HFVS Spring Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Listen to Podcast:

Spring Equinox Episode
with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
March 25th & 26th, 2017
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Gustafer Yellowgold – “Pinecone Lovely” [Have You Never Been Yellow?]


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Listen to Podcast:

PLAYLIST

  • Wendy Waldman – “Spring is Here” [Wendy Waldman]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Get Your Booty Out of Bed” [Party Like a Twinkle Star]
  • Cat Stevens – “Changes IV” [Teaser and the Firecat]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “We Need Mud” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • Arnold Lobel – “The Corner” [Frog and Toad All Year]
  • The Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun” [Abbey Road]
  • Bob Marley – “Sun is Shining” [Trojan Reggae Chill-Out (CD 2)]
  • Justin Roberts – “Taking Off My Training Wheels” [Meltdown!]
  • Cat Stevens – “The Wind” [Teaser and the Firecat]
  • Gustafer Yellowgold – “Pinecone Lovely” [Have You Never Been Yellow?]
  • Ruth Krauss/Norman Rose – “The Carrot Seed”
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Happy Birthday Baby” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • XTC – “Greenman” [Apple Venus Volume 1]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “The Bird” [Party Like a Twinkle Star]

Find out more about our Guest DJ, Charity Kahn at www.jamjamjam.com.

[Original broadcast: March 26th & 27th, 2011]

Learning Ahead: Spring Landscape & Vernal Pools

Exploring Spring’s Landscape through Vernal Pools & Literature

Similar to fall, the spring season is a time of transition as habitats and animals begin to respond to the change in weather and climate. Phenology-based activities coincide with the natural changing of our seasons (our ultimate accessible community-based educational resource) and are great catalysts for learning through community engagement. Maple syrup season, filled with delicious community activities and opportunities, is our first crop of the year, followed by another  seasonal event as winter transitions into spring…Vernal Pools!
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Awaken to the Moments

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

Grace Uncommon

I hope we can all awaken to the moments when we are in the presence of such gifts, and better still, to recognize the potential for it in ourselves. The good news is that grace will come, even when you are too busy to roll down the window and wake up.

Spring comes as a miraculous surprise to me every year.  The fresh air arrives out of nowhere and makes me giddy.  The branches are bare and the ground is muddy, but I am intoxicated by the scent of the wind.  In the bustle of my life I often overlook graceful simplicity, because I can’t seem to slow myself down to see it.  Like many parents, I spend most of my time in a minivan.  But when I happen to roll the window down, the unexpected, graceful spring air wafts in and I am blessed; I stop feeling sorry for myself and I step back into my body.  Persephone has returned, and so have I, fully awakened by the uncommon grace of spring.

Two weeks ago I accompanied my daughter to the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton.  She was performing in the ballet Beauty and the Beast with the Pioneer Valley Ballet (PVB).  As I waited to drop off my darling dancer along with the other parents, a little boy not more than four exclaimed, “Look!  The fust- flowah-a-spring!”  All of us swung our heads to view this improbability, and lo and behold, he was right.  There it was, poking its dainty purple crown purposefully out of the mud.  The spell was broken when the same sweet cherub jabbed his umbrella within a hair of this purple miracle and announced, “I’ne- gonna-deeg-et-up.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Comes in April

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

March Revelation

March is the worst of its kind. After traveling through the inky darkness of  winter, we arrive, weary, on the doorstep of March.  March tells us, wide-eyed, that he is the official herald of spring, a time when daffodils shine in abundance.  The most desperate among us will crack the bedroom window allowing March to sneak in. I’ve known March a long time, and while I still want to believe he is the real deal, I finally know better.  Spring comes in April… Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 20th & 21st, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for July 20th-26th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, Summer Camp Options, and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 30 Community Highlights: Munch to Thoreau. Scottish to Yiddish., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: July 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

July 20th-26th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Art HistoryCulinary ArtsIndustryHistoryShakespeareHikesNature StudiesSTEMGeology & PaleontologyCultural StudiesEntomologyLawn Concerts

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Beach Day Trips: 16 Recommendations from Western MA
  2. Ukulele Episode with Guest DJs, Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)
  3. Documentary on the History of Traveling the Mohawk Trail by Berkshire Students
  4. Our Daughters: The Importance of a Parent’s Empathy
  5. Q&A: What to Do With Teens Reluctant to Participate in Family Outings

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 13th & 14th, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for July 13th-19th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, nearly 60 Summer Camp Options, and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 30 Community Highlights: Wiggly Worms to Curious Creatures. Marionettes to Shadow Puppets., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: July 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

July 13th-19th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Nature & Animal StudiesHikesArt WalksCulinary HistoryHistoryFilm & Music StudiesFolktales & Puppet ShowsLibrary Adventures

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Make Your Own Sunblock
  2. 5 Hikes for Families in Western MA State Forests and Parks
  3. Outdoor Swimming Pools in Western MA
  4. The Verve Pipe Guest DJ Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)
  5. Q&A: Are Your Kids Still in Diapers? What Do They Swim In?

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for July 6th & 7th, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for July 6th-12th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, nearly 60 Summer Camp Options, and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 23 Community Highlights: French Paintings to Folk Art. Cockatoos to Bald Eagles., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: July 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

July 6th-12th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


EntomologyLocal HistoryColonial HistoryArt HistoryArtAnimal StudiesMusic/Cultural StudiesArchaeologySTEMNature StudiesAgriculture

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Q&A: 30 Recommended Folk Remedies to Make in the Summer
  2. Where Can Kids Take Swim Lessons in the Summer?
  3. Language Play: 5 Speech and Language Games for Travel
  4. North Quabbin Woods Quest
  5. HFVS Road Trip Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 29th & 30th, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 29th-July 5th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, and nearly 60 Summer Camp Options.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 28 Community Highlights: Rockets to Origami. Hieroglyphics to Bridges., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: June 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

June 29th – July 5th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Independence DayPlants, Nature & Animal StudiesSTEMArchaeologyLocal HistoryArts & CraftsLawn Concerts & Family DinnersMovies

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Web Review: Fireworks, Chemical of the Week
  2. Kids’ Market in the Hilltowns
  3. Q&A: Sunblocks that REALLY Work
  4. HFVS Summer Essentials Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  5. Q&A: What’s a Good Non-Toxic Bug Repellant

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 22nd & 23rd, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 22nd-28th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: 2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, and nearly 60 Summer Camp Options.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 30 Community Highlights: Fossils to Fire. Kirtan to Orchestra., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: June 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

June 22nd-28th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

EntomologyAnimal StudiesNature ScienceArchaeologyHistoryGeologyLibrary AdventuresAstronomyFilm, Dance & Music StudiesFashion StudiesHighlights in the Hilltowns

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Q&A: Where’s an Outdoor Place for PreK Kids to Play on Summer Days?
  2. Summer Solstice Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)
  3. Camping with Kids
  4. Firefly Watch! Citizen Science Project
  5. Summer Resources for Children with Special Needs

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for Father’s Day Weekend

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 15th-21st, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, and nearly 60 Summer Camp Options.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 29 Community Highlights: Dragonflies to Damselflies. Father’s Day to Juneteenth., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: June 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

June 15th-21st, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Historic Homes & BuildingsMusic StudiesLawn Concerts Animal & Insect StudiesPlant StudiesLibrary AdventuresHistoryParent Workshops & Support

RECAP

In need of a night out? We’re giving away a 4-pack of lawn tickets for a Parents’ Night Out to see CHICAGO at Mountain Park in Holyoke on Friday, June 21st! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Father’s Day Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)
  2. 12 Tips for Live-Away Dads
  3. Q&A: Local Strawberries
  4. Food Allergies and Summer Camp
  5. Make Your Own Root Beers

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 8th & 9th, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 8th-14th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, and over 55 Summer Camp Options.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 36 Community Highlights: Hermits to Fairies. Tornadoes to Dioramas., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: June 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

June 8th-14th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Indoor AdventuresHistoryAnimal Studies ♦  Nature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresMeteorologyMuseum AdventuresEngineeringOccupational ScienceMusic StudiesCommunity Service

RECAP

In need of a night out? We’re giving away a 4-pack of lawn tickets for a Parents’ Night Out to see CHICAGO at Mountain Park in Holyoke on Friday, June 21st! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets!

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Q&A: End of the Year Teacher Appreciation Gifts
  2. Western MA Folk Remedies for Stress
  3. How Does Your Sunscreen Rate?
  4. 12 Baseball Books for Kids
  5. 8 Featured Music CDs for Your Summer Family Road Trip

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for June 1st & 2nd, 2013

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

7th annual Hilltown Spring Festival happens this Saturday, June 1st from 10am-5pm at the Cummington Fairgrounds!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for June 1st-7th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, and over 50 Summer Camp Options.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 25 Community Highlights: Spring Festival to Bugaboo Review. Ponding to Nature Walks., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: June 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

June 1st-7th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Culinary ArtsHistory ♦  Nature StudiesEtiquetteNational Trails DayCommunity ServiceScienceBugs & BirdsParent WorkshopsParents’ Night Out

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 16 Swimming Holes in Western MA
  2. Let’s Play: Miniature Playhouses & Creative Free Play
  3. 3 Recipes from the Spring Garden
  4. HFVS Guest DJ, Joe & Justin of The Okee Dokee Brothers Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  5. I Spy Nature Science: Citizen Scientists Wanted

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for Memorial Day Weekend, 2013

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

Mark your calendars! The Hilltown Spring Festival happens next Saturday, June 1st from 10am-5pm at the Cummington Fairground!

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 25th-31st, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show, and over 50 Summer Camp Options.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 35 Community Highlights: Rhubarb to Butterflies. Turtles to Trolley., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: May 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

May 25th-31st, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Weekend HighlightsHistoryTransportationAnimal StudiesScienceEntomologyGeologyNature StudiesParent Workshops

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 13 Ways to Spend a Rainy Day in Western MA
  2. Little Homes for Little Folks: Make Your Own Gnome Home
  3. Q&A: Where Do Babies Come From?
  4. 8 Ways to Create Engaging Engineering Activities at Home
  5. Q&A: Best Cup of Joe in Western MA?

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 18th-19th, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 18th-24th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board. and over 50 Summer Camp Options.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 33 Community Highlights: Lady’s Slipper to Bird Calls. Charcoal Industry to Historic Mill Sites., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: May 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

May 18th-24th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Early ChildhoodHistoryAnimal/Nature StudiesPlant StudiesLanguage ArtsCommunity ServiceParent Workshops

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 11th-12th, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 11th-17th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board. and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 25 Community Highlights: Mother’s Day to Mamadrama. Steamboat Bill to Beaver Ponds., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: May 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

May 11th-17th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Mother’s Day HighlightsAnimal StudiesLocal HistoryNature StudiesFilm StudiesPlant SalesParent Workshop

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

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Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for May 4th, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for May 4th-10th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Bulletin Board. and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 23 Community Highlights: Building Birdhouses to Making Giving Bags. Jurassic Roadshow to Long Island Express., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: May 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

May 4th-10th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Service-Based LearningPlaygroups & StoryhoursDinosaurs/FossilsNature & HistoryFashionScienceAnimal/Nature StudiesParent Workshop

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Affirming What’s Essential ❥ Love in Western MA
  2. What to do with Fiddleheads?
  3. Hilltown Families on Pinterest!
  4. Let’s Play: Monsters and Creative Free Play
  5. HFVS Music from South Africa with Guest DJ, Debbie Lan (Radio Show/Podcast)

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT: This Saturday, May 4th form 10am-1pm. JOIN US!

GIVEAWAY

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 27th, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 27th-May 3rd, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board. and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 40 Community Highlights: History of Tea to Biology of Frogs. Cultural Festivals to Fundraisers., and our bi-weekly column, Berkshire Family Fun for late April through early May, 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

April 27th – May 3rd, 2013

SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Community ServiceFundraisersSustainabilityAnimal/Nature StudiesEconomicsCultural StudiesHistory

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Q&A: Does Your Family Have a Pediatric Dentist You Love Here in Western MA?
  2. HFVS Arbor Day Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  3. One Clover & A Bee: Poems For Families To Learn And Love
  4. Make Your Own Natural Bug Repellent Using Essential Oils
  5. Our Daughters: Using Facebook to Air Conflict

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

GIVEAWAY

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 20th, 2013

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

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 20th-26th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board. and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 34 Community Highlights: Wild Flower Walks to Textile Drives. Weather to Transportation., and our bi-weekly column, Berkshire Family Fun for late April through early May, 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

April 20th-26th, 2013

SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Community ServiceEarth DayAnimal StudiesNature StudiesHistoryParent WorkshopsCultural Studies

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Virtual Tour: How Plastic Bags Get Recycle
  2. Families in Western MA Offer Earth Day Eco-Tips
  3. Planting Seeds: Music that Celebrates Gardening
  4. Q&A: Where to Get New/Used Bikes for the Family in Western MA
  5. HFVS Astronomy Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April Vacation Week

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 during April Vacation Week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 13th-19th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board. and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 40 Community Highlights: StoryWalks to Marionette Shows. Salmon Fry to Coatimundi., and our bi-weekly column, Berkshire Family Fun for Early-Mid April, 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

April 13th-19th, 2013

SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

StoryWalks ♦ Puppets & Marionettes ♦ Animal StudiesCommunity ServiceHistory ♦ Astronomy

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Music Trekking: Andean Music for Spring
  2. Q&A: Share Your Love for Your Local CSA
  3. Let’s Play: Puppets and Creative Free Play
  4. Mug & Bugs in the Hills
  5. Birds of Spring Episode: Hilltown Family Variety Show (Podcast/Radio Show)

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for April 6th, 2013

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 upcoming week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for April 6th-12th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board. and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Woodcocks to Vernal Pools. Radio to Railroad., and our bi-weekly column, Berkshire Family Fun for Early-Mid April, 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

April 6th-12th, 2013

SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

HistoryLiteracyMusic Studies Environmental, Animal & Nature StudiesCivicsParent Workshops & Resources

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Tis the Season for Vernal Pools
  2. HFVS Spring Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)
  3. Picture Books for Spring Time
  4. Q&A: Community Recommended Documentaries for Parents
  5. Play Spring Walk Bingo!

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

TICKET GIVEAWAYS

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for March 30th, 2013

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 upcoming week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for March 30th-April 5th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Mark Your Calendars and Bulletin Board.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Laura Ingalls Wilder to the Beatles. Vernal Pools to Hot Cross Buns., and our bi-weekly column, Berkshire Family Fun for Late March, Early April, 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!  And for Easter highlights check our post, Easter Events in Western MA, 2013.

March 30th-April 5th, 2013

SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

HistoryOutdoor AdventuresAnimal StudiesCommunity ServiceGeographyComicsMusicalsScience/AstronomyMuseum AdventuresParent Workshops

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. The Ripple: Message of the Spring Peepers
  2. Vernal Pools: When Will The Spotted Salamander Eggs Hatch?
  3. Legends & Lore of Easter Icons
  4. Mud & Bugs in the Hills
  5. Consuming Kids: The Commercialization of Childhood

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

TICKET GIVEAWAYS

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for March 23rd, 2013

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 upcoming week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for March 23rd-29th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Best Bets, Mark Your Calendars and Bulletin Board.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 27 Community Highlights: Bread to Sushi. Beekeeping to Bird Houses., and our bi-weekly column, Berkshire Family Fun for Late March, Early April, 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!  And for Easter highlights check our post, Easter Events in Western MA, 2013.

March 23rd-29th, 2013

SaturdaySundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Sustainability ♦ Nature Science/Animal Studies ♦ Culinary Arts
Musical/Theater ♦ Parent Workshops ♦ Art ♦ Culinary Studies

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. “This Day in History” Video Series
  2. Two Recipes to Celebrate the Simple Pleasure of Cooking
  3. Which Western MA Museum Did Your Family Visit Last?
  4. Fencing Lessons in Western MA
  5. Web Review: BrainPOP

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA Cup & Top in Florence, MA

HILLTOWN FAMILIES SPRING RESOURCES

Easter Events

Berkshire Family Fun for Late March, Early April, 2013

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
March 23 – April 5, 2013

While there still might be fresh snow on the ground, it is officially spring… and there’s proof!  High school spring musicals are happening at both Taconic High School in Pittsfield and Mount Everett Regional High School in Sheffield; Spring egg hunts are scheduled in several towns throughout the county; there’s even the annual Spring Tonic happening at the Lenox Library!

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through April 5, 2013:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

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.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

Read the rest of this entry »

HFVS Spring Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to Podcast:

SPRING EQUINOX EPISODE
with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn

Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
Rebroadcast from March 26th & 27th, 2011
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video: Gustafer Yellowgold – “Pinecone Lovely” [Have You Never Been Yellow?]


New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
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CHARITY KAHN’S PLAYLIST

  • Wendy Waldman – “Spring is Here” [Wendy Waldman]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Get Your Booty Out of Bed” [Party Like a Twinkle Star]
  • Cat Stevens – “Changes IV” [Teaser and the Firecat]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “We Need Mud” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • Arnold Lobel – “The Corner” [Frog and Toad All Year]
  • The Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun” [Abbey Road]
  • Bob Marley – “Sun is Shining” [Trojan Reggae Chill-Out (CD 2)]
  • Justin Roberts – “Taking Off My Training Wheels” [Meltdown!]
  • Cat Stevens – “The Wind” [Teaser and the Firecat]
  • Gustafer Yellowgold – “Pinecone Lovely” [Have You Never Been Yellow?]
  • Ruth Krauss/Norman Rose – “The Carrot Seed”
  • Charity and the JAMband – “Happy Birthday Baby” [Rock Your Socks Off]
  • XTC – “Greenman” [Apple Venus Volume 1]
  • Charity and the JAMband – “The Bird” [Party Like a Twinkle Star]

Find out more about our Guest DJ, Charity Kahn at www.jamjamjam.com.

Suggested Events for April 7th-13th, 2012

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

Along with the yellow bloom of Coltsfoot, the white bloom of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is one of the first wildflowers to appear in April. Take your family on nature scavenger hunt along one of our Western MA rivers and streams this weekend and see what you can find. Click on the image to find out about nature scavenger hunts. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Easter Events in Western MA

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

In Hampshire County on Saturday, April 7th at 10am  – SATURDAY  MORNING MUSIC PARTY:  The Flywheel Arts Collective, an Easthampton-based, volunteer-run music and arts venue, along with the Hilltown Families and No-Nap Happy Hour, invites families with kids of all ages to a free pancake breakfast followed a family dance party by local kids performers R.O.C.K. (Royal Order of Chords and Keys)! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

In Berkshire County on Saturday, April 7th from 10am-4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Today is the first day of Hancock Shaker Village’s annual Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm event! Visitors to the village can meet tons of different baby animals, such as calves, chicks, piglets, lambs, and ducklings. There will also be activities for kids that involve both art and learning about history, such as weaving on a loom and basket making! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($) 

Giveaway: Crimson & Clover Farm ShareIn Hampden County on Saturday, April 7th from 11am-3pm – YARN BOMBING: Yarn bomb the Storrs Library today! Yarn bombing, a recently growing craze, is when knitters create flat knit pieces and use them to cover things like lamp posts, fences, railings, etc. Today, the Storrs Library invites kids to cover their book carts with their own handmade yarn bombs. Kids can practice their knitting and/or crocheting skills and will get to share their creations with the community! Call to register. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

In Franklin County on Saturday, April 7th from 1-4pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help give the Greenfield Energy Park a good spring cleaning. There will be lots to do, including cleaning up debris left by winter storms and gardening in the park’s beds. BYO garden tools and gloves. Families can work together to help prepare the park, a great community resource, for the season! 413-772-1533. Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Spring Vacation Week: April 16th-20th: Many students get the third week of April off from school, and parents will be looking for activities for their children to enjoy during the break. There are many opportunities to be found in the region, with several boutique options to choose from, including nature, art, sports, ballet, history, gymnastics, stewardship, outdoor adventures, among others. Check out our post, 15 Camps for Spring Vacation Week in Western MA for some highlights of events and week long camp opportunities happening during Spring Vacation Week right here in Western MA. Some options are for the entire week, while others allow you to choose your days and have full day or half-day options. Then be sure to check back next week for our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events for events happening during Spring Break!

BULLETIN BOARD

SHOW Circus Studio CIRCUS ARTS CLASSES: A new session of week day kid’s circus classes will begin on April 9 at SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton. Participants will work on trapeze, fabric, juggling, tumbling, human pyramids, tight wire, rolla bolla, globe and more. Circus is a great way to increase self esteem, have fun, get in shape, improve focus and learn new skills.  Classes are available for new and continuing students during after school hours. Students may come 1-3 times per week with a final show for parents and friends. Visit www.showcircusstudio.com/Classes.html for info and to register: Not sure if circus is right for your child? Try free circus classes on April 7 and find out! Class is free but registration is required. More info at www.showcircusstudio.com/Trial.html

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN 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 DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Individuals of all genders, sexual orientations, races, religions, abilities, ages, and income levels are encouraged to apply for volunteer positions at Everywoman Center. Educator Advocates work to prevent sexual violence and relationship violence on campus and in the community by facilitating workshops, discussions, and events on sexual assault, consent, and bystander intervention. Counselor Advocates support and advocate for people who have experienced sexual, physical and emotional abuse or violence. Academic credit available to volunteers (optional). Apply Online: www.umass.edu/ewc/work.  For more info: visit www.umass.edu/ewc, or email ewcmail@admin.umass.edu.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
April 6th-13th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 31st-April 6th, 2012

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

Mark your calendars for the Hancock Shaker Village's annual Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm beginning next Saturday, April 7th, 2012. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Venal Pool Events in Western MAAll day on Saturday, March 31st from 10am-4pm – MUSIC/LITERATURE FESTIVAL: The Meltdown, an annual family music and book celebration, takes place today! The event features live music from many great children’s musicians (the Deedle Deedle Dees, Alastair Mok and Friends, The Nields, School for the Dead, etc.), readings and talks with celebrated children’s authors (including Lisa Yee, Jeff Mack, and Eric Wright), crafts for kids, a gymnastics area, storytelling, magic and puppet shows, booths featuring local vendors and family services (including Hilltown Families!), and more. Celebrate great family music and books, and get the family out of the house and on their feet! Takes place at JFK Middle School. 100 Bridge Road. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

In the evening on Saturday, March 31st from 5:30-9pm – SPRING ADVENTURES: There are mysterious creatures and critters in the woods at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Families can take a guided tour (leaving the visitor’s center every 15 minutes) of the woods to characters who live in the vernal pools at the sanctuary. There will be frogs, salamanders, fairy shrimp, and more. Along with the tours will be games, presentations, and real live pond critters for kids to meet. Celebrate spring and the unique habitats created by the change in seasons! 413-584-3009. 127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Giveaway: Crimson & Clover Farm Share

Enter to win a Small Farm Share from Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, MA for the 2012 season by sharing a family recipe you're looking forward to preparing this spring with fresh local produce, embellished with the story behind this favorite dish!

In northern Berkshire County on Sunday, April 1st from 12noon-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: It’s Free Family Day at The Clark!  Enjoy an afternoon of activities, games, gallery talks, and tours all centered around the theme of Copycat: Reproducing Works of Art.  Kids will get to use various materials to create their own reproductions of classic works, can play follow-the-leader games, and explore the galleries.  The event is a great opportunity for kids to learn about creating art and art history.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

And in central Berkshire County on Sunday, April 1st from 1-2pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: The Berkshire Museum is incubating eggs from Hancock Shaker Village!  The eggs are set to hatch today, in honor of the museum’s 109th birthday, as well as the beginning of spring.  There will also be a lamb visiting from the village, and kids can meet animal friends and take part in fun animal- and spring-themed activities.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Easter Events in Western MA

During Easter many towns host egg hunts for their residents. Find an egg hunt nearest you, along with Easter craft opportunities, brunch and Easter Bunny appearances.

Saturday, April 7th from 1-4pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help give the Greenfield Energy Park a good spring cleaning.  There will be lots to do, including cleaning up debris left by winter storms and gardening in the park’s beds.  BYO garden tools and gloves.  Families can work together to help prepare the park, a great community resource, for the season!  413-772-1533.  Miles Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, April 8th from 2-4:30pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Winterberry Farm’s Lambs’ Open House takes place today!  Families are invited to the farm to meet the recently born lambs, as well as some fuzzy little chicks!  There will also be adult goats and poultry to visit.  413-548-3940.  21 Teawaddle Hill Road.  Leverett, MA.  (DONATION) 

BULLETIN BOARD

Pioneer Valley BalletBALLET: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents Cinderella based on the classic fairytale of Cinderella and the Prince, the birth and flowering of love, the obstacles in its path and finally the dream fulfilled.  This comic ballet is known for its jubilant music, lush scenery, beautiful dancing and the hilariously wicked stepsisters, more mad than bad in this production.  Come experience a beggar turning into a Fairy Godmother, a pumpkin and mice that turn into a coach and coachmen, a glass slipper that makes dreams come true. You will leave the theater laughing, awe-inspired, and believing in “happily ever after!” Shows: March 31 & April 1 at the Academy of Music in Northampton.  Visit www.pioneervalleyballet.org or the Academy at 413-584-9032 for tickets.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Swing into spring with the O-Tones at ArtSpark, Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School’s annual party & auction at Look Park’s Garden House, Saturday March 31st at 7 p.m. Put the “fun” in fundraiser with live music, dancing, food by Bread Euphoria & a cash bar. The silent auction is the Valley’s most eclectic, with many one-of-a-kind furniture and crafts by local artisans to a Cape Cod getaway and South African Safari. Tickets are $20 apiece, available in advance at local businesses including Bread Euphoria, State Street Fruit Store, Cooper’s Corner & The Creamery, or at the door. More info, please call 413-268-3421.

sarahpirtle.com/JourneyCamp.htmSUMMER CAMP: Journey Camp returns to Cummington for Hilltown families this summer. The unique camp offers a supportive atmosphere where it’s easy to make friends as campers explore nature, dramatics, games, music. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Director Sarah Pirtle, founder of Journey Camp, has won numerous awards for her books & music for children. SESSION ONE, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 2-6, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill, Deerfield. HILLTOWN JOURNEY CAMP, boys & girls ages 7-13, July 16-20, 8:45-4, Taproot Common Farm, Cummington. MOONSEED TEEN LEADERSHIP FOR GIRLS, ages 12-18, July 30-Aug. 2, two overnights & campfires, Woolman Hill. GIRLS WEEKS, ages 7-13, Aug. 6-10 & Aug. 13-17, 8:45-4, Woolman Hill. www.sarahpirtle.com.

"Last year a participant from the Boston area found out about my camp through your website and spent a week out here with her daughter just for my camp!" - Beth Fairservis, Puppets in the Woods Summer Arts Camp

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids?  Check out our post  Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT: Empty Arms is a local community of bereaved parents who seek to support families who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss. Four support groups are held each month. The Bereavement group meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month, 7 – 9 PM at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. The Subsequent Choices group meets on the 2nd Monday of each month.  Contact Carol McMurrich for time and location (carolmcmurrich@comcast.net). The Miscarriage group meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month, 7 – 9 PM at Cooley Dickinson. The Parenting After Loss group meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month in the morning. Contact Erika Parker for time and location (ehenyey@gmail.com). For more information, contact Carol McMurrich, director carolmcmurrich@comcast.net.

EARTH HOUR: Join together with other community members to celebrate togetherness and local resilience, and observe Earth Hour, too!  “Weaving a Web of Resilient Community” takes place at the Cummington Community House (33 Main St.) on Saturday, March 31st.  Beginning at 7pm, the event features activities, performances, and images that highlight the unique culture and values shared locally.  There will be a photography show featuring pictures taken by Hilltown Families’ Sienna Wildfield, a seed swap, potluck snacks (bring something to share!), a concert with Sarah Stockwell-Arthen (whose music channels the theme of the event), and a celebration of Earth Hour, where the lights will be turned out and candles will be lit (BYO!).  Visitors will also have a chance to share information about farms, sustainability projects, or other relevant community ideas, projects, and initiatives with others at the event, and there will be art materials available for kids to experiment with!


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
March 31st-April 6th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Read the rest of this entry »

Spring is Full of Family Fun in the Berkshires!

Spring Activities in the Berkshires

Williamstown Rural Lands Foundations’s annual Sheep to Shawl Festival happens on May 7th at the Rural Lands Foundation in Williamstown, MA.

Between work, soccer practices, Little League cleanups, lacrosse games and running the kids around to anywhere else they “need” to be, there is little time to enjoy the endless amount of family activities offered up in the Berkshires. But if you have a little more time on your hands, or are just crazy enough to try and schedule one more thing into your busy schedule, then here are a few for fun-filled family events for you!

DRUMS OR SHEEP? YOU CHOOSE

Here I go again … more choices. But they’re good ones to have to make. On Saturday, May 7, there are two events during the day would tempt all three of my children (it just won’t tempt all three to the same one). If I had to guess my daughter would be drawn the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundations’s annual Sheep to Shawl Festival while my youngest son would definitely choose the youth drum and percussion clinic at Jae’s Spice in Pittsfield. My other son wouldn’t probably choose either one depending on his mood and the day. Anyway … here’s the scoop. The Sheep to Shawl Festival is held at the Rural Lands Foundation on Route 7 in Williamstown, MA and features crafts, local artisans and farm animals and more with a focus on the region’s historic fleece and fiber industry. The days events begin at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. More information can be found at wrlf.org. $

The percussion clinic will be led by drum instructors from the Pittsfield Drum and Percussion Expo, including Chris Hairston of the Blue Light Jazz Trio and Aimee Gelinas, founder of Gaia Roots. The clinic is free and runs from 10 a.m. to noon at Jae’s Spice located at North St., Pittsfield. For more information log onto gaiaroots.com.

WHAT DO BUBBLES, NATIVE AMERICANS AND BLACK VIOLINS HAVE IN COMMON

They’re all part of the family-friendly events taking place on Saturday, May 14, around the area. First off from 10 to 11 a.m. Child Care of the Berkshires will offer up a “Wind and Bubbles” science workshop for children ages 2 to 5 at the Haskins Center in North Adams. It’s free but registration is required. Call 413-664-4821.

If you’d prefer drumming, music, dancing, storytelling and teepee-raising over bubbles then head up (and I mean up) to the top of Mount Greylock to Bascom Lodge for its season-opening celebration from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Find out more details at bascomlodge.net.

I’ve been excited about this next event since I saw it in The Colonial’s brochure when it came originally came out (when was that anyway?) —Black Violin. It sounds cool doesn’t it? But what is it? Black Violin is a revolutionary music group featuring two classically trained violinists and their DJ who will perform their unique blend of jazz, hip-hop, funk and classical music.

The performance begins at 2 p.m. at the South Street in Pittsfield at the Colonial theater and you can’t beat the ticket price, making Black Violin the perfect opportunity for your family to check out The Colonial. For tickets and information call or visit thecolonialtheatre.org.

NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY IN THE BERKSHIRES

There is always more to do in the Berkshires from hiking, to kayaking to visiting the myriad museums, but I can’t possibly get it all into this column or I’d be writing forever, but I have a keen interest in teaching my children about the rich history of the Berkshires so I have been on the lookout for kid-friendly historical events in the area and this one sounded pretty cool. On Saturday, May 7 at 11 a.m. the Stockbridge Library on Main Street in Stockbridge will be hosting a program for children and families titled “Sounding Mohican Pathways: Flute, Song and Story at the Library with Shawn Stevens & JoAnne Spies” from 11 a.m. to noon. Stevens and Spies will share Mohican stories and songs for children of all ages. The event is free, but donations are welcome. For more information call the library at 413-298-5501.

AUTHOR VISIT

When my son Max was in the fourth grade my sister, a fourth grade teacher, game him a book that all her students were reading and loving — The Lightning Thief. Max was quickly immersed in the five-book series pleading for me to take to the bookstore the moment a new book was released. Now the creator of “The Percy Jackson” series, Rick Riordan, is knee-deep in two new series “The Kane Chronicles” and “The Heroes of Olympus.” The second book of the Kane Chronicles, Throne of Fire, was released this week. Riordan has hit the road to promote it and he’s coming to a couple of towns not-too-far from the Berkshires.

His first stop in the area is on May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Manchester Elementary School sponsored by one of my favorite places, Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT, only about an hours drive from North Berkshire locations. Then on May 7 (after a brief trip to Brattleboro, VT) at 3 p.m. Riordan will head to the Pioneer Valley via Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley courtesy of the Odyssey Bookshop. The Manchester event costs a small fee, but that fee can be put towards the purchase of the new book. Riordan’s visit in South Hadley is free.

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 03/26/11-04/01/11

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

New opportunity to support local farms in the Hilltowns while feeding your family locally grown food: The Williamsburg Farmers' Market is coming to Williamsburg every Thursday afternoon starting in May, on the Meekins river side lawn! (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. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

BEST BETS

On Saturday, March 26th from 10am-4pmMELTDOWN: 3rd Annual Family Music Meltdown and Book Bash happens at JFK Middle School. Now in its third year, the Meltdown has become a tradition for families in the Valley and beyond, featuring music on three stages, readings from nationally-known children’s book authors, crafts, bouncing, local food, and much more! 100 Bridge St. Florence, MA (FREE)

In the evening on Saturday, March 26th at 5pm – KIDS’ DANCE PARTY: Join Radio Free Earth and Maureen Shea of Grasshoppa for music and dance at the Cummington Community House. For all ages! 33 Main St. Cummington, MA (>$)

On Sunday, March 27th from 10am-4pm – MINERAL/GEM SHOW: The Connecticut Valley Mineral Club host the Western Mass Mineral, Jewelry and Fossil Show at the Holiday Inn, Ingleside.  Young geologists and their families can explore mineral arts from around the world, see examples of fossils and crystals. 245 Whiting Farms Rd. Holyoke, MA (KIDS FREE, ADULTS >$)

Midweek on Wednesday, March 30th at 6:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Hilltown Families presents … Do I Have To?: How Chores Empower Families, aN interactive and fun presentation for adults with author Susan Tordella at Cup & Top Cafe. Learn how cleaning toilets, washing dishes and raking leaves empower families. 1 North Main St. Florence, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

On Saturday, April 2nd at 1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Hilltown Families and Spare the Rock presents The Expandable Brass Band at Flywheel Arts Collective. Kids are encourage to join the band at 12noon, an hour before the show, for free opportunity to learn songs with the band. Old Town Hall. 43 Main St. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

On Sunday, April 10th from 4-7pm – BIRTHDAY BENEFIT BASH: Dinner, dessert & a family concert: Hilltown Families Birthday Benefit Bash at Bread Euphoria!  A celebration to celebrate Hilltown Families 5 year anniversary. Family concert with Mister G.  Pizza and birthday cake from Bread Euphoria. Suggested donation: $10 per person and up. Haydenville, MA (FUNDRAISER)

BULLETIN BOARD

SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival, Sat. March 26 at Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls. Rehearsal/theatre games for ages 5-11 at 2pm who want to be in performance at 3 followed by Lui Collins. Evening for general public at 7pm: Sandglass Theater, Piti Theatre, cellist Wayne Smith, Carrie Ferguson, Court Dorsey plus doorprizes! www.ptco.org/syrup

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: ArtSpark, the annual auction and benefit for the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, will take place on March 26th, from 7-11pm at Look Park’s Garden House in Florence, MA. This year’s theme is the 1980s, so dig out those leg warmers, dust off those Ray-Bans, start growing that mullet and get ready for some fun! Music and dancing, abundant and one-of-a-kind auction items at all price points, delicious food from Bread Euphoria, a great time for a great cause. Tickets are $15 each or $25 for a pair, available in advance at State Street Fruit Store in Northampton, Cooper’s Corner in Florence, Bread Euphoria in Haydenville, The Creamery in Cummington or at the door. For more information, please visit www.hilltowncharter.org or call 413.268.3421.

QUILT SHOW: Families are invited to Hands All Around Quilt Show this weekend at the Mullins Center in Amherst. March 26th & 27th, 10am-4pm. Over 500 quilts from Pioneer Valley & New England quilters will be on display, including two exhibits – “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak To Hope,” a special quilt exhibit that explores the impact of Alzheimer’s on patients and their caregivers, and “From Lobstah to Green Monstah: What’s Best About New England,” a special exhibit of quilts from New England Quilt Museum in Lowell. The show will feature a special kids corner where kids can work on their own fabric project. Hands Across The Valley Guilt Guild in Amherst sponsors the show, and proceeds are donated to local charitable and arts organizations.

FILM FESTIVAL: Out! For Reel LGBT Film Series & Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival co-present two inspiring films about family, identity, and acceptance on Sat., April 2nd at 8:15pm: Off and Running: With white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers, Brooklyn teen Avery grew up in a unique, loving, mulit-racial household. Avery explores race, identity, and family when she decides to contact her African-American birth mother. (74 min); Second Guessing Grandma: A charming story of a twenty-something Jewish gay man who finally comes out to his beloved grandmother against his mother’s desire to protect her from the truth. (9 min). Both films will be screened in Wright Hall at Smith College in Northampton. (>$) www.OutForReel.org

MUSIC CLASS: New 8-Week Music Class Series with Mister G in Northampton beginning April 4th/5th: Mister G’s Community Chorus for kids 6-10: Imagine the Young at Heart Chorus for kids! Join the coolest chorus for kids singing Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Patsy Cline and Mister G’s originals. The chorus will be joining Mister G on the main stage of the WRSI Meltdown. Mister G’s Jamboree for kids 1-5: Sing, dance…you’ll even learn Spanish in the Jamboree! Mister G developed an innovative approach to early childhood music immersion while teaching at the Smith College Campus School. Just back from touring in Mexico and Guatemala, Mister G has taken the Jamboree all over the world. For class times, locations and registration visit: mistergsongs.com

Laura Porter of Williamsburg, MA writes: I’m excited to let you know about a new community development for Williamsburg, a weekly farmers market starting in May, which will run every Thursday afternoon from 2:30-7pm on the Meekins Library lawn until the end of October. Lend your support and learn more about the new Burgy farmers’ market at our Community Fundraising Supper on Tuesday, April 5th 6-8 pm at the Haydenville Congregational Church. Suggested donation: $10-25 per person You can purchase your tickets through me, or buy them at Meekins Library or Haydenville Congregational Church.

SCREENINGS: Parents living in the Gateway Regional School District are offered free developmental and kindergarten screenings.  The developmental screening is for children 3-4yo who will not be entering kindergarten in 2011.  The screening is conducted to identify concerns about a child’s development- the areas examined include cognitive ability, social and emotional skills, language, and motor skills.  Kindergarten screenings are for children starting school in 2011, and are conducted to check speech skills, learning style, and recognition of letter names and sounds.  Developmental screenings will take place April 4th, and kindergarten screenings will be held on April 14th, both from 8-11am.  To schedule an appointment, contact the school district at 685-1000.

TALENT SHOW: Auditions for the Pittsfield Youth Commission’s second annual talent show will be held on 3/26 from 1-3pm at the Lichtenstein Center, and 3/29 from 2:30-3:15pm at the Pittsfield High School library. The show will take place at 7:30pm on April 15th at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.  The talent show was established by both the youth commission and the group Youth Alive as a way to suit the need for more cultural and creative outlets for area youth.  Along with the talent show will be the presentation of the S.A.Y. It Proud Awards, which recognize young people involved in “positive activities and making healthy choices.”   For more information, call 499-9348.

SATURDAY WINTER FARMERS’ MARKETS:

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’re raising money for Valley Free Radio, home of HFVS.  We have many great premiums we’re giving away with any donation of $25 or more.  Tune in to see what you can get with your pledge, and call between 9-10am! 413-585-1033. 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 | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Listen Here

    Read the rest of this entry »

    HFVS Spring Equinox Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn (Radio Show/Podcast)

    Listen to Podcast:

    SPRING EQUINOX EPISODE
    with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn

    Saturday from 9-10am & Sunday from 7-8am
    March 26th & 27th, 2011
    WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
    Northampton, MA

    Featured Video: Gustafer Yellowgold – “Pinecone Lovely” [Have You Never Been Yellow?]


    New Podcasts ♦ Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
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    CHARITY KAHN’S PLAYLIST

    • Wendy Waldman – “Spring is Here” [Wendy Waldman]
    • Charity and the JAMband – “Get Your Booty Out of Bed” [Party Like a Twinkle Star]
    • Cat Stevens – “Changes IV” [Teaser and the Firecat]
    • Charity and the JAMband – “We Need Mud” [Rock Your Socks Off]
    • Arnold Lobel – “The Corner” [Frog and Toad All Year]
    • The Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun” [Abbey Road]
    • Bob Marley – “Sun is Shining” [Trojan Reggae Chill-Out (CD 2)]
    • Justin Roberts – “Taking Off My Training Wheels” [Meltdown!]
    • Cat Stevens – “The Wind” [Teaser and the Firecat]
    • Gustafer Yellowgold – “Pinecone Lovely” [Have You Never Been Yellow?]
    • Ruth Krauss/Norman Rose – “The Carrot Seed”
    • Charity and the JAMband – “Happy Birthday Baby” [Rock Your Socks Off]
    • XTC – “Greenman” [Apple Venus Volume 1]
    • Charity and the JAMband – “The Bird” [Party Like a Twinkle Star]

    Find out more about our Guest DJ, Charity Kahn at www.jamjamjam.com.

    Suggested Events 03/19/11-03/25/11

    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

    There's a fundraising breakfast on Saturday at UMass for the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, a fabulous animal care center that has many animal programs, including a barn cat adoption program for cats not suited for households. Details below. (Barn cat in Cummington, 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. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    BEST BETS

    Saturday, March 19th from9:30-11am – LEGOS: The Lenox Library hosts their fouth annual Lego Build-a-thon! Participants must bring their own Legos- the goal of the build-a-thon is for participants to build an original structure from scratch that is capable of operating a fishing line. Prizes will be given to all participants! Ages 5-14. 18 Main Street. 637-0197 Lenox, MA. (FREE)

    Carrying on through the afternoon on Saturday, March 19th from 9am-3pm – MAPLE FEST: 26th Annual Chester Hill Maple Fest. Enjoy breakfast (including pancakes with Chester Hill maple syrup!) from 9-12, a craft fair, visits with baby animals, a raffle, and live music from the Pioneer Valley Fiddlers. 335 Skyline Trail. 667-8725. Chester, MA. (FREE entrance)

    Sunday, March 20th at 12Noon – PARADE: The 60th Anniversary St. Patrick’s Day Parade leaves the K-Mart Plaza at noon. Bring the family to this iconic St. Patty’s celebration. http://www.holyokestpatricksparade.com Holyoke, MA (FREE)

    Sunday afternoon, March 20th from 3-5pm – FAMILY DANCE: Community Family Dance at First Churches (enter across from the Iron Horse). There will be live music and dances will be taught to families. All ages 3yo & up. 230-7037 Northampton, MA (>$)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Wednesday, March 30th at 6:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Hilltown Families presents … Do I Have To?: How Chores Empower Families, aN interactive and fun presentation for adults with author Susan Tordella at Cup & Top Cafe. Learn how cleaning toilets, washing dishes and raking leaves empower families. 1 North Main St. Florence, MA (FREE)

    Sunday, April 10th from 4-7pm – BIRTHDAY BENEFIT BASH: Hilltown Families Birthday Benefit Bash at Bread Euphoria!  A celebration to bring the community together while supporting Hilltown Families with a birthday party!  Family concert with Mister G.  Pizza and birthday cake from Bread Euphoria. Save the date now.  More details to come! Haydenville, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    MEET THE DOULAS DAY! Sunday, March 20, 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.

    MUSIC CLASS: New 8-Week Music Class Series with Mister G in Northampton beginning April 4th/5th: Mister G’s Community Chorus for kids 6-10: Imagine the Young at Heart Chorus for kids! Join the coolest chorus for kids singing Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Patsy Cline and Mister G’s originals. The chorus will be joining Mister G on the main stage of the WRSI Meltdown. Mister G’s Jamboree for kids 1-5: Sing, dance…you’ll even learn Spanish in the Jamboree! Mister G developed an innovative approach to early childhood music immersion while teaching at the Smith College Campus School. Just back from touring in Mexico and Guatemala, Mister G has taken the Jamboree all over the world. For class times, locations and registration visit: mistergsongs.com

    SLEEP WORKSHOP: Monday, March 21, 2011 at 630pmFREE Helping Your Child Sleep Workshop led by local social worker and child sleep consultant, Jen Zajac, MSW, LICSW, in the Northampton Forbes Library Community Room. Jen Zajac has over 11 years of experience working with children and families in the Pioneer Valley. She will provide a brief discussion regarding the basics of infant and toddler sleep patterns. Suggestions regarding how to keep children well rested including a basic overview of naps and night sleep will be provided. Simple strategies regarding how to respond to middle of the night awakenings will be discussed. The remaining time will be open for individual questions. Registration is required at www.HelpingYourChildSleep.com

    PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Save the date for ArtSpark, Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School’s annual party & auction at Look Park’s Garden House in Florence on Saturday March 26th at 7 p.m. The event features music & dancing, food by Bread Euphoria & a cash bar. A good time for a good cause, with auction items at all price points, from a carton of fresh eggs to a weekend getaway & one-of-a-kind furniture & crafts. This year’s theme is the 1980s, so dig out those legwarmers, dust off your Ray-Bans, start growing that mullet & get ready for some fun. Tickets available in advance at the school or local businesses including Bread Euphoria, State Street Fruit Store, Cooper’s Corner & The Creamery. More info, call 268.3421.

    PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Saturday, March 19th from 9am-12noon: Berkshire Trail Elementary School’s first annual pancake breakfast!  The event is a fundraiser for the school, and proceeds will go towards purchasing show shoes for the schools P.E. class and outdoor exploration during the winter months in science classes.  Most of the food will be donated by local vendors, and GLUTEN FREE pancakes will be available!  2 Main Street.  634-5327.  Cummington, MA.  (SCHOOL FUNDRAISER)

    SATURDAY WINTER FARMERS’ MARKETS:

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: SPRING EQUINOX EPISODE

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

    HFVS Guest DJ, Charity Kahn of Charity and the JAMBand, has put together a lovely spring equinox show for this weekend, featuring music by Justin Roberts, XTC, Cat Stevens, Bob Marley, along with several of her own songs.  Featured story on this weeks broadcast, The Corner by Arnold Lobel, and The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss.

    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

    Read the rest of this entry »

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