Suggested Events for August 23rd-29th, 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

“As a teacher who is so lucky to be home with my babies in the summer I constantly reaped the benefits of Hilltown Families with the weekly events that were highlighted! What a great resource to have at my fingertips, with all of the great things to do in the valley in one place!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” – Kristy Dyer (Hatfield, 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

Aug 23

Open House at Pioneer Valley Ballet on August 23, 11:00am-1:00pm. Discover the region’s premier ballet training program. PVB offers classical ballet training for children ages 4.5 through adults using a unique Listen, Think, & Move philosophy to create determined, strong, and supple dancers who possess poise, confidence, and self-respect. Known for its opulent performances at the Academy of Music in Northampton (auditions for The Nutcracker on September 13!), PVB’s Open House includes free classes along with the opportunity to observe Advanced Dancers. Meet the trainers and tour the studio. PVB is located in the Eastworks building, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton. For more information, call 413-527-6363 or visit www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Aug 24

Visitors are invited to a free Community Picnic at the Springfield Museums on Sunday, August 24 from 12-2pm. Picnic tables on the Quadrangle have been transformed into unique works of art as part of the Art Picnic program, a public arts project designed to beautify Springfield and bring local art students together with established artists. Visitors are welcome to bring a blanket and picnic alongside the new works of art while enjoying music, entertainment, and free ice cream (while supplies last). Funding provided the Xeric Foundation. And there’s still time to check out the special Life Through Time exhibit of roaring, stomping mechanical dinosaurs and Ice-age mammals (extra fee). Check www.springfieldmuseums.org for a full schedule.

Fall Openings

Openings Alert: The Center School is accepting applications for just a few spots left in K/1 and middle school for this fall. The Center School features rigorous academics for deep thinkers and creative spirits with a stellar teacher-student ratio. Since 1982 the Center School has provided a progressive, project-based, and dynamic education for PreK through 8th grades at its lovely campus, adjacent to conservation land and trails, on the southern edge of Greenfield. Center Schoolers come from all over the Pioneer Valley with over a third from Hampshire County. Interested? Contact their admissions office today to learn more about the school for your child. www.centerschool.net or 413-773-1700, ext 2.

Fall Openings

Amherst Montessori School has immediate openings for young toddlers, ages 15-24 months, and pre-schoolers ages 3 and 4 years. Following the pioneering approach developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, Amherst Montessori School nurtures the child’s spirit, curiosity, and self-confidence while building the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. AMS programs feature uniquely-designed classrooms to support the child’s development, and a curriculum that integrates music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE and yoga. To learn more about their openings or to schedule a visit, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admissions, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org. www.amherstmontessori.org

Sep 28

On Sunday, Sept. 28th, you can pedal toward a hunger-free community at The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts 4th annual Will Bike 4 Food (WB4F) charity cycling event. There’s still time to take advantage of the early bird special. If you register by Aug. 29, you’ll receive $75 off your fundraising minimum ($175 instead of $250 per person). Start a team or ride as an individual. With multiple courses to choose from—a 10, 25, 50 or 100 mile loop—riders of any level can take part. Don’t miss the post-race celebration with complimentary food, beer from Berkshire Brewing Company, and family activities. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at www.foodbankwma.org/events/bike

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall program, after school class, 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
August 23rd-29th, 2014

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Ongoing Saturday Events

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. Casey Schaefer of The Whizpops will take us on an exciting thematic adventure underwater, playing a wide range of music that will help you learn about the importance of ocean wildlife and the fascinating world of symbiotic relationships. 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, August 23, 7am-9:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The 146th Cummington Fair happens all weekend. Come to the fair this weekend for exhibits, animal demonstrations, truck pulls, live music and other performances, car shows, a demolition derby, kids’ activities, community meals, and so much more! 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. $

Saturday, August 23, 8am-4:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Shelburne Grange Fair takes place August 23 and features a flea market, craft fair, exhibit hall, concessions, a corn shucking competition, fire safety activities for kids, bagpipe music, kids’ games, demonstrations, live music, a barbecue ($), and more. Bring the whole family to this fun community fair! 17 Little Mohawk Road. Shelburne, MA.

Saturday, August 23, 8am-8pm – HORSE SHOW: Come to the Big E Coliseum for the Northeast Reining Horse Show. Come learn about horses and reining and see this exciting competition in person. Reining is when horses are led through precise patterns like circles, spins, and stops. 603-553-5803. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 23, 9:30am-11:30am – ART/HISTORY: Middle schoolers can explore the intersection of art and history at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead with the Berkshire Historical Society. Kids can use objects from the Historical Society’s collection to curate an exhibit with the theme of “Art and Industry” that will be on display for one week. Students who are interested in history and art would enjoy this event, which helps forge connections between the two. 413-442-1793. 780 Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 23, 10am-12noon – PLANT STUDIES: Kids ages 10 and older can join Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center for Trees at Riverview, a program all about trees! Learn common species of different habitats in the area and how to identify them, as well as the history of some of these trees – what species was featured on a coin in the 1600s? What kind of wood are baseball bats usually made from? Kids who are interested in trees will love this fun program! 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 23, 10am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Join Just Roots and Danny Botkin for a workshop on “Alternative, Low-Tech Food Preservation.” Botkin will discuss the pros and cons of different preserving methods like fermenting, pickling, root cellaring, and dehydrating. Older teens and adults interested in learning more about food preservation will enjoy this workshop. Please RSVP. 413-325-8969. 34 Glenbrook Drive. Greenfield, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$-$)

Saturday, August 23, 10am-2pm – BACK TO SCHOOL/CELEBRATION: The Springfield Public Schools‘ Back to School Celebration takes place August 23 in Blunt Park! The day features a cookout, music, games, giveaways, and more. The event is open to Springfield Public Schools students, staff, and families. This is a great way to kick off the school year with family, friends, and community members! 413-787-7100. 2460 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 23, 10am-2pm – PLANT STUDIES: The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is offering a Native Wildflower Workshop with naturalist Nancy Goodman. Discover many of the beautiful and unique wildflowers that grow in the area and learn how to use Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, the most well-respected guide to northeastern wildflowers. Older students and adults can learn about these fascinating plants and their ecology at this program. Registration is required; directions given upon registration. 413-256-6006. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, August 23, 10:30am-12noon – INSECT STUDIES: Contribute to Project Native’s Butterfly House by attending a Summer Butterfly and Bug Safari! Walk the grounds looking for butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs to relocate to the Butterfly House. Learn about this order of insects, Lepidoptera, and gain skills in finding and even identifying butterflies and caterpillars and by learning about their host plants. 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road. Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 23, 10:30am-5pm – FESTIVAL/LOCAL FOOD: The annual Red Fire Farm Tomato Festival takes place August 23! The day is jam-packed with workshops, cooking demonstrations, live music, kids’ activities, food and craft vendors, a tomato tasting, a 5K, and more! See the Red Fire Farm website for more information and to preregister for the Tomato Trot 5K. 413-467-7645. 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA. >$

Saturday, August 23, 11am & 2pm – THEATER: The Berkshire Museum presents a production of Snow White by Berkshire Children’s Theater, starring young performers from the area. This musical version of the classic tale will delight all ages! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $$

11am-1pm – BALLET/OPEN HOUSE: Pioneer Valley Ballet hosts an open house today in the Eastworks building for prospective families. PVB offers classical ballet training for children ages 4.5 through adults.  PVB’s Open House includes free classes along with the opportunity to observe Advanced Dancers. Meet the trainers and tour the studio. 413-527-6363. 116 Pleasant St. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, August 23, 11am-1pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Discover the senses, defenses, and adaptations of many unique animals at the Zoo in Forest Park! Learn how animals rely on these for survival. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. $

Saturday, August 23, 11am-5pm – CONVENTION: Fans of comic books, science fiction, and cosplay (costume play) can attend Bing Con at Trinity Church’s Asbury Hall on August 23! The event features artists and vendors, a cosplay parade, a DJ and MC, food, and more. There will also be a screening of King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) at 7pm at the Bing Arts Center. There is something for fans of all ages at this great local convention. 413-731-9730. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. >$

Saturday, August 23, 12noon-3pm – LOCAL FOOD: Atkins Farms Market is hosting their annual New England Food and Beverage Tasting Fair, featuring over 24 food, beer, and wine vendors from the region. Anyone interested in local foods and drinks will enjoy this free event. 413-253-9528. Route 116 & Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 23, 1pm – NATURE STUDIES: Join the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation for an interpretive hike on the Phelps Trail. Learn about the natural and human history of this historic area of the Taconic Range. This hike is free and open to all ages, but please note, it is strenuous at times. Come to Sheep Hill from 10am-12noon for drop-in, informal nature programming for all ages. 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 23, 2pm – CELEBRATION/CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Get excited for the school year at the Odyssey Bookshop’s Back to School Party! Come enjoy an in-store scavenger hunt, root beer floats, prizes, and a reading of the first chapter of James Patterson’s newest book in the Middle School series! For kids ages 7 and up. Call to pre-register. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, August 23, 2pm – HISTORY: Learn about and commemorate the 120th anniversary of the B&M Freight House at Western Gateway Heritage State Park on August 23. Best for older students interested in history. 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, August 23, 2:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Tanglewood’s annual Family Concert takes place August 23 at Ozawa Hall. The Boston Cello Quartet will perform “Telling Stories Through Music,” which includes Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, Debussy’s Reverie, and parts of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Arrive at 12:30 for pre-concert activities. Introduce children of all ages to classical music at this event. 888-266-1200. 297 West Street. Lenox, MA. $

Saturday, August 23, 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, Same Old Blues will perform classic ragtime music. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive. Hadley, MA. $

Saturday, August 23, 3pm-9pm – FESTIVAL: Celebrate summer in the Berkshires at Great Barrington’s SummerFest! There will be local vendors, performances by local bands, food, shopping, demonstrations, kids’ activities, and much more. This is a great end of summer activity for the whole family – come enjoy food, live music, and spending time with community members! Rain date 8/24. Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, August 23, 5pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: “Shiprock and Anchordog Meet the Dinosaurs” is a fun-filled performance about two dogs who travel back in time to the Late Cretaceous period and make friends with the dinosaurs. They accidentally tell them what their fates will be and then must cheer them up and show them that life is still meaningful. The performance uses storytelling, live music, and dance and stars kids and adults. All ages will enjoy this fun performance about the dinosaurs! Takes place at Laurel Park Tabernacle. 2 Laurel Park. Northampton, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Saturday, August 23, 5pm-7pm – MUSIC: Join The Trustees of Reservations at Bartholomew’s Cobble for a Sunset Serenade. Bring the whole family and pack a picnic dinner and watch the sunset while listening to bagpipe music. Email bcobble@ttor.org or call to register. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. $

Saturday, August 23, 5pm-7pm – KINDERGARTEN READINESS: Kids entering kindergarten this fall can visit the Amelia Park Children’s Museum for a fun kindergarten event! Come read kindergarten stories, make bookmarks, go on a StoryWalk, and plant seeds to take home. Sign up at front desk. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. >$

Saturday, August 23, 6pm-9:30pm – POETRY: The Berkshire Museum‘s poetry slam finals take place tonight as part of WordXWord. Come see poets compete for prizes onstage and hear some great slam poetry. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 23, 7pm – THEATER: The Country Players present their first-ever youth production, “Suds and Soliloquies,” this August in the Frontier Regional School auditorium. Kids ages 8-12 will perform Old Fashioned Soap Operas and then teens ages 13-18 will perform Super Short Shakespeare Parodies. Call for reservations. 413-768-9126. 133 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA. $

Saturday, August 23, 7pm-9pm – LOCAL HISTORY: See some very recent local history at Historic Northampton’s Ice Cream Social and outdoor projection of “Midnight to Midnight: Northampton’s Self-Portrait in 48 Hours.” Here you can see the photographs taken by community members on May 2 and 3, 2014 that will be archived as a digital record of the city in 2014. There will also be a blacksmithing demonstration, live music, and complimentary ice cream provided by Herrell’s. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, August 23, DUSK – ASTRONOMY: Want to learn about astronomy first-hand? Join the Trustees of Reservations and the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center for an evening of stargazing and searching for moons, planets, galaxies, and more at Notchview! Please call to pre-register. 413-532-1631 x10. Route 9. Windsor, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Ongoing Sunday Events

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, August 24, 7am-8pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Last day of the 146th Cummington Fair today. Come to the fair for exhibits, animal demonstrations, truck pulls, live music and other performances, car shows, a demolition derby, kids’ activities, community meals, and so much more! 413-634-5091. 97 Fairgrounds Road. Cummington, MA. $

Sunday, August 24, 8am-8pm – HORSE SHOW: Come to the Big E Coliseum for the Northeast Reining Horse Show. Come learn about horses and reining and see this exciting competition in person. Reining is when horses are led through precise patterns like circles, spins, and stops. 603-553-5803. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 24, 11am-2pm – FUNDRAISER: You and your dog can attend a fundraiser for the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society at Quonquont Farm – Mutts and Mimosas! The event includes brunch catered by Seth Mias Catering, traditional Irish music by Banish Misfortune, entertainment by Flying High Frisbee Dogs, and more. This is a great chance for you and your pup to make new friends while support this great local humane society! Please purchase tickets in advance. 413-781-4000 x136. 9 North Street. Whately, MA. $$$

Sunday, August 24, 12noon REGISTRATION DEADLINE – STEM: The Center for Science Outreach at Smith College is offering free, hands-on science and engineering activities for kids in grades 1-6 from 3pm-5pm on August 30 in Ford Hall on the Smith College campus. Kids can choose from a variety of activities, including engineering balloon-powered cars, investigating rock and mineral properties, exploring electromagnetism, and more. Space is limited and registration is required by 12noon on August 24. More information is available on the Smith College Center for Community Collaboration website. 413-585-3932. Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 24, 12noon-2pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The Springfield Museums‘ is holding a community picnic (bring your own lunch) celebrating the unveiling of the picnic tables that have been decorated by local artists and students as part of the Art Picnic project. There will also be live interpretations of artworks by Linda Peck, music by DJ Dave, and free ice cream. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 24, 2pm – THEATER: The Country Players present their first-ever youth production, “Suds and Soliloquies,” this August in the Frontier Regional School auditorium. Kids ages 8-12 will perform Old Fashioned Soap Operas and then teens ages 13-18 will perform Super Short Shakespeare Parodies. Call for reservations. 413-768-9126. 133 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA. $

Sunday, August 24, 2pm – LOCAL HISTORY: How did people get around in western Massachusetts before the invention of the modern automobile? Historian Ralmon Black will present “Highways and Byways of the Hilltowns: The First Century of Transportation” at the Worthington Historical Society. Learn how the 18th-century English settlers in this area traveled and built roads and this fascinating illustrated lecture that delves into the largely untold story of early transportation in the hilltowns. 413-238-0491. 6 Williamsburg Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 24, 2pm – FILM: Join Amherst Cinema for Big Screen Classics, where they screen a classic film each Sunday and following Wednesday. This week, see Singin’ in the Rain (1952; rated G), a superb musical. This is a great way for older teens and adults to experience classic films on the big screen! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, August 24, 2pm-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Join the Buckland Historical Society for an open house at Buckland Historical Society Museum (20 Upper Street) and the Wilder Homestead (129 Route 112). Here you can see many interesting artifacts and town records, a furnished 1775 saltbox, a 1779 English barn, and a shoemaker shop. Those who are interested in local history will enjoy having the opportunity to explore these great local sites. 413-625-9763. Buckland, MA.

Sunday, August 24, 4pm-5pm – JAZZ: Explore Ashintully Gardens and enjoy jazz music in the studio of contemporary composer John McLennan. Pack a picnic and wander the grounds, taking in the beautiful sights of this property, run by The Trustees of Reservations. 413-298-3239. Sodem Road. Tyringham, MA. $

Sunday, August 24, 5pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: “Shiprock and Anchordog Meet the Dinosaurs” is a fun-filled performance about two dogs who travel back in time to the Late Cretaceous period and make friends with the dinosaurs. They accidentally tell them what their fates will be and then must cheer them up and show them that life is still meaningful. The performance uses storytelling, live music, and dance and stars kids and adults. All ages will enjoy this fun performance about the dinosaurs! Takes place at Laurel Park Tabernacle. 2 Laurel Park. Northampton, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

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Monday, August 25th, 2014

Monday, August 25, 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is holding several Summer Park Play Dates at Safety Village this summer. Every Monday June 2-June 23 and August 11-25. 413-582-2636. North Maple Street. Florence, MA.

Monday, August 25, 12:30pm & 1:30pm – BOOKS: The Family Resource Center Summer Book Mobile will be at Hancock Elementary School (3080 Hancock Road, Hancock, MA) at 12:30pm and at the New Ashford Town Hall Parking Lot (199 Mallery Road, New Ashford, MA) at 1:30pm. Kids can stop by for a free new or lightly used book. Families can discover new-to-them books at this great event. 413-664-4821. Berkshire County. (FREE)

Monday, August 25, 3pm & 6pm – MOVIE: The S. White Dickinson Memorial Library is screening The Lunchbox (2014; rated PG) at 3pm and 6pm. The film is about a young housewife in Mumbai who, in an effort to spice up her marriage, sends her a husband a special lunchbox at work. The lunchbox gets delivered to someone else by accident and the two connect via notes in the lunchbox each day. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Monday, August 25, 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)

  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. $
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 11am-11:30am – CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: Every Monday at 11am, Moo-Licious Farm will offer an educational show for kids. Call for more info. 413-569-1700. 258 Feeding Hills Road. Southwick, 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.
  • 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 until the snow falls. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 10:30am-12noon – INSECT STUDIES: Contribute to Project Native’s Butterfly House by attending a Summer Butterfly and Bug Safari! Walk the grounds looking for butterflies, caterpillars, and eggs to relocate to the Butterfly House. Learn about this order of insects, Lepidoptera, and gain skills in finding and even identifying butterflies and caterpillars and by learning about their host plants. 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road. Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 26, 1pm, 2pm, & 3pm – BOOKS: The Family Resource Center Summer Book Mobile will be at Cheshire Elementary School (Cheshire, MA) at 1pm, at CT Plunkett Elementary School (Adams, MA) at 2pm, and at Emma L. Miller School (Savoy, MA) at 3pm. Kids can stop by for a free new or lightly used book. Families can discover new-to-them books at this great event. 413-664-4821. Berkshire County. (FREE)

Tuesday, August 26, 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 “Glitter Calm Down Jars.” Registration is required by August 17. 514-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. >$

Tuesday, August 26, 4pm-9:30pm – MUSIC FESTIVAL: Celebrate the end of summer at “Transperformance XXIV: Off the Map” at Look Park’s Pines Theater. This special concert features loads of local musicians covering songs by musicians or bands with geographically-inspired names, like the Dixie Chicks, Buffalo Springfield, and others. This concert is a great opportunity to hear many different types of music, including fun covers, while spending time with family and friends to bring this beautiful summer to a close. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. $

Tuesday, August 26, 6pm – LAWN CONCERT: Musical Moments at Amelia’s Garden, the Amelia Park Ice Arena summer concert series, presents favorites by Cory and the Knightsmen Band. 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, August 26, 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Agawam Public Schools are hosting a parent cafe on how parents can get ready to send their kids off to kindergarten. Please register. 413-821-0552. 954 Main Street. Agawam, 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)

  • 9am-12:30pm – TRAIL WORK: Do trail work at Notchview with The Trustees of Reservations the second and fourth Tuesday of each month through October. They need help repairing several trails on the property. Best for teens and adults. 413-532-1631 x10. Route 9. Windsor, MA. (VOLUNTEER)
  • 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-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. $
  • 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)
  • 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.

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 12noon-1pm – PUPPETRY: Join River Valley Market for a puppetry performance by Talking Hands Theatre. Come hear multicultural folktales at this all ages performance. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, August 27, 3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Do you want to learn more about the Mission House? The Trustees of the Reservations present a lecture and tour with Brock Jobe, Professor of American Decorative Arts at the Winterthur Museum, and Louisa Brouwer, an American Decorative Arts Fellow at Yale University. This lecture, which takes place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Main Street), is focused on the architectural, decorative, and landscape history of the home. Following the lecture, there will be a tour of Mission House led by Professor Jobe. Older students and adults interested in history, decoration, architecture, and landscape design will enjoy this lecture and tour. 413-298-3239 x3020. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 27, 5pm-6:30pm – BACK TO SCHOOL: Get ready to go back to school at the 5th Annual First Day Celebration on the Amherst Town Common. Families can spend time with teachers and school staff members and can enjoy games, music, art, and more. This is a fun end-of-summer activity for family members of all ages! 413-362-1825. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 27, 5pm-7pm – CULINARY ARTS: Do you like pickles? You can learn how to make pickled foods at the Mason Library on August 27! Michelle Kaplan will demonstrate basic pickling techniques to help get you started. Best for older students and adults. Registration is required. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 27, 7pm-9:30pm – MOVIE: Enjoy a screening of Back to the Future (1985; rated PG) on the lawn of the Forbes Library! This classic movie is about a teenager who accidentally goes 30 years back in time and must make sure his high school-age parents meet in order to save his own existence. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, August 27, 7:30pm FILM: Join Amherst Cinema for Big Screen Classics, where they screen a classic film each Sunday and following Wednesday. This week, see Singin’ in the Rain (1952; rated G), a superb musical. This is a great way for older teens and adults 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-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. $
  • 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-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Toddlers can have fun at the Forbes Library every Wednesday at their toddler time program through November 5. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 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.
  • 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 teens and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 10am – SAFETY/POLICE: Kids in grade 3-5 can join the Westfield Athenaeum for a visit to the police station. Come see the station and learn about what the police do and what goes on at the station. Great for kids who are curious about how the police department functions! Call or stop by front desk to register. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 28, 2:30pm – GAMES: Teens (grades 6-12) can enjoy game time at the Westfield Athenaeum. There will be Wii, board games, and card games. Teens are welcome to bring their own games to play with others. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, August 28, 6:30pm-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Music on the Porch is back this summer at the Florence Civic Center! Pack a picnic and enjoy music by the Lonesome Brothers. 90 Park Street. Florence, MA.

Thursday, August 28, 7pm – FILM/LOCAL HISTORY: Ventfort Hall presents “Ventfort Films: A Berkshire Connection,” a series focusing on films that are in some way connected to the Berkshires. This week, come see Ethan Frome (1993; rated PG), which is based on the novel of the same name by Edith Wharton. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $)

Thursday, August 28, 7pm-9pm – INSECT STUDIES: What insects make noises at night? You can find out at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary’s Night Insect Sounds program. Learn about katydids, grasshoppers, crickets, and others. The program starts with a slideshow of the insects and their sounds and then proceeds outside where you can try your hand at identifying the sounds. Best for older students and adults. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, 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)

  • TBA – LEGOS: Have fun with LEGOs and Duplos at the Monson Free Library! Kids can come get creative and practice building things at this program. Runs the first Thursday of every month. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)

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Friday, August 29th, 2014

Friday, August 29, 10:30am – STEM: Summer reading participants can come to the Gaylord Memorial Library to try their hand at being junior scientists! Make your own play dough at this fun, science-oriented program. 13-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 29, 11am – STORYTIME: Join the Sunderland Public Library for a series of story hours with Julie Stepanek and her ukulele. Julie will lead the audience in song and movement and will bring a few of her favorite children’s books to read. For children ages 0-5 and their caregivers. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, August 29, 3pm-9pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Blandford Fair runs from August 29-September 1 and is full of fun activities for the whole family. There will be live music, exhibits, kids’ activities, vendors, games, rides, truck pulls, and other classic agricultural fair activities. 413-848-0995. 10 North Street. Blandford, MA. $

Friday, August 29, 4pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The 197th Annual Three County Fair runs from August 29-September 1 and features tons of cool events and activities for all ages. There will be rides, games, a demolition derby, a magic show, live music, frisbee dogs, racing pigs, as well as traditional agricultural fair activities. This is a great community event with something for everyone! 413-584-2237. 41 Fair Street. Northampton, MA. $

Friday, August 29, 6pm – FESTIVAL: The 26th Annual Stone Soul Festival takes place on August 29, 30, and 31 at Blunt Park. On Friday, there will be amusement rides, kids’ activities, grilled foods, live music, and more. The Stone Soul Festival is a celebration of African American arts, music, culture, and community, and all are welcome to attend. 413-636-3881. Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Friday, August 29, 6:15pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Families can come to the Mason Library for a screening of Muppets Most Wanted (2014; rated PG). Come enjoy this fun-filled movie! Popcorn and drinks provided. Due to the popularity of the movie, registration is required. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, 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)

  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. $
  • 12noon-1pm – CLOTH DIAPERS: Simple Diaper and Linen is offering a Cloth Diaper 101 workshop at Life Works Studio. Come learn the ins and outs of cloth diapering and get information on Simple Diaper and Linen’s new diaper service in Southern Berkshire County. Every Friday through September 5. 413-749-6232. 50 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA.

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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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