Suggested Events for September 21st-27th, 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

Discover the wonderful world of honey and honey bees at Warm Colors Apiary’s annual Honey Festival this Saturday in South Deerfield, MA!

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.

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BULLETIN BOARD

Sep 21

Eric Carle Book Signing! Join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art this Saturday, Sept 21st at 10am (Members: 9am) in Amherst as it welcomes back their co-founder Eric Carle. Be the first to get his new book, Friends, at a special pre-launch book signing for his fans in the Pioneer Valley! Come buy a copy, meet Eric Carle in person & get your book signed while viewing his original artwork in the new exhibition: The Art of Eric Carle: Friends. Create tissue paper art & see a great film all about Eric’s life as an artist too. There will also be face painting, storytimes & art studio activities. Free with museum admission (Book signing is not limited to Friends books.) Visit www.carlemuseum.org for signing guidelines or call 413-658-1126.

Sep 22

SUKKOT HARVEST FESTIVAL! Sunday, 9/22, 1-4pm at Abundance Farm, 253 Prospect St. in Northampton. In celebration of the harvest, Congregation B’nai Israel and Lander Grinspoon Academy are holding a Sukkot Harvest Festival for all ages, open to the public. The Festival will launch “Abundance Farm,” a burgeoning small-scale farm and outdoor classroom. Will include apple cider pressing, wheat threshing and winnowing, cob oven baking, honey extraction, garlic planting, a fermentation workshop and crafts for toddlers. Also live music, animals and healthy snacks. Suggested donation of $5. Move inside in case of rain. For more information please contact Rabbi Jacob Fine at rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org or 413-584-3593 x203. Find on Facebook here.

Sep 27

Do you love Percy Jackson, Spiderwick or the Amulet series? Visit the Odyssey Bookshop for an evening with two highly acclaimed middle grade authors for a ‘lost things’ scavenger hunt and all the pizza you can eat! Graphic novelist Greg Ruth, illustrator of Our Enduring Spirit, written by Barack Obama, will be presenting his debut graphic novel, The Lost Boy, which explores the mystery in a magical world when a boy discovers the tape recordings of a missing boy under his floorboards. Matthew Kirby, winner of the 2012 Edgar award will be reading from his new book The Lost Kingdom, a wild adventure set in the vast American wilderness. For Ages 7-14. Friday, September 27, 6pm. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley. www.odysseybks.com

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.

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.

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FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 21st-27th, 2013

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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 21st, 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 Community Service Episode with guest DJ, Charity Kahn of Charity and the JAMband.  Charity explores some of the ideas at the heart of community service: helping those less fortunate, practicing kindness, loving ourselves so we have something to give back, practicing gratitude for the role our communities play in our lives, having awareness around what our various communities are and who makes them up, and seeing the reality that we area ll part of a global and interdependent ecosystem. - 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.

ALL DAY – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Lee Founder’s Weekend continues 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.

ALL DAY – NATURE/CULTURE/HISTORY: The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area presents Heritage Walks, which celebrate the communities, natural areas, history, and different cultures of the many places recognized as part of this National Heritage Area.  Heritage Walks take place on Saturday 9/21 and Sunday 9/22 at many different sites throughout the region.  For example, you can tour the Historic Colonial Theatre, watch hawks at Bartholomew’s Cobble, explore local cemeteries, tour historic homes, see the W.E.B. DuBois National Historic Site, and explore the Housatonic River.  Because the Heritage Area designation is about the intersections between nature, culture, and history, each walk offers something different and it is likely you will find one that fits your interests!  A full list of Heritage Walks can be found here.  860-435-9505.  Berkshire County

9:30am – PLANT SCIENCE/LOCAL FOOD:  This week’s Trustees of Reservation’s “Fall Food on the Farm” workshop features the life cycle of the spinach plant and a lesson on pollination, in addition to some real-life farm experience planting spinach and harvesting arugula.  The workshop will wrap up with a snack that utilizes the harvested food: in this case, arugula and cheese quesadillas!  This is part of a series of eight family-friendly seasonal food workshops hosted at Land of Providence, a property of The Trustees of Reservations.  These workshops are led by Lydia Mills, who, in addition to her work with The Trustees, is a food and nutrition educator and the manager of the Holyoke Farmers’ Market.   413-532-1631.  Main St.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

10am – BOOK SIGNING:  Included in the price of admission to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art this Saturday is the opportunity to purchase an advance copy of Eric Carle’s new book, Friends, and have him sign it!  This opportunity is not guaranteed, so show up early to increase your chances – Members will be able to enter the museum early (between 9am and 9:45), and Memberships may be purchased during that time on the 21st in order to obtain early entry.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  $

10am – ENTOMOLOGY: Hunt for honeybees at the Bidwell House Museum. Learn how farmers of old searched for and captured honey bees, and how you can too. Michael White will explain how to “hunt” for a bee colony and lead a guided walk on the Bidwell grounds and in the woods in search of bees and other pollinators. Wear sturdy footwear. Registration requested: bidwellhouse@gmail.com. 413-528-6888. 100 Art School Road. Monterey, MA

10am-11am - NATURE WALK: Parents and young children are invited to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary for an infant/toddler nature walk!  Explore the grounds of Arcadia with your little one as you both explore and enjoy the beauty of nature.  Please register in advance.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  >$

10am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate Shutesbury at their annual fall festival.  Bring the family and enjoy live music, tag/book/plant sales, farmers’ market, games, food, animals… they have it all going on down on the Town Common! Shutesbury, MA

10am-4pm - COMMUNITY CELEBRATION:  Celebrate International Day of Peace with members of the Railroad Street Youth Project at the RSYP Drop-In Center.  All are welcome to participate in the day’s free events and activities, including: outdoor yoga, story circle, community art mural design, noon moment of silence, non-violent communications workshop, barter market, and live music.  A vegetarian lunch will be provided.  Railroad Street Youth Project empowers young people by supporting the creation of youth-generated activities that promote self-worth, responsibility and intergenerational respect and communication.  413-528-2475.  60 Bridge St.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – ENTOMOLOGY/AGRICULTURE: Discover the wonderful world of honey at Warm Colors Apiary’s annual Honey Festival!  The Festival celebrates honeybees and other native pollinators.  Meet with beekeepers, attend workshops, sample honey, and learn all about bees and honey at this exciting event.  There will also be honey and bee related products for sale.  413-665-4513.  2 South Mill River Road.  South Deerfield, MA.

10am-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 9/22.  Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE)

9am-1pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: It’s Family Fun Day at the Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market.  Kids can come to the market and enjoy fresh food while participating in fun activities!  413-443-6501.  First Street parking lot.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)/MARKET

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 – HANDMADE ARTS & CRAFTS: The Old Deerfield Craft Fair begins today and continues on Sunday 9/22 from 10am-4pm.  The craft fair is a great place to view and purchase local, handmade crafts and art pieces, and also offers a good opportunity to meet the artists.  10 Memorial Street.  Deerfield, MA.  >$

11am – HISTORY: Tour the neighborhoods of West Stockbridge/Freedleyville. Join Bob Salerno and Barbara Dowling of the West Stockbridge Historical Society for a tour of the Freedleyville neighborhood, one of the earliest industrial neighborhoods in town and in Berkshire County, including an early schoolhouse, and industrial ruins. Call to register: 413-232-4465. Take Route 41 south of West Stockbridge town center and then turn on to East Alford Road -  look for parking signs, West Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

11:30am – HISTORY/MUSIC STUDIES: Behind the scenes tour of Tanglewood. Join a guide from the Boston Symphony Association of Volunteers for an interpretive walking tour of the Tanglewood campus. The tour will include visits to the Koussevitzky Music Shed, Ozawa Hall and other music facilities. Your guide will tell you about the historical background of Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center. Register here.  Meet at the Main Gate of Tanglewood, Rt 183 (297 West St.). Lenox, MA (FREE)

1pm – HISTORY: Meet the old residents of Richmond Center Cemetery.  Join Gloria Morse, from the Richmond Historical Society, for a walking tour of the oldest part of the town burial grounds to learn about the people who once made Richmond what it is and find out about some of the early carvers of the unique head stones. Call to sign up: 413-698-2560. 1101 State Road (drive to the back of the cemetery). Richmond, MA (FREE)

1pm-2:30pm – KIDS’ POETRY WORKSHOP:  The Jones Library is hosting a workshop, led by author Jeannine Atkins, called “Writing Poetry Together.”  The workshop is intended for kids ages 10 and up – teens and tweens welcome, as well as parents, relatives, and other “favorite adults.”  Participants will work with writing prompts and exercises, then write and share their own poetry.  Atkins’ books will be available for purchase and signing.  Space is limited – please register in the Childrens’ Room.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity St.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

1pm-3pm – PLANT STUDIES: Want to improve your foraging skills and learn about wild edibles?  Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center is offering a workshop (for ages 12 and up), led by Blanche Derby, on identifying, collecting, and preparing wild edibles.  A course on wild edibles is essential for kids who like to explore outside or for those who are looking to learn more about nature.  Please pre-register.  800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm-3pm - OUTDOOR SPORTS/KAYAKING: Interested in learning how to kayak?  The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department is offering an intro kayak class for kids 7 and up.  Kids will learn about water safety, as well as all the basics of kayaking, and then can go out on the Connecticut River to learn about its history!  You must register in advance.  Activity takes place at Riverfront Park Canoe and Kayak Launch.  413-263-3284.  777 Riverdale Street.  West Springfield, MA.  $$

1:30pm – READING: The Westfield Athenaeum is hosting a Read to Rover event for kids in grades K-3.  Young readers can practice reading stories aloud to specially-trained dogs, who offer non-judgmental, non-threatening attention.  This is a wonderful opportunity for kids to improve their reading skills and their confidence in reading aloud.  Please register in advance.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – ORIGAMI: Origami is a fun way for kids to engage with an activity that supports their discovery of geometry. Learn some new paper folding skills and techniques at the Berkshire Museum! Held in conjunction with the museum’s PaperWorks exhibit.  413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

2pm – ASTRONOMY: Learn about astronomy and extraterrestrials at Western Gateway Heritage State Park’s Autumnal Equinox astronomy lecture.  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building 4.  North Adams, MA.

2pm-4pm – HIKING: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a hike at Basin Pond.  Explore this little beaver pond and learn all about its history, including two attempts to dam it, in the late-1800s and again in the mid-1900s.  This hike is 3 miles and is recommended for older students and adults.  Please call to register.  413-499-0596.  Becket Road.  Lee, MA.

4pm-5pm – HISTORY: Historic Deerfield presents a special lecture by Michael Coe, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University, on the line of forts created by American colonists to keep out the French and their Indian allies.  These forts, along the northwest corner of Massachusetts, are important to the study of 18th-century life in Western Massachusetts.  The lecture will be followed by a book signing for Coe’s book, The Line of Forts: Historical Archaeology on the Colonial Frontier of Massachusetts.  413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.

5pm-8pm – ICE SKATING: The Kiwanis Club of Greater Westfield is sponsoring a free community skate at Amelia Park Ice Arena!  Ice skating is a fun fall/winter activity, so come practice and make new friends at this fun event.  Local Key Clubs will also be selling raffle tickets and other goodies.  Skate rentals are $2.  413-568-2503.  21 South Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.

TBA – FILM STUDIES: Today is the annual Ashfield FilmFest!  The festival consists of many five-minute or less films about or relating to Ashfield, one of the Hilltowns here in Western MA. Films have been submitted by kids and adults, and span many different genres, so there is something for everyone to enjoy!  Seeing local films may inspire you to create some of your own!  Ashfield, MA. ($)

6:30pm-8:30pm - CHINESE STUDIES/FESTIVAL:  The Smith College Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, along with the Chinese Inter-regional Student Cultural Organization and the Dean of the College, are hosting a free, public celebration of the Chinese Moon Festival.  The celebration, located in the Campus Center Carroll Room, will feature performances, traditional games and activities, and delicious food, including moon cakes.  All ages welcome.  Elm St.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm-9:30pm - FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate the start of fall with Old Sturbridge Village at their Harvest Party and Kiln Firing.  There will be a bonfire on the Common, a barn dance, live music, a “water fire” display, hay rides, and the annual lighting of the Village’s 24-foot brick kiln.  The festival is a fun way to kick off fall while learning about history.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6pm – GALA: The Dalton CRA celebrates 90 years of community service at their annual gala!  This year’s theme is the roaring ‘20s, featuring live music by The Sister City Jazz Ambassadors.  The gala will honor several individuals and offers ample time for dancing and enjoying appetizers and a cash bar.  Come out, dress up, and support the CRA for this fun event!  Takes place on the Dalton CRA Memorial Lawn.  413-684-0260.  400 Main Street.  Dalton, MA.  $$

7pm-11pm – BALLROOM DANCING: Berkshire Ballroom is holding a ballroom dance with a free rumba lesson!  Try something new on date night and dance the night away with live DJ music.  413-684-1510.  116 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

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Sunday, September 22nd, 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.

6:45am & 6pm – ASTRONOMY/AUTUMN EQUINOX: Today is the Autumnal Equinox!  Come to the UMass Sunwheel at sunrise and sunset to witness the first of each for the new season.  Learn about astronomy, the seasons, and the sunwheel by viewing this exciting event.  Rocky Hill Road.  Amherst, MA.

ALL DAY - NATURE/CULTURE/HISTORY: The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area presents Heritage Walks, which celebrate the communities, natural areas, history, and different cultures of the many places recognized as part of this National Heritage Area.  Heritage Walks take place on Saturday 9/21 and Sunday 9/22 at many different sites throughout the region.  For example, you can tour the Historic Colonial Theatre, watch hawks at Bartholomew’s Cobble, explore local cemeteries, tour historic homes, see the W.E.B. DuBois National Historic Site, and explore the Housatonic River.  Because the Heritage Area designation is about the intersections between nature, culture, and history, each walk offers something different and it is likely you will find one that fits your interests!  A full list of Heritage Walks can be found here.  860-435-9505.  Berkshire County

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.

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)

8:30am-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Would you like to learn more about birds?  Join the Hitchcock Center for the Environment for an autumnal equinox bird walk at the Quabbin Reservoir.  Naturalist John Green will lead the walk and will discuss birds, as well as other flora and fauna in and around the Reservoir.  This event is geared toward adults but would also be appropriate for older students interested in birds or nature.  Registration is required.  413-256-6006.  Location: TBA.  $$

10am – HISTORY/THEATER: Tour the historic Colonial Theatre. Journey through the history of the gilded age Colonial Theatre as our historians, Bob Boland and Bill Munn,  share the story of the 1903 world-class theatre, movie house, National Historic Treasure appointment by Hillary Clinton, restoration, and 2006 grand re-opening! Call to register: 413-448-8084, ext.31. 111 South St. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

10am – HISTORY: Tour Main Street Stockbridge. This tour of Stockbridge’s Main Street will show you the parallels to American History in this picturesque New England town. Hear some unique behind the scenes stories of this noted community, nestled in the Berkshire Hills. Learn about the people, places and connections in this historic crossroads.  Tour leader is Tom Daly, from the Norman Rockwell Museum. Register here. Meet at the Chimes tower on the village green on Route 102 / Main St. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

10am-3pm - ANIMAL STUDIES: Come to Mt. Tom State Reservation for their special hawk migration event!  The day consists of workshops, activities, and events all about hawks and other birds of prey.  Learn all about owls and discover how to identify them, see a live raptor show, view the hawk migration, play games related to the migration, do a crafts project, and enjoy facepainting.  This is a great all-ages activity and will give family members of all ages the opportunity to learn many new things about these fascinating creatures!  413-534-1186.  125 Reservation Road.  Holyoke, MA.  >$ FOR PARKING

10am-4pm – HANDMADE ARTS & CRAFTS: The Old Deerfield Craft Fair continues today.  Here’s your chance to get a jump on the holidays and to shop local and handmade. The craft fair is a great place to view and purchase local, handmade crafts and art pieces, and also offers a good opportunity to meet the artists.  10 Memorial Street.  Deerfield, MA.  >$

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.  $

11am-2pm – NATURE/ARTS AND CRAFTS: Join Katywil Farm Community for Family Day, where kids of all ages can build their own gnome houses!  Kids will collect materials from nature in order to build their houses.  Families can then enjoy a bring-your-own picnic lunch, as well as lemonade, popcorn, and baked goods from the farm.  At 1pm, families can tour the Katywil grounds.  The event is free, but registration is requested.  To register, email calendar@katywil.com.  413-624-5599.  43 Stetson Brothers Road.  Colrain, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-4pm - FALL CELEBRATION: Celebrate the Autumnal Equinox with Becket Arts Center!  There will be grilled food, live music, arts and crafts, and more, all for the whole family.  Wear a fun sweater, bring food to share, and welcome fall during this exciting celebration!  413-623-6635.  7 Brooker Hill Road.  Becket, MA.

12noon-6pm – 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.  Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – MUSIC JAM:  Join in with – or just listen to – Joe Blumenthal’s Ukulele Players as they strum and sing popular tunes at Park Hill Farm’s Art In The Orchard.  This “A-E-I-O-Ukes Jam” is open to anyone who would like to sing or play; all ukuleles, guitars, fiddles and mandolins are welcome!   For more information, email aio@parkhillorchard.com.  413-527-6186.  82 Park Hill Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

1pm-4pm – NATURE STUDIES: Caregivers and children are invited an autumn canoe activity at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.  Paddle the Mill River and looks for animals like turtles, hawks, and more.  What a fun way to discover nature while spending some quality time together!  Please register in advance.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  $$

1pm-4pm - JEWISH STUDIES/FESTIVAL: Stop by Congregation B’nai Israel for their Sukkot Harvest Festival!  The Festival includes apple cider pressing, baking bread, extracting honey, a fermentation workshop, garlic planting, and arts and crafts activities for kids.  This is a great chance to engage with your community while learning new skills!  413-584-3593.  253 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA. (>$)

2pm-4pm – HIKING: Explore the Berkshire Natural Resource Council’s Barrett Reserve on an interpretive hike led by Doug Bruce.  The hike will focus on the natural and managed history of the forest.  This hike would be best for older students and adults interested in hiking, the outdoors, or ecology.  Please call to register.  413-499-0596.  Locust Hill Road.  Egremont, MA.

4pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt, of the Mt. Holyoke College Music Department, will perform several piano pieces for four-hands, including Paul Hindemith’s Sonata, Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, and Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes, among others.  This concert is an excellent opportunity for older students (and adults!) to learn about music.  Best for older students with audience skills.  Takes place in McCulloch Auditorium.  413-538-2000.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.

4pm – AMERICAN HISTORY/ART STUDIES:  The Lenox Library kicks off its seventh season of Distinguished Lectures with a talk by Thomas Daly, Curator of Education at the Norman Rockwell Museum.  Daly will discuss the changes in American society between the present day and the America that Norman Rockwell depicted in his paintings – and will explore the question: “in an age of technology, globalization, and economic downturn, is Rockwell still relevant?”  The lecture will take place in the Lenox Library’s Sedgwick Reading room, and is free and open to the public.  Those studying American history, art, culture, and even technology will find this lecture particularly engaging; recommended for middle-school-aged students and up.  413-637-2630.  18 Main St.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – POETRY/MUSIC: Join Bascom Lodge for an evening of poetry and song with poet Rosemary Starace and singer-songwriter JoAnne Spies.  They will entertain with stories and songs on a variety of instruments, including guitar, dulcimer, rattles, flute, and chimes.  This family-friendly event will acquaint you with poetry, music, and nature atop Mt. Greylock.  413-743-1591.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

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Monday, September 23rd, 2013

4pm-5pm – BOOK GROUP: Join The Westfield Athenaeum for a teen book discussion group on Gaby Rodriguez’s The Pregnancy Project.  Teens in grades 6-12 can come to discuss the book and make new friends.  This is a great chance for teens to do some outside-of-school reading while interacting with their peers in a discussion group.  Please register in advance.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

6pm-7pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Join the Wistariahurst Museum as they continue their fall lecture series, “Historical Culinary Incidents: An Exploration of Food and Culture in the Pioneer Valley.”  This week, Gary Kamen will discuss grape growing and winemaking in the Pioneer Valley.  One might not think of Western Massachusetts as being prime wine country, but Kamen will discuss the ways in which wine is made here, covering everything from climate and grape varieties to the different styles of winemaking.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

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-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon.  413-527-5496.  43 Main Street.  Easthampton, 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 24th, 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)

12noon – SPECIAL STORYTIME: Enjoy a picnic storytime at the East Longmeadow Public Library!  Pack a picnic and come to the library to hear fun fall stories.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

4pm-5pm – BOOK GROUP: Join The Westfield Athenaeum for a kids book discussion group on Rich Cohen’s Alex and the Amazing Time Machine.  Youth in grades 3-5 can come to discuss the book and play relevant games.  This is a great chance for kids to do some outside-of-school reading while interacting with their peers in a discussion group.  Please register in advance.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

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-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School for kids 5 and under.  Every Tuesday and Friday.  Old Amherst Road.  Sunderland, MA.
  • 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-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon.  413-527-5496.  43 Main Street.  Easthampton, 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 25th, 2013

3:45pm-4:45pm – ART CLUB: Kids ages 9-15 can get in touch with their inner artist at the West Springfield Public Library art club.  Make new friends while creating art.  413-736-4561 x3.  200 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, September 25th from 5pm-7:30pm – CONCERT: Ventfort Hall’s outdoor concert series goes throughout September and features live music, craft beer, and great views.  This week, Billy Keane and the Misdemeanor Outlaws 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)

6pm – GAMES/LITERACY/SCRABBLE: Word-lovers of all ages are invited to the East Springfield Branch Library for a game of Scrabble!  Bring a bagged dinner and make new friends of all ages while improving your Scrabble skills.  413-263-6840.  21 Osborne Terrace.  Springfield, MA. (FREE)

6pm – THEATER: WAM Theatre, based out of Pittsfield, is a theatre organization that benefits women and girls both locally and worldwide.  Many of their productions focus on women and/or girls, and they are giving a sneak peek of their November production, Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight, at Bascom Lodge.  The show is about Emilie Du Chatelet, a physicist and mathematician in the Age of Enlightenment.  Members of the cast will read segments of the performance.  The event at Bascom Lodge would be interesting to older students who like theater, science, or history.  413-743-1591.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

6pm-8pm – GRANDPARENT 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 Ware Family Center.  413-570-3061.  49 Church Street.  Ware, MA.

7pm-9pm – WORKSHOP/ANIMAL STUDIES: Black bears are common in Western Massachusetts and it is important that residents know what to do if they encounter one.  Mass Wildlife will be at the Forbes Library to present a workshop on black bears, their natural history, local studies being done on bears, and how to avoid conflict with bears.  413-256-6006.  20 West Street.  Northampton, 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-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Erving Elementary School for kids 5 and under.  Sponsored by Community Network for Children.  978-544-5157.  Northfield Road.  Erving, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Wendell Free Library for kids 5 and under.  Sponsored by Community Network for Children.  978-544-5157.  7 Wendell Depot Road.  Wendell, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly Tales and Tunes playgroup at the Leverett Library for kids 5 and under.  Sponsored by Community Network for Children.  978-544-5157.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.
  • 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 26th, 2013

9:30am – TIBETAN STUDIES/TRADITIONAL ART:  All across the world, the creation and beauty of a Tibetan Sand Mandala painting remains a constant phenomenon of art and construction.  Come see the monks at work at the UMass Fine Arts Center as they use traditional instruments to lay down the finest grains of colored sand to produce a work of art that explodes with color and detail.  In the lobby, students can take part in additional art activities and create their own mandalas after the morning viewing sessions (art activities not available during afternoon showings).  This unique event highlights the power of the healing arts to ignite peace and tolerance among all.  Special ticket price $3; limited space available.  Limited space is also available for the 10:30am showing on Friday, September 27.  General public viewing will be available from 1-6pm daily, on Wednesday and Thursday, September 25 & 26 and 1-4pm on Friday, September 27. A $5 ticket will allow for multiple entries on the day of purchase. Five College student tickets and senior citizens are $2. For ticket information, please call 413-545-2116.  181 Presidents Drive.  Amherst, MA.  $

5pm-8pm – ART WALK:  Celebrate community and creativity at the “First” Florence Night Out!  Stop by the open artists’ studios, live music, and a video/sound art installation at 30 North Maple Street; check out the art openings at Café Evolution and Cup & Top Café; attend the free swing dance lessons and live music at Florence Civic Center; shop through the extended retail hours and sales at participating businesses; and enjoy beer and wine tastings at JJ’s Tavern and Cooper’s Corner, respectively.  Additional entertainment and events will take place on this fun and festive night out.  Downtown.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – POTLUCK PICNIC: Northampton Parents’ Center host their annual Welcome Back Potluck Picnic tonight at the little playground at Look Park (Dow Pavillion).  BYO dish to share. NPC families, alumni, siblings, neighbors and friends are all welcome! 300 N. Main Street. Florence, MA (>$/PARKING)

7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Belchertown Historical Association’s Stone House Speaker Series presents the first talk of the series, “Nine Belchertown People You Should Know,” by local historian and Stone House archivist Cliff McCarthy.  McCarthy will discuss some of Belchertown’s most famous residents and how they have impacted the town.  This event is open to all and would be interesting to older students interested in local history.  413-323-6573.  20 Maple Street.  Belchertown, MA.

7pm-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP/LYME: The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is hosting a talk on Lyme Disease with Dr. Allison Willette from Good Sense Health Care.  Dr. Willette will discuss the current state of Lyme in Western Massachusetts, signs and symptoms of the disease, and preventative measure for people and landscapes.  413-256-6006.  525 South Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  >$

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 27th, 2013

10am – MUSIC/MOVEMENT: Kids ages 4-7 can shake, rattle, and roll at the Westfield Athenaeum!  Come dance, sing, and make noise at the library.  Please register in advance.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Mover and Shakers playgroup, for kids walking-age to five years.  There will be play, learning, singing, movement, and more.  Takes place at Adams Youth Center.  413-663-6593.  East Street.  Adams, MA.

10:30am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Want to learn about monarch butterflies?  Kids ages 3-6 and their parents can join the Great Falls Discovery Center to learn about butterflies, do crafts, and explore nature.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.

12:15pm-12:45pm – ARCHITECTURE/HISTORY STUDIES:  Stop by the Amherst Historical Society and Museum for a “History Bites” lunchtime lecture!  This week, David Hosford, Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University, will discuss Henry Sykes, an important mid-nineteenth-century New England architect.  Bring your own lunch – coffee, tea, and cider will be provided starting at noon, and the lecture will begin promptly at 12:15pm.  These lectures are all ages, but are recommended for older students and adults interested in history.  413-256-0678.  67 Amity St.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

3pm-6pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Are you getting excited for Halloween?  Whitney’s Farm Market will be holding Pumpkin Fest every weekend until October 31st!  Stop by for u-pick pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze, face painting, a petting zoo, and much more.  Pumpkin Fest is fun for the whole family and will you get into the Halloween spirit.  Runs Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm.  413-442-4749.  1775 S State Road.  Cheshire, MA.

6pm – READING/SIGNING: Join Odyssey Books for a fun evening with middle-grade authors Greg Ruth (The Lost Boy) and Matthew J. Kirby (The Lost Kingdom).  Meet the authors, participate in a scavenger hunt, and enjoy pizza with friends.  This is a great chance for kids to learn about new fantasy, adventure, and mystery books.  For kids ages 8-14.  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.

8pm – MUSIC STUDIES: This year is the centennial anniversary of composer Benjamin Britten’s birth.  Celebrate the occasion with the Mt. Holyoke College Music Department at their Centenary Celebration Concert.  The concert will feature Mt. Holyoke Music Faculty and the Mt. Holyoke Symphony Orchestra playing many of Britten’s pieces.  Best for older students with audience skills.  Takes place in McCulloch Auditorium.  413-538-2000.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, 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 Men in Black (1997; rated PG-13).  The movie, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, is a sci-fi satire about extraterrestrial immigrants.  The film would also be appropriate for teens too.  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)

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Shutesbury Elementary School for kids 5 and under.  Sponsored by Community Network for Children.  978-544-5157.  23 West Pelham Road.  Shutesbury, MA.
  • 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 – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School for kids 5 and under.  Every Tuesday and Friday.  Old Amherst Road.  Sunderland, 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: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon.  413-527-5496.  43 Main Street.  Easthampton, 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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