Suggested Events for May 13-19, 2017
If you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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.
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Summer Camp Directory
Our summer camp guide is up! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.
Montessori Comes to Forbes Library: On Friday, May 12, at 11am, bring your child to a visit with Montessori School of Northampton educator Laura Frogameni. The hour will include time to explore Montessori materials, circle time and a story. The Forbes Library is located at 20 West Street in Northampton. Free; all families of children 0-6 are invited to attend. For more information, call Laura at 413-586-4538 x103 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.
Join local artists May 13th & 14th for a celebration of Mother’s Day in Florence, featuring handmade pottery from Tandem Ceramics and Steve Theberge Ceramics and jewelry from Tiny Anvil. All flower vases will come with a custom arrangement of spring flowers from Wild Rose Farm, the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Plus bring a receipt from the Florence Pie Bar and get 10% off your whole purchase. Located at 221 Pine Street Studio #336 in Florence, MA (Arts + Industry Building). www.facebook.com/events/164079904117936.
Visit the Montessori School of Northampton at 51 Bates Street on Saturday, May 13, for the second annual family-friendly Pride Party and We Need Diverse Books Fair. The event, which is free and open to all children and their grown-ups, will take place from 10am- 1pm on MSN’s large, shaded playground. In addition to enjoying games, snacks, and music from Valley sensation DJ Quintessential, families can browse and purchase a wide range of children’s and YA books in support of We Need Diverse Books, a grassroots organization seeking to put more books with diverse characters into the hands of all children. The school will also be open for tours. For more information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.
Sunday, May 14, Mother’s Day Tea at the Bryant Homestead in Cummington! Pastries, scones, sandwiches and tea served on beautiful china along with tours of the historic house and Bryant’s poetry read aloud in the library. An unforgettable Mothers’ Day gift. Children under the age of 6 are FREE. First seating: 11am-1pm; Second seating 2pm-4pm. For pricing information and RSVP please contact email@example.com or call 413-532-1631 x3110.
Thinking about planting an organic garden this spring, but feeling a little overwhelmed? The Atlas Farm Store’s Garden Fest, on May 20, will help. Healthy and strong organic vegetable and flower starts; organic compost and expert advice from the Atlas farmers and the UMass Vegetable Program, to answer gardening questions. Plus tour the Atlas greenhouses, have lunch, sample food from local vendors, listen to music and more. Learn how Atlas grows their delicious fruits and vegetables; leave ready to plant an organic garden. Saturday, from 12-5pm, Atlas Farm Store on Routes 5 & 10 South Deerfield. www.atlasfarm.com.
Fast, slow, young, old…Whole Children wants to take you on a Wild Goose Chase! The Wild Goose Chase to benefit Whole Children will be held at Look Park on Sunday, May 21, from 10am-1:30pm, and is an inclusive family event for all ages and abilities. There will be race invents, including a chip-timed 5K race and a just-for-fun 1.2 mile race, as well as a slew of kids’ races. There will also be a carnival, featuring music and live performances, food trucks, face painting, games, prizes, hula-hooping, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more. Head over to www.runreg.com/wildgoose to register now!
Sled Dog Adventures in West Chesterfield, MA invites kids to learn to take care of & exercise a world class athlete-the Alaskan Husky Sled Dog! Choose a dog for the week: Learn to feed, pet, play, clean-up after & train a sled dog. Ride a racing rig, scooter, bike, jog & swim with the sled dogs. Some of the warm weather activities dogs & Day Campers love to do together. Overnight Camp includes wilderness skills, primitive cooking at the bonfire, storytelling, marshmallows & howling! All have fun bonding, playing & mushing with the team! “My son just finished his first Puppy Camp, it was everything & more! He not only bonded with the dogs – he seemed to grow in self-confidence each day.” Cummington MA. July 5-28, 7-16yrs. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.hilltownwildernessadventures.com.
Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.
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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 13-19, 2017
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. 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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!
Saturday, May 13, 7am-8:30am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
All major mammal groups are known to migrate, usually on a seasonal basis, in order to arrive at a more ideal climate, a better area for mating, or an area of greater food availability. You may notice this phenomenon in the spring, as bird species arrive in the Northeast. Early morning bird walks at Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary offer you the chance to hone your bird identification skills during spring migration. This program is open to birders of all levels. Bring binoculars and a field guide if you have them. Dress for the weather and be prepared for insects. Heavy rain cancels. 413-584-3009. Adams Road. Haydenville, MA. (Members FREE; Non members <$)
Saturday, May 13, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Spring marks the arrival of warblers, sparrows, thrushes, and other migratory birds. Learning to identify them by sight and sound can add a new layer of appreciation to the spring season. Lime Kiln Wildlife Sanctuary’s education coordinator will be offering guided morning walks of the trails to teach participants how to identify species of local birds. If time permits participants may also check other nearby birding hot spots. Bring binoculars; beginners are welcome. This program is best suited for adults. 413-637-0320. Silver Street. Sheffield, MA. (Members FREE; Non members <$)
Saturday, May 13, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
The warblers are back! Ornithologist Geoff LeBaron, Director of the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, will teach you about the migratory birds that pass through the valley each year, on a guided nature walk. Participants will explore the Fort River Division of Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge. Space is limited to 20 participants. Visit the Kestrel Land Trust website to register. Heavy rain will cancel: you’ll be notified before the event in case of cancellation. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 8am-11am
Community meals are great intergenerational opportunities to sit down with neighbors of all ages, making connections and nurturing relationships across the generations. Participating in a community pancake breakfast does more than fill your belly… it strengthens the social fabric of community by developing a sense of place in our children! Celebrate the founding of Springfield (May 13, 1636) at the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast. This event features pancakes and family entertainment, and allows families to meet and spend time with community members of all ages. For more information, visit the Spirit of Springfield website. State Street to Bridge Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)
Saturday, May 13, 9am-12pm
Participating in a volunteer day at a local nature center or trail, you can help ensure that the trails are cleared for visitors, and help biodiversity by pulling invasive plants! Stewardship Day and Volunteer Open House at William Cullen Bryant Homestead offers many opportunities for people of all ages to engage in service-based learning. Volunteer as an individual or as a family. Ecologist Julie Richburg will teach participants the basics of removing garlic mustard, an invasive plant. Bring gloves and hand tools in you have them. Some tools provided. Bring water, snacks, layers and tick protection. Be prepared to go off trail. Stick around from noon to 1pm to learn about becoming a tour guide. 413-532-1631 ex 3119. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (VOLUNTEER)
Saturday, May 13, 9am-12pm
Starting a backyard garden can help your children forge a connection to place…especially if you buy the plants locally! Plant sales connect botanists, horticulturalists, gardeners, and general nature lovers as they exchange their knowledge and their wares. The Gardeners’ Annual Plant Sale at Wistariahurst also supports historical learning as the proceeds will benefit ongoing care and maintenance of the historically-inspired Wistariahurst grounds and garden. Arrive early as many plants sell out quickly. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (MARKET/SALE)
Saturday, May 13, 9am-1pm
Bring the whole family to Vermont: Brattleboro Memorial Hospital hosts their annual Touch a Truck event! Over 50 big rigs will converge on the BMH parking lot. Spend the day in the driver’s seat playing with all the buttons and levers, trying on firefighters’ bunker gear, moving mulch in a mini tractor, and so much more. Want to win free tickets? Download the coloring page and send a masterpiece to be entered into a drawing for free tickets. All entrants’ artwork will be displayed at the event. The contest is open to ages 12 and under. Download it here. All proceeds benefit BMH. 17 Belmont Avenue. Brattleboro, VT. (<$)
Saturday, May 13, 9:30am-12:30pm
World War I had an indelible impact on our nation and the globe, leading to the collapse of empires, the abolition of countries and the drawing of new international boundaries. The war and its aftermath also shaped our culture on a local level. You can learn a little about the history of World War I through the lens of firearm manufacturing, by attending a talk at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site entitled “Arsenal for the Allies: New England Arms Makers in the World War.” The Springfield Army Alliance is holding this program in recognition of the centennial of the war. The talk will focus on contribution of New England Arms manufacturers including, Colt, Smith & Wesson, Savage, Westinghouse, Remington, Winchester. 413-734-8551. One Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (Non member $ DONATION)
Saturday, May 13, 10am-12pm
Most parents would rather their children do something more active and educational than watch Saturday morning cartoons. But at the Norman Rockwell Museum, you can enjoy classic cartoons together as a family and reframe this as a historical and artistic endeavor. Cartoon television shows are works of visual art, made up of sequential drawings and stemming from the same foundationidea as physical flip books. At the Saturday Morning Cartoons program at the museum, you can enjoy classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon shows such as Tom and Jerry, and The Jetsons, and explore art history through the museum’s exhibits. If your children are artistically inclined, you could follow up this visit with an art project by making flip books together as a family. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 10am-12pm
Birdhouses of all shapes make nice decorations, but if you want to attract specific birds, you need to consider what they are looking for in a home! Bluebird houses are relatively simple and easy to make. They are rectangular with a large roof, and involve protective measures for keeping snakes and other creatures out. Bluebirds were once on the verge of extinction, but efforts to protect and support their habitat and nesting preferences have helped the species bounce back. Families are invited to learn about bluebirds in a program at the Hitchcock Center. The program will begin with a slideshow about bluebirds, covering their natural history, nesting cycle, and habitat requirements. After the slideshow participants will use house kids to assemble a bluebird house! Depending on your yard, you may be able to set the bluebird house on your property. Bring your own Phillips-head screwdriver and come prepared to take notes. This program is recommended for adults and families including young people 4th grade and up. Registration is required. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (Members $; Non members $$)
Saturday, May 13, 10am-5pm
OPEN HOUSE/BOOK DRIVE
Visit the Montessori School of Northampton at 51 Bates Street on Saturday, May 13, for the second annual family-friendly Pride Party and We Need Diverse Books Fair. The event, which is free and open to all children and their grown-ups, will take place from 10 am to 1 pm on MSN’s large, shaded playground. In addition to enjoying games, snacks, and music from Valley sensation DJ Quintessential, families can browse and purchase a wide range of children’s and YA books in support of We Need Diverse Books, a grassroots organization seeking to put more books with diverse characters into the hands of all children. The school will also be open for tours. For more information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.
Saturday, May 13, 10am-5pm
Edith Wharton was an extremely prolific and respected author, writing fifteen novels, seven novellas, and eighty-five short stories, poetry and more. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature three times, in 1927, 1928 and 1930. Wharton also designed her elegant home and gardens, which you can visit! The Mount is a 49-acre property featuring one of the most significant formal gardens in New England, including an Italian walled garden, French flower garden, and a lime walk lined with pleached linden trees. You can explore the home and the grounds on Opening Day for the 2017 season. Pay once; visit often! Admission valid for 7 days, and kids get in free every day. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (Adult $; 18 and under FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 10:30am-11:30am
Emily Dickinson is a well-known and well-loved poet, whose life and work help us connect to nature, history, and place. The Emily Dickinson Museum’s annual Poetry Walk marks the anniversary of the poet’s death (on May 15, 1886) with readings of her poetry at historic sites in Amherst. Learn about Emily Dickinson’s life in Amherst by visiting sites that were significant to her, while listening to her poetry read aloud. The Poetry Walk will begin in the Homestead garden and proceeds through Amherst, concluding at the poet’s grave in West Cemetery. 413-542-2947. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 10:30am-11:30am
Reading skills are important for children to succeed in many different subject areas. Learning to read out loud is an important skill which can be a difficult and self-conscious experience for kids. Having a friendly animal present can help calm children down so that they can focus on improving their reading. Children of all ages and abilities are invited to the North Adams Public Library to read to and spend time with special furry friends, Inky and Seymour. Children may bring a favorite book from home or choose one from the library’s collection. The dogs are certified as therapy dogs, and their owners/handlers will be present. Call the Youth Services Department for more information. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 12pm
It’s Bay State Bike Week! Do you have a bike your child has grown too big for? Or one you aren’t using? You can donate any size of bike to contribute to RAD Springfield’s Earn a Bike Program. All age bike donations will go to RAD Springfield’s Earn a Bike Program. Contact Maggie at 413-748-9891 or email@example.com to coordinate donations. Springfield, MA. (DONATION)
Saturday, May 13, 12:30pm-2pm
Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from green or black tea. Water kefir is a probiotic beverage made from grains. You can learn how to make the probiotic drink, kombucha, as well as how to easily flavor and carbonate it at home, in a workshop at the Ramsdell Library. The workshop leader will also teach you about water kefir, an underutilized cultured beverage, including information on how to use it as a starter for other fermented products. Bring a jar if you’d like to walk away with a kombucha mother (the starter culture used to make kombucha). 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 2pm
Art, including written works of art, can be a catalyst for political and culture change. But how do authors navigate sensitive and complex topics such as climate change, racism, and war – in their fiction and nonfiction? Poet and nonfiction writer Naila Moreira, and novelist Ellen Meeropol, will be giving a workshop on political writing at the Forbes Library. Come prepared to write! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY/CIVIL WAR
Twenty black soldiers from Amherst fought for the Union during the Civil War. Five of those soldiers (two of whom gave their lives in the war) were from the same family, the Thompsons. One such soldier, Christopher Thompson, survived the war and later died in 1898. He was buried in Amherst West Cemetery, but there was no gravestone. The Amherst Historical Commision has created the “Christopher Thompson Memorial Stone” and the public is invited to witness the installation of this monument. Several of Christopher’s descendants plan to attend this dedication ceremony. The new monument also serves to acknowledge and honor the twenty black soldiers from Amherst. West Cemetery. Triangle Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 2pm
Wildlife and ecology are an integral part of our natural history. Over the past five hundred years, major changes have occurred in Northampton’s wildlife, both in the form of species departing, returning, and newly arriving for the first time. beaver, bear and turkeys, for example, once disappeared for decades and are now back in abundance. You can learn about the factors which cause changes in our local biodiversity by attending Laurie Sanders’ talk, Wildlife Changes in Northampton: from Nonotuck to Now, at Historic Northampton. Human attitudes, laws, trade practices, and climate all impact wildlife in fascinating and important ways. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 2pm-4pm
It’s not too late to start planting your garden! Horticulturalist Eric Ruquist will be teaching a workshop at Naumkeag explaining how to pl and plant a garden of seasonal flowers. He will focus in particular on good flower varieties for the southern Berkshires, and explain how to seed a densely-planted garden to grow your own cut flowers. Everyone will leave with a seeded flat of flowers. For more information please call 413-298-8138. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (Members $; Non members $$)
Saturday, May 13, 2pm and 7pm
The musical Les Miserables, based on the novel by Victor Hugo, has endured in its popularity since it was first performed in 1980. Through song, this performance conveys the importance of love and compassion, especially in difficult circumstances. You can see this award-winning musical performed by over 50 students from all over the Valley. Starlight’s Youth Theater will be performing this timeless show at the Academy of Music Theatre on May 12 and May 13. Starlight’s Youth Theatre was established ten years ago as a non-profit youth theater in the Valley. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($)
Saturday, May 13, 2pm-3:30pm
An important aspect of culinary arts is learning how to pair flavors which complement each other. This is a skill and an art form, similar to an artist’s knowledge of color palettes. You can learn about, and sample, ideal pairings of tea and chocolate at the Sunderland Public Library. In this program, attendees will also learn about the history and health benefits of both chocolate and tea! Please register in advance at the library. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 2pm-6pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE/ART STUDIES
In nature journals, people draw inspiration from the natural world to draw sketches, write, or track observations and scientific recordings. You can learn the basics of nature journaling and watch it transform your experience outdoors! Art instructor Jennifer Lovett will be guiding participants on an exploration of the Hoosac Range. The terrain is moderate and the pace will be reasonable. Children are welcome. Registration is required. Visit the Berkshire Natural Resources Council website for full details. Hoosac Range. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
Saturday, May 13, 3:30pm
Does your mom appreciate history and fashion? Bring her to Ventfort Hall for a tea and talk entitled “1900 to 1925: Revolutionary Fashion.” Learn what fashion looked like in 1900, and how it evolved over the first quarter of the 20th century. Fashion historian and Adams vintage clothing shop owner Lynda Meyer calls this period, “the most revolutionary generational transition in fashion history.” She will discuss how factors such as technology, art a tragic world war and women’s suffrage impacted fashion trends and industry. For information and reservations call 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)
Saturday, May 13, 7pm-10pm
DANCE STUDIES/LATINX CULTURE
Have you ever wanted to improve your dancing by taking a lesson? Stars of Ballet Hispánico will be providing a brief lesson at Shire City Sanctuary before inviting everyone to dance to live music! Los Hancheros will perform modern-day Latin music. This is a unique opportunity to dance among professional company dancers. Purchase tickets through Jacob’s Pillow Dance or buy them at the door- cash only. 413-236-9600. 40 Melville Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)
7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of 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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!
Sunday, May 14, 8am-11:30am
COMMUNITY MEAL/MOTHER’S DAY
Celebrate Mother’s Day with a community meal! This holiday honors the importance of a mother’s impact in both the nuclear family and wider society. The Berkshire Lodge of Masons will be offering a breakfast including pancakes, eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, coffee, juice and much more. Celebrate the impact that mother’s have on families across generations. 63 Center Street (The Elks Lodge Building). Adams, MA. (<$)
Sunday, May 14, 10am-4pm
Glassblowing is a glass-forming technique which dates back to the 2nd millennium BC. Glassblowing can be used to create practical items as well as purely artistic pieces. The Clark Art Institute has an impressive collection of Early American Blown Glass and other glass items. On Sunday, May 14 the Clark will open a brand new gallery, The Lauzon Glass Study Gallery. The items in this new collection tell the story of the glass industry in early America, featuring both free-blown glass and pressed glass. The collection includes many forms of glass such as decanters, figured flasks, lighting implements, and objects for the table such as drinking glasses and salt cellars. Visit the new gallery to learn how glass was made in early America and admire the beauty of glass as an artistic medium. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Adults $; Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID FREE)
Sunday, May 14, 11am-1pm, 2pm-4pm
Looking for something nice to do with mom on Mother’s Day? Mothers’ Day Tea and Poetry at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead will include a proper afternoon tea in the parlor, complete with pastries, scones and sandwiches. There will also take guided tours of the historic house. Bryant’s poetry will be read aloud in the library. Visiting the homestead could be the perfect mother’s day for moms and families interested in local history, poetry, and tea! 413-532-1631. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. ($$ – $$$)
Sunday, May 14, 1pm-4:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, an historic house museum dating to 1752, is opening for its 68th season! Known as Forty Acres, the museum is an 18th-century farm on the banks of the Connecticut River that today interprets life in rural New England. Through the words, spaces and possessions of those who lived there, the museum portrays the activities of a prosperous 18th-century farmstead. After this opening day, guided tours will be available Saturday through Wednesday for the season. The museum is closed on Thursdays and Fridays. 413-584-4699 . 130 River Drive, Hadley MA. (<$)
Sunday, May 14, 2pm
Hanna-Barbera was a successful American animation studio, from 1957 to 2001. Glenn Leopold worked for the company as a writer for thirty years, creating well-known and loved shows such as The Smurfs and Scooby Doo. Get a behind-the-scenes look into the world of film and animation by attending his talk at the Norman Rockwell Museum. In celebration of Mother’s Day this program will include a delicious tea and treats! 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)
Monday, May 15, 2017
Monday, May 15, 9:30am-10:15am
Practicing yoga at any age can connect you to your body and help you be more mindful. Starting young, kids can discover that yoga is a lot of fun and will possibly develop a lifelong love of the activity. The Community Network for Chidlren is offering a family yoga series ideal for kids ages two to five. Baby siblings are also welcome. The class will use music to guide kids through movements and postures while singing familiar songs. Kids will imitate different animals in their poses and complete a fun obstacle course. There will be five sessions, on April 24, May 1, 8, 15, and 22. Registration is required call 978-544-5157. Sessions take place at the Leverett Library. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)
Monday, May 15, 1pm
In the English language, the word “labyrinth” is often used as a synonym for “maze.” Ancient labyrinths, however, are not mazes. They are typically structures which consist of a single path to the center. Lanyrinths have historically been used for walking meditation practices. In his talk, “One Labyrinth. 10,000 Miles of Open Road,” Clive Johnson will discuss his upcoming project. He intends to travel the United States with a portable labyrinth in the hope of building stronger communities and encouraging empathy. He will be discussing his project and his book in this talk at the Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
Monday, May 15, 4pm
Museums provide inexpensive and sometimes free education across disciplines and age groups, offering opportunities for intergenerational bonding and interdisciplinary learning outside of the classroom! Museums support brain building for our youngsters and lifelong learning for our elders, all while supporting local artists and makers. If you are interested in museum studies, you can attend the Museums10 Summit Keynote “Inside Out: Transforming Museums Through Collaboration, Community Involvement and Social Action” at Smith College. Mike Murawski, director of education and public programs at the Portland Art Museum will be discussing the ways in which museums and museum programming can bring people together and embrace diversity. Graham Auditorium, Hillyer, Brown Fine Arts Center. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
Monday, May 15, 5:30pm-7pm
Soda-like beverages have existed long before the highly processed, sugary drinks we know today. “Switchel” is one example of a once-popular, homemade, American sweet beverage. You can get creative making your own wild sodas with simple ingredients and basic equipment. Trevor Ring will be leading a workshop at the Mason Library, teaching participants how to make wild sodas, as well as kvass, a traditional Russian/Eastern European fermented beverage usually made from stale bread or root veggies like beets. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
Monday, May 15, 6:30pm
Studying a particular food item across history can provide great insight into the intertwining concepts of food, habitat, and culture. Flowers can be used as decorations in and outside of the home and, in some cases, eaten. Edible flowers are a particularly fascinating subject because they can be both a food item, and an important cultural symbol.The Greeks, Romans, Persians, Ottomans, Mayans, Chinese, and Indians all cooked with flowers for centuries. Mary Newman’s book Edible Flowers: A Global History, provides fascinating insight into how flowers have been used in cooking, from ancient Greek dishes to the today’s molecular gastronomy and farm-to-table restaurants. You can hear her discuss these topics in a book talk at the Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
Monday, May 15, 6:30pm
Learning to identify birds by their calls opens up a whole new world of bird identification. Even if they’re cleverly camouflaged or roosted at the top of a tall tree, if you can hear a bird’s song, you’ve got a good shot at determining who is chattering. With his “Songbirds of the Northeast” presentation at the Dalton Free Public Library, naturalist John Root will teach you bird identification techniques through recordings and photographs. Interested attendees will also be able to purchase bluebird boxes and perennials for edible landscaping and attracting wildlife. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.
Tuesday, May 16, 7am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
If you have a backyard bird feeder, you may have become familiar with the bird species which thrive in your neighborhood. Guided nature walks can help you expand your ornithological knowledge as you become familiar with the birds of field and forest. “Birding Beyond Your Backyard” is a beginner birding program designed to do just that. Beginners are invited to join the Hoffman Bird Club for a stroll around Housatonic Flats. The terrain is flat, level ground along the Housatonic River. Bring water and a snack. Housatonic Flats is on Route 7, just north of the WSBS radio tower and opposite 434B Stockbridge Road. Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-499-0596 with questions. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
Tuesday, May 16, 9:30am-11am
The average American child spends about thirty minutes of their day in unstructured, outdoor play, and more than seven hours in front of a screen (see this report for more information). Most people intuitively understand the connection between time spent in nature and positive well-being. Fresh air and exercise keep our bodies in shape and our minds focused. But did you know that time spent outdoors in childhood also is correlated with better distance vision? For young, developing children, the benefits are endless. You and your child can increase your time spent outdoors by participating in a nature playgroup at Naumkeag. The playgroup is best-suited for three to six year olds. It is not stroller friendly, though babies in arms are welcome. Participants, both children and caregivers, can expect to get very dirty and explore some of the most remote corners of the property. Registration is required. Call 413-298-3239 ex 3013. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
Tuesday, May 16, 5pm
What sort of factors impact women’s participation in sports? A panel discussion at Smith College will explore the international women’s sports movement. Kari Fasting of the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, will discuss “The Impact of Sexual Harassment on Women’s participation in Sport.” Ani Chroni, President of Women’s Sport International in Greece, will discuss “The Impact of Women’s Organizations on Gender Equity in Sport.” Don Siegel, Professor of Exercise and Sport Studies at Smith College, will discuss lessons from “Teaching Sport and the American Dream.” Learn about the current state of women in sports and what can be done to improve conditions moving forward. Smith College. McConnell 103. Tyler Court. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
Tuesday, May 16, 5:30pm-6:30pm
Bicycling has a great positive impact on communities. Biking is fun exercise, and biking for transportation helps you to decrease your carbon footprint. Bike trips can be a bonding experience for the entire family, but you have to practice bike safety! The Bike Rodeo in Amherst will include a bike and helmet fit check. New bikers will learn to ride, signal, check traffic, and switch gears effectively. There will be a slow bike race. Bring a bike in good repair, a helmet and closed-toe shoes. Crocker Farm Elementary School. 39 Shays Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.
Wednesday, May 17, 10:45am-11:30am
Book clubs bring book lovers together and add another enjoyable aspect to reading- discussion. You may like the idea of joining a book club, but don’t want to let the book club dictate what you read. No problem! You can drop by the Storrs Library Bring Your Own Book club and discuss what you’ve read recently. Discover great books and authors that book lovers in your community are currently reading. No registration is required. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
Wednesday, May 17, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Spring and fall are the best times of year for birdwatching if you want to learn about migratory birds. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’s caretaker Jonathan Pierce will be offering a spring birdwatching guided walk for adults on Wednesdays in May. Participants will walk past beaver wetlands and through the woods to identify warblers, tanagers, orioles, and other species. Beginners are welcome. Bring binoculars. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
Wednesday, May 17, 5pm-6:30pm
Did you know that before inventing the world’s first successful airplane, Orville and Wilbur Wright owned a bicycle shop? Bike maintenance has the potential to teach kids all kinds of subjects and skills including math, science, reading, writing, problem-solving, and working toward a goal. You can learn about how the Holyoke Urban Bike School supports this type of learning, and join in a leisurely, family-friendly community bike ride in Holyoke! The ride will last about forty-five minutes and afterward participants are invited to check out the HUBS space and learn about their work. Steady rain cancels the event.Holyoke Urban Bike School. 160 Beech St. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
Wednesday, May 17, 6pm-7:30pm
Reading opens up a world of learning, relaxing entertainment, and much more. Reading fiction in particular strengthens the reader’s empathetic skills. In order to understand and enjoy a novel, the reader must consider various characters’ perspectives, an important lifelong skill! You can encourage literacy skills with your young children, not only by reading but also talking, playing, and singing! Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a four-session workshop (on May 3, 10, 17 and 24) on the importance of literacy, teaching parents and children fun activities they can do together. Register on the Collaborative for Educational Services website. Call 413-586-4900 for more information. Clapp Memorial Library. 19 South Main Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
Wednesday, May 17, 6:30pm-8pm
Muriel Rukeyser once posed this challenge: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” The Powder Keg Sessions is a women’s writing workshop at the Ramsdell Library, where women come together to share their truths. The workshops are run by Suzi Banks Baum, an author, artist, and mother who teaches classes on nurturing the habit of daily writing. Come see what writing can do for you, and what your writing can do for others. 413- 274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE)
Wednesday, May 17, 7pm
Today, young adult readers can walk into a bookstore and often find an entire section of books written just for them. Young adult books can be written in any genre- mystery, science fiction, or fantasy, for example- as long as they are written with a teenage audience in mind. Young adult books typically feature teenage characters. Young adult literature helps young people establish a love of reading by providing texts which appeal to teenage concerns. Teens today are lucky, since young adult literature didn’t emerge until the 50s and 60s, and has exploded in recent decades with lots of books to choose from! You can hear two contemporary young adult authors speak about their works at the Odyssey Bookshop. Holly Black will be discussing her fantasy book, The Darkest Part of the Forest, while Renée Ahdieh will be discussing her brand new book, Flame in the Mist. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
Wednesday, May 17, 7pm-8:30pm
Beavers have a remarkable impact on their habitat, as other animals are attracted to the ponds beavers create. Beavers help keep drinking water safe and increase biodiversity. Come to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to learn more about beavers’ habits and the history of beavers in North America. Beavers have spent 7 million years in this region, and many reintroduction efforts have taken place to improve declining beaver populations. The program leader will help attendees look for beavers as well as other wildlife who live in the ponds. This event is suitable for children ages three and up, and their caregivers. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (<$)
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.
Thursday, May 18, 10am-5pm
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Taking your children to a museum can be the perfect activity to keep learning going outside of school. In addition to being educational spaces, museums support the creative economy, build partnerships with school systems, and provide public spaces for community members. You can join in a celebration of the power of museums by visiting the Norman Rockwell Museum on Art Museum Day! There will be guided gallery talks starting at 11am, 12:30pm, and 2:30pm. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
Thursday, May 18, 12pm
Meet other art lovers by attending a “Looking and Lunching” event at the Clark Art Institute. The May 18 program, “Tricks of the Trademark,” is lead by curatorial assistant Genevieve Hulley. She will examine The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, a print included in the exhibition Looking North and South: European Prints and Drawings, 1500-1650. Albrecht Dürer work was the subject of a bitter copyright dispute. Tickets to this program include admission to the galleries, careful observation of the print followed by informal discussion, and lunch provided by Café 7. To purchase tickets and select a menu option call 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)
Thursday, May 18, 12:15pm
National identity is supported by images. During the founding of the United States, old british images such as portraits of kings, queens, governors, and jurists, became obsolete. An interest in American leadership and history led to new imagery provided by artists such as Charles Willson Peale, John Trumbull, and Gilbert Stuart. Learn about the life and work of these artists in a lunchtime lecture at the Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)
Thursday, May 18, 7pm
PUBLIC HEALTH/FILM STUDIES
How can communities come together to tackle the problem of addiction as a public health issue? The 2016 documentary Generation Found provides some answers to the complex problem of addiction. It tells the story of a community in Houston, devastated by youth drug abuse, who built the world’s largest peer-driven youth and family recovery community. The project utilized the input and help of counselors, law school dropouts, aspiring rock musicians, retired football players, oil industry executives, and church leaders in order to create a long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” You can view this film at the Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
Friday, May 12, 2017
Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.
Friday, May 19, 7am-9am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Spring and fall are the best times of year for birdwatching if you want to learn about migratory birds. You can learn to identify the beautiful wood-warblers, orioles, thrushes, and more on spring birding walks at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Sanctuary Volunteer and Hoffmann Bird Club leader Noreen Mole will guide participants past wetlands and through meadows and woodlands, observing changes in ecology and bird species each week. Bring binoculars; beginners welcome. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
Friday, May 19, 11am-5pm
Tending to a family garden or even just watering house plants can teach kids about responsibility and various branches science at the same time! Plant sales offer the opportunity to support local horticulturalists as well. Bringing your child along to a plant sale, he or she will learn about habitat and ecology as you pick out plants that will thrive with the conditions of your home and yard. The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual plant sale will provide thousands of woody and herbaceous plants for purchase. The plants will be displayed by habitat and include plants for sunny areas, beds and borders, dry areas, plants for the woodland edge, and woodland plants, as well as annuals, tropicals and vines. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. (MARKET/SALE)
Friday, May 19, 11:30am-1:20pm
Ice skating is a 3,000 year old sport and a New England family tradition! Whether indoors or outdoors, ice skating is a fun physical activity for kids and adults. Families are invited to skate at the Mullins Center at UMass Amherst on Fridays in March and April. Check the Mullins Center website for a full calendar and details. The Mullins Center rink accepts cash or check only. Governors Drive. Amherst, MA. (Child <$)
Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Heath, Holyoke, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.