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

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

Circle Dance to Witchcraft. Watercolor Painting to Astronomy. STEM to Literacy.These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


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 August 27th-September 2nd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“It’s a rainy summer day and the kids are bored of the usual routine… HILLTOWN FAMILIES always saves the day! Family life in the hill towns is brighter, bolder, and culturally enriched by the support of Hilltown Families. It has been the number one constant resource for events, concerts, and community education for our family in our parenting journey. Hilltown Families has widely become essential support for family life in Western Massachusetts, a network that grows happier healthier families through community, connection, and education. Thank you Hilltown Families for all you do!” – Zoe (Ashfield, MA)

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

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

Bulletin Board

Open House: Aug 27

The Center Dance Studio, an innovative dance studio in Amherst, is holding an Open House on Saturday, August 27 from 10am-3pm. Stop in to tour the space, take a sample class and learn about the school’s philosophic approach where children spin stories from movement using classical and contemporary dance techniques. Directors Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special teaching approach that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main St. Amherst, MA. 413-230-1944.

Preschool Openings: Sept 2016. Clarke’s Integrated Preschool Program in Northampton offers a high-quality, affordable preschool program. Preschoolers engage in activities that facilitate all aspects of development. In our enriched learning environment, children come to know themselves and the world around them through classroom and extended experiences. Both children with typical hearing and children with hearing loss attend five days per week. To learn more or schedule a visit, please contact 413-582-1144. clarkeschools.org/prek

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating. Students graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE. Use promo code HTF201617 and receive $10 OFF your entire purchase of any instructional program!

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, 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
August 27 – September 2, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

Local History to Car Shows. Agriculture to Woodworking. Writing to Foraging. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


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 August 20th-26th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“When we moved here from Australia three years ago with our two young children, Hilltown Families quickly became our go-to source for local events and activities. My SAHD husband, in particular, turns to the newsletter every week to discover things that we can attend with our kids. Hilltown Families supports families of Western MA in one of the most important ways: providing connection and information…Thank you to Hilltown Families for linking us to this fantastic community of which we are so lucky to be a part.” – Natane Halasz (Pelham, 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.

Join our team…

Bulletin Board

Open House: Aug 27

The Center Dance Studio, an innovative dance studio in Amherst, is holding an Open House on Saturday, August 27 from 10am-3pm. Stop in to tour the space, take a sample class and learn about the school’s philosophic approach where children spin stories from movement using classical and contemporary dance techniques. Directors Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special teaching approach that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main St. Amherst, MA. 413-230-1944.

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. K-4 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, nature-based. 5-8 encourages student autonomy and intellectual development. High school offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, and college counseling, for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. Check out their new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more.

Preschool Openings: Sept 2016. Clarke’s Integrated Preschool Program in Northampton offers a high-quality, affordable preschool program. Preschoolers engage in activities that facilitate all aspects of development. In our enriched learning environment, children come to know themselves and the world around them through classroom and extended experiences. Both children with typical hearing and children with hearing loss attend five days per week. To learn more or schedule a visit, please contact 413-582-1144. clarkeschools.org/prek

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, 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
August 20-26, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: August 15-19, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Suggested Events for August 13th-19th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families reminds us all that right beside our own backyards, on our own main streets, in our own hometown rivers and lakes….we can find world class fun, family-friendly arts and culture activities, and a few embedded surprises that even 40+ year natives can be awestruck by.” – Deb Doulette (South Deerfield, MA)

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

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

Bulletin Board

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Aug 12-14

The Middlefield Fair. The 161st Middlefield Fair will run August 12-14 this year. Friday: Gates open 4pm-Diesel Truck Pull, Bingo. Saturday: Gates open 8am-4×4 Truck Pull, Youth Sheep Show, Horse Pulls, Old Time Fiddle Contest. Sunday: Gates open 8am-Pancake Breakfast, Spooner Well Band, Cattle Show, Garden Tractor Pull, Oxen Pulls. Home-style meals Sat & Sun by the Hinsdale Lions Club. Free entertainment and children’s activities throughout the fair: Exhibit Hall, Farm Museum, Petting Zoo, Balloon Animals, Magician, Smokey the Bear. FREE Children’s Bike Giveaway each evening. 7 Bell Road, Middlefield, MA 01243. Parking: $2, Admission: Adults $6, Seniors $5, Children under 12 FREE. www.MiddlefieldFair.org

Aug 16

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, August 16th at 3pm: Make Your Own Computer Game with Odyssey Webmaster Ann Childs. Learn how to make computer games in Scratch with the awesome Odyssey webmaster, Ann Childs. Campers will create a game together on the big screen and will also be able to access and play the game after the event! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of the book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 7 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Smith College faculty member Alexandra Burgess, Ph.D., is recruiting families with children ages 8-12 years to participate in a paid psychology study about children’s emotions, thinking styles, and problem solving abilities. Study activities are fun and interactive, including tasks like solving a variety of puzzles, playing memory games, and writing about a favorite game. All caregiver-child pairs are encouraged to participate, and will earn $40 for their time. The study takes place on the Smith campus, with free parking. Participation is a great way to teach kids about the process of science! Please contact Dr. Burgess at childperfectionism@gmail.com or in her office 413-585-3386 to find out more and schedule a time to come to the lab!

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. K-4 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, nature-based. 5-8 encourages student autonomy and intellectual development. High School offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, college counseling, for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. Check out their new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall 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 Eventsand 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.

Join our team…


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 13-19, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: August 8-12, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

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

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

Entomology to Puppetry. Geology to Jazz Studies. Literature to Panoramic Drawing. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


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 August 6th-12th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is a fantastic clearinghouse of information about everything and anything that families might want or need to know.  We have found out about camps, activities, interesting places to go, and community events.  I also have learned things from the many blog posts that people share.  Without Hilltown Families, we’d miss this central location where information and experiences are shared.  It’s a great service to families in the area!” – Mimi Kaplan (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.

Bulletin Board

Mon, Tues, & Thurs in Aug

Learn in Motion believes that physical activity plays the most important role in a child’s academic success, offering a variety of fun and educational sports classes for children ages 3-5! They provide an innovative, comfortable and engaging environment where kids can explore movement and be stimulated intellectually and socially. Register For Classes: Thursday’s (8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25, 9/1) from 4:30-5:30pm & 5:30-6:30pm at Look Park in Florence; Monday’s (8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29) or Tuesday’s (8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30) from 5:30-6:30pm at Wilbraham Middle School. They also offer birthday parties, school and after-school programming and more! Visit www.learninmotionma.com to sign up and to find out more! Contact chrisgibaldi@gmail.com

Weds in Aug

Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this August at River Valley Co-Op in Northampton on their deck from 11am-12noon from different local organizations and performers, including: Bugs, Birds & Beasts with musician and storyteller Tim Van Egmond on Aug 3; Cats & Dogs: Sing-Along Songs & Stories with puppeteer Anna Sobel from Talking Hands Theatre on Aug 10; Live animals on Aug 17 with Kelly More from North King Animal Clinic, Aug 24 with Lori Swanson from Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, and Aug 31 with Northampton Animal Control Officer, Shayla Howe. Stop by, grab your favorite lunch from the deli and come out to their deck for a delightful hour of music, art, literature, history or nature. 330 North King Street.

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Starting at 18 months at the Montessori School of Northampton: The Montessori School of Northampton is pleased to announce that it is now enrolling toddlers beginning at 18 months of age for fall 2016. The school offers full or half day programs with schedules available for as little as two or as many as five days per week. Small class size, a Montessori-trained toddler teacher, and a beautifully prepared child-centered environment make MSN the perfect place for your toddler to experience independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play. For more information, call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org

Aug 5-7

Peter Pan! How, you may ask, how is everyone going to fly? Have no fear! This is PaintBox Theatre, where imaginations thrive. In fact, in our version the entire audience gets to fly. PaintBox favorite Troy Mercier (Zorro, Tarzan, and Roscoe, the dog) IS Peter Pan and Connor Paradis (last season’s Jim Hawkins) has reluctantly agreed to play Tiger Lily. This is going to be a rollicking good time. Performances are Fri. August 5, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. August 6 and 7, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre, 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

Aug 6

Come celebrate summer with Starlight’s Youth Theater and children’s book author Aaron Becker on Saturday, August 6 at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Watch a live performance of Seussical, Jr., The Musical performed by Starlight’s Youth Theater at 11am and 1pm! After the performance, hear Aaron Becker’s storytime reading at 2pm of his latest book, Return, which is the final book in his Journey series! The storytime will be followed by a book signing. Plus, see The Carle’s new Robert McCloskey exhibition! For more information, please visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-559-6300. Seussical is $7 (Members $6.50), and Aaron Becker: Special Storytime is free with Museum admission.

Aug 9

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, August 9th at 3pm: Grass Hair Funny Face Jars. For a project that never ends, campers will decorate their jars (filled with grass seeds) with mustaches, bows, and googly eyes to make a funny face that just gets funnier and funnier once its hair starts to grow! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 5 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Aug 12-14

The Middlefield Fair. The 161st Middlefield Fair will run August 12-14 this year. Friday: Gates open 4pm-Diesel Truck Pull, Bingo. Saturday: Gates open 8am-4×4 Truck Pull, Youth Sheep Show, Horse Pulls, Old Time Fiddle Contest. Sunday: Gates open 8am-Pancake Breakfast, Spooner Well Band, Cattle Show, Garden Tractor Pull, Oxen Pulls. Home-style meals Sat & Sun by the Hinsdale Lions Club. Free entertainment and children’s activities throughout the fair: Exhibit Hall, Farm Museum, Petting Zoo, Balloon Animals, Magician, Smokey the Bear. FREE Children’s Bike Giveaway each evening. 7 Bell Road, Middlefield, MA 01243. Parking: $2, Admission: Adults $6, Seniors $5, Children under 12 FREE. www.MiddlefieldFair.org

Smith College faculty member Alexandra Burgess, Ph.D., is recruiting families with children ages 8-12 years to participate in a paid psychology study about children’s emotions, thinking styles, and problem solving abilities. Study activities are fun and interactive, including tasks like solving a variety of puzzles, playing memory games, and writing about a favorite game. All caregiver-child pairs are encouraged to participate, and will earn $40 for their time. The study takes place on the Smith campus, with free parking. Participation is a great way to teach kids about the process of science! Please contact Dr. Burgess at childperfectionism@gmail.com or in her office 413-585-3386 to find out more and schedule a time to come to the lab!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall 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 Eventsand 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.

Join our team…


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 6-12, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: August 1-5, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

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

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

Guided Nature Walks to Literacy. Sports to History. Sustainability to Music Studies. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


ZoologyChiropterologyGuided Nature WalkArt StudiesEarth ScienceOceanographyCircus ArtsUpcyclingMusic StudiesHistoryWitchcraftSportsLiteracyCreative Free PlaySustainabilityDance Studies


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Suggested Events for July 30th – Aug 5th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is a fantastic resource for all local events and happenings for children of all ages. It is my go to source for entertainment and educational happenings along with ways to be involved in the community.” – Chris Curtis (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.

Bulletin Board

Jul 30

Join Enchanted Circle Theater and The Trustees at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington for a unique living history experience! A Fiery and Still Voice: William Cullen Bryant at Home is a site-based history play where past and present converge to bring the Homestead to life! This is a play about love, passion and social justice. Performances are at 11am, 12pm and 1pm on Saturday, July 30th rain or shine. Please wear comfortable walking shoes as the audience travels through several rooms in the house as well as outdoors. Nineteen shows are scheduled throughout the summer and early fall. Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve in advance at www.thetrustees.org.

Jul 30

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold a Fire Truck Show on Saturday, July 30th. This is your opportunity to get up close and personal with all aspects of the firefighting industry including over twenty fire trucks to view. During your visit you will also learn more about the Fire Truck Museum collection along with local Fire Departments equipment & vehicles. Don’t miss your opportunity to sit in a real fire trucks, try on fireman’s turnout gear, watch fire hose demonstrations, maneuver through a kid’s maze using a fire hose and take home a souvenir fire hat. For the convenience of all, food and refreshments will be available for purchase. CTM is located in East Windsor, CT. For more info visit ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Mon, Tues, & Thurs in Aug

Learn in Motion believes that physical activity plays the most important role in a child’s academic success, offering a variety of fun and educational sports classes for children ages 3-5! They provide an innovative, comfortable and engaging environment where kids can explore movement and be stimulated intellectually and socially. Register For Classes: Thursday’s (8/4, 8/11, 8/18, 8/25, 9/1) from 4:30-5:30pm & 5:30-6:30pm at Look Park in Florence; Monday’s (8/1, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22, 8/29) or Tuesday’s (8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23, 8/30) from 5:30-6:30pm at Wilbraham Middle School. They also offer birthday parties, school and after-school programming and more! Visit www.learninmotionma.com to sign up and to find out more! Contact chrisgibaldi@gmail.com

Weds in Aug

Enjoy an hour of free kid-friendly fun with your lunch this August at River Valley Co-Op in Northampton on their deck from 11am-12noon from different local organizations and performers, including: Bugs, Birds & Beasts with musician and storyteller Tim Van Egmond on Aug 3; Cats & Dogs: Sing-Along Songs & Stories with puppeteer Anna Sobel from Talking Hands Theatre on Aug 10; Live animals on Aug 17 with Kelly More from North King Animal Clinic, Aug 24 with Lori Swanson from Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, and Aug 31 with Northampton Animal Control Officer, Shayla Howe. Stop by, grab your favorite lunch from the deli and come out to their deck for a delightful hour of music, art, literature, history or nature. 330 North King Street.

Starting at 18 months at the Montessori School of Northampton: The Montessori School of Northampton is pleased to announce that it is now enrolling toddlers beginning at 18 months of age for fall 2016. The school offers full or half day programs with schedules available for as little as two or as many as five days per week. Small class size, a Montessori-trained toddler teacher, and a beautifully prepared child-centered environment make MSN the perfect place for your toddler to experience independence while engaging in enriching activities including self-care, singing, creative movement, cooking, and outdoor play. For more information, call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. The K-8 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, and nature-based. High School offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, and college counseling for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. And for parents new to homeschooling, Oak Meadow offers a new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more: www.oakmeadow.com.

Jul 30

Celebrate the eighth Harry Potter book with a Hogwarts Reunion and Midnight Book Release Party at Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA! On Saturday, July 30th, at 10pm, The Odyssey Bookshop, seller of fine wizarding books and wares, is delighted to welcome all wizard- and muggle-folk for a special reunion and Midnight celebration of the latest book about the life of one of Hogwarts’s most famous alumnus, Harry Potter class of ’98! Enjoy participating in a costume contest, browse wands at Ollivander’s, pose at the photobooth, sample some of Harry’s birthday cake (he’s turning 36), and much more! RSVPs are required! Visit http://bit.ly/1sJ8fDb to register, preorder the book, and view an activity list!

Aug 2

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, August 2nd at 3pm: Decorate Your Own Name Bunting! Campers will make and decorate their own name banners. With a flag for each letter of their name, campers will get to go home with the perfect banner for bedroom doors or above the bed! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 3 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Aug 5-7

Peter Pan! How, you may ask, how is everyone going to fly? Have no fear! This is PaintBox Theatre, where imaginations thrive. In fact, in our version the entire audience gets to fly. PaintBox favorite Troy Mercier (Zorro, Tarzan, and Roscoe, the dog) IS Peter Pan and Connor Paradis (last season’s Jim Hawkins) has reluctantly agreed to play Tiger Lily. This is going to be a rollicking good time. Performances are Fri. August 5, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. August 6 and 7, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre, 18 Payson Avenue, Easthampton. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 30-August 5, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

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The Ripple: Lessons of Drought

The Lessons of Drought

In the one hundred and twenty years that flow records have been kept for the Westfield River, never has it been as low as it is today. Drought is a phenomena we are going to experience more now and in the future because our climate is warming. How we learn about and deal with this planetary change will mean everything: the success or failure of our own species’ evolution-by-natural-selection depends on learning lessons that are taught only by our biome, which is to say by the great life our own is nested in.

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Learning Ahead: July 25-29, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

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

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

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

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

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


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


Join our stellar team supporters!
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Suggested Events for July 23rd-29th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As someone new to the area, Hilltown Families has been a great source of information…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 Draucker (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.

Bulletin Board

Exploring educational options for your family? Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. The K-8 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, playful, and nature-based. High School offers challenging courses, exciting options for earning credit, and college counseling for teens who wish to pursue their passions and interests while earning their diploma. And for parents new to homeschooling, Oak Meadow offers a new online teacher training program, Foundations in Independent Learning. Ready to make a change this fall? Visit Oak Meadow’s website to learn more: www.oakmeadow.com.

Fridays Jul 15 – Aug 16

Shabbat Shabloom! Fridays at 10 am on Abundance Farm in Northampton. End the week with a joyful morning of music and movement with Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer – especially for ages 0-5. Tour the farm, sample what’s in season, and take flowers home for Shabbat. Every Friday morning at 10 am until the end of August. First visit free, suggested donation of $5/family thereafter. All are welcome. Abundance Farm is located at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street in Northampton, across the street from the YMCA. For more information, contact Amy@abundancefarm.org or join the Shabbat Shabloom! facebook group.

Jul 23 & 30

Join Enchanted Circle Theater and The Trustees at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington for a unique living history experience! A Fiery and Still Voice: William Cullen Bryant at Home is a site-based history play where past and present converge to bring the Homestead to life! This is a play about love, passion and social justice. Performances are at 11am, 12pm and 1pm on Saturday, July 23rd and Saturday July 30th rain or shine. Please wear comfortable walking shoes as the audience travels through several rooms in the house as well as outdoors. Nineteen shows are scheduled throughout the summer and early fall. Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve in advance at www.thetrustees.org.

July 26

Meet The Cat in the Hat and Things 1 and 2 at the Springfield Museums’ “Celebrate Seuss Day” on Tuesday July 26 (10am-2pm)! The many FREE activities scheduled that day include balloon sculpting, face painting, plus performances by the Boston Circus Guild. The Cat is coming to make a major announcement at 10am that Seuss fans won’t want to miss! It’s all part of the Summer Spectacular Family Series, with great family entertainment, live animal demos, and fun art and science activities every weekday through August 12th. For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jul 30

The Fab Faux returns to The Mahaiwe Performing Art Center in Great Barrington on Saturday, July 30 at 8pm! With a commitment to the accurate reproduction of Beatles`classics, The Fab Faux are known for their painstaking recreations of the songs – with emphasis on the later works never performed live by the Beatles. Imagine hearing complex material like “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “I Am the Walrus” performed in complete part-perfect renditions; or such harmony-driven songs as “Nowhere Man”, and “Paperback Writer”, reproduced only note-for-note! For tickets, call the box office at 413-528-0100 or go online at www.mahaiwe.org/TheFabFaux.

Jul 30

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold a Fire Truck Show on Saturday, July 30th. This is your opportunity to get up close and personal with all aspects of the firefighting industry including over twenty fire trucks to view. During your visit you will also learn more about the Fire Truck Museum collection along with local Fire Departments equipment & vehicles. Don’t miss your opportunity to sit in a real fire trucks, try on fireman’s turnout gear, watch fire hose demonstrations, maneuver through a kid’s maze using a fire hose and take home a souvenir fire hat. For the convenience of all, food and refreshments will be available for purchase. CTM is located in East Windsor, CT. For more info visit ct-trolley.org or call 860-627-6540.

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Jul 9 – Aug 13

Summer Entertainment Series at the South Hadley Village Commons: Saturdays at 10:30am, July 9th-August 13th. For a lively Saturday morning full of music, magic, and lots of fun, visit the Village Commons in South Hadley! Performances run throughout the summer, beginning July 9th, and include Tom Ricardi and his birds of prey, Trevor the Games Man, music from Roger Tincknell and Dorothy Cresswell, and magic by Ed the Wizard and Ed Popielarczyk! These hour-long events are free and held outdoors in the courtyard in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. In case of rain, entertainment will be held inside the bookstore. For a detailed schedule, call the Odyssey at 413-534-7307, or visit their website, odysseybks.com!

Jul 22-24 & 29-30

It’s the greatest sports story of all time! Welcome to The International Raceway. Our contestants: The Tortoise—PaintBox Theatre newcomer Michael King vs. The Hare—PaintBox favorite and Valley icon Kelsey Flynn. Yes, Kelsey’s coming out of retirement! She is dusting off her rabbit ears and hopping into the race. We promise lots of cheering and excitement as we present this folktale dash for glory. Performances are Fri. July 22, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. July 23 and 24, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, and Fri. July 29, 7pm, Sat. July 30, 10:30am & 1pm at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

Jul 26

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, July 26th at 3pm: Improv Workshop with Lisa Papademetriou, Molly B. Burnham, and Heidi Hass. For lots of laughs and plenty of fun, join local authors Lisa Papademetriou and Molly B. Burnham and improv extraordinaire Heidi Hass for a workshop that will make you a master of improv! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 6 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Jul 30

Celebrate the eighth Harry Potter book with a Hogwarts Reunion and Midnight Book Release Party at Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA! On Saturday, July 30th, at 10pm, The Odyssey Bookshop, seller of fine wizarding books and wares, is delighted to welcome all wizard- and muggle-folk for a special reunion and Midnight celebration of the latest book about the life of one of Hogwarts’s most famous alumnus, Harry Potter class of ’98! Enjoy participating in a costume contest, browse wands at Ollivander’s, pose at the photobooth, sample some of Harry’s birthday cake (he’s turning 36), and much more! RSVPs are required! Visit http://bit.ly/1sJ8fDb to register, preorder the book, and view an activity list!

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
July 23-29, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: July 18-22, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Save

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

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

Ornithology to Upcycling. Storytelling to Circus Arts. Dance Studies to Service-Based Learning. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


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 July 16th-27th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I check in with Hilltown Families a few times a week, whether it’s the list of Suggested Events or Newsletter. It’s such a fascinating look at what the Valley has to offer in terms of fun, learning and adventure for my family and I! I would miss out on a lot of events and happenings in the small towns throughout the region without HF. Our community should support this megaphone for the small, and magnifying glass of the interesting in our towns.” – Alice Rich Lewis (Florence, MA)

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

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

Bulletin Board

Jul 14 Jul 21 Jul 28 Aug 4

The Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) presents 4 Free Concerts in beautiful Kendrick Park for four consecutive Thursdays. July 14 starts the series with World Music by The Pangeans & The Alchemystics, July 21 is Lord Russ & Grammy-winning Children’s Performer Mister G, July 28 is Sprit Ghost & Carinae and August 4 is Salvation Alley String Band & Llama Lasagne. Concerts run from 5:30-8pm. Order take-out from our diverse and delicious downtown cafes and restaurants and enjoy the show in the park. Bertucci’s offers Free Delivery to the Park. For more info: www.amherstdowntown.com

Fridays Jul 15 – Aug 16

Shabbat Shabloom! Fridays at 10 am on Abundance Farm in Northampton. End the week with a joyful morning of music and movement with Felicia Sloin and Amy Meltzer – especially for ages 0-5. Tour the farm, sample what’s in season, and take flowers home for Shabbat. Every Friday morning at 10 am until the end of August. First visit free, suggested donation of $5/family thereafter. All are welcome. Abundance Farm is located at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect Street in Northampton, across the street from the YMCA. For more information, contact Amy@abundancefarm.org or join the Shabbat Shabloom! facebook group.

Jul 22 & 23

Paul Taylor Dance Company performs at The Mahaiwe Performing Art Center in Great Barrington on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23rd – featuring 3 New England Premieres and a $20 per FAMILY Saturday matinee! One of the seminal artists of our time, Paul Taylor continues to shape the homegrown American art of modern dance that he has helped define since becoming a professional dancer and pioneering choreographer in 1954. For tickets, call the box office at 413-528-0100 or go online at www.mahaiwe.org/Dance.

Sep 25

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts’ annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event is returning for its sixth year on Sunday, Sept. 25 in Hatfield. You can pedal towards a hunger free community by riding in this fun event as an individual or forming a team with your friends, family and coworkers. With 4 routes to choose from (10, 25, 50 or 100 miles), riders of all ages can get involved. There’ll be music, food, beverages, games and more. Last year’s event raised $100,000 to help feed our neighbors in need. You can make this year’s event even more successful. Early bird registration ends Aug. 31. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at willbike4food.org.

Jul 9 – Aug 13

Summer Entertainment Series at the South Hadley Village Commons: Saturdays at 10:30am, July 9th-August 13th. For a lively Saturday morning full of music, magic, and lots of fun, visit the Village Commons in South Hadley! Performances run throughout the summer, beginning July 9th, and include Tom Ricardi and his birds of prey, Trevor the Games Man, music from Roger Tincknell and Dorothy Cresswell, and magic by Ed the Wizard and Ed Popielarczyk! These hour-long events are free and held outdoors in the courtyard in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. In case of rain, entertainment will be held inside the bookstore. For a detailed schedule, call the Odyssey at 413-534-7307, or visit their website, odysseybks.com!

Jul 16

On Saturday, July 16, the Emily Dickinson Museum will present its annual 19th Century Children’s Circus from 1 to 4 pm on the Museum lawn. Especially perfect for children ages 3 to 10 (accompanied by adults), the cost is $5 per family, with free admission for Museum members. The Circus will feature performances and storytelling by TheatreTruck, a visit from The Goat Girls, a juggling workshop, a reading with author Burleigh Muten and her students, face-painting, 19th-century playthings such as stilts and balance beams, “mini” tours of Emily Dickinson’s bedroom ($1/ticket), gingerbread treats from “Miss Emily” herself and lowered from her bedroom window, crafts, and more. For all the details, visit www.EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org/circus2016.

Jul 16 – 17

July 16-17, 2016. Spirit Houses and Woodland Wonders – Fun for the entire family at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield! Build a spirit or fairy house along the Village’s winding Farm and Forest Trail. Create a spirit drawing inspired by Hancock’s premier collection of Shaker gift drawings. Explore the house-like sculptures of artist Robert Hite. Join their “Parade of the Spirits,” with HSV farm animals and dancers from Cantarella School of Dance. Enjoy special activities in the Discovery Barn. Included in regular admission (children 12 and under on family visits are always free). Hancock Shaker Village is located at 1843 West Housatonic Street. For a complete schedule, visit www.hancockshakervillage.org or call 413-443-0188.

Jul 19

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, July 19th at 3pm: Color Tamer Masks with author/illustrator Julia Denos. Amazing Boston-area author and illustrator Julia Denos will teach campers how to make their very own color tamer masks, based on her book Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of the book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 4 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Jul 20-23 Aug 3-6

New Century Theatre Kids presents A Year with Frog and Toad book and lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale. Join NCTKids this summer for a tuneful re-telling of Arthur Lobel’s beloved classic children’s books Frog and Toad. Follow best friends–worrywart Toad and confident Frog–as they sing and dance their way through a year in the swamp with all their hopping, crawling, flying friends. All the gentle joy and fun of Lobel’s books come to life in this charming musical for kids of all ages! Directed by Cate Damon with Musical Direction by Mitch Chakour. July 20-23 & August 3-6 at 10:30am in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Northampton. Call the box office for tickets: 413-585-3220. www.newcenturytheatre.org

Jul 22-24 & 29-30

It’s the greatest sports story of all time! Welcome to The International Raceway. Our contestants: The Tortoise—PaintBox Theatre newcomer Michael King vs. The Hare—PaintBox favorite and Valley icon Kelsey Flynn. Yes, Kelsey’s coming out of retirement! She is dusting off her rabbit ears and hopping into the race. We promise lots of cheering and excitement as we present this folktale dash for glory. Performances are Fri. July 22, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. July 23 and 24, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, and Fri. July 29, 7pm, Sat. July 30, 10:30am & 1pm at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

Jul 30

Celebrate the eighth Harry Potter book with a Hogwarts Reunion and Midnight Book Release Party at Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA! On Saturday, July 30th, at 10pm, The Odyssey Bookshop, seller of fine wizarding books and wares, is delighted to welcome all wizard- and muggle-folk for a special reunion and Midnight celebration of the latest book about the life of one of Hogwarts’s most famous alumnus, Harry Potter class of ’98! Enjoy participating in a costume contest, browse wands at Ollivander’s, pose at the photobooth, sample some of Harry’s birthday cake (he’s turning 36), and much more! RSVPs are required! Visit http://bit.ly/1sJ8fDb to register, preorder the book, and view an activity list!

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
July 16-22, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: July 11-15, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Save

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

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

Figure drawing to Robotics. Snails to Architecture. World Music to Literacy. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


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Suggested Events for July 9th-15th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“We try to go to at least one of the Hilltown Families recommended events each weekend to keep our son experiencing new, educational, and community oriented experiences. Hilltown Families supports my interests in education through community engagement by providing a network of families with similar interests in the same area…a sense of belonging to a group that supports my goals and interests.” – Yi-Lo Yu (Southampton, MA)

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

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

Bulletin Board

Jul 4 – Aug 7

The 25th Annual Ko Festival of Performance, July 4-August 7. KoFest is celebrating 25 Years of Summer Theater in Amherst with five weeks of original & compelling theatre for teens and adults, including a Gala Cabaret and a KoFest Story Slam & Party. Plus a one-time family event, The Little Farm Show, a musical extravaganza about farming, food, and the environment, on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn. Also 3 intensive workshop weeks for adults: “Dynamic Space/Poetic Object: Scenic Design, “First Person: Crafting Your Story for Performance” and “Solo Performance.” All on the Amherst College campus. Tickets $8-$20, online and at the Box Office: 413-542-3750. For info, visit kofest.com The Ko Festival, where the only certainty is surprise!

Jul 5 – Aug 12

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 5th through August 12th. Enjoy puppet shows every Friday by the Tanglewood Marionettes, performances by The Yo-Yo People and Mr. Vinny the Bubbly Guy, plus planetarium shows and special exhibits like The Scoop on Poop. Fight Summer Slide at the Springfield Museums! For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jul 14 Jul 21 Jul 28 Aug 4

The Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) presents 4 Free Concerts in beautiful Kendrick Park for four consecutive Thursdays. July 14 starts the series with World Music by The Pangeans & The Alchemystics, July 21 is Lord Russ & Grammy-winning Children’s Performer Mister G, July 28 is Sprit Ghost & Carinae and August 4 is Salvation Alley String Band & Llama Lasagne. Concerts run from 5:30-8pm. Order take-out from our diverse and delicious downtown cafes and restaurants and enjoy the show in the park. Bertucci’s offers Free Delivery to the Park. For more info: www.amherstdowntown.com

Jul 8-10 & 15-16

PaintBox Theatre kicks off the summer with Linda Tardif as Raggedy Ann, the living doll. Eight stories folded into one big production? Why not? But if Linda is Ann, who will play the dozens of additional characters? No problem: Myka Plunkett and Connor Paradis can do it all! With costume changes galore, we are certainly in for a wild time. They may even draft members of the audience to help. Performances are Fri. July 8, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. July 9 and 10, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, and Fri. July 15, 7:00 pm, Sat. July 16, 10:30am & 1pm at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Season Tickets: $24. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

Jul 9 – Aug 13

Summer Entertainment Series at the South Hadley Village Commons: Saturdays at 10:30am, July 9th-August 13th. For a lively Saturday morning full of music, magic, and lots of fun, visit the Village Commons in South Hadley! Performances run throughout the summer, beginning July 9th, and include Tom Ricardi and his birds of prey, Trevor the Games Man, music from Roger Tincknell and Dorothy Cresswell, and magic by Ed the Wizard and Ed Popielarczyk! These hour-long events are free and held outdoors in the courtyard in front of the Odyssey Bookshop. In case of rain, entertainment will be held inside the bookstore. For a detailed schedule, call the Odyssey at 413-534-7307, or visit their website, odysseybks.com!

Jul 12

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday July 12th at 3pm: Animal Collages with author/illustrator Micha Archer. Campers will create collages of an animal they love in its habitat with Micha Archer, awesome local author and illustrator of Daniel Finds a Poem. A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of the book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 4 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Jul 16

On Saturday, July 16, the Emily Dickinson Museum will present its annual 19th Century Children’s Circus from 1 to 4 pm on the Museum lawn. Especially perfect for children ages 3 to 10 (accompanied by adults), the cost is $5 per family, with free admission for Museum members. The Circus will feature performances and storytelling by TheatreTruck, a visit from The Goat Girls, a juggling workshop, a reading with author Burleigh Muten and her students, face-painting, 19th-century playthings such as stilts and balance beams, “mini” tours of Emily Dickinson’s bedroom ($1/ticket), gingerbread treats from “Miss Emily” herself and lowered from her bedroom window, crafts, and more. For all the details, visit www.EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org/circus2016.

Jul 16 – 17

July 16-17, 2016. Spirit Houses and Woodland Wonders – Fun for the entire family at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield! Build a spirit or fairy house along the Village’s winding Farm and Forest Trail. Create a spirit drawing inspired by Hancock’s premier collection of Shaker gift drawings. Explore the house-like sculptures of artist Robert Hite. Join their “Parade of the Spirits,” with HSV farm animals and dancers from Cantarella School of Dance. Enjoy special activities in the Discovery Barn. Included in regular admission (children 12 and under on family visits are always free). Hancock Shaker Village is located at 1843 West Housatonic Street. For a complete schedule, visit www.hancockshakervillage.org or call 413-443-0188.

Jul 20-23 Aug 3-6

New Century Theatre Kids presents A Year with Frog and Toad book and lyrics by Willie Reale, music by Robert Reale. Join NCTKids this summer for a tuneful re-telling of Arthur Lobel’s beloved classic children’s books Frog and Toad. Follow best friends–worrywart Toad and confident Frog–as they sing and dance their way through a year in the swamp with all their hopping, crawling, flying friends. All the gentle joy and fun of Lobel’s books come to life in this charming musical for kids of all ages! Directed by Cate Damon with Musical Direction by Mitch Chakour. July 20-23 & August 3-6 at 10:30am in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Northampton. Call the box office for tickets: 413-585-3220. www.newcenturytheatre.org

Jul 30

Celebrate the eighth Harry Potter book with a Hogwarts Reunion and Midnight Book Release Party at Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA! On Saturday, July 30th, at 10pm, The Odyssey Bookshop, seller of fine wizarding books and wares, is delighted to welcome all wizard- and muggle-folk for a special reunion and Midnight celebration of the latest book about the life of one of Hogwarts’s most famous alumnus, Harry Potter class of ’98! Enjoy participating in a costume contest, browse wands at Ollivander’s, pose at the photobooth, sample some of Harry’s birthday cake (he’s turning 36), and much more! RSVPs are required! Visit http://bit.ly/1sJ8fDb to register, preorder the book, and view an activity list!

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
July 9-15, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: The Language of Rivers

When Rivers Talk, They Speak River, Not English

Last summer a great non-profit that spends all its time and resources trying to keep our rivers and streams healthy, the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance (MRA), put out a short and illuminating educational video called “If Rivers Could Talk.” It features scientists, activists and recreationalists from around the state sharing their tales of how they love their rivers, and what they are doing to care for them.

The field environmental philosophy school I run, Biocitizen, was asked by MRA to participate in this educational project, in part because of the “citizen science” Rapid Biotic Assessments we do with Hilltown Families every year in the late Summer, and in part because we are always using the Westfield River as an outdoor classroom. It was an honor and joy to express our love for the Westfield, which is one of cleanest and wildest rivers in southern New England.  Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: July 4-8, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Save

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

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

Contemporary Art to Cemetery Studies. Nature Science to Theater. Food History to Rube Goldberg Machines. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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


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


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 July 2nd-8th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Community engagement and socialization are so important for youth to gain experiences that will enrich their souls. Hilltown Families is an essential tool for our family, as we are able to get the highlights and happenings in the valley. Without it, we’d have a whole lot more research to do that would take time out of our schedule giving us less opportunity to enjoy some of the fantastic activities we’ve learned about with Hilltown Families.” – Tara Palmer Finn (Springfield, MA)

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

70 summer camps & programs in and around western MA to choose from this year!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens!

Bulletin Board

Jul 4 – Aug 7

The 25th Annual Ko Festival of Performance, July 4-August 7. KoFest is celebrating 25 Years of Summer Theater in Amherst with five weeks of original & compelling theatre for teens and adults, including a Gala Cabaret and a KoFest Story Slam & Party. Plus a one-time family event, The Little Farm Show, a musical extravaganza about farming, food, and the environment, on the Amherst College Observatory Lawn. Also 3 intensive workshop weeks for adults: “Dynamic Space/Poetic Object: Scenic Design, “First Person: Crafting Your Story for Performance” and “Solo Performance.” All on the Amherst College campus. Tickets $8-$20, online and at the Box Office: 413-542-3750. For info, visit kofest.com The Ko Festival, where the only certainty is surprise!

Jul 5 – Aug 12

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 5th through August 12th. Enjoy puppet shows every Friday by the Tanglewood Marionettes, performances by The Yo-Yo People and Mr. Vinny the Bubbly Guy, plus planetarium shows and special exhibits like The Scoop on Poop. Fight Summer Slide at the Springfield Museums! For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

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 2016. Call for a tour 413-256-8989 and visit their website www.commonschool.org.

Jul 5

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, July 5th at 3pm: Cupcake Decorating. Get creative and enjoy a tasty treat! The Odyssey returns with their most popular event of the summer! Frost and decorate your cupcake in your favorite color or in a rainbow explosion! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of related book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 5 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Jul 8-10 & 15-16

PaintBox Theatre kicks off the summer with Linda Tardif as Raggedy Ann, the living doll. Eight stories folded into one big production? Why not? But if Linda is Ann, who will play the dozens of additional characters? No problem: Myka Plunkett and Connor Paradis can do it all! With costume changes galore, we are certainly in for a wild time. They may even draft members of the audience to help. Performances are Fri. July 8, 7pm, Sat.-Sun. July 9 and 10, 10:30am & 1pm at the Williston Theatre in Easthampton, and Fri. July 15, 7:00 pm, Sat. July 16, 10:30am & 1pm at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls. Tickets: $10 at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Season Tickets: $24. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. PaintBoxTheatre.com.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 2-8, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: June 27-July 1, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Save

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

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

Pollinators to Performance Art. River Studies to Boat Racing. Yoga to Coding. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

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

EntomologyHistoryPerformance ArtPlacemakingLabyrinthFitnessQuidditchLiteracyWomen’s StudiesPlant and Soil ScienceCreative Free PlaySTEMAstronomy


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 June 25th- July 1st, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is THE best resource for activities for children and families in Western Mass, in my opinion! I have found that you have certain happenings on your page that I had not seen advertised anywhere else! That makes you my ‘go to’ resource! And I really like the areas you cover as well…I can find an activity in Greenfield, Deerfield, Westfield or Springfield…or anywhere on between! You also give very complete information on the events you are suggesting to your audience. What’s not to like? Hilltown Families is THE best!” – Christine Bray (Ludlow, 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 70 summer camps & programs, in and around western MA, to choose from with new camps added every week!

Check out our featured post, 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, arts & crafts, wilderness adventures, dance, performance art, farming, rock climbing, STEM, pre-college, sports, theater… to good old traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

Bulletin Board

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 2016. Call for a tour 413-256-8989 and visit their website www.commonschool.org.

Jun 28

Camp Odyssey on Tuesday, June 28th at 3pm: Make Your Own Night Light. For campers young and old. Decorate a jar to make a beautiful night light or candle holder! A nonrefundable $5 supply fee per child or the purchase of the book (for up to 2 children) is required, as well as pre-registration at least 2 days prior to event. Events last for approximately (but not always) one hour. Minimum age is 5 years old. Younger children accepted if parents stay to assist. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA. Call 413-534-7307 or email kids@odysseybks.com to sign up!

Smith College faculty member Alexandra Burgess, Ph.D., is recruiting families with children ages 8-12 to participate in a paid psychology study about children’s emotions, thinking styles, and problem solving abilities. Study activities are fun and interactive, including tasks such as solving a variety of puzzles, playing memory games, and writing about a favorite game. All caregiver-child pairs are encouraged to participate, and will earn $40 for their time. The study takes place on the Smith College campus, with free parking provided. Participation is also a great way to teach kids about the process of science! Please contact Dr. Burgess at childperfectionism@gmail.com or in her office at 413-585-3386 to find out more and schedule a time to come into the lab!

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 25-July 1, 2016

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Learning Ahead: June 20-24, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long! Each weekday we feature community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners.

This summer, select the day of the week and find events that support your interests through community engagement!


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