Suggested Events for September 22nd-28th, 2012

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

Kids crazy about yo-yos? The Massachusetts State Yo-yo Contest takes place Sunday morning, Sept 23rd at the Academy of Music in Northampton!

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, 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.

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 class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house or general 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.

BEST BETS

Berkshire Family Fun

Find out what’s going on in Berkshire County in our bi-monthly column, Berkshire Family Fun.

Fri. Sept 21st-Sun., Sept 23rd - AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The annual Belchertown Fair takes place this weekend, featuring tons of opportunities for fun and learning!  There are, of course, midway games and rides, along with the chance to meet and learn about a wide variety of farm animals, exhibition halls filled with foods and crafts, and lots of live agricultural events.  413-323-6654.  28 Park Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (<$)

Sat., Sept 22nd at 11am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Eric Carle Museum hosts Hey Dango – a kids’ music group (made up of three intrepid space explorers, plus Dango) who sing about language, science, math, individuality, healthy habits, and more!  The event is part of the Northampton Community Music Center Concert Series.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

Magic School Bus

This month the Emmy Award winning TV series has been re-launcehd to DVD, The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series, bringing together all 52 episodes of the program on 8 DVDs… and Hilltown Families has a set of the complete series to giveaway to one very lucky family! Deadline to enter to win is Tuesday, October 2nd by 7pm (EST).

Sun. Sept 23rd from 11am-6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate bread, the equinox, and all things fall with Hungry Ghost Bread!  Wonder Not Bread Fest will take place at the Hungry Ghost bakery today, and will feature a puppet parade, music, vendors (selling local honey, cheese, jam, etc. – things that are good with bread!), gardening activities, and more!  State Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Sun. Sept 23rd from 1-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Hopkins Forest celebrates fall this weekend at the annual Fall Festival!  There will be apple butter, fresh apple cider (and a chance to see pressed cider production), live music, woodworking demonstrations, a tree canopy walkway, and fun hands-on activities for kids!  Families can learn about the apple harvest and cider production, and woodworking demonstrations will be centered around the skills necessary to build a barn.  413-597-4353.  Northwest Hill Road and Bulkley Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Ramblin' Jack Elliot

Continuing our Parents’ Night Out promotions, Hilltown Families and Signature Sounds Concerts have partnered up to offer two pairs of tickets for two lucky couples to see Ramblin’ Jack Elliot in concert at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Sunday, October 7th at 7pm with special guests, Jeffrey Foucault. Win a pair of tickets and take your spouse, partner or good friend for a night out. Deadline to enter to win: 10/3/12 at 7pm (EST).

Sat., Sept 29th from 10am-6pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The town of Sunderland is hosting the 14th annual Fall Festival!  The event features local artists and crafters, livestock exhibits, live music throughout the day, games and activities for kids, an amateur dog show, local food (and beer from BBC for grown ups!), and more.  Takes place on the town ball fields behind the library.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE)

Sat. & Sun., Sept 29th & 3oth from 8am-12midnight: FALL FESTIVAL: North Adams celebrates the annual Northern Berkshire Fall Foliage Festival happens next weekend!  Events include a morning farmers’ market, a pet parade, family music, a family dance, and more!  North Adams, MA.  (<$)

Sun., Sept 30th from 10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 51st annual Festival of the Hills is next Sunday!  The event, an annual celebration, features a plethora of fun activities and educational opportunities.  The day begins with a road race, and will also feature a parade (at 1pm), live music, pony rides, an art show featuring work by local artists and artisans, a skillet toss, and many demonstrations and exhibits from which families can learn about many different fall- and country-themed skills, activities, and more.  South Deerfield Road.  Conway, MA.  (FREE)

Sun., Sept 30th from 12noon-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Apple Spree takes place at Look Park next Sunday! The event is a fundraiser for the Northampton Survival Center – for each peck of apples purchased by a family, a peck will be donated to the center.  There will be live music from Appalachian Still, an apple car race for kids to enter, an apple cooking contest, and, of course, lots of delicious apples to enjoy!  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE, fee for parking)

BULLETIN BOARD

Sept 23

North Amherst Community Farm & Simple Gifts Farm will celebrate the 7th annual North Amherst Harvest Festival on Sun., Sept 23rd from 12noon-5pm in North Amherst (1089 N. Pleasant St.). The festival will feature locally grown and prepared foods & a non-stop line up of entertainers, including, New Growth String Band, Rusty Belle, Jay Mankita & several others. Families can enjoy hula-hooping, kids crafts & activities, pumpkin bowling, cider pressing & even a chance to make smoothies using a kid-sized blender bike. Horse drawn wagon rides around the farm will tour crops & livestock for families to learn about the farm’s integrated, bio-diverse land management system. This is a free rain or shine event. (>$ parking) nacfonline.org

Sept 23 & Oct 7

Is your child already a chicken lover or maybe your family is thinking about getting a few hens for the backyard? On Sunday, Sept 23 from 1-2:30pm, Crimson & Clover Farm (part of Northampton Community Farm) in Florence will host, “Who You Callin’ Chicken?,” a program for kids ages 6-12yo. Come meet a few egg laying ladies and learn the ins and outs of caring for hens. Participants can hold and feed chickens, share a story, ask questions, and of course, cook and eat an egg snack! Cost: $10-15 per child (sliding scale). Then on Sunday, Oct 7th the farm will hold a Fall Beekeeping for Families program from 11am-2:30pm. Cost: $25-35/family. Spaces are limited. For more info & to register online, visit thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Sept 25 – Oct 16

Enjoy gardening with your child or want to start? Join the Sweet Roots Kids CSA this fall for kids (2-5yo) and their grown ups! This 4-week program runs Tuesday mornings, Sept 25-Oct 16, from 10-11:30am in Deerfield. Sweet Roots Gardens is a garden-based education program providing on site programs as well as off-site garden installation & education services for children & families. The Tuesday Kids CSA program celebrates the fall harvest. Participants can pick beans under the bean tunnel, paint pumpkins, snack on fresh veggies & get silly in the garden. Includes a weekly veggie snack share. Cost: $75 for 4-weeks or $20 per session. More info at www.facebook.com/SweetRootsGardens. To register contact Sara: saracoblyn@gmail.com. 413-230-4833

Sept 27 – Nov 1

Pilates for Moms! Two new Pilates classes just for Moms with seasoned instructor Anneliese Mordhorst on Thursdays, September 27 – November 1st. $15 single class/$75 series. Postpartum Pilates – Strength, Stretch and Support at the Cooley Dickinson Center for Midwifery Care in Northampton, Thursdays at 10am. An all-levels mat class for renewing strength and vitality after pregnancy. BYOBaby at The Pilates Studio in Hadley, Thursdays at 12pm. A mat class for all-levels using Pilates props for strength, tone and stretch. All exercises are modified to accommodate for fussiness. Contact Anneliese for more information and to register: 413-296-4306/anneliese@slashmail.org. thepilatesstudioinhadley.com

Sept 29-30

The Sharing Tree Consignment Sale: Offering high-quality, gently used items for babies and kids, including clothes, shoes, toys, books, baby equipment, and maternity wear. Thousands of items expected. Public sale: Saturday, September 29, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Half-Price Sale: Sunday, September 30, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, 28 West Silver St., Westfield (behind Amelia Park Ice Arena). Now registering sellers and volunteers: sellers earn a percentage on the items they sell and shop early – before the sale opens to the public. Volunteers shop first – even before sellers! Find out more at www.sharingtreekids.com. For questions, email Karen at info@sharingtreekids.comor call 413-324-8733.

Oct 20 & 27

Click here to registerThe Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst is offering a two-Saturday youth workshop in Oct in conjunction with their newest exhibit. “In The Art Studio: Inspired by Eric Carle” takes place on Oct 20 & 27 from 9:30-11:30am for youth ages 5-8. In this workshop children will study the new exhibition Beyond Books: The Independent Art of Eric Carle to take inspiration from his non-representational, 3D & collaborative art. Participants will paint colorful textures & patterns on a variety of surfaces such as paper, vinyl, & cardboard then sculpt them into window hangings, mobiles, name plates, & more. Advance registration required by Oct 15. Instructor: Meghan Burch. Cost: $50 (Members $40). Registration info at www.carlemuseum.org.

Nov 3

CALL FOR CRAFTERS: Hilltown Families is a proud sponsor of the Cummington Family Center’s 3rd annual Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair. The fair is the center’s annual fundraiser and an excellent opportunity for community members to find commercial-free handmade items, many supporting creative free play. This year’s fair will be held on November 3rd at Berkshire Trail Elementary School in Cummington, MA. Registration is now open for crafters who make handmade, commercial-free items for kids of all ages. Spaces are also open for anyone interested in leading hour long gift-making workshops for children and/or adults. This is a great family-friendly event. If you are interested in learning more, email Stacey at cummingtonfamilycenter@yahoo.com.

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL CLASS: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
September 22nd-28th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets
Weekly eNewsletter

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

“The Belchertown Fair is always a great family fall event.” – Chris Curtis (South Hadley, MA)

6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

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. – Alex Mitnick is our Guest DJ, with a show  all about dreams… dreams we have at night, dreams we have during the day … Dreams can tell us many things… what we love to do, what we’re afraid of, what we’re really feeling and what we hope for in the future. Learning to believe in our dreams is the first step in making our dreams come true… Listen carefully and join the journey as we learn all about dreams! – Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

8:30-3pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE/TEENS: Help the Zoo in Forest Park (teaming up with Habitat for Humanity) put the finishing touches on new buildings and pens during Habitat Goes to the Zoo!  The zoo has been working hard to recover from damage done during last year’s October blizzard, and community members are invited to help maintain this community resource.  413-739-5503.  302 Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA. (FREE)

9am – ORNITHOLOGY: Explore Canoe Meadows and watch for migratory birds with sanctuary director, Rene Laubach.  Students can learn how to spot and identify various species of birds, and will also be able to learn about habitats they prefer and what they eat!  Registration required. 413-637-0320.  Holmes Road.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

9am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Celebrate the 25th anniversary of Great Barrington’s RiverWalk with a walk-about!  The hike will follow the Housatonic and end in the WEB Dubois Garden.  Visitors can learn about the history of the path and enjoy the beautiful fall scenery!  Church and River Streets.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

9-10am - LOCAL HISTORY: Take a tour of the Captain Truman Wheeler Farmstead, a collection of 18th and 19th century buildings that housed five generations of Wheelers (and their farm!).  The tour is a mix of history and lessons about modern architecture – visitors will be able to learn about 21st century techniques that are being used to hold up a barn awaiting restoration.  South Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

9am-11pm – NATURE STUDIES/CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: Help to catalog and count plant and animal species, and learn to identify ones that are new to you at the annual Berkshire BioBlitz!  The event is a full 24-hour event (taking place at Burbank Park), during which scientists and community members will work together to search for and identify as many species as possible!  Along with the critter-hunt will be nature displays to learn from (including live specimens!), craft activities, and special workshops designed to teach visitors about specific types of plant and animal life while still searching for them!  Lakeway Drive.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am – LOCAL HISTORY:Tour Jacob’s Pillow, which is home to a renowned dance school and hosts numerous creative dance performances for the public throughout the summertime.  Visitors can tour the facility, then watch a short film to learn more about its history and role within the world of modern dance.  Registration required.  413-243-9919.  George Carter Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The annual Belchertown Fair takes place this weekend, featuring tons of opportunities for fun and learning!  There are, of course, midway games and rides, along with the chance to meet and learn about a wide variety of farm animals, exhibition halls filled with foods and crafts, and lots of live agricultural events.  413-323-6654.  28 Park Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (<$)

9:30am – GEOLOGY: Families with older students can learn all about Franklin County Geology today with professors from GCC and HCC!  The tour, which begins on the GCC campus (meet in parking lot F), will take families to locations in and near Greenfield, where they can learn about dinosaur-era environments, basalt and pillow lava, evidence of continental division, and more.  413-527-8536.  1 College Drive.  Greenfield, MA.  ($)

10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/LOCAL HISTORY:: Hike the historic former trolley line from Great Barrington to Egremont!  The Great Barrington Historical Society hosts local historian and author Gary Leveille for an educational journey through history.  The hike is just over two miles, and will take roughly two hours.  There are remnants of the trolley line still located along the trail – it’s full of interesting local history!  Meet at the VFW lot.  South Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/LOCAL HISTORY:: Hike a path used by the first settlers of Township No. 1 (now Monterey) from the Bidwell House Museum to the settlers’ meeting house!  Learn about the very early history of the town, and enjoy the fall scenery.  Registration required.  Meet at the Bidwell House Museum.  413-528-6888.  100 Art School Road.  Monterey, MA.  (FREE)

10am - LOCAL HISTORY: Tour the historic Colonial Theater, which hosts countless plays, concerts, and performances of all sorts.  Built in 1903, the theater is a National Historic Treasure!  Registration required.  413-448-8084.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-2pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Apex Orchard today for Apple Picking and Cider Day!  Fill bushels with delicious ripe apples, and contribute some to the cider press!  413-625-2744.  153 Peckville Road.  Shelburne, MA.  (FREE)

10am-9pm – SOCIAL STUDIES: Enjoy a day filled with maple syrup, cheddar cheese, and aromatic coffee – it’s Vermont Day at the Big E!  Families can visit the Avenue of States to learn about Vermont’s history, culture, industries and agriculture, geography and more.  There will be special exhibits, demonstrations, vendors, etc. to share information on everything from the Green Mountains to the story of Champ the lake monster!  413-737-0445.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)

11am – LOCAL HISTORY: Explore two 18th century neighborhoods in West Stockbridge!  Visitors will learn about the historic homes within them, as well as about the unique and beautiful architectural styles used for the buildings.  Registration is required. Meet at 1854 Town Hall.  413-232-4465.  9 Main Street.  West Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)

11am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Eric Carle Museum hosts Hey Dango – a kids’ music group (made up of three intrepid space explorers, plus Dango) who sing about language, science, math, individuality, healthy habits, and more!  The event is part of the Northampton Community Music Center Concert Series.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

11am – STORYTELLING/ARTS & CRAFTS: Want to encourage kids to create stories?  Visit Odyssey Bookshop for a program on creative craft activities for kids that will help them develop their storytelling skills.  The program features Show Me A Story, a book by Emily Neuberger that is filled with activities, games, projects, and more than families can do to begin telling more stories.  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

11am-12noon - ANIMAL STUDIES: Educator Rachel Roberts offers a class for kids on animal babies at the Arms Library!  There will be storytime, as well as hands-on art and science activities centered around learning about baby animals and how they are cared for by their parents.  413-625-0306.  Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

11am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Stavros hosts, “Celebrate the Promise: A Festival of Achievement, Diversity, and Disability,” an event featuring work from local disabled artists, exhibits of adaptive equipment and technology, a health fair, and live music from local groups!  The event takes place on the Amherst Common, and offers families (especially with young children) a chance to learn about living with disabilities.  Pleasant and Main Streets.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

11am-9pm – COMMUNITY PEACE EVENT: The Center for Peace Through Culture host a day-long community family event celebrating International Day of Peace.  BYO family, picnic and blanket to The Guthrie Center for meditation, peace education and song.  Three class for youth learning peace through the arts include: Peace Readings for Children, Peace through Music and Sound, and Peace through Art. 413-644-9288. 2 Van Deusenville Road.  Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

12noon-2pm – TEEN/TWEEN: The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts author Ty Allen Jackson, author of YA books Fif15teen and Still Fifteen, for a special author event.  Attendees can take part in a Q+A with the author, and learn about his creative process.  There will also be a teaser for his newest book!  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

12noon – FILM: The Berkshire Museum offers a film festival today!  In conjunction with the museum’s current Rethink! Native American Art and Culture exhibit, the festival will feature three films about Native American history, culture, and life in New England.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Tour the acclaimed Barrington Stage Company and learn about it’s 100-year history!  Visitors will see behind the scenes, and learn about the changes made to the building during its renovation in 2005.  The tour includes a look at the company’s prop and costume areas, as well as the stage stars’ dressing rooms!  30 Union Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm - LOCAL HISTORY: Take a tour of the oldest parts of the Richmond town burial grounds, and learn about community members who were part of the Revolutionary War!  Learning about significant local history can help students put their knowledge of American history into context and help them better understand how their community was shaped.  Registration required.  413-698-2560.  1101 State Road.  Richmond, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – HISTORY: Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the historic document that eventually ended slavery.  Celebrate and learn about the history of the proclamation at the Unitarian Society – there will be guest speakers, live music, and more.  Families can use the event to supplement their children’s studies of American history, and use what kids learn to start a family dialogue about civil and human rights.  413-253-7748.  220 Main Street. Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – FAMILY THEATER: Nutshell Playhouse presents, “Tutti Frutti,” at the Lenox Library!  The show features a fierce and funny parrot named Taco Carumba, as well as original music, puppets, and lots of clowning around.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

1:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/LOCAL HISTORY: Explore Gould Farm, tour some of its 600+ acres, and learn about the land’s role in the town of Monterey’s rich charcoal-making history!  1.5 mile hike, roughly 2 hours.  Meet at the Harvest Barn.  Gould Road.  Monterey, MA.  (FREE)

1-3pm – ENTOMOLOGY: Explore the fields at Northfield Mountain and learn about the numerous types of six-legged insect critters found there!  Educator Rachel Roberts will lead young entomologists on an exploration to find bugs (using nets, magnifying glasses and field guides) and will teach students how to identify what they’ve found.  Registration required.  800-859-2960.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

2-4pm – NATURE STUDIES: Explore Stanley Park’s wildlife sanctuary, and use old maps and history facts to discover former home sites, dams, and mill foundations!  Art O’Leary hosts, “Nature Reclaims History” – the event offers families a chance to learn about local history, while learning to use maps and compasses to unearth hidden history!  413-568-9312.  400 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

2:30pm – AGRICULTURE: Explore the Project Native Farm, a working farm that works to bank seeds and provide demonstration gardens from which the community can learn about sustainable and responsible farming practices, native plants, and plants that grow best in the Berkshire landscape and climate.  Registration required.  413-274-3433.  342 North Plain Road.  Housatonic, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – BOOKS: Celebrate back-to-school – Olympian style!  The Greenfield Library hosts a party for Percy Jackson’s return to school  - just the way his mum might have!  Kids can do crafts, get painted-on “tattoos”, test their Percy Jackson knowledge at trivia, have some ice cream, and more!  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

4:30-6:30pm - COMMUNITY DINNER: Bring the family to a community a chicken barbecue with the Monson-Glendale United Methodist Church!  162 Main Street.  Monson, MA.  (<$)

7pm - FILM FEST: The Ashfield Film Festival screening takes place tonight! The festival is made up entirely of films created by community members.  Takes place at the Town Hall. Elmer’s to host pre & post parties.  412 Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  ($)

7-10:30pm – COMMUNITY DANCE: Dance your socks off at a family-friendly sock hop!  The event, which will take place at the Buckland-Shelburne Community Center, is a fundraiser for the Arms Library (which needs a new roof!).  Dress in your best and favorite 50’s and 60’s clothes, enjoy snacks and drinks, learn some classic 50’s and 60’s dance moves, and enjoy DJ-ed music all night long.  There will also be a raffle with great prizes!  53 Main Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

8pm-12midnight – ASTRONOMY: See the stars from the summit of Mt. Greylock!  Dress warmly, and meet near the War Memorial Tower to view the night skies using a variety of telescopes provided by members of the Amherst Area Amateur Astronomers’ Association.  From the telescopes – varying in size from 10 inches to 8 feet – visitors can see numerous stars and constellations, planets, the Milky Way, and more.  413-499-4262.  Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

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Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

“We went to Hilltop Orchard in Richmond, it was a wonderful time, we took a hayride out to pick the apples and got a hayride back. Then the next day we baked, and of course a fire in the fireplace is a fall favorite for our family.” – Tiffany Kingsley (Lee, MA)

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. 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 over 5 years of archived shows.

9:30am-6pm - AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The annual Belchertown Fair takes place this weekend, featuring tons of opportunities for fun and learning!  There are, of course, midway games and rides, along with the chance to meet and learn about a wide variety of farm animals, exhibition halls filled with foods and crafts, and lots of live agricultural events.  413-323-6654.  28 Park Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (<$)

10am – PHYSICS/YO-YO: The Massachusetts State Yo-yo Contest takes place today at the Academy of Music!  Visit to see physics at its best.  Competitors from all around New England will perform their best tricks to vie for the championship!  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

10am - OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/LOCAL HISTORY: Visit Cookson State Forest to learn about (and visit!) a 19th century sawmill and shingle shop!  The adventure will be lead by local historian and author Bernie Drew, and will teach participants about the forest and its place in local history.  The forest is part of the New Marlborough Land Trust.  Hotchkiss Road.  New Marlborough, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – FARM ADVENTURE/CORN MAZE: Get lost in the corn maze at Warner Farm!  Mike’s maze offers a fun and challenging outdoor adventure (of the best kind!) for families of all ages.  The maze is open every weekend and on Monday holidays.  Pair a visit to the farm with studies of local agriculture.  23 South Main Street.  Sunderland, MA.  ($) ♦

10am-9pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: New England’s largest (and longest running) agricultural fair has begun!  The Big E is in full swing, and is loaded with opportunities (both fun and educational) for families with kids of all ages.  Along with the usual rides and midway games are educational gems like Storrowton Village, where kids can learn about 19th century life in New England; the Avenue of States, which features information on all of the New England states; numerous demonstrations, displays, and events featuring many different aspects of the varied types of agriculture present in New England; and more!  413-737-2443.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)

10:30am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Lake Wyola with educator Dawn Marvin Wood for a program called “Let’s Explore!”  Families can adventure through the woods on an easy hike of moderate length, listening for birds, searching for creatures, and learning about the many different types of trees and small plants that fill the forest.  Bring a picnic!  Trail mix provided.  Meet at the Lake Wyola parking lot.  978-544-5157.  94 Lakeview Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)

11am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/AGRICULTURE: Explore historic Hilltop Orchard and learn about the antique apple varieties grown there!  The orchard’s operators are working to preserve the unique apples, and also operate a vineyard.  Families can learn all about the ins and outs of orchard-keeping, and grown ups can taste the delicious local wines.  Route 295.  Richmond, MA.  (FREE)

11am – FAMILY THEATER: Main Street Stage presents, “The King Stag,” at The Mount!  The show features puppets, stilts, masks, music, and more, and has been touring all summer – this performance will be the final one!  BYO seating – the show takes place outside.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

11am, 1:15 or 3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Take a ride on the Quinnetukut II, an open-air riverboat, along the Connecticut River!  The boat makes a 12-mile loop through French King Gorge to Barton’s Cove, home to nesting bald eagles and a dinosaur track quarry.  The boat docks at the Riverview Picnic Area, and sails every Friday-Sunday.  Call ahead for reservations.  800-859-2960.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  ($)

11am-6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate bread, the equinox, and all things fall with Hungry Ghost Bread!  Wonder Not Bread Fest will take place at the Hungry Ghost bakery today, and will feature a puppet parade, music, vendors (selling local honey, cheese, jam, etc. – things that are good with bread!), gardening activities, and more!  State Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-5pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Join the North Amherst Community Farm in celebrating the fall harvest, and learn about the farm’s practices for sustainability and how they efficiently produce affordable local food for the community.  There will be all sorts of family activities at this years 7th annual North Amherst Harvest Festival: live music, food, and wagon rides (which include a tour of the farm).  Learn about local food and community resiliency!  1089 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

1-2:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Once upon a time in the Berkshires, a railroad ran from Pittsfield to Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Today, all that’s left are a few tracks and some passenger cars.  Families can learn about the history of the railroad (and why it no longer exists) at the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum today!  There will be a special walking tour (covering only .25 miles) just for families.  Meet at the Lenox Station.  Willow Creek Road.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

1-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Hopkins Forest celebrates fall this weekend at the annual Fall Festival!  There will be apple butter, fresh apple cider (and a chance to see pressed cider production), live music, woodworking demonstrations, a tree canopy walkway, and fun hands-on activities for kids!  Families can learn about the apple harvest and cider production, and woodworking demonstrations will be centered around the skills necessary to build a barn.  413-597-4353.  Northwest Hill Road and Bulkley Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

2-3pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Families can enjoy a free family concert with local musician, David Grover at the Dalton CRA.  Will be held on Memorial Lawn or indoors at the CRA if it rains. 413-684-0260. 400 Main St. Dalton, MA (FREE)

2pm -OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/LOCAL HISTORY: Hike a trail likely once hiked by Herman Melville himself at the Arrowhead Museum!  The path is hilly, but has benches along the way and offers hikers some incredible views.  The walk is 1 mile, and takes roughly 45 minutes.  Registration required.  413-442-1793.  780 Holmes Road.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm - OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/LOCAL HISTORY: Becket used to be home to an operating quarry – however, today it’s a big, rocky pool of water.  Hike to the quarry, located on the Becket Land Trust, and learn about its history both within the community and the land trust.  The hike is best for older students, as it is 2-3 miles and will take roughly two hours.  Registration required by e-mailing landtrust@becketlandtrust.org.  Quarry Road.  Becket, MA.  (FREE)

2:30-4:20pm - ICE SKATING: UMass’ Mullins Center offers public skating on Sunday afternoons!  Practice basic skating skills and get some exercise.  413-545-3001.  200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

4pm – CONCERT: North Hall presents the Old Country Road Band, playing classic country and bluegrass, along with some original music.  413-667-5543.  40 Searle Road.  Huntington, MA.  ($)

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Monday, September 24th, 2012

FAMILY DINNER: Today is the Communities that Care Coalition’s Family Day, an event that encourages parents to eat dinner with their children – something that encourages meaningful conversation and has been shown to decrease teens’ use of (or likeliness to use) drugs and alcohol.  Having family meals can help families with kids of all ages work on communication and, of course, strengthen their appreciation for good food!

10-11:30am – FARM ADVENTURE: Red Gate Farm hosts Mornings on the Farm, an opportunity for kids ages 0-4 (and their adults) to visit the farm, explore the buildings and grounds, and learn about farm life!  Registration required.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (<$)

10am-9pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: New England’s largest (and longest running) agricultural fair has begun!  The Big E is in full swing, and is loaded with opportunities (both fun and educational) for families with kids of all ages.  Along with the usual rides and midway games are educational gems like Storrowton Village, where kids can learn about 19th century life in New England; the Avenue of States, which features information on all of the New England states; numerous demonstrations, displays, and events featuring many different aspects of the varied types of agriculture present in New England; and more!  413-737-2443.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)

2pm and 7pm – FILM: The Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema is screening, “Side by Side,” a documentary about the evolution of digital filmmaking and the simultaneous changes seen in traditional film recording.  Actor Keanu Reeves hosts the documentary, and walks viewers through the history of film and the changes that digital filmmaking has created within traditional cinema. Great supplemental event for youth interested in film studies. 413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (<$)

5:30-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Childcare of the Berkshires is offering a 4-session series of parent workshops on positive discipline!  Parents will learn strategies for managing communication gaps, dealing with power struggles, holding children accountable, learning cooperation, building on children’s strengths, and more.  Registration is required – call to sign up!  Childcare and transportation available.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA. (FREE)

6pm – MOVIE: It’s movie night at the Tilton Library! Snacks provided, but feel free to bring dinner.  413-665-4683.  75 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the South Hadley Family Center.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: At the MN Spear Memorial Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013! 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Williamstown Youth Center! Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires. 413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building.  413-527-5496.  Main Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am-12:20pm – ICE SKATING: Smead Arena offers a public skating session this morning – great for families with kids who are still learning to skate, daytime skating sessions offer low-key and less crowded ice time. Open ice times take place at the same time Monday-Friday. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (<$)
  • 12noon-4pm - LOCAL HISTORY: The Shelburne Falls Historical Society has open hours today! Visit the museum, located in a former school building, to peruse numerous displays of artifacts, memorabilia, and other important items, books, and documents pertaining to local history. Learning about local history and the evolution of the community can help kids put studies of American history into context! 413-625-6150. Church and Maple Streets. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm – STORYTIME: Mountain View Farm hosts storytime! Farm-themed stories galore. Runs until their shares end. 413-329-0211. 393 East Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:30pm – BREAK DANCE: Learn to break like a b-boy!  The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly break dance class, taught by Joshua McHugh, accomplished dancer and dance teacher.  413-499-9348.  28 Renne Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($) ♦
  • 5:30-7pm – SCRABBLE: Enjoy an evening of friendly Scrabble at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center!  Open to anyone ages 8+, the game night offers families an opportunity to practice fair play and basic sportsmanship while allowing kids to expand their spelling, vocabulary, and basic practical math skills.  Sponsored by Bobbie Halig and Jenny and Adam Hersch.  413-528-2810.  15 Crissey Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires holds gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6-7pm – MUSIC: Learn to drum, Afro-Carribbean style!  The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly drum class, lead by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots.  Drums available to borrow.  28 Renne Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time!  Basketball equipment will be provided by Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20.  Runs through 11/12. 413-565-4163.  95 Grassy Gutter Road.  Longmeadow, MA.  ($) ♦

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Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

 

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30 or 11am – STORYTIME: The Westfield Library hosts storytime for kids 6 months – 3 years today.  Registration required.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center!  413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: It’s Baby Day at the South Hadley Family Center!  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Berkshire Athenaeum!  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am - PARENT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a mother’s group for Spanish-speaking moms at Brightwood Health Center.  413-796-8365.  380 Plainfield Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Preschool playgroup learning experiences at the Haskins Center! Takes place on the lower level. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: At the Greenfield Library.  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network.  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
    10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building.  413-527-5496.  Main Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: At the Lanesborough Library! Stories, crafts, and music for all ages. 413-499-5981. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am-12:15pm – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a Postpartum Support Group for mothers. The group is a safe space for those adjusting to motherhood and is lead by trained facilitators. Takes place at Berkshire Children and Families. Childcare available. 413-253-8990. 220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Visit the Great Falls Discovery Center for Kidleidescope, an environment-themed program for kids! Interactive learning opportunities and crafts always included. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Springfield Central Library’s preschool storytime takes place this morning.  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: The Lenox Library offers storytime for kids 18 months-3 years.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc.  413-323-8728.  66 State Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3-5pm – TEEN: It’s Teen Tuesday at the Chicopee Library – visit for a new activity every week. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – PARENT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a support group for young mothers and expecting women between the ages of 13 and 19.  Group meetings are held bi-weekly and are drop-in.  Babies welcome!  Takes place at Mercy Care Holyoke.  413-886-0410.  306 Race Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the gym at the Abbot School. 56 North Country Road. Florida, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30-8pm – MUSIC: The Berkshire South Regional Community Center hosts a free ukulele group tonight!  Beginners and kids without any knowledge of music reading can join in – the class will teach basic chord progressions and styles of playing from around the world.  Registration requested but drop-in is OK.  Sponsored by Bobbie Hallig and Jenny and Adam Hersch.  413-528-2810.  15 Crissey Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Yom Kippur

8-9am – PARENT WORKSHOP: Do your kids play sports?  Sports-related concussions can pose a serious health risk to students – learn about dealing with head injuries this morning with the Springfield Parent Academy at Mercy Medical Center!  Call to reserve a spot.  413-748-9925.  271 Carew Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-1:50pm – ICE SKATING: UMass’ Mullins Center offers public skating on Sunday afternoons!  Practice basic skating skills and get some exercise.  413-545-3001.  200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

6:30-8:30pm – MOVIE: The Ramsdell Library screens, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” – it’s a classic adventure movie!  Rated PG-13.  413-274-3738.  1087 Main Street.  Housatonic, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – FOREIGN LANGUAGE/FRENCH: Practice your French at a conversation group at the Meekins Library!  The group meets monthly, and is designed to help community members at all levels of proficiency practice their skills and work on their vocabulary!  413-268-7473.  2 Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)

7-9pm - MOVIE/MANUFACTURING: Visit the Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation to watch historic and educational films!  NCCHP’s movie nights feature industrial manufacturing films – it’s a great way for kids to learn about (or supplement their studies of) the Industrial Revolution!  Older students interested in engineering can learn from the films, too – industrial manufacturing is an excellent example of systems at work!  413-357-8814.  42 Water Street.  Granville, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer-Monson Family Network hosts infant and toddler play group!  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am or 1:30pm – STORYTIME: Fantastic Fours and Fives takes place today at the Westfield Library!  Registration is required for storytime.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center!  413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: At the South Hadley Family Center.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30am-12noon – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Red Gate Farm for a Homeschool Half Day! Students ages 6-12 will all explore the farm and do activities centered around a common theme. Each meeting includes free play time! Call to register. (No program November 21st.) 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (<$)
  • 9:45-11:15am – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts, “Getting Real about Motherhood,” a support group designed to help mothers share the stress and adjustments of motherhood and work to find ways to feel renewed, valued, and energized.  Takes place at the Amherst Family Center, in the basement of the Unitarian Society.  Childcare available.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Wendell Free Library hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 978.544.5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime at the Westhampton Library!  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am - PARENT GROUP: Enjoy coffee and a chat with other parents at the Westhampton Library – stop in after dropping kids off at school through the end of Sept.!  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Sunshine Storytime!  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network.  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am - OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Hike at Mt. Greylock! Every Wednesday through Oct 24th, there’s a “Nice and Easy” family-friendly hike – it’s about two hours long and will cover 1-2 miles of trail. Call to find out meeting place. 413-499-4262. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – ART: The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts, “Creating Together: A Parent-Child Experience,” an art workshop featuring a gallery tour and hands-on art making. Each week brings a new theme and art style to explore. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183 Stockbridge, MA. ($) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: In the gym at Erving Elementary School, hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413- 423-3326. 18 Northfield Road. Erving, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: Hosted by the Mason Library – also includes stories, songs, and crafts.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: At the Leverett Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
    11-11:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler Time with Stephanie at the Forbes Library! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – GYMNASTICS: Whip City Gym hosts homeschool open gymnastics! The event is not a formal class, but offers kids unstructured play time physical activity amongst true gymnastics equipment. Great for kids interested in gymnastics, dance, or cheerleading, and gym playtime can also help kids work on balance and coordination. Takes place through the school year. 413-569-3231. 320 College Highway. Southwick, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 1pm – STORYTIME: At the Dickinson Library! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-3pm – CHESS: Drop-in chess games in the mezzanine at Forbes Library. All ages, BYO chess set or borrow one. Playing chess can help kids develop logic and analytical skills. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Ashintully’s beautifully landscaped grounds, gardens, and water features! Families can hike to the ruins of the mansion once located on the site, as well. Runs weekly through Oct. 10th. 413-298-3239. Sodom Road. Monterey, MA. (DONATION) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc.  413-323-8728.  66 State Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm - FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Mountain View Farm for a farm activity for pre-school kids though the harvest! 413-329-0211. 393 East Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30pm – LEGOS: The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts LEGO Club on the third Wednesday of each month. Kids can use LEGOs to experiment with basic principles of architecture, physics, and design. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ♦ (FREE)
  • 3-5pm – MOVIE: The Mason Library screens classic films every Wednesday afternoon!  The “Mason Matinee” is best for tweens/teens and adults – call to find out what’s playing.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:30pm – STORYTIME: The Ramsdell Library hosts Time for Tots, and special story, craft, etc. time for littlest kiddos.  413-274-3738.  1087 Main Street.  Housatonic, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3:50-4:30pm – ICE SKATING: Visit Fitzpatrick Arena for an afternoon of skating! The rink offers daily public skating sessions at the same time, Monday-Friday. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 4pm – CHESS: Visit the East Longmeadow Library for some afternoon chess!  Playing chess can help kids develop analytical skills and logic.  413-525-5432. 60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: At the Cushman Library!  413-648-5402.  28 Church Street.  Bernardston, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-7:30pm – KNITTING: The Wednesday Night Knitters meet tonight at the Cushman Library!  Knitters with any level of experience are welcome to join – bring a project to work on!  No formal instruction is offered, but if help is needed, there will be many experienced knitters on hand.  Great intergenerational opportunity for kids learning how to knit. 413-648-5402.  28 Church Street.  Bernardston, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Sing your heart out with Berkshire Sings!, a community singing group at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center.  Singers of all abilities welcome (adults, too) to sing pop, jazz, folk, showtunes, and more.  Sponsored by Bobbie Hallig and Jenny and Adam Hersch.  413-528-2810.  15 Crissey Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time!  Basketball equipment will be provided by the Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20.  413-565-4163.  95 Grassy Gutter Road.  Longmeadow, MA.  ($) ♦ 

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Thursday, September 27th, 2012

4-7pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Warm up (and fill up) for the Fall Foliage Festival tonight at a ziti dinner!  St. Elizabeth’s of Hungary’s annual dinner takes place tonight, featuring delicious ziti and meatballs with sides and, of course, dessert!  413-663-7331.  Marshall Street.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

6-9pm – ART: Visit numerous locations in downtown North Adams to see artwork by local artists!  Downstreet Art, taking place tonight, will also feature fun activities for families.  413-664-6180.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – 4-H: Interest meeting for 4-H in Berkshire Cty. takes place at St. Stephen’s Church. 4-H is for boys & girls ages 5-18 and projects can range from animals to rocketry to community service. 413-448-8285. East Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

8pm – CONCERT: Kenny Rogers plays the Colonial Theater tonight!  Having created over 65 albums, Rogers is known for his sweet, raspy vocals and the descriptive nature of his lyrics.  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$$)

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS

  • 9am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Volunteer to help maintain the healthy landscape and walking trails at Bartholomew’s Cobble through November 2012. Named a National Natural Landmark because of its unique biodiversity and abundance of rare species, the Cobble is a valuable local resource. By volunteering time to help preserve the area, families help to ensure that the area will be available to them for years to come. Great project for homeschool groups. 413-229-8600. Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30 or 11am – STORYTIMEWestfield Athenaeum hosts Terrific Twos and Threes – storytime for kids ages 2 and 3!  Registration required.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: The Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys and Girls Club hosts playgroup this morning, including snack, stories, playtime, music, and crafts.  413-583-3527.  488 Chapin Street.  Ludlow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center!  413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC CLASS: The  Northampton Parents Center is open this morning!  Thursday mornings feature music class at 11a with Felicia Sloin or Tom Knight (alternating weeks).  Located in the basement of Edwards Church.  413-582-2636.  Main and State Streets.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIMESpringfield Central Library hosts storytime for kiddos 6 months-3 years.  413-263-6828. 220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 10-11am – SUPPORT GROUP: Longmeadow Rec Dept hosts a New Moms Group at the Greenwood Center!  413-794-5515.  231 Maple Road.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network.  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: At the Williston Memorial Library!  Stories, snacks, and more.  413-529-1605.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Lenox Library offers storytime and crafts for kids 3-5 years old.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC CLASS: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Thursday morning music classes will be from 11 to 11:30 am with Felicia Sloin and Tom Knight alternating weeks. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: At the Hatfield Library, just for preschoolers! 413-547-9237. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-3:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The High Street Market is open today! Stop by for fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and more! High Street. Holyoke, MA. (MARKET) ♦
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires holds gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-3pm – PLAYGROUP: Baby playgroup at the Forbes Library! In the children’s room with Judy. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a post-partum support group for mothers with babies up to a year old.  Childcare available.  Takes place at Midwifery Care of Holyoke.  413-534-2700.  230 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc.  413-323-8728.  66 State Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-7pm - FARMERS’ MARKET: Visit the Burgy Thursday Market for local produce, locally made goods, and delicious treats! Takes place on the lawn at Meekins Library. Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (MARKET)
  • 5-8pm – ART WALK: On the first Thursday of every month, the Amherst Art Walk takes place. Families can enjoy arts and culture, entertainment, shopping and dining. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 6-10pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Visit the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College! It’s home to a large variety of natural wonders, including the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks and lots of exhibits on local natural history. 413-542-2165. 11 Barrett Hill Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Sing some chanteys and bar songs at the Brewmaster’s Tavern- and order some delicious food and drinks while you sing! Takes place on the first and third Thursdays of each month. 4 Main Street. 413-268-7741. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Friday, September 28th, 2012

11am-12:50pm – HOMESCHOOL/ICE SKATING: The UMass’ Mullins Center is hosting special homeschool skating times!  Families can get out on the ice to practice basic skating skills, or work on learning to skate in a low-pressure, low-traffic environment.  413-545-3001.  200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

3:30-5pm – LANGUAGE AND PASTRY ARTS: Celebrate the release of local author Lisa Papademetriou’s newest book, Taking the Cake! at Cup & Top Cafe. There will be cupcakes (gluten-free and gluten-full) and lots of fun for tweens.  413-585-0445.  1 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Volunteer to make a cat toy for the Dakin animal shelter this afternoon at the Emily Williston Memorial Library!  Use recycled clothes (bring some of your own if you have them – soft materials with bright colors are best) to make something new and exciting for feline friends.  413-527-1031.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

5pm – PARADE: Kids are encouraged to create their own costumes and march in the annual Children’s Parade, part of North Adams’ Fall Foliage Festival!  This year’s theme is “Toys on Parade,” leaving lots of room for creativity!  The event is surely fun to watch, too, if kids aren’t interested in making a costume.  Participants must meet at 5pm; parade begins at 5:30pm.  Winners of the parade will get to march in Sunday’s Fall Foliage Parade.  413-664-6180.  Main and Eagle Streets.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – MOVIE: Pothole Pictures presents a Woody Guthrie tribute – “Bound for Glory” will be screened at Memorial Hall!  The film will begin at 7:30, with a Woody Guthrie singalong lead by Court Dorsey beginning at 7.  413-625-2896.  Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS

  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: In the gym at Shutesbury Elementary School, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 10am – MOVIE: The Berkshire Athenaeum shows short kids’ movies every Friday morning.  Call to check what’s playing!  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building.  413-527-5496.  Main Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
    10-11:30am - SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a postpartum support group for mothers with babies up to a year old at the Community Action Family Center.  Childcare available.  413-475-1566.  90 Federal Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit Naumkeag, a historic home in the Berkshires, to tour the house and grounds. Visitors can learn about the home’s interesting history and tour the many beautiful gardens! 413-298-3239. Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: On the first and third Fridays of each month, the YMCA of Greenfield hosts Jump Into Fitness playgroup! Lots of fun physical activity. Snack provided. 413-475-1543. 451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: The Mason Library hosts Young Children’s Storytime this morning!  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Monson Library’s baby group takes place this morning – kiddos ages 0-2 and their caregivers can visit for stories, songs, and playtime.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Heath Library offers bi-weekly storytime throughout the fall.  413-337-4934.  1 East Main Street.  Heath, MA.  (FREE) ♦
    11am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Griswold Memorial Library!  413-624-3619.  12 Main Road.  Colrain, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – PLAYGROUP: The Haskins Center hosts baby group! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the community room at the Lanesborough Town Hall. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – AQUARIUM ADVENTURE: Meet an animal at the Berkshire Museum! Friends from the aquarium will be shared, and kids can learn all about them through stories and activities. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 11-11:40am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Mother Goose on the Loose, a special lap-sit story hour for kids under the age of 3.  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11-12:50: ICE SKATING: There will be an ice skating session at the Mullins Center for homeschoolers through June ’13. Some skate sessions can be bumped due to UMass ice hockey, so call to confirm before heading out. 413-230-6516. UMass Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA (>$)
  • 5:45 and 7pm - HISTORY/MYSTERY TOUR: Take a spooky mystery tour of The Mount every Friday night through Oct. 26th… beware – you never know what you might encounter! Visitors will not only be thoroughly creeped out, but will learn some of the building’s interesting history. 413-997-4444. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)
  • 7-10pm – TWEEN: Kids in grades 6-8 can enjoy a fun night out with friends at the Greenwood Center!  Hosted by Longmeadow Rec Dept, the event features DJ dance music, and will be supervised by adults.  Dress code is the same as school, and students must sign in before entering.  Takes place on the second and fourth Friday of each month.  413-565-4163.  231 Maple Road.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Williams College’s Milham Planetarium offers free shows on Friday evenings!  Using the planetarium’s Zeiss Skymaster, Williams students will teach visitors about all sorts of astronomical phenomena, including phases of the moon, retrograde planetary motion, varying colors/temperatures of stars, constellations and zodiac signs, and more!  Reservations recommended but not required.  413-597-2188.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)
  • 8:30pm-12:30am – DANCE: Dance the night away at Dance Spree, a family-friendly, substance free, barefoot community night of dancing! Kids of all ages are welcome, but young children must be accompanied by adults. Takes place on the 4th floor of the Fitzwilly’s building. 25 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦

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