Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for August 24th & 25th, 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 August 24th-30th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Upcoming Service Learning Event, Agricultural Fairs, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 22 Community Highlights: Tractors to Airplanes. Reggae to Gershwin., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 24th-30th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Engines & Aircraft Nature StudiesHikesLocal Food & Community BreakfastMusic StudiesGeology & PaleontologyChildren’s Literature

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. 10 Tips for Dad to Help Ease the Back-to-School Transition
  2. Language Play: 6 Pre-Reading Activities
  3. HFVS Back to School Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  4. 11 Suggestions on How Western MA Families Can Make Wise Back-to-School Purchases
  5. Q&A: Hair Cuts in Western MA

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

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

22 Community Highlights: Tractors to Airplanes. Reggae to Gershwin.

Antique Tractors at the Cummington Fair

Tractors to Airplanes. Tomato Fest to Breakfast. Reggae to Gershwin…

These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlights this week are all about transportation and engines! The first annual Great New England Wings and Wheels show takes place at Westover Metropolitan Airport this weekend and North Adams’ Motorama event is back for its third year on Sunday! And the Cummington Fair this weekend features small engines too, including an antique engines & tractor show.  Check out our Engines & Aircraft highlights for all the details!


Engines & Aircraft Nature StudiesHikesLocal Food & Community BreakfastMusic StudiesGeology & PaleontologyChildren’s Literature


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Suggested Events for August 24th-30th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The Cummington Fair is a gem of an agricultural fair that happens every August in the heart of the Hilltowns. Mark Melhorn, Arjuna Greist and Piet Slaghekke all picked “The Biggest and Best Little Fair in the Country” for our Summer Bucket List!

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

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

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

Sep 7th

SERVICE LEARNING: Coming up this September, in collaboration with Whole Foods Market in Hadley and Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Hilltown Families invites families to come together on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 from 11am-2pm in Deerfield for a day of community service, gleaning organic vegetables leftover from a recent harvest to donate to the Food Bank. Join us in a service learning opportunity, giving kids a hands-on look at how their food is grown while supporting the food security efforts of the Food Bank of Western MA. Space is limited and all participating families are asked to pre-register online.  More information here: Kids’ Day of Community Service.

Western Massachusetts Agricultural Fairs this Weekend and Next!

BULLETIN BOARD

Aug 26

Ah Ha! Here is a party you won’t want to miss! Come to the Odyssey Bookshop on Monday, August 26th at 2pm to celebrate the release of Jeff Mack’s newest book, Ah Ha!. Join Odyssey staff for an afternoon of silliness, fun and lots of frogs! Jeff Mack will be reading and signing his book followed by games and yummy frog cake! Jeff Mack brings his hallmark humor to this rollicking book that will leave young readers guessing, laughing and on the edge of their seats. Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street at The Village Commons in South Hadley. 413-534-7307. www.odysseybks.com

Begins Sep 4

The Center School‘s new pilot preschool has two openings available (start date, Sept 4) in Greenfield. One opening is full week, full time. The other slot is full day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The classroom will have six children, aged two to five years. The lead teacher is Amy Jackson. Amy started at the Center School as an intern from Antioch University’s Masters in Education Program. In her time at the school she has served in classrooms, taught in the school’s Afterschool programs, run camps, and run a small daycare program for staff children. Amy is an extraordinarily warm-hearted, energetic, and nurturing teacher. For program information, please email info@centerschool.net or call 413-773-1700 ex1.

Sep 29th

Cycle towards a hunger-free community this September 29th! Will Bike 4 Food is a fundraiser for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Leaving from The Food Bank in beautiful Hatfield Mass, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mile routes offer varying challenges for kids, beginners, and experts alike. Choose to ride as an individual or form a team (4 or more). Register online by August 29th for the lowest price! Visit www.foodbankwma.org or call 413-247-9738 for more information. Four Routes. One Destination. A Community Without Hunger.

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

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

Tim May writes: “Organized adult pickup soccer game is being held every Monday evening @ 6pm until 7:30pm @ Pettingill Park, Main Street, Cummington. All skill levels welcome, friendly relaxed game with breaks for water. Mostly adults but skilled older kids welcome. Bring light and dark t-shirt. Contact Tim with questions: timothydavidmay@gmail.com. No fee. Will play even in wet weather unless pouring/thundering at kickoff. Many parents bring younger kids to play on nearby playground during games, however adult supervision there is not provided. Pass it on!”


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 24th-30th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for August 17th & 18th, 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 August 17th-23rd, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Upcoming Service Learning Event, Mark Your Calendars, Bulletin Board, Hilltown Family Variety Show and our Bucket List of Summer Activities!

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 25 Community Highlights: Agricultural Fairs to Eating Local. Textiles to Shape-Note Singing., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: August 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families!

August 17th-23rd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Agricultural Fairs  ♦  Geology  ♦  Insects & ReptilesHistoryCultureMusicArtisanLocal Food

RECAP

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

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Sweeten Up Your Summer With Local Fruit
  2. HFVS Ice Cream & Lemonade Stands Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)
  3. 18 Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Western MA
  4. Massachusetts Farmers’ Market Week
  5.  Q&A: Ear Piercing

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

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

25 Community Highlights: Agricultural Fairs to Eating Local. Textiles to Shape-Note Singing.

Old Sturbridge Village is offering free admission for kids in the month of August. For this year’s Textile Weekend, Aug 17 & 18, Village historians are highlighting 19th-century fashion accessories and a tour of the new “Trimmed to Taste” exhibit, which salutes the clever creativity of early New England seamstresses.

Agricultural Fairs to Eating Local. Renaissance Garden to Shape-Note Singing. Greece to Middle East…

These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week happens at the Kingman Tavern Museum in Cummington where there will be a free shape-note singing school on Saturday afternoon, August 17th.  Introduced in 1801, shape notes were designed to help facilitate community singing and originated in colonial New England. This type of singing was created to support a persons desire to sing with others either in their community or in their congregations. The class will teach participants about this unique singing style, celebrate American history, and offer a chance to engage in an intergenerational activity.


Agricultural Fairs  ♦  Geology  ♦  Insects & ReptilesHistoryCultureMusicArtisanLocal Food


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for August 17th-23rd, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The 9th annual Free Harvest Supper takes place on the Greenfield Town Common this Sunday evening, August 18th. Families can enjoy a bountiful, locally sourced (event the salt!) community meal!

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

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

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

Sep 7th

SERVICE LEARNING: Coming up this September, in collaboration with Whole Foods Market in Hadley and Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Hilltown Families invites families to come together on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 from 11am-2pm in Deerfield for a day of community service, gleaning organic vegetables leftover from a recent harvest to donate to the Food Bank. Join us in a service learning opportunity, giving kids a hands-on look at how their food is grown while supporting the food security efforts of the Food Bank of Western MA. Space is limited and all participating families are asked to pre-register online.  More information here: Kids’ Day of Community Service.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Thursday-Sunday, August 22nd-25th in the Heart of Western MA – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The annual and beloved Cummington Fair takes place all weekend! Opens at 4pm on Thurs/Fri, and 7am on Sat/Sun. Weekend highlights – along with the opportunity to learn about farming and farm animals, local industries, and agriculture – include antique tractor show, the lumberjack championship, Marvelous Mutts dog show, demolition derby, roast beef, spaghetti & turkey dinners, 4H sheep contest, along with midway rides, games. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

Aug 26

Ah Ha! Here is a party you won’t want to miss! Come to the Odyssey Bookshop on Monday, August 26th at 2pm to celebrate the release of Jeff Mack’s newest book, Ah Ha!. Join Odyssey staff for an afternoon of silliness, fun and lots of frogs! Jeff Mack will be reading and signing his book followed by games and yummy frog cake! Jeff Mack brings his hallmark humor to this rollicking book that will leave young readers guessing, laughing and on the edge of their seats. Odyssey Bookshop is located at 9 College Street at The Village Commons in South Hadley. 413-534-7307. http://www.odysseybks.com

Sep 29th

Cycle towards a hunger-free community this September 29th! Will Bike 4 Food is a fundraiser for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Leaving from The Food Bank in beautiful Hatfield Mass, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mile routes offer varying challenges for kids, beginners, and experts alike. Choose to ride as an individual or form a team (4 or more). Register online by August 29th for the lowest price! Visit www.foodbankwma.org or call 413-247-9738 for more information. Four Routes. One Destination. A Community Without Hunger.

Berkshire Trail Elementary School in Cummington is pleased to announce that it is transitioning to an Expeditionary Learning School in September. This cutting-edge program transforms a traditional classroom environment into a vibrant learning community where students are authentically engaged, energized, focused, challenged, and having fun! The program’s successful, ground-breaking strategies are project based, hands-on, creative and authentic — with proven academic results for students in reading, numeracy, research, writing, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. School choice openings are now available in grades Pre-K through five. For more information, call Berkshire Trail Elementary School at 413-634-5327 or visit online.

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

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 17th-23rd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

22 Community Highlights: Sweet Festival to Zucchini Festival. Minerals to Rockets.

Modern pow wows invite both Native and non-Native American people together to honor American Indian culture and history. Authentic dancing, drumming and tribal regalia will be presented at the 8th Annual Rock, Rattle & Drum Pow Wow this weekend in Adams, MA.

Sweet Festival to Zucchini Festival. Minerals to Rockets. Silversmithing to Citizen Scientists… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured learning highlight this week celebrates while learning about Native American traditions and history at the Rock, Rattle, and Drum Pow Wow in Adams this Saturday & Sunday, August 10th & 11th. The event is an explosion of Native American culture – families can listen to drumming, try out traditional foods, learn about the creation of arts and crafts such as pottery and beaded items, participate in community dances, and more!


Plant & Nature StudiesCitizen ScientistsHistoryCultural StudiesLocal FoodFilmsScienceAnimal Studies


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Suggested Events for August 10th-16th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

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

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

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

Sep 7th

SERVICE LEARNING: Coming up this September, in collaboration with Whole Foods Market in Hadley and Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Hilltown Families invites families to come together on Saturday, September 7th, 2013 from 11am-2pm in Deerfield for a day of community service, gleaning organic vegetables leftover from a recent harvest to donate to the Food Bank. Join us in a service learning opportunity, giving kids a hands-on look at how their food is grown while supporting the food security efforts of the Food Bank of Western MA. Space is limited and all participating families are asked to pre-register online.  More information here: Kids’ Day of Community Service.

BULLETIN BOARD

Aug 16th

Northampton & Greenfield Picnics: Join with old friends and new August 16 to celebrate “Shabbat Under the Sky!” Picnic in the park, enjoy music, kid-friendly performances by local performers and a short, guided musical Shabbat service. No Jewish liturgy knowledge required. Runs 5:30-7:30. Bring a potluck dish to share and choose from two locations: Look Park’s Westwood Shelter, Northampton or Green River Recreation Area in Greenfield. Rain or shine, open to the public, free (except Look Park entry fee unless you bike/walk). Gatherings include shofar blowing practice for upcoming Jewish New Year. Bring a vegetarian potluck dish to share. Challah bread, juice, & dessert provided. Information & directions at www.rekindleshabbat.org.

Sep 29th

Cycle towards a hunger-free community this September 29th! Will Bike 4 Food is a fundraiser for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Leaving from The Food Bank in beautiful Hatfield Mass, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mile routes offer varying challenges for kids, beginners, and experts alike. Choose to ride as an individual or form a team (4 or more). Register online by August 29th for the lowest price! Visit www.foodbankwma.org or call 413-247-9738 for more information. Four Routes. One Destination. A Community Without Hunger.

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

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

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 10th-16th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

25 Community Highlights: Felt to Pottery. Storytelling to Stargazing.

Age of Iron Weekend at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield this August 3rd & 4th, 2013. Blacksmiths will showcase their art and artisanship with both historical and contemporary demonstrations. Ironwork craftsmanship dating from the 17th to the 21st century,

Felt to Pottery. Storytelling to Stargazing. Ethnic Fair to Agricultural Fair. Earth Songs to Revolutionary War… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week is a free summer celebration at the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage in Greenfield on Sunday afternoon, August 4th. See the art of blacksmithing with a live demonstration and learn what a blacksmith might have made, other than horseshoes! There will also be an opportunity to learn about textile technology with hands-on activities for all ages, and to view several exhibits on Franklin County’s industrial history, including “Textile Town: Conway’s Industrial History” and “Industry and Innovation: Franklin County’s Unique History.” Light fare and live music will add to the festive atmosphere too! Come celebrate and learn a  few new things about Franklin County’s rich industrial history!


TheaterHistoryNature Studies/HikesArts & CraftsMuseum AdventuresAstronomyCultural StudiesMusic Studies


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Suggested Events for August 3rd-9th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

August is filled with agricultural fairs, including the 91st Annual Littleville Fair in Chester, MA happening this weekend!

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

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

BEST BETS

Looking for a Parents’ Night Out? For August we have a 4-pack of lawn tickets to see Dropkick Murphys at Mountain Park in Holyoke on Friday, August 16th! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets! Find out how you can enter for a chance to win an evening away from the kids enjoying live music and friends!

Saturday, August 3rdSunday, August 4thHISTORY: Learn about the Civil War through a reenactment at Look Park. The “Battle at the Pines” features a company drill, artillery demonstrations, a naval landing party, a talk on medicine and surgery during wartime, afternoon tea, train robberies, battles, and more! There will also be an authentic Civil War Ballroom cotillion at 7pm with music and called dancing (>$). The reenactment offers a chance to experience what the Civil War was like. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA.

Saturday, August 3rd & Sunday, August 4th – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The 29th Annual Adams Agricultural Fair runs from August 1-August 4 at Bowe Field.  The Fair features an antique tractor pull, animal demonstrations, magic, zumba, birds of prey demonstrations, live music, food, a demolition derby, and many other activities.  The Fair is an exciting way to learn about agriculture and learn about many things going on in and around Adams that you might not know about.  Old Columbia Street.  Adams, MA.

Saturday, August 3rd & Sunday, August 4th – HISTORY: Visit Sturbridge Village for the largest Revolutionary War reenactment in New England!  “Redcoats and Rebels” transforms the Village into a military camp and offers loads of fun activities that help teach about the war.  There will be mock battles, tours of the British and American camps, cannon demonstrations, musket drilling, martial music, 18th-century baseball and dances, a chance to see an American soldier’s daily life, and much more.  There will also be a cannonball barrage at 6pm and a chance to hear the love story of John and Abigail Adams.  The full schedule of events can be found here.  Kids get free admission in August.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$

BULLETIN BOARD

Aug 6th

Children’s picture book launch with Western MA author, Aaron Becker at The Odyssey! Discover the magic of local author/illustrator Aaron Becker’s silent world in his debut picture book, Journey at The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Tuesday, August 6th at 4pm, followed by fun drawing activities for kids with the author himself! Aaron Becker has worked as an artist for such film studios as Lucasfilm, Disney, and Pixar. The Odyssey Bookshop will be hosting Aaron Becker as he discusses the making of Journey, a story of a lonely girl who draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Called ‘a masterpiece’ by the New York Times, Journey will inspire and astound you.

Aug 16th

Northampton & Greenfield Picnics: Join with old friends and new August 16 to celebrate “Shabbat Under the Sky!” Picnic in the park, enjoy music, kid-friendly performances by local performers and a short, guided musical Shabbat service. No Jewish liturgy knowledge required. Runs 5:30-7:30. Bring a potluck dish to share and choose from two locations: Look Park’s Westwood Shelter, Northampton or Green River Recreation Area in Greenfield. Rain or shine, open to the public, free (except Look Park entry fee unless you bike/walk). Gatherings include shofar blowing practice for upcoming Jewish New Year. Bring a vegetarian potluck dish to share. Challah bread, juice, & dessert provided. Information & directions at www.rekindleshabbat.org.

Sep 29th

Cycle towards a hunger-free community this September 29th! Will Bike 4 Food is a fundraiser for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Leaving from The Food Bank in beautiful Hatfield Mass, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mile routes offer varying challenges for kids, beginners, and experts alike. Choose to ride as an individual or form a team (4 or more). Register online by August 29th for the lowest price! Visit www.foodbankwma.org or call 413-247-9738 for more information. Four Routes. One Destination. A Community Without Hunger.

Berkshire Trail Elementary School in Cummington is pleased to announce that it is transitioning to an Expeditionary Learning School in September. This cutting-edge program transforms a traditional classroom environment into a vibrant learning community where students are authentically engaged, energized, focused, challenged, and having fun! The program’s successful, ground-breaking strategies are project based, hands-on, creative and authentic — with proven academic results for students in reading, numeracy, research, writing, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. School choice openings are now available in grades Pre-K through five. For more information, call Berkshire Trail Elementary School at 413-634-5327 or visit online.

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

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

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 3rd-10th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Social Studies on the Road

The License Plate Game

By examining license plates, kids can learn a lot about the 50 states! Discussing with kids the reasons behind each state’s design can help them learn about geography, economics, and social studies, and can help them to develop their mental image of the differences in landscape around the country. They’ll learn to think critically about geographic locations by wondering why New England doesn’t produce citrus like the south does, and why the northwest coast of the country isn’t known for it’s lobster like the northeast coast is.

Watching for interesting license plates is a great way to keep kids entertained during road trips – with so many people traveling, the highways are filled with out-of-staters whose plates provide a great distraction from backseat boredom. Simply teaching kids to search for letters of the alphabet, colors, or specific digits can be enough to add some excitement to a somewhat monotonous drive, but expanding plate-searching games to become a family hobby can turn summer fun into full-time learning!

License plates reflect something unique about their state’s culture, landscape, or history – each state’s design says something about the place, whether it’s subtly hinted at through color and design or highlighted with colorful images. Arizona’s standard plate has a backdrop of a beautiful desert scene, while Ohio’s new license plates feature rolling hills, farms, and a small city. Some plates remind us of our state’s claims to fame, like Georgia’s peach plate, Maine’s specialty lobster and moose plates, and the Wyoming cowboy plate. Even the somewhat plain Massachusetts red, white, and blue plate represents the state’s place in American history.

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27 Community Highlights: Argentinian Folk Music to New England Folk Art. Pollinators to Raptors.

Frog at the Westfield RiverIce Cream Socials to Intergenerational Hikes.  Argentinian Folk Music to New England Folk Art. Herpetology to Lepidoptera. Susan B. Anthony to Virginia Lee Burton. … These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week explores river critters at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield! Discover the creatures that live in and around the river with naturalist Aimee Gelinas and the Trustees of Reservations on Saturday, July 27th. See if you can spot a red newt or how to tell the difference between a frog and a toad. This free intergenerational event is appropriate for ages 5 and older. The hike is easy and time will be spent in the river with nets exploring, so come prepared to get wet!


Community Service Animal & Insect StudiesNature Studies Museum AdventuresHistoryMusic StudiesOrnithology


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Suggested Events for July 27th-August 2nd, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Western Massachusetts’ very own Oxbow Water Ski Show Team host the 29th Annual Eastern Region Ski Show Tournament this weekend in Northampton on the Connecticut River. Sunday is the day to go! Four teams put on an hour show each starting at 9am. Great family fun! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

Weekend of July 27th & 28th in Hampshire CountyWATER SKI SHOW: Did you know Western MA has it’s very own water ski show team?  The Oxbow Water Ski Show Team, established over 30 years ago, is hosting the annual Eastern Region Water Ski Show Tournament this weekend. Four teams from New England come together to compete, each putting on a one hour water ski show the whole family will enjoy!  Saturday are individual acts, including Swivel, Adagio Doubles, Freestyle Jump, and Team Jump. On Sunday (the day to go!) each team will put on a one-hour show starting at 9am including barefooting, swivel skiing, jumping, ballet lines, doubles, and of course the impressive human pyramids, 3-4 people high!  Where else are you going to see something like this outside of Florida? BYO blanket & chairs. 413-626-1913. Oxbow Marina. 100 Old Springfield Road. Northampton, MA (FREE, >$ PARKING)

Hilltown Families and the Berkshire Theatre Group have partnered up to offer a free family 4-pack of tickets to see the Group’s Acting Apprentice Co. performance of Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories” in Stockbridge at The Ellenoff Stage on Saturday, August 3rd at 11am!

Saturday, July 27th in Franklin County from 12noon-12midnight – MUSIC FESTIVAL: The Upper Valley Music Festival returns for its third year in Turners Falls.  The Festival features live music and is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and the Franklin County Relay for Life.  There are several venues around town, but the main stage is the Shea Theatre.  See here for more information, including the full schedule.  Kids under 12 get in for free.  71 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  $

Saturday, July 27th in Berkshire County at 1pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Clark Art Institute celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Stone Hill Center, a gallery space on the grounds.  Families are invited to explore the Center, tour the Kidspace exhibition Lions, and Tigers, and Museums, Oh My!, and to build their own fairy houses in the woods.  There will also be a cookout and free cake and ice cream at 3:30pm.  Explore the museum and grounds and celebrate one of the Berkshires’ architectural gems.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, July 27th in Hampden County from 2pm & 6:30pm – THEATER: The Majestic Children’s Theater is putting on a production of Alice in Wonderland.  Kids will enjoy this classic story and maybe even be inspired to start acting themselves!  Registration is recommended.  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  $

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 27th

Starlight Youth Theatre is excited to announce their summer production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat featuring Starlight Alumni, friends, teens & the talented youth chorus. This hilarious show by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice tells the story of the trials and triumphs of Jacob’s favorite son which is told entirely in song blending 50s Rock-n-Roll, Country Western, Calypso & Pop. The shows are at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton on Saturday July 27th at 2pm & 7pm. Tickets are available online – Academyofmusictheatre.tix.com, at the Academy box office or by phone 413-584-9032. For more info, visit: starlights-youth-theatre.com. Starlight’s summer shows are a special treat for the whole family – come join the fun!

Sep 29th

Cycle towards a hunger-free community this September 29th! Will Bike 4 Food is a fundraiser for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Leaving from The Food Bank in beautiful Hatfield Mass, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mile routes offer varying challenges for kids, beginners, and experts alike. Choose to ride as an individual or form a team (4 or more). Register online by August 29th for the lowest price! Visit www.foodbankwma.org or call 413-247-9738 for more information. Four Routes. One Destination. A Community Without Hunger.

Sunnyside Child Care Center in Northampton, an award winning early education program, is moving to a new, larger space at 557 Easthampton Road. There are full and part-time openings for toddler and preschool aged children. 3, 4 and 5 day options for morning-only and full-days are available. For 38 years, Sunnyside has been serving the Northampton Community. Their new building offers large, bright classrooms and 8 acres of woodlands to explore. NAEYC Accredited. Call Susan Beemer, Director, at 413-585-2293. Visit their website at www.sunnysidekids.org.

Berkshire Trail Elementary School in Cummington is pleased to announce that it is transitioning to an Expeditionary Learning School in September. This cutting-edge program transforms a traditional classroom environment into a vibrant learning community where students are authentically engaged, energized, focused, challenged, and having fun! The program’s successful, ground-breaking strategies are project based, hands-on, creative and authentic — with proven academic results for students in reading, numeracy, research, writing, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. School choice openings are now available in grades Pre-K through five. For more information, call Berkshire Trail Elementary School at 413-634-5327 or visit online.

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

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

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 27th—August 2nd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

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30 Community Highlights: Munch to Thoreau. Scottish to Yiddish.

Opportunities to supplement insect studies this weekend include dragonflies and damselflies in Easthampton, Bug Safari in Housatonic, Science in the Parks in Pittsfield, and a search for aquatic insects (like this one pictured here)in Plainfield.

Munch to Thoreau. Motorcycles to Metalworking. Turbines to Firefighting. Scottish to Yiddish… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week explores the ecosystem of streams, home to a wide variety of often overlooked creatures. By wading in and flipping rocks, netting fish and sorting through leaf packs, discoveries of remarkable critter can be found which can lead to a better understanding our waterways and habitats. The Franklin Land Trust will be hosting an free opportunity for families to explore these stream ecosystems at the Guyette Farm in Plainfield on Saturday morning, July 20th. Josh Morse will lead an exploration of woodland streams and the different aquatic insects that live in these habitats. Families with kids ages 6-12yo will learn how to interpret the health of our streams by the presence of these benthic invertebrates.


Art HistoryCulinary ArtsIndustryHistoryShakespeareHikesNature StudiesSTEMGeology & PaleontologyCultural StudiesEntomologyLawn Concerts


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Suggested Events for July 20th-26th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Where is your favorite place to PYO raspberries with the kids? See what other families recommended and share your own favorite PYO farm! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

Saturday, July 20th from 9am-5pm in the Pioneer ValleyCULTURAL STUDIES/FESTIVAL: The 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival is taking place at Look Park!  There will be live music, animals, games, historical reenactments, demonstrations, activities, and more!  The festival is a fun way for families to celebrate and learn about Scottish history and culture while enjoying all the festival has to offer.  413-862-8095.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  $$

Saturday, July 20th at 11:30am in the BerkshiresMUSIC STUDIES/INNOVATIVE MUSIC: Bang on a Can is a music organization that performs classical, eclectic, and innovative music in a festival at MASS MoCA each year.  The whole family is invited to play along with Bang on a Can faculty and fellows at MASS MoCA’s Club B-10.  They will bring unique and everyday instruments to demonstrate and let you play along with.  Learn about different musical styles and techniques at this exciting performance.  413-662-2111.  1040 MASS MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  >$

Saturday, July 20th from 12noon-10:30pm in the HilltownsPOETRY/HISTORY/NATURE STUDIES: Celebrate poet William Cullen Bryant at the Trustees of Reservations’ Bryant Day Celebration.  Discover the natural wonders of the William Cullen Bryant Homestead, hear live music, read Bryant’s poems, do yoga, and participate in a moongazing activity.  These activities will help visitors connect with the Homestead and learn about the history and works of the man for whom it is named.  413-532-1631 x10.  207 Bryant Road.  Cummington, MA.  >$

Sunday, July 21st from 9am-3pm in the Pioneer ValleyLOCAL HISTORY/INDUSTRY: Celebrate Springfield history and industry at the Springfield Museums’ Indian Motorcycle Day.  Indian Motorcycles were manufactured in Springfield from 1901 to 1953, and the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History has a collection of vintage Indian bikes.  See the classic motorcycles, browse vendor displays, hear a DJ play classic rock tunes, and see a motorcycle best of competition.  This is a fun way to learn about Springfield history while seeing beautiful vintage motorcycles.  413-263-6800 x304.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$

BULLETIN BOARD

Sunnyside Child Care Center in Northampton, an award winning early education program, is moving to a new, larger space at 557 Easthampton Road. There are full and part-time openings for toddler and preschool aged children. 3, 4 and 5 day options for morning-only and full-days are available. For 38 years, Sunnyside has been serving the Northampton Community. Their new building offers large, bright classrooms and 8 acres of woodlands to explore. NAEYC Accredited. Call Susan Beemer, Director, at 413-585-2293. Visit their website at www.sunnysidekids.org.

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

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

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

Culinary Arts & Local Food: Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) is hosting an opportunity for kids who like to cook: submit your favorite recipe using local ingredients, & your recipe could be featured in an upcoming cookbook! CISA has partnered with local cookbook author Deanna Cook, whose cookbook for kids is scheduled to be published by Storey Publishing in fall 2014. Recipes eligible for the recipe contest should prominently feature seasonal, locally-grown foods. Youth of all ages are invited to participate. Parents are encouraged to help with ideas, skills beyond the age of the lead chef, & writing up recipes, but recipes should be kid-driven & kid-friendly. CISA will also feature appropriate recipes at www.buylocalfood.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 20th-26th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

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30 Community Highlights: Wiggly Worms to Curious Creatures. Marionettes to Shadow Puppets.

Wiggly Worms to Curious Creatures. Local Diarist to Local Industry. Marionettes to Shadow Puppets… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week turns STEM into STEAM! Kids 12 and under can participate in the Sunderland Public Library’s free paper airplane contest on Wednesday evening, July 17th! Make a plane at home and bring it to the library to see how it flies. Airplanes must be true paper airplanes – no cardboard, wood, plastic, wire, tape, clips, staples, etc. If youth participants want to continue to experiment with paper airplane, bring them to the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield every Thursday at 1pm as part of their PaperWorks art exhibit to further supplement their interests and learning about basic principles of physics & engineering… and art!


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


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Suggested Events for July 13th-19th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Looking for some time at the beach? Here are 16 recommended day trips to nearby New England beaches suggested by our readers!

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

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

BEST BETS

Saturday, July 13th from 10am-4pm in Franklin CountyCOMMUNITY EVENT: Summerfest, the Greenfield Sidewalk Sales, is more than just about supporting local economic development… it’s also a terrific community building events and loads of fun for families!  Dance performances, dunking booth, hula hooping, pie eating, kids day at the farmers’ market, magic show, arts & crafts… lots of fun and a festive day with over 40 shops & vendors!  Happens both Friday & Saturday.  See brochure. Greenfield, MA (FREE/SALE)

Saturday, July 13th at 7:30pm in Berkshire CountyTHEATER: The Williamstown Theatre Festival’s free performance this year is Dracula, or the Un-Dead.  This family-friendly adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic tale will be performed outdoors at Poker Flats Field on the Williams College campus.  Bring the whole family and a picnic and enjoy this classic story.  More information and garlicky recipes to keep Dracula away can be found on the WTF website.  413-597-3400.  45 Stetson Road.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, July 14th from 11am-1pm in Hampden CountyNATURE STUDIES: Did you know that over 50% of the world’s plant and animal species can be found in rainforests?  These ecosystems are important to the earth for their unique characteristics and beneficial to humans for the natural resources they provide.  You can learn all about these incredible forests at Forest Park Zoo’s Rainforest Day!  Play rainforest games and meet animals that live there up close!  413-733-2251.  302 Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $

Sunday, July 14th at 8pm in Hampshire CountyTHEATER: The Mettawee Theatre Company will perform Taliesin, based on a medieval Welsh tale.  The play features giant figures, masks, and puppets.  Bring the whole family and enjoy this imaginative and exciting performance.  This is part of the Ko Festival of Performance at Amherst College.  The performance takes place on the Observatory Lawn.  413-542-3750.  Snell Street.  Amherst, MA.  $

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 13

It’s Circus Time at the Emily Dickinson Museum! On Saturday, July 13, the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst presents “Creatures of Bliss and Mystery: A 19th-Century Children’s Circus” from 1 to 4 pm. Especially appropriate for children ages 3 to 10, this Family Day is free and open to all. Activities include folksongs and stories with Tim Van Egmond; a performance by Henry the Juggler; the Circus Parade; and special bedroom tours (nominal fee). Other activities include a scavenger hunt, “tightrope” walking and other games, and kid friendly crafts – music makers and fairy houses. For details and complete schedule, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org. With questions, contact Valerie Gramling, program coordinator, at 413-542-2034.

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

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

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

Children’s Literature Festival Features Local History. The annual Children’s Literature Festival sponsored by the Mary Lyon Foundation will be held mornings 8:30am-12noon from July 28 to August 2, 2013 at the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School in Shelburne Falls for children in grades K-6. The theme this year is local history & the program will feature special stories, arts & crafts, poetry, music, old fashioned games & much more. Local history will be highlighted by special guests. The $50 registration fee covers all materials & snacks. Scholarships available. To register or for more details call Toni Wilcox at 413-863-9418 or Sue Samoriski at 413-625-2555 or email booklady2@hotmail.com. Space is limited & this program fills up quickly.

Culinary Arts & Local Food: Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) is hosting an opportunity for kids who like to cook: submit your favorite recipe using local ingredients,& your recipe could be featured in an upcoming cookbook! CISA has partnered with local cookbook author Deanna Cook, whose cookbook for kids is scheduled to be published by Storey Publishing in fall 2014. Recipes eligible for the recipe contest should prominently feature seasonal, locally-grown foods. Youth of all ages are invited to participate. Parents are encouraged to help with ideas, skills beyond the age of the lead chef, & writing up recipes, but recipes should be kid-driven & kid-friendly. CISA will also feature appropriate recipes at www.buylocalfood.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 13th-19th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

23 Community Highlights: French Paintings to Folk Art. Cockatoos to Bald Eagles.

Suggested Events for July 6th-12th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

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

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

BEST BETS

Happy 4th of July! So many places to see fireworks and parades in Western MA!

Saturday, July 6th from 10am-5pm in Hampshire County COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate music, art, summer, and the Hilltowns at the third annual Hilltown Arts Festival!  There will be live music, art for sale, a silent auction, kid’s activities, children’s performance, arts and crafts, and so much more!  In addition to fun activities and performances, there will also be food for sale.  413-238-0192.  Route 112.  Worthington, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, July 6th at 4pm-10pm in Franklin CountyFIREWORKS: The Greenfield Independence Day Celebration features live music, dance, food, and fireworks. Fireworks start at 9:35pm. Rain date 7/7. 195 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 6th from 4pm-10pm in Hampden CountyFIREWORKS: There will be fireworks, food, and music at Stanley Park, sponsored by the Westfield Rotary Club.  Rain date is 7/7.  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

60 Summer Suggestions: Things to Do & Places to See in Western MA

Saturday, July 6th at 7pm in Berkshire CountySING ALONG: Ever wanted to know what it’s like to be a T-bird or a Pink Lady, but never quite felt cool enough to pull it off? Well, now is your chance to don those poodle skirts or grease up your hair in a rockabilly style, and let your inhibitions go for an evening where you are the star in Sing-a-Long Grease at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. Belt out songs like “Summer Lovin'” and “Greased Lightning” as the 1978 hit movie starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John plays, complete with on-screen lyrics. Fun for kids and adults alike, this interactive show features a costume competition, goody bags, and plenty of laughs. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA ($$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 13

It’s Circus Time at the Emily Dickinson Museum! On Saturday, July 13, the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst presents “Creatures of Bliss and Mystery: A 19th-Century Children’s Circus” from 1 to 4 pm. Especially appropriate for children ages 3 to 10, this Family Day is free and open to all. Activities include folksongs and stories with Tim Van Egmond; a performance by Henry the Juggler; the Circus Parade; and special bedroom tours (nominal fee). Other activities include a scavenger hunt, “tightrope” walking and other games, and kid friendly crafts – music makers and fairy houses. For details and complete schedule, visit www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org. With questions, contact Valerie Gramling, program coordinator, at 413-542-2034.

Jul 3-6; Jul 17-20; Jul 31 – Aug 3

PaintBox Theatre is a theatre of improvisation and imagination for the whole family. Start with a children’s classic. Add three actors. Add the Paintbox stage & a screen. Add artwork (by kids). Add lots of audience participation & improvisation. Stir well. There you go: Paintbox! This season: Little Red Riding Hood, July 3-6; Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, July 17-20; and King Kong, Jr., July 31- August 3. All shows are presented in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Green Street, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton, MA. Call for more information: 413-585-3220. Or visit online at www.newcenturytheatre.org/paintbox.html.

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

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

Green River Festival 2013

The 27th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 20th & 21st, 2013… and Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway for either day! Deadline to enter to win: This Sunday, 6/7/13.

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

Children’s Literature Festival Features Local History. The annual Children’s Literature Festival sponsored by the Mary Lyon Foundation will be held mornings 8:30am-12noon from July 28 to August 2, 2013 at the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School in Shelburne Falls for children in grades K-6. The theme this year is local history & the program will feature special stories, arts & crafts, poetry, music, old fashioned games & much more. Local history will be highlighted by special guests. The $50 registration fee covers all materials & snacks. Scholarships available. To register or for more details call Toni Wilcox at 413-863-9418 or Sue Samoriski at 413-625-2555 or email booklady2@hotmail.com. Space is limited & this program fills up quickly.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 6th-12th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

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4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts

WebCams Around the World and Across the Nation

World Travel via WebCams

One fun was to use EarthCam is to plan your viewing with an upcoming event. For example, travel to historic Gettysburg on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 at 3pm by viewing the Gettysburg Battlefield Cam to see a live reenactment (with sound) in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War!

Summer vacation is the perfect time of year to expose kids to new places – there is so much for them to learn about, and there are so many beautiful and historical places worldwide and nationwide that you could visit! However, if jet-setting around the globe isn’t in your family’s plans this year, don’t fret! It’s possible to see locations all around the country – and even the globe! – without ever having to leave your home via webcams. Visit Moscow over breakfast, Texas at lunchtime, and the United Kingdom (for a spot of tea!) in the evening – for free!

EarthCam, an international webcam network, offers live streams of skylines, beaches, countryside, and more all day long. Along with views of scenic city- and landscapes, EarthCam also offers videos of construction projects, extreme weather, animals, and people. Peek into the inside of the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas to learn about flashy Vegas culture, or watch a highway overpass get replaced….the possibilities are endless, and there are webcams to accompany studies of almost any topic.

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28 Community Highlights: Rockets to Origami. Hieroglyphics to Bridges.

Hometown parades are a great way to have fun with your family while taking in the culture of various local towns. The Chesterfield 4th of July Parade is the quintessential hometown parade, now in its 66th year! The theme this year is “Children are Our Future.”

Swamps to Camp Fires. Rockets to Origami. Fireworks to Hometown Parades. Hieroglyphics to Bridges… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

4th of July Highlights! From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of 4th of July celebrations happening in Western MA. Check our 4th of July preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate in Western MA: 2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks


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


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Suggested Events for June 29th-July 5th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Happy 4th of July!

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

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

BET BETS

4th of July Highlights! From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of 4th of July celebrations happening in Western MA. Check  our 4th of July preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate in Western MA: 2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks

Saturday, June 29th from 11am-10pm in Hampden CountyCOMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Chicopee Fest-Of-All, a three day celebration, happens all day on Saturday, rain or shine!  Held at Szot Park, the festival hosts games, music and food!  Largely known as a food festival, there will be local food vendors from around the Pioneer Valley serving up great eats!  Fireworks happen Saturday evening. 100 Abby Memorial Drive. Chicopee, MA (FREE)

Saturday, June 29th from 5pm-10:30pm in Hampshire CountyFIREWORKS: Celebrate the Fourth of July at the Easthampton Spirit Extravaganza at Galbraith Field.  There will be food, music, hot air balloon rides, a rock wall, face painting, a BMX stunt show, fireworks, and more!  Please bring blankets and chairs.  Rain date 6/30.  Taft Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (DONATION)

Sunday, June 30th from 11am-4pm in Berkshire CountyMUSEUM ADVENTURES: Americana Family Day at The Clark! Families will have the opportunity to go back in time to experience some of the sights and sounds of nineteenth-century America as painted by George Inness and Winslow Homer. Sing along to performances by a troupe of sea shanty men, enter the pie-eating contest, learn to fly-fish, paint with watercolors, stand on the deck of a ship, play lawn games from the 1800s—and much more. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 3-6; Jul 17-20; Jul 31 – Aug 3

PaintBox Theatre is a theatre of improvisation and imagination for the whole family. Start with a children’s classic. Add three actors. Add the Paintbox stage & a screen. Add artwork (by kids). Add lots of audience participation & improvisation. Stir well. There you go: Paintbox! This season: Little Red Riding Hood, July 3-6; Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, July 17-20; and King Kong, Jr., July 31- August 3. All shows are presented in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Green Street, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton, MA. Call for more information: 413-585-3220. Or visit online at www.newcenturytheatre.org/paintbox.html.

Host families are needed for exchange students attending the Academy at Charlemont and other area high schools this fall. Hosting is a great way to learn first-hand about another culture and to share your life with an international student. Students from over 70 countries are available. Host families provide a place for the student to sleep, meals, and a warm home environment. Students have their own spending money and medical insurance. Single parents, young couples and empty-nesters are all encouraged to apply. Interested families should contact Ann Newsmith, 802-257-4710, exchangevt@gmail.com. PAX is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing mutual respect among the people of the world. www.pax.org.

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

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

Green River Festival 2013

The 27th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 20th & 21st, 2013… and Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway for either day! Deadline to enter to win: 6/7/13.

COMMUNITY SERVICE/TEENS: The Amherst Survival Center has volunteer opportunities for teens ages 15yo+ on weekdays (not Wed). Shifts are typically 2 hours/week between 9am-3pm.  There are several places for teens & adults to volunteer. In a recent inquire about volunteer opportunities for teens they responded, “We look for a minimum of a two hour/week commitment for a minimum of 8 weeks…If they are able to get here in the morning, we need help organizing and sorting through fresh bread and produce from area markets and farms which we then distribute to about 100 people/day.  If they have a super organized closet, they may be a good fit for helping in our Free Store.  Certain days we also need help serving lunch and doing dishes.  And our Emergency Food Pantry often needs help keeping the shelves stocked and helping folks fill their carts with their monthly food “box.”  Strong folks can help pick up furniture from around town in the mornings.  And people who like to clean can help clean the place after 2:30PM.  Lots and lots of options.”  For more information visit their website at www.amherstsurvival.org or email tracey@amherstsurvival.org


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 29th-July 5th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

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30 Community Highlights: Fossils to Fire. Kirtan to Orchestra.

Ants to Grasshoppas. Fossils to Fire. Kirtan to Orchestra. Earth to Outerspace… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Summer Solstice

Friday, June 21st, marks the first day of summer, the longest day of the year!  Celebrate the Summer Solstice at UMass at sunset this evening.  Professors from the UMass Department of Astronomy will be at the UMass Sunwheel in Amherst inviting the public to join them on the longest day of the year.  Learn about the significance of solstices and equinoxes and the history of the UMass Sunwheel at this participatory community event.  Gather with your friends & neighbors, mark the seasons, and learn a little while you’re at it!


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


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Suggested Events for June 22nd-28th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Pick up some rhubarb and strawberries at your local farmer’s market or roadside stand this weekend and make a pie with this delicious duo before the season has completely gone by! Want to PYO strawberries? See where our readers suggest going with the kids in our archived post, Q&A: Local Strawberries.

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

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

BET BETS & MARK YOUR CALENDARS

4th of July Highlights! From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of 4th of July celebrations happening in Western MA beginning this weekend and for the next two weeks. Check out our 4th of July preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate in Western MA: 2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 22 & 23

Our Shire’s beloved Mutton & Mead Tavern & Inne will be hosting its annual festival for your merriment. Enjoy the realm’s finest Entertainers as the legend of Robin Hood unfolds around you! Witness the daring spectacle of Knights Jousting, and hear the dulcet tones of minstrels songs. Stroll the enchanted paths of Sherwood Forest, encountering faeries, pixies and wood sprites. Adorn yourself with Merchants’ wares. Feast on the kingdom’s best Victuals, Meads and Ales. A Fundraiser for the Montague Common Hall & The Foodbank of Western Mass. Bring canned goods for a discount at the gate! June 22-23, 10am-6pm, 210 Turners Falls Road, Montague, MA. $15 Adults, $10 Kids and Seniors. Visit www.MuttonAndMead.com for details. Huzzah!

Reg deadline: Jun 23

Music Together® for Valley Families offers music and movement classes for 0 – 5 year olds and the grownups who love them.Their summer session begins July 1, 2013 in Amherst, Belchertown and South Hadley. Beloved by millions of families and early childhood educators, the program is now taught in 48 states and 40 other countries and is celebrating their 25 anniversary! Pioneering the idea of research based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music education, it emphasizes and facilitates caregiver involvement in a child’s musical growth. Registration deadline: June 23. Limited financial aid available. Contact: 413-259-9400, www.valleymusicgroup.com and on Facebook.

Jul 3-6; Jul 17-20; Jul 31 – Aug 3

PaintBox Theatre is a theatre of improvisation and imagination for the whole family. Start with a children’s classic. Add three actors. Add the Paintbox stage & a screen. Add artwork (by kids). Add lots of audience participation & improvisation. Stir well. There you go: Paintbox! This season: Little Red Riding Hood, July 3-6; Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude, July 17-20; and King Kong, Jr., July 31- August 3. All shows are presented in Theatre 14, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Green Street, on the Smith College Campus in Northampton, MA. Call for more information: 413-585-3220. Or visit online at www.newcenturytheatre.org/paintbox.html.

Host families are needed for exchange students attending the Academy at Charlemont and other area high schools this fall. Hosting is a great way to learn first-hand about another culture and to share your life with an international student. Students from over 70 countries are available. Host families provide a place for the student to sleep, meals, and a warm home environment. Students have their own spending money and medical insurance. Single parents, young couples and empty-nesters are all encouraged to apply. Interested families should contact Ann Newsmith, 802-257-4710, exchangevt@gmail.com. PAX is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing mutual respect among the people of the world. www.pax.org.
Cooley Dickinson Hospital: After a career coaching and playing ice hockey, Don “Toot” Cahoon couldn’t even tie his shoes without agonizing pain. A few months after getting a new hip from the Joint Replacement Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, he was walking, jogging, biking and skating pain free. The Joint Replacement at Cooley is second to none. It has a spectacular record in terms of safety and infections. Those are two very serious considerations when you are having a procedure like this. To hear the rest of Toot’s success story and hear from other patients, visit www.TheTalkIsGood.com.

Sponsor: Cooley DickinsonCooley Dickinson Childbirth Center: Voted “Best” Again in the Valley Advocate’s Readers Poll. For Granby residents Alyssa and Philip LaFlamme, Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center was the comfortable choice. “From the moment I called to say I was on my way, I felt reassured and well taken care of,” said Alyssa, who praises labor and delivery nurse Terri Jay who “helped keep me calm when I had a few moments of panic.” Alyssa consistently received personalized care. “My friends have gone other places and they say they feel like a number at other hospitals.” The LaFlammes are not alone in their choice. For the third consecutive year, families have voted the Childbirth Center the Best Birthing Center in the Valley Advocate’s Readers’ Poll.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 22nd-28th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

2013 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks

4th of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western MA

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in Western MA! Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.

To follow is a preview of events, parades & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July for 2013. Please take the time to confirm events you wish to attend, including time, place, age appropriateness, location and costs before attending.

Be sure to check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events every Thursday for a comprehensive list of family and community events happening in Western MA.  Subscribe to our free eNewsletter and have weekly update sent to your inbox every Thursday!

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29 Community Highlights: Dragonflies to Damselflies. Father’s Day to Juneteenth.

Dragonfly or damselfly? Learn how to tell the difference between these two insects this weekend at the Mills River Environmental Center and the benefits they contribute to our larger ecosystem.

Dragonflies to Damselflies. The Hundred Dresses to The Hunger Games. Naturalists to Musicians.  Father’s Day to Juneteenth… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Happy Father’s Day!

On Father’s Day this Sunday, June 16th, dads and grandfathers with younger kids can enjoy a free train ride at Look Park in Florence, or Forest Park Zoo in Springfield. Or take an even bigger free train ride at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. Other locations honoring dads and granddads on Father’s Day include Historic Deerfield and Old Sturbridge Village, both of which will offer free admission on Sunday, and a free ride on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round. Check our Best Bets for Father’s Day highlights for more ways to spend time with the dad in your life this weekend in western Massachusetts!


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


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Suggested Events for June 15th-21st, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

On Father’s Day this Sunday, dads and grandfathers with younger kids can enjoy a free train ride at Look Park in Florence, or Forest Park Zoo in Springfield. Or take an even bigger free train ride at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum. Other locations honoring dads and granddads on Father’s Day include Historic Deerfield and Old Sturbridge Village which offer free admission, or a free ride on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round.

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

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

BEST BETS FOR FATHER’S DAY: Sunday, June 16th

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance to win free tickets to see adult venues in the Pioneer Valley for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! You pay for the sitter, we’ll pay for the tickets! On Friday, June 21st at Mountain Park in Holyoke is Chicago, winner of the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award… and we’re giving away a 4-pack of lawn tickets for a group of friends to enjoy an evening out! Win the tickets and take your spouse, partner and gang of BFF’s for a fun evening away from the kids! Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, 06/18/13 @ 7pm (EST). Details here.

In Berkshire County from 8:30am-11:30am – NATURAL HISTORY & OUTDOOR ADVENTURE:  Canoe the Housatonic River through Bartholomew’s Cobble on a Father’s Day canoe trip.  Participants will learn about the river’s habitats and history while experiencing the many sights and sounds offered by this beautiful part of New England.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  $$

In Hampshire County at 1pm – COMMUNITY EVENT: All are invited to attend One Billion Fathers Rising, an event hosted by Umoja Now, that works to end violence and abuse in all communities across the globe.  There will be live poetry, music, and theatrical performances, as well as speakers.  Please bring a chair and come prepared to learn and make a difference in the world.  129 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.

In Franklin County at 2pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: Come celebrate Father’s Day and the upcoming Summer Solstice with Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center and Gaia Roots World Music at Unity Park in Turners Falls.  There will be demonstrations of Caribbean and West African rhythms, instruments, and songs.  People of all ages can then try their hand at drumming in a community music jam.  Please bring your own chair.  800-859-2960.  First Street.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

In Hampden County at 6pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Westfield Bank Sunday Night Concert Series at Stanley Park’s Beveridge Pavilion Annex is a great place to relax on the lawn with the family.  Pack a picnic dinner and come to the Park to enjoy live music, community, and time with the dad in your life!  Chairs available.  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 17

Little Bear Learn & Care is having a Preschool Open House on Monday, June 17th from 6-7:30pm. LBLC is located at 184 Northampton Street in Easthampton and all are welcome. Come visit their center and meet the teachers. Little Bear’s philosophy stresses that the preschool years are vital in developing skills needed to be successful later in life. The curriculum provides meaningful experiences which encourage development in social/emotional, physical and cognitive areas. The children’s interests lead the teachers in designing activities which actively involve them in the learning process. Limited slots are available for our summer and fall programs. Contact info: www.littlebearlearn.com/ maurybear@gmail.com You can also find them on Facebook!

Jun 22 & 23

Our Shire’s beloved Mutton & Mead Tavern & Inne will be hosting its annual festival for your merriment. Enjoy the realm’s finest Entertainers as the legend of Robin Hood unfolds around you! Witness the daring spectacle of Knights Jousting, and hear the dulcet tones of minstrels songs. Stroll the enchanted paths of Sherwood Forest, encountering faeries, pixies and wood sprites. Adorn yourself with Merchants’ wares. Feast on the kingdom’s best Victuals, Meads and Ales. A Fundraiser for the Montague Common Hall & The Foodbank of Western Mass. Bring canned goods for a discount at the gate! June 22-23, 10am-6pm, 210 Turners Falls Road, Montague, MA. $15 Adults, $10 Kids and Seniors. Visit www.MuttonAndMead.com for details. Huzzah!

Reg deadline: Jun 23

Music Together® for Valley Families offers music and movement classes for 0 – 5 year olds and the grownups who love them.Their summer session begins July 1, 2013 in Amherst, Belchertown and South Hadley. Beloved by millions of families and early childhood educators, the program is now taught in 48 states and 40 other countries and is celebrating their 25 anniversary! Pioneering the idea of research based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music education, it emphasizes and facilitates caregiver involvement in a child’s musical growth. Registration deadline: June 23. Limited financial aid available. Contact: 413-259-9400, www.valleymusicgroup.com and on Facebook.

Jun 24 – Aug 16

The Bement School offers a wide variety of summer programs for students from 15 months to 15 years. Located on a beautiful campus in historic Deerfield, Bement’s programs combine the summer fun of a traditional day camp with field trips and enrichment programs. The Preschool Program provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for the youngest campers. Adventures in Chinese is a full-day Chinese language and culture program. The Adventure Camp offers games, crafts, swimming, and field trips. The Junior Counselor Program gives teens experience working with children, developing valuable job skills, and enjoying summer fun. Summer programs run from June 24 to August 16. Call 413-774-7061 or visit bement.org/summer for more information.

Cooley Dickinson Hospital: After a career coaching and playing ice hockey, Don “Toot” Cahoon couldn’t even tie his shoes without agonizing pain. A few months after getting a new hip from the Joint Replacement Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, he was walking, jogging, biking and skating pain free. The Joint Replacement at Cooley is second to none. It has a spectacular record in terms of safety and infections. Those are two very serious considerations when you are having a procedure like this. To hear the rest of Toot’s success story and hear from other patients, visit www.TheTalkIsGood.com.

Sponsor: Cooley DickinsonCooley Dickinson Childbirth Center: Voted “Best” Again in the Valley Advocate’s Readers Poll. For Granby residents Alyssa and Philip LaFlamme, Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center was the comfortable choice. “From the moment I called to say I was on my way, I felt reassured and well taken care of,” said Alyssa, who praises labor and delivery nurse Terri Jay who “helped keep me calm when I had a few moments of panic.” Alyssa consistently received personalized care. “My friends have gone other places and they say they feel like a number at other hospitals.” The LaFlammes are not alone in their choice. For the third consecutive year, families have voted the Childbirth Center the Best Birthing Center in the Valley Advocate’s Readers’ Poll.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 15th-21st, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

36 Community Highlights: Hermits to Fairies. Tornadoes to Dioramas.

Lawn concerts in the summer are lovely opportunities to enjoy a picnic dinner together with your family, and your community! We’ll be adding lawn concerts to our list of weekly Suggested Events throughout the summer, from the Berkshires down to the Valley. Check there each week and make plans for a fun family dinner, al fresco style!

Hermits to Tornadoes.  Fairies to Snow White.  Lawn Concerts to Kayaking… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

LAWN CONCERTS

Summer evening lawn concerts are a lovely way for families to enjoy an al fresco dinner together, in the warm air with live music. BYO picnic dinners and chairs to the following free evening concerts this week and enjoy time together with your family and community:

  • Concert Series at Stanley Park in Westfield presents Shakin’ All Over, one of New England’s premier dance bands, on Sunday evening, June 9th.
  • Musical Moments at Amelia’s Garden in Westfield presents Dan Kane and Friends, who will be performing Broadway classics, on Tuesday evening, June 11th.
  • Coop Concerts Summer Series takes place on Thursday evening, June 13th at Greenfield Energy Park. This week’s show features Devlin Miles, Orlen & Gabriel, and Pat & Tex LaMountain Band. Each group will perform a range of music, including love songs, folk tunes, jazz, blues, ragtime, and country music.
  • Arts in the Park Summer Concert Series happens at Millside Park in Easthampton on Friday evening, June 14th.

Indoor AdventuresHistoryAnimal Studies ♦  Nature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresMeteorologyMuseum AdventuresEngineeringOccupational ScienceMusic StudiesCommunity Service


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Suggested Events for June 8th-14th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

7th annual Hilltown Spring Festival

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Hilltown CDC’s 7th annual Hilltown Spring Festival last weekend in Cummington! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

WEEKEND BEST BET

Saturday, June 8th in Franklin County from 10am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The 25th annual RiverFest is here!  Come celebrate the Deerfield River by participating in arts and crafts workshops, the Frog and Flower Parade,  birds of prey demonstration,  live music, observing aquatic insects, and much more.  This annual event is great fun for the entire family and gives you the chance to be involved in the community while celebrating, and learning about, this amazing watershed!  Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, June 8th in Hampden County from 1pm-11pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The Rotary Club of West Springfield presents West Side’s Taste of the Valley 2013.  This event includes food from area restaurants, live music, rides and games for kids and teens, animal rides, and a petting zoo.  Bring the whole family and enjoy a weekend of fun for all.  413-883-5900.  Park Street Town Common.  West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, June 8th in Hampshire County from 3pm-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/ARTS: Arthampton and Art Walk Easthampton will feature puppet shows, live music, theatrical performances, and a sidewalk parade.  There will also be exhibitions, a fundraiser for the Pascommuck Land Trust, and more!  413-527-8278.  43 Main Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, June 9th in Berkshire County from 11am-3pm: COMMUNITY DAY: Bring the family and spend the day at The Mount! Tour this historic home, explore their magnificent gardens and trails, and take in the surroundings. Scavenger hunts, story times, and other activities throughout the day. A great way to discover this Berkshire County treasure with the kids! 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Jun 8

(Image © Ruth Sanderson)

Children’s Book Festival: A Fairy Garden Celebration. On Saturday, June 8th, grab your wings and come celebrate the magical world of fairies and gnomes at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA from 10am-5pm! Join local authors and illustrators for a fun day of building fairy houses, creating apple head elfin puppets and learning how to draw a dragon. Plus storytimes and book signings! See the Galapagos Puppets perform, Badger Meets the Fairies. Be inspired by the world of fantasy, the magic of fairy tales, and the natural world during their annual Children’s Book Festival. Fairy and gnome inspired costumes are welcome! Visit www.carlemuseum.org for the day’s schedule or call 413-658-1126.

Jun 12

Medical Issues in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Wednesday, June 12, 6 pm. Free. Dakin Conference Room with Ann Neumeyer, MD, Child Neurologist, Medical Director of the Lurie Center for Autism at Massachusetts General Hospital and MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, and Peter Kenny, MD, Pediatrician, Northampton Area Pediatrics. In her lecture about autism spectrum disorders, Dr. Ann Neumeyer will discuss what autism is. She will explain that there are medical conditions that can affect children with autism, such as sleep disorders, seizures and gastrointestinal disease, and discuss some methods for detecting and understanding these conditions.

Jun 12

On Wednesday, June 12th, from 7:00-8:30 pm, Dr. Robert Davis, psychologist and director of the Brain Analysis & NeuroDevelopment (BAND) Centers in Florence and Amherst will be offering a free presentation at the Cup & Top in Florence on the use of Neurotherapy, a neuroscience-based approach to reducing or eliminating symptoms associated with attention, learning, behavior and mood disorders. Neurotherapy is a safe, effective, non-invasive and medication-free form of treatment and was recently ranked by the American Academy of Pediatrics as a ‘Level 1’ treatment for ADHD, (i.e., equal or greater in effectiveness to medication, behavior therapy and parent training). For more information, visit the BAND Center website at: www.bandcenterllc.com.

Jun 17

Little Bear Learn & Care is having a Preschool Open House on Monday, June 17th from 6-7:30pm. LBLC is located at 184 Northampton Street in Easthampton and all are welcome. Come visit their center and meet the teachers. Little Bear’s philosophy stresses that the preschool years are vital in developing skills needed to be successful later in life. The curriculum provides meaningful experiences which encourage development in social/emotional, physical and cognitive areas. The children’s interests lead the teachers in designing activities which actively involve them in the learning process. Limited slots are available for our summer and fall programs. Contact info: www.littlebearlearn.com/ maurybear@gmail.com You can also find them on Facebook!

Jun 24 – Aug 16

The Bement School offers a wide variety of summer programs for students from 15 months to 15 years. Located on a beautiful campus in historic Deerfield, Bement’s programs combine the summer fun of a traditional day camp with field trips and enrichment programs. The Preschool Program provides a safe, nurturing camp experience for the youngest campers. Adventures in Chinese is a full-day Chinese language and culture program. The Adventure Camp offers games, crafts, swimming, and field trips. The Junior Counselor Program gives teens experience working with children, developing valuable job skills, and enjoying summer fun. Summer programs run from June 24 to August 16. Call 413-774-7061 or visit bement.org/summer for more information.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
June 8th-14th, 2013

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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

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