Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.
SUGGEST AN EVENT
If you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. 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.
Serving 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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.
On Saturday, December 3rd from 9:30-10:30am: BOARD GAME SWAP: Hilltown Families is hosting a Board Game Swap in the Meekins Library community room in Williamsburg, MA. Bring in board games you would like to swap with other families. Kindly make sure the games have all their pieces before bringing in. A fun way to recycle old board games and to discover new ones. Board games make excellent holiday gifts for the children in your life too! Surprise them with a new recycled game. This community swap is free and open to all families. RSVP here, or just drop in. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)
Following the Board Game Swap on Saturday, December 3rd from 10am-3pm – MYO CRAFTS & HOLIDAY FAIR: Both kids and adults today can create unique handmade holiday gifts and crafts today at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter School’s Eco-craft Fair! Materials are largely recycled or all-natural items, and activities include wreath making, decorating candles, mixing herbal teas, and creating hats and scarves from fleece. The event also includes a book fair and local artisans and craftspeople will be selling their wares. There will be live entertainment all day (including a performance from the school’s chorus!) and delicious homemade food is available. 413-268-3421. 132 Main Street (just down the street from the Meekins Library on Route 9). Haydenville, MA. (FREE ENTRANCE, >$ CRAFTS)
On Sunday, December 4th from 12noon-2pm - HOLIDAY STROLL: Main Street at Christmas in the village of Stockbridge with antique cars, entertainment, Santa and holiday tunes. 413-298-5200. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)
And later on Sunday, December 4th at 4pm and 7:30pm – VESPERS: Visit Mt. Holyoke College for their annual vespers service. The college’s glee club, jass ensemble, choir, and handbell choir will perform, and there will be carols and a candlelight chant. Abbey Memorial Chapel. College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
Scroll down to see our complete list of Weekly Suggested Events for the entire week, with 70 event listings for this coming weekend alone!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
On Saturday, Dec. 10th from 3-8pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Take a holiday stroll today in Great Barrington! There will be all kinds of family activities, including childrens’ crafts, music all over town, a gallery walk, tree lighting, and fireworks! Downtown Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
On Sunday, Dec. 11th at 11:30am – CAROLING: Go caroling all over the community! The event begins with a potluck lunch at St. John’s Corner in Ashfield, then heads to Poet’s Seat and finally the Buckley Nursing Home. 413-369-0240 or 413-625-9680. Ashfield, MA; 259 High Street, Greenfield, MA; 95 Laurel Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
BALLET: Pioneer Valley Ballet is proud to present its 33rd annual production of the Nutcracker, an enchanting, classic ballet production at the landmark Academy of Music Theatre on Dec 9, 10, 11. All tickets are reserved seating and available online and in person at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Senior & MTA member discounts available in person only. To purchase tickets, please call the Pioneer Valley Ballet at 413-527-6363, or the Academy of Music box at 413-584-9032 x105, or visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com. All shows have discounted high school & college student RUSH seats available 1/2 hour prior each performance at the box office window. RUSH seats are restricted to upper balcony only.
CRAFTED IN THE VILLAGE: December 3rd and 4th. Crafted in the Village. Open Studios and Craft booths all over Ashfield! Shop with those who make what they use and use what they make. Saturday 11am – 4pm Sunday 11am – 2pm Saturday night: Swing Caravan in Concert at Elmer’s Store! Dinner begins at 5, the concert starts at 7pm. Come early to shop, stay to eat and swing! www.Elmersstore.com for information on everything!
OPEN HOUSE/CRAFTS: On Sat. Dec. 3rd, Greenfield Center School will again host a Crafty Rumpus Open House. This is a colossal arts, crafts and music event for all ages with free art activities for children 3-12 years. Also musician Jay Mankita, who, according to Pete Seeger, is “one of the half dozen best songwriters today” will perform children’s music, as will Carrie Ferguson. In addition, Crafty Rumpus hosts a 25+ booth craft fair featuring juried artisans from across the region offering lovely wares, and will be serving up savory and sweet foods. All events free and all are welcome! Admissions information will also be available. For directions: www.centerschool.net and check out the Rumpus website: craftyrumpus.com Crafty Rumpus 2011 Sat. Dec 3rd, 10-4
HANDMADE HOLIDAY FAIR: Start your holiday shopping at Alchemy Initiative’s Handmade Holiday Festival- a juried exhibit of 40 artisans. From pottery and jewelry to chocolates and quilts- this is your one-stop spot to check everyone off your holiday list! Preview Party: Fri., Dec. 2nd, 4-7pm, $20. Gen admission: Fri., 7-9pm and Sat., Dec. 3rd 10-6pm, $4 adults/kids under 5 free. Drop and Shop: Parents, drop your child off at Bisque, Beads, & Beyond for a two-hour art project while you shop. Hands-on for your child, hands-free for you! Special hours on Saturday only. Call BBB to reserve your child’s spot: 413-442-9033. For more info, visit www.AlchemyInitiative.org or call 413-236-9600. 40 Melville St., Pittsfield, MA (next to the CYC and Boys and Girls Club).
SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.
Lee MacKinnon, Director of Family Education and Support at the Hilltown Community Health Centers writes, “A staff representative from the Hilltown Community Health Center’s Families Together program will be at the Cummington Family Center, 33 Main St. in Cummington, on Wednesday, December 7 from 10-11am. Hilltown residents wishing to give comments, suggestions, or ideas for improvement to the program are invited to drop by and complete a survey. Anyone wishing to give input but unable to make the session may obtain a survey at the Worthington Health Center or call the health center at 413-238-5511 x155 to find out how to complete a survey. Families Together is funded by the Massachusetts Community Development Block Grant Program. To remain eligible for these funds, the program must annually gather this information.”
Emma Stamas of the West County Resilience Committee writes, “Creating a More Resilient Holiday Season… Have you ever wanted to have a less stressful and more meaningful holiday season? Join in a discussion about how to save time and money and become more sustainable with members of West County Resiliency at our Tues. December 6 meeting at 7 to 8:30pm at the Shelburne Senior Center. Come and learn new gift giving ideas and less wasteful ways to make decorations, gifts, wrappings,holiday meals, and ways to minimize stress and depression. For more information about this free event or what our group is all about, call 413-624-3240.”
Kristen Rhodes of Leeds, MA writes, “Looking to start a playgroup for my 4yo son. If your child is 3-6 & you are looking for a homeschooling playgroup, contact me! I’m hoping to get together up to 5 mornings a week (9:30-11). My son has a severe peanut allergy so the group would need to be peanut free. I am willing to host, provide activities, & snacks (just let me know of food allergies/special diets) or we could meet at a peanut free facility if the group prefers… Pretty much I’m looking for an alternative for preschool as he is in much need of play with other children & cannot attend most playgroups due to his severe allergy, I have a background in early childhood & wouldn’t mind facilitating. Anyone is interested in brainstorming some type of playgroup, let me know!”