Suggested Events for July 2nd-8th, 2011

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 3-day weekend! Parades, fireworks, barbecues, baseball, and community celebrations happen all over Western MA celebrating America's Independence Day. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

SPONSORSHIP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for over 5 years! Help us continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. — Help us help you!

BEST BETS

Preview of events & fireworks happening to celebrate the 4th of July in Western MA.

On Saturday, July 2ndFIREWORKS: Choose your spot: Stanely Park in Westfield; Smith Middle School in South Hadley; Wyantenuck Country Club in Great Barrington; or from Poet’s Seat Tower in Greenfield. All details below. Western MA (FREE)

On Sunday, July 3rd at 9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th a day early in East Longmeadow! Fireworks will take place at the East Longmeadow High School Athletic Field. 180 Maple Street. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

On Monday, July 4th in the Hilltowns at 10:30am – PARADE: Celebrate the 4th in Chesterfield with the town’s annual parade! There are events all day long, but the parade is the highlight. There will be performers, floats, classic cars, fun for kids, and much more! Main Road and South Street. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

"Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit" moves to the Northampton Center for the Arts and opens with a reception for the public on Friday, July 8th from 5-8pm.

On Friday, July 8th in the Pioneer Valley from 5-8pm – ART RECEPTION: Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibitopens at the Northampton Center for the Arts in their East Gallery, taking part in Northampton’s Arts Night Out. All images have appeared on HilltownFamilies.org over the years and the exhibit is a fundraiser for Hilltown Families, a community communication network that has been helping to connect people in western Massachusetts for over five years. All net proceeds from the sale of images will benefit the organization. 413-584-7327 3rd Floor, 17 New South Street Northampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

On Saturday, July 9th in the Hilltowns from 10am-5pm – HILLTOWN ARTS FESTIVAL: Head to Worthington for the first annual Hilltown Arts Festival! The event includes an old fashioned country fair at the Worthington Congregational church with kids activities, games, tag sale, raffle, cake walk, and more; and art show and sale hosted by the Hilltown Artisans Guild at the Town Hall; a farm exhibit and farmer’s market at the historical society; a flower box contest sponsored by the Worthington Gardeners’ Club; and open houses at the Blackburn Inn, Worthington Fire Department, and the Horning Homestead; and much, much more! Worthington, MA. (FREE)

On Sunday, July 10th in the Berkshire Hilltowns from 10am-1pm – COMMUNITY DAY: Visit Jacob’s Pillow for Community Day Dance, a program designed to get people in the Berkshires to be more involved in dance! There will be classes in zumba, Arab-American fusion, pilates, yoga, and swing, as well as performances, games, and tours of Jacob’s Pillow. The event is best for teens and adults, but there is also a family class for parents and younger kids. 358 George Carter Road. 413-243-9919. Becket, MA. (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Ticket Giveaway: We're giving away two pairs of tickets to the Green River Festival on July 16 & 17th! Deadline to enter to win: Thursday, July 7th by 7pm (EST).

INTERGENERATIONAL AFTERNOON: Bring the kids and grandparents for “A Perfect Spot of Tea” and live music every Saturday on the back veranda of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. Have some tea and pastries, and enjoy live entertainment from the breezy veranda. Seatings at 2:30 and 3:30 every Saturday from July 2 through August 27. For more information at www.pphmuseum.org.

Lee MacKinnon, Director of Family Education and Support at the Hilltown Community Health Centers writes, “The Hilltown Community Health Centers in Worthington and Huntington offer free childbirth education sessions, breastfeeding support, and welcome baby visits to hilltown families. We schedule around individual due dates. For more info contact Lee at lmackinnon@hchcweb.orgor 413-238-5511 x155.”

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Suzanne Rataj writes: “North Amherst Community Farm is a non-profit that aims to bring more farm produce to members of the Amherst Survival Center as well as bring them into the experience the farm community. We seek volunteers interested in helping glean the fields at Simple Gifts Farm, deliver produce to the Survival Center, bring Survival Center food scraps to Simple Gifts Farm pigs, or lead a cooking demo. Whether you have one day or lots of time during the summer, we can use your help! We also seek donations of: 5 gallon buckets, garden forks, shovels, trowels, knives for harvest, garden stakes and twine. Please go to www.nacfonline.org or contact Suzanne Rataj at accessveggies@nacfonline.org if you’d like to help or for more information.”

In support of families affected by the June 1st tornadoes and the work of The Food Bank of Western MA’s tornado relief efforts, Hilltown Families is holding a VIRTUAL FOOD DRIVE, an online fund-raising campaign with the feel and excitement of a hands-on food drive.

ART CLASSES: For budding young artists, check out these free visual-art classes being given at the Becket Arts Center in July. For ages 5 to 8, “I Love Art”: This class gives kids the chance to explore a wide variety of materials (paint, oil, pastel, collage) while learning about famous artists (Abby DuBow, instructor). For ages 8 to 13, “Go Figure: From Me to Power Figures”: Kids will use found, natural and art materials to create figures that represent themselves, their dreams and their power. Figures will be inspired by examining superheroes and figures constructed in other cultures (Joan Davidson, instructor). For more information, visit www.becketartscenter.org. Registration required. Call 413-623-5249 or e-mail office@becketartscenter.org

CAREGIVING WORKSHOP: The Southern Berkshire Community Coalition is hosting a free workshop series for seniors and their caregivers to learn about and discuss the challenges of caring for an elderly family member. The series is great for parents who are sandwiched between caring for their own children and caring for their older parents. Topics include Medicare, available community resources for seniors, and the importance of home. The workshops will take place on Wednesdays at 1pm from July 6th through August 3rd in the conference room at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington. For more information, call 413-854-9609.

Find out more about our enhanced publicity options and how you can advertise your event, class, camp - or join our team of amazing sponsors!

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can with your marketing.

HILLTOWN FARM & GARDEN TOUR: During a farm and garden tour in Williamsburg on Saturday, July 16th from 10am-4pm, residents will showcase their farms and gardens, and share their years of experience, techniques, and stories of trial and error. See how the farmers and gardeners use creative problem-solving techniques such as curbing wildlife damage to crops, using cold frames to extend the growing season, creative trellising, and maximizing the use of small spaces. Talks on pest control, sheet composting, small-garden design, basic introduction to alpacas, beekeeping, and pasture restoration. Demonstrations of beekeeping, maple sugaring, and blacksmithing. Purchase tickets at Meekins Library, or at the Burgy Thursday Market. For more information: www.meekins-library.org

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowWe will be rebroadcasting Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMBand Summer Solstice episode.

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. 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 ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS:
JULY 2nd-8th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: 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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

"One of our favorites is on Saturday morning heading out to the Ashfield Farmers Market picking up fresh foods, baked goods and coffee. Taking a dip, laying out in the sunshine at the Ashfield Lake, nibbling on the fresh berries and/or carrots we bought at the farmers market. Then before heading home, stopping by Ashfield Hardware for a chilly, refreshing ice cream cone." - Glenda Spurling of Ashfield, MA

10am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Historic Deerfield to learn about open hearth cooking! Historically, people were “locavores”- they ate local and in season because they had no other choice! See cooking demonstrations and learn how meals were once prepared over an open flame. 79 Main Street. 413-774-5581. Deerfield, MA. ($) ♦

10am-5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate Belchertown’s 250th anniversary on the town common! There will be a community potluck (beginning at noon), quilt show, horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, historical walking tours, and free ice cream! 70 State Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

12noon-2pm – BASEBALL: It’s Baseball Day at the Norman Rockwell Museum! Explore the museum and see baseball-themed art, meet former major league baseball players, see a painting demonstration, play baseball on the lawn, and learn all about the sport’s history. 9 Route 183. 413-298-4100. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

12:30-2pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Visit the Indian Orchard Branch Library to learn about customs and culture surrounding hats with artist Numa Navarro! Kids ages 7-11 are invited to attend, and an RSVP is required. 44 Oak Street. 413-263-6846. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

1pm and 3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Take a guided tour of the William Cullen Bryant Homestead and learn about the life of this 19th-century poet! 207 Bryant Road. 413-634-2244. Cummington, MA. (<$)

1-4:30pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Visit the Bidwell House Museum for Township No. 1 Day, a celebration of the history of Tyringham and Monterey. There will be live music, activities for kids, free antique appraisals, a pie baking contest, talks with historians, and more! 100 Art School Road. 413-528-6888. Monterey, MA. (FREE)

2:30 and 3:30 – TEA: Visit the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House for afternoon tea accompanied by live music on the museum’s back veranda! A lovely way to for grandparents and their grand-kids to enjoy the afternoon. 130 River Drive. 413-584-4699. Hadley, MA. ($) ♦

4-11pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Visit Stanley Park for an early Fourth of July celebration! Fireworks will take place at 9:30. 400 Western Avenue. 413-568-9312. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Visit the Meekins Library to see a movie as part of the library’s July Out of This World movieseries! 2 Williams Street. 413-268-7472. WIlliamsburg, MA. (FREE)

6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Join South Hadley in celebrating the Fourth of July with festivities, including fireworks between 9:15 and 9:30. The show will take place at Smith Middle School. 100 Mosier Street. 413-538-5017. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE: See participants from the School at Jacob’s Pillow in a samba performance! 385 George Carter Road. 413-243-9919. Becket, MA. (FREE)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: See a fireworks display at Wyantenuck Country Club! Rain date is 7/3. West Sheffield Road. 413-528-8174. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th early in Greenfield with fireworks at Poet’s Seat Tower! In case of rain, the display will take place on July 3rd. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)


Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: 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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

"In the summer, we like Musante Beach in Leeds, Look Park in Florence (the shady playgrounds, the water spray area, and exploring by the river) and the Jackson St. school playground (Northampton) with the wood fortress and the climbing web."- Beryl Hoffman of Florence, MA

8am – WOMEN’S TRAIL RUN: Women of all levels are invited to a weekly trial run along the Westfield River. This no-pressure run is a great way to start running or easy back into running, or to pair up with other long distance runners. Walkers welcomed too. Organized by Leslie Charles of Chesterfield, MA. 413-296-4753 West Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

8:30am-Midafternoon – OUTDOOR MARKET: Every weekend through October, there is an open-air market in Easthampton. It takes place at the former Fedor Pontiac dealership- there are amazing views of Mt. Tom! This new market will offer tag sale tables to food from local farms, and more. Easthampton, MA ♦

10am-6pm – ART FESTIVAL: Visit Ski Butternut for the Berkshires Art Festival! There will be art of all types and mediums on display and for sale from local artists and artisans. Go to shop, or simply go to see the things being created by local artists! 380 State Road. 845-355-2400. Great Barrington, MA. ($)

11am-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Explore Naumkeag, the Berkshire “cottage” that was once home to the Choate family as part of the Trustees of Reservations’ Discovery Day! There will be tours and self-guided activities- bring your own picnic lunch to enjoy in the gardens! Prospect Hill Road. 413-298-3239. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

1-3:30pm – ICE CREAM SOCIAL: Visit the Keep Homestead Museum for an old fashioned ice cream social! Donations will be collected to help tornado victims in Monson. 35 Ely Road. 413-267-4137. Monson, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

2pm – CONCERT: Celebrate the 4th of July with Mohawk Trail Concerts! Weather permitting, there will be live classical music, performed by a wind quartet, on the banks of the Deerfield River. In case of rain, the concert will take place at the Charlemont Federated Church. Mohawk Trail. 413-625-9511. Charlemont, MA. ($)

2pm – MOVIE: See Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon as part of the Humphrey Bogart Festival at Amherst Cinema! 28 Amity Street. 413-253-2547. Amherst, MA. ($)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: Celebrate the 4th a day early in East Longmeadow! Fireworks will take place at the East Longmeadow High School Athletic Field. 180 Maple Street. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)


Monday, July 4th, 2011

"I know that if there is anything I wouldn’t want to miss going on in the area, Hilltown Families is sure to have all the details. Anytime I want to look up a local activity or venue, I check here first. Thanks for putting all the best things in the hilltowns all in one spot." - Roberta Wooldridge (Plainfield, MA)

Happy 4th of July

10am – PARADE: The Pittsfield 4th of July Parade celebrate Pittsfield’s 250th birthday with nearly 140 marching units and 7 helim balloons. 413-447-7763. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

10am – PARADE: Hometown parade down Main Street towards library. Piano concert follows at library. Conway, MA (FREE)

10:30am – PARADE: Celebrate the 4th in Chesterfield with the town’s annual parade! There are events all day long, but the parade is the highlight. There will be performers, floats, classic cars, fun for kids, and much more! Main Road and South Street. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

11:30am – PARADE: Cub Scout’s have organized a parade to march to from Buckland to the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School with a chicken BBQ, live music and kid’s games to follow at the school. Mechanic St. Shelburne Falls, MA

12Noon-10pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: July 4th Parade will winding up Route 2 from Southworth Street and continuing onto Spring Street where the Flatbed Jazz Band will be playing at the base of the street and parade goers can enjoy a barbecue. Following the barbecue at 1:30PM, a reading of the Declaration of Independence will be held at the Williams College Museum of Art. Williamstown, MA

2pm – FAMILY MOVIE: See a movie at the Berkshire Athenaeum! There’s a new movie every week, but they all are related to the library’s summer reading program. “One World, Many Stories.” 1 Wendell Avenue. 413-449-9480. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Amherst LSSE presents Independence Day Celebration. Activities start at 5pm. Fireworks in the fields just behind UMass McGuirk Stadium at 9:30pm. Amherst, MA (FREE)

6:30pm – BASEBALL: See the Pittsfield Colonials take on the Brockton Rox. There will be fireworks following the game! 105 Wahconah Street. 413-448-2255. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

7:30pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the 4th in Springfield with live music all evening at Riverfront Park and fireworks (shot from Memorial Bridge) at 9:30! Springfield, MA. (FREE)

8pm – FIREWORKS: See the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular at Tanglewood!  The Pops’ concert in Boston on the Charles Esplanade will be broadcast live at Tanglewood, followed by a stunning fireworks display.  297 West Street.  413-637-1600.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) (The fireworks happen live in Boston, broadcasted live in Lenox. Call to confirm.)

9:30pm – FIREWORKS: North Adams will have a fireworks display directly following the evening’s SteepleCats game at Joe Wolfe Field. 87 Marshall Street. 413-663-7333. North Adams, MA. (FREE)


Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

"I love Hilltown Families, I live in Berkshire County and am much more aware of fun family events in the surrounding towns to take my daughter too. Thanks for such a great site and Happy 5 years :) My daughter has enjoyed so many events we would not have known about." - Rebecca Heath (Pittsfield, MA)

9:30am-12:30pm – ART CLASS: Take kids ages 5-13 to the Becket Arts Center for a free art class called, “Go Figure: From Me to Power Figurines”! Students can use natural matierial, food, and traditional art supplies to figures representing themselves. The projects will be accompanied by examining superheroes and figures within other cultures. There will also be classes at the same time on July 12th and 19th. Registration required. 7 Brooker Hill Road. 413-623-5249. Becket, MA. (FREE)

10am – KNITTING: Kids learning to knit? Have a project your working on? Join other knitters at the Dickinson Memorial Library. Bring any portable craft, knitting, crochet or embroidery project and share tips and techniques with other knitters. An intergenerational opportunity for kids who are interested in these projects who need guidance on a project they’ve started or need to finish. 413-498-2455 115 Main St. Northfield, MA (FREE)

10:30-11:15am – CRAFTS: Kids 8 and under are invited to do a fun hands-on chalk activity at the Williston Memorial Library! Each participant will get to create their own coronet. Registration required. 9 Park Street. 413-527-1031. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

3:30-5pm – LEGOS: Build with Legos at the Dickinson Memorial Library. 413-498-2455. 115 Main St. Northfield, MA (FREE)

TUESDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES

  • 10am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Take your kids to Look Park for a performance as part of the Franklin King III Children’s Entertainment Series at the Pines Theater! New performers every week. 300 North Main Street. 413-584-5457. Florence, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – ART: Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum for Sketch Club, a time when kids ages 7+ can experiment drawing, painting, and more! Class is outdoors, so please dress appropriately. 9 Route 183. 413-298-4100. Stockbridge, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – SCIENCE: Hands-on learning time about natural science at Kidleidescope, the Great Falls Discover Center’s weekly children’s learning program! There is a new theme each week. 2 Avenue A. 413-863-3221. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:15pm – MOVIE: Baby-friendly movie screening at the Amherst Cinema. Amherst, MA ($) ♦

TUESDAY SUMMER PLAYGROUPS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents’ Center’s playgroup will take place at the playground at Bridge Street School! 2 Parsons Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center’s summer playgroup will take place today at Nonotuck Park! In case of rain, playgroup will be moved inside to the Flywheel. 30 Lownds Avenue. 413-529-1440. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires’ Tuesday Preschool Group is a playground safari during the summer months! Children ages 2 ½ -5 are welcome to join in the fun, and the group will meet at a different local playground each week. Call the Family Resource Center to find out where this week’s meeting is. 413-664-4821. North Adama, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: It’s Toddler Time at the North Adams Public Library! Bring your little ones for stories and playtime. 74 Church Street. 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦

TUESDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: Take pre-k kids to preschool story hour at the Greenfield Public Library! There will be stories, songs, and craft time. 402 Main Street. 413-772-1544. Greenfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11-11:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler Story Time for kids 2-3yo at the Lenox Library. Sing songs, finger plyas and listen to stories. Play time follows the story half hour. 413-637-0197 x105 Lenox, MA (FREE)♦

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

"I love Hilltown Families! Such a great resource on finding things to do with my kids…Keep up the great work!" - Stephanie Gale (Easthampton, MA)

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: It’s Half-Price Wednesday at Look Park! Save on all of the park’s fun family attractions, like the bumper boats, train, and mini golf! 300 North Main Street. 413-584-5487. Florence, MA. (<$)

10:30am – FAMILY THEATER: See the Paintbox Theater’s performance of Rapunzel at the Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts! Follow the story through some added twists and turns to learn the fate of Rapunzel’s unique hairdo. Green Street. 413-585-3220. Nothampton, MA. ($)

11am – FAMILY THEATER: See Hansel and Gretel, presented by Berkshire Theater Festival, at the Berkshire Museum! 39 South Street. 413-443-7171. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

12noon-1:30pm – BARBECUE: Visit the Mill River Recreation Area for a barbecue hosted by the Amherst Survival Center! There will be live music and swimming, too! Pine Street. 413-549-3968. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

4pm – HISTORY: Older students can learn about history through women’s fashion at a talk about antique and vintage purses at Ventfort Hall! There will be a Victorian tea following the program. Reservations reccomended. 104 Walker Street. 413-637-3206. Lenox, MA. ($$)

1pm – MUSIC & STORY: Visit the Berkshire Athenaeum for Latin Music and Stories with Aaron Larget-Caplan! 11 Wendell Avenue. 413-449-9480. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

2pm and 3:30pm – ENGINEERING: Kids ages 4-10 are invited to the Sunderland Public Library for a storytime and hands-on activity about engineering bridges, lead by representatives from the Boston Museum of Science! After hearing a story about two children who build a bridge across a stream in order to connect their homes, participants will construct a Roman arch bridge of their own. Pre-registration required. 20 School Street. 413-665-2642. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

2:30-4pm – TWEEN/TEENS: Springfield Library hosts a beach party at their Pine Point Branch.  There will be tropical juice drinks and crafts. 413-263-6855. 204 Boston Rd. Springfield, MA (FREE)

4:30-6:30pm – TWEEN/TEENS: Kids age 12-17 are invited to the Indian Orchard Branch Library to experiment with drawing cartoons. Classes will be lead by Jeff Kinney, author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series of books. RSVP required. 44 Oak Street. 413-263-6846. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

6pm – PLANT SWAP: Visit the Wistariahurst Museum for a plant swap! Bring any kind of plants to trade, along with your own chair. 238 Cabot Street. 413-322-5660. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

6:30pm – NATIVE AMERICAN STORIES: Native American Tales with Merrilynn Braman at the Dickinson Memorial Library. Flautist Merrilynn Braman will play original music inspired by nature and the Creator. For adults and children. 413-498-2455. 115 Main St. Northfield, MA (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – COMMUNITY SING: Visit Earthdance for a Community Sing lead by Penny Schultz! Participants will learn parts of songs from all around the world, and you don’t even need to know how to read music to participate! There will be a potluck dinner following the sing. 252 Prospect Street. 413-534-5678. Plainfield, MA. ($)

6:30-8pm – WILD/LOCAL FOOD POTLUCK: All are welcome to join families interested in local and sustainable food at the Village Congregational Church for a wild and local food potluck. Bring a sample of the plants used in your dish and your favorite id book. The potluck will feature cheese making with raw milk and all are invited to come learn and share the process/success in making cheese with local raw milk. Great opportunity to connect with others interested in local food and an opportunity to meet your neighbors! Main St. Cummington, MA (FREE, bring food to share)

7:30pm – MOVIE: See Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon as part of the Humphrey Bogart Festival at Amherst Cinema! 28 Amity Street. 413-253-2547. Amherst, MA. ($)

WEDNESDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES

  • 10-11:30am- ROLLERSKATING: Rollerskate with Tiny Tot Romp, Stop, ‘n’ Roll Skate and Play at Interskate 91 North (Hampshire Mall). Strollers welcome. Parent’s don’t have to wear skates. For Ages 6 & under. 413-586-2737 Hadley, MA (>$) ♦
  • 10:30am – HISTORY: Go on a tour of Hancock Shaker Village and learn what life was like for a young shaker! Young visitors can dress as a shaker child would have and can learn everything from what their responsibilities were at home to where they went to school! 1843 West Housatonic Street. 413-443-0188. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 1pm – MOVIE: Baby-friendly movie screening at the Pleasant Street Theater. Northampton, MA ($) ♦
  • 4-6pm – KIDS’ MARKET: Kids’ Market happens every Wednesday in the Summer in the parking lot outside of the Ashfield Hardware Store. Stop in and support these young entrepreneurs. Main St. Ashfield, MA (FREE)
  • 4:30pm – YO-YO: Yo-Yo School at A2Z. Come visit yo-yo school and learn to yo-yo for free with A2Z. Northampton, MA (FREE)♦
  • 6:30-8:30 – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Visit Heritage State Park for an evening of live music! BYO seating. 221 Appleton Street. 413-322-5260. Holyoke, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Visit Lilac Park for live outdoor music! Bring your own seating, and maybe even a picnic! Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-9pm – SKILL SHARE: Visit Owl and Raven for a night of community skillsharing! There’s a new skill every week- check their website or call to find out! 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). 413-341-3581. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: See live music on the shore of Windsor Lake! George Fairs Way. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – CONCERT: It’s Watermelon Wednesday at the West Whately Chapel! See performers from different genres every week. Conway and Williamsburg Roads. Whately, MA. ($$)

WEDNESDAY SUMMER PLAYGROUPS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Informal playgroup at the Cummington Family Center at the Community House (rear) on Main St. Playgroups move to Pentigill Park in July (behind firehouse). Cummington, MA (FREE)

WEDNESDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool Storytime at the North Adams Public Library! 74 Church Street. 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Featured books, crafts and visitors for preK kids at the Leverett Library, lead by Georgie Schmid. 413-548-9220 75 Montague Rd. Leverett, MA (FREE)♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: Head to the Greenfield Public Library for Sunshine Storytime, which includes stories, songs, and playtime! 402 Main Street. 413-772-1544. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Visit the Odyssey Bookshop for storytime! Picture books new and old will be read, and the stories will be followed by an activity. 9 College Street. 413-534-7307. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: Head to the North Amherst Library for preschool storytime! 8 Montague Road. 413-259-3099. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

"We would be hermits were it not for Hilltown Families." - Robin Shapiro (Northampton, MA)

10am-1pm – HERBS: Go on a tour of Storrowton Village’s herb garden! Learn all about the history and folklore surrounding the use of herbs! After the tour, guests will learn how to make tea from fresh herbs and how to make herbal vinegars. 1305 Memorial Avenue. 413-737-2443. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

10:30am – FAMILY THEATER: See the Paintbox Theater’s performance of Rapunzel at the Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts! Follow the story through some added twists and turns to learn the fate of Rapunzel’s unique hairdo. Green Street. 413-585-3220. Nothampton, MA. ($)

10:30-11:30am – CRAFTS: Make your own luggage tags at the Williston Memorial Library as part of the library’s summer reading program! 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

11am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: See the Small World Magic Show at the West Springfield Public Library! 200 Park Street. 413-736-4561. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

11am – FAMILY THEATER: See Hansel and Gretel, presented by Berkshire Theater Festival, at the Berkshire Museum! 39 South Street. 413-443-7171. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

11am – AUTHOR: Children’s author Denise Brunkus of the Junie B Jones series will be at the Lenox Library deomnstrating ther illustration techniques and signing copies of her newest release, “These Puzzles Hurt My Brian!” 413-637-0197 x105 Lenox, MA (FREE) ♦

1pm – CRAFTS: Visit the Berkshire Athenaeum for crafts! The crafts are related to the library’s summer reading program- the theme is “One World, Many Stories.” Pre-registration required because space is limited. 1 Wendell Avenue. 413-449-9480. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

3:30-5pm – KNITTING: Kids ages 9 and up are welcomed to a beginning knitting class for kids with Phyllis Herda at the Leverett Library. Participants bring size 8, 10″ knitting needles and ball of yarn. Will run weekly in July. Call to sign up: 413-548-9220 Leverett, MA (FREE)

THURSDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES

  • 10:30am – HISTORY: Go on a tour of Hancock Shaker Village and learn what life was like for a young shaker! Young visitors can dress as a shaker child would have and can learn everything from what their responsibilities were at home to where they went to school! 1843 West Housatonic Street. 413-443-0188. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 1pm – LEGOS: Join the Lilly Library’s Lego Building Club! Spend time with other Lego enthusiasts and build some great structures. 19 Meadow Street. 413-587-1500. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Hear some fun live music on the lawn at the Florence Civic Center as part of the Thursday Night Music on the Porch series! Meadow and North Main Streets. 413-584-7891. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Enjoy live music on the South Hadley town common! New and different music each week. Routes 47 and 116. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7pm – LAWN CONCERT: Visit Angel Park for some calm, relaxing live music! Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Hear live music on the patio at the Leverett Public Library! 75 Montague Road. 413-548-9220. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Sing some chanteys and bar songs at the Brewmaster’s Tavern- and order some delicious food and drinks while you sing! 4 Main Street. 413-268-7741. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)♦

THURSDAY SUMMER PLAYGROUPS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Look Park for the Northampton Parents’ Center’s informal playgroup! Meet at the playground for casual playtime. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦

THURSDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: Head to the Greenfield Public Library for Sunshine Storytime, which includes stories, songs, and playtime! 402 Main Street. 413-772-1544. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Head to the Jones Library for preschool storytime! 43 Amity Street. 413-259-3090. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11-11:45am – PREK STORY/CRAFT: Kids ages three to five can come to the Lenox Library Association for stories, songs and follow-along activities followed by a craft related to the story. 413-637-0197 x105 Lenox, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Visit the North Adams Public Library for evening youth storytime and crafts! 74 Church Street. 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. ♦

Friday, July 8th, 2011

“As a teacher who is so lucky to be home with my babies in the summer I constantly reaped the benefits of Hilltown Families with the weekly events that were highlighted! What a great resource to have at my fingertips, with all of the great things to do in the valley in one place!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” - Kristy Dyer (Hatfield, MA)

Free Fun Friday! Enjoy free Admission to the following Massachusetts museums:

10-10:45am – SIGN LANGUAGE: Today is the first of a four-week series of sign language classes for parents and babies at the East Longmeadow Branch Library!  60 Center Square.  413-525-5400.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am – FAMILY THEATER: See the Paintbox Theater’s performance of Rapunzel at the Mendenhall Center for Performing Arts! Follow the story through some added twists and turns to learn the fate of Rapunzel’s unique hairdo. Green Street. 413-585-3220. Nothampton, MA. ($)

11am – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Learn all about birds of prey with wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi at the Berkshire Botanical Garden! This event offers participants the chance to see raptors up close in real life, and to learn about their natural habitat and ways of survival. Routes 102 and 183. 413-298-3926. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with garden admission)

11am – FAMILY THEATER: See Hansel and Gretel, presented by Berkshire Theater Festival, at the Berkshire Museum! 39 South Street. 413-443-7171. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

6pm – FAMILY MOVIE: See Shrek Forever Arter as part of the city of Adams’ Movies Under the Stars series on the Town Hall lawn! In case of rain, the event will happen on Saturday the 9th at the same time. 8 Park Street. Adams, MA. (FREE)

6:30pm – JAZZ MUSIC: Hear some great live jazz at the Hoop City Jazz Festival in Court Square!! Glen David Andrews will perform first, followed by the Soul Rebels at 8:30. East Columbus Avenue. 413-306-9791. Springfield, MA.

5-8pm – ART RECEPTION: Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibitopens at the Northampton Center for the Arts in their East Gallery, taking part in Northampton’s Arts Night Out. All images have appeared on HilltownFamilies.org over the years and the exhibit is a fundraiser for Hilltown Families, a community communication network that has been helping to connect people in western Massachusetts for over five years. All net proceeds from the sale of images will benefit the organization. 413-584-7327 3rd Floor, 17 New South Street Northampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

FRIDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES

  • 9am – MUSIC EDUCATION: Hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Friday morning rehearsal at Tanglewood! Reserved seating is available for families, teachers, homeschoolers, youth groups, parents, musicians, etc.. Along with the rehearsal, there will be a music presentation and demonstration, as well as tours of Tanglewood. Pre-reg by emailing Darlene White at dwhite@bso.org. West Hawthorne Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – FAMILY MOVIE: Bring pre-schoolers to the Berkshire Athenaeum to see a movie related to the library’s summer reading program theme, “One World, Many Stories.” 1 Wendell Avenue. 413-449-9480. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – TYKE HIKE: Family hike for families with kids ages 8yo and under at Mount Greylock State Reservation. Hike and story time. Wear appropriate footwear and clotheS. Bring snack and water. Meet at visitor center. 30 Rockwell Rd. 413-499-4262 Lanesborough, MA (FREE)♦
  • 10-11am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Join Owl and Raven for Talon Team, an hour-long adventure during which attendees will learn about ancient living that are still useful today and help us be more connected to the Earth. 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). 413-341-3581. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Head to Stanley Park for a performance just for kids! New performers and themes each week. 400 Western Avenue. 413-568-9312. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – HISTORY: Go on a tour of Hancock Shaker Village and learn what life was like for a young shaker! Young visitors can dress as a shaker child would have and can learn everything from what their responsibilities were at home to where they went to school! 1843 West Housatonic Street. 413-443-0188. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 5:30pm – CRUISE NIGHT: It’s Cruise Night at Buttery Brook Park! See some great antique cars, hear live DJ music, get some dinner, and meet some animals and do craft projects in the kids area! Route 33. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Visit the Berkshire Museum for a special tour of the exhibit, “Geckos: Tails to Toepads.” The exhibit offers visitors the opportunity to learn all about geckos- and it fits nicely into PBS’s All About Lizards lesson plan. (Keep your kids learning all summer!). 39 South Street. 413-443-7171. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 6-8pm – POTLUCK: Bring your favorite dish to the community potluck at Owl and Raven! Bring your own dishes, too, if possible, in order to cut back on waste! 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). 413-341-3581. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7pm – CONCERT: Hear live classical music as part of the Mohawk Trail Concerts summer music series at the Federated Church of Charlemont! New performers each week. Mohawk Trail. 413-625-9511. Charlemont, MA. ($$) ♦
  • 8-10pm – FAMILY MOVIE: It’s movie night at Owl and Raven! See a family-friendly movie and enjoy tasty refreshments! 2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops). 413-341-3581. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • Dusk – CITIZEN SCIENCE: Help the Museum of Science, the Department of Conservation, and the Berkshire Museum determine whether fireflies are disappearing by counting fireflies at Mt. Greylock State Reservation. Counting takes roughly 15 minutes- BYO stopwatch and flashlight. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. ♦

FRIDAY SUMMER PLAYGROUPS

  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center’s summer playgroup will take place today at Nonotuck Park! In case of rain, playgroup will be moved inside to the Flywheel. 30 Lownds Avenue. 413-529-1440. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Homeschoolers are invited to a playgroup at the Worthington Town Hall! Bring an activity to share and get ready for fun! Route 112. Call to confirm: 413-238-4424. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

FRIDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10am – STORYTIME: Take little ones to pre-school storycraft time at the Stockbridge Library! 46 Main Street. 413-298-5501. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Great Falls Discover Center hosts a story hour for kids 3-6yo. Held the 4th Friday of every month. 413-863-3221 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Milne Public Library hosts story time for twos! The program lasts between 20 and 30 minutes (just right for little ones) and consists of stories, fingerplay, and music! 1095 Main Street. 413-458-5369. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Lilly Library! Children 2 ½ and up (and their parents) and invited! 19 Meadow Street. 413-587-1500. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Visit the Sunderland Public Library for preschool storytime! Ages 3-5 are invited to attend. Stories will be accompanied by crafts! 20 School Street. 413-665-2642. Sunderland, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Mother Goose on the Loose lap-sit storyhour is this morning at the Greenfield Public Library! Kids under 3 and their parent(s) are invited to an interactive storytime that includes fun rhymes and songs to learn. 402 Main Street. 413-772-1544. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

FRIDAY SUPPORT GROUPS

  • 6:30-8:30pm – POSTPARTUM: GROW (Gathered Resources of Women) holds a postpartum support group for mothers looking for a safe a confidential space in which to discuss their experiences. Held at the Readfield House Community Room. 48 Elizabeth Street. Pittsfield, MA. (DONATION) ♦

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