36 Community Highlights: Hermits to Fairies. Tornadoes to Dioramas.

Lawn concerts in the summer are lovely opportunities to enjoy a picnic dinner together with your family, and your community! We’ll be adding lawn concerts to our list of weekly Suggested Events throughout the summer, from the Berkshires down to the Valley. Check there each week and make plans for a fun family dinner, al fresco style!

Hermits to Tornadoes.  Fairies to Snow White.  Lawn Concerts to Kayaking… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week!  Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!


Summer evening lawn concerts are a lovely way for families to enjoy an al fresco dinner together, in the warm air with live music. BYO picnic dinners and chairs to the following free evening concerts this week and enjoy time together with your family and community:

  • Concert Series at Stanley Park in Westfield presents Shakin’ All Over, one of New England’s premier dance bands, on Sunday evening, June 9th.
  • Musical Moments at Amelia’s Garden in Westfield presents Dan Kane and Friends, who will be performing Broadway classics, on Tuesday evening, June 11th.
  • Coop Concerts Summer Series takes place on Thursday evening, June 13th at Greenfield Energy Park. This week’s show features Devlin Miles, Orlen & Gabriel, and Pat & Tex LaMountain Band. Each group will perform a range of music, including love songs, folk tunes, jazz, blues, ragtime, and country music.
  • Arts in the Park Summer Concert Series happens at Millside Park in Easthampton on Friday evening, June 14th.

Indoor AdventuresHistoryAnimal Studies ♦  Nature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresMeteorologyMuseum AdventuresEngineeringOccupational ScienceMusic StudiesCommunity Service


The Massachusetts State Yo-Yo Contest is a great place to learn the art of yo-yo-ing and watch some of the best in the sport compete.  Spectators are welcome to come watch the competition for free and learn about this hobby at JKF Middle School in Northampton on Saturday morning, June 8th.

It’s Chow Time at the Berkshire Museum aquarium in Pittsfield every Saturday around noon. Kids can get an up-close, interactive look at what it takes to feed some of the Museum’s most interesting residents… and you never know, maybe you’ll get to get a glimpse of these guys more recently hatched!

Come by Dala Bird in Northfield on Saturday afternoon and learn how to make a Father’s Day card inspired by those made by Barb King, an artist represented by Dala Bird.  Anyone 5 and up (even adults!) are welcome to make cards for free,  and snacks will be provided for kids.  This is a great chance to make a card for the father’s in your life while learning some new arts and crafts skills!

The Community Music School of Springfield will host their annual Musical Roots and Traditions festival in Springfield on Saturday afternoon.  A free event for the family with music and food.


It’s Muster Day at Old Sturbridge Village on Saturday, June 8th! Come throughout the day to learn about 18th- and 19th-century militias, which were called for a training or “muster” day each spring. Learn about a historical muster day was like, see a militia protest parade, watch drilling demonstrations, hear military martial music, and watch mock battles. Supplement studies in American History with a fun day of reenactments and demonstrations.

Older students and adults are invited to join the Wistariahurst Museum on Saturday morning for a bicycle tour of the Holyoke Highlands and Fairfield Avenue Historic District. Participants will learn about the area’s Victorian mansions, as well as the architects, builders, and families connected to them.

Stockbridge History Museum hosts a cemetery walk to tour and learn about local history through past residents on Saturday afternoon. This month’s theme is, “Where Do I Get That? Stockbridge Work and Business, 1875.” Learn where residents got the goods and services needed in daily life in 1875 Stockbridge. Along the way, participants will meet the shopkeepers, laborers, and manufacturers who lived here, and discover the surprising range of work available in town.

Visit Historic Deerfield for Three Bags Full: All About Wool, a special museum presentation on sheep shearing and processing wool for use at home, on Sunday afternoon, June 9th. Families can drop in anytime to see the wool being processed, and to learn about the many uses for wool in early New England life.

Andrew Carnegie comes to life at the Storrs Library in Longmeadow on Tuesday evening, June 11th. Actor Richard Clark will portray Andrew Carnegie, who was responsible for building over 2500 libraries throughout the world. An event for adults and children with audience skills, learn about Carnegie’s legacy and the history of his contributions.

On Thursday afternoon, June 13th in Lenox, The Mount will host historian Gordon Campbell who will tell the engaging, and sometimes eccentric, tale of the 18th century hermit-in-the-garden craze and how hermits and hermitages live on in the art, literature, and drama of our own day.

ANIMAL STUDIES: Birds & Beavers

Join the Trustees of Reservations for a free birding trip at Bear Swamp in Ashfield on Sunday morning, June 9th, to learn about local birds. Naturalist John Greene will lead visitors through several different habitats while looking and listening for breeding birds.

Enjoy a free morning breeding bird walk at the Frank Stanley Beveridge Wildlife Sanctuary in Westfield on Sunday morning. This walk is focused on looking for birds, asking questions, and learning about breeding birds.

Join Mass Audobon at the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox on Wednesday evening, June 12th, for an evening tour of the beaver ponds. Visitors can look for beavers and other animals while learning about their natural history and how they have shaped the landscape over time.


Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox is hosting a free Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 8th! Activities include nature crafts, a puppet show by the Gerwick Puppeteers, music by George Wilson, a live raptor program, nature walks, and beekeeping information sessions. This event provides fun, educational activities to help families connect with local resources and explore this Mass Audubon sanctuary.

Come celebrate the Deerfield River in Shelburne Falls on Saturday at RiverFest! Check out the “glacial” potholes, see a live birds of prey demonstration, take a guided hike along the watershed, observe aquatic insects up close, and much more. This annual event is great fun for the entire family and gives you the chance to be involved in the community while celebrating, and learning about, this amazing watershed!

On Saturday afternoon, June 8th, DCR will host “All for One and One for All… Biodiversity” at Western Gateway Heritage State Park in North Adams. This free illustrated lecture focuses on biodiversity and its importance, especially when it comes to our fate as a species.

Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council on Sunday afternoon, June 9th, for a walk through the 1200-acre Steepletop Reserve in New Marlborough. Explore Steepletop’s woods and wetlands while walking its old carriage roads.

The Great Falls Discovery Center in Turner’s Falls is holding a Habitat Highlights Museum Tour on Sunday afternoon to teach visitors about the many different habitats along the Connecticut River. In order to do so, museum staff will lead a free guided tour of the Center’s many dioramas of bogs, estuaries, floodplains, and more.


Northfield Mountain is holding a “Kayak With Your Kiddo” event at Barton Cove in Gill on Saturday morning, June 8th. Kids 7 and up can come with a parent and learn to use a tandem kayak. This is a great opportunity to try something new while exploring Barton Cove and spending quality time together outside in nature.


Meteorologist Art Horn will present, “Tornado: The Twisted Wind,” at the Springfield Museums on Thursday at noon, June 13th. The lecture focuses on the science behind tornadoes, why they occur mostly in the spring, and why they occur where there do. Tornadoes are an amazing force of nature and this lecture offers an opportunity for people to learn more about them. Best for older students.


The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is holding A Fairy Garden Celebration on Saturday, June 8th in Amherst.. Families can build a fairy house and participate in storytime, art workshops, movie screenings, puppet-making, puppet shows, book signings, face painting, and much more! This is a great opportunity for families to explore all the museum has to offer and even meet some favorite authors and illustrators.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Creation of a Classic” opens at the Norman Rockwell Museum on Sunday afternoon, June 9th in Stockbridge. Enjoy a magical afternoon with special guest Lella Smith, Creative Director, Walt Disney Company Animation Research library. Ms. Smith will explain the story of this hallmark film’s development, through the original drawings and paintings, animation cels, props, costumes, and clips on view in the exhibition.

The Smith College Museum of Art’s Second Friday event happens on Friday afternoon, June 14th, providing family-friendly activities during Northampton’s Arts Night Out. There will be hands-on art activities for children as well as guided gallery tours for visitors of all ages. This event provides a space for kids to become more engaged with art museums by creating art projects similar to those currently on display at the Museum.


Test out your engineering skills or come and enjoy the skills of others at the 3rd annual Holyoke Brick Race on Saturday afternoon, June 8th! Anyone is welcome to participate in the race by creating a brick racecar to compete side-by-side with other bricks. Being the only one of its kind, the brick race draws people from all over Western Massachusetts and provides intergenerational and creative fun for all participants and spectators.

OCCUPATIONAL SCIENCE: Firefighters & Police

Join Odyssey Books for the South Hadley Reads Aloud Storytime Series this Saturday afternoon, June 8th. This free monthly series bring in community members to read stories related to their field. This month’s storytime features firefighter Michael O’Neil reading Mark Teague’s “Firehouse!” O’Neil will read aloud and share valuable information about fire safety.

Jewish Culture Connect is holding a Touch a Truck event for kids of all ages on Sunday afternoon, June 9th in Springfield. Families are invited to sit in the trucks, help firefighters use hoses, turn on police sirens, and play in a bounce house. Kids can learn about civic occupations while exploring different vehicles.


Join composer and conductor Alice Parker at the historic Hawley Meeting House on Sunday afternoon, June 9th for a sing focusing on 19th Century shape-note tunes, as well as hymns and folk songs.

The North Hall Association in Huntington presents an a cappella choral concert on Sunday afternoon. Schola Nova and Strike a Chord will be performing sacred choral music from several different time periods and contemporary hits, respectively. Guests can hear the many different genres that can be sung in this unique style while experiencing some of the many ways music has changed throughout history.

Gaia Roots will perform drum music from all over the world at the Spectrum Playhouse in Lee on Friday evening, June 14th. Using a variety of percussion instruments, Gaia Roots drums, dances, and sings while immersing the audience in world music.


Go for a run while supporting your community at Berkshire Trail Elementary School’s annual Rhubarb Run 5K and 1 mile runs in Cummington on Saturday morning, June 8th! This family-friendly community service activity provides a venue to exercise with the whole family while raising money for a local Hilltown elementary school.

Kids ages 2-14 are welcome to participate in the first annual Pan-Mass Challenge Kids Ride on Saturday morning in Florence! PMC Kids Rides give children the opportunity to be involved in volunteering, community service, and charitable giving. All proceeds go to the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Join White Square Books during Art Walk Easthampton on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Janet Stupak from the Springfield City Library will come dressed as the Cat in the Hat and will help start a volunteer project to knit 500 hats for charity!

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) Mykl Roventine]

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