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

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

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

Pottery to potluck. Homesteading to oceanography. Civil engineering to a cappella. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


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Suggested Events for April 30th-May 6th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events
Suggest Event

THANK YOU for voting Hilltown Families as Best in the Valley for the 6th year in a row!!!

If 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

OVER 60 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old 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

Open House: Apr 30

Considering preschool or kindergarten options? Explore Montessori! Amherst Montessori School will host a Preschool & Kindergarten Open House on Saturday, April 30 at 10am. Tour their beautiful new building and playground, meet teachers and administrators, and learn about the benefits of the mixed-age, child-centered Montessori learning environment. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

May 1

Sunday May 1, 2016 from 11am-4pm: The Massachusetts Renaissance Center invites you to a day of music, theater, juggling, falconry, dancing and more at the 14th Annual Community Renaissance Festival! Fun for all ages! FREE admission and FREE parking!Phoenix Swords returns with their popular swordsmanship demonstrations that are fun for the whole family! Robie Bones is back to lead music making! Play Renaissance games with Mutton and Mead! See demonstrations by local artisans and try your hand at one of these Renaissance crafts! Interactive theater and commedia dell’arte will add to the merriment! For a complete schedule and parking info visit www.umass.edu/renaissance and click the festival link, or call 413-577-3603.

Apr 29

Calling all young writers to submit to the Odyssey Bookshop’s Annual Children’s Writing Contest! The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 29 at 7pm. You can find the 2016 prompt and entry forms on their webpage: www.odysseybks.com/spring-writing-contest. They award gift certificates to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for each grade level (1st-5th), whom they will contact by Friday, May 6, and they’ll celebrate these winners at their Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 19 at 6pm. They’ll have sparkling juice, book cookies, and plenty of accolades for our winners, who will share their stories with the audience. Join them for this wonderful celebration of literary talent from the writers of tomorrow, and don’t forget: submit, submit, submit!

Apr 30

Join the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Sat, April 30 for Indie Bookstore Day, a FREE, family-friendly, day-long event! They will be celebrating with great kids events: 11am Mo Willems-themed story time & 2pm Horrible Bear-themed story time. They’ll have coloring stations, a “Shelfie” corner to pose with your favorite book, a bookstore love graffiti wall, homemade assorted pastries and lemonade, and exclusive merchandise, including signed copies of Kate DiCamillo’s latest book, Raymie Nightingale, signed prints featuring Tad Hill’s duck & goose characters, a Curious George® plush doll with a READ TO ME t-shirt, a kid-friendly vinyl record companion to the New York Times-bestselling Rad American Women A-Z that features Angela Davis, and more!

Apr 30 May 7

The Odyssey Bookshop and local author/illustrator Anna Alter are looking for the next area artists to submit original artwork for their Sprout Street Neighbors Community Art Contest. They invite all youth to make a piece of art that shows what they think is important about their community to Odyssey Bookshop, attn: Niki Marion by Saturday, April 30. The next Saturday, May 7, at 2pm, they welcome all artists & their families, as well as other members of the community, to join them for a show of all submitted artwork at the Odyssey. Anna will be on hand to read from her books and draw with the kids, and participants may enter a raffle to win a free school visit for their classroom. Prizes for 2nd & 3rd too. Must be present to win any prizes.

May 10

Smith College Campus School Spring Open House. Prospective kindergarten through grade 6 students and their parents are invited to an open house on Tuesday, May 10, from 3:30pm-5:30pm, at the school (33 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA). Join them for an interactive afternoon and explore what Campus School students love about school! For more information contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit their website, www.smith.edu/sccs

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
April 30-May 6, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: April 25th-29th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 24 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

Bikes to botany. Farming to financial literacy. Earth Day to entomology. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


 Biking ♦ Earth DaySkillsharingCitizen ScienceWildflowersSoil ScienceCommunity GardensVolunteeringAnimal StudiesEvolutionTradesArchaeologyAbolitionBooksClassic StoriesCircus ArtsDiversityStepdancingParenting


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Become a sponsor of Learn Local. Play Local. and see your banner here:


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Suggested Events for April 23rd-29th 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events
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

OVER 60 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old 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 22

Celebrate Earth Day with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem to benefit Kestrel Land Trust! Friday, April 22 at 8pm, at the Unitarian Society of Northampton. The New England based folk quartet’s music and style will leave you humming and hopeful, spirits renewed. For 15 years, they’ve performed across the country from the Newport Folk Festival to the California World Music Festival. All proceeds will benefit Kestrel’s work to conserve and care for the land you love throughout the Pioneer Valley. Tickets $25, available online http://bit.ly/23Hktul or at Broadside Bookstore in Northampton or A.J. Hastings in Amherst. Tickets will be sold at the door if available. Visit kestreltrust.org for more details!

Open House: Apr 30

Considering preschool or kindergarten options? Explore Montessori! Amherst Montessori School will host a Preschool & Kindergarten Open House on Saturday, April 30 at 10am. Tour their beautiful new building and playground, meet teachers and administrators, and learn about the benefits of the mixed-age, child-centered Montessori learning environment. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

May 1

Sunday May 1, 2016 from 11am-4pm: The Massachusetts Renaissance Center invites you to a day of music, theater, juggling, falconry, dancing and more at the 14th Annual Community Renaissance Festival! Fun for all ages! FREE admission and FREE parking!Phoenix Swords returns with their popular swordsmanship demonstrations that are fun for the whole family! Robie Bones is back to lead music making! Play Renaissance games with Mutton and Mead! See demonstrations by local artisans and try your hand at one of these Renaissance crafts! Interactive theater and commedia dell’arte will add to the merriment! For a complete schedule and parking info visit www.umass.edu/renaissance and click the festival link, or call 413-577-3603.

Apr 29

Calling all young writers to submit to the Odyssey Bookshop’s Annual Children’s Writing Contest! The deadline for submissions is Friday, April 29 at 7pm. You can find the 2016 prompt and entry forms on their webpage: www.odysseybks.com/spring-writing-contest. They award gift certificates to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for each grade level (1st-5th), whom they will contact by Friday, May 6, and they’ll celebrate these winners at their Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 19 at 6pm. They’ll have sparkling juice, book cookies, and plenty of accolades for our winners, who will share their stories with the audience. Join them for this wonderful celebration of literary talent from the writers of tomorrow, and don’t forget: submit, submit, submit!

Apr 30

Join the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Sat, April 30 for Indie Bookstore Day, a FREE, family-friendly, day-long event! They will be celebrating with great kids events: 11am Mo Willems-themed story time & 2pm Horrible Bear-themed story time. They’ll have coloring stations, a “Shelfie” corner to pose with your favorite book, a bookstore love graffiti wall, homemade assorted pastries and lemonade, and exclusive merchandise, including signed copies of Kate DiCamillo’s latest book, Raymie Nightingale, signed prints featuring Tad Hill’s duck & goose characters, a Curious George® plush doll with a READ TO ME t-shirt, a kid-friendly vinyl record companion to the New York Times-bestselling Rad American Women A-Z that features Angela Davis, and more!

Apr 30 May 7

The Odyssey Bookshop and local author/illustrator Anna Alter are looking for the next area artists to submit original artwork for their Sprout Street Neighbors Community Art Contest. They invite all youth to make a piece of art that shows what they think is important about their community to Odyssey Bookshop, attn: Niki Marion by Saturday, April 30. The next Saturday, May 7, at 2pm, they welcome all artists & their families, as well as other members of the community, to join them for a show of all submitted artwork at the Odyssey. Anna will be on hand to read from her books and draw with the kids, and participants may enter a raffle to win a free school visit for their classroom. Prizes for 2nd & 3rd too. Must be present to win any prizes.

Journey Camp returns to Woolman Hill in Deerfield this summer! The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music, and crafts. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-12, June 27-July 1, 8:45am-4pm. Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, ages 11-18, July 25-July 28, two overnights & campfires. Girls Week, ages 7-12, Aug. 1-5 & Aug. 8-12, 8:45am-4pm. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

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
April 23-29, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: April 18th-22nd, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 29 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

61 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Foraging to Forensics. Recycling to Raptors.

Trilliums are one of many spring ephemerals you can encounter on a springtime hike! Walk slowly and watch where you put your feet to protect these beautiful species.

Trilliums are one of many spring ephemerals you can encounter on a springtime hike! Walk slowly and watch where you put your feet to protect these beautiful species.

Foraging to forensics. Recycling to raptors. Poetry to postcards. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlights this week: Learn sustainable living skills like beekeeping, gardening, and composting, while enjoying live entertainment at the Seventh Annual Amherst Sustainability Festival on Saturday, April 16, 10am-4pm! Visitors can watch demonstrations on how to build a solar oven, how to make natural body-care products, or talk to local climate advocates about green energy and climate change. Hilltown Families will be represented at the festival, at a pop-up open house. Come to our table to find out about our resources for connecting community members of all ages to educational events, workshops, and volunteer opportunities. There will be live animals, face painting, jugglers and stilt walking on the common to keep you entertained as well as informed. Bring items for the Recycling Drive. For more information, visit the event website. 413-259-3149. Town Common, Amherst, MA. (FREE)


Service-based LearningAnimal StudiesOrnithologyPaleontologyJewelry-makingForensicsEngineeringHorticultureSustainabilityU.S. HistoryNative American CultureSouth American StudiesCulinary ArtsPoetryFishingYogaImprovStorytellingPuppetryMagicWorld MusicIntergenerationalParenting


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


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Suggested Events for April 16th-22nd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families helps us to cast a wider net when we are looking for activities during school vacation or on the weekends. Often we find sweet little buried gems that would otherwise have escaped our notice… Thanks for being here.” – Sarah Rankin (Greenfield, 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.

Hilltown Families Event

Stop by Hilltown Families first ever Pop-Up Open House taking place during the Amherst Sustainability Festival this Saturday, April 16 from 10am-4pm. Come meet some of our board members, staff and volunteers and learn about the work of Hilltown Families and how you can get involved. Look for our tent on the Amherst Town Common while perusing all of the family fun activities this annual sustainability festival has to offer.

Summer Camps in Western MA

60 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old 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 22

Celebrate Earth Day with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem to benefit Kestrel Land Trust! Friday, April 22 at 8pm, at the Unitarian Society of Northampton. The New England based folk quartet’s music and style will leave you humming and hopeful, spirits renewed. For 15 years, they’ve performed across the country from the Newport Folk Festival to the California World Music Festival. All proceeds will benefit Kestrel’s work to conserve and care for the land you love throughout the Pioneer Valley. Tickets $25, available online http://bit.ly/23Hktul or at Broadside Bookstore in Northampton or A.J. Hastings in Amherst. Tickets will be sold at the door if available. Visit kestreltrust.org for more details!

Open House: Apr 30

Considering preschool or kindergarten options? Explore Montessori! Amherst Montessori School will host a Preschool & Kindergarten Open House on Saturday, April 30 at 10am. Tour their beautiful new building and playground, meet teachers and administrators, and learn about the benefits of the mixed-age, child-centered Montessori learning environment. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

Apr Vac Week

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun school vacation week programs from April 9-24. Explore three giant hangars filled with over 80 aircraft and experience the wonders of flight. A variety of activities will be offered daily including hands-on build and fly challenges, open cockpit experiences aboard real aircraft, aircraft scavenger hunts, and more! The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will also be open daily between 11am-3pm. The Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-of-the-art simulators using real cockpit controls and suitable for ages 10 and up. In addition, docents will be on hand to interact with the visitors. NEAM is located in Windsor Locks, CT. For more info call 860-623-3305 or visit www.neam.org.

Apr Vac Week

Enjoy April vacation week at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA! Create boats, airplanes, and cars using found materials in The Art Studio. Celebrate National Poetry Month with author/illustrator Micha Archer as she shares her recent book, Daniel Finds a Poem, and see CactusHead Puppets bring the classic tale The Bremen Town Musicians to life on stage! Next up, find Eric Carle’s hidden messages in our new exhibition The Art of Eric Carle: Hide and Seek. Cap off this fun-filled week of activities, storytimes, films and special guests with author/illustrator Steve Light whose new book, Swap, is a clever tale of friendship and ingenuity. The Museum is open Monday, April 18 for Patriots’ Day. www.carlemuseum.org 413-559-6300.

Apr Vac Week

Earth Day, April School Vacation at Springfield Museums: April 17-22. Spring has sprung at the Springfield Museums! There’s a variety of family-friendly events and activities happening all month long, starting with the 25th annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 17 from 11am-4pm, with music, environmental displays, and live animal demonstrations. The fun continues Monday April 18 through Friday April 22 (10am-5pm each day) with the “Claws, Paws, Scales, and Tales” programs, featuring tons of hands-on activities and family shows like Jungle Jim’s Jedi Knight Training, plus the ongoing exhibit, Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs. For more information, visit springfieldmuseums.org.

Journey Camp at Woolman Hill, Deerfield and at Open View Farm, Conway this summer! The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music, and crafts. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-12, June 27-July 1, 8:45-4, Deerfield; Hilltown Session, boys and girls ages 7-12, July 11-15,8:45-4pm, Conway; Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, ages 11-18, July 25-July 28, two overnights & campfires, Deerfield; Girls Week, ages 7-12, Aug. 1-5 & Aug. 8-12, 8:45-4, Deerfield. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

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
April 16-22, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: April 11th-15th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 25 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

34 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Stone Art to Electrical Engineering. Indonesian Culture to Invertebrates.

Who knew there was so much math and science at play when we're trying to get a hole-in-one on the mini golf course? Everyone in your family can put these skills to use at the Holyoke Public Library this week!

Who knew there was so much math and science at play when we’re trying to get a hole-in-one on the mini golf course? Everyone in your family can put these skills to use at the Holyoke Public Library this week!

Stone art to electrical engineering. Indonesian culture to invertebrates. Quidditch to food sculpture. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlight this week: Collaborative art brings communities together and provides a visual example of what can be accomplished when people work together. Working in a large group moves creative expression off of any one individual and allows people to simply have fun, be free, and respond to what others have already drawn. The creative process takes on new dimensions and the continually-evolving piece of work is always a delight for all to see! On Saturday, April 9, 12pm-12am, bring your creative, collaborative spirit to the 2nd Annual Hilltown Draw Around at the Conwell Gym, where the space will be transformed into a 4,000 square foot space for collaborative community art. Proceeds benefit ARTeens. 51 Maple St, Shelburne Falls, MA. (DONATION)


EcologyEngineeringMathematicsLocal HistoryHydropowerLocal LandscapesAthleticsCreative WritingCollaborative ArtCircus ArtsPublic ArtPerforming ArtsPuppetryVolunteerismIntergenerationalParenting


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 9th-15th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

Nearly 55 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old 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 9

Montessori School of Northampton to Hold Family Open House on Saturday, April 9 from 10:30am-12noon. All parents of toddler, preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school students interested in September 2016 admission are encouraged to attend. Families will have an opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers, experience and learn about Montessori math materials, and speak with the Director of Admissions and the Head of School. Applications are currently being accepted for all levels for September 2016, which will begin MSN’s 40th year of fostering independent learners in a welcoming community. The school is located at 51 Bates Street, Northampton, and can be reached at 413-586-4538 or info@northamptonmontessori.org.

Apr 9-24

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun school vacation week programs from April 9-24. Explore three giant hangars filled with over 80 aircraft and experience the wonders of flight. A variety of activities will be offered daily including hands-on build and fly challenges, open cockpit experiences aboard real aircraft, aircraft scavenger hunts, and more! The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will also be open daily between 11am-3pm. The Flight Sim Spot allows visitors to use state-of-the-art simulators using real cockpit controls and suitable for ages 10 and up. In addition, docents will be on hand to interact with the visitors. NEAM is located in Windsor Locks, CT. For more info call 860-623-3305 or visit www.neam.org.

Apr 18-22

The Spirit of the Heart YES! April Vacation Camp offers an fantastic introduction to martial arts & crafts & outdoor play! This camp and its leaders are committed to instilling robust self esteem in every child through the development of inner and outer awareness, physical strength, people skills, self-expression and personal safety skills. This is a fun, life-enriching experience in a relaxed school vacation atmosphere. Dates and Times: April 18-22, 9am-3pm. Age/Grade Range: 5-12yo. Contact: 413-585-1661. nohokungfu@gmail.com. spiritoftheheart.wordpress.com. Spirit of the Heart is located at 47 Market Street in Northampton, MA.

Apr 17-22

Earth Day, April School Vacation at Springfield Museums: April 17-22. Spring has sprung at the Springfield Museums! There’s a variety of family-friendly events and activities happening all month long, starting with the 25th annual Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 17 from 11am-4pm, with music, environmental displays, and live animal demonstrations. The fun continues Monday April 18 through Friday April 22 (10am-5pm each day) with the “Claws, Paws, Scales, and Tales” programs, featuring tons of hands-on activities and family shows like Jungle Jim’s Jedi Knight Training, plus the ongoing exhibit, Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs. For more information, visit springfieldmuseums.org.

Crimson & Clover Farm is happy to announce that 2016 CSA Shares are now available! Located at the Northampton Community Farm, right near downtown Florence, Crimson & Clover Farm raises a wide variety of delicious, beautiful, and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables for a 20 week CSA program. As a community-based farm C&C offers a welcoming environment where members and their families come and enjoy this amazing community resource as well as receive nutritious locally grown food. C&C also offers members a variety of locally produced products for sale through the farm store as well as a bountiful PYO garden. For more information about the CSA and how to become a member of the farm please visit their website: crimsonandcloverfarm.com

Open House: Apr 9

R. H. Conwell Preschool in Worthington is hosting an Open House on Saturday, April 9 from 10am-2pm. Come meet the teachers and see their preschool room. Bring your boots and explore their play area and take a walk in their woods. Play games, read some books and even make a craft! Light refreshments will be provided. They offer a nature-based program both outside and inside the classroom. They believe that exploring and playing in the natural world provide children with a foundation of skills necessary for future learning. They are currently accepting applications for immediate enrollment as well as for the fall. Their program is for children 2.9 to 5 years old and is half day or full day. Please call 413-238-5856, if you have any questions.

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
April 9th-15th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: April 4th-8th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 15 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Folklore to farming. Petroglyphs to public works.

Folklore to farming. Petroglyphs to public works. Marionettes to electronica. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

red eft

Spring is here, and with it come myriad vernal pools. Explore the rich plant and animal life, like the red eft pictured here, in these ephemeral habitats before they’re gone for the year!

Featured community highlights this week:
What is it like to be an astronaut? What special features are included on flight suits? A visit to the Space Expo at New England Air Museum will help you answer these questions, and give you the opportunity to participate in interactive programs, see a planetarium show, and meet Story Musgrave! Musgrave, native Stockbridge resident, is currently physician and worked for 30 years as a NASA astronaut, flying on six spaceflight missions.He participated in STS-61, a 1993 mission to repair the Hubble Telescope. At this event you will see life-sized droids, examine a Mars spacesuit, build a rocket, touch a space rock and more! All ages welcome. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd. Windsor Locks, CT. (Adults $. 4-11<$. Children under 3 FREE)


FarmingLocal FoodNutritionPuppetryCultural StudiesArchaeologyMultimedia ArtImprovisationLocal HabitatsVisual ArtsEarly LiteracyAstronomyBiologyLGBTQIntergenerational


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


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Suggested Events for April 2nd-8th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I check in weekly with Hilltown Families to plan our weekend adventures… greatest places and activities on your site!” – Liz Burnworth (Northampton 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

Nearly 55 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old 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 18-22

Spend some time outside during spring break! There are a few spaces left in the Hartsbrook April Farm Camp. Spring is here and baby goats, sheep, chicks, pigs will soon join the new calf on their farm. Spend the April break tending the animals, learning crafts and exploring the land on their beautiful campus. Enjoy some fresh air, purposeful work and the fun of working with fellow campers. Their spring vacation camp is for children 6-12 years old. April 18-22, 8:45am to 3pm. Registration at hartsbrook.org. Questions? Call 413-586-1908 x116

Apr 18-22

The Spirit of the Heart YES! April Vacation Camp offers an fantastic introduction to martial arts & crafts & outdoor play! This camp and its leaders are committed to instilling robust self esteem in every child through the development of inner and outer awareness, physical strength, people skills, self-expression and personal safety skills. This is a fun, life-enriching experience in a relaxed school vacation atmosphere. Dates and Times: April 18-22, 9am-3pm. Age/Grade Range: 5-12yo. Contact: 413-585-1661. nohokungfu@gmail.com. spiritoftheheart.wordpress.com. Spirit of the Heart is located at 47 Market Street in Northampton, MA.

Begins Apr 5

Isadora Duncan Dance for Adults. Calling all moms and other grown-ups! It’s your turn to dance! Ballet Renversé will present a workshop for dancers of all levels and backgrounds. Dancer, teacher, and director, Cynthia James will teach this beautiful, expressive, and accessible dance form. Isadora Duncan was the mother of modern dance, a pioneer of expressive movement. Tuesdays: April 5, 12, 26, & May 3 6-7:30pm at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School. Cost for the workshop is $60 for pre-registered students/$75 to register at the first class. To pre-register, call 413-625-6442. Ballet Renversé presents this workshop as part of “A Festival of Dance,” to celebrate its 10th year in Shelburne Falls and its 20th as a dance company.


Crimson & Clover Farm is happy to announce that 2016 CSA Shares are now available! Located at the Northampton Community Farm, right near downtown Florence, Crimson & Clover Farm raises a wide variety of delicious, beautiful, and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables for a 20 week CSA program. As a community-based farm C&C offers a welcoming environment where members and their families come and enjoy this amazing community resource as well as receive nutritious locally grown food. C&C also offers members a variety of locally produced products for sale through the farm store as well as a bountiful PYO garden. For more information about the CSA and how to become a member of the farm please visit their website: crimsonandcloverfarm.com

Apr 2

Valley Vegfest happens Saturday, April 2nd from 10am-4pm at JFK Middle School, Bridge Road, Northampton. Featuring passionate speakers, vegan food vendors, veg-friendly products, and non-profit organizations dedicated to healthy living, animal welfare, and the environment. Learn about and sample delicious healthy new foods. Enjoy entertainment and activities for kids. Speakers include: Jasmin Singer, co-host of Our Hen House; Ginny Messina, dietitian and author of Vegan for Her; psychologist and author Dr. Casey Taft; and Sarah Swingle of the Humane Society of the United States. There will also be discussions and demonstrations. Admission is free — donations are welcomed. Details at www.valleyveg.org.

Open House: Apr 9

R. H. Conwell Preschool in Worthington is hosting an Open House on Saturday, April 9 from 10am-2pm. Come meet the teachers and see their preschool room. Bring your boots and explore their play area and take a walk in their woods. Play games, read some books and even make a craft! Light refreshments will be provided. They offer a nature-based program both outside and inside the classroom. They believe that exploring and playing in the natural world provide children with a foundation of skills necessary for future learning. They are currently accepting applications for immediate enrollment as well as for the fall. Their program is for children 2.9 to 5 years old and is half day or full day. Please call 413-238-5856, if you have any questions.

Apr 24 – May 22

Biocitizen’s Drawing on Nature is an environmental art class that nurtures biophilia & the skills of transporting nature into the sketchbook with pencils & paints & into sculpture with clay—& features hikes & plein aire activities. Introductory concepts of composition, line, form, value, texture, color and pattern are used to inspire students’ imaginations & expressions. The rigor of botanical illustration is balanced with the fun of loose gesture drawings & experiments in clay. Students get a notebook & a travel watercolor set that they take home. Tuition is $230.00 for 20 hours instruction & all materials. Classes are Sundays, 10am–2pm, from Apr 24-May 22, 2016. Ages: 9-12 Contact: 413-320-0522 ♦ info@biocitizen.orgwww.biocitizen.org

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
April 2nd-8th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: March 28th-April 1st, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 25 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Service-Based Learning to Acts of Kindness. Bat Houses to Sign Language.

Bread is such a staple of so many diets, such an important food, that it has become synonymous with wealth in the English language. Words like “breadwinner” drive home the necessity of bread. The word “dough has been a slang term for money for centuries now. Join members of your community at the Pioneer Valley Breadhouse in South Hadley on Thursday, March 31, 4pm-6pm and learn how to make this famously important food.

Juice box engineering to bread baking. Bat houses to sign language. Service-based learning to acts of kindness. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlights this week:  Celebrate National Nutrition Month at  Hilltown Families Family Volunteer Day with The Food Bank of Western MA on Saturday, March 26, 9am-11am. Volunteering together teaches children positive values, like kindness, empathy and tolerance, and opens up channels of communication between parent and child. Engaging children in community service can increase their participation as future volunteers, helping to create more resilient and sustainable communities. There will be a number of educational and hands-on activities for children and their caregivers. Register by calling 413-247-9738 x135. 97 North Hatfield Road. Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)


 Family VolunteeringCommunity MealOral HistoryBread BakingBridge EngineeringLocal LandscapesBatsOrnithologyMusic StudiesGender StudiesSign LanguageHistoryCollaborative ConsumptionArts & CraftsPhysicsComputer ScienceWeavingNutritionGrandparentingEaster


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


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Suggested Events for March 26th-April 1st, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Thank you for your newsletter. I love reading it, and find it so supportive and informative for our family.” – Katie Keach

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

Nearly 55 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old 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

Mar 29

Montessori School of Northampton (MSN) and Amherst Montessori School (AMS) present the film Most Likely to Succeed, the documentary that has been inspiring conversation about a model of education that prepares students for the 21st century, on Tuesday, March 29 at 6:30pm at Amherst College‘s Pruyne Auditorium, Fayerweather Hall. The film is free and open to the public. Corey Hadden, MSN’s middle school teacher, observes, “What the film reveals as new about what motivates students–opportunities to act on their curiosity, find a deep connection with their work, and work with their peers–has been at the heart of a Montessori education for over a hundred years.” Seating is limited. Tickets can be reserved at info@northamptonmontessori.org.

Apr 18-22

Spend some time outside during spring break! There are a few spaces left in the Hartsbrook April Farm Camp. Spring is here and baby goats, sheep, chicks, pigs will soon join the new calf on their farm. Spend the April break tending the animals, learning crafts and exploring the land on their beautiful campus. Enjoy some fresh air, purposeful work and the fun of working with fellow campers. Their spring vacation camp is for children 6-12 years old. April 18-22, 8:45am to 3pm. Registration at hartsbrook.org. Questions? Call 413-586-1908 x116

Apr 2

Valley Vegfest happens Saturday, April 2nd from 10am-4pm at JFK Middle School, Bridge Road, Northampton. Featuring passionate speakers, vegan food vendors, veg-friendly products, and non-profit organizations dedicated to healthy living, animal welfare, and the environment. Learn about and sample delicious healthy new foods. Enjoy entertainment and activities for kids. Speakers include: Jasmin Singer, co-host of Our Hen House; Ginny Messina, dietitian and author of Vegan for Her; psychologist and author Dr. Casey Taft; and Sarah Swingle of the Humane Society of the United States. There will also be discussions and demonstrations. Admission is free — donations are welcomed. Details at www.valleyveg.org.

Summer Weekly Art & Swim Workshops at Meadowedge for ages 5-11 . Sign up now for sessions June 20-August 8: Stone Carving, Paper Mache Sea Creatures, Treasure Pouches/Hunt and more! Some space still available for Spring Art Classes, ages 4-11. Adult Carve and Print Workshop on Thursday, March 21, 6:30pm. Text or call Cynthia: 413-219-7807; cfulton@meadowedgeart.com. Visit www.meadowedgeart.org for more information.

Apr 24 – May 22

Biocitizen’s Drawing on Nature is an environmental art class that nurtures biophilia & the skills of transporting nature into the sketchbook with pencils & paints & into sculpture with clay—& features hikes & plein aire activities. Introductory concepts of composition, line, form, value, texture, color and pattern are used to inspire students’ imaginations & expressions. The rigor of botanical illustration is balanced with the fun of loose gesture drawings & experiments in clay. Students get a notebook & a travel watercolor set that they take home. Tuition is $230.00 for 20 hours instruction & all materials. Classes are Sundays, 10am–2pm, from Apr 24-May 22, 2016. Ages: 9-12 Contact: 413-320-0522 ♦ info@biocitizen.orgwww.biocitizen.org

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
March 26-April 1, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: March 21st-25th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 20 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

48 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Birdhouses to Woolcraft. English Country Dancing to Stargazing.

Crocuses are poking their heads through the soil and bird songs fill the air. Spring is on its way! Each spring, many Easter and egg- and bunny-related events crop up. Be sure to read our post, Easter Events in Western MA, for an updated list of these seasonal offerings!

Ceramics to Coding. Birdhouses to Woolcraft. English Country Dancing to Stargazing. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlights this week: People all over New England have been celebrating the Spring season by tapping trees and cultivating Maple Syrup. You can go a few steps further than just buying maple syrup to celebrate. On Sunday, March 20, 1pm-7pm, bring your family to Piti Theatre Company’s Syrup Festival! In addition to syrup tasting there will be horse and carriage rides, puppet shows, and at 2pm, Piti Theater’s performance of “Olde Coleraine: a Musical Hilltown History.” This play features a cast of both adults and children. Learn about the history of your area while supporting local actors, young and old. The festival will take place at Memorial Hall. 51 Bridge St. Shelburne Falls, MA. (Adults $. Children >$)


FarmingWildlife RehabilitationUpcyclingFiber ArtsAstronomyIrish CulturePurimFolk Dancing  ♦ OrnithologyPhenology  ♦ Dendrology  ♦ Maple SugaringComputer ScienceSongwritingWomen’s HistoryChildren’s ChorusVisual ArtsCeramic ArtsPuppetryComedy Language ArtsMycologyBakingParenting


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 19th-25th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

Over 50 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old 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

Mar 20

Celebrate spring with The Very Hungry Caterpillar on Sunday, March 20 from 12noon-4pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Guests can dance a Wiggle Jiggle down the Great Hall with the beloved Caterpillar, make butterfly wings in the Art Studio, taste Very Yummy Smoothies from Whole Foods, enjoy special storytimes, and search for the Caterpillar’s favorite foods in a museum-wide scavenger hunt. For more information and a schedule of activities, please visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-559-6300. All activities free with Museum Admission!

Mar 20

Piti Theatre Co. presents their 7th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival at Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls on Sun., March 20, featuring Puppetkabob’s The Snowflake Man at 4pm. Winner of puppetry’s highest award, Sarah Frechette tells the story of farmer-scientist “Snowflake” Bentley, the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in the 1920’s. Plus Piti Theatre’s all ages world premiere Olde Coleraine: a Musical Hilltown History at 2pm, horse and cart rides, syrup-tasting, free Real Pickles, maple treats, Pop-up Puppet Workshop (pre-registration recommended), and more! Tix $12/$5 children under 12 at Boswell’s Books, S.F., World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield and online at www.ptco.org/syrup. info@ptco.org, 413-625-6569

Mar 22

Boogie with your baby! Stop by The Center Dance Studio on Tuesday, March 22nd for a free trial class of “Rhythm & Rhyme,” a creative movement class for babies and the grown-ups who love them. Drop-in for the first class, enroll for the whole session! 9:15am: pre-walkers; 10am: walkers – 24 months. Visit The Center’s Program of Classes for a full description. For more information, email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com or call 413-230-1944. The Center Dance Studio is located at 321 Main Street in Amherst, MA.

Mar 23

Pop Star Purim Palooza on Wednesday night, March 23rd from 5:30-8:30pm at Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton. CBI warmly welcomes everyone to attend a joyful, musical and wacky Purim celebration. The program will start with a kids’ carnival from 5:30-6:30. A light, healthy dinner will be served for kids at 6:00. There will be a costume parade at 6:30. From 6:45-8:00 there will be a public recitation of the Megillah (Book of Esther) in both English and Hebrew.The Megillah reading will include live music and parodies of Adele, Katy Perry and others.Suggested donation of $5 per person with proceeds to local charities. Local beer, hamantashen and tasty snacks. Kids AND adults encouraged to come in costume! Check out the event on Facebook.

Apr 24 – May 22

Biocitizen’s Drawing on Nature is an environmental art class that nurtures biophilia & the skills of transporting nature into the sketchbook with pencils & paints & into sculpture with clay—& features hikes & plein aire activities. Introductory concepts of composition, line, form, value, texture, color and pattern are used to inspire students’ imaginations & expressions. The rigor of botanical illustration is balanced with the fun of loose gesture drawings & experiments in clay. Students get a notebook & a travel watercolor set that they take home. Tuition is $230.00 for 20 hours instruction & all materials. Classes are Sundays, 10am–2pm, from Apr 24-May 22, 2016. Ages: 9-12 Contact: 413-320-0522 ♦ info@biocitizen.orgwww.biocitizen.org

Summer Weekly Art & Swim Workshops at Meadowedge for ages 5-11 . Sign up now for sessions June 20-August 8: Stone Carving, Paper Mache Sea Creatures, Treasure Pouches/Hunt and more! Some space still available for Spring Art Classes, ages 4-11. Adult Carve and Print Workshop on Thursday, March 21, 6:30pm. Text or call Cynthia: 413-219-7807; cfulton@meadowedgeart.com. Visit www.meadowedgeart.org for more information.

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
March 19th-25th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: March 14th-18th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 20 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

38 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Acoustics to Zines. Aviation to Circus Arts.

Great events and self-initiated opportunities this week to support an interest in aviation! Tour the cockpits of historic airplanes, learn about the history of women in aviation, support lessons in math with the art of making paper airplanes and the physics of their flight, and enjoy family music to lead younger kids to even higher levels of the atmosphere… and beyond!

Maple sugaring to ‘zine making. Rock carving to Celtic music. Pi to physics of sound. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlights this week: On  Sunday March 13, 2pm, the Motion Man will be doing what he does best, lifting spirits through physical performance, at the Chesterfield Community Center, and all are welcome. In his performances, the Motion Man uses physical comedy, magic, miming and illusion to entertain audiences of all ages. Bring your family and friends, and enjoy some laughs. The Motion Man may inspire children to learn any one of the many techniques he uses (magic, mime, illusion) and more generally will show them how to blend art forms into something original and captivating. Any questions? Please email Kristen: chesterfieldcoanews@gmail.com. 400 Main Rd. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)


Maple SugaringLiving HistoryCulinary ArtsPerformance ArtCircus Arts ♦ Musicals  ♦ AviationWomen’s History  ♦ FolkloreGrandparentsPhotographyGraphic Novels  ♦ DancingCommunity MealSingingCeltic HarpSTEMCodingAcousticsLimnology ♦ OrnithologyIrish CulturePolish Culture


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


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Suggested Events for March 12th-18th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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 Camp

MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 13th, 2016, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Do you have a summer camp or program you want to let our reader know about? Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Our Place Summercamp gets kids out of the house and into nature. For 5 days campers hike, climb, wade and swim “our place”: the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck biome. These activities aren’t just “fun”—they’re designed to increase camper’s perceptual abilities, stimulate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep and lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. Campers go from site to site—mountains, forests, brooks, industrial brownfields, you name it—enjoying an adventurous, collaborative, inquiry-based investigation into the mysteries of the bios (life) that is where we live: our place! info@biocitizen.org

Journey Camp at Woolman Hill, Deerfield and at Open View Farm, Conway this summer! The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music, and crafts. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-12, June 27-July 1, 8:45-4, Deerfield; Hilltown Session, boys and girls ages 7-12, July 11-15,8:45-4pm, Conway; Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, ages 11-18, July 25-July 28, two overnights & campfires, Deerfield; Girls Week, ages 7-12, Aug. 1-5 & Aug. 8-12, 8:45-4, Deerfield. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

Bulletin Board

Apr 24 – May 22

Biocitizen’s Drawing on Nature is an environmental art class that nurtures biophilia & the skills of transporting nature into the sketchbook with pencils & paints & into sculpture with clay—& features hikes & plein aire activities. Introductory concepts of composition, line, form, value, texture, color and pattern are used to inspire students’ imaginations & expressions. The rigor of botanical illustration is balanced with the fun of loose gesture drawings & experiments in clay. Students get a notebook & a travel watercolor set that they take home. Tuition is $230.00 for 20 hours instruction & all materials. Classes are Sundays, 10am–2pm, from Apr 24-May 22, 2016. Ages: 9-12 Contact: 413-320-0522 ♦ info@biocitizen.orgwww.biocitizen.org

Mar 12-19

Downtown Amherst’s First Restaurant Week March 12-19. Culinary creatives at over ten venues are offering a range of specials including three course prix fixe dinners and special deals. Take your taste buds on a trip to this fun, family-friendly town. Sample New England Oysters with a Craft Cocktail, Pork Schnitzel and Hand Cut Fries with a locally brewed beer for $15, Corned Beef Specials on St. Patrick’s Day, Marinated Eggplant Tagine, Winter Trifle made with Hazelnut Cake, Poached Apple and Honey Ricotta, Saffron Chicken with Sour Cherry Rice. Information on participating restaurants and their specials and menus can be found at: www.amherstdowntown.com.

Mar 12

It’s time to have some family fun at the 5th Annual Family Dance Party with DJ Youthelectronix to benefit the Nonotuck Community School! The Dance Party will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Jackson Street School from 10am to 12pm. Help support the school with a $5 donation per person. Kids under 1 are free. All proceeds go to Nonotuck. There will be fun games to play, pizza to eat, a “chill out space,” a Bake Sale with delicious treats and face painting! 120 Jackson Street, Northampton, MA.

Mar 20

Piti Theatre Co. presents their 7th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival at Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls on Sun., March 20, featuring Puppetkabob’s The Snowflake Man at 4pm. Winner of puppetry’s highest award, Sarah Frechette tells the story of farmer-scientist “Snowflake” Bentley, the first person to photograph a single snow crystal in the 1920’s. Plus Piti Theatre’s all ages world premiere Olde Coleraine: a Musical Hilltown History at 2pm, horse and cart rides, syrup-tasting, free Real Pickles, maple treats, Pop-up Puppet Workshop (pre-registration recommended), and more! Tix $12/$5 children under 12 at Boswell’s Books, S.F., World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield and online at www.ptco.org/syrup. info@ptco.org, 413-625-6569

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
March 12-18, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: March 7th-11th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 27 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

45 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Storytelling to STEM. Folk Music to Astronomy.

It’s time for the annual spring bulb shows happening across the region! Check out the shows at Smith College in Northampton, Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, and Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge.

Creative-Free Play to Eclipses! Bulbs to Bookmaking! Makerspaces to Culinary Adventures! These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlights this week:  Name any topic you find interesting, and someone has made probably a documentary about it. Environmental documentary is a huge and growing genre spanning several topics and using various methods for sparking political and personal changes in behavior. Audiences learn a great deal from documentaries and few other art forms have a greater impact on personal beliefs and actions. You can expand your knowledge of environmental issues at the 6th annual Project Native film festival at the Tower Theater this Saturday, March 5, 10am-6pm. Saturday’s screening will begin and end with full length documentaries. In between, short films about water and energy will play. 413-533-3456. 19 College St #1, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)


BotanySeed SwapBulb ShowLocal FoodNutritional AnthropologyCulinary Arts  ♦ Environmental ScienceHydropowerFamily MusicUkulele ♦ EngineeringAstronomy ♦ ChemistryRobotics ♦ PuppetryFamily Theater ♦  Teen Arts ExpoMusical TheaterLanguage ArtsPoetryBookmakingIntergenerational LearningVisual ArtsSculptureParentingTracking  ♦ Makerspace


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 5th-11th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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 Camp

MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 13th, 2016, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Journey Camp at Woolman Hill, Deerfield and at Open View Farm, Conway this summer! The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music, and crafts. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Session One, boys & girls ages 7-12, June 27-July 1, 8:45-4, Deerfield; Hilltown Session, boys and girls ages 7-12, July 11-15,8:45-4pm, Conway; Moonseed Teen Leadership for Girls, ages 11-18, July 25-July 28, two overnights & campfires, Deerfield; Girls Week, ages 7-12, Aug. 1-5 & Aug. 8-12, 8:45-4, Deerfield. www.sarahpirtle.com Contact: 413-588-6399, marsha.journey@gmail.com.

Our Place Summercamp gets kids out of the house and into nature. For 5 days campers hike, climb, wade and swim “our place”: the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck biome. These activities aren’t just “fun”—they’re designed to increase camper’s perceptual abilities, stimulate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep and lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. Campers go from site to site—mountains, forests, brooks, industrial brownfields, you name it—enjoying an adventurous, collaborative, inquiry-based investigation into the mysteries of the bios (life) that is where we live: our place! info@biocitizen.org

Bulletin Board

Mar 5

Join the Springfield Museums on Saturday, March 5 for their annual Dr. Seuss Birthday celebration! The fun runs from 10am-5pm, and features performances by Toe Jam Puppet Band and Magician Matt Roberts, read-alouds and hands-on art and science activities, plus appearances by the Cat in the Hat and Things 1 & 2, all included with Museum admission! Springfield Museums are located at 21 Edwards Street in Springfield, MA. For more information visit them online or call 413-263-6800.

Open House: Mar 5

Looking for a thoughtful approach to school? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Learn more at their open house, 10am-12noon on Saturday, March 5th. Speak with current teachers and parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All ages are welcome! 193 Bay Road, Hadley 413-586-1908 www.hartsbrook.org.

Mar 5

Independent Middle School Fair, Saturday, March 5th, 2-4pm. Find out about seven local schools with middle-school programs. Meet representatives from The Academy at Charlemont, The Bement School, The Center School, Four Winds School, Montessori School of Northampton, North Star, and Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School. The event will be held at Four Winds School, 54 French King Highway (Route 2), in Gill, MA, right off I91, exit 27. For more information please call 413-863-8055 or visit www.facebook.com/events/1507404762901618.

Open House Mar 5

Spring Street Preschool in Amherst is enrolling new students for September 2016! Open House on March 5th from 10am-12pm. Spring Street Preschool is a small school with both mixed aged and separate small group programming, individualized instruction, large art studio space, experienced and caring teachers, music program and outdoor play. Enrolling children from 2 yrs, 9 months – 5 years. Flexible schedule with hours from 8-5:30 and affordable tuition. Spring Street Preschool is independent and non- denominational, welcoming new families to their school community. Best kept secret in Amherst! To schedule a tour call 413-256-8442 or info@springstreetpreschool.org. For more info visit www.springstreetpreschool.org.

Mar 10 & 11

On March 10th and 11th at 6:30pm, 35 area students take to the Academy of Music Theatre’s stage in The Music Man Jr., a youth adaptation of Meredith Wilson’s six-time, Tony Award-winning musical comedy. Master showman Harold Hill is in town, and he’s got “seventy-six trombones” in tow. Can upright, uptight Marian, the town librarian, resist his powerful allure? Based on the timeless Broadway classic, The Music Man Jr. adapts this masterful musical for young performers. The result is family entertainment at its best – a bold, brassy show sure to delight audiences of all ages with a running time of approximately one hour. The Academy of Music Theatre is located at 274 Main St in Northampton. Tickets $5. General admission. 413-584-9032 x105.

Mar 12

It’s time to have some family fun at the 5th Annual Family Dance Party with DJ Youthelectronix to benefit the Nonotuck Community School! The Dance Party will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Jackson Street School from 10am to 12pm. Help support the school with a $5 donation per person. Kids under 1 are free. All proceeds go to Nonotuck. There will be fun games to play, pizza to eat, a “chill out space,” a Bake Sale with delicious treats and face painting! 120 Jackson Street, Northampton, MA.

Still time to apply for fall 2016. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. Applications are still being accepted for this coming fall. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

Apr 24 – May 22

Biocitizen’s Drawing on Nature is an environmental art class that nurtures biophilia & the skills of transporting nature into the sketchbook with pencils & paints & into sculpture with clay—& features hikes & plein aire activities. Introductory concepts of composition, line, form, value, texture, color and pattern are used to inspire students’ imaginations & expressions. The rigor of botanical illustration is balanced with the fun of loose gesture drawings & experiments in clay. Students get a notebook & a travel watercolor set that they take home. Tuition is $230.00 for 20 hours instruction & all materials. Classes are Sundays, 10am–2pm, from Apr 24-May 22, 2016. Ages: 9-12 Contact: 413-320-0522 ♦ info@biocitizen.orgwww.biocitizen.org

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
March 5-11, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: February 29th-March 6th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 32 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

51 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Herpetology to Carpentry. Community-Building to Cultural Studies.

Young science, nature, and art lovers are invited to the Meekins Library in Williamsburg on Saturday, February 27  to learn about the species of plant life which thrive in winter. Learn to identify moss, lichen, and fungi on a free guided winter walk!

Family Concert to Folk Sing-Along. Hula Hoop to Fishing. Bluebirds to Frogs. Shrek the Musical to Macbeth…These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlights this week: Build a birdhouse! Birdhouses of all shapes make nice decorations, but if you want to attract specific birds, you need to consider what they are looking for in a home! Bluebird houses are relatively simple and easy to make. They are rectangular with a large roof, and involve protective measures for keeping snakes and other creatures out. Bluebirds were once on the verge of extinction, but efforts to protect and support their habitat and nesting preferences have helped the species bounce back. Learn more, and build your own bluebird house at Great Falls discovery center on Saturday, February 27, 10:30am. Registration is required. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)


Cultural StudiesJapanese FilmMorris DancingBotanyLanguage ArtsGraphic NovelsLitFestTheaterShakespeareAnimal StudiesCarpentryOrnithologyHerpetologyWinter SportsPhysicsSTEMArt StudiesSkillsharingPhotographyFishingMusic StudiesSing-AlongCommunity-BuildingNeurodiversityHistorySwordfightingParenting Support


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 27th-March 4th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families always offers such a complete listing of fun and educational events in the area for all ages… One of the great resources that make living in Western MA so family friendly. Thanks!” – Freja Joslin (Northampton, 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 Camp

MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 13th, 2016, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE. Take advantage of our Early Rate by signing your camp/program today!

Bulletin Board

Our Place Summercamp gets kids out of the house and into nature. For 5 days campers hike, climb, wade and swim “our place”: the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck biome. These activities aren’t just “fun”—they’re designed to increase camper’s perceptual abilities, stimulate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep and lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. Campers go from site to site—mountains, forests, brooks, industrial brownfields, you name it—enjoying an adventurous, collaborative, inquiry-based investigation into the mysteries of the bios (life) that is where we live: our place! info@biocitizen.org

Meadowedge Art continues its winter spring art program for 4-11 year olds (join anytime through May 20) combining drawing with projects in clay, batik, felting, stone sculpture, paper making, mono printing, paper marbling and handmade books. Homeschool students (private or small group) classes are held Fridays. Now adults can join in the fun with 4th Thursday evening (6:30-9pm) workshops, beginning Feb 25. Come relax with wine, cheese, and good conversation while learning or developing a new creative voice. It’s not too soon to register for summer art and swimming programs, starting with stone carving on June 20. Check all programs, times, fees, and other information at www.meadowedgeart.org, or call Cynthia Fulton 413-219-7807.

Crimson & Clover Farm is happy to announce that 2016 CSA Shares are now available! Located at the Northampton Community Farm, right near downtown Florence, Crimson & Clover Farm raises a wide variety of delicious, beautiful, and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables for a 20 week CSA program. As a community-based farm C&C offers a welcoming environment where members and their families come and enjoy this amazing community resource as well as receive nutritious locally grown food. C&C also offers members a variety of locally produced products for sale through the farm store as well as a bountiful PYO garden. For more information about the CSA and how to become a member of the farm please visit their website: crimsonandcloverfarm.com

Open House Mar 5

Spring Street Preschool in Amherst is enrolling new students for September 2016! Open House on March 5th from 10am-12pm. Spring Street Preschool is a small school with both mixed aged and separate small group programming, individualized instruction, large art studio space, experienced and caring teachers, music program and outdoor play. Enrolling children from 2 yrs, 9 months – 5 years. Flexible schedule with hours from 8-5:30 and affordable tuition. Spring Street Preschool is independent and non- denominational, welcoming new families to their school community. Best kept secret in Amherst! To schedule a tour call 413-256-8442 or info@springstreetpreschool.org. For more info visit www.springstreetpreschool.org.

Mar 5

Independent Middle School Fair, Saturday, March 5th, 2-4pm. Find out about seven local schools with middle-school programs. Meet representatives from The Academy at Charlemont, The Bement School, The Center School, Four Winds School, Montessori School of Northampton, North Star, and Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School. The event will be held at Four Winds School, 54 French King Highway (Route 2), in Gill, MA, right off I91, exit 27. For more information please call 413-863-8055 or visit www.facebook.com/events/1507404762901618.

Mar 5

Join the Springfield Museums on Saturday, March 5 for their annual Dr. Seuss Birthday celebration! The fun runs from 10am-5pm, and features performances by Toe Jam Puppet Band and Magician Matt Roberts, read-alouds and hands-on art and science activities, plus appearances by the Cat in the Hat and Things 1 & 2, all included with Museum admission! Springfield Museums are located at 21 Edwards Street in Springfield, MA. For more information visit them online or call 413-263-6800.

Open House: Mar 5

Looking for a thoughtful approach to school? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Learn more at their open house, 10am-12noon on Saturday, March 5th. Speak with current teachers and parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All ages are welcome! 193 Bay Road, Hadley 413-586-1908 www.hartsbrook.org.

Still time to apply for fall 2016. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. Applications are still being accepted for this coming fall. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

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
February 27-March 4, 2016

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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

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Learning Ahead: February 22nd-28th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 28 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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