From Owls to Bats, Puppets to Marionettes: 20 Highlights for Next Week!
Highlights this coming weekend and next week include fun family events for learning about insects, owls, bats, and local habitat, along with a plethora of performances both with and about puppets!
A few weeks ago we mentioned how families interested in entomology (the study of insects) can participate as citizen scientists in their own backyards during National Moth Week, happening this coming week, July 23-29. In addition to this great opportunity to explore these nocturnal insects in your own backyard, Ramsdell Library (Housatonic, MA) invites families to come learn about fireflies on Monday, July 23rd at 1:30pm, and the Pelham Library will be exploring nocturnal insects on Wednesday, July 25th at 6:30pm. Insects of the day can be studied this week too… on Tuesday, July 24th at 10:30am, kids ages 3-6 can learn about the fascinating role that bees and pollination play in the environment at the Great Falls Discovery Center (Turners Falls, MA). And the best news, all of the events are FREE!
If two or four-legged critters are more of your interests, the Mason Library (Great Barrington, MA) will host Wingmasters on Saturday, July 21st at 1:30pm for a program on owls. Kids can learn about the animals’ amazing powers of flight, sight, and hearing. (FREE) —But owls are the only flying animal with great hearing… so are bats! On Friday, July 27th at 7pm, Twilight World of Bats happens at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (Lenox, MA). Kids ages 5-15yo can learn about the ecology and diversity of bats in the region. Using a bat detector, participants can “eavesdrop” on these flying mammals as the hunt the evening sky for food. (>$)
Families can fill their days with fun family programming all summer long, including an abundance of puppet/marionette shows happening this week! Robbins-Zust Marionettes will perform several shows throughout the week, including Firebird on Saturday, July 21st at Marketplace Cafe (Pittsfield, MA). Then the performances move to Saint Paul’s Church (Stockbridge, MA) with The Emperor’s New Clothes on Monday, July 23rd, Jack and the Beanstalk on Tuesday, July 24th, The Three Little Pigs on Wednesday, July 25th, and Carnival of the Animals on Thursday, July 26th (>$).
A couple of libraries will host puppet performances this week too. The Goshen Library will host Talking Hands Theater‘s production of Little Superheros on Monday, July 23rd at 6:30pm, and the Westhampton Library will host puppeteer Deborah Costine‘s production of Woodland Cinderella on Tuesday, July 24th at 10am. Both shows are free.
Museums join in the poppet fun too with CactusHead presenting Little Red Riding Hood at the Eric Carle Museum (Amherst, MA) on Sunday, July 22nd at 1pm, and the Springfield Museums hosting Tanglewood Marionettes production of Sleeping Beauty later in the week on Friday, July 27th at 11:30am & 1:30pm. ($)
Not only are there family shows with puppets, there are even shows about puppets… the most famous puppet of them all… Pinocchio! The Berkshire Theater Group will present Pinocchio in the Dell at The Mount (Lenox, MA) beginning this week. Show runs Tues–Sat at 4pm and Tues & Thurs at 7pm, through Aug. 11th. ($$)
Getting outdoors with the kids and exploring the region can lead to many wonderful learning moments this weekend. On Saturday, July 21st, families can join the Hilltown Land Trust for a free morning hike in the Hilltowns, exploring the Strasburg Conservation land (Worthington, MA), a forested area being restored to old growth quality. In the Berkshires, parents and their nature-curious pre-schoolers are invited to explore the pond and meadows of Sheep Hill (Williamstown, MA) at a nature observation class sponsored by the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation ($). And in the Pioneer Valley, families can explore rivers, streams, channels, and islands with Art O’Leary in the wildlife sanctuary at Stanley Park (Westfield, MA) (Free).
Then on Sunday, July 22nd, older kids can learn about native flowers of the Pioneer Valley with Nancy Goodman of the New England Wild Flower Society at Mt. Norwottuck (Amherst, MA) ($$).
Find out about these events and over 100 other events & activities happen all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events. And don’t forget about our Bucket List of 60 recommendations of things to do and places to see in Western MA in the summer by Hilltown Families readers (and add you’re own recommendation too!).