Community and Service Based Learning for Families: 22 Highlights for Next Week!

On Friday, Aug 3rd, kids can immerse themselves (not literally) in a pond!  Northfield Library hosts a morning family adventure to learn about the life in a local pond – using nets, magnifiers, and guides, families will learn to identify many different pond creatures. (FREE)

Hilltown Families Highlights for this coming week combine economic development with community-based and service-based learning:


There are several opportunities to support your community this week. We all know that shopping local is a great way to foster economic development, and this weekend there are a few events that make it easy to shop local, including sidewalk sales in both downtown Northampton and downtown Greenfield, and the annual Arts & Crafts Fair at Church on the Hill in Lenox.  Another way to support your community while benefiting from service based learning is by volunteering as a family. A few opportunities coming up this week include building a new trail with the Trustees of Reservations in Ashfield on Saturday, July 28th, helping out at the Just Roots Food for All Garden to support local hunger relief every Sunday in Greenfield through the growing season, and a community-wide gleaning event currently being organized in Amherst (interest meeting on Tuesday, July 31st).


Animal adventures next week include nocturnal insects & animals, aquatic critters, and birds of prey. Hatifield Library takes a look at what critters come out only at night on Tuesday, July 31st while the Chicopee Library presents their predators hosted by Tom Ricardi and his Birds of Prey on Thursday, Aug 2nd.  If fish and aquatic animals are your interest, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield has an Aquarium Adventure program every Thursday where kids can meet & greet while learning about these critters.


Ponds, rivers and streams are great natural habitats for families to explore and learn about ecology during the summer months. On Saturday, July 28th, kids can learn about the unique habitats provided by beaches, especially beaches at our local ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers, at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls in the morning, and after lunch join educator Dawn Marvin Wood for an afternoon of river studies at the Northfield Library. On Sunday, July 29th, families can walk the canal side trail in Turners Falls and learn about all of the creatures who call the river home, or take a guided canoe trip at Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield with the Trustees of Reservations and learn about the history of the Housatonic River. Ponds are the focus on Friday, Aug 3rd as Northfield Mountain hosts a special family adventure to learn about the life in a local pond – using nets, magnifiers, and guides, families will learn to identify many different pond creatures.


Families can learn about local history through the lens of fiber, pottery, wells and bricks this week. On Saturday, July 28th, families can visit Historic Deerfield to learn about tailoring, as part of the museum’s “Fun with Flax” exhibit, or the Ashley House in Sheffield to learn about the craft of pottery and its history. Also on Saturday, Kingman Tavern Historical Museum in Cummington hosts an afternoon of sheep shearing and fiber history.  On Sunday, July 29th in Plainfield visit the Shaw Library for a program that takes a look at how residents during the 19th century created their own aqueduct to draw water from springs on higher ground.  Later in the week on Friday, Aug 3rd, the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls will present a program that looks at the local brick making industry of Montague City and the importance of this industry to our local history.


Summer time is no time to put math and science on hold!  At the Forbes Library in Northampton, Gary Pozzato and his computerized friend Robo the Robot will share information about space, planetary orbits and rockets on Tuesday, July 31st.  On Wednesday, Aug 1st the Westhampton Library will host an origami demo where kids use math and geometry skills for folding paper.  Also on Wednesday, at the Monson Library, kids crazy about LEGOS can practice basic principles of architecture, design, and physics during an afternoon drop-in.

Bucket ListFind 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!)

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