your Hand at Fishing, or Marbling Paper
    • Demonstrate and Teach 19th-Century Dance & Country Music
    • Play Marbles by the District School
    • French and English (Tug O’ War) on the Common
    • Join a 19th-century Baseball Game
    • Antique Musical Instrument Demonstration
    • Learn to Play the Tin Whistle and Jaw Harp
    • Tasteful Tunes and Devil’s Ditties: Songs & Stories of Long Ago
    • Hoop Races by the Graveyard

    Old Sturbridge Village celebrates New England life in the 1830s and is one of the largest living history museums in the country. For all times and details of activities throughout the weekend: www.osv.org, (800) 733-1830.

    Daddy Episode on the HFVS (06/20/09 & 06/27/09)

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW
    Daddy Episode

    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA

    06/20/09 PLAYLIST
    (06/27/09 encore)

    listen LIVE via streaming audio | request a song | subscribe to free podcast
    archived shows | contests | myspace | facebook

    • Lisa Loeb – “Ready for the Summer”  [Camp Lisa]
    • Mr. Ray – “First Father’s Day” [Family Ride]
    • Cat Stevens – “Father and Son” [Tea for the Tillerman]
    • Barenaked Ladies – “Things” [Snacktime]
    • Justin Roberts – “Stay at Home Dad” [Pop Fly]
    • Jamie Broza – “Stop it Dad You’re Embarassing Me” [My Daddy is Scratchy]
    • Spiral Up Kids – “Sugar” [Spiral Up Kids]Music
    • The Sippy Cups – “Daddy’s Lucky Charm” [The Time Machine]Music
    • The Radio Revellers – “My Grandfather’s Clock” [More Vintage Children’s Favourites]
    • Sugar Free Allstars – “Poppy and MeeMaw” [Dos Ninos]
    • Cathy Marcy with Christylez Bacon – “Hip-Hop Humpty Dumpty” [Banjo to Beatbox]Music (FEATURED VIDEO)
    • 23 Skidoo – “Family Tree” [Easy]
    • Ziggy Marley – “Family Time” [Family Time]Music
    • Suzi Shelton – “Man Gave Names” [No Ordinary Day]
    • Ginger Hendrix – “My Daddy Loves Tools” [Macaroni Boy Eats At Chez Shooby Doo]
    • Joe West – “Homemade Rocket to the Moon” [If the World Was Upside Down]Music
    • The Bubble Gum Singers and Orchestra – “The Blacksmith” [Bicycle Built for Two]
    • Laurie Berkner – “Mouse in My Toolbox” [Rocketship Run]
    • The Jamies – “Summertime, Summertime” [Radio Hits of the ’50s]

    Suggested Events 06/20/09-06/26/09

    Worthington Swimming Pool Open House

    Worthington Swim Club Open House is on Saturday, June 20th from 12Noon-3pm in Worthington, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    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 “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, location, age appropriateness and costs before attending

    FEATURED EVENT

    SATURDAY, JUNE 20th: Summer Solstice Celebration with Erica Wheeler in Conway, MA. Join Mountain View B&B for a mountain-top house concert to celebrate the beauty & bounty of summer. Enjoy great music, delicious food and spectacular views of the surrounding hills and mountains of Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont. Celebration begins at 4pm with a potluck meal. Music and dessert are from 6-8pm. Children are free. To view the venue and directions go to www.mtviewbb.com. For more info contact HF Listserv member Joanie Schwartz, joanie@delaprealestate.com, 413.369.4700

    About Erica Wheeler: Wheeler is an award-winning singer/songwriter based in western Massachusetts with six CD’s to her credit. She has shared the stage with Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Greg Brown, and more. Her music made the Top 10 on Billboard’s Gavin Americana Chart and she has been a featured guest on NPR’s All Things Considered. Erica’s songs take you on a journey though the American landscape and the lives lived there. Known for her poetic and visual songwriting, Erica’s music is pure Americana, with hints of folk, country and bluegrass. Erica combines her career as a performing artist with her lifelong interest in natural and cultural history to offer The Soulful Landscape writing workshop. Her environmental work has been featured in national publications such as Orion, Yankee and Yes. Her most recent CD, Good Summer Rain, was sponsored in part by the Trust for Public Land, a national conservation organization. www.ericawheeler.com

    BULLETIN BOARD

    • What if your daughter is part of a risky or hurtful activity? Here’s how to handle it with girls, parents, and at school: When Her Friends Make Bad Choices. – Do you initiate conversations with your daughter/stepdaughter at least 5 times a week? Click here to take part in the Daughters.com poll.
    • What impact will the Farm Safety Bill have on our regions small farms and local food processors?  Maribeth Ritchie of Sangha Farm, a small family farm in Ashfield, MA, has shared info with a call for action HERE.
    • Did you know that a quarter million experimental genetically engineered trees may be grown in the U.S?  Concerned?  Click here to read more.
    • There is a Green Directory in the works for the Pioneer Valley.  Check out Jessica Gifford’s post HERE.
    • The Nields write: June 24 Wednesday at 6:30 pm We will once again break all the rules and sing at the library. This time it is the M.N. Spear Library in Shutesbury, MA. We are responsible for kicking off the summer reading program with some singing. Full disclosure, we are actually singing behind Town Hall, but it sounds so cool to say that we are going to be singing in LOUD voices in the the library. You’ll have to imagine that. This will be a family show with a mixture of songs for kids, grown ups and maybe even a bit of singing along. Dontcha know.
    • Donna Guthire has recommended Meet Me At The Corner: Virtual Field Trips for Kids as a free educational website for kids this summer.

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    New music we're listening to: "If the World Was Upside Down" by Joe West and "26 Animals" by Artichoke.

    Tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show on Saturdays from 9-10am on Valley Free Radio (VFR), 103.3FM (Northampton, MA), or listen via streaming audio at www.ValleyFreeRadio.org. Every Saturday VFR offers four hours of commercial-free, quality family program from 6-10am, including Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child from 7am-9am. It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons!

    This week’s episode of the HFVS is the Father’s Day Episode with new music by Spiral Up Kids, Joe West, The Sippy Cups, Cathy & Marcy with Christylez Bacon, and Ziggy Marley. We’ll also be featuring tunes from LP’s in the attic, including music by The Bubble Gum Singers and Orchestra and The Radio Revellers.


    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Get Directions | Free Museum Passes | Farmer’s Market | Family Centers (Ages 0-4)|Facebook

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 06/20

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    Local & On-line Resources for Dads

    Dads, Fathers, Pop pops & Daddys

    (c) Hilltown FamiliesHappy Father’s Day! Our featured web review focuses on Father’s Day and includes on-line resources with perspectives on fatherhood.

    Local Resources

    Along with on-line resoureces, we’d like to point our readers from the Hilltowns and Pioneer Valley to the Men’s Resource Center For Change in Amherst, MA.

    Also in Amherst is a free drop-in father’s group that meets every Tuesday from 10am-11:30am at the Amherst Family Center (AFC) for fathers to come to talk about fathers’’ issues, meet other dads and socialize. Childcare is provided. The AFC is located in the basement of the Unitarian Church at 121 North Pleasant St. in the center of Amherst, entrance is at the back of the building.

    If you have a local resources you’d like to see added to this list, let us know.

    On-Line Resources

    Web reviews are for the following sites:

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    Suggested Events 06/14/08-06/20/08

    Canoeing, Fishing & Father’s Day

    CANOEING

    This past week the Hilltown Families Outdoor Adventure Spring Program concluded two weeks of canoeing. Under warm sunny skies, families learned about safety on the water and different paddling strokes. We then took to the water and practiced J-strokes and sweep-strokes as we paddled around exploring the edges of the lake and learning a little history of the area. Here are a few links to canoeing resources, instruction videos and articles:

    FISHING

    A couple of weeks before our canoeing series we learned how to fish, just in time for fishing derby season. I grew up fishing on the Bayou – catching catfish, baby alligators and snapping turtles, so I had a little experience. I did have to hide the fact that I was baiting the hook with a live worm from my daughter or she would have freaked out! Truth be told, baiting the hook with a live worm freaked ME out … so I had one of the kind instructors bait it for me. We didn’t catch anything, but it was a great opportunity to either learn how to fish with your kids or to freshen up on what was long ago forgotten.

    FATHER’S DAY

    Father’s Day is on Sunday, and many fathers would enjoy a weekend of canoeing and fishing with their buddies families. Others just might prefer to lounge around their parlor reading the New York Times and being served bagels and coffee for breakfast. Whatever the case, if you’re looking for some ideas, how about a free trolley ride at the Trolley Museum in Shelburne Falls, a farm experience in Leverett, breakfast at Elmer’s in Ashfield, or a family hike in Shelburne. More information on these ideas are posted below. Happy Father’s Day to all our dad!

    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 “Suggest An Event” page.

    Suggest an Event | Local forecast | Get directions | Museum Passes
    Farmer’s Market | 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 – 06/14

    7am – 9am – FAMILY RADIO – (Air Waves) Are you prepared to rock?! Join Bill & Ella on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child every Saturday on The River 93.9FM (101.5FM in Brattleboro), or 103.3 FM WXOJ-LP to hear two hours of quality family-friendly music. [All ages] (Free) LINK

    9am-10am – FAMILY RADIO & STORYTELLING – (Air Waves) Join our Hilltown Family! Spend a little time with The Hilltown Family Variety Show every Saturday on WXOJ-LP 103.3FM to hear a full hour of commercial-free, quality family-friendly music and storytelling. [Families] (Free) LINK

    MUSIC – (Northampton) Django in June, June 10th-15th. 268-0068 ($$) MORE INFO

    RIVER FEST – (Shelburne Falls) Riverfest 2008 happens in downtown Shelburne Falls. Children and adults will be able to visit with spectacular birds of prey, learn about local and invasive plant species, discover sustainable energy sources in our local region, listen to musicians and participate in children’s games, storytelling, creative workshops and singing – all leading up to the colorful “Frogs and Flower Parade”. [All Ages] (Free)

    10am-5pm – MUSEUM EXPLORATIONS – (Amherst) The Eric Carle Museum kids-off summer with a day full of family fun. [Families] (Free) MORE INFO

    10:30am-11:30pm – SIGN LANGUAGE – (Greenfield) REACH Program will be offering sign language classes at the Greenfield YMCA. [Adults] (Free) MORE INFO

    11am – CULTURAL EXPLORATIONS – (Pittsfield) Families can discover Native American crafts through a hands-on art program at the Berkshire Museum. This Saturday make musical instruments. http://www.berkshiremuseum.org [All Ages] ($) MORE INFO

    5pm – SIDEWALK ART – (Easthampton) A city-wide chalk celebration will be happening at Old Town Hall steps and sidewalk (43 Main Street).  Get the kids and come color the sidewalks.  Chalk will be provided.  [All Ages] (Free)

    6pm-10pm – PERFORMANCE POTLUCK – (Shelburne) All-ages performance potluck at Art Bridge. [All Ages] (Donation) LINK

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