Suggested Events for October 5th-11th, 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

Fall festivals are in full swing, including the Conway Festival of the Hills taking place this Sunday, October 6th. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

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.

Oct 6

Conway Festival of the Hills – Sunday, October 6th. One of the best fall festivals around! Like their page on Facebook. The Festival has something for everyone – Covered Bridge Classic Road Race, kids activities (hill slide, hay maze, petting zoo, pony rides, and more), food (ice cream, baked goodies, fresh cider, and more), craft fair with many vendors, art exhibit and book sale, author signing with numerous local authors, live bands and music all day, Festival Parade at 1 p.m., Conway Historical Society open house, and the heralded Log Splitting and Skillet Toss competitions. 10am – 4pm. Free. Center of Conway, MA.

Deadline Oct 18

The Ashfield Local Goods Fundraiser to benefit Sanderson Academy is here! This is the perfect opportunity to purchase locally made gifts for the holidays while supporting education. Find unique, creative and practical items from Hilltown vendors such as handmade jewelry, pottery, books by local authors, maple syrup, gift certificates for restaurants and more! Go to www.ashfieldlocalgoods.com to view the catalog and download an order form. Deadline for orders is October 18th and needs to be returned to Sanderson Academy. Items will be ready for pick up at the Free Ice Cream Social and Distribution Event on November 16th between 9:30am and Noon at Sanderson Academy, located at 808 Cape Street in Ashfield. Call 413-628-4404 with questions.

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

Oct 12

Do you love Llamas? Have you read Llama Llama Red Pajama? Would you like to meet the author? Anna Dewdney, author of the New York Times bestselling Llama Llama series reads from her newest tale, Llama, Llama and The Bully Goat on Saturday, October 12th at 4pm. This time Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do. Enjoy a storytime-read aloud from the author herself after which she will sign books. The fun won’t end there! Activities, sweet treats and a REAL LLAMA will be present! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA, 01075. 413-534-7307 www.odysseybks.com

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

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FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 5th-11th, 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, October 5th, 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, guest DJ Nina Stone (aka Miss Nina) explores the elements of story and song through her show’s theme: Book Songs & Story Songs. This show is a compilation of songs from children’s books, songs inspired by children’s books, or story songs both fiction and non-fiction. It’s an eclectic mix of songs ranging from the 1970s to today. - 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.

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 10/5 and Sunday 10/6 at many different sites throughout the region.  For example, you can see a demonstration at Crane and Co. Paper Museum, hike part of the Appalachian Trail, go on a tour of the Stockbridge Cemetery, discover local birding spots, or learn about Herman Melville’s life in the Berkshires.  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: The Ware Business and Civic Association’s Fall Fest Celebration is today!  There will be breakfast with the Lion’s Club, live music, an art show, a silent auction, clowns, kids activities, and more.  This is a great way to celebrate your town!  Main Street.  Ware, MA.

COMMUNITY SERVICE: The Source to Sea Cleanup, an annual effort to clean up the Connecticut River Watershed, is in its 17th year!  All ages are invited to join in the effort and help clean up our watershed at these locations in the Hilltowns & Pioneer Valley:

  • 9am-12noon –  The Great Falls Discovery Center is seeking volunteers to help clean up the river in Turners Falls.  Please call to pre-register.  800-859-2960.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA. (VOLUNTEER)
  • 9am-1pm – Join Wild and Scenic Westfield River on the East Branch Trail at the Chesterfield Gorge for a day of cleanup!  Help maintain the river and nearby trails by clearing trash and debris and learning how to help keep trails in working order.  Please call to pre-register.  413-623-2070.  River Road.  Chesterfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)
  • 9am-2pm – Join the Westfield River Watershed Association at Pynchon Point in Agawam for a day of river cleanup!  Supplies, as well as coffee and doughnuts, will be provided.  River Road.  Agawam, MA. (VOLUNTEER)
  • 9am-3pm – The Deerfield River Watershed Association is holding a cleanup of the Green River at the Green River Recreation Area in Greenfield.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided by area sponsors, as well as a musical performance.  To sign up and find more information, please see here.  413-772-2020.  Nash’s Mill Road.  Greenfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)
  • Other clean-ups happening in Belchertown, Deerfield, Sunderland, Easthampton, Montague, Hadley, Northampton, Holyoke, Chicopee, Springfield, Northfield, Westfield, West Springfield, Russell and Hunting.  Check this list of groups organizing clean-up, and participate with your family!

9:30am – PLANT SCIENCE/LOCAL FOOD:  This week’s Trustees of Reservation’s “Fall Food on the Farm” workshop focuses on container gardening.  You can make a container garden, plant salad greens and herbs in it, and learn how to care for it before taking it home.  You will also have the opportunity to harvest cilantro, and then make and eat pasta with broccoli and cilantro pesto.  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.  Takes place at Land of Providence.   413-532-1631.  Main St.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

9:30am-12noon – BIRTHING WORKSHOP: Representatives from the International Cesarean Awareness Network are leading a workshop at Baystate Franklin Medical Center for women planning or considering a VBAC, or for those who would like to support moms considering VBACs.  The workshop will include a discussion of birthing choices, info on how to prepare for a VBAC, sharing of experiences, and more.  In addition to the information offered by the workshop, it is also a great place for mothers considering VBACs to find support amongst their peers.  Please pre-register.  413-341-6882.  164 High Street.  Greenfield, MA.

9:30am-5pm – FALL CELEBRATION/HISTORY: Celebrate fall in New England with Old Sturbridge Village at their Apple Days (10/5 and 10/6).  Taste heirloom apple varieties and mulled cider, tour the orchards, pick apples, make cider, learn about cooking and preserving apples, and make your own sachet of mulling spices.  This event is not only a way to celebrate fall, but a way to learn about the role of apples in the fall in years past.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$

10am-12noon – STORYWALK: Families are invited to participate in a nature storywalk at the Westhampton Public Library!  The story is In The Woods: Who’s Been Here by Lindsay Barrett George.  There will also be a craft and a snack.  Free book for each family.  Come enjoy this great story and the beautiful fall weather!  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA. – Want to host your own StoryWalk? Read our post, Bring a StoryWalk to Your Neighborhood.

10am-1pm – FIRE SAFETY: Join the Northampton Fire Department for an open house at their headquarters.  October is Fire Prevention Month, and touring the firehouse is a great way to get the whole family interested in fire safety.  26 Carlon Drive.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

10am-2pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Cushman Common celebrates with Cushman Village’s Old Home Day!  There will be games, pies for sale, music, a straw hat contest, face painting, puppets, and more.  The festival supports the efforts of Save Historic Cushman.  Pine Street.  Amherst, MA.

10am-2pm – HEALTH/SAFETY: Today is the Greenfield Health and Safety Fair at the Greenfield Fire Station for Fire Prevention Month. Stop by for free flu shots, fire safety information, relevant kids activities, and information tables.  Free parking is available in the lot between the fire station and the post office.  Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.

10am-4pm – LOCAL FOOD/POTLUCK:  Red Fire Farm’s annual Harvest Potluck isn’t your average potluck.  Sign up ahead of time and you can learn how to press your very own apple cider to take home!  Cider pressing will be going on all day, and the potluck will take place from 1pm-2pm.  Cider samples, fresh local cider, and homemade cider donuts will be available for purchase, along with fall produce for cooking and decorating.  For more information and to register for cider-pressing, see here.  413-467-7645.  7 Carver St.  Granby, MA.

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

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 15th annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is here!  The festival features food and craft vendors, activities for the whole family, live music, stories, talks, and more.  This is one of New England’s most well-loved fall festivals, so come out and celebrate garlic, fall, and your community.  Runs 10/5 and 10/6.  60 Chestnut Hill Road.  Orange, MA.  >$

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 79th annual Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival takes place 10/5 and 10/6 from 10am-5pm!  Celebrate fall with live music, crafts, food, a silent auction, plant sale, book sale, tag sale, activities for all ages, and more!  This is a fun fall activity for families in a beautiful setting.  413-298-3926.  5 West Stockbridge Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$

10:15am-12noon – STAR WARS: It’s Star Wars Reads Day, and to celebrate, the Wilbraham Public Library is holding a Star Wars Symposium!  Kids 5 and up and their families can come participate in trivia, contests, and more.  Please pre-register.  413-596-6141 x102.  25 Crane Park Drive.  Wilbraham, MA.

10:30am-11:30am – FIRE SAFETY/STORYTIME: This week is Fire Prevention Week!  Join the Whately Library for a special storytime with Jason Dorval of the Whately Fire Department.  Dorval will share a story and teach kids about fire safety.  After the storytime, volunteers from the fire department can show kids around their fire truck!  413-665-2170.  202 Chestnut Plain Road.  Whately, MA.

10:30am-12noon - CULINARY ARTS: Chandler’s Restaurant offers a Kids Cooking class for families to explore the art of cooking, proper use of kitchen tools, and raw ingredients that go into delicious dishes! A brief tour of their professional kitchen follow the class.  Great way to introduce children to the world of culinary arts!  Space is limited, reservations are required 413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($$)

10:30am-4:30pm – LOCAL & HANDMADE: 413 Glassworks is holding their second annual Fall Arts Festival!  The festival will feature local and regional art, including glassworks, jewelry, fiber, painting, photography, ceramics, wood, and more!  This is a great opportunity to see wonderful local art, explore 413 Glassworks, and become acquainted with many different mediums for creativity.  413-443-4864.  37 Nobody’s Road.  Cheshire, MA.

10am – LOCAL HISTORY: A guided walking tour of African American and Abolition Era History takes place today.  Meet at the Sojourn Truth Memorial Statue. 130 Pine Street. Florence, MA (FREE) – Find out more about educational opportunities in our post: Sojourner Truth Memorial: American and Western MA History.

11am-11:45am – STORYTIME: Storyteller Jonathan Kruk will be at the Spectrum Playhouse telling spooky stories about ghosts, ghouls, and goblins.  This is part of the Playhouse’s Family First Series of entertainment for kids and is Halloween-themed but not too scary.  Kick off the Halloween season with this fun storytime!  413-394-5023.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.

11am-12:30pm - LITERACY/STORYTIME: The Jones Library and MassHumanities present “Family Adventures in Reading,” a six-week storytelling program.  Storyteller Motoko Dworkin read stories and lead discussions on topics such as courage, fairness, and dreams.  For kids 6 and older and their parents.  Please call to sign up.  413-259-3091.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.

11am-2pm – CREATIVE FREE PLAY: Come have fun with cardboard at the Berkshire Cardboard Challenge!  In honor of the International Day of Play, and inspired by Caine’s Arcade, IS183 Art School of the Berkshires is hosting this family-friendly, creativity-oriented event at the Little Red Schoolhouse in Williamstown.  Don’t miss this fun chance to exercise your creativity by making cardboard creations!  413-298-5252.  32 New Ashford Road.  Williamstown, MA.

1:30pm – STAR WARS: Today is the East Longmeadow Library’s Star Wars symposium!  Families, come dressed as your favorite characters and join the library for Star Wars show-and-tell.  You will also get the chance to learn more about the history of Star Wars and participate in a trivia game!  Please pre-register.  413-525-5400 x1511.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

2pm – ORIGAMI/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)

2:30pm - CULTURAL STUDIES:  This week’s Bridging Cultures: Muslim Journeys program at the Jones Library is a screening of “Koran By Heart,” a documentary about three 10-year-olds at the annual International Holy Koran Competition.  Muhammad Ashraf will lead a discussion following the screening.  Older students interested in film or Middle Eastern studies would benefit from this screening.  For more information, see here.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity St.  Amherst, MA.  FREE

2:30-5:30pm – LOCAL FOOD/FARM STUDIES:  CISA and Amy Klippenstein, the owner of Sidehill Farm, have teamed up to host an afternoon’s worth of events called “Talk, Tour, and Tasting.”  Enjoy the fall foliage, spectacular views, and a pasture walk at Sidehill Farm; take a peek at their yogurt processing plant; learn about the changes and adaptations required to successfully move a conserved farm to a new generation of owners.  Extend the day’s fall festivities by picnicking on the farm, shopping in the farm store, and picking apples on your way over (email judy@buylocalfood.org for a Local Hero orchard route!).  Rain or shine.  RSVP to Judy Hall at CISA.  413-665-7100.  59 Forget Rd.  Hawley, MA.

4pm-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY:The Gravediggers Tour” is the last of the monthly Stockbridge Cemetery Tours for the year.  The tour explores the lives of Stockbridge gravediggers in the 1800s and early 1900s.  This is a great way to learn about local history and about interesting, but not necessarily well-known, residents of Stockbridge.  Meet at the cemetery gate.  413-298-5501.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)/SUGGESTED DONATION >$

7pm – FOLKLORE/STORYTELLING: The Pioneer Valley Folklore Society’s Song and Story Swap is centered on a theme, then everyone introduces themselves and shares a song or story relating to the theme (it’s also okay to just listen!).  After this warm-up round, the performer – this week it is Sue Burkhart – plays a 30-minute set, which is followed by another song and story share.  The Song and Story Swap is a great opportunity for intergenerational fun and a way to meet new people.  During the performance, a hat will be passed around for donations.  Takes place at the Nacul Center.  Repeats the first Saturday of each month.  413-687-5002.  592 Main Street. Amherst, MA.  FREE/SUGGESTED DONATION

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Sunday, October 6th, 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.

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 10/5 and Sunday 10/6 at many different sites throughout the region.  For example, you can see a demonstration at Crane and Co. Paper Museum, hike part of the Appalachian Trail, go on a tour of the Stockbridge Cemetery, discover local birding spots, or learn about Herman Melville’s life in the Berkshires.  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

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

9:30am-5pm – FALL CELEBRATION/HISTORY: Celebrate fall in New England with Old Sturbridge Village at their Apple Days (10/5 and 10/6).  Taste heirloom apple varieties and mulled cider, tour the orchards, pick apples, make cider, learn about cooking and preserving apples, and make your own sachet of mulling spices.  This event is not only a way to celebrate fall, but a way to learn about the role of apples in the fall in years past.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$

10am-4pm – HISTORY: Learn about the art of silversmithing and the process of making a sterling silver flatware set for an 18th-century American home with silversmith Steve Smithers at Historic Deerfield.  Smithers will go through the entire process, from research and design to the actual silver work itself.  Free with museum admission.  413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA.  $

10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Conway’s Festival of the Hills is today!  Come for the Covered Bridge Classic 10K Road Race (registration begins at 9am), an open house at the Conway Historical Society, exhibits, a parade, a craft fair, kid’s activities, pies, a logsplitting contest, a skillet toss, and much more!  This is one of Western Massachusetts’ most exciting small town fall festivals, so don’t miss out!  413-522-7374.  Main Street.  Conway, MA.

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 15th annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is here!  The festival features food and craft vendors, activities for the whole family, live music, stories, talks, and more.  This is one of New England’s most well-loved fall festivals, so come out and celebrate garlic, fall, and your community.  Runs 10/5 and 10/6.  60 Chestnut Hill Road.  Orange, MA.  >$

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 79th annual Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival takes place 10/5 and 10/6 from 10am-5pm!  Celebrate fall with live music, crafts, food, a silent auction, plant sale, book sale, tag sale, activities for all ages, and more!  This is a fun fall activity for families in a beautiful setting.  413-298-3926.  5 West Stockbridge Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$

11am – RUN/BIKE FUNDRAISER:  The Valley Community Development Corporation invites you and your family to the Pedal Poker Run, a fun, low-key event where bicyclists and runners collect cards from five checkpoints along the bike path.  Set your own pace!  This event is a fun way to get exercise while supporting local businesses and homeowners – and, following the run, there will be food and live music, and the participants with the best poker hands will win prizes!  Participants are requested to solicit sponsorships from friends and family (suggested level of sponsorship per rider is $100) to help fundraise for Valley CDC’s programs and events.  For information about registration, the route, and more, see here.  413-586-5855 x17.  Northampton, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

11am-5pm – FAMILY CELEBRATION: Join the Springfield Museums 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.  Free with museum admission.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$

11am-2pm – PONY RIDES/HALLOWEEN: Rocky Hill Farm is hosting a day of Halloween fun, including pony rides, pumpkin carving, prizes, games, refreshments, a photography session, and more!  The cost is $20 per family, which includes pony rides and a 5×7 photo.  413-522-8885.  Shedd Road.  Bernardston, MA.  $

11am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Today is the Hatfield Fall Festival!  Visit the Farm Museum and Historical Museum, watch fiber arts demonstrations, see antique cars, trucks, and tractors, attend the library book sale, browse local produce and crafts, and more.  There will also be live music, food vendors, and kids activities.  This classic New England fall festival is not to be missed!  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.

1pm – PARADE: The annual North Adams Fall Foliage Parade takes place today, starting on Route 8 and going through downtown.  The theme for this year is “Haunts, Legends, and Ghost Stories.”  The 2013 parade will celebrate the rich history of the Berkshires, including local legends, ghosts, and folklore.  This exciting fall tradition is not to be missed!  413-499-4000 x126.  Downtown.  North Adams, MA.

1:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: The Keep Homestead Museum is hosting a talk entitled “How the Apple Changed America and How America Changed the Apple” by Russell Steven Powell, a New England apple expert.  Powell will discuss the history of apples around the world and how America has cultivated many of these to form a “melting pot” of apples.  He will also discuss heirloom apple varieties and the history of New England orchards.  413-267-4137.  35 Ely Road.  Monson, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – HISTORY/ART: The Norman Rockwell Museum’s Rockwell Center curator Joyce K. Schiller presents “Imaging Thanksgiving,” a talk on the popularization of Thanksgiving and how it appears in the popular press.  This would be good for older students interested in American history and/or cultural studies.  Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. $$

2pm-3pm – NATURE STUDIES: Join the Great Falls Discovery Center for Bike Path Bingo, a canal-side nature walk for kids!  Kids will learn about the natural world using binoculars, field guides, and a fun game to test their observation skills.  This event is focused on the colors and shapes of autumn leaves.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

2pm-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Meekins Library and the Williamsburg Historical Society present “At Home in Our Town: Families and Homes in Williamsburg and Haydenville” in the Meekins Library’s Hawks Hayden Room.  The reception is today but the exhibit will be up through the month.  On 10/15 and 6:45pm, there will be a special tour of the Parsons House in Williamsburg.  The exhibit is focused on local history and is a great way to learn more about what these towns were like in the past.  413-268-7472.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA.

2pm-5pm – HIKING: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a hike along Yokun Ridge North to Baldhead Vista.  The hike will take you through a beautiful part of the Berkshires and will give you an opportunity to explore some of the BNRC’s trails.  This is a moderate 4.5 mile hike.  Meet at Olivia’s Overlook.  413-499-0596.  Richmond-Lenox Road.  Lenox, MA.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – CONCERT/BERKSHIRES: The New York Banjo Summit is coming to Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center!  Bela Fleck, a master of the instrument, will be there, along with Bill Keith, Eric Weissberg, Noam Pikelny, Richie Sterns, Tony Trischka, and Abigail Washburn.  The Summit will feature solos, duets, and banjo jam sessions, and cover many different genres of music.  This is a great occasion for music lovers to make date night a little more exciting!  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  $$$

7:30pm – CONCERT/PIONEER VALLEY:  Influential acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B musician Herbie Hancock makes his only New England appearance this tour season at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, accompanied by his quartet.  Want to make parents’ (or your jazz-loving teen’s) night even more special?  Purchase your tickets in advance, then show up anytime after 6pm for the free pre-show party on the plaza with appetizers, live entertainment, and a cash bar.  Ticket prices range from $30 to $75 for adults, and $15-25 for Five College/GCC/STCC Students and Youth 17 & under.  413-545-2511.  Amherst, MA.  $$ – $$$

7:30pm – CONCERT/HILLTOWNS:  Maude’s Closet Concerts is very pleased to present a performance by Finest Kind, a folk trio from Canada whose exquisite harmony singing and brilliant vocal arrangements are bringing a fresh sense of excitement and discovery to the performance of old songs.  The show will take place at the Ashfield Community Hall, and tickets may be purchased online or from several bookstores in the Pioneer Valley:  $15 in advance/$17 at the door, and $7 in advance/$8 at the door for kids 14 and under.  For more information, call 413-230-7109.  521 Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  $$

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Monday, October 7th, 2013

3:30pm-5pm – CULINARY ARTS/NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY: Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy is hosting a fun cooking class for children and their parents or grandparents.  The class is focused on Russian food, like Russian potato salad, borscht, pickles, and fruit pancakes, as well as Russian crafts.  This free class is a great way for kids to spend time with family while learning new skills.  Please RSVP to info@lya.org.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – SCIENCE: The UMass Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Department presents OEB Science Cafes at Esselon Cafe each month.  This month’s talk is by Skye Long, who will present “How to Scare a Spider,” a spider’s view of the world.  Science Cafes are oriented towards adults without a science background, but are interesting to those with science backgrounds as well!  Older students interested in science would enjoy the Science Cafes.  99 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.

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, Jennifer Chateauneuf will speak about the history of Nick’s Nest, Holyoke’s famous hot dog spot.  Nick’s Nest has been around since 1921, when it began as a popcorn cart.  Learn how this beloved restaurant has changed over time.  Older students interested in food studies and local history would find this talk interesting.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

6:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Sex educators Jane Fleishman and Brooke Norton will be at Cup and Top Cafe to lead a workshop on talking with your kids about sex.  They will focus on technology, media, and social networks and how these affect kids’ perceptions of sex, as well as things like body image, shaming, bullying, and more.  This is a good workshop for parents who may feel unsure about how to talk to their kids about sex, or for those who are interested in learning more about the impact of media on children.  1 North Main Street.  Florence, MA. (FREE)

7pm – GHOSTS: Agawam Paranormal comes to the Agawam Public Library for “Ghostology 301: Local Lore.”  Agawam Paranormal will discuss local sites and whether or not they are haunted.  Please pre-register.  413-789-1550 x4.  750 Cooper Street.  Agawam, 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 – STORYTIME: Storytime for babies 2 and under and their parents at the East Longmeadow Library.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, 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 8th, 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)

6:30pm – HISTORY: Meet Johnny Appleseed!  Johnny Appleseed, local hero comes to life at Storrs Library, through music, humor and costumes.  Marc Joel Levitt, professional educator and storyteller, will portray Longmeadow’s favorite folk hero! All ages are welcome. 413-565-4182.  693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA (FREE)

6:30pm – COMMUNITY DINNER/HISTORY: The Williamsburg Historical Society’s annual meeting is tonight, with a potluck dinner social at 6:30pm.  Following dinner, genealogist Eric Weber will present “The Old Village Hill Cemetery: Some of Its More Interesting Residents and Gravestones.”  This meeting is a great way to learn about Williamsburg’s history and become involved with the town’s historical society.  Takes place at the church on North Main Street.  413-268-7767.  North Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.

7pm - MUSIC STUDIES/FILM:  This week’s Jazz a la Mode Film Series at Amherst Cinema features Dizzy Gillespie and Always for Pleasure, two films by the legendary late filmmaker Les Blank.  New England Public Radio jazz host Peter Sokolowski will be on hand to discuss the history, personalities, and music featured in the films, and Will Savino & Company will open the event with a live jazz performance.  Tickets and more information available here.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity 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)
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Every Tuesday is toddler storytime at the Lenox Library!  Come by for interactive board books, stories, songs, and fingerplays.  For kids 18 months to 3 years.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, 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 9th, 2013

10am-11:30am - CLOTHING SWAP: Today, during the weekly playgroup at Erving Elementary School, there will be a clothing swap!  Clean, gently used clothes, outerwear, shoes/boots, and Halloween costumes are welcome.  28 Northfield Road.  Erving, MA.  (FREE)

1:30pm-2:30pm – SCIENCE: Kids in K-3 can learn all about air with Helen Ann Sephton from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment at the Wendell Free Library!  Kids will learn about wind, hot air balloons, and how and why air behaves the way it does.  This is part of a four-part “Exploring Science” series sponsored by the Community Network for Children.  Pre-registration is required.  More information and registration forms can be found here.  978-544-5157.  7 Wendell Depot Road.  Wendell, MA.

6pm - NATURE STUDIES: Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center is leading a Boreal Forest Ecology Walk (and slideshow) atop Mt. Greylock.  Gelinas will introduce visitors to many of the unique plants and indicator species of boreal forests.  This program is ideal for older students interested in ecology and will teach you all about the many fascinating plants that grow in these forest types.  To register, email aimee@gaiaroots.com.  Meet at Bascom Lodge.  413-743-1591.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

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 Hatfield Elementary School.  You must register in advance.  Registration information can be found here.  413-586-4998 x102.  33 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: “Understanding My Child’s Learning Style: A Workshop for Parents and Professionals” is taking place at Hatfield Elementary School.  This workshop will focus on the many different learning styles that kids have and will explore how parents and teachers can best help children succeed in all environments.  The workshop will be led by a representative from the Federation for Children with Special Needs.  33 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.

9am-11am – HIKING: Explore the Berkshire Natural Resources Council’s newest reserve, Hollow Fields Reserve, on this easy 3-4 mile hike.  The former Shaw property is 139 acres of field and forest with gorgeous views of Yokun Ridge.  This is a good way to become acquainted with this new reserve while exploring a beautiful natural area.  413-499-0596.  Perrys Peak Road.  Richmond, 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: Weekly story hour at the Tilton Library.  413-665-4683.  75 North Main Street.  South Deerfield, 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)
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime for kids ages 3-6 at the East Longmeadow Library.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.
  • 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 10th, 2013

9:15am-10am – MOVEMENT: Kids ages 2-5 can participate in a four-part movement program, running 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, and 10/31 at Leverett Elementary School.  The program focuses on flexibility, strength, spontaneity, and musicality, and is led by Anna Hendricks of Great Falls Creative Movement.  The program is a fun chance for young kids to express themselves through movement.  Pre-registration is required.  978-544-5157.  85 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.

12:15pm – ART/CULTURAL STUDIES: The Springfield Museums’ “Museums a la Carte” lecture series continues this week with “Highlights of Massachusetts Archaeology” by Eric Johnson.  The illustrated lecture will show you many interesting archaeological sites throughout the state, like the winter home of a group of hunter-gatherers, an old Massachusetts backyard, and a fish trap over 4,000 years old.  Older students who are interested in history and cultural studies may find this lecture interesting.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

4pm-6pm – SCARECROWS: Join the West Stockbridge Parks and Recreation Commission for a scarecrow decorating event at the West Stockbridge Farmers Market!  Bring old clothes and something for your scarecrow’s head, and come prepared to have a blast making fall scarecrows!  Harris Street.  West Stockbridge, MA.

5:30pm-9pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents, guardians, and caregivers looking to become certified in pediatric first aid CPR with AED can attend two workshops (both must be attended in order to become certified) on 10/10 and 10/17 on first aid and CPR/AED, respectively, at Leverett Elementary School.  Chris Goodhind, a full-time Amherst firefighter, will lead the workshops.  Registration is required and are accepted on a first-come first-serve basis.  To register, please see here.  978-544-5157.  85 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  $$$

6pm-7:30pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Explore the Beaver Ponds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary!  Sanctuary volunteer Butch Ptak will lead the expedition, and visitors will learn not only about the habits of beavers, but about the various types of wildlife who congregate at beaver ponds and the long-lasting effect that beaver ponds have upon habitats.  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, 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.
  • 11am-11:45am – STORYTIME: Come by the Lenox Library for preschool storycraft.  Kids ages 3-5 can hear stories, sing songs, and do a related craft activity.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)
  • 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 11th, 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.  $

12:15pm – LOCAL HISTORY:  The Amherst Historical Society hosts History Bites, a lunchtime history talk!  This week’s talk, “A Wise Conservator: The Life and Times of UMass Founder Henry Hill Goodell,”  is presented by Ken LeFebvre, UMass Amherst Class of 2013.  Tea and coffee provided.  Takes place at Simeon Strong House.  Best for older students and adults.  67 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

2:30pm – ART HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY: Join the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Curator of Education Tom Daly for “Norman Rockwell: Humorous Tales and Little Known Facts.” This program is geared toward adults, but may be appropriate for older students interested in art history or biography. The talk celebrates Rockwell’s unique style of humor and explores his journey as an illustrator. 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.

4pm-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Tonight is Second Friday at the Smith College Museum of Art!  Stop by for hands-on art activities, a gallery talk, and light refreshments.  This is a fun way to spend time at a great local museum.  413-585-2760.  Elm Street at Bedford Terrace.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

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

5:30pm-9:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Do you have a fun parents-only night planned but can’t get a sitter?  YMCA of Greater Westfield is offering their “Kids’ Night Out” program – you can go out on the town while your children do crafts, games, swim, and watch a movie at the YMCA.  This is a great way for you and your kids to have fun on your own.  For kids ages 5-11.  Sign up at the reception desk.  413-568-8631.  67 Court Street.  Westfield, MA.  $

10pm – FILM: Late Nights at Amherst Cinema continue tonight with a screening of The Big Lebowski (1998; rated R).  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 – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime for preschoolers at the Sunderland Public Library.  Features stories, songs, and crafts.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.
  • 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.
  • 2:15pm-4pm – LEGOS: The Dickinson Memorial Library’s LEGO Club meets the second Friday of each month.  Come make friends and build with LEGOs.  Best for kids in grade 3 and up.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.

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