22 Community Highlights: Tractors to Airplanes. Reggae to Gershwin.

Antique Tractors at the Cummington Fair

Tractors to Airplanes. Tomato Fest to Breakfast. Reggae to Gershwin…

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 highlights this week are all about transportation and engines! The first annual Great New England Wings and Wheels show takes place at Westover Metropolitan Airport this weekend and North Adams’ Motorama event is back for its third year on Sunday! And the Cummington Fair this weekend features small engines too, including an antique engines & tractor show.  Check out our Engines & Aircraft highlights for all the details!

Engines & Aircraft Nature StudiesHikesLocal Food & Community BreakfastMusic StudiesGeology & PaleontologyChildren’s Literature

Engines & Aircraft

The first annual Great New England Wings and Wheels show takes place at Westover Metropolitan Airport on Saturday & Sunday, August 24th & 25th in Westfield! See both vintage and modern aircraft and automobiles up close. This is a fun way to learn about the history of cars and airplanes with music, food, and more.

See the movie Airplane! (1980; rated PG) with MASS MoCA at the Harriman-West Airport in North Adams on Saturday evening! The Airport offers great views of the Berkshires and the movie, a comedy classic, will be screened on the hangar. There will be food, antique automobiles and airplanes, and balsa wood toy planes for the first 100 kids! This unique event will be memorable for the whole family!

North Adams’ Motorama event is back for its third year on Sunday! Streets will closed so cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles, tractors, and other small engined vehicles can fill the streets. Families can stroll around and look at all the different vehicles on display, asking questions and get a hands on look at many different forms of motorized transportation.

If you’re looking for more opportunities for your family to get a close up look at engines and various forms of motorized vehicles, the agricultural fairs often have tractor and antique car displays.  The Cummington Fair this weekend has both, including an antique engines & tractor show. Children’s author Billy Steers, author of the “Tractor Mac” series, will be at the Fair on Saturday morning, too

Nature Studies

Explore summer wildflowers with the Hitchcock Center for the Environment and naturalist Nancy Goodman at Podick Swamp in Amherst on Saturday, August 24. The walk will take families around the conservation area, exploring the different habitats and investigate late-season blooms and interesting natural areas. The walk is part of the Center’s 50th Anniversary Field Walk Series and is best suited for adults or older students interested in plants and nature.

Pack up the kids and visit the Mt. Tom State Reservation in Holyoke on Saturday at noon to discover summer species around the park. Bring clothes that can get muddy and come prepared to learn about the many different plants and animals that you can observe during the summer! Then on Sunday at noon, come to Mt. Tom State Reservation’s Life Around the Lake to learn about the different wildlife in and around Bray Lake and to see what creatures you’re able to spot.


Explore the Phelps Trail with the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation on Saturday afternoon, August 24th. The Trail starts in Williamstown and connects with the Taconic Crest Trail. This free hike is a strenuous, four-mile hike with a 1,300-foot climb – you will walk through meadows, a pine grove, fern glades, and see interesting geologic features. Meet in Dietze Interpretive Center, where you will carpool to the trailhead. Due to the strenuous nature of the hike, it is best for adults or older students.

Hike Berkshire Natural Resource Council’s newest reserve, Perry’s Peak Road Reserve (formerly Shaw Property) on Wednesday morning, August 28th in Richmond. Perry’s Peak is 139 acres of field and forest, adjacent to Sleepy Hollow Brook and with views of Yokun Ridge. The hike is an easy 3-4 miles on grassy paths and roads and would be appropriate for adventurous kids and adults.

Mount Greylock State Reservation’s Wednesday morning Nice and Easy Hikes in Lanesborough are geared toward seniors but are open to all ages. Great opportunity for grandparents to take their grandkids on a morning adventure! Explore the Reservation while learning about things like plants, animals, and natural history.

Enjoy a beautiful sunset atop Crag Mountain and celebrate the end of summer with Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center on a free sunset hike on Friday evening, August 30. Pack a picnic dinner, bring the family (ages 9 and up), and enjoy this evening hike and everything the mountain has to offer, including summer plants and wildlife, as well as views of several states! The hike is 3 miles and requires some scrambling up rocks.

Local Food & Community Breakfast

The Red Fire Farm Tomato Festival happens on Saturday afternoon, August 24th in Granby! The Festival kicks off with a 5k race – the “Tomato Trot” – and continues with guest chef demonstrations, a wild edibles workshop, flower arranging workshop, tomato canning workshop, live music, kids activities, food and craft vendors, and a tomato tasting event. The Festival celebrates local organic farms and, of course, tomatoes!

The 47th Annual Community Breakfast will be held on Wednesday morning, August 28th, in the Student Union Ballroom at UMass Amherst. The breakfast is meant to encourage community members of all ages and backgrounds (students, business owners, residents, etc.) to interact with one another and meet newcomers. The breakfast happens every year to signal the start of the academic year.

Music Studies

Saturday afternoon, August 24th, is Tanglewood’s annual Family Concert in Lenox! The concert will be “Musical Storytelling” featuring a wind quintet. There will also be pre-concert activities, including a composition exercise, crafts, and an instrument playground where kids can try out instruments. This event is great for family members of all ages and offers a chance for kids and adults to experience the beautiful Tanglewood venue while learning about different types of music and instruments.

The Old Deerfield Sunday Afternoon Concert Series concludes Sunday evening, August 25th, with a special tribute to Lucy Terry Prince, an African American resident of Deerfield and poet known for her songwriting and storytelling. The concert is titled, “The Black Man in Song” and features tenor Irwin Reese and pianist Julia Bady. August 25th is also the anniversary of the 1746 Bar Fights, the last Indian raid to take place in Deerfield. Prince’s only remaining poem chronicles the raid. The concert celebrates Prince’s life and legacy through 18th-century songs and stories about Prince and the time period. Older students interested in history or music would benefit from this program. Takes place at the Memorial Hall Museum.

The Mount Mineral Music Festival in Wendell on Sunday afternoon, August 25th, is a celebration of world music and roots reggae, featuring a bonfire, teepee, hammock village, magician, an African craft market, and live music from various performers.

Plainfield Concerts at 7 presents a free evening of American music on Monday, August 26th, featuring pieces by Amy Beach, Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, and George Gershwin. Recommended for adults and older students with audience skills and an interest in music studies

Geology & Paleontology

Field Farm’sdisappearing stream” is a natural wonder of the Berkshires. Join the Trustees of Reservations on Wednesday afternoon, August 28th in Williamstown and learn how this stream manages to disappear and where it goes. Geologist Dick Hamilton will teach about Field Farm’s karst geologic formations, which are shaped by bedrock dissolutions. Why does this happen? When did it happen? These are among the many questions Hamilton will address on this free moderate two mile hike.

Come to Mt. Tom State Reservation in Holyoke on Friday morning, August 30th to learn all about the dinosaurs of the Connecticut River Valley! Are you curious to know about their behavior, appearance, and eating habits? This free program will tell the story of dinosaurs in the Valley – you can even see some of their tracks!

Children’s Literature

This summer Hilltown Families has featured a Literary Guide Series, sharing downloadable guides of children’s literature from graduate students in the Integrated Learning teacher preparation program at Antioch University New England.  If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here and download guides to some of your favorite picture books!

MASS MoCA in North Adams invites families to a special event with artist Michael Oatman on Saturday afternoon, August 24th.  Oatman is responsible for the museum’s installation, all utopias fell.  Families can climb aboard the installation’s spaceship and make their own space gear for a trip to the moon.  Oatman will be there to answer questions, lead a discussion, and read from his children’s book, Tiny Pie.

Author David Rowinski and illustrator Dea Lenihan will read from their book The Open Pillow at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst on Saturday afternoon, August 24th.  They will share stories about the creation of the book and how words can inspire pictures, and vice versa.  A signing will follow the storytime.

On Monday afternoon, August 26th, Join the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley for a free book release party for Ah Ha!, the newest book by children’s author/illustrator Jeff Mack.  The book tells the story of a frog who would like to have a relaxing day at the pond – but some things turn out not quite as Frog expected.  The book uses only the letters “a” and “h” – the story is told through “ahh”s, “ah ha”s, and “ha ha”s, making it a truly unique children’s book.  In order to celebrate the book’s release, Mack will be at the store to read from the book and sign copies.  There will also be a frog jumping contest and frog cake!

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about these events and many 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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