Suggested Events for September 14th-20th, 2013

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

Last Saturday at Atlas Farm in Deerfield, Hilltown Families collaborated with Whole Foods Market Hadley and brought families together in the fields for a day of community service, gleaning 669 POUNDS organic kale, collards, chard and broccoli leftover from a recent harvest to donate to The Food Bank of Western MA. See photos in our follow-up post, Kids Day of Community Service Benefits Many! (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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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 community development work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Sep 14

Pioneer Valley Ballet is pleased to announce auditions for The Nutcracker are being held on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Children ages 4.5 – 12 are invited to audition and play a role in PVB’s 35th anniversary production. Unique to the region, PVB’s community productions include dancers from the community, PVB students, and professionals. Roles include Reindeer, Angels, Gingerbread, Party Children, Fleur, and Candy Canes. Auditions are held at Pioneer Valley Ballet, 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton on Saturday, September 14 beginning at 10:30am. Registration forms are available online and in PVB’s studio. For more info: pvb@pioneervalleyballet.org or 413-527-6363.

Sep 15

International Dot Day! Make plans to visit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst this Sunday afternoon, September 15th as they celebrate International Dot Day! Every year, almost a million children and adults around the world devote a whole day to celebrate Peter H. Reynolds’ beloved children’s book, The Dot, a book that encourages personal creativity. The Museum’s celebration on Sunday, Sept 15th from 1-4pm will include films, special storytimes, art activities and a presentation and book signing with The Dot’s author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for the day’s schedule or call 413-658-1126.

Begins Sep 21

ALMA is a fresh approach to Jewish education for youth and families. ALMA believes that Jewish tradition has the potential to add profound meaning and richness to peoples’ lives and be a force for positive change in the world. ALMA believes that students must genuinely enjoy themselves in order to learn and develop the love of Jewish life that they aspire to impart. ALMA staff work hard to create a culture that is joyful, where their students feel respected and not stifled. ALMA provides engaging communal experiences that inspire and support youth and families to cultivate increasingly meaningful and joyous Jewish lives. ALMA brings Torah to life through engaging each student’s mind, body and soul. More info: rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org.

Goodchild Music – Music for Life! Barbara Goodchild, a certified Simply Music Teacher, offers the following classes in Shelburne, MA. Simply Music Piano (7 yrs & up): a remarkable, Australian-developed piano program that has beginning students, playing pop, classical, blues and accompaniment pieces – from their first lessons! Play-a-Story (5-7 yrs): an improvisational introduction to piano while making music for stories. Simply Music Rhapsody (3 mos.-5 yrs): an exciting and experiential music and movement class, based on the Orff Schulwerk philosophy. Eric Goodchild offers Bagpipe, beginning Violin-Fiddle, & Clawhammer Banjo lessons (10yrs to adult). Tel: 413-625-8203, Email: ebgoodchild@hughes.net Music for all ages!

Oct 6

Only New England Appearance! Herbie Hancock performs for one night only, Sunday, October 6, 7:30pm at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. There are few artists in the music industry who have had more influence on acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B than Herbie Hancock. With an illustrious career spanning five decades and 14 Grammy® Awards, he continues to amaze audiences. He’ll be joined by his quartet, James Genus on bass, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and Lionel Loueke on guitar. Make it a date night with a free pre-show party on the plaza for ticket-holders with appetizers, live entertainment and cash bar. Tent opens at 6pm. For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to www.fineartscenter.com.

3D Mammograms at Cooley Dickinson. 3D mammograms offer more detail and earlier cancer detection. And 3D mammograms are now offered at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Mammography is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest stages, when a cure is most likely, the prognosis is better and the treatment choices are greater. 3D mammography, also known as Breast Tomosynthesis, was pioneered at Massachusetts General Hospital and is the latest advancement in breast cancer detection in more than 30 years. Is it time for your mammogram? Get a 3D mammogram exam. To schedule an appointment, call 413-582-2101 (Northampton) or 413-253-8062 (Amherst).

Dec 6-8

The LEGO® KidsFest is a giant traveling LEGO expo coming to Hartford, CT at the Connecticut Convention Center from December 6-8. This hands-on, educational, all-ages LEGO extravaganza features millions of LEGO bricks, not to mention lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Friends and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders, and so much more covering three acres of space. There are five identical sessions available. Tickets are $18 for kids and $20 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.LEGOKidsFest.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 14th-20th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

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. This week on the Hilltown Family Variety Show (HFVS) is a Songs of Hope and Healing Episode with Guest host Alastair Moock.  Alastair and his twin girls guide us through a selection of songs that remind us of the small joys and sometimes difficult moments that pull us together. These new and old rootsy tunes — from Pete Seeger to The Okee Dokee Brothers — will have you and your kids dancing, singing, and hugging! - Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from 6 years of archived shows.

10:30am – AUDITIONS: Pioneer Valley Ballet will host auditions for The Nutcracker today. Children 4.5-12yo are invited to audition and play a role in PVB’s 35th anniversary production. Unique to the region, PVB’s community productions include dancers from the community, PVB students, and professionals. Roles include Reindeer, Angels, Gingerbread, Party Children, Fleur, and Candy Canes. Auditions are held at Pioneer Valley Ballet in the Eastworks Building. Registration forms are available online and in PVB’s studio. 413-527-6363. 116 Pleasant St. Easthampton, MA

8:30am-12noon – RECYCLING/SUSTAINABILITY: Recycle your old electronics responsibly at the Greater Easthampton Recycling Days (also 9/13 from 1pm-4pm).  This is a good opportunity to get rid of unwanted things in an earth-friendly way.  All electronics have recycling fees, but all the money collected goes toward Chamber Community Programs.  Please see here for more information and a full list of acceptable donations.  413-527-9414.  Liberty Street & Mechanic Street.  Easthampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

8:30am-5pm  – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Westfield Athenaeum will have a free arts and crafts table open to children of all ages. A special craft will be available for kids to make at the library or take home to complete. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

9:30am-5pm – HISTORY/AGRICULTURE: Visit Old Sturbridge Village for their Agricultural Exhibition, taking place today and Sunday September 15.  This is a great chance to explore Sturbridge Village and experience an old-fashioned agricultural exhibition.  There will be demonstrations of early New England farm equipment, vegetable displays, farm animals, and hands-on experiences for visitors, including knitting and using traditional plows.  This weekend-long event is a fun way to dive into the past and discover what life was like in New England during the colonial days.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$

10am – FUN RUN: Today is the sixth annual Williamstown Community Chest Fun Run!  You can participate in the 5K race or the one-mile kid’s run/family walk.  The race is open to everyone, including families with strollers and pets.  The money raised goes to the Williamstown Community Chest and the many agencies they help support.  You can register to run on your own or as a family.  Get some exercise with friends and family while helping out a good cause.  More information and registration forms can be found here.  The race begins at the Williamstown Youth Center.  413-458-2443.  66 School Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

10am-11:30am – ART: Kids ages 7-12 can take a painting class with artist Marlene Rye as part of Easthampton’s Art In the Orchard.  Rye has years of experience as an artist and art teacher.  Kids will learn how to paint “en plein air” at the orchard and will even get the chance to enter their work in the Easthampton Plein Air Painting Competition for free!  The Competition takes place from 9/7-9/14 at Nash Gallery.  There are two more sessions of this class, on 9/7 and 9/8.  You can sign up for one or all three – those who sign up for all three will receive a discount on the registration fee.  You must register in advance.  413-297-0991.  82 Park Hill Road.  Easthampton, MA.  $$

10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Stop by Historic Deerfield to learn all about foods for the fall harvest at their open hearth cooking demonstrations.  You will discover how early American kitchens made use of the fall harvest by processing and preserving foods for winter.  The demonstration will focus on traditional fall foods like pumpkins, apples, and corn.  413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  $

10am-5pm – PLANT STUDIES: Celebrate the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) at Naumkeag’s Autumn Crocus Celebration.  You can learn about the flower through workshops, lectures, and demonstrations.  There will also be a plant/bulb sale, prizes, and more.  The festival continues on September 15.  Free with admission.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $

10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’ The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!  Museum visitors will have the opportunity to make paper hats in the Art Studio and hear a special storytime at 2pm.  This event is also related to The 500 Hats Project, a local charity hat drive aimed at donating handmade hats to local children and adults in need.  The 500 Hats project is a great opportunity for kids (and adults) to practice knitting for a good cause.  Hat Day at the Carle is free with museum admission.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  $

10:30am-12noon – NATURE SCIENCE: Take a closer look at one of our local watersheds at the Great Falls Discovery Center’s, “Watershed Investigators,” a special family program where kids can learn new ways to look at and understand the world around them using games, crafts, exploration, etc.  This week’s program allows kids to build their own water turbines!  Designed to best fit students in grades 2-5, but all ages are welcome.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – LITERACY: Saturday is LittleFest at the Springfield Museums!  This special event, presented in conjunction with WGBY and the Springfield City Library, is all about literacy for young children Meet the star of the popular PBS Kids series WordGirl. Mister G, a popular children’s entertainer, will perfomr from his new bilingual album about his life-long delight in books (two shows: 10:30am & 12:45pm). This event is great for young kids who are just learning to read, as well as the whole family. The event is free for Springfield residents with proof of address. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA.

11am - FAMILY MOVIE: Join the Lee Library for a screening of Super Buddies (2013; rated G), about a team of puppy super heroes!  This film is cute and fun for the whole family.  413-243-0385.  100 Main Street.  Lee, MA.

11am-1pm – JEWISH STUDIES: Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy is holding a special Yom Kippur kids program today.  All are welcome.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.

11am-1pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: The Zoo in Forest Park offers an “Animal Olympics” program, in which you can learn all about the different traits and abilities of animals throughout the zoo!  Want to learn how far a cheetah can leap?  How about who has the best eyesight?  This is an great chance to learn all about the exciting animals at the zoo.  413-733-2251.  302 Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.

11am & 1:30pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Ja’Duke Productions presents The Little Mermaid Jr. at Yankee Candle.  The production is based on the Broadway play and classic Disney movie, and features many hit songs and a story that will entertain both kids and adults.  More information and tickets can be found here.  413-863-9901.  25 Greenfield Road.  South Deerfield, MA.  $$

12noon & 1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit Williamstown’s Field Farm for a tour of the Folly House, an example of post-modernist architecture surrounded by fields, woods, and wetlands, as well as both the Berkshire and Taconic mountain ranges.  This is a chance to see interesting natural areas as well as a unique historic home.  413-684-0148.  554 Sloan Road.  Williamstown, MA.  $

12noon-2:30pm – ART: Kids ages 10-18 can take a painting class with artist Marlene Rye as part of Easthampton’s Art In the Orchard.  Rye has years of experience as an artist and art teacher.  Kids will learn how to paint “en plein air” at the orchard and will even get the chance to enter their work in the Easthampton Plein Air Painting Competition for free!  The Competition takes place from 9/7-9/14 at Nash Gallery.  There are two more sessions of this class, on 9/7 and 9/8.  You can sign up for one or all three – those who sign up for all three will receive a discount on the registration fee.  You must register in advance.  413-297-0991.  82 Park Hill Road.  Easthampton, MA.  $$

12noon-5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/LOCAL FOOD: Celebrate local food at the Kitchen Garden’s sixth annual Chilifest!  Stop by the farm for live music, cooking demonstrations, a pepper-eating contest, kids’ activities, food vendors, and more.  413-387-5163.  81 Rocky Hill Road.  Hadley, MA.  >$

12noon-7pm – CONCERT/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The seventh annual Hilltown Hoot music festival is today!  The concert benefits Central Berkshire Schools and features several local musicians, food, and vendors.  Come to the Hoot and celebrate the Hilltowns!  Takes place in Washington Town Park.  Route 8.  Washington, MA.  $

1pm – CRAFT DEMONSTRATION:  Michael Melle, scarecrow-builder extraordinaire, will give a free demonstration of his techniques at Park Hill Farm’s Art In The Orchard.  Watch as he turns chunks of wood, sticks, hay, and string into “beautiful and uncannily life-like” scarecrows!  For those feeling inspired, Melle will also be leading a scarecrow-making workshop on Thursday, September 26 from 1pm-4pm at a cost of $85 per scarecrow frame.  For more information about the workshop and to register, email aio@parkhillorchard.com.  413-527-6186.  82 Park Hill Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – TEEN YOGA: The Westfield Yoga Center and the Westfield Athenaeum are teaming up to offer an introductory teen yoga class at the library for kids in grades 6-12.  The Yoga Center focuses on Hatha yoga, which uses warm-ups, physical postures, and breathing exercises in order to bring about union of body, mind, and spirit.  This is the first of a three-part class (continues 9/21 and 9/28 at 2pm) and you will be signed up for all three classes when you register.  Please register in advance.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – HISTORY/ARCHAEOLOGY: Learn about the history of human beings at “Becoming Human: A 500 Million Year Fossil Journey” at Western Gateway Heritage State Park.  This is the second half of a two-part series (first part was last weekend) on the evolution of modern humans, as seen through fossils.  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building 4.  North Adams, MA.

2pm-3:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Join the Great Falls Discovery Center for an exploration of the Connecticut River Watershed in Turners Falls and the history that goes along with it.  This program focuses on “The Patch,” the small piece of land between the River and the power canal.  This strip of land has a rich history, which you can learn about with the Discovery Center on this leisurely walk around Turners Falls.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – LOCAL HISTORY/CEMETERY WALK: Stockbridge History Museum hosts a cemetery walk to tour and learn about local history through past residents.  This month’s theme is, “Back to School; 250 Years of Education in Stockbridge.” Meet in the Proctor Hall Parking Lot. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

4pm-8pm – ART WALK:  Follow the “decorated shoes” throughout the Village of Shelburne Falls to find a multitude of shops, galleries and restaurants participating in Shelburne Falls’ September Art Walk.  Many of these establishments will be hosting new exhibits, artist receptions, studio demonstrations, and/or interactive art projects, and offering delicious treats and special sale prices.  Gaze out over Salmon Falls and the glacial potholes, walk the Bridge of Flowers, and ride a historic trolley under the stars.  More information can be found here.  413-625-2526.  Downtown.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

5pm-8pm - ART WALK  This month’s Art Walk Easthampton theme is “Sights & Sounds.”  The art on display at participating venues will be accompanied by the diverse range of musical entertainment – including improvised electric violin and accordion, bluegrass, and folk tunes – offered by over fifteen musical groups and performers throughout the Union Street, Main Street, and Cottage Street areas.  Burns Maxey, Easthampton City Arts Coordinator, sees busking as a “wonderful way of enlivening public space,” and all are welcome to enjoy the lively spirit of community at Art Walk.   413-527-8278.  Downtown.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

4:30pm-8:30pm – HARVEST DINNER: Adults are invited to the Red Gate Farm Harvest Dinner.  The evening includes a wine and cheese reception, a tour of the farm’s new overnight facilities, delicious food in the barn, and live music by several local musicians.  Tickets must be purchased in advance and more information can be found here.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

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Sunday, September 15th, 2013

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. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see 6 years of archived shows.

8:30am-9:30am – NATURE STUDIES/LOCAL HISTORY: The Great Falls Discovery Center is hosting a canal-side nature walk.  Participants can gain a deeper understanding of local history and ecology by exploring the Turners Falls Canal and learning about plants, animals, and cultural or industrial history.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-5pm - HISTORY/AGRICULTURE: Visit Old Sturbridge Village for their Agricultural Exhibition.  This is a great chance to explore Sturbridge Village and experience an old-fashioned agricultural exhibition.  There will be demonstrations of early New England farm equipment, vegetable displays, farm animals, and hands-on experiences for visitors, including knitting and using traditional plows.  This weekend-long event is a fun way to dive into the past and discover what life was like in New England during the colonial days.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$

10am-12noon – ORNITHOLOGY: Join the Kestrel Land Trust and ornithologist Dave King for a hawk watch in the Holyoke Range.  Bring binoculars and a bird guidebook and prepare to see migratory hawks and raptors and learn about their behavior, life cycles, migratory patterns, and conservation efforts.  You must pre-register to learn the meeting location.  413-549-1097. Location: TBA

10am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Mike’s Maze is open until October 31st and is a great family activity for fall fun!  The Maze is known for its interesting and elaborate designs – this year’s maze is the face of Salvador Dalí.  The Maze is eight acres and will provide tons of entertainment as you try to find your way out.  23 South Main Street.  Sunderland, MA.  $

10am-5pm – PLANT STUDIES: Celebrate the autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) at Naumkeag’s Autumn Crocus Celebration.  You can learn about the flower through workshops, lectures, and demonstrations.  There will also be a plant/bulb sale, prizes, and more.  The festival continues on September 15.  Free with admission.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $

11am & 1:30pm - CHILDREN’S THEATER: Ja’Duke Productions presents The Little Mermaid Jr. at Yankee Candle.  The production is based on the Broadway play and classic Disney movie, and features many hit songs and a story that will entertain both kids and adults.  More information and tickets can be found here.  413-863-9901.  25 Greenfield Road.  South Deerfield, MA.  $$

11am-1pm - FUN AND GAMES: Come to the Zoo in Forest Park and learn all about bubbles!  Learn what makes them float, how to make your own bubbles, and more!  413-733-2251.  302 Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.

12noon-5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/LOCAL FOOD: Celebrate local food at the Kitchen Garden’s sixth annual Chilifest!  Stop by the farm for live music, cooking demonstrations, a pepper-eating contest, kids’ activities, food vendors, and more.  413-387-5163.  81 Rocky Hill Road.  Hadley, MA.  >$

12noon-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: International Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, inspired by Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot.  In order to celebrate this exciting day, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is offering a special day full of Dot-related activities.  Museum visitors can meet Reynolds, see a presentation, do a special project in the Art Studio from 1pm-4pm, get books signed, and more.  Free with museum admission.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  $

12noon-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The annual Berkshire Food Festival takes place today!  Come by Main Street and enjoy food from over twenty local restaurants, beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards, live music, and a raffle.  This event is a great way to learn about many of the exciting restaurants and breweries in Berkshire County.  413-664-6180.  Main Street.  North Adams, MA.

5:30pm-8pm – FAMILY MUSIC/POTLUCK:  Earthdance, an artist-run community and retreat center in the Hilltowns, invites you to their monthly Community Sing, a celebration of the simple lessons and pleasures of life.  Attendees will learn, sing, and/or listen to music ranging from South African tunes to traditional rounds, gospel, and harmonic songs from all over the world.  No singing expertise is required, and people of all ages are invited to join.  The Sing will be followed by a potluck supper from 7-8pm (bring a dish or pay $5).  A $5-10 donation per person is suggested, and children may attend free.  413-634-5678.  252 Prospect St.  Plainfield, MA.  >$

6pm-7pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Join the Wistariahurst Museum as they kick off their fall lecture series, “Historical Culinary Incidents: An Exploration of Food and Culture in the Pioneer Valley.”  This week, Elyse Moore will discuss Skinner Coffee House and how Belle and Katherine Skinner (“The Skinner Sisters”) helped women and girls who worked in the Holyoke mills.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

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Monday, September 16th, 2013

9:30am-11am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Join staff at the Mt. Tom State Reservation for a birding hike around the lake for beginning and intermediate birders.  Practice your birding skills and learn about new species while hiking around the Reservation.  413-534-1186.  125 Reservation Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE) / >$ FOR PARKING

1pm-1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Come to the Mt. Tom State Reservation to discover fall species around the park.  Bring clothes that can get muddy and come prepared to learn about the many different plants and animals that you can observe during the fall!  413-534-1186.  125 Reservation Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE) / >$ FOR PARKING

5:30pm – RESKILLING/CANNING: Are you interested in learning how to can and preserve fruits and vegetables?  Come to the Pine Point Community Center for a hands-on canning workshop with farmer and teacher, Daniel Staub.  This would be appropriate for adults or older students interested in culinary arts or preserving.  Please sign up in advance with the Springfield City Library.  413-263-6828.  335 Berkshire Avenue.  Springfield, MA.

6pm – STORYTIME: The Westfield Athenaeum is hosting a pajama storytime for kids ages 2-4.  Kids should come dressed in pajamas and can even bring along a favorite stuffed animal.  Please register in advance.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: CHP Family Network offers a “gym fun” playgroup at West Stockbridge Town Hall.  413-464-5095.  21 State Line Road.  West Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time.  For pre-K children and their siblings.  413-582-2636.  297 Main Street, lower level.  Northampton, MA.  
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church.  Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by Otis Town Hall for playgroup every Monday!  413-464-5095.  1 North Main Road.  Otis, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn Group at the Williamstown Youth Center for kids walking-age up to age five.  Includes puzzles, play dough, riding toys, balls, books, and more.  413-663-6593.  66 School Street.  Williamstown, MA.
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day until October 14 for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home.  The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period.  Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: “Music for Little Ones” at the Pelham Library features a half hour of music and movement for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.  413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman is returning to the Hilltowns for a weekly drop-in group for mothers of young children.  The group offers a supportive environment for mothers to discuss motherhood and all aspects of raising young children.  Takes place at the St. John’s Corner House Mission.  413-625-6948.  469 Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.

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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

10:30am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Children ages 3-6 and their parents are invited to the Great Falls Discovery Center’s Kidleidoscope event!  Kidleidoscope focuses on teaching young children about the natural world using the theme “we share our home.”  Activities include stories, interactive games, and crafts.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – FILM MAKING/TECHNOLOGY: Teens interested in making movies can come to Central Library Teen Central for an iMovie workshop.  Learn the basics of iMovie and learn to create your own video or slideshow.  This is the first in a two-part session.  Second session meets Thursday 9/19 at 3pm.  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.

6pm-7:30pm – LITERACY: Join the East Longmeadow Library for Read-a-Palooza to kick off their Children’s Book Sale!  There will be a story obstacle course, games, and more.  The book sale kicks off tonight and runs until September 27 at 4pm.  The Book Sale will have books, puzzles, DVDs, and more.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The CHP Family Center is holding a “Toddler Steps” playgroup for kids 18 months to three years.  Takes place at CHP Family Services Building every Tuesday and Thursday.  413-464-5095. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time.  For pre-K children and their siblings.  413-582-2636.  297 Main Street, lower level.  Northampton, MA.  
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church.  Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup.  413-283-7594.  720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-12noon – PARENT/CHILD GROUP: Gateway Family Center offers a parent-child school readiness group every Tuesday from until June.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Storytime for toddlers at the Berkshire Athenaeum.  413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Join the Greenfield Public Library for a weekly storytime!  This event includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for kids age five and under.  413-772-1544 x5.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for pre-K kids with educational games and hands-on activities.  Takes place at Haskins Center.  413-663-6593.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day until October 14 for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home.  The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period.  Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: Sing with your baby at the Jones Library!  Preschool-aged children and their parents can come to the library to learn songs and musical games.  This is a great chance to introduce your young children to music.  Runs every Tuesday until November 12.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School hosts Rhyme Time, a song and story circle for young children with a parent or caregiver, at Matrushka Toys and Gifts. All are welcome to this weekly drop-in event. Led by Waldorf parent-child teacher Trice Atchison, Rhyme Time engages babies and young children in seasonal songs, nursery rhymes and simple puppetry. 413-528-6911. 309 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 3pm – LEGOS: Lego Club is every Tuesday at the Bushnell-Sage Library!  Come to the library and make new friends while creating Lego masterpieces.  413-229-7004.  48 Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: Lego Club meets at the Adams Library the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.  For kids 4-8.  Please call to sign up.  413-664-4821.  92 Park Street.  Adams, MA.  
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Come to Gabriel Abbott Memorial School Gym for a gym group for kids up to age 8.  The group is all about indoor active play, but also includes an art project, circle time, and a snack.  Siblings welcome.  413-663-6593.  56 N Country Road.  Florida, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: It’s Pajama Storytime at the Monson Free Library!  Wear your pajamas and enjoy stories and fun.  Happens the second Tuesday of each month.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.

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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

8am-9am – JEWISH STUDIES: Join the Springfield Jewish Community Center for a Sukkot Harvest Breakfast.  There will be breakfast and Sukkot stories, and you can decorate fruits to hang in the JCC Sukkah!  413-739-4715.  1160 Dickinson Street.  Springfield, MA.

10:30am – YOGA: Want to do something fun and exciting with your little one?  The East Longmeadow Library is offering a yoga class for kids ages 2-5 and their parents.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

5pm-7:30pm – CONCERT: Ventfort Hall’s outdoor concert series goes throughout September and features live music, craft beer, and great views.  This week, Moonshine Holler will perform.  These concerts are a great way to kick off fall and enjoy lovely views and music with family and friends.  413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm-8:30pm – SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: Learn all about solar photovoltaics (PV) systems and how they work at River Valley Market!  Steve Tofel from First Sun Solar will lead this workshop on exploring solar energy options for your home.  This is a great way to learn the basics of home solar energy and ask any questions you may have.  Pre-registration is required.  413-584-2665.  330 North King Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – HISTORY STUDIES/PERFORMANCE:  Nationally-renowned storyteller Judith Black will perform a preview of “Our Heritage To Save” at the Becket Arts Center.  Commissioned by the Morton Museum of Collierville History, it is the story of 17-year-old Hannah Jean Conrad, a passionate Confederate supporter, and her family as they struggle with the realities of living in the Yankee-occupied town of Collierville, Tennessee in 1863 – revealing a different perspective on the events surrounding the Civil War.  “Our Heritage To Save” explores “the differences of opinions within just one family, certainties that have been denied us in history books, and the resilience of the human spirit to learn and love and grow.”  The performance will be 1 hour and 15 minutes in duration, and is recommended for ages 11 and up.  Donations are welcome.  413-623-6635.  Main Street & Brooker Hill Road.  Historic North Becket Village, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids from birth to age five and their caregivers can come to the First Congregational Church of Hatfield for playgroup, including snacks, stories, and songs.  413-586-4998 x102.  41 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a loosely structured playgroup at the Clapp Memorial Library every Wednesday for kids from birth to age five.  413-323-0417.  19 South Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be playgroup every Wednesday at the Lenox Community Center.  413-464-5095.  65 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time.  For pre-K children and their siblings.  413-582-2636.  297 Main Street, lower level.  Northampton, MA.  
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church.  Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup.  413-283-7594.  720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.
  • 10am – HIKING: Mount Greylock State Reservation’s Nice and Easy Hikes are geared toward seniors but are open to all ages.  Explore the Reservation while learning about things like plants, animals, and natural history.  Call for meeting place info.  Runs until October 16.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day until October 14 for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home.  The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period.  Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $
  • 10am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime at the New Marlborough Library.  413-464-5095.  1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road.  New Marlborough, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at the Gateway Family Center every Wednesday and Friday.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: It’s storytime at the Monson Free Library for kids ages 2-5!  Come by for stories, snacks, crafts, and fun.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come to the Mason Square Branch Library for storytime, songs, and crafts.  For ages 3-8.  413-263-6853.  765 State Street.  Springfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Join the Dickinson Memorial Library for storytime every Wednesday.  There will be movement, stories, music, crafts, and a snack.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers and their caregivers can come to storytime at the Dickinson Memorial Library every Wednesday for stories, music, movement, and crafts. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.
  • 1pm-4pm – HIKING: Explore Mt. Greylock’s exciting and hidden features and learn all about the mountain in the process.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.
  • 3pm – CHESS: Chess Club is every Wednesday at the Bushnell-Sage Library!  Come to the library and make new friends while improving your chess skills.  413-229-7004.  48 Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.
  • 4pm-5pm –  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)
  • 4pm – CHESS: Kids from kindergarten to 8th grade can drop by the East Longmeadow Public Library for chess!  This weekly program is open to kids of all skill levels, from beginner to chess pro.  Come make new friends and improve your chess skills.  413-525-5400 x4.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for older students and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, September 19th, 2013

9:30am-11:30am – PARENT WORKSHOP: Are you a grandparent who has custody of your grandchild?  Do you act as a full-time caregiver?  The Puzzle of Parenting free workshop series presents “Grandparents as Parents,” a free workshop for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.  The workshop is a place to discuss the challenges and rewards that come along with this role and a place to meet fellow grandparent-caregivers.  You can talk with another and will leave the workshop with tips and advice.  Pre-registration is required and chidcare can be requested.  Takes place at the South Hadley Family Center.  413-570-3061.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.

10:30pm – INTERGENERATIONAL PUPPET SHOW: Davenport Child Care and the Chesterfield Council on aging are presenting an inter-generational puppet show at the Chesterfield Community Center. Puppeteer, Deborah Costine, will be presenting “Turtle’s New Home” a new story about friends in a wetland habitat. 413-296-4785. 400 Main Road. Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

3pm – FILM MAKING/TECHNOLOGY: Teens interested in making movies can come to Central Library Teen Central for an iMovie workshop.  Learn the basics of iMovie and learn to create your own video or slideshow.  This is second installment in a two-part session.  First session meets Tuesday 9/17 at 3pm.  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.

3:45pm – BOOK CLUB: Come to the West Springfield Public Library for a book club for kids in grades 4 and 5.  Read this month’s book and then do a related craft activity.  Call or visit the library to find out the book title.  413-736-4561 x3.  200 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.

 5-8pm – COMMUNITY:  Upstreet Pittsfield’s family friendly street festival, 3rd.Thursdays, continues this month with the theme “Festa Italiano.”  Enjoy activities for the whole family in the Upstreet district of Pittsfield, including vendors, food, and entertainment.  The 3rd annual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Fundraiser will also take place.  See here more information on the fundraiser.  413-499-9348.  Downtown.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

5pm-8pm – WORKSHOP:  In conjunction with Berkshire United Way, the American Legion in North Adams is hosting a “Let’s Strengthen Our Communities Together” workshop.  The workshop includes training on Asset Based Community Development and Results Based Accountability and will be facilitated by consultant Dan Duncan.  All are welcome to attend, and learn together how to build a stronger community (though this workshop is recommended for adults).  Light dinner refreshments will be served.  Click here for more information and to register.  413-442-6948.  91 American Legion Dr.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6pm-9pm – HARVEST DINNER:  Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) invites you to celebrate their 20th year – and to raise money to help them further the work they do with (and for) the local food movement – by attending “Taste The View,” a local harvest benefit dinner at Quonquont Farm, catered by The Kitchen Garden Farm.  Additional highlights include live music by members of Fiddle Hill, and a live and silent auction.  Tickets and more information can be found here.  Quonquont Farm, 9 North St.  Whately, MA.  FUNDRAISER/$$$

7:30pm-9:30pm - EVENING IN THE ORCHARD:  Park Hill Orchard invites you to join them at this evening Art In the Orchard event: a Full Moon Torchlight Walk.  Walk the beautiful orchard grounds and view the sculptures at night.  Attendees are welcome to read original poetry and/or prose highlighting the art at this year’s AIO exhibition – for more information, and to sign up to read your work, email aio@parkhillorchard.com.  413-527-6186.  82 Park Hill Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The CHP Family Center is holding a “Toddler Steps” playgroup for kids 18 months to three years.  Takes place at CHP Family Services Building every Tuesday and Thursday.  413-464-5095.  Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time.  For pre-K children and their siblings.  413-582-2636.  297 Main Street, lower level.  Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church.  Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup.  413-283-7594.  720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn group at the Berkshire Athenaeum every Thursday includes stories, songs, and games.  413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am – MOVEMENT: The Music and Movement program with Laurie and Tom will be at the Millers Falls Library through December.  Young children and their caregivers are invited to this fun, free program.  413-659-3801.  23 Bridge Street.  Millers Falls, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Stop by the New Salem Library every Thursday for nursery rhymes, tales, and tunes.  978-544-6334.  23 S Main Street.  New Salem, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Community Health Program (CHP), Bushnell-Sage Library is hosting a Sing-A-Song playgroup for kids 0-5 and their caregivers.  Runs every Thursday.  413-229-7004.  48 Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PARENT WORKSHOP: MotherWoman is returning to the Hilltowns for a monthly drop-in group for mothers of young children.  The group offers a supportive environment for mothers to discuss motherhood and all aspects of raising young children.  Takes place at the Cummington Family Center on the second Thursday of each month.  413-634-8853.  33 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.
  • 9:45am-10:45am – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Amelia Park Children’s Museum offers weekly arts and crafts activities for kids. The theme changes each week, but the activity is always fun, educational, and often connected to other things at the museum. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA.
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day until October 14 for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home.  The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period.  Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $
  • 2pm – HISTORY/GARDENING: Enjoy a tour of the Mission House’s Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and learn about their historical significance.  The tour is followed by croquet on Oak Lawn at 3pm.  Every Thursday until September 26.  413-298-3239 x3013.  19 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$
  • 2pm-2:45pm – HISTORY: Kids and their families are invited to tour Naumkeag and explore the Gilded Age Mansion’s many rooms through the eyes of those who lived there.  This is a fun way for kids to learn about this historical site!  Runs every Thursday until October 10.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)
  • 5pm-8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Explore Naumkeag at night every Thursday until the end of September!  These events feature live music, tours, speakers, a cash bar, and more.  413-298-8138.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $

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Friday, September 20th, 2013

ALL DAY – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Lee Founder’s Weekend kicks off today!  The weekend includes sidewalk sales, an art show, a cook-off, plant sales, a parade, kids activities, live music, food, and much more!  Stop by the festival this weekend to celebrate Lee’s birthday and engage with your community.  413-243-1705.  Downtown.  Lee, MA.

7am-9am – COMMUNITY MEAL: In order to celebrate Car Free Week in the Pioneer Valley, a commuter breakfast will be held in Springfield.  After the breakfast, there will be celebration of International Park(ing) Day, during which a parking spot is transformed into a public space.  This event is part of the Live Well Springfield initiative.  Main Street, between Court Street & Boland Way.  Springfield, MA.

7am-10am – COMMUNITY MEAL: In order to celebrate Car Free Week in the Pioneer Valley, a commuter breakfast will be held on the Amherst North Common.  Residents can stop by for breakfast and to learn about green commuting.  The Town of Amherst, the UMass Campus Sustainability Initiative, and the UMass Bicycle Advisory Committee are all a part of this event.  North Common.  Amherst, MA.

9:30am-11:00am – PALEONTOLOGY: Come to Mt. Tom State Reservationto learn all about the dinosaurs of the Connecticut River Valley!  Are you curious to know about their behavior, appearance, and eating habits?  This program will tell the story of dinosaurs in the Valley – you can even see some of their tracks!  413-534-1186.  125 Reservation Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE) / >$ FOR PARKING

11am-1pm – HISTORY/ART: Historic Deerfield is offering a new art program, “Art and Craft: Painted Silk.”  Museum visitors can view silk objects in the museum’s collection, learn about how silk is made, and paint their own silk items.  This is good hands-on activity for those interested in early American textiles or those who are interested in learning this useful craft.  Pre-registration is required.  413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  $

1pm-2:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Learn all about water at Mt. Tom State Reservation.  See how the water cycle works and learn how to understand water at Mt. Tom.  413-534-1186.  125 Reservation Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE) / >$ FOR PARKING

1:30pm-4:30pm – WORKSHOP:  In conjunction with Berkshire United Way, the Barrington Stage Company at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center in Pittsfield is hosting a  “Let’s Strengthen Our Communities Together” workshop.  The workshop includes training on Asset Based Community Development and Results Based Accountability and will be facilitated by consultant Dan Duncan.  All are welcome to attend, and learn together how to build a stronger community (though this workshop is recommended for adults).  Click here for more information and to register.  413-442-6948.  36 Linden St.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm-3pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Visit the Great Falls Discovery Center for a birds of prey program with Tom Ricardi.  Ricardi is a raptor expert and will teach all about these amazing birds and their unique traits.  He will also discussion raptor conservation efforts in the Connecticut River Watershed.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

3pm-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Belchertown Fair’s theme this year is “Fun For the Whole Herd.”  This means that there are loads of exciting activities for family members of all ages!  The exhibit hall will be open and there will be demonstrations in quilting, cupcake decorating, coin carving, and more.  There will also be pulling competitions, animals, kids’ entertainment, live music, food, and other fun activities.  The fair continues on 9/21 and 9/22.  Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE)

3:30pm-4:30pm – CHESS: Kids ages 7 and up can come to the West Springfield Public Library to improve their chess skills by playing against other kids.  This is a great way to make new friends while working your way up to becoming a chess master!  413-736-4561 x3.  200 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.

8pm – ASTRONOMY: The Milham Planetarium at Williams College will be open to the public for a planetarium show this evening.  You can learn about the motions of the planets, the phases of the moon, comets, and much more! Reservations recommended. 413-597-2188.  829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

10pm – FILM: Late Nights at Amherst Cinema continue tonight with a screening of 10 Things I Hate About You (1999; rated PG-13).  The romantic comedy is based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.  Get tickets in advance here.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  $

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn group for young kids at Sunderland Elementary.  1 Swampfield Drive.  Sunderland, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 0-5 and their caregivers can stop by Whole Children for playgroup, featuring snacks and playtime.  37 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Come watch preschool videos at the Berkshire Athenaeum every Friday!  413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool-aged kids can come to the Stockbridge Library for StoryCraft, a storytime and craft time with Miss Vicky!  Siblings are welcome.  413-298-5501.  46 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – HIKING: Kids 8 and under and their parents or guardians are invited to Mt. Greylock for a “tyke hike.”  Kids can learn about and experience nature and then hear a story.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at the Gateway Family Center every Wednesday and Friday.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Weekly “Skip and Dip” playgroup at Berkshire South RCC.  413-464-5095.  15 Crissey Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day until October 14 for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home.  The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period.  Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  $
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for little ones at the Pelham Library! 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly fitWIC playgroup at CHP Family Services Building.  413-464-5095.  442 Stockbridge Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum’s weekly Museum Adventures program features stories, songs, dancing, play time, scavenger hunts, and more, and is open to kids 18 months to 3 years.  It’s a great way for young kids to explore some of what the museum has to offer!  Free with museum admission.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn Group at Lanesborough Town Hall, featuring educational playthings, snack, art project, and circle time.  For kids walking-age to five years.  413-663-6593.  83 N Main Street.  Lanesborough, MA.
  • 1pm-4pm – HIKING: Learn the basics of hiking, reading maps, trail safety, bear etiquette, and more at Mt. Greylock’s “hiking 101” program.  The program is open to all ages and teaches important information for those interested in hiking but who may want to know more before setting out on an adventure.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.

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