25 Self-Guided Hikes in Western MA to Support Place-Based Learning

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Here is a list of self-guided hikes to do with your family or on your own. To support place-based learning, before you head out, conduct an online search about the natural and human history of some of these community-based educational resources. Bring with you field guides, sketchbooks, cameras, and magnifying glasses and spend the afternoon engaged in self-directed, nature-based learning!

Easy Hikes in Western MA:

  • Chesterfield Gorge, West Chesterfield
  • Dinosaur Footprints, Holyoke
  • Field Farm, Williamstown
  • Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley, Lenox
  • Mass Audubon Arcadia, Easthampton

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Land Trusts & Native Species: Community-Based Educational Resources to Support Self-Directed Learning

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Self-guided hikes are a great way to keep your family active outdoors and engaged in nature! They’re also excellent ways to support learning via community-based educational resources, including land trusts & native species!

Download this free interpretive trail guide Hilltown Families created with the Hilltown Land Trust for the Bradley Sanctuary trail in Williamsburg, MA. This guide goes beyond the typical map and route. It highlights interesting features and information from cultural, scientific, artistic, and historical perspectives. It encourages users to think about how their experience outdoors relates to other interests such as citizen science, history, literature, and social activism. Additionally, it complements the trail guides by providing additional resources and activities that extend your learning off the trail.

This guide takes hikers along the Red Oak Trail, a great walk to do with kids or on your own. On this trail, hikers will see the historical and environmental features of Bradley’s landscape and enjoy a lovely walk along Nichols Brook. One of the most interesting features of the Bradley Sanctuary is an old-growth Red Oak tree that is approximately 5 feet in diameter. Included in the guide is a formula for helping Bradley hikers hypothesize the tree’s age.

This property is available to the public year-round, thanks to Hilltown Land Trust’s land conservation efforts and the foresight of Hilltown residents who value the protection of our natural resources in perpetuity for future generations to visit and love. Each Hilltown Land Trust property has a story to tell. This partnership with Hilltown Families narrates this story for Bradley Sanctuary in Williamsburg, MA, and shows how our community places are connected to our personal stories and interests.

Use this guide to strengthen your relationship to the local land and experience these Hilltown forests and woods in new and inspiring ways.


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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Birds Nests to Monkey Bread. Vernal Equinox to St. Patrick’s Day. Protest Posters to Kokedama.

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Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Social JusticeCivil RightsProtest PostersEducationRepair CafeFolk TraditionsSkillshareCheese MakingMaple SeasonMaple SugaringFiber ArtsTavern FarePancake BreakfastMonkey BreadVernal EquinoxSt. Patrick’s DayCorned Beef SupperIrish Family NightFamily Dance PartyMusic StudiesSouth African MusicTotem PolesArt StudiesEncaustic PaintingBotanical IllustrationNature DrawingGardensKokedamaForestsForest BathingHorticultureFarmingBotanyBiodiversityOrnithologyBirdingBirds NestsWarblersWoodcocksEntomologyNature Scavenger HuntAstronomyAnatomyMedicineMindfulnessCritical ThinkingSTEMCodingEngineeringChemistryChessLiving HistoryNatural HistoryWomen’s HistoryWomen’s StudiesFood HistoryTheater HistoryTheater StudiesBroadway MusicalHigh School MusicalCircus ArtsFatherhoodSummer Camps

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, March 14-20, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥


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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Maple Syrup to Honey. Civics to Nature Conservation. Needle Felting to Basket Weaving.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Summer CampsFamily Dance PartyFamily ConcertFamily ConcertFamily Full Moon HikeFamily NightParents’ Night OutCommunity ServiceOutdoor AdventuresSnowshoeingIce SkatingPurim Radio ShowPurim CelebrationFood HistoryCommunity MealSugar ShackMaple Sugar HistoryHoneySpring BulbsNature ConservationBotanyUrban EcologyHorticultureGardeningGraftingSeed SwapOrnithologyMedia StudiesPodcastsBroadcast HistoryFolk TraditionsBlacksmithingBeehive OvensCandle MakingArt StudiesAcrylic PaintingFiber ArtsNeedle FeltingBasket WeavingCamera TrappingPhoto JournalismMuseum Daytime AdventuresMuseum Evening AdventuresMusic StudiesSacred HarpFolk MusicJazzMusical Sing-a-longHigh School MusicalWomen’s HistoryAviationChemistryFire DepartmentCivicsCareersVotingCommunity DevelopmentCohousingImmigration

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, March 7-13, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥


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Want to have your event or resource featured on Hilltown Families?
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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Pancake Breakfasts to Winter Fare. Leap Year to Sugar Season. Citizen Science to Civic Engagement.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

STEMChemistryAstronomyAppsChessCardboard RaceEcologyHerpetologyEntomologyGuided HikeNature-Based PlayFencingIce SkatingSign LanguageArt StudiesArt WalkAfrican ArtPastelsPhotographyMobilesWatercolorOil PastelsCyanotypeLeonardo Da VinciMusic StudiesMusic HistoryQuartetBluegrassDance StudiesSwingBelly DanceTheater StudiesTony AwardPuppet TheaterCollege TheaterHigh School MusicalImprovLiterature in TranslationTheater HistoryFrench FilmLocal HistoryLiving HistoryWinter Food FareSugar SeasonMaple SugaringCommunity MealHistory of BreakfastPancake BreakfastMaple CreamGheeFire CiderFolk TraditionsWoodcarvingAcupunctureLoving-KindnessCivic EngagementCitizen Science

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 29-March 6, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥


Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
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Want to have your event or resource featured on Hilltown Families?
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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Woodcarving to Sewing. Food Science to Music History. Terrariums to Orchids.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Summer CampsSeasonsBotanyOrchidsTerrariumsNature StudiesNature Scavenger HuntAdaptationsCoyotesWildlife Story HourLocal History PlaygroupFood HistoryBeehive OvenFood ScienceIce CreamBrewingCheeseSTEMScience CafeChemistryComputer CodingChessCritical Thinking SkillsReligion StudiesBuddhismArt StudiesBlack Art MattersWomen’s Art & HistoryGirls in SportsOutdoor AdventuresWinter HikingFolk TraditionsCarpentryWoodcarvingSewingRepair CafeUpcyclingArts & CraftsTie-DyeBird HousesTerrariumsDate NightParents’ Night OutFilm StudiesFrench FilmCinematic SoundMusic HistoryAmerican Folk MusicMusic StudiesShape Note SingingChoral FestivalJazzSocial Justice SongsSocial ChangeMulticulturalImmigrationMartin Luther King, Jr.MindfulnessTheater StudiesCollege TheaterMusicalDance StudiesLindy HopTangoContra Dance

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 22-28, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥


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Want to have your event or resource featured on Hilltown Families?
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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Aerodynamics to Colonial Children’s Games. S’mores to Chocolate Chip Cookies. French Films to Mandarin.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Winter FestivalLiving HistoryColonial LifeWomen’s HistoryFashion HistoryFiber HistoryDance HistoryHistory of MarriageFolk TraditionsSewingFood HistoryTavern FareCulinary ArtsButcheryMoroccan CuisineS’moresChocolate Chip CookiesPhysicsChemistryAviationAerodynamicsDronesPaper AirplanesLEGOsBubblesPuppetryMedia LiteracyPodcastingLanguage StudiesCartographyJewish FolktalesIrish LegendAnimationFrenchMandarinRacismVotingWinter BotanyZoologyNative SpeciesLive AnimalsAdaptationsCougarsRabbitsMusic StudiesInstrumentsJazzDuke EllingtonPauline OliverosCommunity SingArt StudiesFigure DrawingColor TheoryClay WorkshopInk PaintingArts & Craft SwapCreative Free-Play

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 15-21, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Candy Chemistry to Valentine’s Day. Moonlight Hike to Ice Sculpting.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Winter FestivalWinter Trails DayOutdoor AdventuresIce SculptingWinter HikingNaturalist SkillsIce FishingIce SkatingEcosystemFire EcologyTrackingPorcupinesNature PhotographyMoonlight HikeSpruce-Fir ForestClimate ChangeArt Night OutArt StudiesFolk ArtFiber ArtsCraftingHandmade ValentinesWet FeltingPisankiFigure DrawingIce SculptingArt InstallationMuseum AdventuresValentines DayDate NightSTEMChemistryChessLEGOsMedia LiteracyNutritional AnthropologyMardi Gras King CakeTavern FareHomebrewingOenologyMusic StudiesOrchestraQuartetSpanish GuitarPercussionFather-Daughter DanceFunding CollegeCurrent AffairsCivicsAmerican FactoriesStorytellingLiving HistoryWomen’s HistoryAfrican American HistoryVotingFilm StudiesTheater StudiesAcademy AwardsShakespeare

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 8-14, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Dance Party to Winter Festival. Pancakes to Puppets.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Dance PartyLion DanceNative American DanceFolk DanceWinter FestivalLuminariaCulinary ArtsPancake BreakfastHand PiesPuppet ShowShadow PuppetryMuseum AdventuresDinosaursSTEMChemistryAstronomy Chess ClubAlternative MedicineFirst AidADHDHomeopathyMedia LiteracyOrnithologyOwlsArt WalkArt StudiesMonotype PrintsPastelsFigure DrawingPaper MarblingFiber ArtPotterySewingWomen’s HistoryImbolcChinese New YearValentine MakingSwedish HeartsGratitudeKindnessCritical ThinkingSustainabilityTheater StudiesCostumesNaturalist SkillsTrackingNocturnal WildlifeHistory PlaygroupParents’ Book Club

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, February 1-7, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Lunar New Year to Women’s Suffrage. Duke Ellington to Bela Tarr. Artisan Cheese to Needle Felting.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Chinese New YearOutdoor AdventuresHikingIce SkatingWinter AdventuresWinter CarnivalMuseum AdventuresCartoonsMangaFigure DrawingIntergenerationalSelf-Directed LearningParenting SkillsForest BathingNaturalist SkillsTrackingNative SpeciesBiodiversityGardeningFolk TraditionsArtisan CheeseSakeFiber ArtsNeedle FeltingWet FeltingSTEMChemistryFermentationCodingMedia LiteracyChess ClubMusic StudiesDrumsCommunity SingGospel MusicAfrican American Music TraditionsJazzSymphonyTheater StudiesLiterature In TranslationSign LanguageFilm StudiesFashion IndustryVotingBuddhismMindfulnessGrowth MindsetCritical Thinking SkillsPlaygroupBoard GamesNew England HistoryWomen’s HistoryIce Harvest

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, January 25-31, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Quantum Mechanics to Comics. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Women’s March.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Folk TraditionsBasket MakingOrigamiHerbal MedicineNaturalist SkillsTrackingOwlsEcosystemsSkillsharingUpcyclingCommunity ServiceMindfulnessFloral DesignFigure DrawingWinter SportsSnowshoeingNordic SkiingIce SkatingSTEMAIQuantum MechanicsScience MuseumGeometryChessNew England HistoryTree HistorySpruce Fir-ForestNature-Based Arts & CraftsParents’ Night OutSocial StudiesWomen’s MarchMartin Luther King, Jr.Community MealFood TourPancake BreakfastTheater StudiesTheatersLiterature in TranslationMusicalFamily ConcertMusic StudiesPreKSoundLanguage ArtsSign LanguageMedia LiteracyPodcastingZinesComics

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, January 18-24, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Salt Science to Rye Bread. Basket Coiling to Eastern White Pine.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

EntomologyZoologyOrnithologyBotanyEconomicsPhysicsDendrologyCritical ThinkingInvestingBeekeepingNative SpeciesBirds of PreyNature Scavenger HuntMedia LiteracyComputer CodingVideo GamesChessYoYoLEGOsSalt ScienceMusic StudiesClassical MusicSingingArt StudiesFigure DrawingLandscape PaintingPotteryIce SculptingChinese CalligraphyMandarinSewingBasket CoilingWhite PineBookselling HistoryMark TwainPhotographyIce SkatingHikingNew England HistoryIllumination HistoryWomen’s HistoryEqual RightsFour FreedomsDrag StorytimeFolkloreHerbal MedicineMedical HistoryPolioAromatherapyBaking ArtsRye BreadFood TourMindful EatingForest Bathing

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, January 11-17, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday?
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LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Winter Sports to Chinese New Year. Polish Heritage to Needle Felting.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Self-DefenseQi GongWinter SportsOutfittingWinter FitnessIce SkatingFencingMindfulness MovementHistory WalkNew England HistoryVotingArt StudiesChinese PaintingAfrican ArtPolish HeritageAustrian MusicThree Kings DayChinese New YearMuseum AdventuresNeedle FeltingFiber ArtPotteryFigure DrawingSewingMusic StudiesSing AlongOrchestraSTEMPhysicsComputer LabCodingLEGOsChessYoYosOrigamiExperiential LearningCritical ThinkingMindfulnessCreative Free-PlaySustainabilityCommunity MealCivicsMarine BiologyIchthyologyBotanyGreenhouseCoffee ShopsCommunity MealCook Book ClubMedia LiteracyLanguage ArtsLiteracyZinesBook ArtsStorytimeWord Games

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, January 4-10, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. Scuba Diving to Ice Skating. New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

AstronomyConstellationsStar GazingNew Years EveFamily Dance PartyIntergenerationalMenorah LightingHanukkahThree Kings DayLEGOsSTEMRocketsModel AirplanesPsychologyPaleontologyFossilsOutdoor AdventuresMusic StudiesSongwritingOrchestraArt StudiesBotanical IllustrationsMonetSportsOutfittingGymnasticsIce SkatingHikingScuba DivingNew England HistoryPerformance ArtPuppetryMarionettesGingerbreadPancakesCookbooksAgricultureAyurvedaHindu MedicineMagicFirst NightFirst Hike

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, December 28, 2019 – January 3, 2020. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ GingerbreadSufganiyotSolsticeSanta ♦

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Chanukah CelebrationKwanzaaSolsticeSantaNew England ChristmasChristmas HistoryLocal HistoryUrban LifeHoliday Train RideAviationPuppet ShowMerry Go RoundBoard GamesIce SkatingGymnasticsPhysicsMakerspaceTreesCandlelit HikeSpiral WalkSolstice CelebrationWinter SolsticeAstronomyFilm StudiesHoliday FilmMYO SoapMYO OrnamentMYO MenorahDance StudiesIrish DanceKlezmer MusicSing AlongCommunity MealPastry ArtsGingerbreadSufganiyotMuseum AdventuresLight FestivalLight DisplaysMenorah LightingLuminaries

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, December 21-27, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Dance StudiesHoliday LightsNew England History CarolPastry Arts ♦

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

KindnessIntergenerationalCommunity MealLocally MadeOpen StudiosMYO OrnamentsYule CelebrationChristmasHoliday Light DisplaysHoliday StrollTrain RidesIce SkatingZoologyOrnithologyNocturnal AnimalsDendrologyWhite BirchAromatherapyPastry ArtsGingerbread HousesMuseum AdventuresArt StudiesPicture Book ArtsDr. SeussElfEmily DickinsonLiterature In TranslationStorytellingStory HourDance StudiesBalletNutcrackerA Christmas CarolIt’s A Wonderful LifeMusic StudiesWorld MusicAmerican Roots MusicSymphonySingingNew England HistoryBroadcast HistoryWinter Farmers’ Market

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, December 14-20, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Holiday LightsNutcrackerChristmas CarolOrchestra

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Winter SportsCurlingIce SkatingOutfittingCollaborative ConsumptionMuseum AdventuresArt StudiesHigher EducationOrnithologyCrowsChristmas Bird CountChristmas FairCraft FairWinter FairHoliday StrollTree LightingLight FestivalYule CelebrationWinter LightsLantern Light ParadeHoliday Train RideCommunity MealIntergenerationalNon-CommercialOpen StudiosPlacemakingCreative Free-PlayToy ExchangeGingerbread BuildMYO GiftsOrigamiPapercraftsBook ArtsLiterature In TranslationHoliday StoriesMusic StudiesCarolingSing-A-LongChoralChorusOrchestraDance StudiesNutcrackerBalletA Christmas CarolHistoric ArchitectureSustainable ArchitectureNew England HistoryRestaurant HistoryFood StudiesFrench CulturePolish CultureWinter Farmers’ Market

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, December 7-13, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Holiday LightsMYO WreathsFiber ArtsGingerbread

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

SkillsharingPlacemakingTree LightingMerry MapleHoliday StrollFestival Of LightsGlobal HolidaysHoliday LightsSt. Nicolas DayHoliday FestivalHoliday MusicIndonesian MusicJazzCeltic MusicParents’ Night OutPsychologyADHDCommunity HikeTiny HomesLiving HistoryVolunteeringSense Of PlaceLanguage ArtsBook ArtsWord GamesLiterature In TranslationPoetryMusicalAnimationCarolingFiber ArtsSewingFeltingMYO GiftsMYO WreathsPastry ArtsFood HistoryGingerbreadCommunity BreakfastWinter Farmers’ MarketIce Skating

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 30-December 6, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Community MealsVolunteeringThanksgivingNon-Commercial

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

New England Food HistoryRecipesLocal Food HistoryThanksgiving DayBlack FridaySelf-Guided HikesGuided HikeHoliday Food TraditionsLocal Food TourCommunity MealCommunity PotluckFood SecurityIndigenous CultureBuddhismKindnessVolunteeringHistoric CanalsDance StudiesTheater StudiesContra DanceBelly DancingFolk DanceMusicalFolk MusicBroadway TheaterMYO GiftsUpcyclingHandmade CraftsArtisan TraditionsWreathGlassblowingSewingSawingSTEMPhysicsAviationPalaeographyChristmas TreesPlant BiologyEcologyFernsSeed SwapLocal AgricultureWinter Farmers’ MarketSportsFootballIce SkatingSense of PlaceShort StoriesStorytellingLiterature in TranslationPlacemakingFestival of LightsHoliday Lighting CeremonyHoliday StrollBalloon Parade

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 23-29, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

LEARN LOCAL. PLAY LOCAL. ♦ Native American Heritage MonthCultural StudiesSoap MakingGlass Blowing ♦

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

FriendshipCommunity MealAnimal BehaviorHibernationTurkeysDairyCulinary ArtsCookbook ClubNew England ThanksgivingCider HistorySakeVegetarianAnimal HusbandryButcheryNutritional AnthropologyHorticultureSugar MaplesSkillsharingFolk TraditionsGlass BlowingCraftsNative CraftsMYO OrnamentSewingOrigamiFinger WeavingNatural DyesSoap MakingFashion HistoryCulture StudiesNative American HeritageClimate ChangeGovernment StudiesReligion StudiesLiteratureShort StoryDance StudiesTheater StudiesTheater HistoryMusic StudiesIndian DanceMusicalBroadwayOrchestraSing-A-LongActing ClassParents’ Night OutParent Workshop

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 16-22, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Open Art Studios to Hockey. Veterans Day to LGBTQ History.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

BilingualFood HistoryIce HarvestBeekeepingPlant StudiesHorticultureSeedsBotanyPhysiologyEntomologyGeologyFossilsLocal HistoryNew England Food HistoryLGBTQ Local HistoryLGBT Music HistoryFashion HistoryMilitary HistoryAviation HistoryRoboticsWriting HistoryShort StoriesSpelling BeeHockeyInstallation ArtChildren’s IllustrationsPastelsGlassblowingTheater StudiesShort PlaysMusicalMusic StudiesSacred HarpDrumsNative American StudiesArtisan TraditionsOpen StudiosOrnithologyBirds Of PreyAgingParenting WorkshopParent Cafe

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 9-15, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Swedish Dance to Chrysanthemums. Robots to Buttons.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Locally MadeCommunity MealLocal FoodCiderPumpkin PiesTextile HistoryWomen’s HistoryNew England HeritageColonial HistoryFashion HistoryDance StudiesSwedish DanceFolk DanceFolk TraditionsTailoringFurniture MakingButtonsPalaeographyQuill Pen WritingLanguage ArtsWord GamesPoetryOpen MicOpen StudiosSTEMGeographyBotanyFall FlowersChrysanthemumsHorticultureSeedsMeteorologyCultural StudiesNative AmericanAbenakiMuseum AdventuresArt StudiesAfrican ArtTheater StudiesMusic StudiesFlutesFlamencoSacred HarpDrumsChoralOrnithologyBirds Of PreyLoonsMarine BiologyPet FosteringFamily NightHaunted FestivalPuppetsRoboticsParent WorkshopParent SupportSelf CareAyurveda

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, November 2-8, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Halloween to Dia de los Meurtos. Owl Banding to Ghosts Stories.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Spooky SafariSpooktacularMonsters BallHaunted HangarHaunted Train RideRag Shag ParadeTrick-or-TreatGravestone CarvingHaunted FarmHorror FilmParanormalNight TourDay of the DeadHalloween FestDia de los MeurtosSpidersBatsOwlsDance StudiesMusic StudiesFilm StudiesOrchestraContra DanceBiologyAnimal StudiesOrnithologyZoo AdventuresLocal FoodVegetarianButcheryApples & CiderApple PickingAviationMuseum AdventuresArchaeologyPotteryWoodworkingSTEMWomen EngineeringDate NightParents’ Night OutRural HeritagePlacemaking

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, October 26-November 1, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Pumpkin Festival to Sukkot. Dressmaking to Origami.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

RelationshipsSense Of PlaceExperiential TheaterFamily DancePerformance ArtQi GongDrummingHistoryClock TowerStone WallsTrain RideCemeteryFall HarvestFall FestivalHarvest FestivalTown FestivalPumpkin FestivalScarecrowsApplesTreesSukkotYiddishPolish ParadeImmigrationCarnivalHalloween ShowHalloween ParadeNight TourOccultMini GolfTriviaOrigamiNature StudiesBiodiversityLiterary StudiesFashion HistoryFolk TraditionsDressmakingShoemakingBlacksmithLetterpress PrintingDinosaursHealth CareDate Night

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, October 19-25, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Children’s Literature Supports a Sense of Place through Local Connections

Community Resources Support Place-Based Explorations of Children’s Literature

Drawing inspiration from the pages of a favorite picture book, families can embark on place-based studies of children’s literature, local history, and the local landscape.

Thanks to western Massachusetts’ incredibly high concentration of resident children’s authors and illustrators, as well as the many picture books set in the area, the region is chock full of opportunities to engage in place- and community-based studies of exciting and engaging children’s literature.

From landmarks to landscapes, museums to meet-the-author events, families can utilize local resources in order to deepen their understanding of stories, explore the role of the local landscape in specific children’s books, and learn about the methods employed by local authors and illustrators.

Read the rest of this entry »

Learn Local. Play Local.: Pumpkins to Bats. Felting to Perfumery.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

InspirationHalloweenTrick-Or-TreatingSpiritualismPumpkin FestivalFall FestivalHarvest FestivalScarecrowsCreative PlacemakingSense of PlaceNature-Based LearningLocal HabitatBotanyOutdoor AdventuresCanoeingBogsHerbariumsZoologyPaleontologyAstronomyBatsDinosaursCulinary ArtsVegetarianismLocal HarvestApplesApple HistoryCornDairyButcheryCraft FairArts & CraftsFolk TraditionsBlacksmithingCooperingGrist MillingFiber ArtsFeltingFashion HistoryMedicine HistoryPerfumerySocial StudiesLanguage ArtsWriting WorkshopTheater StudiesArt StudiesMuseum AdventuresVan GoghDramaSurrealismTelescopes

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, October 12-18, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Potatoes to Poetry. Sign Language to Fiber Optics.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Fashion HistoryMusic HistoryRock & RollAfro CubanJazzPianoTheater StudiesArt StudiesPost-ImpressionismFigure DrawingSurrealismDramaArt InstallationPicture Book ArtArt MuseumNature-Based LearningZoologyEntomologyBatsSquirrelsPollinatorsBeekeepingHomeschoolScience MuseumFiber OpticsGeologyParanormalAnthropologyLanguage ArtsSign LanguagePoetryWriting ClubOpen MicUpcyclingSkillsharingFolk TraditionsTinsmithingLetterpress PrintingBroom MakingScarecrowsRural CultureUrban CultureRural HeritageFall HarvestFall FestivalAutumn ParadeFood CultureFood TraditionPotatoesPuddingPumpkin PieVegetarian CookingWine & Cheese

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, October 5-11, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Basket Making to Scarecrows. Contra Dancing to Japanese Storytelling.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Folk MusicContra DancingTheater StudiesHistorical ComedyExperiential TheaterJapanese TheaterJapanese StorytellingBullet JournalingTextile HistoryWomen’s HistoryFashion HistoryLocal HeritageTrolley FestivalCountry FairLocal AgricultureFood TraditionsShaker HeritagePuerto Rican Food TraditionsFolk TraditionsCulinary TraditionsPiesSilversmithingStoneware PotteryBasket MakingScarecrowsLocal HarvestSeed SavingApple PickingGarlicCorn MazeBotanyHerbalismNatural HistoryGeographyRiver Clean UpCitizen ScienceBiologyZoologyAnimal StudiesHawk MigrationBearsReptilesFood SecurityCommunity MealCharity Bike RideParent’s Night OutArts Night OutParenting WorkshopSTEM5KArt StudiesDrawingInstallation ArtRural PlacemakingUrban PlacemakingOutdoor FilmCivics

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, September 28 – October 4, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Homesteading to Skillsharing. Bread Festival to Science Cafe.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

TransportationBike RidingBoat CruiseKayakingTrainsRoboticsFood ChemistryScience CafePermacultureForest BathingNative FaunaEntomologyGeologyLocal HeritageAgricultural FairAutumn EquinoxRosh HashanahSocial JusticeMuseum AdventuresFilm StudiesMusic StudiesGrassroots MusicArabic MusicArt InstallationLanguage ArtsPoetryWord GamesStory HourBread FestivalHarvest FestivalApple FestivalApple HarvestApple PickingAgricultural HeritageCorn MazeNutritional AnthropologyFermentationGuided ToursHomesteadingColonial HistoryFolk TraditionsButter MakingSeed SavingSkillsharingCitizen ScienceSustainabilitySilkFashion HistoryFiber Arts

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, September 21-27, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Learn Local. Play Local.: Block Party to Poetry Festival. Chili Peppers to Pollinators.

Community-Based Education Highlights
for Western Massachusetts

Hispanic Heritage MonthPuerto Rican ParadeMardi Gras ParadeRural HeritageHarvest FestivalAgricultural FairLocal HeritageGuided ToursHistorical MuseumTextile HistoryIndustrial HistoryFashion HistoryCooking for TeensColonial CookingFarm FestivalRosh HashanahApple PickingCorn MazeChili PeppersHawk MigrationMonarch ButterfliesTagging ButterfliesBioblitzSilk WormsPollinatorsDinosaursCitizen ScienceBiologyAstronomyTextilesCommunity GatheringBlock PartyCommunity MealCreative Free-PlaySafetyLanguage ArtsRural Public ArtExperiential ArtPop CulturePoetryDate NightParenting WorkshopFilm StudiesMusic StudiesFamily PodcastCajun MusicGrassroots MusicKirtanCanoeing

These are just a few of the community-based education (CBEdu) highlights we featured this week in our eNewsletter for the week, September 14-20, 2019. Click through, peruse our list, and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play! ♥ Want to have our highlights and spotlights delivered to your inbox every Thursday? Click here to subscribe!


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Deerfield, Gill, Hadley, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne Southampton, Tolland, and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies that are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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