Suggested Events 07/11/09-07/17/09


Slip 'n slide

Remember when it was in the 90's last summer and the kids begged for the slip 'n slide and popsicles? (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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


BRYANT DAY CELEBRATION: Recently revived, the second annual Bryant Day to be held on July 18 from 12:00 – 4:00 PM resurrects a 115 year-old tradition of celebration at the venerable Bryant Homestead in Cummington, MA. The first Bryant Day was celebrated in 1894 on the 100th anniversary of poet William Cullen Bryant’s birth. Hundreds arrived by horse and carriage to spend a day listening to poetry, music, and speeches. This July 18th celebration will follow a similar program. Cummington resident and former Poet Laureate of the United States William Jay Smith will read his poetry and architectural historian Bonnie Parsons will speak on the architectural design elements in the Bryant Homestead. Musicians, Rhubarb Pie, will kick off the afternoon and Berkshire Trail Elementary School student Michael Cunningham will recite a Bryant poem. The day will end with a family hike to the Rivulet Forest lead by naturalist Nancy Childs. Refreshments will be sold by the Chesterfield Grange and the Bryant Homestead Committee will provide free popcorn and hand-cranked ice cream. Admission is $5/car. The complete schedule is found below or may be accessed at Information may also be obtained by calling 413-532-1631 x13


FAMILY CONCERT & THEATER: On Sunday (July 12th, 2009) in Amherst, MA at the Eric Carle Museum: Live Concert with Recess Monkey at 12:30pm and Castle Hill Theatre Presents Just So Stories at 2:00 pm. Join us as we welcome the popular Seattle trio Recess Monkey, a kiddie rock/pop musical group influenced by 60’s music. Designed for children but entertaining for adults, the lyrics tell stories that are fun and educational. Don’t miss these catchy tunes and the humor that goes along with them. Just a bit later, Castle Hill Theatre Company returns to The Carle with its latest production, Just So Stories. This inventive and imaginative production, taken from three of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tales, is a fanciful explanation of why the world is the way it is. Full of color and humor, it’s the perfect show for theater-goers of all ages. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admission desk or by calling (413) 658-1126. Ticket price does not include Museum Admission. Check out a free museum pass from your local library.

Cothesline in the summer time

Air dry your clothes this summer and save energy! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)


  • Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer a chance for three different families to win 4 free tickets to see Victoria Chaplin’s internationally acclaimed theatrical creation, Aurélia’s Oratorio. Click HERE to find out how you can enter to win.
  • Downing & Kulik announce funding for a renewable energy site survey at New Hingham Regional Elementary School in Chesterfield, MA.  Read more, Wind Power Site in the Hilltowns. – Here’s an interesting article that Erik Hoffner shares from Orion Magazine: “Hell Yeah, We Want Windmills
  • The Conway Farmers’ Market opened July 8 and will be open every Wednesday from 4pm to dusk through September 9. The market is held in Pumpkin Hollow on Whately Road in Conway, MA and will be open rain or shine, according to market organizer Tricia Vinchesi, who is still looking for produce vendors. If you have some fruit or veggies to sell, contact Tricia at 413-369-4109.
  • Hilltown Home Garden Exchange (HHuGE) Wagon Opens July 20th!
  • American Farmland Trust has launched “America’s Favorite Farmers’ Market” contest. Vote for your favorite local farmers’ market and help it win “No Farms, No Food” tote bags to hand out to customers. One small, medium and large farmers’ market with the most votes at the end of August wins. Vote today! Don’t see your favorite market as an option? Make sure that your market enrolls in the contest. Farmers’ markets can register to join the contest by visiting,
  • Nerissa and Katryna Nields of Conway, MA write: This Saturday, July 11, we play a 7:30pm Nields show at my church in West Cummington, MA. This is the third or fourth year in a row that we’ve done this show, and in the past we’ve paid homage to Woody Guthrie since we always perform close to his birthday (7/14/1911). This is one of the best places to see Nerissa & Katryna Nields all year; trust me. The acoustics are great, but what’s really special is the vibe. Quite simply, this is a magical place for our family; William was baptised here, as were both of my kids, and Tom and I were married here. Penny Schultz, the music director, is way up in our pantheon of musical greats, right up next to Pete Seeger and Jack Langstaff. So come! Experience the magic of the Hilltowns in July. Have dinner first at the legendary Cummington Creamery.
  • Summer Reading Program: Click HERE if you’re looking for a way to make summer reading even more fun for your kids (offered by TD Banknorth).
  • Submit your best blueberry creation to the Blueberry Bake Off on August 1st.
  • The special June 29 screening of Food, Inc. sold out before doors opened. If you missed out on the screening you still have time to see the film at Amherst Cinema. Click HERE for schedule.
  • Kerri LaPlante writes in response to Does Your Family Use Road Maps in the Car?: We often use the atlas to help the kids name and learn the states. Our 11 and 7 year old like to answer the question, ‘How many states start with the letter A, then B, then C…” Also guessing which bird belongs to each state was fun for everyone. The 11yr old likes to tell us which direction to go in the most. We believe that the fundamentals of learning are slipping by the wayside. How many kids can read an analog clock anymore? or do math in the heads without the aid of a calculator? Navigating and the knowledge of geography are not lost arts in our household and we hope not in others

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday (07/11/09)

Sunday (07/12/09)

Weekdays 07/13/09-07/17/09

For more events happening this week check below in our comment box or visit our “Suggest An Event” page. There are also fun suggestions on our THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO SEE page. If you know of an upcoming event that you would like to share with other families, please feel encourage to do so by posting it HERE.

10 Comments on “Suggested Events 07/11/09-07/17/09

    Greenfield Energy Park
    Pioneer Valley Concert – Solar Series

    Pioneer Valley Symphony’s Solar Series returns to Greenfield’s Energy Park this summer, presenting four Monday evening concerts as part of Music at the Station. Each concert, beginning at 6:00 PM and lasting about an hour, showcases a different group of musicians drawn from the ranks of the PVS and their colleagues. The PVS Solar Series is now in its third year. Energy Park is at the end of Miles Street off of Main Street. Stroll on over!

    Second Solar Series concert continues Monday, July 13th with a return visit by the woodwind quintet Variable Winds, whose personnel are Kimi Hasegawa, flute; Zeke Hecker, oboe; Karen Bressett, clarinet, Jean Jeffries, horn, and Rebecca Eldredge, bassoon. Hecker and Bressett are first chair players with PVS, and Jeffries and Eldredge have appeared as guest artists. The group’s program consists of classical and contemporary works for this colorful combination of instruments, including lighter fare appropriate to the outdoor setting.

    The PVS Solar Series concerts are informal. Admission is free, with donations to the Pioneer Valley Symphony most welcome. Listeners should bring blankets or lawn chairs, snacks or picnic suppers, and hats or other means of keeping out the late afternoon sun. Kids will want to check out the train in the park’s play area.

    In the event of inclement weather we expect to move the concert indoors nearby. Specifics to be published before the first concert.

    The PVS is proud to be part of this wonderful summer tradition at Greenfield’s Energy Park. For more information on 2009 Music in the Park, go to its page at

    The Pioneer Valley Symphony has just concluded its 70th anniversary season of orchestra and chorus concerts, educational programs, and other community events serving Franklin and Hampshire Counties.

  2. Chandler’s Hogwart Feast Harry Potter
    Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village
    South Deerfield, MA

    Friday, July 17 5:00-6:30 Come dressed in your favorite Wizard Attire or disguised as a Muggle to celebrate the release of the new Harry Potter movie Half-Blood Prince Menu: Hogwart Buffet: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Chicken, Salad with witch’s eye balls, goblins teeth, and more with make your own Snape’s Potions Sundaes.


  3. Look Park – Florence, MA

    Franklin King III Children’s Entertainment Series

    The Look Park Children’s Entertainment Series is a program run by Look Park at the Pines Theater. The series features a collection of children’s performers who sing, dance, and perform a variety of children’s activities on stage. Performances last anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour on Wednesday mornings during the summer. The shows have proven to be a great place to take children for fun summer activities. Be sure to hold on to your ticket for a discounted TRAIN RIDE after the show!!

    Time: 10:00 am Wednesday Mornings (PLEASE NOTE NEW DAY!!)
    Price: Adults $4.50 Children $3.50
    Location: Look Park Pine’s Theater (Rain Site: Garden House Tent)

    July 15 – Ed Popielarczyk
    Ed takes a lot of pride in bringing smiles to his friend’s faces. Whether he is performing a magic show or making a balloon creation, he is entertaining. The magic in what he does is not making a big duck riding a motorcycle out of balloons or fooling someone during a magic show, but the laughter that it brings. That is the TRUE MAGIC!!

  4. In Pittsfield, MA

    Thursday: 3rd Thursdays Next Week!
    Come out next week and enjoy great music, great food, great shopping and great fun at downtown Pittsfield’s award-winning 3rd.Thursdays street festival, recently chosen one of the top ten free Massachusetts events this summer by AAA! We’re bringing back the Palace Park Beach and the mysterious Silver Swimmers, plus jazz-funk from Unfulfilled Desires, Bossa Triba’s Brazilian Rhythms, Andean and world music by MarkaMusic, free 3rd.Thursdays temporary tattoos, a farmers market and much MUCH more! Full preview to follow soon!

    Thursday, July 16 | 5-8pm | Downtown Pittsfield | 499-9348 | FREE!

  5. In Pittsfield, MA

    Monday-Friday: Weather & Astronomy KidsCamp!
    How do the sun and moon affect us? Why do we have four seasons? What makes it rain and snow? How are storms formed? Learn the answer to these questions and more. Field trips, laboratory exercises, Internet explorations, construction projects, and more provide fun, enhance learning, and teach aspiring student meteorologists how to study our weather. Recommended for ages 8-12.

    Monday-Friday, July 13-17| Mon/Wed/Fri 9am-4pm, Tues/Thurs 5-9pm | Berkshire Community College, R Hoffmann Environmental Center | 1350 West Street | 499-4600 | $195 for the week

  6. At the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA starting Wednesday, Berkshire Theater Festival performs family favorite The Wind in the Willows, featuring the eccentric Mr. Toad & his three friends. The whole family will love this exciting and education program.

    Wind in the Willows | Begins Wednesday, July 15 (runs Wednesday-Saturday through August 8) | 11am | Berkshire Museum | 139 South Street | 443-7171 | $12 adults ($6 members); $8 children ($4 members)



    “These guys churn out albums faster than Tom Clancy pumps out technothrillers—yet the quality never wanes. Playful, singable, and never the least bit derivative, Recess Monkey is a boon to children’s music.”
    – Christopher Healy, COOKIE magazine

    “How many bands can say they’ve opened for the Dalai Lama? We know of one: Recess Monkey, a trio of Seattle teachers that sounds a bit like a mix of Donovan and the Beatles, and they have a wacky audacity that’s hard not to love.”

    “Over the course of four albums, Recess Monkey has slowly staked its claim to being the best kids’ music band in the business.” –Stefan Shepherd, ZOOGLOBBLE

    SEATTLE (July 1) – The critically acclaimed, award-winning trio of Seattle schoolteachers, Recess Monkey, will bring their special brand of “undeniably hip, yet also kid-accessible” music and humor to a special, outdoor “picnic rock” show at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 12 at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. Families are encouraged to bring a lunch or just rock out!

    This event is presented by Northampton radio station 93.9 The River (101.5 in Brattleboro, VT and online at, as well as by one of the country’s preeminent kids’ music radio programs, Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child (heard Saturday mornings on the River, and online at

    In celebration of the July 12 “picnic rock” show at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Recess Monkey will guest host an entire broadcast of Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child on Saturday, June 27 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child program host Bill Childs says, “”Recess Monkey has been a staple on our show since they started releasing music. Their guest hosting is everything I love about them — it’s hilarious, filled with catchy songs, and just plain fun. Their live shows are the same.”

    Recess Monkey performs Beatles-influenced sing-alongs about friends, animals and SL-DOUBLE-E-P-OVERS! Their live show is a foot-stomping, hand-clapping, chicken-dancing romp through old favorites, along with new gems from their new CD, Field Trip. Amherst audiences will get funky with the Boogie Monster, take a soapy ride at the Bubble Factory, and give that loose tooth an extra jiggle with Dr. Wiggle. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to join the dance section (located everywhere). Just make sure to leave some energy for rollercoaster riding and the Monkey Bar conga line.

    Giving a wacky, fantastical edge to the “everyday lives of kids,” Recess Monkey weaves puns, jokes stories, and shenanigans into its songs. No play on words is too much of a stretch, and no rhyme schemes are out of bounds for the group’s genre-bending set of catchy, singable and dance-able ditties that NPR described as “inventive, brilliant, multilayered” and Cookie magazine dubbed “fast paced and goofy.” Audiences call it “a great way to spend an hour rocking out!”

    The members of Recess Monkey met while working at the same Seattle school. The trio’s genuine enthusiasm for a grad school project morphed into their 2005 debut CD, Welcome to Recess Monkey Town. This was followed by another popular (and zoologically correct) hit, Aminal House. The teachers (Jack Forman, Daron Henry, and Drew Holloway) made history with their next release, Wonderstuff, the first double CD children’s album produced from material generated at a kids’ summer camp workshop. Likewise, last year’s Tabby Road and the newest Recess Monkey album, Field Trip, each came from real life children’s experiences.

    Mothering magazine described Recess Monkey’s music as having “a Beatles-esque feel… You might just enjoy these songs about sleepovers, sandboxes, and sugar goblins as much as your kids do.” Time Out NY Kids enthused that Recess Monkey “is heavily influenced by the Beatles—more McCartney’s hummable melodies than Lennon’s psychedelic romps … And not only do the tunes fail to induce adult headaches, some even sound like the kind of retro hipster music you might hear in a Wes Anderson flick.”

    Notes Jack Forman, “All our songs are inspired by experiences we’ve had with our classes. Our live shows are part Magical Mystery Tour, part Mr. Rogers, and part Muppet Show, but they’re all based on the kids that we teach and our memories of being young!”

    WHAT: Recess Monkey Rocks The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
    Presented by 93.9 The River and Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child.

    WHERE: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA
    WHEN: 12:30 p.m., Sunday, July 12
    TICKETS: $8 admission to see Recess Monkey AND Castle Hill Theatre production of Just So Stories at 2:00 p.m.
    INFO: 413-658-1100;

    For more information about Recess Monkey please contact Elizabeth Waldman Frazier at Waldmania! 415.334.2787 or .
    Check out the Recess Monkey website at

  8. GREEN Northampton & Alteris Renewables Solar Power Seminar

    Homeowners to Learn How Solar Power Is Cheaper than Utilities

    Alteris™ Renewables and GREEN Northampton will host a free public seminar on solar energy for homeowners in the Pioneer Valley on July 7pm at the Media Education Foundation (60 Masonic St.) in Northampton. The seminar will explain how solar works and is cost competitive with electricity supplied by utilities for the first time. Homeowners are encouraged to register for the seminar by calling 800-955-1548 or via email

    The seminar will focus on the affordability of solar energy in the Pioneer Valley. Through its partnership with California-based SunRun, Alteris Renewables is turning home solar into a monthly service, like cable or phone service, for residents of the Pioneer Valley and others in Massachusetts. With this new program, upfront costs plummet from $30,000 to as little as $1,000 for customers to be able to install solar
    electric systems on their homes. Customers will enjoy immediate savings with locked-in rates for the next 18 years – a valuable protection from future electric rate increases. They can also make a good return on their initial investment.

    Experts have long projected that solar electricity would eventually be on par with electricity from the traditional electric utility. Now that cross-over point has been reached for Massachusetts homeowners. Electricity rates in Massachusetts have nearly doubled over the last 20 years. If these trends continue, a typical customer could recover their upfront payment in as little as two years and see an after-tax return on their investment of as much as 60% or more.

  9. Concert by Angela Easterling
    FREE, all ages
    at Forbes Library
    DATE: Wednesday, July 15
    TIME: 7:00 PM
    LOCATION: Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library & Museum (2nd floor)
    INFO: 587-1013

    Forbes Library in Northampton presents Alt-Country-Folk songstress Angela Easterling in a free concert on July 15. Her musical inspirations mix American traditions with a contemporary sensibility, and she has won numerous awards and critical acclaim for her voice and songwriting.


    Take Note… Musical notes, as the Northampton Center for the Arts and Jane Hanson Productions present four wonderful ways to beat the heat this summer. Join us in the air-conditioned ballroom for these exciting musical showcases!

    FREE Broadway Box Lunch Revue series
    July 14-17, Tuesday thru Friday, 12-1 pm (lunch-time!)
    Come and be entertained during your lunch hour with this free performance series presented by students of the Jane Hanson Productions Summer Musical Theater Intensive.


    July Events at Cup and Top in Florence, MA

    Thursday July 16th @ 4pm

    Tom Knight Puppets – original puppets & music.
    The show is a vibrant collection of original songs and skits, each 3-5 minutes long, with variety enough to keep even the very youngest children waiting to see what will happen next. (Free)


    Friday, July 17 from 7pm-Dusk
    Asian Cultural “East Meets WESTfield” event at Stanley Park in Westfield, MA
    A week long celebration with Asian Art, fans and luminaries, origami, tae Ku do, tai chai, dragon making, lantern painting, dragon making leads to the grand night of lumination. The Asian Garden will come to life as the night darkens. But not before, Asian dancers and Taiko drums set the stage for a spectacular cultural evening. Children will lead the parade with long draped dragons. Great family event. 413-572-2900


    Tuesday, July 14
    “Budget Gourmet: Eating Well in Lean Times” Cooking Classes
    Tuesdays, June 16, 30, July 14, 28, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    All Souls Church, Main Street, Greenfield
    For info., call 413-325-6245 or email
    Just because money’s tight doesn’t mean you have to eat unappetizing or unhealthy food. Learning how to cook tasty, nutritious, inexpensive meals using fresh, locally grown ingredients is the focus of a new series of cooking classes being sponsored by the Center for Self-Reliance, the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community, and All Souls Church. The classes are free, pre-registration is required, and participants are asked to sign up for one or two sessions. The classes, taught by Damon Simonetti, a gourmand and former chef, will focus on making meals from “scratch.” Students in the classes will prepare a meal, and then enjoy it together at the end of the class.

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