42 Community Highlights: Earth Day to Park Clean-Ups. Revolutionary Muster to Jurassic Roadshow.

Discover the history of Patriot’s Day at Historic Deerfield’s Patriot’s Day Revolutionary Muster and Parade on Saturday, April 18 from 10am-4pm. Visitors can experience what life was like in a small New England town in the 18th Century with activities like crafts, fife and drum music, and a parade and muster. All ages will enjoy this experience, which will make you feel like you’re back in the 1700s. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Park Clean-Ups to Earth Day Celebrations. Revolutionary Muster to Jurassic Roadshow. Papercutting to Wildcrafting… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages! Takes place at Flywheel in the old town. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)


DancingService-Based LearningEarth DayMusic StudiesLiteracyVernal PoolsEntomologyColonial HistoryPaleontologyArts & CraftsCulinary ArtsCommunity SingPuppetrySTEMAnimal StudiesTheaterEconomics


Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation:

Dancing

Saturday, April 18, 10am-12noon – FAMILY MUSIC PARTY: Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages! Takes place at Flywheel in the old town. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

Service-Based Learning

Saturday, April 18, 9-11:30am – FAMILY VOLUNTEER DAYS: The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place today, celebrating National Volunteer Month. Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER) (Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden)

Saturday, April 18, 9am-12noon – PARK CLEANUP: Help clean up West Springfield as a great spring community service project. Community members can meet at Mittineague Park’s Rotary Pavilion and then head to different sites around town for cleanup projects. This town-wide cleanup is a great community service opportunity! Email wsgsd@comcast.net or call for more info and to sign up. 413-244-1389. West Springfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 18, 9am-1pm – TRAIL MAINTENANCE: Volunteer to do trail maintenance with The Trustees of Reservations and the Appalachian Mountain Club at Chapel Brook. Older students can do trail maintenance and construction and then try supervised climbing the cliffs at Chapel Brook. 413-532-1631 x10. Williamsburg Road. Ashfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, April 18, 9am-1pm – OUTDOOR CLEANUP: Mass Audubon needs your help getting Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary ready for the busy summer and fall seasons! All ages can come help out with a variety of tasks and then enjoy a pizza lunch. This is a great opportunity to teach students the value of volunteer work and the work that goes into maintaining and preserving our local natural areas. Call to register. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Tuesday, April 21, 1pm-3pm – OUTDOOR CLEANUP: Help Historic Northampton with some spring cleaning on April 21. Bring rakes, garden gloves, and other garden tools and help clear the grounds of debris from the long winter. This is an opportunity for students to engage in a community service project that helps out this great local museum. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Thursday, April 23, 1pm-4:30pm – TRAIL CLEANUP: Community members can help clean up Hinsdale’s Old Mill Trail on April 23. Help clear winter debris, pick up trash, replace lost trail markers, weed, mulch, and more at this community service event. This trail cleanup event is a great chance to get young community members involved in volunteering and doing community service projects. 413-394-9796. Hinsdale, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Earth Day

Saturday, April 18, 9am-1pm – CANOE TRIP: Celebrate Earth Day by going on a canoe trip on the Mill River with Mass Audubon! Explore the floodplain forests, marsh, and a great blue heron rookery, and learn how to identify spring plants and birds. Best for those ages 10 and up with canoe experience. Call to pre-register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. ($$)

Sunday, April 19, 11am-4pm – MUSIC & MORE: Celebrate Earth Day at the Springfield Museums! Bluegrass trio Boys of the Landfill will perform environmental songs (11:30am & 1pm) and there will be exhibitors, displays, and activities for all ages. This event is a great chance to learn about the importance of Earth Day and taking care of our planet while having fun at a local museum. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 22, 2pm – ARTS & CRAFTS/FAMILY MOVIE: The S. White Dickinson Memorial Library is holding two special events this afternoon for Earth Day. Come to the library for fun Earth Day crafts from 2pm-3:30pm, then see Disneynature’s Bears (2014; rated G) at 4pm! All ages will have a blast celebrating Earth Day at the library. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 22, 3:30pm – DIY CRAFTS: Kids can celebrate Earth Day at Forbes Library. Learn about recycling, plant seeds, and make birdhouses. Please bring a toilet paper roll and a milk or juice carton. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 22, 5pm-7:30pm – INTERPRETIVE WALK: Celebrate Earth Day with Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center on a walk exploring the hidden mysteries of Barton Cove. Ages 6 and up can walk in the tracks of dinosaurs, have fun at a campfire, and more. This event is a great way for outdoor-loving families to meet other families with similar interests! Call to pre-register. 800-859-2960. 82 French King Highway. Gill, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 23, 10am-11:30am – INTERPRETIVE WALK: Families can celebrate Earth Day with the Family Resource Center! Meet at the Adams Visitors’ Center and go for a walk on the bike trail. There will also be hands-on activities for kids. 413-664-4821. Adams, MA. (FREE)

Music Studies

Saturday, April 18, 10am – INSTRUMENT PETTNG ZOO: Is your young child interested in learning a musical instrument? Kids in grades K-2 can try out many different instruments at the Holyoke Public Library‘s free Musical Instrument Petting Zoo on Saturday, April 18 at 10am. The Springfield Symphony Orchestra will be at the library with different orchestra instruments for kids to interact with and try out. The Instrument Petting Zoo is a wonderful opportunity to get young students interested in music and in learning how to play musical instruments. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Literacy

Saturday, April 18, 10am-11:30am – STORYWALK: The Westhampton Public Library will have a StoryWalk for the book Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton. Read the book and then enjoy snacks, related activities, and a visit from some big machines! 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, April 21, 6pm-7pm – STORYTIME: Kids ages 8 and under can attend a special storytime at the Wendell Free Library on April 21. Author/illustrator David Hyde Costello will read from his book I Can Help, and will discuss the story and characters during a question-and-answer session. Kids can come in their PJs for this fun storytime, which also features a snack, craft, and free book for each child. 978-544-5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 23, 3pm-4pm – STORYTELLING: Kids ages 5-10 can attend an interactive storytelling program at the Jones Library – “The Author’s Sketchbook: Creating a Story Together with David Hyde Costello.” In this collaborative, engaging storytelling program, Costello will sketch to provide structure for the story, while encouraging participants to generate ideas. This event would be great for kids who are interested in stories and writing. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Vernal Pools

Saturday, April 18, 10am-11:30am – VERNAL POOLS: Learn about vernal pools and why they are important with Mass Audubon at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. Naturalist Kevin Kopchynski will teach about these unique habitats and the amphibian species that rely on them. This is the only time of year when you can see species like spotted salamanders and wood frogs. All ages can explore a vernal pool at Laughing Brook and look for egg masses, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. Call to pre-register. 413-584-3009. Main Street. Hampden, MA. ($)

Entomology

Saturday, April 18, 10am-12noon – NATIVE BEES: All ages can learn about bees with Mass Audubon at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Learn about New England’s native bee species – there are over 300 – and discover their life history and role as pollinators. Participants can play a bee game, make a bee craft, and create a home for bees. Call to pre-register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, April 18, 11am-12noon – BEEKEEPING: Learn about bees and beekeeping at the Mason Library on April 18. Master Beekeeper Jan Johnson will present “Bees, Beekeeping, and the Environment,” a talk about bees and their importance as pollinators to many plants. This talk would be great for older students who want to learn more about beekeeping. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Colonial History

Saturday, April 18, 10am-4pm – REVOLUTIONARY MUSTER & PARADE: Discover the history of Patriot’s Day at Historic Deerfield’s Patriot’s Day Revolutionary Muster and Parade on April 18. Visitors can experience what life was like in a small New England town in the 18th Century with activities like crafts, fife and drum music, and a parade and muster. All ages will enjoy this experience, which will make you feel like you’re back in the 1700s. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Sunday, April 19, 2pm – CIVIL WAR: Discover the history of a one-of-a-kind confederate musket at the Springfield Armory. This illustrated program traces the musket through the last days of the Civil War. Students can learn about the surrender at Appomattox Court House and a soldier’s journey home from war. 413-271-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 22 & Thursday, April 23, 10am-3pm – COLONIAL HISTORY: Storrowton Village is offering a school vacation camp for kids ages 7-12 – “A Day Away in the Past.” This one-day camp takes children back in time to the 19th Century, where they will do hands-on activities, craft projects, and play games that give them an early American experience. Pre-registration and prepayment required. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, April 24 TBA – CIVIL WAR: Learn about the Civil War at the Springfield Armory during school vacation week. Museum visitors can see original films of an actual Civil War soldier holding a Springfield musket and will get their own wooden toy musket. 413-271-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Paleontology

Saturday, April 18, 11am-3pm – DINOSAURS: Learn about dinosaurs with Jurassic Roadshow at the Great Falls Discovery Center on April 18. See dinosaur tracks, raindrop impressions, ripple marks, and other fossils, and learn about the dinosaurs that lived right here in the Connecticut River Valley millions of years ago. At 1:30pm, geologist Dan Vellone will give a talk on dinosaur anatomy and fossils. Kids and adults alike will love this fun, engaging fossil show and presentation! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Arts & Crafts

Saturday, April 18, 2pm-4pm – PAPERCUTTING: Join papercutting artist Susan Urban at the Jones Library for a papercutting workshop. Ages 8-12 can come learn how to make paper cuts at this fun hands-on art program. Sign up in advance. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, April 19, 10:30am-12:30pm – BUTTERFLY-THEMED CRAFT: Families can attend a family workshop in the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art‘s art studio on April 19. Children ages 6 and up (2 children per adult) can celebrate spring in the art studio with butterfly-themed activities! Learn about the Monarch butterfly’s migration, create and personalize handmade nature observation journals, make insect sculptures, and create paper butterfly gardens. Sign up in advance. Cost is per pair or trio. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Monday, April 20-Friday, April 24, 11am-5pm – ARTBAR: MASS MoCA will have hands-on spring art activities for kids at their ArtBar during school vacation week! Visit the museum and come do a fun art project! Free with museum admission. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, April 22, 2pm-3:30pm – COLLABORATIVE PROJECT: Families can spend an afternoon doing fun art projects with Multi-Arts at the Forbes Library. Create collaborative projects using illustration, storytelling, and 3D objects. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 23, 2pm – HISTORIC CRAFT: Springfield Armory visitors can learn about armory workers and then craft their own armory worker dolls using recycled cloth and wire materials. This is a fun, hands-on way to learn about history! 413-271-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Culinary Arts

Sunday, April 19, 10am-1pm: WILDCRAFTING: Acorn Kitchen will be hosting their first annual Wild Spring Brunch. Learn about local wild edibles and how they can be prepared for a delicious meal! The event will have a wild brunch with acorn pancakes with sweet birch syrup, spring nettle quiche, knotweed n’ maple custard, and black walnut shortbread. Bring the whole family! There will also be a wild eating story hour and display of animals and plants for the kids.  Pre-registration required. Rocky Hill Co-housing Community Kitchen. 100 Black Birch Trail. Northampton, MA. ($$).

Sunday, April 19, 2pm-4pm – SKILLSHARE: Learn about fermentation at Grow Food Amherst‘s Sustainability Sunday workshop. Trevor Ring will present this workshop, which focuses on the basics of fermented foods and their health benefits. Participants will gain hands-on experience making sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. This workshop takes place at All Things Local Cooperative Market. Registration is required. 413-259-3149. 104 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS APPRECIATED)

Community Sing

Sunday, April 19, 5:30pm-8pm – COMMUNITY SING & DINNER: Earthdance is holding a community sing (5:30pm) and potluck (7pm) tonight! Penny Schultz, Earthdance co-founder, brings community members together through song. This event is open to all ages, engaging children in music and singing in an intergenerational environment. 413-634-5678. 252 Prospect Street. Plainfield, MA. (>$/SUGGESTED DONATION)

Puppetry

Monday, April 20, 11am – SHADOW PUPPETS: The Emily Williston Memorial Library presents a Shadow Puppet Theater performance and workshop. Participants (ages 5 and up) can learn how to make their own shadow puppets and then use them in a puppet show of their own. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

STEM

Tuesday, April 21, 1pm – FIRE & ICE: The Children’s Museum at Holyoke presents a performance by The Mad Scientist on April 21. Kids will love this fun show, titled “Fire and Ice.” Free with museum admission. 413-536-7048. 444 Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Tuesday, April 21, 2:30pm-3:30pm – PLANT STUDIES: Kids ages 9 and up can do a fun hands-on science project West Springfield Public Library. Come plant seeds in a CD case! Please pre-register. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, April 22, 11am – STEAM: Preschool-aged children can learn all about animals and insects at the Wendell Free Library as part of a series of programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This program fosters children’s natural curiosity while teaching respect for all living things. Watch a box turtle crawl, touch a corn snake and observe Land Snails, Thailand Walking Sticks and various other arthropods close up. Facilitated by a Hitchcock Center for the Environment Educator. This is a great chance to introduce young kids to STEAM topics through animals. 978-544-3559. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE)

Animal Studies

Tuesday, April 21, 1pm – ANIMALS AROUND THE WORLD: Creature Teachers will present “Animals Around the World” at the Berkshire Athenaeum on April 21. Learn about animals from all over the world, their habitats, and more. Kids ages 5 and up will love this presentation, which features live exotic animals. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 23, 1:30pm – REPTILES: The Children’s Museum at Holyoke presents Bwana Iguana and the Reptile Adventure, an educational reptile show featuring turtles, tortoises, snakes, and more. Free with museum admission. 413-536-7048. 444 Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Theater

Tuesday, April 21, 1pm-2pm – WORKSHOP: The Jones Library presents a workshop by Village Theatre Company. Kids ages 8-12 can come for theater games and creative fun. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, April 23 & Friday, April 24, 11am & 2pm – PRODUCTION: Berkshire Children’s Theater presents a production of Sleeping Beauty during school vacation week at the Berkshire Museum. All ages will love this family-friendly musical! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Economics

Thursday, April 23, 10:30am – STORYTIME/FINANCE: As part of Money Smart Week, the Jones Library will have a storytime for kids focused on money and saving. This is a great chance to get kids interested in learning about money and the importance of saving! 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)


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.

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