Suggested Events 05/08/10-05/14/10

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


Celebrating May in the Hilltowns. (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.


Friday, May 7th at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield: Cowboy Steak (bone-in ribeye) with roasted garlic mushrooms, chipotle and goat cheese mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus – or – Mediterranean couscous-stuffed eggplant with yogurt mint sauce and asparagus. BYOB 628-4003

Saturday, May 8th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Sandwiches, salads, soups and pizza (including Gluten-Free pizza!).  Open mic! Beer & wine available. 268-7757

Saturday, May 8th at Blue House Cafe in Haydenville: Homemade vegetarian fare with local and organic ingredients. Open Mic with Steve Koziol! BYOB 268-7441

Sunday Brunch, May 9th at Remington Lodge in Cummington: Fresh fruit plate, Freshly baked muffins and breads, Eggs Florentine with home fries, Chocolate-dipped strawberries, Juice, coffee, and tea and . . . spring posies for all the mothers!. BYOB RSVP 634-5493


HILLTOWN SPRING FESTIVAL: The Hilltown Spring Festival, a daylong family-friendly celebration of Hilltown music, arts, culture and community, will take place Saturday, May 15th, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Produced by the Hilltown CDC, the fourth annual Festival will feature 15 musical acts on two performance stages, including headliners Charles Neville, The Primate Fiasco and Swing Caravan, all-day children’s activities, maypole, local food and local brews, arts and crafts and a sustainable living expo. – (LISTEN TO PSA)

FAMILY CONCERT: Brady Rymer will be performing a Sunday matinee concert for families at the Iron Horse on Sunday, May 16th, 2010 at 2pm in Northampton, as part of the No Nap Happy Hour Series.  More info here.


SPONSORSHIP, ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events. – SPONSORSHIP: Interested in supporting the work of Hilltown Families?  Find out how to be a sponsor! Inquiries can email for details

Debra J’Anthony, Executive Director of the Academy of Music Theater in Northampton, MA writes: We continue to accept registration forms for our Summer Musical Theater Workshops for ages 7-14. Our first session, Encore, Glee Club, begins July 5th and is offered for children ages 11-14. The second session, First Act!, begins July 19th, running for two weeks for children ages 7-11. Call 584-9032 for more info.

MUSIC GIVEAWAY: Uncle Rock has released a new family CD, The Big Picture, and we have a copy to giveaway to one luck family!  Click here to find out how you can win a copy of his newest release!

RECYCLING BENEFIT: There will be an Electronic Recycling Collection May 15th, 2010 from 9-12 at Smith Vocational High School. The location is 80, Locust Street, Northampton, MA. The collection is open to the public- you do not need to be a Northampton resident. Recycling fees run between $2-$10 and benefit Northampton Public Schools. There is no charge to recycle printer cartridges or cell phones. Unable to accept refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, or any appliances containing freon at this collection. Co-sponsored by the Northampton DPW, the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, and WRSI. Special thanks to Duseau Trucking.

FISHWAY: Each spring when the shadbush blooms, New Englanders have the opportunity to view an incredible natural phenomenon – the return of the American shad. The fishways on the Connecticut River help migrating fish over the dams and provide an opportunity to view these fish at underwater viewing windows. FirstLight Power Resources’ Turners Falls facility will open Saturday, May 15 and close Sunday, June 20. The migration season happens quickly, so plan your trip soon! For directions, hours of operations or to schedule a school program, please call (800) 859-2960 or Click here to download a fishway brochure which also contains information about Holyoke Gas and Electric’s Barrett Fishway.

Hilltown Spring FestivalCALL FOR KID CRAFTERS: Crafty kids up to 13yo are invited to participate in the Kids-Made Craft Bazaar from 1:30-3:30pm at the Hilltown Spring Festival on Saturday, May 15th.  The Hilltown CDC’s goals are to allow children to participate directly in the Festival, to reward them for their creativity, and to give them some real-world experience showing and selling their work. The Kids-Made Crafts area will be highlighted in a central covered area on the fairground, and all crafts and art must be hand-made predominantly by children and is only $5 per table.  For more information and registration, click here.

RECALL: Working in consultation with the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), McNeil Consumer Healthcare is implementing a voluntary recall of infant and children’s liquid products due to manufacturing deficiencies which may affect quality, purity or potency. Following McNeil’s recall announcement on Friday evening, the FDA is providing additional advice to consumers.  More info here.

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Congratulations to Jennifer Page of Amherst, MA and Elizabeth Brooke-Willbanks of Easthampton, MA. Both families have won a pair of free tickets to see Dan Zanes performing with the Whole Children Community Chorus and special guest, local musician Mister G at First Churches in Northampton on Mother’s Day (May 9th).

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Amherst Survival Center. Volunteers are needed to prepare, serve and clean up after meals; to help sort donations and drivers to pick up produce and baked goods for daily distribution. Call 549-3968, ext. 202 or email

SUBMIT A VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Looking for volunteers for your non-profit, service organization or not-for-profit event? Post your “call for volunteers” on our Community Bulletin Board for profile consideration.



Hilltown Family Variety ShowHFVS airs every Saturday from 9-10am, and encores air on Sundays from 7-8am, on 103.3FM WXOJ Northampton, MA

Tune in on Saturdays from 9-10am, or listen to our podcasts HERE. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to 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.
  • HFVS Podcast

    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!


    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4) | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmer’s Market | PSA

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns
    SATURDAY – 5/8

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Mother’s Day Episode! Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at

    9am-12Noon –FAMILY WALK/RUN: Berkshire Trail Elementary “Spirit of Learning” 5K Run & Walk. Cummington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    9:30am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Grab the family and come dig up and learn now to eat Garlic Mustard: Learn how to properly identify, pull and dispose of garlic mustard plants. As an alternative and fun means of disposal, edible wild plant expert Blanche Derby will lead a demonstration and tasting of some easy recipes for garlic mustard that will take place afterwards on the beautiful grounds of the Bryant Homestead. 268-8219 Cummington, MA (FREE)

    10-11am – NATURE STUDIES: Fascinating Frogs: Exploring Life Cycles with Rachel Roberts at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. A program about life cycles. Variety of hands-on science and art activities connected to life cycles with a focus on frogs, including a story time about the life of tree frogs and time to look at books about other frogs and life cycles. This class will reinforce participants’ understanding of animal behavior and the cycles of nature around us all year long. Ages 4 and older. 800-859-2960 Northfield, MA (FREE)

    10-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Falconry Up Close at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Chris Davis, Master Falconer, provides the opportunity to observe up close the handling and free-flying of a trained hawk. Experience the ancient art of falconry while learning about the life history of raptors, their role in the environment, and the efforts underway to ensure their survival and conservation. Appropriate for ages 8 and up accompanied by an adult. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required; please call 256-6006 Amherst, MA ($)

    10am-12Noon – CRAFTS: Mother’s Day Floral Arrangement at the Whately Library. Drop in for an all ages craft project. Adults and children are welcome to make a spring wreath or arrangement for Mother’s Day. Fiona will guide you and all materials will be provided. Feel free to bring additional flowers, ribbons, or containers you would like to use. Funding for this program has been provided from the Friends of the Library. Whatley, MA (FREE)

    10am-1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: The Art of Shelter with Earthwork Programs. Learn the skills to make your own shelter in the wilderness, using all natural materials. 522-0338 Northampton, MA ($$)

    10am-2:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Youth Fishing Derby. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Office (300 Westgate Center Drive) will hold a Free Youth Fishing Derby for children14yo and under. Participants will fish in a stocked pond. Other activities include face painting, arts and crafts, and casting demonstrations. Prizes will be awarded in three age categories. Refreshments on sale by local Boy and Girl Scout Troops. Hadley, MA (FREE)

    10am-11pm – COMMUNITY FAIR: On the Town Common in Amherst, sponsored by the Rotary Club.  Rides for kids, games, rock climbing wall, food and more.  Amherst, MA (FREE)

    10:30am-12Noon – ARCHITECTURAL STUDIES: Students and adults can discover local architectural styles with local historian and retired city planner Robert McCarroll who will lead a walking tour to see Springfield’s Art Deco-style buildings. The tour will begin at the Springfield Museums. Art Deco was a modernistic, streamlined, sleekly decorative style that was popular between the two world wars. McCarroll will discuss the Art Deco features of several Springfield buildings, including the state office building on Dwight Street, the Community Music School building on State Street, and the art and science museums at the Quadrangle. For additional information, call the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association at 413-747-1830 or email Springfield, MA (>$)

    10:30am-12Noon – CRAFTS: Painting with Wool Worksop: An Introduction to Felt Making. A 2-hour workshop at the Wistariahurst Museum with Sue McFarland. Learn techniques along with the history of felt making. Students 12yo & older. RSVP 322-5660 Holyoke, MA ($)

    11am – PUPPET SHOW: Watershed Waltz, a puppet performance for kids 5-12yo at North Hall. Music, storytelling and shadow puppetry. Explore the dynamics of a healthy watershed with an 11-year-old boy as he teaches his mother about the watershed. 667-5543 Huntington, MA (KIDS FREE, Adults donation)

    11am – MEMORY WALK: Empty Arms Mothers Day Walk at Look Park. This walk is a fundraiser, but also stands as an opportunity for the community to come together to honor all mothers on Mother’s Day Weekend. Donations are optional but your presence is worth so much to the families involved. 529-1610 Florence, MA (Fundraiser)

    11am-1:30pm – COOKING: Mother’s Day Lunch, a hands-on For kids (8-12yo) at Different Drummer’s Kitchen Co. Cooking School. Here is every mom’s dream: drop off your kids for a wonderful cooking class with talented cooking teacher Barbara Morse. Then go shopping, get a manicure, do whatever you fancy. When you return an hour and a half later, you will be treated to a delicious meal prepared by the young chefs. What better gift for Mother’s Day! 800-375-2665 Northampton, MA ($$)

    11am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Stories from Nature’s Garden at the Lee Library (100 Main Street). Join The Trustees of Reservations horticulturalist Anne Gannon for a free program of indoor stories and activities sharing the wonders of nature in all seasons. 243-0385 Lee, MA (FREE)

    11:30am-1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Eyes On Owls: Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day. Join naturalist Marcia Wilson and photographer Mark Wilson in sharing their passion for owls! They will be holding two live owl presentations at the International Migratory Bird Day celebration at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region Office (300 Westgate Center Drive). The building is located south of the intersection of Route 9 and Route 116 North. Hadley, MA

    1-2:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Stream Explorers, a workshop for kids 10yo+. Discover the magic of streams! Wear waterproof footwear, bring bag lunch. Desserts provided. Parents may wait indoors at North Hall. Space is limited. Registration is required: 667-5543 Huntington, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – HENNA PARTY: At the Meekins Library, Sangita Desigawill henna your hands with a beautiful flower design.  Call to sign up, 268-7472. Williamsburg, MA

    1pm & 3pm – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Festival Presents Hansel & Gretel in the auditorium at the Eric Carle Museum. 658-1126 Amherst, MA ($)

    1-3pm – GAMES: Drop-in Chess at the Forbes Library Mezzanine. Casual meets every Saturday the library is open. All competition levels are welcome. Drop in for part or all of the session. Bring your own set if you have one or use one of the library’s. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – NATURE STUDIES: Broad Brook Coalition presents a mid-spring nature hike with botanist, Connie Parks at Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area. Discover ephemeral spring wildflowers and signs of plants to come. Sturdy footwear. Meet at the North Farms Road entrance. Florence, MA (FREE)

    2pm-8pm – CULTURAL EVENT: Batepapo Festa, a Brazilian celebration, at North Star. Capoeira workshops, Brazillian BBQ, games, music and more. 386-8316 Hadley, MA (Fundraiser)

    5-8pm – ART WALK: Art Walk Easthampton is held the “Second Saturday” of the month. Locations across the city showcase visual, music and performance art in an energetic sampling of local, regional and national talent. All events are free. Parking is free. Art Walk Easthampton is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council and the support of Mantis Graphics which makes our large, yellow banners. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    7:30pm – CONCERT: Mother’s Day Benefit Concert to benefit the Prison Birth Project. A multigenerational feast of song at Edwards Church. 584-3843 Northampton, MA (FUNDRAISER, Under 6yo Free)

    8-9pm – NATURE STUDIES: Nocturnal Pond explorations at Red Gate Farm. Tromp down to the farm pond and experience the evening come alive! Learn more about tadpoles, peepers and other springtime pond activity as children get firsthand experience with evening pond life and creatures of the wetlands. All ages welcome. Please call the Farm Office to register. 625-9503 Buckland, MA (>$)

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    Motherhood in the 1800’s at OSV

    Historical Look at Motherhood at Old Sturbridge Village on Mother’s Day

    With so much cooking done at hearthside, fire was the number one danger for children in early New England households. No doubt one of the earliest words children learned was ‘Hot!’

    Moms get free admission to Old Sturbridge Village on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 9th, and family events are planned throughout the weekend. Children can meet the baby animals on the farm, and enjoy indoor crafts, including making block printed note cards for a Mother’s Day gift. Moms can gain insights on childbirth, raising children and running a frugal household from OSV costumed historians portraying Midwife Lucy Tucker and 19th century author Lydia Maria Child, who wrote The Mother’s Book. OSV horticulturists will present “The Family Nurse’s Tour of the Herb Garden” and a special Mother’s Day Brunch will be served in the Oliver Wight Tavern.

    Although Mother’s Day is a modern invention, OSV historians note that by the 1830s, a “cult of domesticity” began to glorify the home and women’s role in it. Home was viewed as a sanctuary and refuge from the increasingly bustling and depersonalized outside world.

    Despite this trend to glorify home and hearth, “being a mom in the 1830s was a very rigorous job,” notes Deb Friedman, director of public program at Old Sturbridge Village. “Women typically had five or six children and they worked straight through their pregnancies – handling all the endless chores necessary in running a household.

    Unlike today, there were no ready-made strollers, swings, porta-cribs and playpens,” Friedman says. “Moms made do with what they had. For baby walkers, they simply placed ladder-backed chairs flat on the floor so babies could push the chair and toddle behind. Antique chairs were often worn flat on the back from generations of children learning to walk.”

    With so much cooking done at hearthside, fire was the number one danger for children in early New England households. “No doubt one of the earliest words children learned was ‘Hot!’ ” Friedman says.

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