Learning Ahead: June 29th-July 3rd, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 7 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.


Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

33 Community Highlights: Geocaching to Lavender. Robotics to Victorian Ballroom Dance.

Lavender is known for its wonderful scent, which calms the nerves, and for the delicate flavor it imparts to baked goods like scones and shortbread. Immerse your senses in lavender on Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28 from 10am – 4pm at Johnson Hill Farm‘s Lavender Festival, where you can enjoy a lavender labyrinth, a dove release, art and crafts by local artisans, workshops, and demonstrations. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Lavender to Robotics. Geocaching to Static Electricity. Victorian Ballroom Dance to Cedar Wetlands…. 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: Geocaching lets you go on real treasure hunts all across the globe. From “geo,” meaning “Earth,” and “cache,”meaning “hidden goods,” geocaching is an activity in which you can follow clues that lead you to concealed treasures. At the end of a geocache you might find a Tupperware container full of glow-in-the-dark plastic lizards (you get to take one!), or a baggie filled with a mishmash of items left by others who found the cache before you (take one and leave something of yours), and — always– a log book in which to enter information about yourself.  Sunday, June 28 at 2pm & 3pm, a Geocache 101 class and potluck supper, hosted by the Becket Athenaeum, highlights Becket’s geocache scene, with activities led by experienced geocachers and a fun supper afterwards to meet others who are interested in this incredibly fun hobby. 413-623-5483. Becket Center Park, Main Street, Becket, MA. (FREE)


CanoeingSTEMFood & NutritionBirds of PreyHabitatEntomologyGarden-Based LearningLiving HistoryGuided WalkFamily VolunteeringGeocachingLibrary AdventuresAncestryOutdoor Film


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Springfield Museums:


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 27th-July 3rd, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is the first place I check when deciding what to do with a free weekend, day, or even hour! My favorite thing is when they post a question to the community and we can read the opinions and recommendations of our fellow parents – this is true community engagement in the 21st century. This website is an absolute service to our community – not just people with kids but for everyone! I’d be at a total loss most weekends or when guests visit, if not for Hilltown Families, and I think we should support it as it has supported us.” – Lauren W. (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

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

Check out our featured post, 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Jun 27

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

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

Jun 27

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

Jun 30-Aug 18

Camp Odyssey Craft Camp: Tuesdays June 30th- August 18th. Camp Odyssey is a once-a-week one hour camp featuring one book and activity for kids every Tuesday afternoon at 3pm. Each week they feature a different activity book and matching activity, ranging from make your own lava lamps and cupcake decorating to making grass hair funny faces! A required $5 supply fee or the purchase of the book featured (per child) to attend. Pre-registration is required (at least 2 days prior to event.) A full list of activates and ages ranges can be found listed at www.odysseybks.com Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. Email kids@odysseybks.com to register.

Jul 6 – Aug 14

Great family entertainment, live animal demos, and fun art and science activities every weekday. It’s the Summer Spectacular Family Series at the Springfield Museums, July 6th through August 14th. Performers this summer include the Akwaaba Drum & Dance Ensemble, Mister G, and The Nields. Plus, don’t miss Curious George: Let’s Get Curious at the Springfield Science Museum through September 6. For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jul 8-12 & Jul 22-25

Hooray! Hooray! NCTKids is bringing everybody’s favorite first grader to the stage in this lively musical adaptation of Barbara Park’s beloved Junie B. Jones book series. Junie B. (the B. stands for Beatrice only she does not like Beatrice, just B.) sings and dances her way through First Grade with the help of her teacher Mr. Scary, the Cafeteria Lady and friends like Sheldon and Herb and even that tattle-tale, May. Grab your top-secret personal beeswax journal and join us for all the fun. Directed by Cate Damon with musical direction by Mitch Chakour. July 8-12 & July 22-25 at 10:30am in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Green Street, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton. All seats: $10. Box Office: 413-585-3220

Fall Openings

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

All Summer

Rent a summer cottage on the Lower Highland Lake in the heart of the Hilltowns for a relaxing family get-away! Located in Goshen, MA, 3 unique summer cottages are for rent by the week. Ideal for families, artists & reunions, there are many weeks still available this summer. Fondly called the ”Goshen Ocean,” the lake offers swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, wind surfing, & fishing. A favorite with the kids is the trampoline raft! The lake abuts the 1500 acre DAR State Forest that has miles of marked hiking & mountain bike trails. No need to drive to Maine to get away; Goshen Summer Rentals are only 25 mins from downtown Northampton & across the lake from Camp Howe! Last minute inquiries welcome. www.goshensummerrentals.com 413-695-3874

July

The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children & Teens—a program of Cooley-Dickinson VNA & Hospice provides support to grieving young people & their families, announces Summer in The Garden. This FREE program takes place July 2015. Summer in The Garden is open to grieving youth (ages 5-18) & an adult caregiver. Participants will make projects in small groups, for example an “intention stick” where participants will write messages of intention or inspiration on a stick before embellishing with meaningful colors, ribbons, shells. Summer in The Garden will be on 7/21, 7/23, 7/28 & 7/30 at 168 Industrial Dr. Northampton For more information AND to RSVP call Shelly Bathe Lenn at 413 582 5312. Shelly_Lenn@cooley-dickinson.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
June 27th-July 3rd, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: Living Patterns of Watersheds

Thinking Like a Watershed

In the same way all the tiny veins at a leaf’s edge connect to the midrib and then the leaf stem and then the branch and tree trunk and roots, so do our upland streams and brooks flow down into our rivers that empty into our oceans.

Make this summer the summer you discover (if you haven’t yet) the Westfield River watershed.

A watershed is—imagine—a giant bathtub, where the high sides of the tub are defined by ridgelines; and when the shower is on (rain), all the water is contained in the tub shape, flows to the bottom (river), and exits through the same drain.

A better way to imagine what a watershed is: it is a leaf-shaped geography. Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: June 22nd-26th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 12 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.


Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

30 Community Highlights: Otters to Pollinators. Wild Food to Aviation.

River otters, muskrats, and beavers live in the habitat along the Connecticut River! On Saturday, June 20 at 10:30am, the Sunderland Public Library invites children up to 8 years old and their caregivers to explore this habitat in depth. Participants will look for evidence of these animals and perhaps see the creatures themselves! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Otters to Pollinators. Strawberries to Wild Food. Solstice to Aviation… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlight this week: Families can spend Friday, June 19 from 12noon-10pm and Saturday, June 20 from 8am-12noon at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary (Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA) participating in the 6th Annual Berkshire BioBlitz. The BioBlitz, which takes place over a full 24-hour period, invites the public, biologists, naturalists, and environmentalists to come together with the goal of identifying and cataloging all living species within Canoe Meadows. There will be experts on hand to assist with identification and teach about the different species found in the sanctuary, and there will be walks, talks, demonstrations, and more to engage participants and teach about local ecology and natural history. This is a unique and exciting free citizen science opportunity for the entire family – all ages can help look for plants, animals, and fungi and learn how to identify them. The BioBlitz will get the whole family interested in and excited about science, nature, and conservation. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)


Nature StudiesNative PollinatorsWild FoodHistoryAviationLibrary AdventuresArt AppreciationSTEMFilm StudiesFlora & FaunaLocal Food Festivals  ♦ Summer SolsticeDancing


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Springfield Museums:


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 20th-26th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

Check out our featured post, 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Jun 20

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

Jun 27

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

Begins Jul 9

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

Fall Openings

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

Jun 27

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

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

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

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


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

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Hilltowns Celebrate their History & the Season this Weekend

3 Hilltown Celebrations

As part of Ashfield’s 250 celebration, 396 rockets will light up the sky over Ashfield Lake on Friday, June 19, 2015 at 9pm! Preceded by a free potluck community supper at Town Fall and an afterparty at The Lakehouse. Other places to wine and dine include Elmer’s and Country Pie! Ashfield, MA (FREE)

This Father’s Day weekend in the Hilltowns, three communities celebrate the season and their history!

ASHFIELD

Ashfield is celebrating its 250th birthday this weekend! On Saturday, June 20, a fun-filled parade will traverse the streets with unicycles, antique vehicles, costumes, and many, many community organizations taking part, beginning at 10am.. Starts at the intersection of Emmett Rd & 116 in South Ashfield, goes through the center of town, and ends at Belding Park. Make a day of it by visiting the farmers’ market, enjoying food and music on the Common, and participating in a community and history scavenger hunt at 12:30pm. Folks can dance or clap along at a 2pm contra dance or visit the Ashfield Historical Society’s textile window displays. (FREE) Then from 6pm – 9pm is the Party Under the Stars, a great and festive community event where you can mingle with your friends and neighbors! There will be live music, food, and beverages. Advance ticket purchase recommended. 413-628-4441. Curtis House, 14 South Street. ($)

CHARLEMONT

Celebrate the 250th anniversary of the incorporation of Charlemont at this daylong event filled with fascinating local stories, songs, food, games, a scavenger hunt and entertainment on Saturday, June 20 from 9:30am – 8:30pm. 413-339-0117. Downtown. (FREE) Then on Sunday morning from 8-10am, there will be a a community pancake breakfast sponsored by the Friends of the Charlemont Fairgrounds. 413-625-2623. Town Fairgrounds ($)

BECKET

The summer solstice (June 21, 2015) marks the start of summer, the day on which the sun looks highest in the sky and the longest stretch of daylight of the year. Mark this special day at the Becket Arts Center‘s Summer Solstice Community Celebration, where visitors will enjoy an opening reception for a new art exhibit, children’s activities, a silent auction, food, and live music from Becket native, Bobby Sweet. 4pm – 9pm. 413-623-6635. 7 Brooker Hill Road (< $)

Learning Ahead: June 15th-19th, 2015

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.


Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

31 Community Highlights: Cultural Chaos to Outdoor Sculptures. Edwardian Fashions to Bookbinding.

On Sunday, June 14 at 1pm, the Julia Poppins School of Cooking is offering a free workshop at Red Fire Farm on “Keeping Your Bounty Fresh.” Learn how to plan meals using fresh farm produce and how to store and use your farm produce. Adults and older students interested in local food and cooking can learn from this engaging and educational workshop! 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA. (FREE)

Old Mines to Historic Neighborhoods. Cultural Chaos to Outdoor Sculptures. Edwardian Fashions to Bookbinding… 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: SculptureNow and The Mount’s new outdoor exhibition opens on June 13, and there will be a free guided tour on Saturday, June 13 from 3pm-7pm. 26x28x50 features 26 sculptures by 28 regional and national artists, displayed over 50 acres on The Mount’s beautiful grounds and gardens. The exhibition features many unique sculptures made from a variety of materials, both natural and human-made. The artist-led guided tour is a wonderful opportunity to stroll the grounds of the property and learn about the large-scale sculptures – what materials were used, how they were made, how they were transported, how long it took to make them, and more. Students interested in sculpture can attend the free tour to see the works and ask questions about them. Call The Mount at 413-551-5100 for more information. The Mount. 413-551-5100. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)


Garden-Based LearningGuided Walks & ToursBook ArtsCommunity CelebrationsFamily MusicContemporary ArtParent WorkshopCulinary Arts  ♦ Fashion HistoryCommunity SingLocal HistoryLibrary AdventuresCitizen ScientistParents’ Night Out


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Springfield Museums:


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 13th-19th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I read the blog posts by insightful parents, the weekly events and highlights. Without Hilltown Families, I would be unaware of almost every wonderful event organized by our community. Hilltown Families brings people out of their houses and out into the world: in doing so, our wider community is strengthened along with our individual families.” – Tricia L. (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

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

Check out our featured post, 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Begins Jul 9

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

Fall Openings

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

Through Sep 6

This summer, experience Curious George – Let’s Get Curious!, the new blockbuster exhibit at the Springfield Museums! Follow George on his mischievous adventures through his neighborhood, a fully interactive construction site, a farmhouse, and even a rocket ship to the stars! Along the way, kids ages 3 through 7 will learn important math and science lessons to keep the learning going this summer. May 23- September 6 at the Springfield Science Museum. Parking is free. For more information, visit: www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jun 15- Jul 10

A special invitation to homeschoolers and young campers: Learn and have fun at Farm Camp at The Hartsbrook School! Hands-on activities include: feeding the goats, gathering eggs, wool carding and dying, finger knitting, butter and bread making. Support homeschool lessons in agriculture, crafts and sustainable living. Spaces are still open for “Young Farmers” (ages 5 ½ to 12) Jun 22-26. Spaces are also open for “Sprouts” (ages 4 to 5 ½) for all four weeks of camp, Jun 15-Jul 10. This younger group enjoys similar farm chores and crafts with their own early childhood teacher. Camp meets at The Hartsbrook School, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. $390/week. To register www.hartsbrook.org or call 413-586-1908 x116.

Jun 27

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

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 13th-19th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: June 8th-12th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 12 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.


Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

36 Community Highlights: RiverFest to Hackathon. Asparagus Festival to Fishing.

Celebrate a crop that is a big part of the Valley’s identity: asparagus! WGBY‘s annual Asparagus Festival invites everyone to the Hadley town common on Saturday, June 6 from 10am-5pm for live music, food and drink, a market of local produce and crafts, and an assortment of learning activities including games and cooking contests. There will also be a ticketed farm-to-table luncheon featuring unique asparagus dishes. Stop by the Hilltown Families tent to say hi! 800-781-9429. Route 9/Russell Street, Hadley, MA. (FREE)

RiverFest to Asparagus Festival. Fishing to Pickling. Hackathon to Heifers… 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:  Shelburne Falls RiverFest is an annual celebration of the Deerfield River that takes place June 5-7, with many different activities for all ages. Kick off the weekend with tours of Deerfield No. 4 Station on June 5 (1pm-5pm) and a screening of The Fantastic Mr. Fox at Pothole Pictures (7pm). On June 6, the streets of Shelburne Falls will be filled with live music and the Frog and Flower Parade. There will also be a birds of prey demonstration by Tom Ricardi, displays by the Deerfield River Watershed Association, rides on Trolley #10, fly-casting, a chance to visit the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, shopping, a performance by Medicine Mammals, dancers, and more. On June 7, there will be hikes led by the Deerfield River Watershed Association. Learn about and celebrate the Deerfield River and all the wonderful things Shelburne Falls has to offer at this annual, free event!


Community FestivalsLocal HistoryGeologyBird StudiesNature StudiesFishingCulinary ArtsSTEMBook ArtsCultural StudiesCollaborative ConsumptionFashion HistoryLiteracyPreschool HighlightsCommunity MealParents’ Night Out


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Springfield Museums:


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for June 6th-12th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Getting out of the house to events isn’t always easy, but finding out about them is! Most recently, Hilltown Families connected me with a group of parents who want to hike with their kids (little ones like mine!).” – Sara B. (Haydenville, MA)

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

Check out our featured post, 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

Through Sep 6

This summer, experience Curious George – Let’s Get Curious!, the new blockbuster exhibit at the Springfield Museums! Follow George on his mischievous adventures through his neighborhood, a fully interactive construction site, a farmhouse, and even a rocket ship to the stars! Along the way, kids ages 3 through 7 will learn important math and science lessons to keep the learning going this summer. May 23- September 6 at the Springfield Science Museum. Parking is free. For more information, visit: www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jun 6

On Saturday June 6, from 10am-4pm, catch the buzz at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst when they host their 10th annual Children’s Book Festival: Bees, Butterflies and Other Bugs. Meet artists and authors from The Western Massachusetts Illustrators’ Guild, and enjoy a full day of art activities, book signings, story times, face painting and bug-making! Activities include creating fabric bugs and bug collages to joining a bug dance workshop and learning about live butterflies. Enjoy a picnic in The Carle’s orchard with food from Foley’s Franks. Special guests include Tony and Angela DiTerlizzi. All activities are free with museum admission. Creative bug costumes are welcome! Visit www.carlemuseum.org for complete schedule.

Jun 6

Sprout Street Neighbors Launch Party with Anna Alter at Odyssey Bookshop, Saturday, June 6th at 3pm. FREE Take a stroll down Sprout Street and meet the neighbors as author/illustrator Anna Alter teaches you how a book is made with drawing demos and activities for kids. Bring your stuffed animal ‘neighbors’ and play as the Odyssey is transformed into a world inside the book. Acorn treats and silly activities for everyone! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. RSVP required. Email RSVP@odysseybks.com

Jun 7

Join the fun on Sunday, June 7th for Valley Creates: Hadley. Four local artists are offering art and craft classes for the community at Stone Soup Farm in Hadley. Participants will choose classes and then work to create their own projects in papermaking, glass bead making, plastic bag fusing, and hammered metal jewelry. Youth Session (Ages 8-12) begins at 11am and is only $10 thanks to a generous Hadley Cultural Council grant, Adult Sessions (Ages 12+) begin at 1pm and 2:30pm. Take two classes for only $25. Preregistration is required at valleycreates.com. Sponsored by Hadley Parks and Rec and Artisans of WMASS.

Jun 15- Jul 10

A special invitation to homeschoolers and young campers: Learn and have fun at Farm Camp at The Hartsbrook School! Hands-on activities include: feeding the goats, gathering eggs, wool carding and dying, finger knitting, butter and bread making. Support homeschool lessons in agriculture, crafts and sustainable living. Spaces are still open for “Young Farmers” (ages 5 ½ to 12) Jun 22-26. Spaces are also open for “Sprouts” (ages 4 to 5 ½) for all four weeks of camp, Jun 15-Jul 10. This younger group enjoys similar farm chores and crafts with their own early childhood teacher. Camp meets at The Hartsbrook School, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. $390/week. To register www.hartsbrook.org or call 413-586-1908 x116.

Jun 26- Jul 27

Share the local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain and receive a camp discount/voucher & stipend (Total $1,000). Students personally screened and placed in host families with children of same ages & interests to create a strong connection. Local organizers Joe Bock & Paula Garcia are always close-by & in touch to ensure a successful experience. Attending a camp during the stay? Better! Get a discount/rebate in addition to $700 stipend. Paperwork for student done/paid by organizers. Hosts also invited to Six Flags & New York City trip. Many references available. Great way to make a friend from Spain, have fun & represent the Hilltown community. Jun 26-Jul 27 joe.homestaysusa@gmail.com 413-203-1371 homestaysusa.org

Fall Openings

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

Jun 27

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

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 6th-12th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: June 1st-5th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 10 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.


Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

31 Community Highlights: Bird Festival to Strawberry Supper. Paddle Trip to Yo-Yos.

Physics! The Massachusetts State Yo-Yo Contest happens on Saturday May 30, 10am-5:30pm, at the Academy of Music! Come to compete, watch, or learn and enjoy all the talented yo-yoers in the state! The competition is split up into divisions, and beginners are welcome to compete. The contest is not only fun to watch, but is a great place to see how cool yo-yoing is – discover the physics behind it and all the amazing tricks that are possible! 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. 

Bird Festival to Farm Festival. Strawberry Supper to Architecture. History of Medicine to Paddle Trip… 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:  Discover some of Massachusetts’ most beautiful and notable historic homes at The Trustees of Reservations’ Home Sweet Home Days at locations all around Massachusetts on Sunday, May 31, 10am-5pm. Visiting these historic homes can teach visitors about local history, architecture, genealogy, gardening, and so much more. Home Sweet Home Days gives families the opportunity to visit western MA historic homes like Naumkeag, the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, the Mission House, the Folly at Field Farm, and others in western Massachusetts for free. Feel like going for a drive? Trustees properties in Eastern and Central Massachusetts are also open for Home Sweet Home Days – this could be a great chance to take the family on a day trip to towns like New Bedford, Concord, Ipswich, and others. Berkshires & Hilltowns (FREE)


OrnithologyLanguage ArtsArchitecturePlant StudiesOutdoor AdventuresHistory of MedicineMusic StudiesSTEMCultural StudiesCulinary ArtsSportsTextile HistoryFarm-Based LearningAutismCommunity MealsPreschool HighlightsLawn Concerts


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Springfield Museums:


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 30th-June 5th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Your newsletter helped us get our act together for summer camps for my son. We hope to get involved in other things as well – especially volunteer efforts… Thank you for putting the effort into compiling the info into one place for so many to use.” – Pam M. (Hadley, MA)

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

Check out our featured post, 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

May 31

Spring Farm Festival! Sunday, May 31, 10am-3pm at Abundance Farm, 253 Prospect Street in Northampton. Abundance Farm, a food justice farm and outdoor classroom, is holding a festival for all ages. From 10am-12pm, they will have a work party where volunteers will help plant, mulch, weed and build–with jobs for all ages and abilities. From 12-pm, there will be a free lunch for volunteers. From 1-3pm, a party with lots of fun farm-based activities for kids and adults including herbal medicine workshop, seed art, terrarium making, cob oven baking and much more! There will be great live music and local food and drink vendors. Suggested donation $5 a person. For more information check out www.abundancefarm.org or contact info@abundancefarm.org.

Jun 6

Renowned ecologist & educator Tom Wessel is coming to Ashfield on June 6 as part of the Bug Hill Farm On-Farm Workshop Summer Series. Set on 50 acres of fields, forest & trails, Bug Hill Farm is a certified organic, PYO uncommon fruit & edible flower farmstead, crafting healthy value-added products in their commercial kitchen. Serving as an educational center for visitors interested in the complementary aspects of ecological restoration, sustainable small-scale farming & local micro- businesses, the farm serves as a model for environmental, agricultural & social sustainability. Wessels is just one of many talented workshop presenters hosted by the farm. Find out about this series & to register at www.bughillfarm.org, or call 413-628-3980.

Jun 6

On Saturday June 6, from 10am-4pm, catch the buzz at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst when they host their 10th annual Children’s Book Festival: Bees, Butterflies and Other Bugs. Meet artists and authors from The Western Massachusetts Illustrators’ Guild, and enjoy a full day of art activities, book signings, story times, face painting and bug-making! Activities include creating fabric bugs and bug collages to joining a bug dance workshop and learning about live butterflies. Enjoy a picnic in The Carle’s orchard with food from Foley’s Franks. Special guests include Tony and Angela DiTerlizzi. All activities are free with museum admission. Creative bug costumes are welcome! Visit www.carlemuseum.org for complete schedule.

Jun 7

Join the fun on Sunday, June 7th for Valley Creates: Hadley. Four local artists are offering art and craft classes for the community at Stone Soup Farm in Hadley. Participants will choose classes and then work to create their own projects in papermaking, glass bead making, plastic bag fusing, and hammered metal jewelry. Youth Session (Ages 8-12) begins at 11am and is only $10 thanks to a generous Hadley Cultural Council grant, Adult Sessions (Ages 12+) begin at 1pm and 2:30pm. Take two classes for only $25. Preregistration is required at valleycreates.com. Sponsored by Hadley Parks and Rec and Artisans of WMASS.

Jun 15- Jul 10

Featured Ad: Hartsbrook Farm CampA special invitation to homeschoolers and young campers: Learn and have fun at Farm Camp at The Hartsbrook School! Hands-on activities include: feeding the goats, gathering eggs, wool carding and dying, finger knitting, butter and bread making. Support homeschool lessons in agriculture, crafts and sustainable living. Spaces are still open for “Young Farmers” (ages 5 ½ to 12) Jun 22-26. Spaces are also open for “Sprouts” (ages 4 to 5 ½) for all four weeks of camp, Jun 15-Jul 10. This younger group enjoys similar farm chores and crafts with their own early childhood teacher. Camp meets at The Hartsbrook School, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. $390/week. To register www.hartsbrook.org or call 413-586-1908 x116.

Jun 26- Jul 27

Share the local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain and receive a camp discount/voucher & stipend (Total $1,000). Students personally screened and placed in host families with children of same ages & interests to create a strong connection. Local organizers Joe Bock & Paula Garcia are always close-by & in touch to ensure a successful experience. Attending a camp during the stay? Better! Get a discount/rebate in addition to $700 stipend. Paperwork for student done/paid by organizers. Hosts also invited to Six Flags & New York City trip. Many references available. Great way to make a friend from Spain, have fun & represent the Hilltown community. Jun 26-Jul 27 joe.homestaysusa@gmail.com 413-203-1371 homestaysusa.org

Jul 21-27

ibmeThis summer teens can unplug & tune in at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), July 21-27, at Powell House in Old Chatham, NY. Teaching mindfulness helps lay down the foundation for a successful life by building emotional resiliency, developing self-awareness, and strengthening communication skills. iBme teen retreats offer a life transforming experience in the serenity of nature through meditation & mindfulness that is both interactive & fun. Teens return home having learned valuable skills and techniques to calm and focus their minds. Supporting diversity, iBme welcomes all backgrounds & abilities. Affordable financing for all families. No teen is turned away due to lack of funds. For info/register: 978-254-7082. contact@ibme.info.

May 23- Sep 6

This summer, experience Curious George – Let’s Get Curious!, the new blockbuster exhibit at the Springfield Museums! Follow George on his mischievous adventures through his neighborhood, a fully interactive construction site, a farmhouse, and even a rocket ship to the stars! Along the way, kids ages 3 through 7 will learn important math and science lessons to keep the learning going this summer. May 23- September 6 at the Springfield Science Museum. Parking is free. For more information, visit: www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jun 27

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

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 30th-June 5th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: May 26th-29th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 6 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.


Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

23 Community Highlights: Baked Potatoes to Kielbasas. Wild Flowers to Rhubarb.

The Lenox Rhubarb Festival takes place Saturday, May 23 from 10am-3pm at the library reading park! Come celebrate all things rhubarb at this fun festival. There will be delicious rhubarb foods, activities, and more. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA.

Baked Potatoes to Kielbasas. Wild Flowers to Rhubarb. Picnics to Museum 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 highlight this week: First conceived at a potluck dinner 1974, the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair has grown into a weekend-long celebration of all things sheep-related. This weekend, join local farmers and crafters at the Cummington Fairgrounds to experience demonstrations (shearing, rug hooking, fiber dyeing, and cooking, to name a few), participate in workshops (including Angora rabbit care, felting, yarn spinning, and intarsia knitting), watch sheep and sheep dog shows, and visit with over 60 vendors of woolcraft-related products. Kids will love learning to spin yarn, dyeing wool with Kool-Aid, and creating felted fairies and treasure bags in workshops designed especially for them! Where else might you be able to watch a speed knitting contest and taste unique lamb-based dishes created by students in the Smith Vocational School’s Culinary Arts program? Come immerse yourself in local sheep farming and woolcraft culture, and discover why this festival has been going strong for forty years. Saturday, May 23 & Sunday, May 24, 9am-4pm. Cummington Fairgrounds. Cummington, MA (>$)


Hikes & WalksAnimal StudiesHistorySheep & WoolLiteracyFood CelebrationsMuseum AdventuresSTEMService-Based LearningPicnicsCommunity Meal


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 May 23rd-29th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is THE place to find out what to do with your kids… All year long I turn to Hilltown Families to find something fun to do, especially on weekends and school vacations. Thank you!” – Niki Lankowski (Whately, 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 60 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from!!!

Check out our featured post, 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

May 23

This Memorial Day weekend make your memories at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst! The Berkshire Theatre Group presents Atlantis, Lost! And Other Legends of the Strange Waves on Saturday, May 23 at 11am & 1pm. Atlantis, Lost! is a collection of stories about historical wonders and the waters of the world. This assortment of wet and wonderful tales includes the lost civilization of Atlantis, the life of a pirate, the origin of surfing and the Loch Ness monster. Ride the strange waves and discover a whole new view of the world through these inspired episodes of modern mythology. Tickets are $6.50 (Members $5.50) and may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling 413-658-1126. www.carlemuseum.org

Jun 6

Renowned ecologist & educator Tom Wessel is coming to Ashfield on June 6 as part of the Bug Hill Farm On-Farm Workshop Summer Series. Set on 50 acres of fields, forest & trails, Bug Hill Farm is a certified organic, PYO uncommon fruit & edible flower farmstead, crafting healthy value-added products in their commercial kitchen. Serving as an educational center for visitors interested in the complementary aspects of ecological restoration, sustainable small-scale farming & local micro- businesses, the farm serves as a model for environmental, agricultural & social sustainability. Wessels is just one of many talented workshop presenters hosted by the farm. Find out about this series & to register at www.bughillfarm.org, or call 413-628-3980.

Jun 26-Jul 27

Share the local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain and receive a camp discount/voucher & stipend (Total $1,000). Students personally screened and placed in host families with children of same ages & interests to create a strong connection. Local organizers Joe Bock & Paula Garcia are always close-by & in touch to ensure a successful experience. Attending a camp during the stay? Better! Get a discount/rebate in addition to $700 stipend. Paperwork for student done/paid by organizers. Hosts also invited to Six Flags & New York City trip. Many references available. Great way to make a friend from Spain, have fun & represent the Hilltown community. Jun 26-Jul 27 joe.homestaysusa@gmail.com 413-203-1371 homestaysusa.org

Jul 21-27

ibmeThis summer teens can unplug & tune in at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), July 21-27, at Powell House in Old Chatham, NY. Teaching mindfulness helps lay down the foundation for a successful life by building emotional resiliency, developing self-awareness, and strengthening communication skills. iBme teen retreats offer a life transforming experience in the serenity of nature through meditation & mindfulness that is both interactive & fun. Teens return home having learned valuable skills and techniques to calm and focus their minds. Supporting diversity, iBme welcomes all backgrounds & abilities. Affordable financing for all families. No teen is turned away due to lack of funds. For info/register: 978-254-7082. contact@ibme.info.

Jun 27

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

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 23rd-29th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: May 18th-22nd, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 14 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.


Learning Ahead is sponsored in part by:

North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens

Read the rest of this entry »

50 Community Highlights: Handwriting to Storytelling. Electric Bikes to Historic Trains.

Bridge over West Branch of Westfield River near Middlefield Rd, Chester MA

Chester on Track is this weekend, Sat., May 16,  a free, community-wide celebration of railroads and local history around Chester. This year’s event features many activities for the whole family to enjoy with history-focused events and demonstrations, including blacksmithing and woodworking demonstrations, early Irish railroad reenactments, a historic train show, classic cars, gas engine demonstrations, 1920s-era freight cars, and more. Community members of all ages can attend this fun annual event to celebrate life in Chester and learn about historic railroads and other local industries.

Handwriting to Storytelling. Electric Bikes to Seed Swaps. Trains to Planes… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlight this week:  The River’s Song is a community-wide celebration of the Connecticut River in Turners Falls on Saturday, May 16, 11am-9pm. There will be an opening ceremony and drumming by the Nolumbeka Project, art activities with the Art Garden, a river parade, a chance to learn about fish at the Great Falls Discovery Center, live music, an art reception, a dance performance, and more. The whole community can come together to celebrate the river at this fun all-day event. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

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


Community CelebrationsHistoryBicycleCommunity ResiliencyCommunity MealsPlant SalesSeed SwapsService-Based LearningNature-Based LearningPlanes, Trains & AutomobiliesAncestryArts & CraftsLiteracyMuseum AdventuresMusicParent WorkshopsPreschool HighlightsSTEM


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 May 16th-22nd, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

My family recently relocated to Western Mass and I am LOVING Hilltown Families – so many great ideas for weekend activities, I just wish the weekends were longer! Katie D. (South Hadley, 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

Over 55 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from!!!

Check out our featured post, 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

May 15 & 16

CATS, let the “Memory” live again! The magical legendary Broadway hit by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which ran for 21 years in London and 18 years on Broadway, will come alive on stage at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton by the talented Starlight’s Youth Theatre on May 15 & 16! This song and dance masterpiece of second chances and unconditional love, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, tells of Jellicle cats and the quest to be the lucky one who will ascend to “the Heaviside Layer.” Come support over 60 teens from across the Pioneer Valley! This show is the purrfect opportunity for the entire family to create a “memory” that will live forever. Tix: www.academyofmusictheatre.com. Questions: starlights.yt@gmail.com

May 16

Pioneer Valley Ballet is hosting an open house on Saturday, May 16, 10am-12noon. Tour PVB’s studio in Easthampton, meet the trainers, and sample a class. At 11:30am, children ages 4-6 can participate in a FREE 30-minute Creative Ballet Class—an excellent introduction to PVB’s training programs that create exceptional young dancers. For more information, call 413-527-6363 or visit PVB online at www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

May 16

The OnTrend Spring Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, May 16 at the Hadley Farms Meeting House in lovely Hadley, MA. The fair will showcase talented indie crafters and makers of all kinds from throughout New England and New York. Shoppers will find high-quality handmade jewelry, paper goods, wood crafts, home goods, ceramics, and much more. Come support our talented local artisans — shop local, shop small! Free to attend. Free gift for the first 100 shoppers! For more information, visit ontrendcrafts.com or email Jennifer at jennifer@ontrendcrafts.com.

May 20

Open School Day at the Montessori School of Northampton: On Wednesday, May 20 at 9am, the Montessori School of Northampton at 51 Bates Street will host a morning Open School Day. This is an opportunity for parents to spend time in classrooms and observe Montessori in action. The visit will also include a tour of the school, which includes programs for students age 2 through 12, and a group parent meeting with the Head of School and Director of Admissions. The morning will end at 11am. Parents must register in advance with the Director of Admissions at laura@northamptonmontessori.org or at 413-586-4538 x103. More information on the school can be found at northamptonmontessori.org.

May 10-25

Mother’s Day to Memorial Day Discount! Oak Meadow is offering 10% off enrollment and 15% off materials in their Bookstore from May 10 to 25. Their student-centered, nature-based homeschooling curriculum for students in K-12 allows families to set their own natural rhythm of learning and encourages creativity, critical thinking, and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. Use their curriculum independently or enroll in their fully accredited distance learning school.

Jun 26-Jul 27

Share the local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain and receive a camp discount/voucher & stipend (Total $1,000). Students personally screened and placed in host families with children of same ages & interests to create a strong connection. Local organizers Joe Bock & Paula Garcia are always close-by & in touch to ensure a successful experience. Attending a camp during the stay? Better! Get a discount/rebate in addition to $700 stipend. Paperwork for student done/paid by organizers. Hosts also invited to Six Flags & New York City trip. Many references available. Great way to make a friend from Spain, have fun & represent the Hilltown community. Jun 26-Jul 27 joe.homestaysusa@gmail.com 413-203-1371 homestaysusa.org

Jun 27

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

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 16th-22nd, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: May 11th-15th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 8 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.


Join our stellar team of supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learning Ahead and see your banner here:

Read the rest of this entry »

36 Community Highlights: Mother’s Day to Bird Watching. Architecture to Film Studies.

Tending to a family garden not only provides food for your family and adds beauty to your surroundings, but the process of growing and caring for plants brings with it ample opportunity to learn about everything from edible plants to soil science! Here in western Massachusetts, gardening season is just kicking into full swing – meaning it’s time to start planning and planting your family garden!

Wildflower Walks to Plant Sales. Mother’s Day to Bird Watching. Architecture to Film Studies… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlight this week: Is your child interested in learning about birds? The Hampshire Bird Club and the Broad Brook Coalition are holding a children’s birding event at Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. In honor of International Migratory Bird Day, kids can come learn about birding and bird identification. Kids can learn how to use binoculars and can view photographs of common birds and those seen on the walk to help with identification and understanding. This bird walk is an excellent way to get kids of all ages interested in studying birds and spending time outdoors. Call group leader Bruce Hart at 413-584-4176 for more information. Cooke Avenue. Northampton, MA.

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


OrnithologyFilmsMother’s Day HighlightsCollaborative ConsumptionService-Based LearningPlant SalesPreschool HighlightsAstronomyPlant & Nature StudiesHistorySTEMParent WorkshopsArt Walk


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 May 9th-15th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I have been referring to Hilltown Families for years — I make my weekly calendar from the suggested events list! As a mother of 3, 5 and under, it has been an invaluable resource for our family.” – Ellen Ferris (South Hadley, 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

Over 55 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from!!!

Check out our featured post, 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Hilltown Families Event: Saturday, May 9

May 9

Join us this Saturday, May 9 from 9-11:30am for a meaningful morning volunteering with your family and your community! Free and open to everyone!

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Family Volunteer Days are held once a month and are open to everyone. Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place on Saturday, May 9th, 9-11:30am with a community potluck and volunteer day. Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER) (Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden)

Bulletin Board

May 8

Platypus Police Pizza Party with Jarrett Krosoczka at Odyssey Bookshop, Friday, May 8th at 6pm. FREE. Join the Odyssey Bookshop in the celebration of the release of Platypus Police Squad: Last Panda Standing, the third installment in the hilarious, high-action illustrated middle grade series featuring two platypus detectives, perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and Jarrett’s own Lunch Lady series. Hear from Jarrett and two South Hadley Police officers, decorate your own police academy badges and have all you can eat pizza (no synthetic fish guarantee)! Perfect for ages 7+. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. RSVP required. Email RSVP@odysseybks.com

May 9

Saturday, May 9, 1-2 pm, Radical Renewal. Six Steps to Nourish the Heart and Soul of Mothering. For Mothers of all ages and stages. Gift yourself an hour to step away. Step away and remind yourself of what you need to sustain your joy and resilience as a mother. Radical Renewal is a way to reframe your relationship to mothering, profoundly impacting what you know to be true in the journey of nurturing your children as you nourish yourself. Bring your sister, your mother, girlfriend or daughter and renew yourself in the holistic environment of Eastover Retreat Center in Lenox, MA. Refreshments served. Free Mother’s Day program. Registration requested: eastover.com/marilyn-taylor.html; Marilyn@confident-directions.com.

May 10-25

Mother’s Day to Memorial Day Discount! Oak Meadow is offering 10% off enrollment and 15% off materials in their Bookstore from May 10 to 25. Their student-centered, nature-based homeschooling curriculum for students in K-12 allows families to set their own natural rhythm of learning and encourages creativity, critical thinking, and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. Use their curriculum independently or enroll in their fully accredited distance learning school.

Open House: May 9

Ashfield Community Preschool invites families to their annual open house on Saturday, May 9 from 9:30am-Noon. This event is for families with young children ages 15mo-5yo who are looking for quality care & small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield (103 Baptist Corner Rd). Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing a sunflower house & pumpkin patch. Their developmentally appropriate curriculum is inspired by the natural world. In this pastoral setting the preschool offers a 6 week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Open House on May 9. Tour their facility & grounds and register for summer & fall sessions. 413-628-3248. New Toddler Program Opening Fall 2015!

May 15 & 16

CATS, let the “Memory” live again! The magical legendary Broadway hit by Andrew Lloyd Webber, which ran for 21 years in London and 18 years on Broadway, will come alive on stage at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton by the talented Starlight’s Youth Theatre on May 15 & 16! This song and dance masterpiece of second chances and unconditional love, based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, tells of Jellicle cats and the quest to be the lucky one who will ascend to “the Heaviside Layer.” Come support over 60 teens from across the Pioneer Valley! This show is the purrfect opportunity for the entire family to create a “memory” that will live forever. Tix: www.academyofmusictheatre.com. Questions: starlights.yt@gmail.com

May 16

The OnTrend Spring Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, May 16 at the Hadley Farms Meeting House in lovely Hadley, MA. The fair will showcase talented indie craters and makers of all kinds from throughout New England and New York. Shoppers will find high-quality handmade jewelry, paper goods, wood crafts, home goods, ceramics, and much more. Come support our talented local artisans — shop local, shop small! Free to attend. Free gift for the first 100 shoppers! For more information, visit ontrendcrafts.com or email Jennifer at jennifer@ontrendcrafts.com.

May 16

Pioneer Valley Ballet is hosting an open house on Saturday, May 16, 10am-12noon. Tour PVB’s studio in Easthampton, meet the trainers, and sample a class. At 11:30am, children ages 4-6 can participate in a FREE 30-minute Creative Ballet Class—an excellent introduction to PVB’s training programs that create exceptional young dancers. For more information, call 413-527-6363 or visit PVB online at www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

Jun 26-Jul 27

Share the local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain and receive a camp discount/voucher & stipend (Total $1,000). Students personally screened and placed in host families with children of same ages & interests to create a strong connection. Local organizers Joe Bock & Paula Garcia are always close-by & in touch to ensure a successful experience. Attending a camp during the stay? Better! Get a discount/rebate in addition to $700 stipend. Paperwork for student done/paid by organizers. Hosts also invited to Six Flags & New York City trip. Many references available. Great way to make a friend from Spain, have fun & represent the Hilltown community. Jun 26-Jul 27 joe.homestaysusa@gmail.com 413-203-1371 homestaysusa.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
May 9th-15th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: May 4th-8th, 2015

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

This week we are featuring 10 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.


Join our stellar team supporters!
Become a sponsor of Learning Ahead and see your banner here:

Read the rest of this entry »

36 Community Highlights: May Day to Art Walks. Historical Hikes to Museum Adventures.

Celebrate spring and May Day at the Meekins Library‘s May Faire on Saturday, May 2, 10am-3pm! Come in costume and enjoy magic tricks by Ed the Wizard, build a fairy house, make a May basket, and more. A fun way to celebrate May Day with community members of all ages! 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Hikes to Museums. May Day to Art Walks. Textiles to Renaissance… 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:  Explore the Clark Art Institute’s exhibit Machine Age Modernism: Prints from the Daniel Cowin Collection at their free Machine Age Family Day on Sunday, May 3, 1pm-4pm. There will be fun activities for all ages, including performances by the Williams College Jazz Ensemble (1:15pm) and Kris Allen Quartet (2:30pm), a Machine Age Modernism gallery talk (1:30pm & 2:30pm), a printmaking workshop, a 3D printing demonstration, fingerprinting, flipbooks, a robotics demonstration, art making activities, and more. This is a wonderful opportunity for families to explore this local museum for free! Call the Clark at 413-458-2303 for more information. The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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


Local History  ♦ Museum AdventuresWalking TourCollege SamplerService-Based LearningMay DayHiking  ♦ WorkshopsPreschool HighlightsCulinary ArtsSheep & WoolRenaissance StudiesSTEMZoologyParents’ Night OutArt Walks


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 May 2nd-8th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I especially love the summer camp information all in one place! It’s good to know about parent/child craft classes too… Thanks for all you do!” – Martha Lorantos (Sunderland, 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

Over 55 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from!!!

Check out our featured post, 2015 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Hilltown Families Event

May 9

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Family Volunteer Days are held once a month and are open to everyone. Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place on Saturday, May 9th, 9-11:30am with a community potluck and volunteer day. Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER) (Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden)

Bulletin Board

May 2-3

The Alchemy Artisan Fair is proud to present it’s second annual show at Gateway City Arts at 92 Race Street in Holyoke from 10am-6pm on Saturday, May 2nd, and 11am-4pm on Sunday, May 3rd. Shop the work of over 30 local artisans, participate in a hula hoop jam with Kimqui Hoops, master your yo-yo skills with the A-Z Science and Learning Yo-Yo School, learn how to make your own mini-comic book with My Monster Hat, paint your own one of a kind stoneware bowl with The Celadon Studio or just chill in the beer garden and enjoy the day. Tickets are $5 at the door, free for children under 12. More information at www.alchemyfair.com

May 3

Sunday May 3, 2015 from 11am- 4pm: The Massachusetts Renaissance Center invites you to a day of music, theater, juggling, falconry, dancing and more at the 13th Annual Community Renaissance Festival in Amherst! 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! There will be a Renaissance Poetry Performance Contest with cash prizes to win! For a complete schedule and parking info visit www.umass.edu/renaissance and click the festival link, or call 413-577-3600.

May 3

It’s a… Book! Book Launch with Angela DiTerlizzi at Odyssey Bookshop, Sunday, May 3rd at 3pm. FREE Join book lovers for the ultimate “book shower” with local author, Angela Diterlizzi. The author who brought you, Say What and Some Bugs, has returned to celebrate the joys of a new baby in her latest picture book, Baby Love. From bubble baths & baby kisses to chubby thighs & lullabies this book will delight babies young & old! A wonderful event for new parents, new babies and children of all ages, celebrate the arrival of this new creation. With sweet treats, book shower games and a toddler bubble dance party, this event will be fun for the whole family. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., South Hadley. RSVP required. Email RSVP@odysseybks.com

May 8

Platypus Police Pizza Party with Jarrett Krosoczka at Odyssey Bookshop, Friday, May 8th at 6pm. FREE. Join the Odyssey Bookshop in the celebration of the release of Platypus Police Squad: Last Panda Standing, the third installment in the hilarious, high-action illustrated middle grade series featuring two platypus detectives, perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and Jarrett’s own Lunch Lady series. Hear from Jarrett and two South Hadley Police officers, decorate your own police academy badges and have all you can eat pizza (no synthetic fish guarantee)! Perfect for ages 7+. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. RSVP required. Email RSVP@odysseybks.com

Open House: May 9

Ashfield Community Preschool invites families to their annual open house on Saturday, May 9 from 9:30am-Noon. This event is for families with young children ages 15mo-5yo who are looking for quality care & small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield (103 Baptist Corner Rd). Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing a sunflower house & pumpkin patch. Their developmentally appropriate curriculum is inspired by the natural world. In this pastoral setting the preschool offers a 6 week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Open House on May 9. Tour their facility & grounds and register for summer & fall sessions. 413-628-3248. New Toddler Program Opening Fall 2015!

Jun 26-Jul 27

Share the local Hilltown summer experience with a student from Spain and receive a camp discount/voucher & stipend (Total $1,000). Students personally screened and placed in host families with children of same ages & interests to create a strong connection. Local organizers Joe Bock & Paula Garcia are always close-by & in touch to ensure a successful experience. Attending a camp during the stay? Better! Get a discount/rebate in addition to $700 stipend. Paperwork for student done/paid by organizers. Hosts also invited to Six Flags & New York City trip. Many references available. Great way to make a friend from Spain, have fun & represent the Hilltown community. Jun 26-Jul 27 joe.homestaysusa@gmail.com 413-203-1371 homestaysusa.org

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation is happy to announce that it will provide $4000 per year to qualifying younger students and $5000 to high school students who attend one of the region’s Jewish day schools. Ensuring small classes, excellent teachers and a nurturing environment, Jewish day schools can provide your child with a superb secular and Jewish education. Participating schools include: Heritage Academy, Longmeadow; Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy, Longmeadow; Lander-Grinspoon Academy, Northampton; and Hebrew High School of New England, West Hartford. For more information, visit www.hgf.org/TIP

Preschool Openings

Preschool Openings at the Common School in Amherst. What is the best way to insure a quality education for your child? Invest in it early. The Common School provides the foundation for life-long learning by emphasizing how to learn. Experiential activities, a strong social curriculum, environmental awareness and imagination are hallmarks of our pre-school program- paving the way for strong academic success. Openings for 3 – 5 year olds for fall 2015. Call for a tour 413-256-8989 and visit their website www.commonschool.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
May 2nd-8th, 2015

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The Ripple: Cheering on our Native Trout!

Native Trout vs. Finned-Zombies: the Essential Difference

More than ever our rivers—and other river-lovers—need us. The Massachusetts Department of Ecological Restoration has published a list & calendar of river-helping opportunities. This local offering is a perfect way for those of us who want to do something, to do it!

Purples, reds and greens thrown high like hard candies, caught by each branch tip that shakes in the soft warming breeze;
our winter dun hills flare up in their pointillist fervors, a rolling canvas of vivacious colors that blend and bleed and swarm ‘til we can’t see the ridgelines or hollows;
hawks and falcons and eagles circle above our busy ant movements in parking lots, farm fields and backyards;
sweet tulips burst and bend over, taking their bows:
the snow melts and sugarings are suddenly memories;
and amorous fish arrive from far out at sea, crowding the rumbling spillways of Holyoke Dam, hoping to catch a ride on a world-famous elevator, so they may have babies upriver where their parents once did.

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