25 Community Highlights: Felt to Pottery. Storytelling to Stargazing.

Age of Iron Weekend at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield this August 3rd & 4th, 2013. Blacksmiths will showcase their art and artisanship with both historical and contemporary demonstrations. Ironwork craftsmanship dating from the 17th to the 21st century,

Felt to Pottery. Storytelling to Stargazing. Ethnic Fair to Agricultural Fair. Earth Songs to Revolutionary War… 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!

Featured learning highlight this week is a free summer celebration at the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage in Greenfield on Sunday afternoon, August 4th. See the art of blacksmithing with a live demonstration and learn what a blacksmith might have made, other than horseshoes! There will also be an opportunity to learn about textile technology with hands-on activities for all ages, and to view several exhibits on Franklin County’s industrial history, including “Textile Town: Conway’s Industrial History” and “Industry and Innovation: Franklin County’s Unique History.” Light fare and live music will add to the festive atmosphere too! Come celebrate and learn a  few new things about Franklin County’s rich industrial history!

TheaterHistoryNature Studies/HikesArts & CraftsMuseum AdventuresAstronomyCultural StudiesMusic Studies


  • The Little Mermaid, Jr. – The Barrington Stage Company presents a production of The Little Mermaid, Jr. at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield every Wednesday-Sunday through August 11th at various times.. The production follows the plot of the classic Disney film and has been adapted for a theatrical performance.
  • Just So Stories – CactusHead Puppets will perform Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst on Saturday, August 3rd for two shows. Their adaptations of classic animal stories include How the Camel Got His Hump, How the Rhino Got His Skin, and The Beginning of the Armadillos.
  • King King, Jr. – Paintbox Theatre presents King Kong, Jr. on Saturday morning, a production of King Kong with a twist for kids! Performance takes place in the Smith College Mendenhall Center, Theatre 14 in Northampton.
  • Just So Stories – The Berkshire Theatre Group presents Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories on Saturday in Stockbridge. Kipling’s stories answer questions like, “how did the leopard get its spots?” with witty and whimsical answers sure to entertain audience members of all ages. The show takes place outside on the Neil Ellenoff Stage and runs to August 10.
  • Shrek the Musical – On Saturday evening & Sunday afternoon in Turners Falls, Ja’Duke presents Shrek the Musical, based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to dazzling new life on the stage.
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes – The Majestic Children’s Theater is putting on a production of The Emperor’s New Clothes in West Springfield. Performance are on scheduled Saturday, August 4th through Monday, August 6th. Kids will enjoy this classic story and maybe even be inspired to start acting themselves!


Learn about and experience the Civil War through a reenactment at Look Park in Florence on Saturday & Sunday this weekend. The “Battle at the Pines” features a company drill, artillery demonstrations, a naval landing party, a talk on medicine and surgery during wartime, afternoon tea, train robberies, battles, and more! There will also be an authentic Civil War Ballroom cotillion in the evening with music and called dancing.

Visit Sturbridge Village for the largest Revolutionary War reenactment in New England on Saturday & Sunday as “Redcoats and Rebels” transforms the Village into a military camp and offers loads of fun activities that help teach about the war. There will be mock battles, tours of the British and American camps, cannon demonstrations, musket drilling, martial music, 18th-century baseball and dances, a chance to see an American soldier’s daily life, and much more. There will also be a cannonball barrage at 6pm and a chance to hear the love story of John and Abigail Adams.

Learn about the history of Stockbridge on the fourth cemetery tour of the summer on Saturday, August 3rd! This tour’s theme is, “Changed the World: Buried in Stockbridge.” Discover the lives of Stockbridge residents who made history through inventions, ways of thought, and more.

Join the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage for a free summer celebration on Sunday afternoon, August 4th in Greenfield! There will be local bands, a blacksmithing demonstration, an opportunity to learn about textile technology, several exhibits on Franklin County’s history, light fare, and more. Participants will get to hear great live music and learn new things about Franklin County’s rich industrial history.

Captain Denis Cormier of Hands On History will present a free interactive lecture on the Revolutionary War at the Erving Public Library on Tuesday afternoon, August 6th. He will bring authentic weapons, historical artifacts, uniforms, and clothing and use storytelling to present information. After the presentation, kids are invited to handle the artifacts and try on the clothing. This is a fun way to learn about an important piece of US history.


The Trustees of Reservations and Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center are teaming up to lead a hike at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington on Saturday morning, August 3rd. The hike will focus on the Homestead’s many large trees and the history of the land. Learn about the connections between ecology and human history while learning about the natural history of this site.

Enjoy a slow-paced hike with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council at Basin Pond in Lee on Wednesday morning, August 7th. The Pond has beautiful views and dam remnants from two historic dams that existed (and ultimately failed) at the property in the 19th and 20th centuries. This hike is a great way to experience a local natural area and learn about some local history in the process.


Learn to make Felt Geodes with Darcy Tozier at the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library in Whately at a free afternoon class on Saturday, August 3rd. Beginning felting will be taught by Darcy Tozier from Hayloft Studio. Learn the basics of wet felting with wool and turn a fluffy pile of sheep’s wool into a colorful wool geode. Your wool ball will be cut open to reveal beautiful colors inside. All ages welcome, adults too!

Are you interested in learning more about clay and pottery? The Worthington Library is holding a free Dig Into Reading event with Pied Potter Hamelin on Thursday morning, August 8th. Participants will have the opportunity to “dig into” clay and learn all about different types of pottery.


The Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting “Sharing Stories: A Special Family Day” on Saturday afternoon, August 3rd in Stockbridge. John Porcino, a storyteller and performer, will be walking the grounds as the Museum’s roaming storyteller, ready to tell you a story or do a magic trick at a moment’s notice! Marmalade Productions will present a shadow puppet performance and workshop where you can learn how to create your own shadow puppets. There will also be other activities and the opportunity to make your own folk tale.

Free Fun Friday on August 9th at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst offers visitors the chance to explore the museum’s exhibits. See Mo Willems and Eric Carle films, participate in scavenger hunts, do art activities, hear a special storytime, and even meet the Very Hungry Caterpillar! This is a great opportunity to explore an exciting local museum and all it has to offer.


Want to learn about astronomy first-hand? Join the Trustees of Reservations and the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center on Saturday, August 3rd for a free evening of stargazing and searching for moons, planets, galaxies, and more at Notchview in Windsor!

The Milham Planetarium at Williams College in Williamstown will be open to the public for a free planetarium show every Tuesday & Thursday through August 13th. Families can learn about the motions of the planets, the phases of the moon, comets, and much more!


Enjoy food and entertainment from all over the world at the Pittsfield Ethnic Fair on Sunday, August 4th. There will also be a classic car show by the Piston Poppers Car Club, live music, a DJ, crafts, and more. Attendees can learn about the many different cultures that are represented in the Berkshires and what their traditional food and music is like.

On Sunday afternoon, the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield will host a screening of the documentary, The Other Half of Tomorrow, follow by a talkback with mother-daughter filmmaker duo of Sadia Shepard and Samina Quraeshi. The Other Half of Tomorrow is a portrait of contemporary Pakistani women working to change their country and themselves. Through a series of chapters, the film features the work these women are involved in, like educating and empowering with a women’s rights’ workshop, allowing for expression in an underground dance academy, and improving strength and confidence from playing fields of the Pakistan Women’s Cricket Team. Take your older daughters and screen together. Talk with them about cultural differences and challenges women and girls face all over the world… and how they are overcoming them!


Davis Bates and Roger Tincknell will perform “Earth Rhythms: Stories and Songs for the Whole Earth” at the Lenox Library on Thursday morning, August 8th. “Earthy Rhythms” is an interactive music program that celebrates the natural world and teaches environmental awareness and stewardship.

The Longmeadow Parks and Recreation Department is hosting Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots World Music at Greenwood Center on Friday evening, August 9th. Gelinas will facilitate an intergenerational drum and song jam featuring music from Africa, the Caribbean, and other parts of the world. This is an exciting way to learn about musical styles from around the world. Open to all ages.

Parents and older students interested in music studies will enjoy seeing a performance by Banish Misfortune at the Great Falls Discovery Center on Friday evening in Turners Falls. Banish Misfortune is a six-piece group of musicians who play traditional Irish music. They play a variety of instruments, including fiddle, concertina, flute, mandolin, accordion, and guitar. This concert is a great opportunity for those interested in music studies to experience traditional Celtic music and many interesting instruments.

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about these events and over 150 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.

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