Suggested Events for September 28th-October 4th, 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 week an energetic group of Hilltown Families’ citizen scientists and Kurt Heidinger, Executive Director of Biocitizen, conducted our fourth annual rapid biotic assessment of the Westfield River in West Chesterfield.

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

Oct 5, Nov 2 & Dec 14

Chandler’s Restaurant Kid’s Cooking Class is an opportunity for parents and their children to explore the craft of cooking in a no pressure setting utilizing ingredients and utensils safe and accessible to kids. Classes will be structured so as to provide ample opportunities for children to be involved in most of the preparation. The classes are held at 10:30am with lunch to follow. October 5th will be a cider making demonstration, November 2nd is lasagna and on December 14th the kids will be making gingerbread houses! $25 per child includes instruction, lunch, and complimentary lunch for one accompanying parent. Space is limited; call 413-665-1277 for reservations. For more information visit chandlers.yankeecandle.com. South Deerfield, MA.

Oct 6

Visit the Springfield Museums on Sunday, October 6 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. for their “Family Fiesta,” featuring the musical group Surcari and an appearance by “everyone’s favorite girl explorer.” Visitors can also enjoy the new exhibit, Fiesta: Flora and Fauna from Puerto Rico, and a variety of hands-on activities. Admission to all four Springfield Museums and the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden is $15 adults, $10 seniors/college students, $8 children 3-17, and free for children under three and museum members. General admission is free for Springfield residents with proof of address. For information, call 413-263-6800 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org. Sponsored by Baystate Health with funding from the TD Charitable Foundation.

Add some STEAM to your child’s education in science and art! Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering basic wheel throwing techniques for all ages. Adults & children can learn a new art skill, pottery, while mastering the physics of wheel throwing techniques. Parent/Child, girls’ night out, workshop with a friend, homeschool classes… there are all options, it’s up to you! Only four wheels, individualized attention, and great introductory rates for customized one day workshops, mini-sessions and more! Make your own bowls and mugs together or individually. More info at www.CyclePottery.com; kathryn@cyclepottery.com; 413-219-9594

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.

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

On Sunday, September 29th from 1pm-4pm, the Hilltown Village will offer a free volunteer training at the Village Congregational Church, 32 Main St. in Cummington.  Hilltown Village prepares volunteers to provide weekly home visits during the first 3 months after a baby is born. A family is matched with a volunteer who visits the family home on a weekly basis. Home visits may include preparing meals, washing dishes, providing companionship, playing with older children, and helping in other ways that a good neighbor or extended family might.  Train to be a volunteer. For more info contact Anna Westley, Family & Volunteer Coordinator, at 413-625-6948 or Anna@MotherwellDoulaCare.comwww.itavillage.info.

FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 28th-October 4th, 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 28th, 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, Little Miss Ann is our guest DJ. Little Miss Ann has handpicked songs about Friendship. Enjoy this selection of songs that covers everything from how to make new friends, enjoying adventures with friends, playing with friends in different seasons, and having that one special best friend. Come along and listen to some new and old songs about friendship by musicians like Pete Seegar, Elizabeth Mitchell, Lunch Money, Suzi Shelton, Charlie Hope and more! - 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 show.

8am-10am – BIRD STUDIES: Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s “Birding Beyond Your Backyard” events offer aspiring birders the chance to learn more about birds of field, forest, and feeder.  This birding walk is geared towards beginners, so don’t worry if you “can’t tell a robin from a crow”!  This event would be appropriate for older students interested in birds or nature.  Meet at Bartlett’s Orchard.  Group will then carpool to Richmond Pond.  Please pre-register.  413-655-8594.  575 Swamp Road.  Richmond, MA.

8am-12noon – USED CLOTHING SALE: Join the South Hadley Family Center for their first annual Family 2 Family Fall Sale.  Baby’s and children’s clothing, toys, games, sports equipment, strollers, maternity wear, and more will be available at the sale.  You can even get your own table or drop off items of your own to donate.  Takes place at All Saints Episcopal Church.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA. (SALE)

9am – ART: Would you like to learn the art of plein air painting?  Hilltown Arts Alive is offering a plein air group for those interested at the Worthington Historical Society.  This will be the first meeting of many, the locations of which will be discussed with the group.  Older students and kids with their parents would enjoy this outdoor art experience, which also acts as an opportunity for intergenerational learning.  There is no instruction – this is just a chance to get outdoors and paint!  Please call Natalie Stafford to RSVP.  413-238-0192.  Route 112 & Route 143.  Worthington, MA.

9am-12noon – LEGOS: Greenfield Savings Bank’s LEGO Day is today!  The drop-off period has ended, but you are welcome to come and see all the exciting LEGO creations made by people of all ages.  Winners will be announced at 11:30am, so stop by early to vote for your favorite!  413-774-3191.  325A King Street.  Northampton, MA.

9:30am – PLANT SCIENCE/LOCAL FOOD:  This week’s Trustees of Reservation’s “Fall Food on the Farm” workshop focuses on growing and cooking herbs year-round.  You can test and learn about many different herbs and learn how to grow them both indoors and out.  You will also get the opportunity to cook sage pesto with roasted winter squash.   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.  >$

9:30am-4:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/FURNITURE: Historic Deerfield’s newest exhibit, “Furniture Masterworks: Tradition and Innovation in Western Massachusetts” opens today!  The exhibition brings together roughly 60 pieces of the museum’s collection to help tell the story of furniture-making in New England from the 1680s to the 1830s.  This exciting collection will help teach visitors about the history of furniture in New England throughout history.  413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  $

10am – LOCAL HISTORY/WORKSHOP: Stone walls are a distinct feature of New England, and you can learn how to build your own with landscaper and mason Roger Tryon at the Bidwell House Museum.  There will be a hands-on demonstration and those who attend are welcome to help out or sit back and observe.  If you wish to do some wall-building, please bring work gloves, hard-toe boots, and eye protection.  Although this is geared towards adults, older students interested in learning the skill could attend.  Registration is required.  413-528-6888.  100 Art School Road.  Monterey, MA.  $$

10am-12noon – INSECT STUDIES: Learn about monarch butterflies and their annual migration at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.  Monarch enthusiast John Bowe will teach about the monarch life cycle and migration route.  Those who attend may even get to see monarch caterpillars or butterflies out in the field!  Best for kids ages 4-12.  Please pre-register.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs 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-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/CHILDREN’S LITERATURE: As part of Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is offering free admission for the day.  Stop by the museum to see their exhibits, visit the art studio, hear live music by Joanie Leeds ($), and attend a special storytime with Peter Mandel, author of Zoo Ah-Choooo and Jackhammer Sam.  Museum Day Live! is a great chance to explore the museum for free with the whole family.  More information and tickets can be found here.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL/FUNDRAISER: The 27th Annual Apple Harvest Crafts Fair and Children’s Festival takes place today on the Amherst Town Common.  The Festival is a benefit for the Amherst Family Center, and features free admission, live entertainment, local food, craft booths, vendors, hayrides, a petting zoo, games, pumpkin decorating, and much more!  413-545-0865.  South Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: As part of Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live!, the Berkshire Museum is offering free admission!  Visit the museum and explore all it has to offer on this special day that aims to honor museums nationwide.  More information can be found here.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – GARDENING: UMass Amherst has several exciting gardens on their campus, all of which are open for scheduled tours today!  Visitors can tour the Agricultural Learning Center and Student Farming Enterprise, Franklin Permaculture Gardens, GardenShare, and the Renaissance Garden.  This is a great way to see what UMass has to offer and a good way to get inspiration for your own garden!  Please see here for a full schedule of tours.  Transportation is not supplied.  413-545-6325.  UMass Amherst.  Amherst, MA.

10am-5pm - FALL FESTIVAL: The 16th Annual Country Fair at Hancock Shaker Village celebrates fall, local history, and the harvest with loads of activities for visitors of all ages.  There will be agricultural demonstrations, wagon rides, a farmers market, face painting, craft vendors, a quilt show, a pie contest, and much more!  Don’t miss this special opportunity to celebrate fall in New England.  Free with admission to the Village.  413-443-0188.  1843 West Housatonic Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $-$$

10:30am-11:30am - FATHER/CHILD TIME: Stop by the Storrs Library for “Dads and Donuts,” an hour of coffee, donuts, stories, and crafts.  This is a nice way for kids and their dads to spend time together.  Please register in advance.  413-565-4182.  693 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.

10:30am-4pm – HISTORY/TYPOGRAPHY: Historic Deerfield presents “Works on Paper” a special demonstration that focuses on the importance of broadsides, pamphlets, books, and newspapers throughout history.  Visitors can see a reproduction printing press run and can learn about the art of marbled paper.  413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.

11am – STORYTIME: Jonathan Hall, local author of Toto the Tornado Kitten, is coming to the Jones Library for a special storytime – Toto himself will also be there!  Toto survived the F3 tornado that destroyed part of Western Massachusetts in June 2011.  It was a miracle that Toto survived, since he was found all alone and weighing only six ounces in the days after the tornado.  This once-tiny cat is now the subject of two books by Hall.  The storytime will be followed by a book signing.  Proceeds go to the Animal Rescue League of Boston.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.

11am – FAMILY CONCERT: Singer Joanie Leeds is performing at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art today!  Her catchy and educational songs are entertaining for the whole family, so come out and enjoy the show!  The concert is co-sponsored by the Northampton Community Music Center and 93.9 The River.  Please note, although today is Museum Day Live! featuring free admission at the Carle, there is a fee to attend the concert.  Tickets go on sale at 10:30am.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  $

11am-12noon – CHEMISTRY: Be a mad scientist at the Berkshire Museum! Along with the help of the museum’s very own crazy chemist, kids can learn how to do exciting and surprising (and safe!) experiments with regular household materials. Kitchen Kaboom! is totally kid-safe, but adults must accompany participating scientists. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

11am-12noon – GAMES/PLAY: “Alotta Hoopla” is Dickinson Memorial Library’s special hula hoop party for all!  Come by the library and learn to hula hoop and see a special performance.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.

11am-1pm – CORN MAZE: Come out to Mike’s Maze to benefit CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)!  There will be games, a petting zoo, a kids maze, and Mike’s big Salvador Dalí maze.  Don’t miss this chance to explore Mike’s Maze while supporting CISA.  23 South Main Street.  Sunderland, MA.  $

11am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Today is the 34th annual Lenox Apple Squeeze and Harvest Festival!  Celebrate fall in the Berkshires with food, rides, live music, shopping, and more at this lively street fair.  413-637-3646.  Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day Live! is an event that allows museums all over the U.S. to offer free admission to their visitors.  Today, you can visit the Wistariahurst Museum and tour two historic houses at the Skinner Family Estate.  At 2pm there will be a gallery talk by Lyn Horan, whose painting and sculpture work is on display at the Wistariahurst gallery as part of her show, What Comes of the Fall (gallery admission is >$).  Don’t miss this great opportunity to explore Holyoke’s history and to see an exciting fall-related art exhibit.  More information and tickets can be found here.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-11pm - FALL FESTIVAL: The Old 78 Farm Fall Festival is today!  There will be live music, local food, pony rides, food and craft vendors, and so much more!  Don’t miss this exciting celebration of fall in Franklin County.  978-544-1845.  823 Orange Road.  Warwick, MA.  $

12:30pm-2pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Kids age 5 and up and their families are invited to Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary for an afternoon of learning about fish and cold water streams.  Participants can catch and release fish and learn about the importance of cold water streams to reptiles, amphibians, fish, and macro-invertebrates.  413-637-0320.  Holmes Road.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm-3pm – GEOLOGY: Field Farm’s “disappearing stream” is a natural wonder of the Berkshires.  Join the Trustees of Reservations and learn how this stream manages to disappear and where it goes.  Geologist Dick Hamilton will teach about Field Farm’s karst geologic formations, which are shaped by bedrock dissolutions.  Why does this happen?  When did it happen?  These are among the many questions Hamilton will address on this moderate two mile hike.  413-458-3135.  554 Sloan Road.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

1:30pm-3:30pm – FALL CELEBRATION: Today is Flying Cloud Institute’s Harvest Day!  You can harvest apples, make cider, take home veggies, and do arts and crafts activities.  This event is free and open to the whole family.  Please RSVP.  413-229-3321.  731 South Sandisfield Road.  New Marlborough, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – PHYSICS: Experiment with paper airplanes and learn about basic principles of physics at the Berkshire Museum as part of their PaperWorks exhibit! Instructions and materials are provided for families to come and build their own. Test the design to learn what factors affect the plane’s ability to fly. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

2pm-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Did you know that many of the buildings in Turners Falls were built with clay taken from the banks of the Connecticut River?  Learn about local brick manufacturing, industrial history, architecture, and more with the Great Falls Discovery Center at their Watershed History event.  Learning about local history can help you better understand your community and how it has changed over time.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.

2pm-5pm – MYCOLOGY: Explore the Berkshires and learn about fall mushrooms with Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary!  Adults and older students can come see a presentation on local fall mushrooms and then explore and collect some for study.  This event will help you become better acquainted with local fungi and ecology.  Please register in advance.  413-637-0320.  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, MA.  $$

3pm-5pm – OUTDOOR SPORTS: Interested in learning how to do stand up paddleboarding?  The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department is offering an intro stand up paddleboarding class for kids 7 and up.  Kids will learn about water safety and the basics of this fun water sport.  You must register in advance.  Activity takes place at Riverfront Park Canoe and Kayak Launch.  413-263-3284.  777 Riverdale Street.  West Springfield, MA.  $$

5pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The First Congregational Church of Hatfield is holding their annual Chicken Barbecue!  The meal features authentic, wood-fired barbecue chicken, baked potato, salad, squash, and apple pie.  This is a good way to meet community members that you may not know yet!  Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door.  413-247-9540.  41 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  $

5pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The Wesley United Methodist Church is holding their annual pig roast dinner tonight.  This is a great opportunity to spend time with community members of all ages.  413-549-1550.  98 North Maple Street.  Hadley, MA.  $

6:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The Pelham Historical Society’s Harvest Supper and Howard D. Barnes Memorial Pie Auction is tonight!  Senator Stan Rosenberg and Representative Ellen Story will be in attendance.  The New England boiled dinner is catered by Diane Wentworth.  Tickets are required and the supper is open to all ages.  413-253-5993.  351 Amherst Road.  Pelham, MA.  $

5:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The Florence Congregational Church is holding a free-will meatloaf supper.  This is a great way to make new friends in your community and develop intergenerational connections.  Please call for reservations.  413-584-1325.  130 Pine Street.  Florence, MA.  

7:30pm – FILM STUDIES/CLIMATE CHANGE: Pothole Pictures is screening Chasing Ice (2012; rated PG-13), a documentary about climate change and Arctic ice melt.  The film features beautiful images from around the Arctic that come together to tell the sad tale of the Arctic’s fast-melting glaciers.  Older students interested in climate science or filmography/photography would find this interesting.  413-625-2896.  51 Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  >$

7:30pm – MUSIC/DANCE: A Dancer’s Dream: Two Works by Stravinsky is an exciting cinematic event at the Academy of Music.  See the full production as well as behind-the-scenes footage of this exciting performance.  The production is about a young woman who dreams of becoming a dancer, and it features Stravinsky’s “The Fairy’s Kiss” and “Petrushka.”  It blends dance, live animation, video, puppetry, and circus arts to create an exciting show.  A Dancer’s Dream would be best for adults or older students interested in dance, music, or theater.  Tickets must be purchased at the door.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

DUSK-11pm – ASTRONOMY: Want to learn about astronomy first-hand?  Join the Trustees of Reservations and the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center for an evening of stargazing and searching for moons, planets, galaxies, and more at Notchview!  Please call to pre-register.  413-532-1631 x10.  Route 9.  Windsor, MA.  (FREE)

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Sunday, September 29th, 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.

TBA – ANIMAL STUDIES: Discover the busy and exciting lives of squirrels and chipmunks at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.  There will be crafts, a story, games, and a chance to go outside and see these small mammals prepare for winter.  Best for kids ages 4-12.  Please pre-register.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, 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)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 16th Annual Country Fair at Hancock Shaker Village celebrates fall, local history, and the harvest with loads of activities for visitors of all ages.  There will be agricultural demonstrations, wagon rides, a farmers market, face painting, craft vendors, a quilt show, a pie contest, and much more!  Don’t miss this special opportunity to celebrate fall in New England.  Free with admission to the Village.  413-443-0188.  1843 West Housatonic Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $-$$

11am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Today is the Windsor Historical Commission’s annual Pie Sale, Craft Fair, and Harvest Festival!  There will be a chili and cornbread lunch, museum exhibits, craft vendors, a book sale, live music, and more.  What a great way to kick off fall and celebrate Windsor!  Route 9.  Windsor, MA.

11am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Today is the 34th annual Lenox Apple Squeeze and Harvest Festival!  Celebrate fall in the Berkshires with food, rides, live music, shopping, and more at this lively street fair.  413-637-3646.  Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-5pm: LOCAL HISTORY: The Hoosac Tunnel in northwestern Massachusetts is one of the engineering marvels of the 19th century, and it is still used for rail traffic today. Families can learn about the construction and history of this famous tunnel at “Rail Fan II,”  a special program for all ages at the Rowe Historical Society’s Kemp-McCarthy Museum that puts a lens on the history of transportation in the region.  Highlights of the day include all-new presentations by Hoosac Tunnel experts Jerry Kelley and Tim Lawrence; displays of rare Hoosac Tunnel memorabilia; an exhibit of classic toy trains and the opportunity to meet with representatives from professional rail organizations. 413-339-4238. 282 Zoar Road. Rowe, MA (FREE)

12:30pm-5:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Piano Day at UMass Amherst is for middle, high school, and college pianists, their parents, and their teachers.  There will be a masterclass, performances, discussions, and a recital by alumna Yan Yu.  Piano Day is a good way for young pianists to meet other pianists of all ages.  This event is free, but registration is required.  Takes place at Bezanson Recital Hall.  413-545-2511.  151 Presidents Drive.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

1pm-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Trustees of Reservations are opening the doors to many of their historic homes to the public for free tours today!  Discover the lives and homes of well-known residents of Western Massachusetts throughout history.  Naumkeag, Ashley House, the Folly, William Cullen Bryant Homestead, the Old Manse, the Stevens-Coolidge Place, the Paine House at Greenwood Farm, and the Old House at Appleton Farms will all be open for tours.  This is an amazing chance to explore these unique historic homes.  978-356-4351 x4049.  Western MA.  (FREE)

1pm-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Today is the Hopkins Forest Fall Festival at Williams College.  Celebrate fall with woodworking demonstrations, apple butter and cider production, the canopy walkway, shake splitting, a crosscut saw competition, live music, kids activities, and more.  The Festival is a fun and educational way to welcome fall to the Berkshires.  413-597-2346.  Northwest Hill Road.  Williamstown, MA.

4pm-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Grow Food Northampton’s End-of-Season Community Potluck is tonight!  Bring a dish and your own utensils and come celebrate local food, live music, fall, and community.  Takes place at Florence Organic Community Garden.  413-584-0081.  140 Meadow Street.  Florence, MA.

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Monday, September 30th, 2013

10:30am – DANCE/EXERCISE: Kids ages birth to 3 years can come to the East Longmeadow Public Library with a parent or caregiver for “Zumbini,” a zumba class for little ones!  This is a fun way to move and groove with your young child.  Please pre-register.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

2:30pm-5pm – PHOTOGRAPHY/WRITING: GirlsEyeView is a program of the Youth Action Coalition that aims to offer young women a supportive space to express themselves through analog photography and/or creative writing.  Students in the program will explore the complex issues of growing up female and express this through their work.  The program is open to middle and high school age girls and it meets in the photo room at Amherst Regional High School every Monday and Wednesday from 2:30pm-5pm.  413-253-2158.  21 Matoon Street.  Amherst, 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, Dr. Deborah Gewertz and Dr. Frederick Errington will discuss the history and significance of instant noodles.  Drs. Gewertz and Errington will also touch on the  future of global food systems and some predictions for the year 2050, when the world population is projected to be at roughly nine billion!  Older students interested in food studies would found this talk interesting.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

6pm-7:15pm – LANGUAGE: Would you like to learn to speak different languages?  LEX Language Club is starting up in Hadley and is open to people of all ages!  Come make new friends and learn to speak and understand different languages in a supportive and fun environment.  Takes place at Wesley United Methodist Church.  98 North Maple Street.  Hadley, MA.

6:30pm-7:30pm – MUSIC: The Northampton Community Music Center is offering a free demonstration of their new recording studio!  Come by and check out the new studio and learn about what the Center has to offer.  413-585-0001.  139 South Street.  Northampton, 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-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)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Meekins Library on the first and third Monday of each month for playgroup.  Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured.  For kids 8 and under.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA.
  • 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.
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm – CHESS: Kids in grade 2 and up are invited to the Storrs Library for their weekly drop-in chess program.  Come play with other kids and improve your chess skills!  413-565-4182.  693 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.

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Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

10:30am-11:15am – LITERACY: You and your child can work together to develop pre-reading skills at the Lee Library’s “Every Child Ready to Read” workshop.  The workshop is for kids birth-age through five years and runs every Tuesday from 10/1 to 10/29 (five meetings).  The workshop includes a literacy workshop, storytime, and playgroup.  This is a great chance to introduce your young child to the world of reading!  Registration is required and you must register for the full five-week session.  413-464-5095.  100 Main Street.  Lee, MA.  (FREE)

3:30pm-5:30pm – VIDEOGRAPHY: Video Vanguards is a Youth Action Coalition program that works with youth of color and their allies to integrate youth leadership, video production, media critique, and social justice education.  Students in the program will learn video production skills and engage in training to create socially-conscious pieces on topics commonly ignored by the mainstream media.  The program is open to middle and high school age students and is an excellent way to become introduced to the worlds of video production and social justice activism.  Meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30pm-5:30pm at Amherst Media.  413-253-2158.  246 College Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – EDUCATOR WORKSHOP: Educators can discover many of the inexpensive, easy-to-use open source hardware and software that can be used in K-12 education, research labs, and environmental monitoring at this UMass STEM Seminar.  This workshop will focus on citizen science and easy lab activities for students.  Takes place in Hasbrouck 138 at UMass Amherst.  666 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, 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-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 – STORYTIME: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School announces the return of “Rhyme Time” to Matrushka Toys and Gifts.  Rhyme Time is a weekly, drop-in event for young children and their caregivers, and it features seasonal songs, nursery rhymes, and puppetry.  413-528-6911.  309 Main Street.  Great Barrington, 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, October 2nd, 2013

1:30pm-2:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Helen Ann Sephton of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment presents “Amazing Animal Adaptations” at Shutesbury Town Hall.  You can meet some live and mounted animals and learn about their history, behavior, biology, and more.  This is a fun way to learn about interesting animals native to Western Massachusetts!  Best for kids in K-3.  Please call to pre-register.  978-544-5157.  1 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.

6pm – ASTRONOMY: Are you interested in learning about astronomy but aren’t sure where to begin?  Kevin Collins of the Amherst Astronomy Association presents a “Virtual Tour of the New England Sky” at Bascom Lodge atop Mt. Greylock.  Collins will discuss the Comet Ison, which is set to pass earth in November, and could rival Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake.  He will also tell visitors about some of the local astronomy clubs and how to go about joining them.  413-743-1591.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

6pm-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Valley Community Development Corporation and Easthampton Savings Bank present a first-time homebuyer workshop for prospective homebuyers.  This is a four-part series that meets 10/2, 10/9, 10/16, and 10/23.  The workshop will cover many of the questions had by first-time homebuyers, include how to get loans for your new home.  Registration is required and the cost is $50 for all four sessions.  The workshop meets at Easthampton Savings Bank.  413-586-5855.  241 Northampton Street.  Easthampton, MA.  $$$

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-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Cummington Family Center for playgroup for kids 5 and under!  There will be stories, arts and crafts, songs, and playtime.  Takes place at Community House.  Main Street.  Cummington, 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-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Come by the Westhampton Library for playgroup the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.  Features games, arts and crafts, and storytime.  For kids 8 and under.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Edwards Library on the first and third Wednesday of each month for playgroup.  Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured.  For kids 8 and under.  30 East Street.  Southampton, 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.  $
  • 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, October 3rd, 2013

11am – STORYTIME: Jumpstart’s Read for the Record event is coming to the Eric Carle Museum.  This is a national event during which people all over the country will read Loren Long’s book Otis in order to promote literacy in young children.  This storytime is a fun opportunity for kids to hear many great stories read aloud while supporting a good cause.  Free with museum admission.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  $

12:15pm – ART/CULTURAL STUDIES: The Springfield Museums’ “Museums a la Carte” lecture series returns with “Mexico City and Surrounds: Art and Culture, Past and Present, Traditional and Modern,” by Amy S. Dane.  Dane will discuss why Mexico City is a hotspot for performing and visual artists, and she will discuss what art forms are popular there.  Older students who like art or who are interested in cultural studies may find this lecture interesting.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

6pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Do you think your child seems anxious or worried?  The Puzzle of Parenting Workshops presents “Little Minds, Big Worries,” a workshop for parents of young children with anxiety.  Parents will learn about the causes of childhood anxiety, why it is on the rise, and what you can do to help your anxious child feel supported.  Takes place at Palmer/Monson Family Network.  You must register in advance.  Registration information can be found here.  413-586-4998 x102.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5pm-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The fourth season of Culture and Cocktails returns to the Springfield Museums!  This month’s event is “Oktoberfest: The Art of the Brew” at the Merrie and Lyman Wood Museum of Springfield History.  “Oktoberfest” is a beer-tasting event, featuring beer from several local home-brewers and brewing companies, such as Paper City Brewing Co., the People’s Pint, Berkshire Brewing Co., and others.  There will also be live music and German food.  You must be 21 or older to attend this event.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  $

6:30pm-9pm – SILENT AUCTION/WINE TASTING: Support the Northwestern Children’s Advocacy Center by attending their fundraising silent auction and wine tasting at the Hotel Northampton.  The evening features, music, hors d’oeuvres, a silent art auction, and a wine tasting.  The auction includes original paintings by many local artists.  Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be found here.  413-522-2946.  36 King Street.  Northampton, 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)

11:30am-12:15pm – MUSIC & MOVEMENT: Leticia Davies will offer a Mommy & Me class at Amherst Montessori School for children ages 0-3 with a parent/caregiver, from October 3 – November 21. This eight week class will combine singing and movement with instruments and pretend. Cost for the eight-week session is $100. More information at www.amherstmontessori.org.  413-253-3101. 27 Pomeroy Lane. Amherst, MA ($$$)

  • 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.
  • 9:45am-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-12noon – STORYTIME: The Dalton Free Public Library offers a weekly storytime, which includes stories, short films, and crafts, all designed to help kids with social and literacy skills.  413-684-6112.  462 Main Street.  Dalton, 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.
  • 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-11:30am – STORYTIME: Join the Emily Williston Memorial Library for storytime every Thursday!  There will be snacks, stories, and crafts.  413-529-1605.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, 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, October 4th, 2013

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.  $

2pm-3pm – HISTORY/FASHION: Focus Fridays at Historic Deerfield allow visitors the opportunity to learn more about individual objects in the museum’s collection.  This week is all about textiles, and visitors can spend time with an experienced museum guide who will share information about a specific piece in the collection.  413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.

2:30pm-3:30pm – ART HISTORY: Norman Rockwell was one of the most well-known and prolific artists of the 20th Century.  He based many of his paintings on current events and relied heavily on the use of models for his works.  You can see some of these models as they discuss their experiences and Rockwell’s art at the Norman Rockwell Museum.  Free with museum admission.  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$

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.

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Join the Springfield Museums for “Stars Over Springfield,” an introductory astronomy talk and star viewing at the Science Museum’s observatory.  This week, David Gallup, planetarium director at the Springfield Science Museum and president of the Springfield Naturalists’ Club, will present “Splendors of the Night Sky.”  The event is recommended for kids 8 and up, but younger children are welcome.  If it is cloudy or rainy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of the live star viewing.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  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 The Warriors (1979; rated R).  The movie is about a dystopian future in which New York City is controlled by various gangs, and features many exciting fight scenes and action sequences.  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: Stop by the Cummington Family Center for playgroup for kids 5 and under!  There will be stories, arts and crafts, songs, and playtime.  Takes place at Community House.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.
  • 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-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Chesterfield Community Center on the first and third Friday of each month for playgroup.  Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured.  For kids 8 and under.  Chesterfield, 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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