The Good Life: May is the Perfect Time…

The Good Life: A Year of Thoughtful Seasons by Sarah Mattison Buhl

May is the Perfect Time…

34936077296_53780f7eb8_nAccording to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the month of May is significant. The Celts traditionally celebrated Beltane on the first of May, later known as May Day: a day half-way between spring and summer which welcomed the return of earthly fertility in the form of flowers. Modern pagans still believe that it is a day when the veil separating them from the spiritual world thins, making May 1st powerful for enchantments, similar to Samhain or Halloween. Northern Europeans still celebrate Walpurgisnacht (also known as Vappu or Walpurgis depending on what country you are from) with dancing, bonfires, and sprigs of tender flowers to ward off “evil” and welcome the sun’s return. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating May Day: Events & Activities

Celebrating May Day in Western MA

May Day has a rich history. Today, a fully celebrated May Day likely includes May baskets filled with flowers, beautifully dressed Morris dancers, and the wrapping of a May pole.

Following Easter, spring’s next basket-centric, color-filled holiday is May Day! Much evolved from its earlier historical and cultural roots, a modern May Day includes baskets full of bright flowers, outdoor folk dancing, and other celebrations of spring. While there is no one event or celebration to which we can trace modern May Day’s roots, there are a handful of possibilities. In Roman times, May Day celebrations praised Chloris, the goddess of the earth and these earliest celebrations inspired similar May Day traditions in cultures for centuries to come. The ancient Celtic festival of Beltane was held on May 1, and celebrated the coming of summer with bonfires and dancing. Germany’s Walpurgisnacht similarly celebrates springtime in a Pagan way, with bonfires and wrapping a may pole.

Today, a fully celebrated May Day likely includes May baskets filled with flowers, beautifully dressed Morris dancers, and the wrapping of a May pole. This year, families have multiple opportunities to experience a true May Day celebration in Western Massachusetts. On Thursday, May 1st at 11am, the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School invites community members to join with students in celebrating with a May pole, Morris dancers, and a picnic! BYO lunch to enjoy on the lawn after dancing and pole-decorating have ended. Also on May 1st is the second ever Florence Night Out, the spring installment of which features a May pole, the Marlboro Morris Men, and the Guided Star Clog Morris Troupe on the Trinity Row Triangle Green at 5pm.

Families with small children can join the Cushman Scott Children’s Center for a May Day celebration from 9-11am on Saturday, May 3rd. Families can enjoy a pancake breakfast, crafts, Morris Dancers, and more – all at the early education center, located at 71 Henry Street. Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for May 4th-10th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Join us this Saturday, May 4th at the Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event! Our goal is to contribute up to 600 hours of volunteer service in a single event!  We’ll be making  bird houses for the Franklin Land Trust, cat toys for the Dakin Humane Society, fleece chews for Kane’s Krusade, making seed bombs with Help Yourself, planting seedlings with Grow Food Northampton, making Giving Bags with Knack, writing letters with the Key Club, collection donations of cat/dog food & blankets for wildlife rehabilitation… It’s gonna awesome! Happens both indoors and outdoors from 10am-1pm at Leeds Elementary School in Northampton where you’ll find something for ALL AGES. Find out more about this free event here and sign up to join us: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th!

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

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

WEEKEND BEST BET:
Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event

Volunteer with your family to help local non-profits at seven different hands-on volunteer stations— a one of a kind event for families to volunteer together while educating children about animal welfare, conservation efforts and the value of community service.

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School. We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Come any time after 10am, get your Passport, and travel about to one or all stations! Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)

SUMMER CAMP

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

BULLETIN BOARD

May 4

Yes ComputersYes Computers is co-sponsoring their 2nd annual Free Electronic Waste Recycling Event on Saturday, May 4th, 9am-12noon, adjacent to Yes Computers in the Public Parking Lot in Northampton. In partnership with River Radio, Alternative Waste Recycling & Gold Circuit E-cycling, they will take for FREE, Computers, Monitors (CRT’s), all small electronics & electrical appliances even old TV’s (limit one). Bring old cell phones to donate to Safe Passage & working old iPods to donate to Music & Alzheimer’s Project (sponsored by the Northampton Community Music Center). Please limit largest recyclables to 3 items, smaller stuff no limit; Household items only. Participants get a free Yes Computers $10 gift voucher good on anything in the store for participating.

May 5

Bread Euphoria is having a birthday & the community is invited to celebrate 15 years of baked goodness at Wheatstock II, featuring live music & delicious food. The party takes place on Sunday, May 5th from 12noon-6pm at the Williamsburg Grange, on Route 9. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 5-12yo (under 5yo are free), & includes an impressive entertainment lineup of local favorites the Sweetback Sisters, Primate Fiasco and Swing Caravan — & birthday cake (including vegan & gluten-free choices). Meat & vegetarian shish kabobs, salads, sides & beverages will be available for purchase, as well. Come for the food and stay for the fun-or come for the fun & stay for the food-either way, come! For more info call Bread Euphoria: 413-268-7757

May 11

Mother’s Day Giveaway! Enter to win more than $700 worth of wellness services for new and expecting mothers in Western MA. This collaboration of five local (women-owned) businesses will grant one lucky mother with gift certificates for a month of free diaper service, 2 appointments for prenatal or postnatal massage, 2 acupuncture treatments, $150 savings on birth doula service & $150 savings on birth photography. Participating business include Simple Diaper & Linen, Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga, Jo Bunny Massage and Yoga, Bellyfull Birth, and Nature & Nurture Photography and Doula Services. Deadline to enter is May 11, 2013. Drawing will take place on Mother’s Day. Check out www.facebook.com/MothersDayGiveaway to enter & for details.

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

Enter for a chance to win tickets for a Parents’ Night Out!

The Amherst Survival Center has volunteer opportunities for teens ages 15yo+ on weekdays (not Wed). Shifts are typically 2 hours/week between 9am-3pm. They are looking for a two hour/week commitment for a minimum of 8 weeks with organizing and sorting through fresh bread & produce, helping in their Free Store, serving lunch and doing dishes. Their Emergency Food Pantry often needs help too with keeping the shelves stocked and helping folks fill their carts with their monthly food “box.” Strong folks can help pick up furniture from around town in the mornings. And people who like to clean can help clean the place after 2:30pm. Lots and lots of options for summer volunteering. For more info visit www.amherstsurvival.org or email tracey@amherstsurvival.org


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 4th-10th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for April 27th-May 3rd, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Outdoor Farmers’ Markets are slowly starting back up! The opening of Tuesday Market in Northampton happens this coming Tuesday, April 30th where you can pick up the ingredients you need to make a dish to bring to the Burgy Farmers’ Market Pot-Luck Dinner Benefit at the Williamsburg Grange two days later on Thursday, May 2nd!  How convenient is that?!

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

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event

Volunteer with your family to help local non-profits — a one of a kind event for families to volunteer together while educating children about animal welfare, conservation efforts and the value of community service.

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School. We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)

SUMMER CAMP

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 27

Ashfield Community PreschoolThe Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, April 27th 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children age 2.9 – 5yo who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing sunflowers, pumpkins and blueberries. The preschool grazes the neighbors’ sheep and llamas in their pastoral setting and offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on April 27th and tour their facility and grounds. 103 Baptist Corner Road. Ashfield, MA. Call for more information 413-628-3248.

Apr 27

On Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 noon, the Montessori School of Northampton (MSN) at 51 Bates Street, Northampton, will hold a family open house. All parents of toddler, preschool and elementary students interested in September 2013 admission are encouraged to attend. The school currently has full- and part-time openings available for fall 2013, including a new full day 3-day/week program for toddlers and a new half-day Children’s House (preschool) classroom. MSN enrolls students from ages 2 through 12 and is currently in its 36th year of fostering independent learners in a welcoming community. For information, please call (413) 586-4538 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Apr 28

Holy Bonfire! Community Lag B’Omer Festival happening Sunday, April 28th from 11am-1pm- rain or shine! Beit Ahavah & Congregation B’nai Israel Community Schools present: Bonfire, live music by Yiddishkeit Klezmir, musical storytelling by Anna Sobel & Aharaon Skogland, recycled art crafts, archery, games, haircutting booth, chickens, facepainting, “love-shack booth” & more! Kosher, pastured beef hot-dogs & veggie dogs. $5 suggested donation. All ages welcome! Held at Cong. B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect St, Northampton. Lag B’Omer is the joyous holiday held on the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer between Passover & Shavuot. For more info & RSVP: 413-584-3593, rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org. “Join” us on Facebook & invite your friends!

May 5

Looking for an excuse to wear your superhero cape in public all while supporting students in our community with Intellectual and Development Disabilities (We don’t believe that you ever need an excuse to do this!)? Come on out to the Best Buddies Superhero Friendship Walk on Sunday morning , May 5th, 2013 in the beautiful setting of Look Park in Florence, MA. Best Buddies is an amazing organization that promotes inclusion and friendships between students with and without Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The event will feature musical performances by the students of Berkshire Hills Music Academy, Circus performances by students of Show Circus and so much more! Sign up at www.bestbudiesma.org/walk.

May 5

Bread Euphoria is having a birthday & the community is invited to celebrate 15 years of baked goodness at Wheatstock II, featuring live music & delicious food. The party takes place on Sunday, May 5th from 12noon-6pm at the Williamsburg Grange, on Route 9. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 5-12yo (under 5yo are free), & includes an impressive entertainment lineup of local favorites the Sweetback Sisters, Primate Fiasco and Swing Caravan — & birthday cake (including vegan & gluten-free choices). Meat & vegetarian shish kabobs, salads, sides & beverages will be available for purchase, as well. Come for the food and stay for the fun-or come for the fun & stay for the food-either way, come! For more info call Bread Euphoria: 413-268-7757

May 11

Mother’s Day Giveaway! Enter to win more than $700 worth of wellness services for new and expecting mothers in Western MA. This collaboration of five local (women-owned) businesses will grant one lucky mother with gift certificates for a month of free diaper service, 2 appointments for prenatal or postnatal massage, 2 acupuncture treatments, $150 savings on birth doula service & $150 savings on birth photography. Participating business include Simple Diaper & Linen, Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga, Jo Bunny Massage and Yoga, Bellyfull Birth, and Nature & Nurture Photography and Doula Services. Deadline to enter is May 11, 2013. Drawing will take place on Mother’s Day. Check out www.facebook.com/MothersDayGiveaway to enter & for details.

Spring

Join Crimson & Clover Farm in celebrating the spring! The Farm Education Collaborative will be leading a wide array of farm-based education programs this growing season at Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, MA. Whether you’re a parent wanting to share a morning with your young child on the farm or an aspiring farmer looking to work in the fields, there’s something for you at Crimson & Clover Farm this spring. Plant, harvest, tend to the animals, cook farm-fresh produce, explore and work together, and so much more! Financial aid is available to low-income families through Grow Food Northampton. For complete details and registration please visit their website – www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 27th-May 3rd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 05/14/11-05/20/11

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Best Bet this Weekend: 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival on Saturday, May 14th from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds.

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you!

HILLTOWN SPRING FESTIVAL

Click to see posterThe Hilltown CDC’s 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival is this Saturday, May 14th from 10am-7pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds! And there are 101 reasons to join us this year! Here are a few highlights:

Hilltown Families Family Stage
This year the will be three music stages, including a new Family Music Stage which will present family-friendly music from 10:30am until 4:30pm, including local stars The Nields, Ben Rudnick and Friends, Mister G, Sarah Pirtle and Lui Collins.

17 Musical Performances on 3 Stages
This is the second year Hilltown Families has been a major sponsor of the festival, and this year we are delighted to sponsor a third stage at the festival, The Hilltown Families Family Stage! On the other two stages, impressive, locally based musicians with dazzle your day, including Appalachian Still, Boxcar Lilies, Gaia Roots, Misty Blues, Swing Caravan, Radio Free Earth, Institute for the Musical Arts (IMA) and many others!

An Eclectic Mix of Dancing, Creating and Workshops
Maypole and maypole dance lead by EarthSpirit of Worthington, followed by drumming workshops with Tony Vacca and Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots, intergenerational yoga with Prakasa Yoga Studio of Goshen, River Poetry Workshop with Piti Theatre Company of Shelburne, and a Kids Songwriting Workshop with Mister G!

Local Food with International Flare
The eclectic nature of the Hilltown Spring Festival speaks true to the diversity of our community. This year even the food matches the diversity of our community serving up local food, often times with an international flare! On the menu: Polynesian Wedding Cake; Lokoum and Cornmeal Halva; Wood-Fired Pesto Pizza; German Bratwurst; Vegetable Lo Mein; hot dogs & veggie hamburgers; locally brewed beer; and Local Maple Cream Ice Cream… just to name a few!

Hilltown Spring Festival is Solar Powered!
Sustainable energy will be broadcasting all of the music from 18 performances — powered by the solar electric and battery system of The Solar Store of Greenfield.

Learn About Our Solar System, Discover Musical Instruments, Identify Wildlife, Recycling Activities and More
With music filling the air, families will have many opportunities to discover new things. Featured educational opportunities include a Scale Model Solar System Walk, solar-filtered telescopes for solar observances, a “Musical Petting Zoo,” hands-on wildlife & survival skill demos, games, and much more!

Morris Dancers & Maypole Dancing:
Joining the festival this year will be the Juggler Meadow Morris Men and the lovely ladies from the Wake Robin Morris Dancers! Maypole and maypole dance lead by EarthSpirit of Worthington.

Kids-Made Crafts Bazaar
The Kids-Made Craft Bazaar allows children to participate directly in the Festival, rewards them for their creativity, and gives them some real-world experience showing and selling their work.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, May 21st from 12noon-6pm – STREET PERFORMANCE: The Royal Frog Ballet and C3 Northampton present the Busker’s Ball!  All afternoon, performers will be singing, playing music, hosting games, dancing, doing interactive projects, and much more!  There will be musicians, puppeteers, artists, and jugglers!  Main Street.  413-585-0373.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

On Sunday, May 22nd from 2-5pm – GROUNDBREAKING CELEBRATION: Join GrowFood Northampton in celebrating the official groundbreaking at the new Northampton Community Farm, which is part of 180 acres of land in Florence that has been preserved.  The celebration will include live music from Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, along with horse-drawn rides, a riverwalk, refreshments, and games.  233 Spring Street.  413-584-0081.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

MEET THE DOULAS DAY: Meet the Doulas Day! Sunday, May 15th, 2-4 PM at Cradle, Third Floor, Thornes Marketplace, Northampton. Drop in any time to meet birth and postpartum doulas and other professionals in a relaxed atmosphere. Free refreshments, free raffle, and free 15-minute massages for pregnant mamas! Learn more at www.greenriverdoulas.org.

SHIPROCK & ANCHORDOG: This original musical is a collaboration between local children and artists from around the Pioneer Valley. Shiprock and Anchordog tells the tale of two lovable pups who leave their home in the desert to embark upon an epic quest in search of food security. In the production, the audience will journey across a beautiful piece of farmland, moving through a labyrinth of cargo trains, blueberry fields, oceans, and forests. The adventure incorporates live music, dance, and puppetry. Performances will be held at 81 Rocky Hill Rd. in Hadley on May 27th at 5pm and May 28th & 29th at 4pm. Tickets sold on a sliding scale: $10-25. Picnic dinner included in the price! Children 4 & under free.

Emily Jawadekar writes: I am a certified Children’s Yoga teacher. I teach yoga for ages 3-15 in the Northampton area. I can teach at my house or yours, or outdoors if it is a nice day! $25.00/hour for a private lesson. Groups classes are cheaper. Lessons start asap. Be prepared to have a lot of fun! If interested, please e-mail Emily asap at emilyj416@yahoo.com

JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: The South Hadley Family Center is searching for a Part-Time Coordinator. The position entails facilitating a parent-child playgroup three morning a week, networking within the community, developing parent leadership, training and overseeing volunteer playgroup facilitators, and helping parent volunteers with fundraising events. There will also be a few afternoon and evening meetings each month. The South Hadley Family Center is a parent cooperative which receives limited funding through grants and fundraising. Experience with families and children 5 and under is preferred for applicants, as well as a background in early childhood. Pay is $14.50 per hour. Send a resume and cover letter to cklimczak@collaborative.org by May 20th to apply for the position.

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 05/07/11-05/13/11

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Happy Mother's Day Weekend! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you!

WEEKEND BEST BETS

On Saturday, May 7th in the Pioneer Valley from 10am-2pm – ARCHITECTURE: Kids age 8-18 are invited to the Wistariahurst Museum to create a box city “Street of Dreams.” Kids will learn about architecture, urban planning, and social studies while creating their city. Bring a lunch! 238 Cabot Street. 413-322-5660. Holyoke, MA. (>$)

Later on Saturday, May 7th in the Hilltowns at 2pm – COMMUNITY BBQ: Attend the second annual Kentucky Derby Bluegrass Barbecue.  There will be tons of food, live music (including a fiddling contest with a cash prize!), a prize for the best big hat, live coverage of the derby, and tasty drinks for parents.  The fiddle contest is open to anyone who can play!  The event is a benefit for the Cancer Connection.  Route 9.  413-268-8222.  Haydenville, MA.  ($$)

On Sunday, May 8th for Mother’s Day – FREE ENTRANCE: Three great local treasures welcome moms and their families, with free entrance for moms: Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA; Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA; and Forest Park Zoo in Springfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Saturday, May 14th from 10am-7pm – HILLTOWN SPRING FESTIVAL: Mark your calendars for the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival! Three music stages with 16 terrific musical performances, including family concerts with The Nields, Mister G, Ben Rudnick and Friends, Sarah Pirtle and Lui Collins! — Great local food,  Kids-Made Craft Bazaar, solar powered stage, sustainable vendors, hot air balloon, May pole & Morris Dancers, solar walk, drum workshop with Gaia Roots & Tony Vacca… on and on!  Kids under 12 free. All others only $5 per person!  —  An event not to be missed.  Click here to see photos from last year’s festival.  Cummington Fairgrounds Cummington, MA (>$)

BULLETIN BOARD

MEET THE DOULAS DAY: Meet the Doulas Day! Sunday, May 15th, 2-4 PM at Cradle, Third Floor, Thornes Marketplace, Northampton. Drop in any time to meet birth and postpartum doulas and other professionals in a relaxed atmosphere. Free refreshments, free raffle, and free 15-minute massages for pregnant mamas! Learn more at www.greenriverdoulas.org.

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

TEEN OPPORTUNITY: Interested in learning to be a trolley operator? The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is holding a training for trolley and pump-car operators, open to teens!  The training will cover safety issues, operation and care of the trolley and pump car, passenger care, and methods of telling passengers about the history of the trolley and the Bridge of Flowers.  Those wishing to become operators need to read the museum’s rule book and policy manual, and should RSVP for the training day by contacting the museum.  Motor ”persons” and conductors must be 16+, and pump car operators must be 12+.

CALL FOR DANCERS AND ACTORS: Piti Theater Company is looking for dancers and actors ages 7 and up (including adults!) who wish to be part of an original movement-based piece set to live music.  Also, poets of all ages are invited to submit river-inspired poetry which will become text and rhythm for the performance.  The piece will be performed during Riverfest in Shelburne Falls on June 11th.  For more information, visit www.ptco.org or call 413-625-6569.  Submissions can be sent to info@ptco.org.

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

HILLTOWN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: The RH Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington is now accepting applications for students entering grades K-6!  There are also spots open in the school’s pre-school program for full or part time, but spaces are limited.  For more information, visit www.conwellcec.org.  For applications, contact Joanne Dupont at 413-238-5856.

SEXUALIZATION OF CHILDHOOD: The Lenox Library will screen Jean Kilbourne’s documentary, Killing Us Softly 4, which is about gender representation in advertising on May 12th @ 7pm. Kilbourne’s work addresses the sexualization of children and the effects of advertising on how people think and feel, and there will be a question and answer session with her at the end of the film.  This event is a great opportunity for parents and older children to enter the conversation on sexualizing children, and is also a great way to support the library!  The event is a fundraiser for the library, and tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  For more info, or to reserve tickets, call 413-637-2630.

SCHOLARSHIP CONTEST: Encharter Insurance is offering a scholarship contest for college-bound high school seniors!  The winner will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship for creating the winning video about the dangers of distracted driving.  The winning video will be selected by Facebook votes on the company’s fan page.  For more information, contact Heidi at 800-675-6695 or visit encharter.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

This week on the HFVS we will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Sandra from Moona Luna. Sandra will be introducing us to music by Los Lobos, Celina Gonzalez, Manu Chao, Isaac Villanueva, Hermanos Flores, and cuts off of the award-winning CD, Piñata Party!, her new bilingual kindie music album.

Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here | Pick Your Own Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Donate to HF | Weekly eNewsletter

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 04/30/11-05/06/11

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

May Day is Sunday and there are many celebrations happening throughout Western MA. This photo is during the goat naming ceremony at the Beltane Celebration last May Day at EarthSpirit in Worthington, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you

BEST BETS

On Saturday, April 3oth at 10:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: See Mister G along with Rani Arbo in concert at Flywheel! Great fun kids music for a good cause- proceeds benefit Sunnyside Child Care Center. 43 Main Street. 413-585-2293. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Following the concert, on Saturday, April 30th from 11am-4pm – EARTH DAY FESTIVAL: Easthampton Earth Day Festival at Eastworks (just a stones throw from Flywheel). Easthampton Energy & Sustainability Committee is hosting the City’s first Earth Day Festival. Music, food, workshops on energy efficiency, composting, and much more! 116 Pleasant Street. 413-949-3509. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

In the Pioneer Valley on Sunday, May 1st from 11am-4pm – RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: Attend the Renaissance Fair hosted by the UMass Renaissance Center. There will be music, swordsmanship, falconry, and much more! 650 East Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

In the Hilltowns on Sunday, May 1st at 12noon – MAY DAY: Visit Running Fox Farm for a May Day celebration. There will be a May pole, planting of medicinal plants, potluck, games, and a fire. Festivities go all day long. 74 Thrasher Hill Road. 413-238-5340. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

In the Berkshires on Sunday, May 1st at 10:30am – MAY DAY FESTIVAL: Join the Great Barrington Rudolph Steiner School in celebrating May Day with celebratory activities including a puppet performance, dancing, games, and a picnic (BYO)! 35 West Plain Road. 413-528-4015. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Mark your calendars for the 5th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival! Three music stages 16 fabulous musical performances, including family concerts with The Nields, Mister G, Ben Rudnick and Friends, Sarah Pirtle and Lui Collins! - Great local food! - Kids-Made Craft Bazaar! - Solar powered stage! - Sustainable vendors! - May pole & Morris Dancers! - Kids under 12 free. All others only $5 per person!

On Saturday, May 7th in the Pioneer Valley from 10am-5pm – ASTRONOMY ADVENTURES: It’s Astronomy Day at the Springfield Museums!  There will be special planetarium shows, tours of the rooftop observatory, sunspot viewing through telescopes, and special demonstrations on asteroids.  21 Edwards Street.  413-263-6800.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

Also on Saturday, May 7th in the Berkshires from 11am-3pm – SHEEP TO SHAWL: The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (WRLF) will host its annual Sheep to Shawl Festival with time-honored crafts, local artisans, farm animals, and a focus on the region’s historic fleece and fiber industry. 671 Cold Spring Rd. 413-458-2494 Williamstown, MA (>$)

On Sunday, May 8th from 9:30am-5pm – LIVING HISTORY: Free admission for all mothers at Old Sturbridge Village!  Learn about important mothers from 1830, and learn about what mothering was like during the 19th century.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  1-800-SEE-1830.  Sturbridge, MA.  (>$)

BULLETIN BOARD

OPEN HOUSE: The Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to their Open House on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-12noon. Come and meet their dedicated teachers who create a warm, loving environment for your children. Located in the heart of the hilltowns of Western MA, near the center of Ashfield, the preschool is a child centered, creative and loving environment surrounded by a large playground and enchanted woodland trails. The preschool is accepting applications for their summer and fall programs at this time. Full and half days available. For more information call 628-3248 or stop by on Saturday, April 30th from 10am-12Noon at 103 Baptist Corner Road, Ashfield, MA. acpres@verizon.net

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

MEDICATION DISPOSAL: Do you or a family member have leftover medications that you no longer need?  On April 30th, medication disposal locations will be set up all over western Massachusetts!  Needles, lancets, syringes, thermometers, and IV bags will not be accepted, along with liquid medications and chemotherapy drugs.  All other medications can be brought to a disposal site between 10am and 2pm to be safely taken care of.  For a list of drop off locations click here.

SCIENCE FIELD TRIP: The Cambridge Science Festival begins on Saturday, April 30th! The festival celebrates Cambridge’s role as a hub of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and will make science fun, accessible, and interactive! The festival begins with an open house at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where families can take part in hundreds of STEM-related activities. Other events will take place throughout the week at locations all over Boston, including the Boston Museum of Science, Harvard University, the MIT Museum of Science, and the Cambridge Public Library. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn about the real-life applications of science! For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.cambridgesciencefestival.org.

Deadline to enter to win: May 6th

SURVIVAL CENTER: The Amherst Survival Center has many programs and services to offer besides food distribution! The center also offers hot lunch on weekdays from 12-1, including vegan and vegetarian options; a free store filled with donated clothing, household items, books, etc.; a free clinic on Mondays from 12-2 and Thursdays from 5-6; Family Nights on 1st and 3rd Mondays including arts and crafts and food; and movie nights most Thursdays with a light meal provided! The Survival Center also offers assistance with finding housing, health insurance, and food stamps. The center is open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays from 11-3 and Thursdays from 11-7 and can be reached at 413-549-3968. It is located at 1200 North Pleasant Street.

TEEN THEATER AUDITIONS: High school aged students are invited to audition for the Majestic Theater’s summer children’s series in Springfield!  The shows performed will be Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, and Peter and the Wolf; rehearsals begin June 27th and the final performance is August 17th.  In order to audition, students must prepare a monologue and a song with CD accompaniment, as well as be prepared for a cold reading.  Auditions will take place at the theater on May 14th from 12-3pm, and May 15th from 6-9pm.  Actors selected to perform will be provided a small stipend for their participation in the performances.  To schedule a time slot, call the theater directly at 413-747-7797.

RENT A BAND MEMBER: Do you have Spring Cleaning needs? Yard work? Odd jobs around the house that aren’t getting done? Get a jump on Spring Cleaning this year with: Rent a Hopkins Academy Band Member!  During the weekends of April 30 & May 1, May 7, and May 14 & 15, Hopkins Academy Band members could be working at your home tackling odd jobs, like raking and spring clean up, painting, moving wood, etc. In exchange for your generous contribution of $60, you will get a team of TWO hard working Band members for a TWO hour shift. All money earned will directly support the Hopkins Academy Band Trip to Florida.  Band members can come to your home or place of business on one of the five days at 9:00, 12:00, or 3:00 p.m. Call for more info: 413-387-0076 or 413-626-0568.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. This week on the HFVS we will be rebroadcasting an episode with Ben Rudnick as our Guest DJ from a couple of years ago. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here | Pick Your Own Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Donate to HF | Weekly eNewsletter

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