Suggested Events for May 7th-13th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families fills a much needed space – connecting families and giving ideas for being out and about. Thank you!” – Amanda Saklad

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

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

Bulletin Board

May 6

Visit CyclePottery during Florence Night Out this Friday, May 6th, from 3-8pm — Rain or Shine! Free Pottery Demonstration. Free Bike Maintenance Clinic (6-7pm). Gallery & Pottery Sale, featuring Andrew Quient (5-6pm). Make a pot on the wheel with Kathryn (3-5pm). Learn about May classes for all ages, summer camp info, and sign-up for a promo deal! For more information on FNO schedule, class & camp info., visit www.CyclePottery.com and CyclePottery on Facebook. Contact Kathryn at kathryn@cyclepottery.com or call 413-219-9594.

May 10

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

May 16

Join the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Monday, May 16th, at 5:00 PM for a discussion of Springtime Adventures in fiction for middle grade readers (ages 8-12) with National Book Award-winning author Jeanne Birdsall and Bank Street Best Book Award-winning Susan Hill Long. They’ll have spring themed treats and activities, and the two authors will talk about their latest books, The Magic Mirror and The Penderwicks in Spring. Both books show their protagonists dealing with surprises, welcome and unwelcome, secrets, and all sorts of shenanigans, and both books are a riot of good fun, just in time for the spring season! This event is FREE and family-friendly!


Child care available for Two year olds and Under-Twos! Nonotuck Community School is accepting applications for children who will be 15 months – 2+ years by September. Open from 7:30am-5:30pm and located in Northampton, Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. Nonotuck emphasizes community, emotional intelligence and resilience, and provides ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development throughout the school day. A parent cooperative. Contact: Leslie@nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or visit www.nonotuck.org.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 7-13, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: May 2nd-6th, 2016


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

This week we are featuring 26 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 30th & May 1st, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with over 60 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 30th-May 6th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 51 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Poetry to Potluck. Homesteading to Oceanography, and our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 30-May 6, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

Placemaking ♦ Collaborative Consumption ♦ Community Meal ♦ Homesteading ♦ Gardening ♦ Nutrition ♦ Arts & Crafts ♦ Ornithology ♦ Animal Husbandry ♦ STEAM ♦ Nature Studies ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Oceanography ♦ Service-based Learning ♦ Civil Engineering ♦ Renaissance ♦ Music Studies ♦ Animation ♦ Performing Arts ♦ Storytelling ♦ Pottery ♦ Cultural Studies ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Message of the Spring Peepers
  2. The Birds are Back!
  3. Discovering History Through Pottery-Based Learning
  4. What’s Your Favorite Way to Discover and Explore History with Your Kids?
  5. Empowering Our Girls: Tips to Building Confidence

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events
Suggest Event

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

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

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

Bulletin Board

Open House: Apr 30

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

May 1

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

Apr 29

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

Apr 30

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

Apr 30 May 7

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

May 10

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 30-May 6, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: May 2016

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
May 2016

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of May. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Monterey, North Berkshire, Pittsfield, Washington, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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The Ripple: The River Knows the Way

Sustainability: the River Knows the Way

Biology tells us that water is life. Religion tells us that life is sacred. Biology does not want to admit that life is sacred (because that would not be “objective,” but it would not exist without water.  Think of any biologist and name one not totally dependent upon water for life. Einstein’s brain was 75% water, and so are ours. Think of how you are reading this now—to some actual extent, water is reading this too. As a hard science, biology is a means for water to get to know itself—for water is life and life/bios is what biology studies.

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Learning Ahead: April 25th-29th, 2016


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

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

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 23rd & 24th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with over 60 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 23rd-29th 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 42 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bikes to Botany. Farming to Financial Literacy., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 23rd-29th, 2016

Saturday • Sunday
Monday • Tuesday • Wednesday • Thursday • Friday

 Biking ♦ Earth Day ♦ Skillsharing ♦ Citizen Science ♦ Wildflowers ♦ Soil Science ♦ Community Gardens ♦ Volunteering ♦ Animal Studies ♦ Evolution ♦ Trades ♦ Archaeology ♦ Abolition ♦ Books ♦ Classic Stories ♦ Circus Arts ♦ Diversity ♦ Stepdancing ♦ Parenting

Family Volunteer Days

RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Support Language Art & Community Engagement Through Poetry
  2. Nature Table for April is Strong as a Rock
  3. Where to Get New/Used Bikes for the Family in Western MA
  4. Planting Seeds: Music that Celebrates Gardening
  5. Let’s Play: Overflowing Recycling Bins is an Opportunity for Creativity

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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

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

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

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

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

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


 Biking ♦ Earth DaySkillsharingCitizen ScienceWildflowersSoil ScienceCommunity GardensVolunteeringAnimal StudiesEvolutionTradesArchaeologyAbolitionBooksClassic StoriesCircus ArtsDiversityStepdancingParenting


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 23rd-29th 2016

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

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

Bulletin Board

Apr 22

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

Open House: Apr 30

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

May 1

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

Apr 29

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

Apr 30

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

Apr 30 May 7

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

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 23-29, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

The Bicycle: Social Impacts, Past & Present

The Surprising Social Impact of Bicycles
and Local Learning Opportunities

Did you know that before inventing the world’s first successful airplane, Orville and Wilbur Wright owned a bicycle shop? They repaired and rented out bicycles and eventually went on to build their own bicycles and invent small improvements to the machines. In addition to gaining practice in engineering skills, this business funded their aviation experiments.

Simpler and less expensive than cars, bicycles can be a fun tool for tinkering. The fact that the parts of a bicycle are exposed can help people understand the physics driving the machine. Plus, owning a bicycle can give you an immense sense of freedom. Bicycles obviously do not travel as fast as cars (depending on traffic flow!) and can’t take you as far, but at the same time they are affordable to more people and they are driven by human energy. Biking allows you to take a closer look at the world around you and get exercise in a fun way.
Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: April 18th-22nd, 2016


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

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

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 16th & 17th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with 60 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 16th-22nd, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 61 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Foraging to Forensics. Recycling to Raptors., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 16-22, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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


Family Volunteer Days

 RECAP

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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Suggested Events for April 16th-22nd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

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

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

Hilltown Families Event

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

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

Bulletin Board

Apr 22

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

Open House: Apr 30

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

Apr Vac Week

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

Apr Vac Week

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

Apr Vac Week

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

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 16-22, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: April 11th-15th, 2016


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

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

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 2nd & 3rd, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 9th-15th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 34 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Stone Art to Electrical Engineering. Indonesian Culture to Invertebrates., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 9th-15th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


EcologyEngineeringMathematicsLocal HistoryHydropowerLocal LandscapesAthleticsCreative WritingCollaborative ArtCircus ArtsPublic ArtPerforming ArtsPuppetryVolunteerismIntergenerationalParenting

Family Volunteer Days

 RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Recommended Fiction Titles with Autistic Characters
  2. RiverCulture: Another Success Story in the Western MA Arts Scene
  3. Over 25 Walking Tours Support Community-Based Education in Western MA
  4. Poem-Mobiles: Bizarre Cars & Humorous Rhymes
  5. Capture & Record Your Wildlife Encounters for Fun & for Science

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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

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

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

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

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

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


EcologyEngineeringMathematicsLocal HistoryHydropowerLocal LandscapesAthleticsCreative WritingCollaborative ArtCircus ArtsPublic ArtPerforming ArtsPuppetryVolunteerismIntergenerationalParenting


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 9th-15th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

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

Bulletin Board

Apr 9

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

Apr 9-24

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

Apr 18-22

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

Apr 17-22

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

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

Open House: Apr 9

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 9th-15th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: April 4th-8th, 2016


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

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

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 2nd & 3rd, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 2nd-8th, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 25 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Folklore to farming. Petroglyphs to public works., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

April 2nd-8th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

FarmingLocal FoodNutritionPuppetryCultural StudiesArchaeologyMultimedia ArtImprovisationLocal HabitatsVisual ArtsEarly LiteracyAstronomyBiologyLGBTQIntergenerational

Family Volunteer Days

 RECAP

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Vision Boards Can Support Youth with Goals
  2. Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Vernal Pools
  3. Let’s Play: Creative-Free Play in the Spring
  4. 6 Remedies to the Pre-Dinner Snack Dilemma
  5. A Flock of New Bird Books Take Flight

 

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

red eft

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

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


FarmingLocal FoodNutritionPuppetryCultural StudiesArchaeologyMultimedia ArtImprovisationLocal HabitatsVisual ArtsEarly LiteracyAstronomyBiologyLGBTQIntergenerational


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


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 2nd-8th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

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

Bulletin Board

Apr 18-22

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

Apr 18-22

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

Begins Apr 5

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


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

Apr 2

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

Open House: Apr 9

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

Apr 24 – May 22

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 2nd-8th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: April 2016

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
April 2016

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of April. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Monterey, North Berkshire, Pittsfield, Washington, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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


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

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

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for March 26th & 27th, 2016

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Check out our comprehensive list of summer camps with over 55 summer programs in and around western MA from which to choose! New camps added every week!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for March 26th-April 1st, 2016 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including Bulletin Board Announcements & Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column,  Learn Local. Play Local. for 30 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Service-Based Learning to Acts of Kindness. Bat Houses to Sign Language., our monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

March 26-April 1, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Family Volunteer Days

 RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

 

  1. Legends & Lore of Easter Icons
  2. Message of the Spring Peepers
  3. One Clover & A Bee: A Poem for Spring
  4. Video: Snake Eating an Egg
  5. Lifecycle Studies: Hatching Frog Eggs

 

RECAP MAP SPONSOR

Find out how you can be a sponsor too!

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

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

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

Summer Camps in Western MA

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

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

Bulletin Board

Mar 29

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

Apr 18-22

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

Apr 2

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

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

Apr 24 – May 22

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 26-April 1, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Learning Ahead: March 21st-25th, 2016


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

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

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


See your banner here! Sponsor Learning Ahead!

Read the rest of this entry »

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