27 Community Highlights: Bread to Sushi. Beekeeping to Bird Houses.

Beekeeping to Bird Houses. Latino Folktales to Ukrainian Pysanky. Bread to Sushi… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Get out into your community and learn while you play!

Sustainability ♦ Nature Science/Animal Studies ♦ Culinary Arts ♦ Musical/Theater ♦ Parent Workshops ♦ Art ♦ Culinary Studies

Easter Sunday in next weekend, March 31st, but egg hunts are happening this weekend and next!  Check out our post, Easter Events in Western MA for a comprehensive list. 


Cummington is holding their first ever Community Resiliency Summit on Saturday, March 23rd an event designed to help the community work together to create connections and utilize the skills, talents, and knowledge of its members in order to create a strong, healthy, and resilient town. This free event happens at the community house and will include discussion of such topics as emergency planning, local food and farming, local economy, and strengthening local institutions like the school and library.

The Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge is hosting a full day’s worth of workshops on homesteading on Saturday, and the skills necessary to grow and raise your own food. Topics covered include backyard chickens and other fowl, sheep as lawn mowers (and sources of wool and milk, too!), and raising cows or goats for milk. Whether you’re in the throes of beginning a homestead or are just looking to learn more about the process to see if it’s right for your family, this event is a great opportunity to gather knowledge and to connect with other community members pursuing a homesteading lifestyle.


The Western Mass Mineral, Jewelry, and Fossil Show takes place this weekend, Saturday, March 23rd & Sunday, March 24th, at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Northampton The show features the collections of numerous geologists, collectors, and dealers, and offers families an opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at gemstones, fossils, petrified wood, crystals, mineral specimens, and more. There will be demonstrations throughout the day, as well as opportunities to see and learn about equipment used to cut and polish stones. Budding geologists will be in heaven while surrounded by the museum-quality displays and the vast wealth of knowledge held by presenters.

Explore the diverse habitats found at Mittineague Park in West Springfield on Saturday morning, with naturalist and environmental historian Dietrich Schlobohm. Families can learn about the many different plants and animals that the park is home to, and will get to explore some of the most interesting parts of the 330 acres of field and forest during this free outdoor adventure.

Build a home for cave-nesting birds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday afternoon, March 23rd in Lenox. Bluebirds in particular will love nesting in these wooden nest boxes, made using white pine. Other species of birds who particularly enjoy nest boxes include tree swallows, tufted titmice, and white-breasted nuthatches. Families will also learn about good places to mount their boxes – if you have a good place within viewing distance of your home, use it as a way to learn about the habits of whichever bird species moves in!

Bees are facing worldwide habitat loss and population decline – but it turns out that Western MA is one of the few remaining areas that is perfect for bee keeping! On Thursday evening, March 28th, the Greenfield Historical Society hosts Warm Colors Apiary’s Dan Conlon for a free talk on modern beekeeping and the environment necessary for successful beekeeping. Conlon, known nationally and internationally for his beekeeping, will speak about the history of the apiary, as well as his own work with bees.

Join the Hitchcock Center in Amherst on Friday, March 29th for a day of spring-themed explorations! Curriculum Day brings searches for amphibians (like salamanders and frogs), a look around the woods for changes in plants, a meet-and-greet with the center’s reptile residents, and games and other fun activities. Celebrate the coming of a new season, and learn about all of the ways that we can tell it’s here!


The Berkshire Coop in Great Barrington is hosting another free Kids Can Cook event on Saturday morning, March 23rd. This month’s recipe is a special April Fool’s Day surprise! Kids will get to practice basic kitchen skills while learning all about the special recipe. You won’t believe your taste buds!

Learn how to make vegetarian sushi (maki rolls) at Berkshire South Regional Community Center on Tuesday evening, March 26th in Great Barrington. Older students and their parents can join Susan in the kitchen for this hands on cooking workshop as we make our own rolls and have lots of fun!

Celebrate spring with the Pioneer Valley Bread House on Wednesday afternoon, March 27th in Amherst! Located at Hampshire College’s Farm Center, the house is hosting their free annual Spring Hearth-Warming with some community bread-making. Visitors can help knead, share stories, and enjoy the bread baking process.

There’s a second opportunity to make sushi this week! Whole Foods Market in Hadley hosts an evening of sushi making on Thursday afternoon, March 28th. Teens and adults can learn to make their own sushi rolls and leave with new skills and a belly full of delicious hand-rolled sushi.


Hampshire Regional High School in Westhampton presents their spring musical, “Anything Goes,” with music by Cole Porter. This high energy, big tap show, will be held in the HRHS Auditorium on Saturday evening, March 23rd, and as matinees on both Saturday & Sunday, March 24th.

Feed me, Seymour! Franklin County Technical High School presents, “Little Shop of Horrors” at the Shea Theater in Turners Fall on Saturday afternoon – the hilarious musical features a crazed dentist, a carnivorous plant, and an unlikely love pursuit, and is best for slightly older students.

Mount Everett Regional High School presents Steven Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” on Saturday and Sunday evening at the Consolati Performing Arts Center in Sheffield! The suspenseful musical follows a 19th century London exile in his quest for revenge against the judge who framed him.

Ja’Duke productions presents, “My Son Pinocchio: Geppetto’s Musical Tale,” at Greenfield High School on Saturday & Sunday evenings.

Taconic High School in Pittsfield presents, “City of Angels” on Saturday evening, a show that follows a disillusioned crime novelist through the development of one of his books into a screenplay. Unfortunately for the writer, his stories are not particularly fantastic and his efforts are misguided – which the audience learns by watching the screenplay develop alongside the show’s main storyline.


As technology has advanced, the number of substances used to create materials has increased greatly, and has at the same time become a little bit overwhelming – the massive amount of goods that we consume guarantees that many things are made inexpensively out of materials containing toxic (yet easy to obtain or create) chemicals. Cradle in Northampton hosts a free workshop for parents on Saturday afternoon, March 23rd with Laila Tomsovic on ways to help identify sources of toxic chemicals and minimize the amount of interactions that your family has with them in a workshop titled, “Living Clean in a Toxic World.”

Learn strategies for successful budgeting on Thursday evening, March 28th during “Good Cents Budget Basics,” a free workshop hosted by the Community Network for Children and Community Action. Taking place at Erving Elementary School, the workshop will teach parents of young children some basic skills for managing the financial aspects of parenting.


It’s not every day that families get the chance to decorate walls. In Easthampton, Art Party’s Halfway There Celebration takes place on Saturday evening, March 23rd, and the walls and tables of the studio will be covered with paper for creative minds and artists of all ages to participate in creative-free play through art! There will be music and food, too, to make the celebration complete.

On Sunday afternoon, March 24th, it’s Free Family Day at The Clark in Williamstown. Take advantage of not only free admission, but also the special programs and demonstrations that will be taking place throughout the day. The theme for the event is decorative arts, and families will be able to learn about everything from glass blowing to silversmithing! There will also be a gallery talk with the museum’s curatorial staff, a workshop on decorative food, live music, and hands-on art making for all!

The Eric Carle Museum’s newest exhibit, “Latino Folktales: Cuentos Populares: Art by Latino Artists,” opens Friday, March 29th in Amherst. Visit the museum to see illustration of folktales that combine magic and symbolism, and see how ritually repeated stories cross cultural boundaries – some of what you’ll see will seem very similar to the folktales from other cultural traditions.


Marion Abrams will be leading a Family Batik Ukrainian Egg Workshop at the Forbes Library on Saturday afternoon, March 23rd in Northampton. Marion will teach basic skills for beautiful traditional Ukrainian Pysanky. Children ages 8yo+ are welcomed.

The Clark in Williamstown screens Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor,” a 1987 film about the Chinese Communists’ abduction of the country’s infant emperor on Saturday afternoon. This free screening is great for students interested in Asian history, or older students examining the role that Communism has played in the modern world.

The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton hosts “Let My People Go: Songs of Freedom” on Sunday afternoon, March 24th, a performance by Mak’hela, the Jewish Chorus of Western Massachusetts. Acclaimed vocalist Evelyn Harris will join the chorus in a celebration of Pesach (Passover) and the coming of spring – celebrate and/or learn about Jewish traditions and history while enjoying beautiful seasonal music.

Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley hosts a concert with the West African Highlife Band on Thursday evening, March 28th, featuring Baba Ken Okulolo – the band’s Nigerian (but San Francisco-based) leader. Great opportunity for kids with audience skills to learn about world music and African cultures.

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about these events and over 100 other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events. All of our listed events are “suggested.” Please take a moment to confirm that these events are happening as scheduled, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.

[Photo credit: (ccl) Adam Sonnett]

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