Suggested Events for October 6th – 12th, 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

Ashfield Fall Festival

The Ashfield town green comes alive with games, music, local food and local artisans every Columbus Day weekend. This year is the 42nd annual Ashfield Fall Festival! A great time for the entire family! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS: 10 Fall/Harvest Festivals

  1. Granville Harvest Fair (Saturday-Monday. in Granville)
  2. Fall Festival at Jiminy Peak (Saturday in Pittsfield)
  3. Ashfield Fall Festival (Saturday-Sunday in Ashfield)
  4. Berkshire Botanical Garden Fall Festival (Saturday-Sunday. in Stockbridge)
  5. Look Park Pumpkin Festival (Saturday in Florence)
  6. Jewish Harvest Festival (Sunday in Northampton)
  7. Hatfield Fall Festival (Sunday in Hatfield)
  8. Grow Food Northampton Farm Fest (Sunday, Oct 14th in Florence)
  9. Hinsdale Dayz (Sunday in Hinsdale)
  10. Wilder Homestead’s Colonial Sampler (Sunday in Buckland)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Halloween Costume SwapHALLOWEEN COSTUME SWAP: You know that handmade costume you spent hours on a couple of years ago that your child has now outgrown, or the mask and cape you picked up at the dollar store that is “so last year” for your child this year? Bring it to the Hilltown Families Halloween Costume (& Props) Swap on Saturday, Oct 13th from 9:30-11am in the community room of the Meekins Library and swap with another child who would love to be that robot, purple monster or masked superhero this year… all while finding new inspirations for this year! Leftover costumes and props will be donated to Northampton ReUse. The Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. Free & open to all. Join us on Facebook.

Kids' Winter Wear SwapKIDS’ WINTER WEAR SWAP: Do you have a bunch of winter weather gear that your kids have outgrown and wish that it would somehow just… get bigger? That may never happen, but you can get the next best thing… new-to-you gear that fits! Hilltown Families Kids’ Winter Wear Swap is happening again this year after a fun and successful swap last year on Saturday, Oct 13th from 9:30-11am in the community room of the Meekins Library! Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, gloves & scarves that kids of all ages have outgrown to swap with other families. Leftover winter wear will be donated to charity. The Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. Free & open to all. Join us on Facebook.

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 2, Oct 27 & Nov 7

Nestled among field and forest, The Montessori School of the Berkshires in Lenox Dale provides hands-on, individualized education for toddlers through eighth graders. Montessori education helps children become responsible, caring learners and community members who are self-motivated, confident, independent, and creative. MSB’s LEED-registered campus allows children to learn about sustainability both within the classroom and out of doors. Children have access to the natural world through garden areas and trails. Dr. Maria Montessori considered this connection to the earth and living things to be an essential part of education. Join the school for an Open House! Oct 2, Oct 27, Nov 7. For more info and to register visit BerkshireMontessori.org.

Oct 14

The Farm Education CollaborativeOn Sunday, Oct 14 from 11:30am-4:30pm is the Grow Food Northampton FARM FEST 2012 at Crimson & Clover Farm (part of Northampton Community Farm)! Join The Farm Education Collaborative in celebrating the harvest at Farm Fest! Meet and learn about some of their farm animals and spend some time working with fibers, seeds, and more. Fun on the Farm in the Fall with Family! Meadow and Spring Streets in Florence, MA. For more info visit www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Oct 18, 20 & 25

Stitch Lounge in Greenfield offers both youth & adult classes this fall, including: Alabama Chanin Skirt class using upcycled tee’s, stenciling & hand-stitching, Oct 18 & 25; and a beginners 3-part Wonky Squares Quilt class starting Oct 20. Never sewn before or have rusty skills? Check out their Beginner Sewing Class. Kids Classes begin in Nov.! Visit stitchlounge.net for more classes. Stop-in to find inspiration, modern fabrics, sewing notions & lots more, including social sewing! A devoted sewing space with all the supplies you need. Bring your own machine or use one of theirs. Stitch Lounge is located at 30 Mohawk Trail. Open Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, & Sat 10am-3pm. stitchlounge@comcast.net. 413-475-3246.

Oct 28

Halloween Costume Party with Mister G! Popular, international children’s music artist & local hero Mister G will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume party at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton on Sun., Oct 28 at 11am. The event will double as a CD release concert for his Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning album, Chocolalala. The bilingual (Spanish/English) CD blends Latin rhythms, traditional instruments and uniquely catchy songwriting. Mister G will also perform songs from his 2011 Grammy-nominated CD BUGS, called “irresistible” by People Magazine. Eat Pizza for Breakfast, wear your funkiest, scariest costume & come ready rock. !Bailamos! Tix: $8 children/$10 Adults. info@mistergsongs.com. www.mistergsongs.com.

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall festival, holiday event, afterschool class, homeschool program, community celebration, 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.

For October we have a pair of tickets to giveaway to see Leo Kottke at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Thurs, Oct 18th at 7pm. Deadline to enter to win: 10/15 @ 7pm (EST).

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
October 6th – 12th , 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

“We love the Berkshire Coaching Weekend. It is held every other year over Columbus Day weekend, falling on the even years. They have carriage drives to the Norman Rockwell Museum, The Mount, and Shakespeare & Co. It is free to go and watch them arrive or depart. Then you can walk among the carriages and ask questions. It is quite spectacular!” – Gretchen Fairfield (Lenox Dale, 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. – Jordan Shapiro of Astrograss is our Guest DJ, with a great American roots style program with terrific bluegrass and folk music! – Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

FALL FESTIVAL: The town of Granville’s 31st annual Harvest Fair takes place Saturday-Monday! There will be a wide variety of markets, activities, and demonstrations at historic locations throughout the town. The Town Green will house the majority of the festival – there will be delicious food, displays from artists and artisans, and live music throughout the day. Other locations include the Granville Library (book sale, food, maple products, and more!), the Village School (more food, and handcrafted jewelry, handmade quilts, knitted items, etc.), and the Federated Church (even more food!). Granville, MA. (FREE)

9am-1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/HIKE: Hike Spruce Hill with Mass Audubon! Naturalist (and author) Rene Laubach will lead the 2.5 mile hike to the summit of Spruce Hill, part of the Hoosac Range. The site is a great place to see migrating raptors – learn how to spot the birds! Registration required. 413-637-0320. Florida and North Adams, MA. ($$)

9am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Jiminy Peak’s annual Fall Festival takes place on Saturday! The event adds an arts and crafts fair, ski and snowboard sale, and fun family activities to the park’s regular fall rides and attractions. 413-738-5500. 37 Corey Road. Hancock, MA. ($)

10am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/HIKE: It’s Hawk Migration season! Hike to Hulburt’s Hill at Bartholomew’s Cobble to watch – it’s a short 20 minute hike, lead by an expert naturalist from the Trustees of Reservations. 413-229-8600. Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. (<$)

10am-1pm – MYCOLOGY: Teens (and tweens) ages 12+ are invited to explore the wild woods of Williamsburg on a hunt for edible wild mushrooms! Lead by Marty Klein, artist/naturalist/forager, the event is for both beginners and experienced foragers. Great for kids interested in learning to identify edible local plants! E-mail forager7@yahoo.com to register. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

10am-4pm – HISTORY: Historic Deerfield’s fall Open Hearth Cooking series will focus on foods harvested by early New Englanders and the ways in which they were preserved in order to be enjoyed through the winter. Visitors will learn about traditional recipes and unique methods of preservation! 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

10am-4pm – CULTURAL STUDIES/NATIVE AMERICAN: Celebrate the fall harvest with Native American traditions at the Springfield Museums! The event will include live music and drumming throughout the day, vendors of handmade Native American crafts, artifact identification (BYO artifact!), and traditional games and activities for kids! Families can supplement studies of early New England history and Native American culture by visiting the festival. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 42nd annual Ashfield Fall Festival takes over this small hilltown. A full weekend of music, art, games, food, tag sales, book sales, and even Pumpkingames! As quintessential New England fall festival the entire family will enjoy. Main Street (Route 116). Ashfield, MA (FREE)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 78th annual fall festival is here! The event celebrates all things fall and all things local – there will be live music, giant tag sales, family activities, crafts, a farmer’s market full of delicious local seasonal produce, a plant sale, and – of course – delicious food! Visit the gardens for a festival like no other. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

10am-5pm – SKI/SNOWBOARD SALE: Visit Ski Butternut for their used equipment sale – including gear for skiing and snowboarding, as well as gently used winter clothes (from boots to mittens, vests to snow pants). 20% of sales will benefit Ski Butternut’s adaptive ski program. It may seem early, but winter is around the corner – and the best deals for growing skiiers are on used gear, since they might outgrow those new ski boots by the time winter is over. 413-528-2000 x 273. 380 State Road. Great Barrington, MA. (SALE)

10am-6pm – ART: The fall installment of Paradise City Arts Festival’s bi-annual shows takes place this weekend! Visit the Three County Fairgrounds for a gigantic dose of artwork created by an incredibly diverse group of artists and artisans. Shop local & handmade for the holidays! 800-511-9725. Fairgrounds Road. Northampton, MA. ($)

11am-2pm – PUMPKIN FEST – The Bidwell House Museum will host a Pumpkin Fest for families to pick pumpkins & decorate them, while enjoying many family fun activities (s’mores, harvest food, face painting, etc.). The museum will be closed for tours. 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road. Monterey, MA.

11am – PUPPETS: Nappy’s Puppets present, “Father Goose’s Tales,” at the Berkshire Museum! In the show, Mother Goose is away for the day, leaving Father Goose to all of the household tasks – including her storytelling. No matter how hard he tries, he just can’t get the stories right! The show is full of silly twists on the usual tales – get ready to giggle! 413-443-7171. 30 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

11am – PUPPETS: Marmalade Productions will be at the Spectrum Playhouse with her “Emerge-And-See” Wagon. Using puppets to come to the Dr. looking for her care, she helps them with what ails them and leaves all, audience included, feeling warm and fuzzy all over! 413-394-5045. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA (DONATION)

11am and 1pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: The Berkshire Museum hosts guest artist Jeremy Frey, who will be demonstrating traditional Passamaquoddy basket-weaving techniques. The demonstrations are in conjunction with the museum’s Rethink! American Indian Art exhibit. Tickets required. 413-443-7171. 30 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

11am-12noon – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Great Falls Discovery Center to learn about the Grand Trunk Hotel – a former Turners Falls landmark and community hub. The building was constructed in the late 1800’s and taken down in the 1960’s – learn about its history, and speculate about who some of the visitors to the hotel may have been! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

11am-2pm – CRAFTS/CREATIVE-FREE PLAY: It’s Cardboard Art Day at Owl and Raven! There will be plenty of cardboard on hand, but bring (if you can!) duct or masking tape, a cutting tool (simple scissors for little ones, boxcutters can be OK for teens/tweens), and lots of enthusiasm and design ideas! Who knows what will be created – you can work on an individual project or collaborate with others to make a masterpiece. It’s a great opportunity for creative free play and, for older students, to experiment with architecture and design. 413-341-3581. 2 Conz Street #42 (Maplewood Shops). Northampton, MA. (FREE)

11am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Pumpkins galore! The Look Park Pumpkin Festival takes place today – there will be lots of fun fall-themed activities (pumpkin painting, a haystack find, etc.), a puppet performance with Tom Knight (at 2pm), train rides, balloons with magician Ed Popielarczyk (from 12-3), and more! 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE, fee for parking)

11:30am-10pm – FILM FESTIVAL: The Northampton International Film Festival takes place this weekend at the Academy of Music Theatre! There will be screenings of a variety of films through the day today – check the schedule for synopses and to check age-appropriateness (the majority of films are best for older students). Studies of international film can be a great way to introduce kids to studies of modern culture in foreign countries. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

12n00n-5pm – FAMILY DAY: It’s Family Fun Day at Laston Park with a carnival atmosphere and a concert with beloved children’s musician, David Grover at 2pm. There will be food, beverages & beer/wine. A fundraiser for the Berkshire Carousel Project. Lanesborough, MA (FUNDRAISER)

2pm – LITERACY: Odyssey Bookshop’s kids section presents Star Wars Reads Day! Kids can do Star Wars origami, make a Wookie fortune teller, and do lots of other Star Wars-themed activities. Call to register – adults must accompany children. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

2pm – HISTORY: Columbus Day Weekend is the Berkshires’ bi-annual Coaching Weekend – and it has nothing to do with sports! This weekend celebrates the Gilded Age tradition of coaching – taking rides through the countryside in fancy carriages (or “coaches”) lead by teams of magnificent horses. Each coach is ridden by men and women dressed in period clothing, and every day of the weekend brings the group to a new Berkshire location! Today, the teams can be seen at Shakespeare and Company – visit to see the carriages, pat horses, and ask drivers questions about their job! 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

2pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum is screening the movie version of Dr. Seuss’ classic, The Lorax. It’s a fun animated movie with a great message! 413-562-6158. 3 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

3pm – HISTORY: Learn about the Gobekli Tepe, a Neolithic hilltop sanctuary erected on a mountain ridge in Turkey, at Western Gateway Heritage State Park! 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE, small fee for parking)

5-6:45pm or 7pm – HALLOWEEN/HAYRIDES: McCray’s Farm hayrides have begun! Munchkin Rides (for kids) take place earlier in the evening – best for kids 7 and under (and their grown-ups), the ride is slow but exciting! Rides for big kids begin at 7pm and run until the line is gone. Runs Friday-Sunday through Halloween. The farm also features homemade ice cream, animals, and mini golf. 413-533-0775. 33 Alvord Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

6:30-10:30pm – HALLOWEEN/FRIGHT: Visit Jiminy Peak for a scary tour called 13 Nights at Jiminy – that’s based a little bit on legend, and mostly in some spooky local history. There are special tours of the location (which depart every 15 minutes), as well as a haunted mountain roller coaster and a scary tree-top zipline. Open to families with older kids (minimum age is 10, but it’s pretty creepy!), the tour explores the former hillside Plantation of Jericho – settled by sheep farmers to avoid a sickness believed to exist in the valley – and explores the 13 Nights legend, in which sheep at the plantation disappear overnight for thirteen nights out of the year. Open Friday and Saturday evenings through Halloween. 413-738-5500. 37 Corey Road. Hancock, MA. ($$)

[Moved to Sat., Oct 13th] DUSK – OUTDOOR MOVIE: Enjoy an outdoor movie double-feature (probably the last of the season!) at Monument Mountain High School! BYO comfy seating – and a blanket, and a warm drink – and watch Grease and American Graffiti under the stars. (Rain date: Oct. 13th) 600 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

8pm – THEATER: Barrington Stage Company presents a theatrical version of William Golding’s, “Lord of the Flies.” The classic young adult novel, adapted for the stage, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island and the struggles for power and control that ensue. Best for older students with audience skills, the show addresses topics of basic sociology and psychology, and can help kids begin thinking about the role that power and influence play in society. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – FILM: The Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema is screening, “Sleepwalk With Me,” winner of an audience award at Sundance. The film, co-written and produced by This American Life’s Ira Glass, features comedian Mike Birbiglia, Kristen Schaal, and David Wain (among others), and tells the story of a comedian whose inability to express his feelings results in hilarious misadventures in sleepwalking. The film will also be screened on Sunday, 10/7 and Monday, 10/8. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

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Sunday, October 7th, 2012

“The Ashfield Fall Festival is one of the most memorable small town events in the Pioneer Valley. Arrive early and have pancakes and strong coffee at Elmer’s, then step out and enjoy all that the town has to offer.” – Ken Johnston

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.

FALL FESTIVAL: The town of Granville’s 31st annual Harvest Fair takes place Saturday-Monday! There will be a wide variety of markets, activities, and demonstrations at historic locations throughout the town. The Town Green will house the majority of the festival – there will be delicious food, displays from artists and artisans, and live music throughout the day. Other locations include the Granville Library (book sale, food, maple products, and more!), the Village School (more food, and handcrafted jewelry, handmade quilts, knitted items, etc.), and the Federated Church (even more food!). Granville, MA. (FREE)

9am-4pm – TAG SALE: Acquire some great new-to-you goods at the Great Barrington Waldorf High School’s tag sale! There will be all sorts of great items – from books, CD’s, and DVD’s to kites, toys, and games for kids… to artwork, furniture, and kitchenware for grown ups! Rain date is Monday, 10/8. 2 Pine Street (across from Red Lion Inn). Stockbridge, MA. (SALE)

10am-4pm – HISTORY: Historic Deerfield’s fall Open Hearth Cooking series will focus on foods harvested by early New Englanders and the ways in which they were preserved in order to be enjoyed through the winter. Visitors will learn about traditional recipes and unique methods of preservation! 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 42nd annual Ashfield Fall Festival takes over this small hilltown. A full weekend of music, art, games, food, tag sales, book sales, and even Pumpkingames! As quintessential New England fall festival the entire family will enjoy. Main Street (Route 116). Ashfield, MA (FREE)

10am-5pm – HISTORY: Dost thou desire to take part in medieval combat? Suit up in armor and visit Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum for their annual Medieval Faire – bringing armored combat (every hour, on the hour!), equestrian demonstrations, roving troubadours and jesters, displays and demonstrations of medieval arts and crafts, and, for the more serious students of medieval history, lectures on medieval traditions and culture. The event is fun for the whole family – take a step back in time and surround yourself in history! Ventfort Hall’s unique architecture provides the perfect backdrop for the fair, too! 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 78th annual fall festival is here! The event celebrates all things fall and all things local – there will be live music, giant tag sales, family activities, crafts, a farmer’s market full of delicious local seasonal produce, a plant sale, and – of course – delicious food! Visit the gardens for a festival like no other. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

10am-5pm – SKI/SNOWBOARD SALE: Visit Ski Butternut for their used equipment sale – including gear for skiing and snowboarding, as well as gently used winter clothes (from boots to mittens, vests to snow pants). 20% of sales will benefit Ski Butternut’s adaptive ski program. It may seem early, but winter is around the corner – and the best deals for growing skiiers are on used gear, since they might outgrow those new ski boots by the time winter is over. 413-528-2000 x 273. 380 State Road. Great Barrington, MA. (SALE)

10am-5pm – 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-6pm – ART: The fall installment of Paradise City Arts Festival’s bi-annual shows takes place this weekend! Visit the Three County Fairgrounds for a gigantic dose of artwork created by an incredibly diverse group of artists and artisans. Shop local & handmade for the holidays! 800-511-9725. Fairgrounds Road. Northampton, MA. ($)

11am-1pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/SUKKOT: The Congregation B’Nai Israel of Northampton invites the community to celebrate Sukkot, the weeklong Jewish harvest festival! Today’s event is jam-packed with fun, interesting, and delicious activities like bread baking in a wood fired oven, cider pressing, wheat threshing, live music, tastings of apples and honey, and more! Families can learn about the Jewish traditions that accompany the festival, its place within Jewish history, and more. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

11am-3pm – HISTORY/FALL FESTIVAL: The annual Hatfield Fall Festival offers fun, food, and lots of hands-on learning opportunities for families today! The event includes cider pressing (yum!), fiber arts demonstrations, tours of the farm museum (including an in-depth look at local history and material culture), an antique car and motorcycle show, and local food – both fresh for taking home and prepared for on-the-spot enjoying (plus there will be a demonstration of sauerkraut making!). Families can learn about history of all sorts – food and farming, transportation, arts and crafts, and more! Billings Way. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

11am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Visit the Austin Brothers Farm’s corn maze! The farm also offers hayrides, pumpkin picking, and tons of fall fun. 413-668-6843. 270 West Street. Belchertown, MA. ($)

11am-8pm – FILM FESTIVAL: The Northampton International Film Festival takes place this weekend at the Academy of Music Theatre! There will be screenings of a variety of films through the day today – check the schedule for synopses and to check age-appropriateness (the majority of films are best for older students). Studies of international film can be a great way to introduce kids to studies of modern culture in foreign countries. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

11am, 1:15 or 3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/BOATING: 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. ($)

12noon – HISTORY: Columbus Day Weekend is the Berkshires’ bi-annual Coaching Weekend – and it has nothing to do with sports! This weekend celebrates the Gilded Age tradition of coaching – taking rides through the countryside in fancy carriages (or “coaches”) lead by teams of magnificent horses. Each coach is ridden by men and women dressed in period clothing, and every day of the weekend brings the group to a new Berkshire location! Today, the teams can be seen at the Norman Rockwell Museum – visit to see the carriages, pat horses, and ask drivers questions about their job! 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

12noon-4pm – ART HISTORY: Visit Historic Deerfield to learn about the history of stencil artists who, during New England’s early days, travelled from town to town painting building interiors on commission! There is a special exhibit of stencilled furniture, and families can create their own stencilled masterpieces to take home. Takes place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon through October 28th. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Tour the Bridge Street Cemetery with Susan Stinson, Forbes Library’s Writer in Residence. The tour will focus on the life and historical significance of Jonathan Edwards, an 18th century writer and theologian who preached in Northampton for over 20 years. Families can learn about the town’s interesting history by learning whose graves lie in the cemetery! Meet at the Parsons Street entrance. 413-587-1011. Parsons Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

2pm – LITERACY: Odyssey Bookshop presents Mo Willems and Tom Warburton – sharing their newest book, Don’t Let The Pigeon Finish This Activity Book! The book is meant to accompany the other books in the pigeon-related series – and it’s full of fun coloring, counting, drawing, and designing activities. The event will include lots of fun songs and an activity. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

11122pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Plainfield Historical Society’s final Hidden Walls, Hidden Mills event takes place today! The topic is stone walls – titled, “Farming in Stone,” the event includes an indoor talk on the use of walls and who built them (locally), as well as an afternoon exploration of the beautiful woods to take a firsthand look at some remaining stone walls. 413-634-2250. 304/312 Main Street. Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

2-3pm – HALLOWEEN/HISTORY: Wistariahurst Museum hosts a lecture on the history of witchcraft in 17th century New England. Perfectly timed for Halloween, the talk will address the culture and religious beliefs of early New Englanders and will explore the basis for the widespread belief in witchcraft. Best for older students. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

2-7pm - FALL FESTIVAL: Today is Hinsdale Dayz! The event includes lots of fun fall activities, including pony rides, square dancing, family games, and food – plus opportunities to visit the fire house, old town hall, churches, and the town library. Hinsdale, MA. (FREE)

2-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL/HISTORY: Explore local history and celebrate fall at the Wilder Homestead’s Colonial Sampler! There will be open hearth cooking, Morris dancers, cider making, and traditional arts like weaving, spinning, and shoemaking. 413-625-9763. Buckland, MA. (<$)

3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/HIKE: Hike Bear Hole this afternoon! The 2.5-3 mile hike will cover easy terrain and will include a visit to the reservoir’s dam and pumping station, as well as a stop at the glen formerly home to the historic Bear Hole Resort. Meet at the parking area at the end of Bear Hole Road (off Dewey Street). RSVP to wsgsd@comcast.net. Bear Hole Road. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

3pm – THEATER: Barrington Stage Company presents a theatrical version of William Golding’s, “Lord of the Flies.” The classic young adult novel, adapted for the stage, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island and the struggles for power and control that ensue. Best for older students with audience skills, the show addresses topics of basic sociology and psychology, and can help kids begin thinking about the role that power and influence play in society. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

5-6:45pm or 7pm – HALLOWEEN/HAYRIDES: McCray’s Farm hayrides have begun! Munchkin Rides (for kids) take place earlier in the evening – best for kids 7 and under (and their grown-ups), the ride is slow but exciting! Rides for big kids begin at 7pm and run until the line is gone. Runs Friday-Sunday through Halloween. The farm also features homemade ice cream, animals, and mini golf. 413-533-0775. 33 Alvord Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

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Monday, October 8th, 2012

COLUMBUS DAY

FALL FESTIVAL: The town of Granville’s 31st annual Harvest Fair takes place Saturday-Monday! There will be a wide variety of markets, activities, and demonstrations at historic locations throughout the town. The Town Green will house the majority of the festival – there will be delicious food, displays from artists and artisans, and live music throughout the day. Other locations include the Granville Library (book sale, food, maple products, and more!), the Village School (more food, and handcrafted jewelry, handmade quilts, knitted items, etc.), and the Federated Church (even more food!). Granville, MA. (FREE)

10-11:30am – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Red Gate Farm for Mornings on the Farm, a chance for kids 0-4 (and their grown-ups!) to explore the farm and do hands-on activities to learn about animals and farm life! Registration requested. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (<$)

10am-4pm – ART: The fall installment of Paradise City Arts Festival’s bi-annual shows takes place this weekend! Visit the Three County Fairgrounds for a gigantic dose of artwork created by an incredibly diverse group of artists and artisans. Shop local & handmade for the holidays! 800-511-9725. Fairgrounds Road. Northampton, MA. ($)

10am-4pm – HISTORY: Historic Deerfield’s fall Open Hearth Cooking series will focus on foods harvested by early New Englanders and the ways in which they were preserved in order to be enjoyed through the winter. Visitors will learn about traditional recipes and unique methods of preservation! 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

11am - SING-A-LONG: Sing along to classic family songs with David Grover, beloved local musician! Hosted by the Berkshire Museum, the concert will also include some newer songs, too! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

11am-7pm – SKI/SNOWBOARD SALE: Visit Ski Butternut for their used equipment sale – including gear for skiing and snowboarding, as well as gently used winter clothes (from boots to mittens, vests to snow pants). 20% of sales will benefit Ski Butternut’s adaptive ski program. It may seem early, but winter is around the corner – and the best deals for growing skiiers are on used gear, since they might outgrow those new ski boots by the time winter is over. 413-528-2000 x 273. 380 State Road. Great Barrington, MA. (SALE)

12noon – HISTORY: Columbus Day Weekend is the Berkshires’ bi-annual Coaching Weekend – and it has nothing to do with sports! This weekend celebrates the Gilded Age tradition of coaching – taking rides through the countryside in fancy carriages (or “coaches”) lead by teams of magnificent horses. Each coach is ridden by men and women dressed in period clothing, and every day of the weekend brings the group to a new Berkshire location! Today, the teams can be seen at The Mount, former home of Edith Wharton. The Mount will also be holding special family activities to celebrate Coaching Weekend, and families can learn about the history of the tradition, and its place in Gilded Age culture. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

2-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Visit Chesterwood for an afternoon of pumpkin carving! Design your own or get help from a museum interpreter. The event closes out the museum’s season -enjoy the beautiful house and grounds while you still can. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

6-7:30pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Explore the beaver ponds at Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary! A sanctuary volunteer will lead an easy (and short) trek to look for signs of beavers and observe beaver homes and the changes they’ve made to the sanctuary’s landscape. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (<$)

7pm – HALLOWEEN/FILM STUDIES: Williams College is offering a series of movies and discussions throughout October in order to provide an academic lens for Halloween. Tonight’s event is a screening of Bernard Rose’s horror film, “Candyman,” filmed in 1992 (The film is best for teens 18yo and adults). Following the film will be a discussion of the issues of race that the movie brings up – perhaps more than a historical drama or civil rights documentary. Takes place at Images Cinema. 413-597-4277. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

10am – THEATER: Barrington Stage Company presents a theatrical version of William Golding’s, “Lord of the Flies.” The classic young adult novel, adapted for the stage, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island and the struggles for power and control that ensue. Best for older students with audience skills, the show addresses topics of basic sociology and psychology, and can help kids begin thinking about the role that power and influence play in society. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

5:30-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Child Care of the Berkshires is offering a Family Nutrition class, presented by Nutritionist, Allyse Wiencek. Allyse will lead the group in a hands-on information workshop for parents/guardians to learn how to feed their children (and themselves) nutrition meals. Snacks, child care & transportation are available. Call to register. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA (FREE)

6-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents with children between the ages of 3 and 5 are invited to attend a 6-week workshop series titled, “The Puzzle of Parenting.” Offered by the Collaborative for Educational Services and the Palmer-Monson Family Network, the workshops will discuss building relationships with children, supporting play and its use in development, children’s motivations behind behavior, and strategies for responding to challenging behavior. Childcare is available, and registration is required. 413-570-3061. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)

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) ♦
  • 9:30-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Health Coalition hosts Toddler Steps Playgroup at the CHP building. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: At Farmington River Preschool for kids 5 and under, sponsored by the Community Health Coalition. 413-664-0104. 555 North Main Road. Otis, 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) ♦
  • 6:30pm – BREASTFEEDING: The La Leche League of North/Central Berkshires meets every third Tuesday at The Montessori School of the Berkshires. 21 Patterson Road. Lenox Dale, 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, October 10th, 2012

RESERVATION DEADLINE: Reserve a spot for the Chester Rail Station’s annual Hobo Harvest Dinner! The event is a local favorite (space runs out fast!) – the ham dinner includes delicious corn pudding from an early railroad cookbook recipe, delicious in-season apple pie and cider, and other tasty additions! Call to register. 413-354-7878. 10 Prospect Street. Chester, MA. ($)

2pm & 7pm – THEATER: Barrington Stage Company presents a theatrical version of William Golding’s, “Lord of the Flies.” The classic young adult novel, adapted for the stage, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island and the struggles for power and control that ensue. Best for older students with audience skills, the show addresses topics of basic sociology and psychology, and can help kids begin thinking about the role that power and influence play in society. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

5:30-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Childcare of the Berkshires presents, “Everyday Parenting Solutions,” with Scott Noyes at the Haskins Center. Parents can learn new strategies for resolving everyday conflicts and struggles, share experiences, and gain insight. Childcare and transportation available. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

7pm – HISTORY/CULTURAL STUDIES: Westfield State University if offering an “antidote to Columbus Day” – the school will host an evening of Native American poetry, featuring Native American poets who will read their work and discuss the importance of providing an indigenous perspective to the history of Columbus. Older Students can learn to understand the day of observance in a different light that acknowledges the whole story of the settling of North America. Takes place in the Scanlon Living Room. 413-454-3926. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7-9pm – FILM/DINNER: Pair a dinner prepared with local foods with a screening of a movie about farming – and you’ve got a great night! The Hitchcock Center and the Lord Jeffrey Inn host dinner-and-a-movie night – the movie being DIRT! The Movie (shown at Amherst Cinema). Peter McLean of Brookfield Farm will introduce the film and provide information on organic farming! Call for reservations. 413-835-2011. Amherst, MA. ($$)

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: Bi-weekly in the community room at Becket Town Hall, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-664-0104. 65 Walker Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Lenox Community Center, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-644-0104. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, 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)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the New Marlborough Library, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-644-0104. 1 New Marlborough-Great Barrington Road. New Marlborough, 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, October 11th, 2012

4-5pm – COMICS: Modern Myths comic book store is hosting a series of comic-making parties for kids – every Thursday afternoon in October. The workshops, offered to accompany the Paint and Pixel Festival (which takes place on Saturday, October 20th), present an opportunity for kids to learn about the language of comics and to learn how to express themselves through comic drawings and storylines. 34 Bridge Street #4. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

7pm – THEATER: Barrington Stage Company presents a theatrical version of William Golding’s, “Lord of the Flies.” The classic young adult novel, adapted for the stage, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island and the struggles for power and control that ensue. Best for older students with audience skills, the show addresses topics of basic sociology and psychology, and can help kids begin thinking about the role that power and influence play in society. 413-236-8888. 30 Union 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) ♦
  • 9:30-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Health Coalition hosts Toddler Steps Playgroup at the CHP building. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30 or 11am – STORYTIME: Westfield 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 – PLAYGROUP: Music and Movement Group meets at the Millers Falls Library! 413-863-3214. 23 Bridge Street. Montague, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Springfield 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, October 12th, 2012

9-11am – ORNITHOLOGY: Search for migratory birds at Canoe Meadows! Mid-autumn is a great time to search for migratory birds, making their trek from northern habitats to warmer, southern homes. Explore Canoe Meadows with a guide from Mass Audubon and learn to identify some of the birds you find! Great for older homeschool students. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

10am & 8pm – THEATER: Barrington Stage Company presents a theatrical version of William Golding’s, “Lord of the Flies.” The classic young adult novel, adapted for the stage, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island and the struggles for power and control that ensue. Best for older students with audience skills, the show addresses topics of basic sociology and psychology, and can help kids begin thinking about the role that power and influence play in society. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

10am-4pm – HISTORY: Historic Deerfield’s fall Open Hearth Cooking series will focus on foods harvested by early New Englanders and the ways in which they were preserved in order to be enjoyed through the winter. Visitors will learn about traditional recipes and unique methods of preservation! 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

4pm – CRAFTS: Ka-shhhhhhhh! Kids can make their own rain sticks at the Berkshire Co-op this afternoon! Filled with beans and rainy noises, the sticks make great musical instruments. Registration required. 413-528-9697. 42 Bridge Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

5-6:45pm or 7pm – HALLOWEEN/HAYRIDES: McCray’s Farm hayrides have begun! Munchkin Rides (for kids) take place earlier in the evening – best for kids 7 and under (and their grown-ups), the ride is slow but exciting! Rides for big kids begin at 7pm and run until the line is gone. Runs Friday-Sunday through Halloween. The farm also features homemade ice cream, animals, and mini golf. 413-533-0775. 33 Alvord Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

6, 7, and 8pm – HALLOWEEN/HISTORY: Get in touch with ancient spirits at a Victorian era seance! The eerie events take place at the Old Mill on the Falls Inn, and feature fortune telling, a real life crystal ball and medium, and a spirit cabinet, used by mediums in order to get in touch with spirits. Visitors can also have their picture taken with a spooky invisible apparition (which will appear in the photo after it’s taken). Recommended for kids 13+. 87 School Street. Hatfield, MA. ($$)

6:30-10:30pm – HALLOWEEN/FRIGHT: Visit Jiminy Peak for a scary tour called 13 Nights at Jiminy – that’s based a little bit on legend, and mostly in some spooky local history. There are special tours of the location (which depart every 15 minutes), as well as a haunted mountain roller coaster and a scary tree-top zipline. Open to families with older kids (minimum age is 10, but it’s pretty creepy!), the tour explores the former hillside Plantation of Jericho – settled by sheep farmers to avoid a sickness believed to exist in the valley – and explores the 13 Nights legend, in which sheep at the plantation disappear overnight for thirteen nights out of the year. Open Friday and Saturday evenings through Halloween. 413-738-5500. 37 Corey Road. Hancock, MA. ($$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5pm-1am – HALLOWEEN/PUB CRAWL: Break out your best fake blood and dead eyed stare – it’s time for a zombie pub crawl! Wander the establishments of downtown Pittsfield while dressed in your finest undead attire – and enjoy some seasonal pumpkin ale or cider while you’re out! Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

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. ($) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: On the first and third Fridays of each month, the YMCA of Greenfield hosts Jump Into Fitness playgroup! Lots of fun physical activity. Snack provided. 413-475-1543. 451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: The Mason Library hosts Young Children’s Storytime this morning! 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: For little ones at the Pelham Library! 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Monson Library’s baby group takes place this morning – kiddos ages 0-2 and their caregivers can visit for stories, songs, and playtime. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Heath Library offers bi-weekly storytime throughout the fall. 413-337-4934. 1 East Main Street. Heath, MA. (FREE) ♦
    11am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Griswold Memorial Library! 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – PLAYGROUP: The Haskins Center hosts baby group! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the community room at the Lanesborough Town Hall. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – AQUARIUM ADVENTURE: Meet an animal at the Berkshire Museum! Friends from the aquarium will be shared, and kids can learn all about them through stories and activities. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 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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3 Comments

  1. October 5, 2012 at 6:04 am

    The Lions Club Ski & Skate Sale happens December 1 at the Smith Voc School in Northampton. The have both new and used equipment. Consignment and donation items can be brought the evening before, on Friday, Nov 30.

  2. October 4, 2012 at 10:08 am

    There have been in the past! I’ll post this question to our Facebook page too to see if someone can tell us about any.

    While not in the Pioneer Valley, if you want to head to the Berkshires this weekend, visit *Ski Butternut* for their used equipment sale on *Saturday & Sunday, Oct 6th & 7th* from 10am-5pm including gear for skiing and snowboarding, as well as gently used winter clothes (from boots to mittens, vests to snow pants). 20% of sales will *benefit Ski Butternuts adaptive ski program*.

  3. October 4, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Does anyone know where we could do a snowboard ski swap? Is there one happening in the valley at all this fall? Thanks!


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