Suggested Events for Aug 13th-19th, 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

Peter Freisem of Cricket Hill Jams preps yellow beans he plans to pickle into country style dilly beans. Pick up a jar this weekend at the Ashfield Farmers' Market.- Click on the photo to read resources CISA recommends for putting food by, and get those jams and jars ready to enter into the many upcoming agricultural fairs! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest 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.

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 support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and enhanced publicity.  Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

On Saturday, August 13th from 10am-10pm in the Berkshires – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: West Stockbridge hosts the 8th annual Zucchini Festival today! The event begins with a pet parade and show, followed by exciting activities throughout the day including a slam dunk challenge, mini golf, rock climbing, a zucchini catapult, dunk-a-fireman booth, zuke races, and live music! The day ends with a fireworks display. The festival takes place in the town center. 413-232-0222. Routes 41 and 102. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Later in the day on Saturday, August 13th from 3-6pm in the Pioneer Valley – COUNTRY FAIR: If you can’t make it to the entire NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) conference at UMass, at least visit the Country Fair! There will be all kinds of exciting activities, including horse-drawn wagon rides, tomato bobbing, sack races, melon seed spitting contests, pie-eating contests, cow plop bingo, and more! 413-230-7835. Massachusetts Avenue. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Also in the afternoon on Saturday, August 13th from 1-6pm in the Pioneer Valley- MUSIC FESTIVAL: KidsRock for Beacon music festival takes place today- the event is to raise money for the Beacon Field Playground Project. There will be live music all afternoon, as well as raffles, food, and a kids play area! All of the bands performing include local kids. 20 Sanderson Street. Greenfield, MA. ($)

Then on Sunday, August 14th from 10am-6pm in the Berkshires – NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE: The 6th Annual Rock, Rattle and Drum Pow-Wow is this weekend at Wirtes Farm! The event is a celebration of Native American arts and culture and includes all kinds of entertainment, activities, vendors, and learning opportunities! 413-443-2481. 45 Greylock Road. Lanesborough, MA. ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, August 20th starting at 8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Visit cows and sheep, hear live music, play games, learn about local agriculture, and more today at the Westfield Fair!  The grounds open early, and there are tons of exciting events happening throughout the day.  413-222-4067.  Fair Lane.  Westfield, MA.  ($) 

On Sunday, August 21st from 8am-5pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Today is the final day of the Heath Fair!  Today’s events and shows are mostly the youth category- check out what the kids are doing!  There will also be a blueberry pancake breakfast, classic car cruise, wagon rides, and a Primate Fiasco show at 2!  9 Hosmer Road.  Heath, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOPS FOR FAMILIES: North Amherst Community Farm presents “Building Sustainability Together: Skill for Kids and Families.” This series of workshops will offer hands-on activities for kids 5yo and older, accompanied by a caregiver. Workshops in the series include; Worm Bin Composting (Wed., 8/17, 10am-12noon); Seed Saving: Plant the Future (Sat., 8/20, 2-4pm); and Harvest the Sun (Wed., 8/24, 10am-12noon). All classes are $10 for each child/adult pair, and $3 for additional children, and will be held in Amherst at the North Amherst Community Farm (rain or shine), home of Simple Gifts CSA (1089 North Pleasant St.). Pre-registration is required by calling 413-624-6223, or email programs@nacfonline.org. For more info about this series, visit www.nacfonline.org.

CUMMINGTON FAIR: The 143rd Annual Cummington Fair happens August 25th-28th at the Cummington Fairgrounds. With one of the most comprehensive agricultural presentations in the state, the fair is billed as “The Biggest And Best Little Fair in the Country”.  This family friendly, four-day agricultural fair is packed with exhibits, family activities, delicious food, classic cars and live music. Truck, horse and oxen pulls headline the fair along with a demolition derby, and the Western Mass Logging Championship. And the fun doesn’t stop there-families can also enjoy midway, games, roving entertainers, live music, petting zoo, 4-H presentations, skid steer rodeo, square dancing and community dinners. Find a full schedule of events at www.cummingtonfair.org.

CLOTHING EXCHANGE: The Family Resource Center of North Adams would like to remind Berkshire parents that their Clothing Exchange is a great resource for back-to-school clothes!  The exchange has gently used clothing in every kids’ size (including babies) and there are new clothes coming in frequently!  Along with clothing, the exchange also has a shelf of free children’s books.  If your kids have outgrown clothes that are still in great shape, consider contributing them so that other families may benefit!  Families needn’t donate in order to take clothes, but there is a 2 bag per visit limit.  The exchange is in the Haskins Center at 210 State Street in North Adams.  For more information, call 413-664-4615.

Bright Eyes

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Bright Eyes plus Titus Andronicus at Mountain Park in Holyoke, MA on Sunday, August 28th! Deadline to enter to win is Wednesday, Aug. 24th. Click on banner to find out how you can enter for a chance to win.

PIONEER VALLEY MAP: Hiking, biking, and general outdoor adventuring in the Pioneer Valley are now all easier than ever thanks to the new trail map that the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission has developed!  The map shows the exact locations of all trails in Hampshire and Hampden counties, along with a description of each trail to help adventurers choose the right location for their abilities!  The map is great for people who already hike and bike frequently, but it’s also great for those who don’t- it helps to make trails more accessible.  The map is available for purchase at many Pioneer Valley bookstores and outdoor equipment shops.  For more information, visit pvpc.org.

CALL FOR SIDEWALK CHALK ARTISTS: Northampton’s annual Chalk Art Festival will be taking place on September 9th, and the Northampton Center for the Arts is currently seeking artists to participate!  Artists must apply for the festival, which takes place as part of Arts Night Out.  Artists will work within a 5×5 concrete area and will spend from 8am-4pm the day of the contest creating their masterpiece.  There is a $100 stipend for participation, and larger cash prizes for winners.  Applications are available at Guild Art Supply (Northampton) and the Northampton Center for the Arts.  For more information, including contest rules, visit www.nohoarts.org.

GARDENS AS CLASSROOM: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has announced a formal request for applications to its People’s Garden Grant Program!  The grants are available for the creation of produce, recreation, and/or wildlife gardens in both urban and rural areas, so long as the gardens provide opportunities for informal science education.  Applicants who receive funding may be required to provide micro-subgrant support to other local projects.  For more information about the grants and the application process, and to download a copy of the application form, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.

COMMUNITY BIKE RIDES: The Trustees of Reservations have organized a series of bike rides in and around Holyoke!  The rides, which will take place on August 20th and 27th, will begin at 9am from the Open Square Farmers’ Market (4 Open Square Way) and follow a 6-8 mile route.  During the ride, participants will get to explore various properties run by the Trustees within Holyoke, such as the Lands of Providence.  Cyclists of all ages and abilities are welcome, so long as they are capable of participating in a long ride that includes hills.  After the ride, cyclists will be able to buy fresh produce at the market!  For more information, visit ttor.org or call 413-274-8288.

Enhanced PublicitySPONSORSHIP & 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 help with your marketing.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety Show

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!

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Aug 13th-19th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Aug 13th, 2011

“Our favorite way to spend a day in Western MA would have to be swimming, fishing, kayaking, and jumping off the dock at Russell Pond, followed by dinner at Baba Louie’s in Great Barrington. Baba Louies serves gluten and dairy free pizza which is a HUGE treat for my gluten-free/dairy-free kiddos. On the days when time is an issue there is always the dairy free sorbet at the GranVal Scoop. GranVal has homemade ice cream using milk from their own cows and there are goats, rabbits and other animals to feed and pet.” - Shannon Kopacz (Blandford, MA)

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

8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Middlefield Fairgrounds open early this morning! Breakfast starts at 7, but most activities begin later in the day. Activities for Saturday include a petting zoo, horse pulls, a chili cook off, magicians, clowns, live music, chicken dinner, and more! 7 Bell Road. Middlefield, MA. ($)

8am-12noon – ROWING: Have you or your teen ever wanted to know what it’s like to zip down the Connecticut River in a scull? You can learn how at Hamp Crew’s Learn to Row day at the Oxbow! Registration required. 413-230-9254. Old Springfield Road. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

8:15am – ROAD RACE: Take part in the Nathan Hale 3K (or, later in the morning, 10K) charity race- you can walk, jog, or run at your own pace. Formerly called the Bridge of Flowers Race, this earlier, slower, more family-friendly race raises money for three charities- DIAL/SELF Youth and Community Services, Ballet Renverse, and Forest Moon! Register online or at the race, day-of. 413-834-3477. Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. ($$)

9:30am – 5pm – HISTORY: It’s Textile Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village! Families can learn about the history of domestic textile production while exploring the village. There will be demonstrations of skills all day, including sewing, dying, spinning, weaving, shoemaking, knitting, wool carding, and more! 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. ($$)

10-11am – GEOLOGY/HISTORY: Go on a Marvelous Marble Quarry Walk at Natural Bridge State Park! A DCR interpreter will be on hand to help hikers learn about the remains of the 19th century quarry that once operated at what is now a state park. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

10am-12noon – RESKILLING: Have you ever wanted to collect rain water? Today you can learn how to create (and use at home!) your own rain barrel! Representatives from the Trustees of Reservation and the Connecticut River Watershed Council will be running the workshop, which takes place at the Land of Providence. 413-532-1631. Main Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

10am-2pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Red Gate Farm is hosting a portable sawmill today- they’re having a large oak tree that fell down made into boards to use in constructing a garden shed! Drop in anytime during the workday to observe, and feel free to ask questions about the process. It’s a great learning opportunity! 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

10am-3pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Enjoy a celebration of food that is delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare, as well as local and inexpensive! The Charlemont Federated Church hosts Food Fest today, in conjunction with the Charlemont Farmers’ Market on the lawn at the church. 413-339-4292. 175 Main Street (Route 2). Charlemont, MA. (FREE)

10am-6pm – PETROLOGY: East Coat Gem, Mineral & Fossil show happens at the Big E. Special exhibits, minerals, fossils, meteorites, and more on display. Over 200 dealers. Kids and see special collections up close. 303-223-3478 1305 Memorial Ave. West Springfield, MA (>$)

10am-7pm – NATIVE AMERICA CELEBRATION: The 6th Annual Rock, Rattle and Drum Pow-Wow is this weekend at Wirtes Farm! The event is a celebration of Native American arts and culture and includes all kinds of entertainment, activities, vendors, and learning opportunities! 413-443-2481. 45 Greylock Road. Lanesborough, MA. ($)

10am-9pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: As part of Colrain 250th Anniversary, the Colrain Fire Station will host an open house and CPR training throughout the day. Chicken BBQ from 12-3pm ($?). Softball game at 3pm. Live music at 6pm. Bonfire at 8:30pm. 51 Main St. Colrain, MA (FREE)

10am-10pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: West Stockbridge hosts the 8th annual Zucchini Festival today! The event begins with a pet parade and show, followed by exciting activities throughout the day including a slam dunk challenge, mini golf, rock climbing, a zucchini catapult, dunk-a-fireman booth, zuke races, and live music! The day ends with a fireworks display. The festival takes place in the town center. 413-232-0222. Routes 41 and 102. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

10:30am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Storyteller Onawumi Jean Moss will be at the Odyssey Bookshop this morning for a fun and engaging family storytelling event! 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

10:30am – 12noon – LOCAL HISTORY: The Republican, Springfield’s newspaper, has a lot of history behind it! Go on a walking tour from the Springfield Museums to the newspaper’s headquarters and learn all about the headlines of the newspaper’s past! Sponsored by the Armory-Quadrangle Civic Association. 413-747-1830. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA.

11am – MUSIC FESTIVAL: The hills today will be filled with reggae beats- the Charlemont Reggae Festival is happening! Live music will be happening all day- including shows from the Alchemystics, Denroy Morgan, Kurt Allen, and Gaia Roots. The festival takes place at the Charlemont Fairgrounds. 413-367-9309. Davis Milne Road. Charlemont, MA. ($$)

1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Mister G rocks the Berkshire Museum with a family concert in their auditorium. With his newest release, BUGS!, kids can learn about insects and the natural world through music, and then after the concert check out the live exhibit, “Geckos: Tails to Toepads”. Within the exhibit are 14 different types of geckos all living within their natural (museum-created) habitats! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

1pm – STORYTELLING: Folksinger/storyteller Tim Van Egremond will be at the Greenfield Public Library today! His program “Bridge the World with Stories” brings together stories and songs about community. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

1pm – PUPPET SHOW: CactusHead Puppets presents “Little Red Riding Hood” at the Eric Carle Museum. Follow the puppets through the classic tale of Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA.($)

1-2:30pm – WRITING/ART: Spend the afternoon creating Japanese-inspired artwork and composing Haiku at the Bryant Homestead! Participants will explore the grounds to find organic matter to make ink prints onto rice paper with and will learn to write haiku to accompany their artwork! Great for all ages. 413-532-1631. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

1-3pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the end of Dickinson memorial Library’s summer reading program with a cookout! The event is open to everyone, regardless of whether you participated in the program or not- everyone deserves to celebrate! Weather permitting, there will be a chance for kids to walk inside an inflated hot air balloon! Bring a dish to share if you wish. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

1-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Family with older kids interested in local history can join the Ashfield Historical Commission to discover the remains of Ashfield’s agricultural and industrial past found along local brooks and streams, including an old mill site. Short walk to site with steep drops. Come prepared. Meet at the intersection of Murray/Bullitt Rd. and Rt. 116. No pets. 413-768-7989 Ashfield, 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.

1-6pm – MUSIC FESTIVAL: KidsRock for Beacon music festival takes place today- the event is to raise money for the Beacon Field Playground Project. There will be live music all afternoon, as well as raffles, food, and a kids play area! All of the bands performing include local kids. 20 Sanderson Street. Greenfield, MA. ($)

2pm – NATURE STUDIES: Learn all about the arachnids, insects, and other small animals that live underneath logs in the Mohawk State Forest! Explore the park (with guides) and collect, observe, and learn to identify some creatures from underneath logs! 413-339-5504. 175 Mohawk Trail. Charlemont, MA. (FREE)

2pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit Hancock Shaker Village for a workshop on the use of medicinal herbs! Shakers developed their use of natural products gradually after coming to American in the 1700’s- today, we can use the same age-old techniques to cure ailments! 413-443-0188. Routes 20 and 41. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

2-8pm –COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Turners Falls’ annual block party is today! Visit downtown for a parade (featuring everything from local dogs to the Lawn Chair Brigade), local food and art vendors, community performances, and a chance to shop and explore the town. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

3-6pm – COUNTRY FAIR: If you can’t make it to the entire NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Assocation) conference at UMass, at least visit the Country Fair! There will be all kinds of exciting activities, including horse-drawn wagon rides, tomato bobbing, sack races, melon seed spitting contests, pie-eating contests, cow plop bingo, and more! 413-230-7835. Massachusetts Avenue. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

4-5pm – RESKILLING: Celebrate National Can it Forward Day at the Berkshire Co-op! Community Cooperative Farm will be on hand to teach workshop participants how to make bread-and-butter pickles, blueberry jam, and sauerkraut! Registration required. 413-528-9697. 42 Bridge Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

5pm – COMMUNITY POTLUCK: Crimson and Clover Farm hosts a full moon potluck! Bring a dish to share (plate foods only, please, to keep things easy), games to play outdoors, musical instruments, friends, and your own dishes (so as to keep the event trash-free). 413-570-0337. 215 Spring Street. Florence, MA. (POTLUCK)

6:15pm – OUTSIDE DANCE: See students from the School at Jacob’s Pillow perform jazz/musical theater dance on the beautiful Inside/Out stage! Bring a picnic and the family! 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

7pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Barrington Stage Company presents their annual youth production, “All Shook Up,” a show about Elvis featuring the singer’s classic hit songs. The cast is made up entirely of teenage actors, though BSC is a professional theater company! This performance takes place at the Berkshire South Community Recreation Center. 413-236-8888. 15 Crissey Road. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

7pm – BASEBALL: It’s Minor League Baseball Month! The Pittsfield Colonials play the Brockton Rox tonight at Waconah Park- celebrate by going to a game! 413-236-2961. 105 Waconah Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

8pm – SILENT FILM: The New Marlborough Village Association hosts silent movie night at the New Marlborough Meeting House! The movie screened will be “The Mark of Zorro,” a movie filmed in 1920, and will be accompanied by live piano music throughout. 413-229-2785. Route 57. New Marlborough, MA. ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Double Edged Theater presents Homer’s Odyssey, paired with scenery created with lithograph illustrations by Chagall. The show moves through the fields, gardens, and waterways of the theater’s farm center- a true journey! 866-811-4111. 948 Conway Road. Ashfield, MA. ($$) 


Sunday, Aug 14th, 2011

“I moved to the area this past summer and Hilltown Families has been a wonderful resource for me as a newcomer. It has pointed my family towards some great activities and local eateries (Cummington Fair, Bread Euphoria, etc.). More importantly it has given me, as a newcomer, a broader sense of how active this community is and what people here care about. So thank you for that!” – Jenni Haley (Sunderland, MA)

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

8am – WOMEN’S TRAIL RUN: Women of all levels are invited to a weekly trial run along the Westfield River. Walkers welcomed too. 413-296-4753 West Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Middlefield Fair begins its last day with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast (until 11am)! Other activities happening throughout the day include oxen pulls, a petting zoo, family fun contests, a cattle show, and more! 7 Bell Road. Middlefield, MA. ($)

9am-3pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Join Outlook Farm in celebrating the harvest of local peaches! There will be all kinds of fun to be had at the farm, including a tag sale from 9-3, barbecue ($10/plate) from 12-3, and live music in the afternoon! 413-529-1388. Route 66. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

9am-7pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Colrain 250th Anniversary Celebration continues… parade at 10am, muster at 11:30am, fire station open house and CPR training. Softball at 2pm. Live music at 6pm. 51 Main St. Colrain, MA (FREE)

9:30am-12:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Enjoy a morning of yoga and paddling on the Connecticut River! The event will begin with an easy yoga session designed to warm up the body for paddling (totally appropriate for yoga beginners). Then, you’ll paddle on the river almost into the heart of Holyoke! The event begins at the Jones Ferry Access Center/Holyoke Rows. Take your teen along for a morning unplugged. 413-532-1631. Jones Ferry Road. Holyoke, MA. ($$)

9:30am – 5pm – HISTORY: It’s Textile Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village! Visitors can learn about the history of domestic textile production while exploring the village. There will be demonstrations of skills all day, including sewing, dying, spinning, weaving, shoemaking, knitting, wool carding, and more! 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA ($$)

10am-5pm – PETROLOGY: East Coast Gem, Mineral & Fossil show happens at the Big E. Special exhibits, minerals, fossils, meteorites, and more on display. Over 200 dealers. Kids and see special collections up close. 303-223-3478 1305 Memorial Ave. West Springfield, MA (>$)

10am-6pm – NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE: The 6th Annual Rock, Rattle and Drum Pow-Wow is this weekend at Wirtes Farm! The event is a celebration of Native American arts and culture and includes all kinds of entertainment, activities, vendors, and learning opportunities! 413-443-2481. 45 Greylock Road. Lanesborough, MA. ($)

10:30am – HISTORY: See life through the eyes of a young shaker today at Hancock Shaker Village! Kids will learn what life would have been like had they been Shakers- they will learn about everything from chores and school to games and entertainment! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

11am-6pm – FAMILY FUN DAY: It’s Family Fun Day today at the Springfield Lodge of Elks! Each family attending is asked to bring a non-perishable item to donate to Open Pantry. There will be exhibits from the state police, fire department (including trucks!), and the Elks themselves. Activities include a bounce house, volleyball, bocce, face painting, musical chairs, and more! 440 Tiffany Street. Springfield, MA.  (<$)

1-7pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Becket Athenaeum hosts Music in the Garden today! Enjoy live music in a lovely outdoor setting. 413-623-5483. 3367 Main Street. Becket, MA. ($)

2pm – BASEBALL: Celebrate Minor League Baseball Month at Waconah Park! The Pittsfield Colonials are playing the Brockton Rox. 413-236-2961. 105 Waconah Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

2pm – MOVIE: Amherst Cinema will screen “Key Largo” this afternoon as part of the theater’s summer Humphrey Bogart Festival! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

2-4pm – RESKILLING: Attend a hands-on and family friendly workshop on home preservation! Sponsored by the Trustees of Reservations, this workshop takes place at the Bullitt Reservation. Pre-reg: 413-628-4485. 332 Bullitt Road. Ashfield, MA.

2-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Buckland Historical Society Museum is open today! At the museum, kids can learn all about the area’s rich history. 413-625-9763. Upper Street and East Charlemont Road. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

4-6pm – KIDS PERFORMANCE: Enjoy “A Midsummer’s Day Dream” with Moonlight and Morning Star! The show is a mix of spoken word and puppetry and takes place at the Montague Grange. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA.


Monday, Aug 15th, 2011

"I have been a member of Hilltown Families for about a year now. I have learned about so many goings-on through the e-mails! There are events I would have missed and artists I would not have learned about without this! Thanks to Hilltown Families!” – Christine Hebert (Chicopee, MA)

10am and 1pm- FAMILY PERFORMANCE: See a theatrical adaptation of Charlotte’s Web, the classic EB White tale of a spider and a pig, at the Majestic Theater! 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($)

10-11am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Visit Lindley Park today for a beach day sponsored by the Haskins Center! Snacks, sun screen, and beach toys will be provided. 413-664-4821. Cold Spring Road and Taconic Trail. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

1-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Crane Museum of Papermaking to learn about the history of papermaking at Crane since the early 1800’s. Located on the banks of the Housatonic River, the building itself is a museum! This is a great opportunity to learn about local history. If you can’t make it today, the museum is open all weekdays during the same hours. 413-684-2600. 30 South Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

4-5pm – KIDS COOKING: Kids are invited to take part in a cooking class called, “Passport to Madagascar” at the Hadley Whole Foods Market! Kids will learn to prepare (and enjoy!) a typical lunch that a child in Madagascar might eat. Registration required, young children must be accompanied by an adult. 413-586-9932. 327 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

4:30-6:30pm – BACK-TO-SCHOOL GIVEAWAY: The Amherst Survival Center is having a school supplies giveaway! There will also be arts and crafts for kids, and dinner will be served from 5-6. 413-549-3968. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

6:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Mister G performs a family concert at the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library. 413-665-2170 202 Chestnut Plain Rd. Whately, MA (FREE)

MONDAY SUMMER STORYHOURS

  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Hear some great stories with Ellie in the Forbes Library Children’s Department!  20 West Street.  413-587-1011.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)  ♦

MONDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES

  • 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) ♦
  • 3-5pm – LEGOS: Kids can participate in Lego BrickWars, the game that combines Lego building with a fantasy land of chaos and destruction.  Open to kids ages 7-10.  Materials provided.  20 West Street.  413-587-1011.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE) 
  • 5-6pm – HULA HOOPING: Learn to hula hoop at the Greenfield Energy Park with Shenandoah of Alotta Hooplah!  20 Sanderson Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (DONATION) ♦
  • 6-10pm – GAME NIGHT: Head to Owl and Raven for a night of games of all kinds!  Pick from the space’s selection or bring a game to share.  2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops).  413-341-3581.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)  ♦
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Explore The Mount… in the creepiest way possible!  The tour takes visitors through the most haunted parts of the mansion- you’re sure to be scared.  Reservations suggested, as tours frequently sell out in advance.  2 Plunkett Street.  413-551-5111.  Lenox, MA.  ($)  ♦

Tuesday, Aug 16th, 2011

Hilltown Families is the most amazing resource! I use it constantly to check for local events and activities. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with the rest of our unique corner of Massachusetts . I love the way Hilltown Families promotes local writers and artists, all while fostering a sense of community.” – Ellen Doyle (Williamsburg, MA)

10am and 1pm- FAMILY PERFORMANCE: See a theatrical adaptation of Charlotte’s Web, the classic EB White tale of a spider and a pig, at the Majestic Theater! 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($)

10am-4pm – RESKILLING: The Trustees of Reservations host a workshop on planting and harvesting autumn crops at the Bullitt Reservation! The workshop will teach participants about fall greens and roots, as well as planting spring crops! There’s a 2-hour lunch break (noon-2pm) in the middle that allows for time to explore the reservation or to explore Ashfield, and there will be kids activities taking place during the day, too. Registration required. 413-628-4485. Bullitt Road. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

1pm – DRUMS: Visit the Berkshire Athenaeum this afternoon for Drum to the Beat, a program on drumming around the world lead by Berkshire Music School’s Otha Day. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: It’s Toe-Tapping Tuesday at the Springfield Museums! Today’s performance is Spaghetti Cake, a rock band who play music that the whole family can enjoy- it’s a fusion of rock, blues, country, and reggae. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

2pm – ICE CREAM SOCIAL: Visit the Lenox Library this afternoon for an ice cream social, sponsored by The Scoop! 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Bring kids ages 8 and under to Natural Bridge State Park for a Tyke Hike! A DCR representative will lead families on a short and easy hike through the park. At the end of the hike there will be a short storytime! 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

3:30-4:30pm – READING: The Kids’ Reading Club at Greenfield Public Library meets today! Lead by local educator Rachel Roberts, the club is for kids ages 7-9. This is an academic club and selected books must be read before attending – there will be an activity along with discussion of what next month’s book will be. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

4-6pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Paddle the Connecticut River in Holyoke! Learn about the history of the Connecticut River and the city of Holyoke, and observe the area from the water. Begins at the Jones Ferry Access Center/Holyoke Rows. 413-532-1631. Jones Ferry Road. Holyoke, MA. ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT:

7pm – CONCERT: Head to the Hilltowns to hear live music performed by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Plainfield Congregational Church. You’ll hear Beethoven trios for clarinet, cello, and piano – the last performance as part of the Concerts at 7 Series. 413-634-8099. Main St. (Route 116). Plainfield, 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 ($) ♦
  • 6pm – LAWN CONCERT: Visit The Clark for a free lawn concert! There will be different live music every week, and there will be barbecue available for purchase! 225 South Street. 413-458-2303. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 7-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Greenfield Energy Band performs broadway hits live at the Greenfield Energy Park tonight! 20 Sanderson Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

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 plays and listen to stories. Play time follows the story half hour. 413-637-0197 x105 Lenox, MA (FREE)♦

Wednesday, Aug 17th, 2011

10am – CRAFTS: Visit Natural Bridge State Park to make nature-inspired crafts out of materials found on the grounds of the park! Express your natural creativity. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

10am and 1pm- FAMILY PERFORMANCE: See a theatrical adaptation of Charlotte’s Web, the classic EB White tale of a spider and a pig, at the Majestic Theater! 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($)

11am – HOMESCHOOLERS: Meetup for homeschooling families at Groff Park. Bring lunch, swim suit and towels and meet other homeschooling parents in Western MA. Mill Lane. Amherst, MA (FREE)

12Noon – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Stanley Park and Forest Park presents Zoo on the Go when Forest Park brings their mobile zoo to Stanley Park. Kids can pet animals and ask questions in the Beveridge Pavilion. 413-568-9312 400 Western Ave. Westfield, MA (FREE)

1pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: See an awesome magic show at the Springfield Museums! Bonaparte will be performing illusions and comedy, and there will be opportunities for audience participation. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

2-4pm – FAMILY SUSTAINABILITY WORKSHOP: The North Amherst Community Farm hosts a workshop on worm-bin composting today! Composting via worm bin is a great option for people working with a limited amount of space- it’s much smaller than a compost heap! The workshop will include exploring the farm and looking for decomposers, exploring a compost pile, and taking home some of your own worms to start a worm bin! Best for kids 5+. Registration required. 413-624-6223. 1089 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

5:30-6:30pm – ICE CREAM SOCIAL: Ice Cream Social at Beacon Field Playground with Bart’s Ice Cream and WRSI. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

5:30-9pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: North Adams’ 16th annual Downtown Celebration is tonight! Part of Main Street will be blocked off to vehicles and will be filled with tables from local vendors- everything from food to goods! In case of rain, the event will take place tomorrow, the 18th. Main Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE PERFORMANCE: Zehnder Dance performs on the Inside/Out state at Jacob’s Pillow this evening! Bring a picnic and the family and enjoy dinner on the lawn before or after performance. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

7pm – SEX EDUCATION: Meg Baker, a trained sex education teacher, hosts a workshop at Owl and Raven on talking to your kids about sex. The workshop will help parents with tricky conversation topics of all sorts- everything from explaining to young kids where babies come from to talking about STD’s with adolescents. 413-341-3581. 2 Conz Street #42. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

7pm – IMPROV: The Majestic Theater’s weekly improv night is tonight! The show is family-friendly and fun for all- it’s “Whose Line is it Anyway?”-style, and audience participation is important! 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA.  (<$)

7:30 and 9:45pm – MOVIE: Amherst Cinema Screens “Key Largo” tonight- it’s part of the cinema’s summer Humphrey Bogart Festival! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

WEDNESDAY ONGOING SUMMER ACTIVITIES

  • 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. (<$)
  • 10-11:30am- ROLLERSKATING: Rollerskate with Tiny Tot Romp, Stop, ‘n’ Roll Skate and Play at Interskate 91 North (Hampshire Mall). Strollers welcome. Parent’s don’t have to wear skates. For Ages 6 & under. 413-586-2737 Hadley, MA (>$) ♦
  • 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)♦
  • 6-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Live music tonight at Burband Park on Lake Onota! Lakeway Drive. Pittsfield, 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 Pentigill Park (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. North Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦

Thursday, Aug 18th, 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 ... My daughter has enjoyed so many events we would not have known about.” – Rebecca Heath (Pittsfield, MA)

9:30 and 11am – STORYTIME: Terrific Twos and Threes takes place at the Westfield Athenaeum this morning! Besides a story, there will also be activities, fingerplay, and a craft! 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Union #28 Community Network for Children program has set up some summer playdates at our local playgrounds/libraries. This week at Shutesbury Elementary School (Wild Water Fun) 978-544-5157 Shutesbury, MA (FREE)

10am-12noon – INSECT ADVENTURE: Can’t get enough creepy, crawly bugs? Go on an insect safari at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary! You’ll find dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, moths, and more in the field of the sanctuary. If you don’t like bugs, the safari can help you learn that they’re harmless and fascinating! 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA.  (<$)

10:30am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Join the Junior Rangers at Natural Bridge State Park! The program is for kids 8-12 and promotes outdoor skills and an appreciation for nature through fun games and activities! Registration required. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

11, 11:30am, and 12noon – ENGINEERING: Kids can “travel” all over the world at this program on bridge engineering at the Lenox Library. Participants will learn about bridges in countries all over the world and then will test their own engineering skills and new bridge-knowledge to construct a Roman-style bridge. Registration required. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

5pm – ROCKETS: Rocket Launching at the Meekis Library for kids. Library will supply pre-assembled rockets. Pre-registration requested. 413-268-7472 Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

5:30pm – FILM STUDIES: Blue Sky Studios are known for their exquisite animation, and their work is currently featured at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Tonight, lighting director Jim Gettinger will discuss his work for the film “Rio.” This is an all ages event, but is perhaps best for older children. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about the city of Pittsfield’s interesting past by venturing through the Historical Pittsfield Cemetery. You’ll meet famous characters from the city’s history and hear stories about times past. Sponsored by the Berkshire Historical Society. Tickets can be purchased at the cemetery gate before the event. 413-442-1793. 203 Waconah Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE PERFORMANCE: Dorrance Dance performs on the Inside/Out state at Jacob’s Pillow tonight! 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Pioneer Valley Fiddlers will be performing tonight at the Westhampton Library! There will be free refreshments and a bonfire following the show. 413-527-2404. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

7pm – BIG BAND CONCERT: Travel back in time to the big band era tonight! The Premier Swing Band will be performing at the Russell VFW- the group plays jazz, swing, and latin music that is entertaining for folks of all ages. 413-732-4137. 384 Hungtington Road. Russell, 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, Aug 19th, 2011

“Hilltown Families is an excellent resource for family oriented fun, information and events in Western Mass. Keep up the good work.” – Geri Pollard (Cummington, MA)

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

10am- STORYTELLING: Enjoy a morning of stories at the Bridge Street School with storyteller/musician John Porcino!  413-586-2343.  2 Parsons Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

10-11am – BUS RIDE: Are your kids beginning kindergarten in the fall?  Bring then to the Haskins Center for a ride on a school bus before the school year begins!  If they’re having any anxiety about riding the bus alone, this should help ease their fears and prepare them for their first real bus ride on their first day of school!  The ride will be short (10-15 minutes) and afterwards there will be storytime and an art activity!  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – PUPPET SHOW: The Robert Rogers Puppet Company performs the Bugtown Follies at the Springfield Museums!  The puppet-filled show is hilarious and features tap-dancing spiders and acrobat ants!  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

3 and 5pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: The Zany Umbrella Circus and Oko Sokolo Co. present Mirette’s Circus at Mass MoCA!  The two troupes use physical theater, masks, dance, and circus to tell the story of a young girl in Paris who finds her calling walking on the highwire!  413-662-2111.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

5pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The 84th Annual Westfield Fair begins tonight!  Along with the exhibits, vendors, midway, and rides that run all weekend, tonight’s events include a spaghetti dinner, a balloon sculpture show, truck pulls, and live music!  413-222-4067.  Fair Lane.  Westfield, MA.  ($)

5-11pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Heath Fair starts tonight!  Tonight’s activities include an open exhibit hall, an antique tractor parade and pull, bingo, live music, and square dancing from 7-11!  9 Hosmer Road.  Heath, MA.  ($)

5:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Hardwick Community Fair, the oldest fair in the country, begins tonight!  The evening’s activities include a book sale, pony and hay rides, a lumberjack contest, and more!  Hardwick, MA.  ($)

5:30-7:30pm – COMMUNITY SHABBAT: Enjoy a vegetarian dinner (BYO) outdoors at Heritage Park as part of this month’s “Shabbat Under the Sky” series of dinners.  Anna Sobel will provide puppet entertainment, and kids (and all!) can experience traditional aspects of a Jewish Shabbat.  There will be free challah, juice, and dessert served.  413-439-1941.  North Main Street.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

6:15pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Lucky Plush performs on the Inside/Out stage at Jacob’s Pillow!  This is a really interesting and innovative show- not to be missed!  413-243-9919.  358 George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Jesse Groneman facilitates a birth circle at Green River Yoga!  The circle is a space for pregnant women to share their experiences with pregnancy and journey to motherhood with one another in a supportive environment.  617-529-7621.  185 Main Street, Suite 6.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (DONATION) 

8pm – OUTDOOR MOVIE: Watch “Dispicable Me,” a family-friendly comedy, outdoors under the stars in Adams!  8 Park Street.  Adams, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

8pm – CONCERT: Frank Vignola and the Hot Club Trio will perform live tonight at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center!  The group plays a mix of gypsy jazz, bluegrass, and swing that is upbeat and unique!  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  ($$)

8pm – OUTDOOR THEATER: Double Edge Theater presents The Odyssey, set outdoors against a backdrop of Chagall’s lithograph paintings illustrating the story!  The show takes place outdoors (rain or shine) and travels through the fields, gardens, and waterways of the theater’s grounds!  The show runs Wednesdays-Sundays through August 21.  413-628-0277.  948 Conway Road.  Ashfield, MA.  ($$)

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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