Suggested Events for July 5th-11th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I use your Facebook updates and your regular emails to find things to do with my kids every week. We just moved to western Mass about a year ago . . . at one of our first trips to the park another mom told me about you, and I am so glad she did! I’d be lost as a SAHM otherwise.” – Barbara Smith (Greenfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jul 5-Aug 3

Stiltwalkers, puppets, masks, theater and storytelling make for magical performances under the stars at Ko Festival of Performance — July 5-August 3 in Amherst! KoFest’s 23rd season, on the Amherst College campus, presents five weeks of theater, 15 performances, two all-ages events, three intensive theater workshops, a Story Slam, and so much more. Special family events are Saturday, July 5 at 5:00 pm: Carpetbag Brigade’s outdoor acrobatic stilt extravaganza, “Callings.” And Sunday, July 20 at 8:00 pm, don’t miss Mettawee River Company’s “The Dancing Fox” wisdom tales from the Middle East, told through puppetry and masks. KoFest tickets $7-$20, online and at the Box Office: 413-542-3750. Visit: www.kofest.com or email: info@kofest.com

Jul 7-Aug 15

The Summer Spectacular Family Series at the Springfield Museums features great family entertainment every weekday, including fun art and science activities, live reptile demos and more, all free with museum admission! Great family shows every Wednesday – Friday, including the Tanglewood Marionettes on Thursdays, plus Grammy-nominated The Pop Ups, Mister G, and many others. There’s also Music in the Museums every Tuesday & Thursday for parents and kids age 0-5, plus the special Life Through Time exhibit of roaring, stomping mechanical dinosaurs and Ice-age mammals (extra fee). General admission is free on Friday, July 18 through the Highland Street Foundation’s Free Fun Friday program! Check www.springfieldmuseums.org for a full schedule.

Jul 10

Explore the amazing, up-close worlds of common animals—from butterflies and birds to frogs and flying squirrels—with award-winning photographer and writer David FitzSimmons at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Thursday, July 10 at 11am. With the help of the audience, David will perform parts of his Curious Critters picture books. Children will shriek like hawks, hop like toads, and slither like snakes. Learn how butterflies drink, ways mammals fly, and why frogs sing. Show includes puppets and take-home activities for all children at this free event! If that weren’t already enough, staff from Mass Audubon’s Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary will share fun facts and artifacts from local critters, as well as a live turtle! www.odysseybks.com

Jul 9 – Aug 9

Join NCT Kids! this summer for 2 family-friendly musicals based on beloved children’s books. First up is Judith Viorst’s classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day about a boy who is having the world’s worst day! Sing along with Alexander as he learns that everyone has a bad day every now and then but the great thing is…there’s always tomorrow! Next up it’s the rollicking, mischievous, off-the-wall adventures of SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole! Based on the bestselling book series about the Siamese kitten who thinks he’s a chihuahua super hero, SkippyJon Jones and the Cirque De Ole is a tuneful romp through the big-top of Skippy’s imagination. For tickets call 413-585-3220 or online www.newcenturytheatre.org

Amherst Montessori School is now enrolling children ages 12 months – 6th grade for Fall 2014. AMS fosters the natural self-construction, cognitive development, and social-emotional well-being of each child in programs that include music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE and yoga. Spanish language exposure for ages 3-12, with an optional Spanish bilingual classroom for ages 3-6 (Casa de Niños). Afterschool programming includes options like private instrument lessons, theater, soccer, and band. Limited spaces available at all levels. Contact Laura Miller, Director of Admissions, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org for more information. www.amherstmontessori.org

Circus Smirkus is coming to Northampton on July 29 & 30, and Hilltown Families is a proud premier sponsor! Find out how you can be our guests at one of the four shows taking place at the Three-County Fairgrounds! Subscribe to our eNewsletter and find out how you can enter for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets with preferred seating! Best seats in the house will give our guests an opportunity to see the award-winning, international traveling youth circus up close during this exuberant & joyful two-hour show! Presented by North Star: Self-Directed Learning for Teens. For more info about the show, or to purchase tickets, visit www.northstarteens.org/circus-smirkus.

From the state where the American Revolution began, families can take part in the multitude of Fourth of July celebrations happening in western Massachusetts! On the eve for July 4th, you can catch fireworks in Easthampton or South Hadley, and then on Friday, July 4th, fireworks and parades take place across the region, from North Adams to Springfield (some with rain dates)! Check our post, 2014 Fourth of July Celebrations & Fireworks in Western Massachusetts, for all the details!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer program, school, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
July 5th-11th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. This week is a rebroadcast of our 4th of July Birthday Episode. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from 7 years!

Saturday, July 5, TBA – CULINARY ARTS: Kids and adults can learn to cook traditional Shaker meals at Hancock Shaker Village! Learn about whole grains, eating in season, food preservation, fermentation, and more. This is a great way for kids to learn about cooking while spending time with a parent. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $$

Saturday, July 5, 10am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Buckland Public Library for a science-themed storytime! Engage in the summer reading theme of “Fizz, Boom, Read!” with stories, activities, and a snack. 413-625-9412. 30 Upper Street. Buckland, MA.

Saturday, July 5, 10am-3pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: Medicine Mammals will present a program on Native American traditional and contemporary music, drumming, dance, and storytelling at Mountain View Campground. This program also includes a talk about wild animals in our state, and there will even be some animals present that are being rehabilitated! All ages will enjoy this fun and educational program. 413-269-8928. Route 8. Otis, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 5, 10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Experience life in an early New England kitchen at Historic Deerfield‘s Open Hearth Cooking demonstrations! Learn how people in early New England kept cool during the summer and how they preserved fresh produce for the winter months. These cooking demonstrations allow visitors of all ages to see what life was like in the past and the types of chores and activities they would do had they lived several hundred years ago! Free with admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $

Saturday, July 5, 10:30am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Join Odyssey Bookshop for their Summer Family Entertainment Series every Saturday this summer at 10:30am. This week, see Ed Popielarczyk perform magic and comedy. This series is a fun way for the whole family to get outside and have some fun together on a Saturday morning! 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 5, 10:30am-11:30am – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids ages 2-5 and an adult can participate in an Art Lab at the Berkshire Museum. Come build fine motor skills and improve language by using paintbrushes, learning colors and techniques, and more. Space is limited; call to register. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171 x10. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, July 5, 10:30am & 1pm – THEATER: Paintbox Theatre presents a performance of Cinderella at the Northampton Senior Center. All ages will enjoy seeing their interesting take on this classic tale! Tickets available in advance. 413-210-1898. 67 Conz Street. Northampton, MA. $$

Saturday, July 5, 11am & 1pm – PUPPET SHOW: CactusHead Puppets presents, The Tale of Juan Bobo, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Bring the family and come meet Juan Bobo! He always tries to do the right thing, but often makes mistakes. For Juan, even the smallest task can lead to the silliest of results. But can Juan Bobo’s seemingly foolish actions end up saving the day? Join CactusHead Puppets as they bring this classic Puerto Rican folktale to life. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (>$)

Saturday, July 5, 11am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Mister G will be at the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library to perform a free outdoor concert/album release show for his new CD, The Bossy E, which is all about books! Pack a picnic and blankets and bring the whole family to this concert that both kids and adults will enjoy! 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 5, 11am-12noon – PUPPETRY: Kids can learn about puppetry at Spectrum Playhouse during a shadow puppet workshop with local puppeteer Dr. Marmalade! Make your own shadow puppets and create a story! 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA.

Saturday, July 5, 11:15am, 3:15pm, & 8:15pm – DANCE: Jacob’s Pillow presents Bleu!, an interactive dance performance for all ages by Compagnia T.P.O. Through light, animation, and music, this performance explores an underwater world of mythical sea creatures and ancient legends. Audience members of all ages are welcome to come onstage and participate in the performance. This unique and exciting show can get young kids interested in dance and theater. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. $$

Saturday, July 5, 11:30am-12:15pm – STEM: Families with kids in preschool-3rd grade can come to the Mason Library for SIK Science. Come learn about science and have fun making bouncy balls! 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, July 5, 12noon-4:30pm – HISTORY: Starting on July 5 and running every day until August 14, you can participate in a hands-on History Workshop at Historic Deerfield – “A Botanical Journey: Exploring Plants and People in the Past.” You can learn about the importance of certain plants to New Englanders of the past and learn how to make an herbarium and pressed flowers. Visitors can also explore the museum using a botanical guide to make connections between plants and what they are seeing in exhibitions and the museum’s grounds. Drop-in activity. 413-774-5581. Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $

Saturday, July 5, 1pm – HISTORY: Learn about the Springfield Armory‘s historic weapons at a Blank Firing Demonstration. Visitors can see the weapons, hear the rifles blasting, and smell the burning gunpowder at this demonstration. Seeing the firing demonstration can teach students of all ages about historic weapons and what the Springfield Armory was used for in the past. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, July 5, 1pm-4:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Celebrate and learn about the history of Tyringham and Monterey at the Bidwell House Museum. There will be colonial reenactors, live music, children’s activities, a baking contest, author talks, historic craft demonstrations, and more. 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road. Monterey, MA.

Saturday, July 5, 2pm-3pm – CULINARY ARTS: Teens and tweens in grades 5-12 can come to the Sunderland Public Library for a fun afternoon of ice cream-making! Design your own flavor and then enter a taste test competition! Registration is required. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 5, 2:30pm & 3:30pm – CONCERT: Join the Porter-Phelps Huntington House Museum for A Perfect Spot of Tea, their summer tea and music series based on the colonial tradition. Sit on the museum’s back veranda and enjoy tea, pastries, and live music. This week, Pete McLean and Mike Ingram will perform a variety of tunes. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive. Hadley, MA. $

Saturday, July 5, 4pm-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Discover the fascinating history of the Stockbridge Gilded Age cottages at the Stockbridge Library’s third cemetery tour of the season – “Stockbridge Cottages: Who, When, and Why.” Come to Stockbridge Cemetery to learn who built the cottages, as well as when, where, and why they were built. The tour also examines some of the new businesses made possible by the cottage lifestyle. These cemetery tours are a fun way to learn about the history of Stockbridge. 413-298-5501. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. >$

Saturday, July 5, 4pm-11pm – FIREWORKS: There will be fireworks, food, and music at Stanley Park, sponsored by the Westfield Rotary Club. Rain date is 7/6. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 5, 4:30 – FIREWORKS: The Greenfield Independence Day Celebration features live music, dance, food, and fireworks. Fireworks start at 9:35pm. Rain date 7/6. 195 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, July 5, 5pm – THEATER: Ko Festival of Performance at Amherst College presents Carpetbag Bridage’s “CALLINGS,” a performance for all ages on the Amherst College Observatory lawn. This performance features exciting acrobatics and stilt walking that both kids and adults will love seeing. 413-542-3750. Snell Street. Amherst, MA. $$

Saturday, July 5, 6pm – MUSIC/HISTORY: The Aston Magna Music Festival presents “Music From a Turbulent 17th Century England” at Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. The performance features galliards, laments, and sonatas from before and after the English Civil War, performed with vocals, organ, theorbo, lute, baroque violins, and viola de gamba. Older students interested in music studies would enjoy this performance. Kids 16 and under get in free with a paying adult. Student ticket prices also available. 800-595-4849. 84 Alford Road. Great Barrington, MA. $$$

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Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see 7 years of archived shows.

Sunday, July 6, 9am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Buckley-Dunton Lake in October Mountain State Forest with Mass Audubon! Learn about the beavers and herons that live there, see the pond’s coves and inlets, see boreal plant communities, and look for animals like moose and porcupines. This program is open to ages 10 and up (with an adult). Registration is required; directions given upon registration. 413-637-0320. Becket, MA. $$$

Sunday, July 6, 10am – HISTORY: Learn about the roles, relationships, living conditions, and working expectations of the 20 servants who staffed The Mount and its property each summer on a Backstairs Tour. Those who are interested in history and want to know more about class dynamics in the late 1800s and early 1900s will enjoy this tour. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. $$

Sunday, July 6, 10am – MUSIC: Campers from the Greenwood Music Camp will perform at the Sunday morning service at Cummington Village Church on July 6, 13, 20, and 27. Come to the interfaith service and enjoy hearing the music students perform with their voices and instruments. 413-634-5508. 32 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 6, 11:15am & 3:15pm – DANCE: Jacob’s Pillow presents Bleu!, an interactive dance performance for all ages by Compagnia T.P.O. Through light, animation, and music, this performance explores an underwater world of mythical sea creatures and ancient legends. Audience members of all ages are welcome to come onstage and participate in the performance. This unique and exciting show can get young kids interested in dance and theater. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. $$

Sunday, July 6, 1pm – PUPPET SHOW: CactusHead Puppets presents, The Tale of Juan Bobo, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Bring the family and come meet Juan Bobo! He always tries to do the right thing, but often makes mistakes. For Juan, even the smallest task can lead to the silliest of results. But can Juan Bobo’s seemingly foolish actions end up saving the day? Join CactusHead Puppets as they bring this classic Puerto Rican folktale to life. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (>$)

Sunday, July 6, 1pm – MUSIC: The Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood presents Watch and Play, a program designed to engage kids ages 3-10 in Tanglewood’s musical experience. Musicians will present an interactive musical performance in order to teach kids about musical concepts, instruments, and concert themes. This program is free with tickets to the Sunday afternoon performance. 617-266-1200. 297 West Street. Lenox, MA. $$-$$$

Sunday, July 6, 1pm-3:30pm – ICE CREAM SOCIAL: Spend time with family, friends, and community members cooling off at the Keep Homestead Museum‘s Ice Cream Social. Come create your own ice cream sundae, tour the (air conditioned!) museum, hike the lower trails, and learn about local history. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 6, 1pm-4pm – MUSIC/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The Museum of Our Industrial Heritage is holding their Summer Celebration and Fiddle Fest on July 6. Renowned local fiddler Donna Hébert will perform with her trio, fiddle students will perform, and there will be a fiddle jam open to all. Visitors can also take a guided walk along the Green River, see the museum’s new exhibit “Rags to Riches,” see demonstrations, do hands-on activities, and more. This event is great for families looking to explore the museum. 413-336-8275. 2 Mead Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 6, 1pm-5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Double Edge Theatre at their “Celebrate Living Culture” event. The afternoon includes an open house, tours, fun family activities, raffles, and an exhibition following the Theatre’s 20-year history. This is a great opportunity to learn more about Double Edge Theatre and explore their farm. Free and open to the public. 413-628-0277. 948 Conway Road. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 6, 2pm – FILM: Join Amherst Cinema for Big Screen Classics, where they screen a classic film each Sunday and following Wednesday. This week, see A Hard Day’s Night (1964; rated G), the classic musical comedy about a day in the life of The Beatles. This is a great way for families to experience classic films on the big screen! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, July 6, 5pm-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Come to Williamstown’s Summer Sundays for hands-on art activities, live music, pony rides, food, yoga, and more. Stick around for Images Cinema’s Family Flicks Under the Stars outdoor movie program. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, July 6, 8pm – OUTDOOR MOVIE: Join Images Cinema on Morgan Lawn for Family Flicks Under the Stars. This week, come see A Hard Day’s Night (1964; not rated), a musical comedy film about a day in the life of The Beatles. The OK Chorale will perform Beatles music from 8pm-8:30pm. 413-458-5612. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, July 7th, 2014

Monday, July 7, TBA – LAWN CONCERT: The Tilton Library presents their Monday Night Music series of concerts on the library lawn. On July 7, Industrial Waste will perform an acoustic assortment of Old-Time, Irish, and Contra Dance tunes. Bring a blanket and lawn chair and enjoy time spent with family and friends enjoying great live music! 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA.

Monday, July 7, 9am-12noon – THEATER CAMP: Kids in grades 3-5 can attend theater camp at the Westhampton Public Library on July 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Read Jane Yolen’s Merlin and the Dragons and then create a play, sets, and music. The final performance takes place on July 11 at 6:30pm. Call to sign up ASAP! 413-313-6722. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA.

Monday, July 7, 10am, 1pm, & 6:30pm – THEATER: Majestic Children’s Theater presents a production of Pinocchio this July. Kids and adults will enjoy seeing this classic fairy tale come to life onstage! 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. $

Monday, July 7, 10am-11:30am – FARM STUDIES: Kids ages 4 and under and their parents/caregivers can visit Red Gate Farm for Mornings on the Farm this summer. Come explore the farm and the seasonal changes it has gone through, learn about and meet the animals, enjoy treats from the garden, ask questions, and enjoy hands-on activities. This is a great chance for young kids to experience all a local farm has to offer. Call ASAP to sign up. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. >$

Monday, July 7, 10am-5pm – AVIATION/STEM: The New England Air Museum is offering fun, educational activities for kids every day this summer! From July 7-July 13, museum visitors can build and race balloon rockets. Learn about engineering, science, and technology by building these rockets and then racing them! 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. $

Monday, July 7, 10:30am-11:30am – STEM: South Berkshire Kids is offering a STEM program for kids ages 3-7 at the Lee Library on July 7, 14, 21, and 28. Come by for fun STEM learning activities. 413-464-5095. 100 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 7, 10:30am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Kids ages 8-11 are invited to participate in the Great Falls Discovery Center‘s Junior Ranger program on July 7, 14, 21, and 28. Learn about the plants and animals living in the Connecticut River watershed and explore your surroundings at this fun program. Space is limited; registration is required. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Monday, July 7, 2pm – THEATER: The Berkshire Theatre Group presents “Irving Berlin on Broadway and in Hollywood” as part of their Ellenoff Musical Theatre Series. BTG Acting Apprentice Company members will perform some of Berlin’s most famous songs from the 1910s to the 1960s. Students interested in musical theater will enjoy seeing this performance of classic Broadway tunes! Takes place at the Colonial Theatre. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $)

Monday, July 7, 2pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Families can come see Muppets From Space (1999; rated G) at the Westfield Athenaeum. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Monday, July 7, 7pm – THEATER: Amherst Cinema presents a screening of National Theatre Live’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, based on the bestselling book by Mark Haddon. The play is about a teenage boy who is accused of killing a neighbor’s dog, who then does detective work to find the true killer. Older teens and adults will enjoy this fascinating mystery story. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $$

Monday, July 7, 7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: You may know about Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, but did you know that it’s considered to be haunted? Come see for yourself on one of The Mount’s ghost tours. The tour will take you through the stables and the main house, where you will learn about and even witness the property’s haunted creaks and footsteps. Not recommended for children under 12. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 413-551-5100. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. $$

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS (We are building up our summer ongoing list! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is holding a Summer Park Play Date at Jackson Street School’s playground every Monday from June 30 until August 4. 413-582-2636. 120 Jackson Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – HISTORY: Kids can experience a day in the life of a Shaker child on one of Hancock Shaker Village’s Young Shaker’s Tour, which take place every day at 11am this summer. Kids, accompanied by an adult, can learn about school for Shaker children, meet the barn animals, and do a hands-on activity. Check with your local library to see if you can get a museum pass to HSV! Young Shaker’s Tour is not included in cost of admission. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $-$$
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can come to tummy time at the Forbes Library every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 2pm-3pm – INSECT STUDIES: Every Monday in July and August, study the caterpillars in the Berkshire Museum‘s “Butterflies” exhibition and learn about their life stages at a “Caterpillar Chat.” Discover some of their amazing adaptations at this program. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $
  • 2pm-3pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The West Springfield Public Library is offering a guided arts and crafts program for ages 9-15 every Monday from June 30-August 4. Please register. 413-736-4561 x3. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-7:30pm – SPORTS: Kids and adults 12 and up can come play pickup soccer at Pettingill Park in Cummington. All experience levels welcome. Runs all summer. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm-9:30pm – MUSIC: Every second and fourth Monday, the Montague Retreat Center holds a Community Singing Night. Come express yourself and your music at these intergenerational, community-oriented singing events. 413-824-0855. 177 Ripley Road. Montague, MA.

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Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Tuesday, July 8, 9:30am-10:30am & 6:30pm-7:30pm – YOGA: All ages can attend free outdoor yoga together from 9:30am-10:30am at Pulaski Park (Main Street) and from 6:30pm-7:30pm at Childs Park (Woodlawn Avenue) with instructor Beth Tascione. This is a great chance for kids to participate in an intergenerational activity and to try out yoga to see if they like it! Every Tuesday in July. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 8, 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids 6 and under and a parent/caregiver are invited to attend a drop-in playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School, held by Frontier Regional CFCE. The group focuses on early literacy and there will be indoor and outdoor time, snacks, and info on childcare and community resources. Takes place Tuesday July 8, 15, 22, 29, and August 5 and 12, as well as Friday July 11 and August 1. 413-369-4353. Old Amherst Road. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 8, 10am – BOOK GROUP: Kids in first and second grade can attend a Book Worms Reading Group at the Westfield Athenaeum on July 8. Come read a book together and then do related activities together. Registration is required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Tuesday, July 8, 10am & 1pm – THEATER: Majestic Children’s Theater presents a production of Pinocchio this July. Kids and adults will enjoy seeing this classic fairy tale come to life onstage! 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. $

Tuesday, July 8, 10am-11am – STEM/ARTS: Kids ages 3-6 can come to the Dalton Free Public Library for a weekly program focused on integrating science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. There will be storytime, arts and crafts, and a snack. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 8, 11am-12noon – ARCHITECTURE: The Hatfield Public Library will be undergoing construction in a few years. Kids ages 5-12 can come explore architecture concepts by helping to plan what the new library could look like! This is a great chance to get kids engaged in a community project and get them interested in architecture and construction. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 8, 11:15am-12:15am – ARTS & CRAFTS/CULTURAL STUDIES: Kids ages 7 and up can learn about Native American rain sticks and make their own at the Mason Library. Registration is required. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA.

Tuesday, July 8, 1pm – DRAWING/PERFORMANCE: Cartoonist Paul Merklein will be at the Berkshire Athenaeum for “Paul Merklein Draws Superhero Faces!” Come see him draw the faces of famous superheroes, and maybe even some audience members! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 8, 3pm – ARTS AND CRAFTS/LANGUAGE ARTS: Join Odyssey Bookshop for Camp Odyssey! This once-a-week camp features a weekly book and activities to go along with it. Recommended for kids age 5 and up, this week’s book/activity is “Design Your Own Glitter Tattoos.” Registration is required by July 6. 514-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. >$

Tuesday, July 8, 5pm-6pm – WRITING: Kids in grades 5-12 can come to the Sunderland Public Library for a writing workshop with authors and illustrators. Practice your writing skills and do creative writing exercises. Runs every Tuesday from June 24-July 29. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 8, 6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: Musical Moments at Amelia’s Garden, the Amelia Park Ice Arena summer concert series, presents easy listening music by the Pitoniak Brothers. This concert is fun for the whole family – bring lawn chairs, pack a picnic dinner, and enjoy the sunset while listening to great music. 413-568-2503. 21 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, July 8, 6:30pm – INSECT STUDIES/SERVICE LEARNING: Heifer International Bee Festival at Storrs Library. Come welcome Heifer International Representative, Liz Woolsey, as she presents a film, games, and real-life stories illustrating the amazing work performed by this organization; and the amazing work of bees.  Liz will also conduct many fun and interesting bee activities including a bee craft.  Sign up. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (We are building up our summer ongoing list! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 10am – STORYTIME: Come to the Goodwin Memorial Library every Tuesday for storytime! Runs all year. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA.
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Storytime for toddlers at the Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Children ages 3-6 and their parents are invited to the Great Falls Discovery Center’s Kidleidoscope event! Kidleidoscope focuses on teaching young children about the natural world using the theme “we share our home.” Activities include stories, interactive games, and crafts. Kidleidoscope runs every Tuesday through October 7. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am & 1:30pm – THEATER/AVIATION: If you’re visiting the New England Air Museum on a Tuesday this summer, be sure to check out a performance of Paper Airplanes, an original play by Alison Moncrief about the Connecticut aviation pioneer Mary Goodrich Jenson. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. $
  • 11am – HISTORY: Kids can experience a day in the life of a Shaker child on one of Hancock Shaker Village’s Young Shaker’s Tour, which take place every day at 11am this summer. Kids, accompanied by an adult, can learn about school for Shaker children, meet the barn animals, and do a hands-on activity. Check with your local library to see if you can get a museum pass to HSV! Young Shaker’s Tour is not included in cost of admission. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $-$$ 11am &
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema offers weekly matinees on Tuesdays especially for people with babies! This is a great chance to get out and see a movie without having to worry about finding a sitter. Check their website to see what’s playing each week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. >$
  • 5:30pm & 6:30pm – KARATE: Free shotokan karate classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday at Northfield Elementary School. There are two classes – one for 7-10 year olds (5:30pm-6:15pm) and one for teens and adults (6:30pm-7:30pm). More info available here. 802-451-0303. 104 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: It’s Pajama Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Wear your pajamas and enjoy stories and fun. Happens the second Tuesday of each month. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 8pm – ASTRONOMY: The Milham Planetarium at Williams College will be open to the public for a planetarium viewing every Tuesday and Thursday from June 17 until August 14. You can learn about the motions of the planets, the phases of the moon, comets, and much more! Reservations recommended. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, REGISTRATION DEADLINE – Mount Greylock State Reservation’s free Junior Ranger Program for kids ages 8-12 teaches kids about the outdoors and how to care for nature. There will be hikes and hands-on activities that explore geology, water, climate, plants, and animals. The program runs every Thursday from 10am-12noon on July 10, 17, 24, 31, and August 7 and 14. Children must be accompanied by a parent. Call to sign up. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 9am-12noon – PAINTING: Teens ages 16 and older can attend a free watercolor workshop at Otis Town Hall with local artist Sylvia Foster. Participants will learn how to paint flowers. All materials are provided and there is no charge for the workshop. This is a great opportunity for teens who are interested in art or painting to try their hand at watercolor and get some valuable instruction. Email sylbilfoster@gmail.com or call to register/more for more information. Registration is required. 772-785-6547. 1 North Main Road. Otis, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 10am & 1pm – THEATER: Majestic Children’s Theater presents a production of Pinocchio this July. Kids and adults will enjoy seeing this classic fairy tale come to life onstage! 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. $

Wednesday, July 9, 10am-1pm – HIKING: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a hike at Basin Pond. This easy, 2.5-mile hike takes you on a loop trail that borders October Mountain State Forest and includes stonework, an old dam, and an overlook of Basin Pond. 413-499-0596. Becket Road. Lee, MA.

Wednesday, July 9, 10:30am – THEATER: New Century Theatre Kids! presents a production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, based on the book by Judith Viorst. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this performance of the classic kids’ book. Performance takes place in Theatre 14 in the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts on the Smith College campus. Call for reservations or more info. 413-585-3220. Green Street. Northampton, MA. $

Wednesday, July 9, 1pm – THEATER: Bee Week Springfield presents a performance of “To Bee or Not to Bee” by Piti Theatre Company at the Springfield Museums’ Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Kids and adults will enjoy this performance about a farmer and his bees. Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Wednesday, July 9, 1pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library for a performance of “Swimmy and the Swimmer” by PuppeTree. Kids will enjoy this multimedia performance based on Leo Leonni’s Swimmy. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 1pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Berkshire Athenaeum will have a craft activity for kids ages 5-12 – “Weather, Up, Down, All Around.” Space is limited; registration required. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 2pm – CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: Join the Wilbraham Public Library for the “Science of Summer Smorgasbord” with Kim from Catch the Science Bug. She will present summer-related visuals and activities, and the audience can participate by answering questions, playing quiz games, and helping with demonstrations. Please register. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 2pm – CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: Come meet Toto the Tornado Kitten at the Westfield Athenaeum on July 9! Toto survived the June 2011 tornado that hit Western Massachusetts and is now the star of a children’s book! Come meet Toto and his human. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Wednesday, July 9, 3pm BOOK CLUB: Odyssey Bookshop is hosting a Summer Fun Book Club for kids ages 8-14 this summer, from July 2 until August 20. This week, come discuss Tui T. Sutherland’s Wings of Fire. Keep kids interested in reading this summer with this fun book club! 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

Wednesday, July 9, 3:30pm-4:30pm – BOOK CLUB: Kids in grades 5-8 can participate in a tween summer book club at the Sunderland Public Library. Choose books to read and then come together to discuss them. Runs every Wednesday until July 30. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 5pm-6pm – DANCE: Kids in grades 5-12 can come to the Sunderland Public Library‘s dance club on Wednesday evenings. Learn jazz, hip hop, swing, ballet, salsa, bellydance, and more. No dance experience is required, so this is a great chance to try something new! Registration is required. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA.

Wednesday, July 9, 6pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Wilbraham Public Library is holding an x-base cuff bracelet craft workshop for tweens and teens in grades 6 and up. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 6pm – NATURE STUDIES: Learn how to promote biodiversity in your own backyard with Leslie Reed-Evans of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation on July 9 at Bascom Lodge. The talk will focus on improving habitats for native species of birds, insects, and plants. Best for older students interested in nature and biology. Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 6pm-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Have fun with family and friends at the Positively Holyoke summer concert series at Heritage State Park every Wednesday from July 9 through August 6. This week, Lindsey Labelle will perform New England country music. There will also be a beer and wine garden. In case of rain, concert takes place on Thursday of the same week. Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: Enjoy summer, live music, family, and friends at North Adams‘ summer concerts at Windsor Lake. 413-662-3000. North Adams, MA.

Wednesday, July 9, 6:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum’s summer concert series, Wednesday Folk Traditions, takes place every Wednesday this summer. July 9′s concert is by Zydeco Connection, who will perform rural Louisiana Zydeco music. Bring a picnic blanket and chairs and enjoy this exciting performance. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive. Hadley, MA. $

Wednesday, July 9, 7pm – NATURE WRITING/HISTORY: Author of Walking With Thoreau, Jeffrey Riordan Hinich, will be at the Meekins Library to present a talk entitled, “Searching for Thoreau’s Compass.” The talk focuses on Hinich’s life in the woods and how he has been influenced by Thoreau. Best for older students. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 7pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Families can come see Monsters, Inc. (2001; rated G) at Red Gate Farm on July 9 at 7pm. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, July 9, 7:30pm – FILM: Join Amherst Cinema for Big Screen Classics, where they screen a classic film each Sunday and following Wednesday. This week, see A Hard Day’s Night (1964; rated G), the classic musical comedy about a day in the life of The Beatles. This is a great way for families to experience classic films on the big screen! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (We are building up our summer ongoing list! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 10am – FAMILY MOVIE: Looking for a way to cool down or get out of the rain this summer? Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse screens a kids movie (rated G or PG) every Wednesday at 10am at their three Western Mass locations – Hadley (367 Russell Street), Springfield (1655 Boston Road), and West Springfield (864 Riverdale Street). Come see great movies at a great price! Western Massachusetts. >$
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: The West Springfield Public Library is offering a summer storytime for preschoolers every Wednesday from July 2 until August 6. Please register. 413-736-4561 x3. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – STORYTIME/STEM: Elementary school-aged kids can come to the Arms Library for fun STEM programming every Wednesday morning this summer, from July 2 until August 6. Come enjoy storytime and learn about things like gardens, space, the ocean, robots, how to make ice cream, and much more! These hands-on activities can get kids engaged in STEM learning. 413-625-0306. Main Street & Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Children (ages 5+) and their parents can come to the Mead Art Museum for storytime every Wednesday at 10:30am. Come hear stories and explore connections between the stories and the art on display at the Mead. Runs to August 13. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: It’s storytime at the Monson Free Library for kids ages 2-5! Come by for stories, snacks, crafts, and fun. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 11am – HISTORY: Kids can experience a day in the life of a Shaker child on one of Hancock Shaker Village’s Young Shaker’s Tour, which take place every day at 11am this summer. Kids, accompanied by an adult, can learn about school for Shaker children, meet the barn animals, and do a hands-on activity. Check with your local library to see if you can get a museum pass to HSV! Young Shaker’s Tour is not included in cost of admission. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $-$$
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Every Wednesday at 11am, head to the Dickinson Memorial Library for story hour. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Toddlers can have fun at the Forbes Library every Wednesday at their toddler time program. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 12noon-4pm – GAMES: All ages can come to the Dalton Free Public Library for games every Wednesday from July 9 until August 27. Board games, puzzles, card games, and more. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm-4:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about some fascinating local history at the Swift River Valley Historical Society every Wednesday and Sunday from 1:30pm-4:30pm through September 28. Tour the building, see interesting exhibits, and learn about the Quabbin Reservoir and the towns that were flooded for its creation. 978-544-6882. 40 Elm Street. New Salem, MA.
  • 3pm – ARTS & CRAFTS/NATURE STUDIES: Every Wednesday at 3pm, head to the Dickinson Memorial Library for a nature craft. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Tour the outside of Emily Dickinson’s Homestead and The Evergreens every Wednesday this summer with the Emily Dickinson Museum. These tours teach not only about the poet, but also about historic New England architecture. Some of Dickinson’s house-related poems will also be read on the tours. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $
  • 4:30pm-5:30pm – AGRICULTURE/STEM: Kids ages 8 and up can attend the Mason Library‘s 4-H Club every Wednesday from July 2 until August 13. The club focuses on topics like animals, motion, science, engineering, chemical reactions, and more. Registration is required. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA.t
  • 5pm-6pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/HISTORY: Enjoy summer afternoons on The Mount‘s terrace and hear Edith Wharton’s short stories read aloud by professional actors. Runs through August. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (>$)
  • 6:15pm – DANCE: Come to Jacob’s Pillow for their Inside/Out Performances – free, outdoor performances by different dancers, showcasing the talent of the Festival’s many dancers and choreographers. Students of all ages who enjoy dance would love these performances, which take place every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until August 23. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for older students and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 10am – READING: The Westfield Athenaeum is hosting a Read to Rover event for kids ages 3-9. Young readers can practice reading stories aloud to specially-trained dogs, who offer non-judgmental, non-threatening attention. This is a wonderful opportunity for kids to improve their reading skills and their confidence in reading aloud. Please register in advance. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 0-5 can enjoy storytime at the Dalton Free Public Library every Thursday from July 10 until August 7. Come by for stories, snacks, and crafts. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 10am-1pm – GARDENING/HISTORY: Storrowton Village Museum is hosting a free tour of Aunt Helen’s Herb Garden on July 10 from 10am-1pm. The garden features herbs of the time period, used for such things as medicine, cooking, textiles, and household needs. This educational tour will teach about the different plants and how they were used, and there will also be demonstrations. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 10:30am – THEATER: New Century Theatre Kids! presents a production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, based on the book by Judith Viorst. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this performance of the classic kids’ book. Performance takes place in Theatre 14 in the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts on the Smith College campus. Call for reservations or more info. 413-585-3220. Green Street. Northampton, MA. $

Thursday, July 10, 10:30am – STEM: Richard Salter Storrs Library presents Marvelous Marvin and the Magic of Science.  He will present his Magic of Science show which explains the scientific process, from the art of experimenting to the creation of an invention.  With simple experiments that kids can try at home, they learn about air pressure, carbon dioxide and the invention of the wheel.  The Magic of Science draws a link between the work of artists and scientists, encouraging persistence and exploration.  Sign up in the Discovery Room or by calling 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 10:30am – BIRD STUDIES: Learn about the fascinating world of birds of prey with Julie Collier of Wingmasters at the West Springfield Public Library on July 10! Best for ages 5 and up. 413-736-4561 x3. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 11am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Join Odyssey Bookshop for “Curious Critters: Larger Than Life with author David FitzSimmons,” a program based on FitzSimmons’ picture book. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary will be at the Odyssey with facts and artifacts from local animals, including moose antlers and a live turtle. Kids can learn about common North American birds, mammals, and insects at this fun event. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

Thursday, July 10, 1pm – PUPPETRY/PERFORMANCE: The Tanglewood Marionettes will perform The Fairy Circus at the Springfield Museums’ Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts’ Davis Auditorium. Come see these beautifully crafted marionette puppets dance, play instruments, juggle, and more at this fun performance. Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Thursday, July 10, 3pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Kick off summer reading at the Lanesborough Public Library with a live animal program by Teaching Creatures. This fun and engaging program will introduce kids to animals and teach them about their characteristics. Registration is required. 413-442-0222. 83 Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 3pm-4:30pm – SUMMER READING: Kick off summer reading at Bushnell-Sage Library on July 10. Come play with slime and pick up your summer reading log as part of the library STEM program. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 4pm – HISTORY: Learn about the roles, relationships, living conditions, and working expectations of the 20 servants who staffed The Mount and its property each summer on a Backstairs Tour. Those who are interested in history and want to know more about class dynamics in the late 1800s and early 1900s will enjoy this tour. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. $$

Thursday, July 10, 4pm-6pm – BABYSITTING WORKSHOP: Teens and tweens in grades 5-12 can come to the Sunderland Public Library for a four-session babysitting/first aid class, hosting by the library and 4-H. Come learn about safety, first aid, CPR, child development, nutrition, and get tips on entertaining kids. The workshop runs on July 10, 17, 24, and 31. Registration is required. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 6pm-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Coop Concerts Summer Concert Series takes place weekly at Greenfield Energy Park. This week’s show features Jennie McAvoy and Strawberry Afternoon. Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic dinner with family and friends while listening to exciting live music. 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 6:30pm – STEM/CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Discover the magic of science with Marvelous Marvin at the Westhampton Public Library! See science experiments, magic tricks, and circus arts. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 6:30pm – MAGIC: Enjoy a performance by Ed the Wizard at the Pelham Library on July 10. He will present a special science program, Alchemy Laboratory! 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, July 10, 6:30pm-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Music on the Porch is back this summer at the Florence Civic Center! Pack a picnic and enjoy a Beatles tribute concert. 90 Park Street. Florence, MA.

Thursday, July 10, 8pm – SUMMER CELEBRATION: Looking for a fun event for the whole family? Bring the family to the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation’s Firefly Hike, Music, and Campfire, rescheduled from last Thursday to today. Families can go on a hike in search of fireflies, hear a live performance by local musician Mike Quinones, roast marshmallows, and spend time with friends and community members. This event is a great opportunity to become acquainted with the Sheep Hill property and the work being done by the WRLF. It is also a unique and engaging low-cost event for the entire family.  413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA. >$

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (We are building up our summer ongoing list! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is holding a Summer Park Play Date at Look Park’s little playground every Thursday until August 28. 413-582-2636. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Hatfield Public Library holds a storytime for kids 5 and under every Thursday! Come to the library for stories and fun. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 11am – HISTORY: Kids can experience a day in the life of a Shaker child on one of Hancock Shaker Village’s Young Shaker’s Tour, which take place every day at 11am this summer. Kids, accompanied by an adult, can learn about school for Shaker children, meet the barn animals, and do a hands-on activity. Check with your local library to see if you can get a museum pass to HSV! Young Shaker’s Tour is not included in cost of admission. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $-$$
  • 1pm-3pm – PLAYGROUP: Babies can have fun and make friends at the Forbes Library‘s weekly baby playgroup. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 2pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Learn about art at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum‘s “It’s Cool at the Mead” series of free gallery talks, every Thursday at 2pm and Friday at 11am from June 19-August 22. The gallery talks cover a different topic each time, so take a break from the summer heat and come learn about the Museum’s wonderful collection. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-8pm – GAMES/LEGOS: Families can have fun every Thursday atGaylord Memorial Library‘s game and LEGO night! Stop by for board games, puzzles, LEGOs, and more. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 4:30-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/MOVIE: The Amherst Survival Center serves a free community meal every Thursday and screens a film for the community to enjoy together. Bring your family and come enjoy an evening with your community while learning about the work of the ASC! 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm & 6:30pm – KARATE: Free shotokan karate classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday at Northfield Elementary School. There are two classes – one for 7-10 year olds (5:30pm-6:15pm) and one for teens and adults (6:30pm-7:30pm). More info available here. 802-451-0303. 104 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – KNITTING: Every Thursday at 6pm, the Dickinson Memorial Library will hold a knitting and crocheting group for experts, beginners, all skill levels. Come improve your skills, share tips, and learn from others. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-7pm – PLAYGROUP: Kindergarteners can attend a playgroup at the Haskins Center’s playground from June 19 until August 28! Kids can come enjoy playing, hearing stories, having fun, and making friends. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:15pm – DANCE: Come to Jacob’s Pillow for their Inside/Out Performances – free, outdoor performances by different dancers, showcasing the talent of the Festival’s many dancers and choreographers. Students of all ages who enjoy dance would love these performances, which take place every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until August 23. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 8pm – ASTRONOMY: The Milham Planetarium at Williams College will be open to the public for a planetarium viewing every Tuesday and Thursday from June 17 until August 14. You can learn about the motions of the planets, the phases of the moon, comets, and much more! Reservations recommended. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, July 11th, 2014

Friday, July 11, 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids 6 and under and a parent/caregiver are invited to attend a drop-in playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School, held by Frontier Regional CFCE. The group focuses on early literacy and there will be indoor and outdoor time, snacks, and info on childcare and community resources. Takes place Tuesday July 8, 15, 22, 29, and August 5 and 12, as well as Friday July 11 and August 1. 413-369-4353. Old Amherst Road. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 11, 10am-11am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Stanley Park’s Friday Mornings for Children run every Friday until August 8. On July 11, see Tom Stankus as T-Bone present “Camp Muckalucka.” Young kids will love this fun performance! 413-568-9312. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 11, 10:30am – THEATER: New Century Theatre Kids! presents a production of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, based on the book by Judith Viorst. Kids and adults alike will enjoy this performance of the classic kids’ book. Performance takes place in Theatre 14 in the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts on the Smith College campus. Call for reservations or more info. 413-585-3220. Green Street. Northampton, MA. $

Friday, July 11, 1pm – DINOSAURS/CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Learn about dinosaurs at Dinoman Dinosaurs! at the Springfield Museums’ Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts’ Davis Auditorium. This show is all about dinos and will take you back to the Mesozoic era! Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Friday, July 11, 2pm-3:30pm – INSECT STUDIES: Join the Dickinson Memorial Library for a program on dragonflies and damselflies with naturalist Julia Blyth. Kids 5 and up and their families can learn all about these interesting insects and search for them using field guides and nets. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 11, 6pm – LAWN CONCERT: Pack a picnic blanket and chairs and enjoy a concert by Champagne Jam at the North Adams Public Library! This is part of the library’s Music at the Mansion summer lawn concert series. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 11, 6:15pm-7:15pm – STEM: Kids can come to the Mason Library for a “Fire and Ice,” a presentation by Mad Science. See magic tricks and exciting chemistry experiments at this science program for all kids in K-6. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA.

Friday, July 11, 6:30pm – CHILDREN’S BOOKS/THEATER: See students from the Westhampton Public Library‘s theater camp perform their production based on Jane Yolen’s book, Merlin and the Dragons. A fun chance to see this children’s book come to life! 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 11, 6:30pm-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Easthampton’s summer concert series, Arts in the Park, takes place in Millside Park every Friday night. This week, hear Eddie Forman play polka music. Bring a picnic blanket and the whole family and enjoy the show! 2 Ferry Street. Easthampton, MA.

Friday, July 11, 7pm – THEATER: Spectrum Playhouse presents a production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, designed and performed by students from the CIP Berkshire Center. This classic Broadway comedy musical takes place in ancient Rome and tells the story of a slave who tries to gain freedom by helping his master win the heart of a woman. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. $

Friday, July 11, 7pm-9pm – CONCERT: The Great Falls Discovery Center presents a performance by folksinger and storyteller Tim Van Egmond as part of their Coffeehouse series. He will play dulcimer, mouth bow, and limberjack, and will tell stories and sing songs. All ages will enjoy this fun performance. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, July 11, 8pm-11:30pm – INSECT STUDIES: Join Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center and members of the Athol Bird and Nature Club for “Moth Night.” All ages can come learn about some of the 10,000 species of moths in North America, including how to lure them for photo ops. This is a great chance to all ages to learn about these fascinating insects and how to photograph them! Bring a flashlight and camera if possible. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (We are building up our summer ongoing list! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

11:30am-12:30pm – PRENATAL YOGA: Open to all trimesters and all levels of yoga experience. No registration necessary. For info visit HRYMCA website or call Courtney at 413-303-1246. Hampshire Regional YMCA, 286 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA ($10 for non-members, free for HRYMCA members)

  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Families can attend the “Family Frolic Storytime” every Friday this summer at Gaylord Memorial Library! Enjoy stories, musical plays, and crafts. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STEM: South Berkshire Kids is hosting a science, technology, engineering, and math program every Friday at the Mason Library for kids ages 3-5. 413-464-5095. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – HISTORY: Kids can experience a day in the life of a Shaker child on one of Hancock Shaker Village’s Young Shaker’s Tour, which take place every day at 11am this summer. Kids, accompanied by an adult, can learn about school for Shaker children, meet the barn animals, and do a hands-on activity. Check with your local library to see if you can get a museum pass to HSV! Young Shaker’s Tour is not included in cost of admission. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $-$$
  • 11am – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Learn about art at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum‘s “It’s Cool at the Mead” series of free gallery talks, every Thursday at 2pm and Friday at 11am from June 19-August 22. The gallery talks cover a different topic each time, so take a break from the summer heat and come learn about the Museum’s wonderful collection. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – STEM: The West Springfield Public Library is offering “Science Rocks,” a science program for ages 9-15. Takes place every Friday from July 11 until August 8. First session meets Thursday, July 3 instead of Friday. Please register. 413-736-4561 x3. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Enjoy a free outdoor concert after hours at The Mount every Friday this summer. 413-551-5100. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm – DANCE: Join Jacob’s Pillow Dance for a free PillowTalk every Friday and Saturday until August 23. Hear choreographers, writers, filmmakers, and cultural experts give behind-the-scenes insight into the Festival and the world of professional dance. Free and open to the public. 413-243-9919. 258 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:15pm – DANCE: Come to Jacob’s Pillow for their Inside/Out Performances – free, outdoor performances by different dancers, showcasing the talent of the Festival’s many dancers and choreographers. Students of all ages who enjoy dance would love these performances, which take place every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday until August 23. 413-243-9919. 358 George Carter Road. Becket, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Cummington, Deerfield, Goshen, Plainfield, Shelburne and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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