Suggested Events for August 30th-September 5th, 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 moved to the area this past summer and Hilltown Families has been a wonderful resource for me as a newcomer. It has pointed my family towards some great activities and local eateries (Cummington Fair, Bread Euphoria, etc.). More importantly, it has given me, as a newcomer, a broader sense of how active this community is and what people here care about. So thank you for that!” – Jenni H. (Sunderland, 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

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.

Begins in Sep

Sign up for Theater Improvisation with Heidi Haas! Improv increases spontaneity, creativity and self-confidence. Classes focus on tuning into one’s scene partners, creating bold characters and developing skits with each other. Classes are offered for 6th-8th graders on Wednesdays from 3-5pm and for 1st-5th graders on Thursdays from 3:30-5pm in Florence, MA. The first 10 week session begins in Sept. Heidi has been teaching theater to children since 1996 and is also a clinical social worker with a specialty in child/family concerns. Check out her website at www.heidihaasimprov.com to register call: Heidi Haas 584-5562 or email Heidi_Haas@comcast.net.

Sep 7

On Sunday, September 7, from 2 to 4 pm, the Northampton Community Music Center will host its annual Open House & Instrument Petting Zoo. Come see, hear and try out different musical instruments, meet our teachers, take free demo classes, and enjoy a performance by NCMC’s ukulele choir. NCMC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1986 with 50 professional faculty members serving more than 800 students annually. NCMC also hosts more than 75 performances and events each year. Programs include instruction in 25 different instruments, choruses, instrumental ensembles, vocal performance classes, recording studio classes, summer programs and special workshops. Financial aid available. For information, call 413-585-0001 or visit www.ncmc.net.

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

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, fall program, after school class, school, 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 30th-September 5th, 2014

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, August 30th, 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. Danny Weinkauf of They Might Be Giants plays some of his favorite music including songs related to monkeys, sports, and other fun stuff! 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 30, TBA – ASTRONOMY: Families can learn about astronomy at Arunah Hill Natural Science Center’s Arunah Hill Days, from August 29-September 1. The weekend features cool astronomy-related talks and activities for amateur astronomers of all ages! Observe the night sky and learn about the stars and planets using large telescopes; see sunspots and solar prominences with a special filtered telescope in the daytime; enjoy guided nature walks, disc golf, and a rocket building/launch fest; and hear talks on telescope design and other astronomy topics. More information can be found on the Arunah Hill Days webpage. 413-569-6336. 218 Trouble Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 30, 8am-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. $

Saturday, August 30, 8am-9:30am – ORNITHOLOGY: Explore the early morning world of birds at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. These weekly bird walks will help you improve your field identification techniques and will help you learn to recognize flight patterns, field marks, habitat preferences, songs, and calls. These bird walks are meant for adults, but older students interested in bird studies would benefit from them as well. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. >$

Saturday, August 30, 8:30am-9:30am – NATURE STUDIES/LOCAL HISTORY: The Great Falls Discovery Center hosts a canal-side nature walk. Participants can gain a deeper understanding of local history and ecology by exploring the Turners Falls Canal and learning about plants, animals, and cultural or industrial history. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 30, 9am – FESTIVAL: The 26th Annual Stone Soul Festival takes place on August 29, 30, and 31 at Blunt Park. On Saturday, there will be amusement rides, a parade, a community health fair, dancers, a talent contest, free breakfast, a community tag sale, 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.

Saturday, August 30, 10am-12noon – HISTORY MUSEUM: Explore over 300 years of hilltown history at The Ashfield Historical Society Museum! Though it’s a small town, Ashfield has been at the forefront of many movements (including abolition and prohibition), and was home to the first Shaker meeting house. One of the earliest pioneers of contraception even lived in Ashfield! 413-628-0001. 457 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 30, 11am – 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. $

Saturday, August 30, 11am – CHEMISTRY: Be a mad scientist at the Berkshire Museum! Along with the help of the museum’s very own crazy chemist, kids can learn how to do exciting and surprising (and safe!) experiments with regular household materials. Kitchen Kaboom! is totally kid-safe, but adults must accompany participating scientists. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, August 30, 11am & 1pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Kids can learn about animals, food, nature, and books at a performance by Tom Knight Puppets at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. “The Garbage Monster and Other Songs” features old favorites by Tom, as well as some new songs. Kids will love this fun performance! 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. >$

Saturday, August 30, 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, August 30, 2pm – HISTORY: Learn about history at Western Gateway Heritage State Park‘s “Seth Twigs: The Tall Tale Teller of Legendary America.” 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, August 30, 2pm-3:30pm – MUSIC WORKSHOP: Teens and tweens can learn how to play the ukulele at the Sunderland Public Library! This is a great chance for kids to get introduced to this fun and unique instrument. Space is limited; registration required. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 30, 2pm-5pm – SINGING: The Cummington Historical Society is holding its second annual Kingman Tavern Museum Singing School/Singing. Tim Eriksen will be at the museum to teach shape note singing, a participatory form of singing that is done for each other, not for an audience. All ages and singing levels are welcome. Community shape note sings are a great intergenerational activity for community members. 41 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 30, 2:30pm & 3:30pm – CONCERT: Join the Porter-Phelps Huntington House Museum for A Perfect Spot of Tea, their summer tea and music series. Sit on the museum’s back veranda and enjoy tea, pastries, and live music. This week, The Pikeys will perform traditional Irish and Scottish music on a variety of instruments. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive. Hadley, MA. $

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Sunday, August 31, 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 31, TBA – ASTRONOMY: Families can learn about astronomy at Arunah Hill Natural Science Center’s Arunah Hill Days, from August 29-September 1. The weekend features cool astronomy-related talks and activities for amateur astronomers of all ages! Observe the night sky and learn about the stars and planets using large telescopes; see sunspots and solar prominences with a special filtered telescope in the daytime; enjoy guided nature walks, disc golf, and a rocket building/launch fest; and hear talks on telescope design and other astronomy topics. More information can be found on the Arunah Hill Days webpage. 413-569-6336. 218 Trouble Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 31, 8am-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. $

Sunday, August 31, 9am – FESTIVAL: The 26th Annual Stone Soul Festival takes place on August 29, 30, and 31 at Blunt Park. On Sunday, there will be a picnic, a gospel concert, community service awards, a fish fry, 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.

Sunday, August 31, 10am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Get lost in Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm every Saturday and Sunday through November 2! Explore the maze, which is shaped like a raven alongside a chess board and idyllic farm scene, and see how fast you can find your way out! 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA. $

Sunday, August 31, 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home. 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. $

Sunday, August 31, 11am – 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. $

< Sunday, August 31, 1pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The annual Plainfield Firefighter’s Barbecue is today!  For nearly 45 consecutive years, the Plainfield Volunteer Fire Department has held a chicken barbecue to support the fire and EMS departments.  Coinciding with the barbecue will be the Shaw Memorial Library book sale, ArtsFeast (local arts and crafts), the annual Plainfield Road Race, a silent auction, a tag sale, and a bake sale.  This event is very popular, so please purchase tickets in advance.  Event takes place behind the Shaw Memorial Library.  Tickets available at Public Safety Complex on North Central Street or from any firefighter or EMT.  Main Street.  Plainfield, MA.  $

Sunday, August 31, 2pm-4pm – AGRICULTURE/CULINARY ARTS: The Trustees of Reservations is offering a workshop on Root Cellars and Crop Storage at the Bullitt Reservation. Come build a micro root cellar and learn about different crop curing and storage techniques. Older students and adults who are interested in food preservation and growing their own food will enjoy this hands-on workshop. 413-532-1631 x10. Bullitt Road. Ashfield, MA. $

Sunday, August 31, 2pm-4pm – HISTORY MUSEUM: The Westhampton Historical Society’s museum has an entire room dedicated to the trade of blacksmithing! Set up to mimic a 19th-century blacksmith shop, the room offers visitors a chance to learn experientially about the skills specific to this once-essential trade. Additionally, the museum contains an exhibit on the Loudville Lead Mine, an operation that ran in the hilltowns for over three centuries.  413-527-3209. 5 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 31, 2pm-4pm – HISTORY MUSEUM: The Hadley Farm Museum chronicles the history of farming in the Pioneer Valley. Home to tools and machinery used on Hadley farms as long ago as the 1780’s, the museum is located in an 18th-century barn – showing artifacts just as they would be found on a farm. Visitors can see everything from the first broom-making machine to toys enjoyed by farm family children! 413-586-1160. 147 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (<$)

Sunday, August 31, 6pm – CONCERT: Marafanyi Drum, Dance, and Song will perform an exciting concert at Bascom Lodge on August 31. The duo blends original songs and spoken word with West African rhythm and dance. All ages will enjoy this interesting musical performance! Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA.

Sunday, August 31, 7pm-10pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Berkshire Botanical Garden and the Berkshire International Film Festival present a screening of Ratatouille (2007; rated G). Pack a picnic and enjoy the movie! 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, September 1st, 2014

Happy Labor Day!

Monday, September 1 – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Looking for something fun and educational to do with the family this Labor Day? Check out one of our great local museums! Between Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties, there are dozens of incredible museums to choose from, with exhibitions ranging from book art to local history, birds to toymaking. MASS MoCA currently has two unique exhibitions – “It’s Only Human” is all about the human body, and “Eclipse” is about the now-extinct passenger pigeon. Looking to learn about life in the past? Visit Old Sturbridge Village for “Bucket Town: Four Centuries of Toymaking and Coopering in Hingham” or Historic Deerfield for “Deerfield: A Community of Craftwork in the Early 20th Century.” Fans of children’s books can visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art to see their exhibition, “Harriet the Spy Turns Fifty.” These are just some of the amazing local museums families can visit this Labor Day. Plan ahead and visit your local library to check out a museum pass for free admission!

Monday, September 1, 8am-6pm – 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. $

Monday, September 1, 8:30am-4pm – PLANT STUDIES: Explore the Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory & Plant House where loads of learning opportunities are awaiting your family! The Conservatory offers an audio tour for both kids and adults, and a “Woods of the World” display that features panels of wood from over 170 trees from all around the world! With ten different indoor exhibits to explore, the learning possibilities offered by the conservatory are endless. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane on the Smith College campus. Northampton, MA (FREE/Donations)

Monday, September 1, 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 1, 10am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Get lost in Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm! Explore the maze, which is shaped like a raven alongside a chess board and idyllic farm scene, and see how fast you can find your way out! 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA. $

Monday, September 1, 11am – 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. $

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 10am – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 2, 3:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids can do a fun nature craft at Natural Bridge State Park on September 2. Learn how to weave twigs and do creative projects using your new skill! 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! 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-2pm – HISTORY MUSEUM: The Hatfield Historical Society offers a wide array of resources for learning about Hatfield and Pioneer Valley history. Made up of Hatfield Historical Museum and the Hatfield Farm Museum, the society’s offerings include artifacts, documents, photographs, and special exhibits. Currently, the Hatfield Historical Society is featuring The Things They Left Us: A Glimpse into Civil War Life for Hatfield Men and Boys, an exhibit that puts Civil War life into a local context. Historical Museum open on Tuesdays (except December). 39 Main Street and Billings Way. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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, September 3rd, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 10am-1pm – HIKING: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a moderate hike at North Yokun Ridge. Go from Olivia’s Overlook to the Burbank Trail and enjoy stunning views, cool old cellar holes, and Monks Pond. Best for older students and adults. 413-499-0596. Lenox Road. Lenox, MA.

Wednesday, September 3, 5pm-7pm – CULINARY ARTS: Do you like pickled foods? You can learn how to make kimchi and other pickled foods at the Mason Library on September 3! 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, September 3, 6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Historical storyteller Shirley Sutton will be at the Bascom Lodge on September 3 to present “Berkshire Trails and Tales.” Sutton will talk about the Berkshires’ mysterious and fascinating history, from ghosts in the Hoosac Tunnel to runaway slaves. Families can learn local history and strange stories about the Berkshires at this presentation. Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 3, 6pm-8pm – BIRD STUDIES: Wildlife photographer and author Peter Christoph will present, “On Silent Wings: The Magic of the Snowy Owl,” at the Greenfield Public Library on September 3. Christoph will discuss the majestic snowy owl and his experiences photographing it. Older students interested in birds and nature/wildlife photography will enjoy this talk, which is co-sponsored by the World Eye Bookshop. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9am-12noon – AGRICULTURE/HOMESCHOOL: Homeschool students ages 8 and up can come to Red Gate Farm for Homeschool Half Days most Wednesdays through November 19. Students can learn about farming at these hands-on programs, which revolve around farm activities and explorations. Students ages 12 and up will work separately on more advanced farm projects. Sign up for some or all meetings. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, 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: 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 – NATURE STUDIES: Young kids and their parents/guardians can go on a Tyke Hike every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. These easy hikes will get young kids interested in nature and exploring the outdoors. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE; >$ parking)
  • 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.
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Preschool storyhour every Wednesday at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Ruthanne Paulson includes stories, music, movement, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Preschool-aged kids can attend Kidleidoscope every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. This weekly program features forest-themed educational activities. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, 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.
  • 6pm – KNITTING: Come to the Goodwin Memorial Library every Wednesday evening for knitting group. All levels are welcome, making this is a great intergenerational gathering to share knitting tips and tricks with other knitters of all ages. Runs all year. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, 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, September 4th, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 3pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The 166th Annual Franklin County Fair runs this from September 4 through September 7 and has tons of fun activities for community members of all ages! Learn about animals in the Exhibition Hall, see horse and oxen pulls, have fun on the midway, see a community talent show, eat delicious food, hear great live music, see demonstrations, watch the demolition derby and firefighter’s muster, and much more! 413-774-4282. 89 Wisdom Way. Greenfield, MA. $

Thursday, September 4, 3:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Families can visit Natural Bridge State Park for a family hike and nature bingo! Come explore the park and learn about nature by playing bingo. This is a fun activity to get family members of all ages outdoors spending time together. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 4, 6pm-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Valley Community Development Corporation is offering a series of First Time Homebuyer Classes at Greenfield Savings Bank in Northampton. Adults who are interested in buying their first home can come to these classes and learn the steps to home ownership. Classes are every Thursday from August 28-September 18. Please call to register. 413-586-5855 x16. 325A King Street. Northampton, MA.

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! 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 – MOVEMENT: The Millers Falls Library is offering a music and movement group for young children and their caregivers every Thursday through December 18. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 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.
  • 4pm-8pm – GAMES/LEGOS: Families can have fun every Thursday at Gaylord 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-8pm – KNITTING: Spruce up your knitting skills and spend time with community members of all ages at the Dickinson Memorial Library‘s knitting group every Thursday evening. All skill levels are welcome. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, September 5th, 2014

Friday, September 5, 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, September 5, 12noon – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The 166th Annual Franklin County Fair runs this from September 4 through September 7 and has tons of fun activities for community members of all ages! Learn about animals in the Exhibition Hall, see horse and oxen pulls, have fun on the midway, see a community talent show, eat delicious food, hear great live music, see demonstrations, watch the demolition derby and firefighter’s muster, and much more! 413-774-4282. 89 Wisdom Way. Greenfield, MA. $

Friday, September 5, 12:30pm – MOVIE: The Dickinson Memorial Library is screening Singin’ in the Rain (1952) as this month’s Friday movie. Community members of all ages can come enjoy this classic American musical comedy. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 5th from 6-8pm – CULINARY ARTS/SKILLSHARE: Remember the old fashioned Barrel Pickles? Pickling by fermentation! Get a batch of half-sour Garlic Dill Pickles going, and start a batch of sauerkraut. Discussion of pickling techniques will be presented, and sampling of fermented relishes and other pickled products. Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center. 413-685-1052. 1 Chester Rd, Middlefield, MA (FREE)

Friday, September 5, 7:30pm – HISTORY/LOCAL FOOD: Dennis Picard, historian of the lifestyles and folkways of New England, presents an intoxicating lecture on the History of Hard Cider Making. Hard Cider was a much more popular drink in early America than it is now, and the abundance of apples grown in Sheffield and surrounding areas made it a natural choice for home and commercial brewers alike. 413-229-2694. Sheffield Historical Society. Dewey Hall, 91 Main St., Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 5, 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Join the Springfield Museums for “Stars Over Springfield,” an introductory astronomy talk and star viewing at the Science Museum’s observatory. The event is recommended for kids 8 and up, but younger children are welcome. If it is cloudy or rainy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of the live star viewing. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. >$

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! 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. $
  • 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.
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum’s weekly Museum Adventures program features stories, songs, dancing, play time, scavenger hunts, and more, and is open to kids 18 months to 3 years. It’s a great way for young kids to explore some of what the museum has to offer! Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, 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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