Suggested Events 05/15/10-05/21/10

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


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


Saturday, May 15th, 10am-7pm. The family-friendly Hilltown Spring Festival happens at the Cummington Fairgrounds.  A daylong celebration of Hilltown music, arts, culture and community featuring 15 musical acts on two performance stages, including kids concert with The Primate Fiasco and headliner Charles Neville.  There will be children’s activities all-day, local food and local brews, arts and crafts and a sustainable living expo. (Listen to PSA)

Sunday, May 16th, 2pm. Matinee family concert with Brady Rymer at the Iron Horse in Northampton.  Part of Spare the Rock’s No Nap Happy Hour SeriesMore info here.


Friday, May 14th at  Elmer’s in Ashfield: Cream of Broccoli & Cheddar soup; Platter of Salad Nicoise with Grilled Ahi Tuna; Mixed greens, tomatoes, Nicoise olives, capers, hard boiled egg, baby potatoes, green beans, cannelloni beans, and red onions; Pan-seared Ahi tuna. BYOB 628-4003

Saturday, May 15th at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville: Local Shredded Pork, Braised Greens, and Macaroni and Cheese.  Open mic! Beer & wine available. 268-7757


Saturday, May 22nd, 9am-4pm,Chester on Track 20th Anniversary in Chester, MA.  The annual Chester Railway Station celebration will include a parade, helicopter rides, train show, craft fair, live entertainment, a blacksmith, historic re-enactments, live steam and classic-car displays, and more! Dine in a wooden boxcar, ride on a wagon, tour the Keystone Arch Bridges. For more information, call 354-7878, or visit

Sunday, May 23rd, 2pm, Academy of Music, Northampton CARTOON-A-PALOOZA to benefit the renovation of the Forbes Library Childrens and Teens area. Enjoy a special screening of award-winning animation by Mo Willems, from Sesame Street and Nickelodeon shorts to Carnegie Award-winning adaptations of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Knuffle Bunny, and the world premiere of the adaptation of The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog! Mo Willems, a 3-time Caldecott honoree and Northampton resident, will be on hand to answer questions after the screening, and will be signing limited-edition Forbes Library posters featuring Elephant and Piggie.  To purchase tickets, visit the Forbes website or the Academy box office. (Listen to PSA)


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

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT TICKET GIVEAWAY: On June 4th, Chris Smither will be performing a Friday night fund-raising concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls for the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School … and Hilltown Families has a 4-pack of free tickets along with a signed CD to offer one lucky person! Deadline to enter to win is 05/28/10. Click on banner to find out how you can enter to win.

LOCAL MAMAPRENUER  FEATURED NATIONALLY:  Congrats to Hilltown Families Listserv member and local mamapreneur Angie Gregory for having her business, Mother Herb Diaper Service, featured in Mothering Magazine this month!

KIDS & DRINKING: Does restricting R-rated movies really affect kids’ drinking? A new study from Dartmouth College shows that kids whose parents restrict R-rated movies drink less, and start drinking later.

WORST TOY: Nickelodeon’s Wins CCFC’s TOADY Award for Worst Toy of the Year

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

FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS: Want to buy a home but don’t know how or if you can afford it? Hilltown CDC, on behalf of the Town of Chesterfield, offers FREE, one-on-one, pre-purchase counseling and First-Time Homebuyer workshops. Many first-time homebuyers come into the process with a lot of questions and anxiety. People may worry that their credit isn’t good enough or that they don’t have enough savings, or they may just not know where to start. Both pre-purchase counseling and a First Time Homebuyer workshop can help dispel those concerns.  Contact Bea at 296-4536, ext 115 or for more information, or look on the Hilltown Families Community Bulletin Board for more details.

MUSIC GIVEAWAY: Uncle Rock has released a new family CD, The Big Picture, and we have a copy to giveaway to one luck family!  Click here to find out how you can win a copy of his newest release! Deadline to enter to win is May 17th by 7pm (EST).

ANTI-BULLYING STATE LAW PASSED: While many may already be aware that the Massachusetts legislature passed a law, you might not already know about this website. In addition to the new law, the Massachusetts Trial Court Law Library contains additional legal resources on everything from cyberbullying, stalking, hazing and an “Eyes On Bullying” toolkit for caregivers and parents to use in child care programs, afterschool programs and camps.

WANTED: LOCAL/REGIONAL BULLYING PREVENTION RESOURCE: Strategic Planning Initiative  for Families and Youth (SPIFFY) is compiling a bullying prevention resource list for schools and community agencies, and they are looking for local experts who can offer technical assistance around bullying prevention using evidence-based strategies. They also are looking for groups who have successfully used evidence-based strategies/curriculum to create a positive and welcoming school climate.  Please send any recommendations to Sue Cairn at

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Congratulations to Amanda Saklad and Suzanne Holt of Belchertown, MA. Both families have won a family 4-pack of tickets to see Brady Rymer at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Sunday, May 16th at 2pm, along with a signed copy of Brady Rymer’s newest CD, “Here Comes Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could.”

GREEN BURIAL: The Green Burial Committee of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Mass will be hosting an information session at Green Field Market on Sunday, May 16th from 2-4pm. Find out what a green or natural burial is, why you might like to have one, where the nearest green cemeteries are located, and how to help start a green cemetery here in Western Mass. Call Carol for more info 774-2320.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: The Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society needs animal care volunteers. Positions and available times vary. Call 548-9898 to discover volunteer opportunities.

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


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

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    • Amherst: 8:30-11am on the Town Common
    • Holyoke: 9am-1pm at the Wistariahurst Muuseum. 322-5660
    • Worthington: 9am at the Historical Society building


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

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 5/15

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

    10am-7pm – HILLTOWN SPRING FESTIVAL: The 4th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival, a daylong celebration of Hilltown music, arts, culture and community, will take place at the Cummington Fairgrounds, featuring 15 musical acts on two performance stages, including headliners Charles Neville, The Primate Fiasco and Swing Caravan, all-day children’s activities, local food and local brews, arts and crafts and a sustainable living expo. Cummington, MA (FREE, Parking Fee Applies)

    10am-12Noon – PARENTING SOCIAL: “Color Play,” a program for families parenting children of color, will take place at the Forbes Library Community Room. Color Play is a monthly social and craft for families raising children of color (all ages). Transracial adoptees and LGBTQ families are strongly encouraged to join. Come celebrate spring and make a Wild Flower Seed Ball. 658-5096 Northampton, MA (FREE)

    11am-2pm – DOG ADVENTURES: Join the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society’s Bark in the Park at Forest Park. Bring your dogs and join local celebrities for music, demos, parade, and more. 781-4000 x364 Springfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    11am – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Margaret Wise Brown Day at the Eric Carle Museum with special studio activity, readings in the library, family concert with Uncle Rock and films in the auditorium. 658-1100 Amherst, MA

    11:30am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Happy Dan the Music Man will perform a family music show at the Hilltown Spring Festival at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Cummington, MA (FREE, Parking Fee Applies)

    12Noon-3pm – OPEN HOUSE: Montague Farm Cafe at Montague Farm Zen House. 367-5275 Montague, MA

    12Noon-5pm – ART ADVENTURES: Canal Gallery’s Artists’ Market, between 2 canals next to the Childrens’ Museum. This Artist Market comes alive with music, food, and color. Inspired by markets of a 100 years ago; also those in warmer more colorful places and early Americana circuses & carnivals. 532-4141 Holyoke, MA

    12:15pm – SPRING DANCE: Dance around the Maypole at the Hilltown Spring Festival at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Hosted by EarthSpirit of Worthington, the community maypole dance will be accompanied by traditional rhythmic stepping by multiple teams of Morris Dancers. Cummington, MA (FREE, Parking Fee Applies)

    1-4pm – BIKE ADVENTURES: Baystate Village Bike Bonanza happens with bike tune ups, decorating, safety clinics, games and prizes at Maines Field (570 Riverside Drive) Northampton, MA (FREE)

    2pm – FAMILY CONCERT: The Primate Fiasco will perform psychedelic dixieland for kids at the Hilltown Spring Festival at the Cummington Fairgrounds. Cummington, MA (FREE, Parking Fee Applies)

    2pm – UKULELE WORKSHOP: Bring your ukulele to the Hilltown Spring Festival and join in a community jam and workshop.  Cummington Fairgrounds. Cummington, MA (FREE, Parking Fees Applied)

    6pm – CONCERT: Charles Neville will be the final act at the Hilltown Spring Festival at the Cummington Fairgrounds.   Click here to see all the great music to be heard during the festival, including Swing Caravan, The Primate Fiasco, Academy Freightshakers, Gaia Roots, The Shapeshifters, and more! Cummington, MA (FREE, Parking Fee Applies)

    7:30pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Burgy Bullets Annual Chicken BBQ with live music at 12 Laurel Road.  268-3226 Haydenville, MA ($)

    Sunday – 5/16

    Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Guest DJ with Randy Kaplan! Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at

    9am-5pm – FISH ADVENTURES: Bring the kids to visit the fish lifts and ladders on the Connecticut River at the Robert E. Barrett Fishway in Holyoke and the Turners Falls Fishway in Turners Falls.  A great educational program to discover the annual migration of our local anadromous fish.  Click here to download a fishway brochure. 800-859-2960 Turners Falls & Holyoke, MA (FREE)

    9am-3pm – TRUCKS: Big Rig Day for kids at the Fedor Pontiac Parking Lot. There will be huge rigs, antique trucks, tree trucks, fire trucks and maybe a helicopter or crane. Concessions benefit Dollars for Scholars. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    1-6pm – CLOTHES SWAP: Women And Children Clothing  And Everything Swap, hosted by Valley Time Trade.  Location is 24 Elizabeth Street.  Call for info. 584-0162. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    2-3pm – COMMUNITY CONCERT: Florence Community Band will be performing at the Northampton Senior Center.  A great opportunity to take the kids to an intergenerational concert. 67 Conz Street 587-1228 Northampton, MA (FREE)

    2-4pm – BIKE ADVENTURES: St. Jude’s Bike-a-thon beginning at the Straw Bale Cafe. 527-6184 Westhampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    3pm – CHORUS: The South Hadley Children’s Chorus will perform, Mouse Music, a family-friendly hour of songs an dpoems inspired by Leo Leonni at the Eric Carle Musuem. 658-1100 Amherst, MA (FREE)

    3-5pm – SEWING: Ashfield Needles and Threads meets at Elmer’s. Get together and sew, knit, crochet, chat, hook rugs… Ashfield, MA (FREE)

    6:30pm – PARENT NIGHT OUT: Wine tasting at the Old Creamery with Wayne Glaser of Arborway Imports. RSVP 634-5560 Cummington, MA (FREE)

    7:30-8:30pm – SONG CIRCLE: Jewish Women’s Song Circle. Lead by Felicia Sloin. 737-2601 Northampton, MA (FREE)

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    Week of May 17th-21st

    Monday – 5/17

    Tuesday – 5/18

    Wednesday – 5/19

    • 9am-5pm in Turners Falls & Holyoke: Bring the kids to visit the fish lifts and ladders on the Connecticut River. Click here to download a fishway brochure. 800-859-2960
    • 10:30am in Williamsburg: Preschool Storytime at the Meekins Library with Children’s Librarian Rochelle Wildfong. (FREE)
    • 10:30am in Easthampton: Small Smiles Story Time and Puppet Play at the Easthampton Family Center. Small Smiles Family Dentistry will come share a story about the importance of toothbrushing, in a fun and interactive way. All children will leave with a special goody bag to take this important message home. Time for parents to ask questions too. (FREE) (CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESS)
    • 10:30-11:45am in Amherst: Momma and Baby Yoga (Start after 7 weeks postpartum) at the CDH outpatient offices at 170 University Drive. Get back in shape, connect with other mothers. Recondition your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Whether baby is feeding in your arms or lying on you or next to you, your baby is included in the fun. Momma and Baby Yoga classes are offered weekly as long as there are enough families pre-registered to attend. Cost: $44 for 4 classes; or $13 per single class. Pre-registration is required: 582-2736, press “3” for Yoga
    • 12:30pm in Northampton: Academy of Music host their Spring Lunch Box Series with Berkshire Hills Music Academy. Enter through stage door for an intimate performance on stage with the musicians. (FREE)
    • 2pm in Florence: Wednesday Farmers’ Market on the lawn at the Florence Civic Center (Route 9) from 2-6pm
    • 3pm in Greenfield: Animal Adventures with Rachel Roberts at the Greenfield Public Library. This class includes a story time with a featured book and multiple hands-on thematic art and science activity stations, focusing on adult and baby animal pairs and their differences and similarities and using local animals as examples as much as possible to make more meaningful connections to our everyday animal exposures. Geared towards families with young children but has activities all ages can enjoy. For more information or to register, contact Rachel Roberts at 772-1544 (FREE)
    • 4:30pm in Amherst: Youth Bicycle Safety Class at the Bang Center. (413) 427-6524
    • Northampton: Family Yoga on Wednesdays at the YMCA in Northampton. Free for members!
    • 6pm in Pittsfield: Birth Circle at Chapters Bookstore will discuss Water & Birth. Tell and hear stories about all of the wonderful uses of water for labor and birth- drinking it, soaking in it, using it for warmth, cooling, relaxation and for healing postpartum and of course, giving birth in it. 518-672-4576
    • 6:30pm in Williamsburg: Discover song birds of the Northeast with John Root at the Meekins Library.

    Thursday – 5/20

    Friday – 5/21

    6 Comments on “Suggested Events 05/15/10-05/21/10

    1. On Wednesday there will be a bike rodeo for kids from 1:45 to 4:45 on the Amherst Town Common where children will have the chance to learn bicycle skills. There will be a bicycle and helmet fit check, a learn-to-ride program for beginners, a learn-to-shift-gears program, a slow bike race and many other activities. Bring your bicycle (in good repair), helmet and closed-toe shoes.

      Workshop & Talk
      Friday, May 21 in Wendell

      Have you ever thought about how much energy it takes to make solar panels and wind turbines, and how much energy they will generate for us over their lifetime? If yes, there are two opportunities to explore what is called “Net Energy” or “Energy Return On Investment” (EROI) with a leading expert and author in this field.

      Presenter: David Murphy, professor at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Rochester NY, and co-author of “What Is the Minimum EROI a Sustainable Society Must Have?”
      Friday May 21 in Wendell
      3-5 pm at the Wendell Library:
      A presentation and round-table discussion for energy committee members & Town officials and planning staff

      7:30 pm at the Wendell Town Hall:
      Presentation for the General public.

      Organized by the Wendell Energy Task Force
      co-sponsored by: Greening Greenfield Energy Committee &
      North Quabbin Energy

    3. VTT Events

      Valley Time Trade Orientation Information
      When: Wednesday, May 19, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
      Where: C3 Office, 126 Main Street, Lower Level, Northampton, MA
      Please RSVP if you would like to come to the Valley Time Trade Orientation. Bring some ides of activities that you would like to offer and to request. We do ask people pay dues ranging from $10-$50 a year, and, no one is turned away. We are on the lower level so you have to buzz the buzzer at the door and then come on down stairs to the office. Call Jenny Ladd at 585-0373 or email if you are coming.

      Valley Time Trade Orientation Information
      When: Wednesday, May 19, 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
      Where: C3 Office, 126 Main Street, Lower Level, Northampton, MA
      Please RSVP if you would like to come to the Valley Time Trade Orientation. Bring some ides of activities that you would like to offer and to request. We do ask people pay dues ranging from $10-$50 a year, and, no one is turned away. We are on the lower level so you have to buzz the buzzer at the door and then come on down stairs to the office. Call Jenny Ladd at 585-0373 or email if you are coming.

      Other Events

      Class Action
      When: Wednesday, May 19, 5:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
      Where: Dynamite Space, Thornes Marketplace in downtown Northampton
      Cost: Free (Donations welcome!)
      Hear about Class Action’s work: Meet and greet community members interested in issues of class and classism, including Class Action staff and Board members. Eat delicious finger food and browse displays. Enjoy audience interactive activities, Classism Theater Dialogue, with Class Action’s Co-Founder Jenny Ladd and Carolyn Sadeh. RSVP to Jerry Koch-Gonzalez at or 413-687-5444.

      Pioneer Valley Bike Week is the week! May 15th-23rd
      “This is the perfect time to get out of our cars and try bicycling to work, school, on errands, and for fun. All around the valley, there will be group rides, free bike workshops, bike breakfasts, film screenings, and many more ways to get involved, learn new skills, and have some cycling fun!”

    4. Join local mamas artist/poets and performers to celebrate Motherhood.

      Spend the evening rejuvenating and rejoicing in the power of our intergenerational voices!

      Poets Diana Alvarez & Tory Rosen (Warriors Toolkit: Harnessing the Power and Potency of Transformative Language) will share their gift of voice with us. Local organizations Mothers of Color Awareness Initiative’s Marissa Pizii will MC the night and The Prison Birth Project will share participatory documentation created behind the wall for display and read aloud and members will share stories and experiences during the open mic.

      Free raffle ticket with entry donation! Win fabulous prizes to take care of yourself and your family! (Massages, Hot Tub gift certificate, Mama & Baby basket from Cradle, Motherherb products!)

      Help get local families to the United States Social Forum!

      This Thursday 7-9pm at Food For Thought Books (Amherst, Ma).
      sliding scale $25 – $5 suggested donation

    5. Wednesday

      7:45am in Williamstown: The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is hosting Wednesday morning bird walks beginning at 7:45 AM from now until July. The one-hour walks will be led by WRLF director and naturalist Leslie Reed-Evans and will take place at Sheep Hill in Williamstown and other areas close by. Participants should meet at Sheep Hill to carpool to these nearby destinations.

      Sheep Hill offers a variety of habitats, and its resident birds include Eastern Bluebird, Baltimore Oriole, American Kestrel and Barn Swallow. Nearby woodlands offer the chance to glimpse the brilliant Scarlet Tanager or one of the more shy thrushes. Many birds are heard more often than they are seen, so learning their songs is an important tool for identification. In addition, we will focus on recognizing birds by their behavior and habitat. The outings are easy to mildly strenuous and and are appropriate for bird watchers of all skill levels

      Participants should have sturdy foot wear, and bring binoculars if they have them. WRLF has some binoculars to lend. Hard rain will cancel the program.

      Sheep Hill is a conservation property and the headquarters of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, a non-profit, member-supported land conservation trust, and is located about one mile south of the Williamstown rotary on Route 7. For more information about the bird walks, the WRLF and its summer events and programs, or conservation planning, contact the WRLF at, or 413-458-2494.

    6. Co-op Power Franklin County Seed and Seedling Swap and Cordless Lawnmower Sale on Sun, May 16, 3-5 pm, in back of Greenfields Market

      Bring seeds, seedlings, or perennials to swap for things you’d like
      for your garden!

      Come hear about the cordless electric lawnmower that the Co-op Power
      Products and Services Work Group has just approved and get your
      $100 discount coupon. (Co-op Power members get an additional $20 off.)

      Call if you can help with this event!
      (; 413-772-8898)

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