28 Community Highlights: Pysanky to Passover. Aerodynamics to Shakespeare.
Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!
Featured community highlight this week: Families can join Mass Audubon for a Bluebird Nest Box Building Workshop at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday, March 28, from 1:30pm-3pm. Build pre-cut nest boxes to help provide much-needed nesting sites for cavity nesting birds like bluebirds, tree swallows, house wrens, chickadees, and others. Participants will also learn how and where to mount the boxes, and will learn about Eastern Bluebird conservation efforts. Call to register. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. ($$)
Geology ♦ Folk Art/Ukrainian ♦ Puppets/Marionettes ♦ Library Adventures ♦ STEM ♦ Conservation ♦ Theater/Musicals ♦ History/Artifacts ♦ Aerospace Science ♦ Community Meal/Passover ♦ Parenting/Homework ♦ Sledding ♦ Family Music ♦ Paleontology
Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:
Saturday, March 28, 9:30am-5pm; Sunday, March 29, 10am-4pm – GEOLOGY: The Western Mass. Mineral, Jewelry, and Fossil Show takes place on March 28 and 29 at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Northampton. Hosted by the Connecticut Valley Mineral Club, the show features the collections of numerous geologists, collectors, and dealers, and offers families an opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal look at gemstones, fossils, petrified wood, crystals, mineral specimens, and more. There will be demonstrations throughout the day, as well as opportunities to see and learn about equipment used to cut and polish stones. Budding geologists will be in heaven while surrounded by the museum-quality displays and the vast wealth of knowledge held by presenters. 1 Atwood Drive. Northampton, MA. (>$)
Saturday, March 28, 10am & 1pm – PYSANKY: Learn the traditional Eastern European craft of Slavic Easter Egg Decorating at Ventfort Hall. This annual demonstration and workshop teaches you the history and basics of this time-honored craft. For ages 12 and up. Please pre-register. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$$)
Saturday, March 28, 10am-1pm; Monday, March 30, 5:30pm-8:30pm – PYSANKY: Learn how to make Ukrainian Easter eggs, or “pysanky,” at the Yellow House this March. The eggs are decorated with beeswax and dye and are given as gifts during the Easter holiday. Celebrate Easter and learn a new craft – make an egg to gift to a friend or family member at this hands-on workshop. Please register in advance. 413-289-6091. 1479 North Main Street. Palmer, MA. ($$$)
Saturday, March 28, 12noon-2pm – PYSANKY: Learn about “pysanky,” or Ukrainian Easter eggs, at the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library with local art teacher Marion Abrams. Abrams will teach kids and families ages 8 and up about pysanky and thow to paint these beautifully decorated eggs using beeswax and dyes. Please register in advance. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, March 28, 10:30am – MARIONETTE: As part of their Children’s Music Series, the Jones Library presents a performance of the traditional Russian folktale, The Firebird. This puppet performance features handcrafted marionettes, costumes, vivid sets, and musical accompaniment in the form of Stravinsky’s score from the original ballet. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, March 28, 11am – SHADOW PUPPETS: There will be a performance by Dr. Marmalade and Her Shadow Puppet Show at the New Marlborough Library on March 28. Kids can see the performance and make their own shadow puppets. 413-229-6668. 1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road. New Marlborough, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, March 28, 11am – STORYTELLING: Join the Holyoke Public Library for “Seriously Silly Stories” with Jenn Couturier. These entertaining stories will keep young kids interested and engaged – children will move, laugh, and tell their own stories. This program kicks off the library’s “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge,” which provides young children with the literacy skills needed to do well once they enter school. Call to reserve a spot. 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
Wednesday, April 1, 6pm – LITERARY CELEBRATION: Kids ages 5-12 can join the Chicopee Public Library for a Wizard of Oz Celebration on April 1! Come in costume as your favorite character and have fun with crafts and games. Call or stop by the Children’s Room to sign up. 413-594-1800 x107. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, March 28, 11am-12noon – LEGOS: Preschool-aged children can have fun with LEGOs and Duplos at the Erving Public Library as part of a series of programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This is a great chance to introduce young kids to STEM topics! Call to register. 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, March 28, 11am-12noon – 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, March 28, 11am-2pm – AERODYNAMICS: The Meekins Library will hold a STEAMcraft program for kids on March 28. Come to the library to learn about helicopters and how they work. Kids will also get a chance to make their own helicopters to take home. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, March 28, 1pm-3:30pm – GEOMETRY: Learn about the art of paper folding and try it out for yourself at the Good Purpose Gallery. This is a fun chance to learn origami and to discover how this ancient art form and geometry intersect! 413-394-5045. 40 Main Street. Lee, MA. ($)
Sunday, March 29, 2pm – LEGOS: Preschool-aged children can have fun with LEGOs and Duplos while learning about transportation at the Wendell Free Public Library as part of a series of programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This is a great chance to introduce young kids to STEAM topics! Call to register. 978-544-3559. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE)
Thursday, April 2, 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: The West Springfield Public Library is hosting a LEGO Club for ages 9 and up. Come make a cool LEGO creation in honor of Earth Day. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, March 28, 1:30pm-3pm – BIRD STUDIES/DIY: Families can join Mass Audubon for a Bluebird Nest Box Building Workshop at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Build pre-cut nest boxes to help provide much-needed nesting sites for cavity nesting birds like bluebirds, tree swallows, house wrens, chickadees, and others. Participants will also learn how and where to mount the boxes, and will learn about Eastern Bluebird conservation efforts. Call to register. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. ($$)
Saturday, March 28, 4pm & 7:30pm; Sunday, March 29, 3pm – THEATER/SHAKESPEARE: The Drama Studio presents a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this March. Come see Shakespeare’s classic comedy performed by talent young actors ages 9-14 at this enchanting performance. 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)
Saturday, March 28, 7pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: The Pioneer Valley Regional School presents a performance of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown this March. Come enjoy this fun musical, performed by PVRS students of all ages. 413-498-2931. 97 F. Sumner Turner Road. Northfield, MA.
Saturday, March 28, 7pm; Sunday, March 29, 3pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: The artistic accomplishments of the talented students at Mt. Everett Regional High School reach new heights with their production of the musical FOOTLOOSE! One of the most explosive movie musicals in recent memory bursts onto the live stage with exhilarating results. FOOTLOOSE will be performed at the Thomas A. Consolati Performing Arts Center. The cast and crew feature over 25 students from the 7th – 12th grade. 491 Berkshire School Road. Sheffield, MA ($)
Saturday, March 28, 7pm; Sunday, March 29, 2pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: Sinai Temple presents a production of The Fiddler on the Roof this March. Come see this classic musical, which tells the story of a Jewish father and his efforts to maintain religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach on his life. Tickets available in advance. 413-736-3619. 1100 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)
Saturday, March 28, 4pm-6pm – EXHIBIT/ARTIFACTS: There will be a reception for the Sheffield Historical Society‘s exhibition, “Antique Bottles from Berkshire County,” at the Old Stone Store on March 28. Come see antique bottles from Berkshire County, which can help teach about local history and industries of the past. What are the names on the bottles? Based on the business names on the bottles, what were the most popular industries in Berkshire County? Older students interested in local history and industry will enjoy seeing these artifacts on display. The exhibit is also open weekends 10am-3pm through April 19. 413-229-2694. Main Street. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
Sunday, March 29, 10am-4pm – STEM/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Discover the amazing world of space exploration at the New England Air Museum’s 2015 Space Expo. The Museum will have a tons of fun educational opportunities for students of all ages, all relating to STEM fields like aerospace science and technology. There will be special guests like retired NASA Astronaut Dr. Donald A. Thomas and space explorers, engineers, and scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S. Space Camp, the Society of Women Engineers, and many others. Museum visitors can also meet R2D2, touch a 70-pound meteorite, learn about geology and the atmosphere, design and build a rocket, hear the story of Apollo 13, try on a space suit, and do tons of other fun activities. The Space Expo is a great time to make the trip down to Connecticut to visit the museum, which is located at 36 Perimeter Road in Windsor Locks, CT. Call NEAM at 860-623-3305 for more information. ($)
Thursday, April 2, 6pm & 7:15pm – PASSOVER: The Springfield Jewish Community Center is hosting a Pre-Passover Pasta Dinner for families on April 2. Community members can attend this all-you-can-eat meal, the proceeds from which will help local Jewish teens attend the JCC Maccabi Games and Artsfest in Florida this summer. Call for more information or to purchase tickets. 413-739-4715 x319. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. ($)
Sunday, March 29, 6pm-7:30pm – PARENTING: Insight Meditation of Pioneer Valley is holding a workshop for parents/caregivers, “The Myth of the Perfect Parent: How the Buddha’s Teachings on Perception Helps Us See Through This Myth.” This is the first workshop in a five-week series (attend any or all) on what it means to be a “good parent,” how to reconcile work/life priorities, and other related topics. Insight Meditation is located in the Eastworks Building. 413-527-0388. 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 242. Easthampton, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)
Tuesday, March 31, 4pm-5pm – HOMEWORK: The Springfield Public Schools’ Parent and Community Engagement Center is offering a workshop for parents on homework help. Learn how to make homework time more productive at this engaging workshop. 413-787-6747. 91 School Street. Springfield, MA.
Saturday, March 28, 12noon-3pm – SLEDDING: Do some early-spring sledding before the snow’s gone with Franklin Land Trust at Guyette Farm! Families can come have fun outside sledding down the Farm’s hills and enjoy hot chocolate, a bonfire, songs, and stories after. If there is no snow, there will be a short all-ages hike followed by games and other fun activities. 413-625-9151. Gloyd Road & Old South Street. Plainfield, MA.
Saturday, March 28, 10am-4pm – MELTDOWN: Looking for a fun activity for the whole family this weekend? Come to Meltdown Family Fest at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School (80 Locust Street, Northampton, MA) on March 28 from 10am-4pm! This free family festival will have many great activities for families, including musical performances by Mister G, The Nields, In the Nick of Time, Shiprock & Anchordog, and others; author and illustrator talks and readings by Grace Lin, Mike Curato, Nick Bruel, Jarrett Krosoczka, and others; puppet shows and children’s theater performances by Tom Knight Puppets and Talking Hands Theatre; art activities; delicious local food; craft activities; fun gym games; a petting farm and info on farming; a dance party; and a cozy, quiet place for babies. There will also be representatives from local schools, organizations, and businesses for you to meet and learn more about what they do. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, March 28, 11am – RANDY KAPLAN: The Northampton Community Music Center presents a performance by Randy Kaplan at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art as part of their Family Concert Series. He will perform his unique blend of American roots music, country blues, and comedic storytelling at this exciting concert. The performance will be a ton of fun for both kids and adults! 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($) [CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESS]
Friday, April 3, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Springfield Museums’ T. Rex is turning 40! Come celebrate at the museums and enjoy a puppet performance, a fun presentation about dinosaurs, a presentation about reptiles and amphibians by Teaching Creatures, art and science activities, and more. See the full schedule on the Springfield Museums website. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)
[Photo credit: (cc) Ichunt]
Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Buckland, Colrain, Cummington, Deerfield, Hadley, Longmeadow, Montgomery, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne, Sunderland, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.