Suggested Events for October 12th-18th, 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

Ashfield Fall Festival

Ashfield Fall Festival is every Columbus Day weekend! A great small town festival to attend with your family, taking in Hilltown culture on the town common in Ashfield, MA. (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 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

Oct 14, 20 & 27

October at Hayloft Studio in Whatley, MA.-Monday, 10/14 or Sunday, 10/27: Extreme Pumpkin Carving-Create a wicked scene upon your pumpkins. Learn basic carving and safety skills, as well as design and illuminating effects. Bring your own pumpkins. All ages. Children under 8 with adult. Sunday, 10/20: Day of the Dead Workshop-Learn Mexican Day of the Dead traditions while decorating sugar skulls & making Catrina dolls. Sugar skulls are decorated in memory of departed loved ones using icing, beads, feathers, etc. Catrina dolls are an icon of the joyful memories of the dead in Mexican traditions. Make Catrina dolls by recycling white plastic bags. All ages. All workshops are from 10am-2pm & $20. Go to www.darcytozier.com or email darcytozier@gmail.com

Oct 18-19, 24-26

The Doll People is a brand new children’s musical adapted for the stage by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner. Based on the beloved series by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, it will receive its world premiere in Theatre 14 at Smith College in Northampton, MA, on October 18 at 8PM, and will continue to show at 8PM on October 19, 24, and 25. There will also be a matinee performance on Saturday, October 26, at 2PM. Tickets can be purchased over the phone at 413-585-ARTS (2787) or online at www.smith.edu/smitharts. The Box Office window is open October 14 to October 18 from 1-4 PM, October 21 to 25 from 1-4 PM, and one hour before all posted show times. Call to inquire about a group rate for schools, libraries, and community centers.

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.

Oct 19

Don’t miss the UMass Homecoming Hockey Tailgate & Stockbridge Pumpkin Festival, Saturday, October 19 from 4:00-6:30 p.m. at UMass Amherst near the Mullins Center. Free family fun includes music, children’s crafts, bounce houses, a mobile arcade and more! Have a great time carving pumpkins at the Stockbridge Pumpkin Festival. Pumpkins are $7 for kids and $10 for adults, with proceeds benefiting student scholarships. Grab some traditional tailgate fare at the BBQ tent including burgers & hot dogs fresh off the grill, coleslaw, fruit salad, chips and lemonade. UMass Hockey vs. Michigan State starts at 7 p.m. Ticket Pricing: $12 BBQ (kids 5 & under eat free), $20 BBQ+game, $60 4BBQ+4game. 800-456-8627 or alumni@admin.umass.edu for more info.

Oct 20

The Academy at Charlemont hosts an Open House for prospective students and families, October 20 from 1 to 3 PM on the campus at 1359 Route 2 in Charlemont. Meet teachers, students and current parents to learn about our community and program for Grades 7 to 12. At The Academy, everyone learns, everyone plays, and everyone matters. Rigorous and creative education in a nurturing community, governed by an Honor Code that works! Find details and register at www.charlemont.org.

Oct 24

Mammography is the best way to find breast cancer in its earliest stages when a cure is most likely and the treatment choices are greater. Breast cancer is the second most prevalent form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death (after lung cancer) among American women. Breast tomosynthesis has revolutionized breast cancer screening. In Breast Tomosynthesis: What, Why and How, Mansi Saksena, MD, discusses the technique, effectiveness, and applications of breast tomosynthesis. Attend a free lecture, Thursday, Oct. 24, 6–7 pm at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Registration is required at www.cooley-dickinson.org/classes or (888) 554-4CDH (234).

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.

Hilltown Families is hosting another Kids’ Winter Wear Swap at the Meekins Library on Saturday morning, October 26th from 9:30-11am. Free and open to all families with children of all ages!

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.

FEATURED COMMUNITY BUILDING EVENTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 12th-18th, 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, October 12th, 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, Birdie Mendoza of Birdie’s Playhouse is our guest DJ for a Nature Science Episode!  Learn about zeroes, H2O, squirrels, butterflies, dolphins, sea turtles 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.

8:30am-2pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Amherst’s A Better Chance Fall Foliage Walk is today!  Come out for either the walk or 5K run and support ABC in Amherst.  ABC is a national residential high school program for students of color who come from educationally underserved school districts.  ABC gives these students an opportunity to excel by enrolling at Amherst Regional High School and providing housing, giving them the opportunity to take college prep classes and participate in sports and other extracurriculars.  The Fall Foliage Walk is a fundraiser for ABC, and features family activities, food, and performances, in addition to the walk and run.  For more information and to learn how to register, see here.  Town Common.  Amherst, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

9-10:30am – FORESTRY/ENTOMOLOGY: Explore a state forest you probably never even knew existed – in the Bardwells Ferry parcel of the South River State Forest! MA Department of Conservation staff will guide you through a timber harvest conducted in the recent past and show the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid destruction that has begun. The colors should be amazing!  Organized by TEDxShelburneFalls. Space is limited. Must register. map Conway, MA 

9-11am – AGRICULTURE/LOCAL HISTORY: Take a tour of Benson Place, a commercial lowbush blueberry farm promoting pollinator practices. Benson Place was previously owned by landscape painter, artist Robert Strong Woodward, 1885-1957. You will feel like you are in another world at Benson Place! You are – Burnt Hill has been managed and burned since pre-colonial times. Organized by TEDxShelburneFalls. Space is limited. Must register. Directions. Printable trail map. Heath, MA

9-11am – LOCAL HISTORY:  Historical Catamount Hill outing (Max. 25) Catamount Hill Association shows us what the 18th century hilltop community was once like. Now largely included in Catamount State Forest, the people are gone but the history and artifacts of this community remain. Wear walking shoes. Adventure begins at G. William Pitt House Museum. Organized by TEDxShelburneFalls. Space is limited. Must register. Colrain, MA

9am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: This weekend is Jiminy Peak’s Fall Festival (10/12-10/14).  It features a craft fair, the Hancock Fire Department ski and snowboard sale, a job fair, and more.  413-738-5500.  37 Corey Road.  Hancock, MA.

9:30am – PLANT SCIENCE/LOCAL FOOD:  This week’s Trustees of Reservation’s “Fall Food on the Farm” workshop focuses on soil and compost.  Participants will learn about the Connecticut River Valley’s rich soil, the importance of compost, and what makes “good” soil.  You will learn how to plant and harvest bok choy, and how to cook Asian crispy salad with bok choy.  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.  >$

10-11am – INDUSTRY/LOCAL HISTORY:  Silas Lamson innovated the scythe handle with his ergonomic curved snath in 1834. In 1837 his sons started the knife factory with a partner. Lamson & Goodnow is the country’s oldest cutlery manufacturer, and did you know it’s located right here in the Hilltowns? Brian Hayes, President of the company, shows you how they still tool their wares by hand during this morning tour of the Lamson & Goodnow cutlery factory. Map. Organized by TEDxShelburneFalls. Space is limited. Must register. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

10am-12noon – ORNITHOLOGY/CITIZEN SCIENTIST: Observe birds and learn about bird banding at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.  Sanctuary volunteers will demonstrate how to use mist nets and what information can be gathered through bird banding.  Visitors can come and go from the program as they wish.  Free with Sanctuary admission.  413-637-0320.  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, MA.  >$

10am-2pm – CLOTHING SALE/FUNDRAISER: The North Berkshire Community Coalition has organized a clothing sale to benefit the food pantry.  The sale will have reasonably priced men’s and women’s t-shirts, pants, jeans, and shirts.  Takes place at All Saints Episcopal Church.  Please call for more information or if you are interested in donating clothing.  413-664-0130.  Summer Street.  North Adams, MA. (SALE)

10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Today is Look Park’s annual Pumpkin Festival!  There will be bounce houses, carnival games, pumpkin painting, the SugarBakers Cake Truck, entertainment by Ed Popielarcyzk (11am-1pm) and more.  This fall festival is fun for all ages.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

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: Ashfield’s Fall Festival takes place 10/12 and 10/13 from 10am-5pm, rain or shine.  There will be food, crafts, art, music, dancing, face-painting, kids activities, pumpkin games, and much more!  Town Common. Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Granville’s 32nd Harvest Fair takes place this weekend!  There will be vendors, craft demonstrations, food, and much more.  The Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation will also be open during the festival.  Main Road.  Granville, MA.

10am-11pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: PassportHolyoke’s Discover Holyoke Day takes you to many of the great sites and exciting attractions in Holyoke.  The day kicks off at the Wistariahurst Museum with house and gallery tours, then continues throughout the day all over the city, with a farmers market, visit to a children’s museum, performances, exhibits, music, dance, the Latin Jazz Fest, and much more.  This celebration is a great way to explore your city and learn more about all the wonderful things it has to offer!  With the purchase of a $2 wristband, you can enjoy all these events.  More information can be found here.  413-322-5643.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

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

11am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/TROLLEYS: The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is celebrating the restoration of trolley #10 with their annual TrolleyFest!  The day includes trolley rides, live music, hands-on cider pressing, unveiling of the “Dotted Boxcar,” kids’ activities, and more.  Learn about the history of trolleys while having fun at this great local museum!  413-625-9443.  14 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  >$

12noon-6pm – MUSIC/FOOD FESTIVAL: The Riverside Blues and BBQ Festival runs on 10/12 and 10/13.  There will be music, barbecue, beer from local and national breweries, a moustache contest, a pie-eating contest, crafts, vendors, kids activities, and more!  Activities for family members of all ages.  Takes place at Beacon Field.  413-772-1553.  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.

12noon-6:30pm – TEDx TALK: The theme for TEDxShelburneFalls is “A Sense of Place.”  Speakers will discuss their thoughts and experiences relating to sense of place, particularly right here in Western Massachusetts.  Hear about how and why they interact with their communities and the positive changes they wish to bring around through their work and lives.  Tickets available here.  Takes place at Memorial Hall.  800-838-3006.  51 Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  $$$

12:30pm-4pm – NATURE STUDIES/HIKE: Explore the Rose Ledges with Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center!  This 3-mile loop hike will take you through beautiful fall foliage and 19th-century stone quarries to the Rose Ledges.  Look for signs of wildlife and explore your surroundings on this lovely fall hike.  For ages 10 and up.  800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – FOLK TALES: Dr. Gail Herman presents “Family Folk Tales” at the Emily Williston Memorial Library.  Dr. Herman will tell family, folk, and personal stories using percussion instruments.  Those who attend will get a chance to try out instruments from Japan, Brazil, West Africa, Thailand, Nepal, China, and India.  This event is for all ages.  413-527-1031.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.

1pm-3pm – HALLOWEEN/SCARECROWS: The Sheffield Historical Society is holding a “Historical Zombie Contest,” in which families or other groups can make their own zombie scarecrows to be judged as scariest, funniest, and most original.  Structural supplies are provided, but groups must bring their own apparel and accessories.  Families and friends can spend time together building these fun Halloween scarecrows!  Takes place at the Dan Raymond House, where they will remain on display through 10/31.  Cost is $25 per scarecrow/group ($15 for Historical Society members).  Please register in advance here.  413-229-2694.  Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.  $$

1pm-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Plainfield Historical Society is hosting a barn tour featuring three barns from the late 18th century to the late 19th century.  Richard Potter, who has been building and restoring timber frame barns since 1976, will lead the tour.  Those who attend will learn not only about the three barns on the tour, but about barns throughout history in Western Massachusetts.  Meet at Town Hall.  413-634-8099.  Plainfield, MA.  $$

1:30pm – HISTORY/HOBBIES: Robert L. Markovits of Quality Investors, Ltd., a rare stamp and postal history dealer, will discuss the history of stamps and stamp collecting in his lecture “Good Things Come in Small Packages: Stamps and Their Stories” at the Stockbridge Library.  Come learn about how these tiny pieces of paper came to represent so much about our country.  413-298-5501.  46 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.

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)

3:30pm – PUMPKIN DECORATING: Berkshire Co-Op Market is holding a pumpkin decorating event for kids.  Come prepared to get messy and to create some exciting pumpkin designs!  Please call or stop by the front desk to register.  413-528-9697 x10.  42 Bridge Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – STORYTIME: Anna Dewdney, the bestselling author of the Llama Llama series, will read from her newest book, Llama Llama and the Bully Goat, at the Odyssey Bookshop.  There will be activities, books for sale, a book signing, and a real live llama at the reading!  The story tackles the issue of bullying and is a great way to open up a dialogue about bullying between kids and their parents.  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.

 7-9pm: HALLOWEEN/SPOOKY SAFARI: The Zoo in Forest Park hosts an evening of trick or treat for families in a fun and safe environment. Come in costume and stop around the zoo for sweet treats. Meet zoo animals up-close and enjoy games too! 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

5pm-8pm – ART WALK/LOCAL HISTORY:  This month’s Art Walk Easthampton theme is “Know Thy History.”  The art on display at participating venues will be supplemented by several historic walking tours, reenactments, tours of the Old Town Hall, and historic exhibitions throughout town.  These events include: a half-mile guided walking tour with a focus on Samuel and Emily Williston, led at 4pm by the Williston Northampton School’s own archivist and librarian Rick Teller; performances of “Weird and True Stories of Easthampton,” or stories taken from newspaper clippings and transformed into live reenactments by the Easthampton High School Drama Club, between 5 and 7pm along the Art Walk route; and special visiting hours at the Easthampton Historical Society.  See here for more information.  413-527-8278.  Downtown.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-10:30pm – HALLOWEEN/HAUNTED TOUR: 13 Nights at Jiminy is a haunted tour of Jiminy Peak, focusing on its haunted past as the Plantation of Jericho.  These tours are scary and are recommended for kids age 10 and up.  Open 10/11, 10/12, 10/13, 10/18, 10/19, 10/25, 10/26, 10/29, 10/30, and 10/31 from 6:30pm-10:30pm.  It is encouraged that you get tickets in advance.   413-738-5500.  37 Corey Road.  Hancock, MA.  $$$

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Sunday, October 13th, 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.

9am-12noon – CANOEING: Enjoy beautiful fall foliage views and look for hawks and eagles on a canoe trip down the Housatonic River at Bartholomew’s Cobble to the mouth of the Konkapot River.  Kids 10 and up can go on this canoe trip with a parent, making this a great way to spend time together while enjoying fall in the Berkshires and learning about local habitats.  All equipment is provided.  Please pre-register.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  $$

9am-5pm - FALL FESTIVAL: This weekend is Jiminy Peak’s Fall Festival (10/12-10/14).  It features a craft fair, the Hancock Fire Department ski and snowboard sale, a job fair, and more.  413-738-5500.  37 Corey Road.  Hancock, 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: Ashfield’s Fall Festival takes place 10/12 and 10/13 from 10am-5pm, rain or shine.  There will be food, crafts, art, music, dancing, face-painting, kids activities, a giant pumpkin contest, and much more!  Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – LIVING HISTORY: Living history at the Medieval Faire this Sunday from 10am-5pm at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox! The historic Jacobean-Revival estate in Lenox will revert to days gone by when chivalry and armored tournaments were a way of life.  Organized by The Barony of Bergenthal, a branch of the Society of Creative Anachronism, one of the world’s largest medieval living history organizations, the day will include exciting displays of armored combat every hour on the hour, medieval arts, crafts and clothing, and lectures on feudalism and medieval society.  Shakespeare & Company will be participating too.  Medieval cooking demonstrations can be seen, while several food vendors will be offering their selections. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA ($)

12noon-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Granville’s 32nd Harvest Fair takes place this weekend!  There will be vendors, craft demonstrations, food, and much more.  The Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation will also be open during the festival.  Main Road.  Granville, MA.

12noon-6pm – MUSIC/FOOD FESTIVAL: The Riverside Blues and BBQ Festival runs on 10/12 and 10/13.  There will be music, barbecue, beer from local and national breweries, a moustache contest, a pie-eating contest, crafts, vendors, kids activities, and more!  Activities for family members of all ages.  Takes place at Beacon Field.  413-772-1553.  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.

1pm-6pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The Town of Adams kicks off RambleFest at the Adams’ Visitors Center today with live music, food, drinks, trolley tours, kids’ activities, and more!  The fun continues on 10/14 with the annual ramble up Mt. Greylock.  4 Hoosac Street.  Adams, MA.  (FREE)

2:15pm-3:15pm – PLAYGROUP: Join the Community Network for Children for “Let’s Get Moving” playgroup at the Greenfield YMCA.  Children in grade 3 and younger can come play in the gymnastics gym’s foam pit, on climbing structures, balance beams, and more.  This program is a great way for kids to improve their balance skills while having fun.  978-544-5157.  451 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about colonial history at the Buckland Historical Society’s Wilder Homestead Colonial Day!  This “living exhibit” lets you experience life in Buckland in the colonial days.  There will be open hearth cooking, basket making, weaving, spinning, quilting, chair caning, shoe making demonstrations, oxen, music, cider pressing, dancing, and more.  This is an exciting way to learn about life in Buckland in the past!  413-625-9763.  129 Ashfield Road.  Buckland, MA.  >$

5:30pm – CONCERT: C. Ryder Cooley and the Dust Bowl Faeries will perform atop Mt. Greylock!  Come enjoy this exciting and otherworldly musical experience at Bascom Lodge.  413-743-1591.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.

5:30pm-8pm - COMMUNITY SING & DINNER: Earthdance is holding a community sing and potluck (7pm) tonight!  Penny Schultz, Earthdance co-founder, brings community members together through song.  This event is open to all ages and is a great way to engage children in music and help them spend time with community members of all ages.  413-634-5678.  252 Prospect Street.  Plainfield, MA.  >$/SUGGESTED DONATION

6:30-10:30pm – HALLOWEEN/HAUNTED TOUR: 13 Nights at Jiminy is a haunted tour of Jiminy Peak, focusing on its haunted past as the Plantation of Jericho.  These tours are scary and are recommended for kids age 10 and up.  Open 10/11, 10/12, 10/13, 10/18, 10/19, 10/25, 10/26, 10/29, 10/30, and 10/31 from 6:30pm-10:30pm.  It is encouraged that you get tickets in advance.   413-738-5500.  37 Corey Road.  Hancock, MA.  $$$

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Monday, October 14th, 2013

Columbus Day

8am-4pm – HIKING/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: RambleFest continues today with the Annual Greylock Ramble, from the Cheshire Harbor Trail all the way to the summit of Mt. Greylock.  This moderately strenuous hike is open to all ages, and awards will be given for the first, the youngest, and the oldest hiker to get to the top.  Leashed pets are permitted.  There will be a shuttle from the Adams Free Library (92 Park Street) to the trailhead from 8am-1pm, as no parking will be available at the mountain.  Adams, MA.  (FREE)

8am-6:30pm – SPORTS: The Volleyball Hall of Fame’s VolleyHall Classic takes place at Springfield College today!  The Classic features some of the top girls high school volleyball teams in the Northeast.  This is a great way to introduce your family to the fun sport of volleyball and learn how the game is played, giving younger children exposure to teen role models. Schedule, ticket info, and more can be found here.  413-536-0926.  324 Alden Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

9am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: This weekend is Jiminy Peak’s Fall Festival (10/12-10/14).  It features a craft fair, the Hancock Fire Department ski and snowboard sale, a job fair, and more.  413-738-5500.  37 Corey Road.  Hancock, MA.

10am-1pm – CANOEING/NATURE STUDIES: Explore the Mill River at the Oxbow with Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary and Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center.  Enjoy peak fall foliage and learn to identify wild rice, a native food staple traditionally collected by canoe.  Other wetland plants will also be identified and discussed.  Registration is required.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  $$

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Granville’s 32nd Harvest Fair takes place this weekend!  There will be vendors, craft demonstrations, food, and much more.  The Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation will also be open during the festival.  Main Road.  Granville, MA.

11am – CULTURAL STUDIES/CELEBRATION: Today is Northampton’s annual Pulaski Day Parade, a celebration of General Casimir Pulaski and Polish culture and heritage.  Downtown.  Northampton, MA.

4pm-6pm - CULINARY ARTS/WORLD FOOD DAY: Celebrate World Food Day with the Pioneer Valley Bread House at B’Nai Israel.  This free event is open to all, and people of all ages can come bake, learn, and create with one another.  Jonathan Stevens of Hungry Ghost Bread will share his story about how he became interested in bread-making and using local grains.  This is a great opportunity for kids to learn a new skill while interacting with community members of all ages.  253 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

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Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

3pm – ARTS AND CRAFTS: The Westfield Athenaeum is holding a DIY teen crafting event for students in grades 6-12 in their “Teen Loft.”  Come make a fun craft for yourself or to give as a gift. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

3:45pm-5pm - PUMPKIN DECORATING: Kids of all ages can come to the Jones Library’s Woodbury Room for pumpkin decorating.  Paint a beautiful pumpkin for Halloween!  Please register in kid’s room.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.

4:30pm – BOOK CLUB: The East Longmeadow Public Library offers a kindergarten book club!  This month’s book is Bark, George by Jules Feiffer.  Read the book and come enjoy activities related to it at this fun book club.  Registration is required.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

7pm – NATURE STUDIES/FILM/AGRICULTURE: CISA, Warm Colors Apiary, and Clarkdale Fruit Farm come together for a screening of More Than Honey (2012) at Amherst Cinema.  More Than Honey focuses on colony collapse disorder and how local bees all over the world are being affected, and what that means for agriculture and honey production.  80% of plant species rely on pollination by bees for their survival, illustrating the importance of honey bees to the ecologies and economies of communities all over the world.  This screening would be appropriate for older students interested in bees, agriculture, ecology, or other related topics.  Tickets and more information can be found 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.
  • 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 16th, 2013

10am – PUMPKIN PATCH: The Easthampton Family Center is holding a trip to the Great Pumpkin Patch at Fletcher Farm in Southampton today!  Kids can pick pumpkins, enjoy a hayride, color in a coloring book, and enjoy snacks and juice.  Cost is $6 per child and $3 per parent.  Please RSVP.  413-527-5496.  Gunn Road.  Southampton, MA.  >$

1:30pm-2:30pm – SCIENCE: Kids in K-3 can learn all about the sun with Helen Ann Sephton from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment at the Wendell Free Library!  Kids will learn about solar energy and will get the chance to experiment with solar panels and build a solar oven.  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.

3:30pm – DANCE: The West Springfield Public Library is hosting a “Just Dance Afternoon” for kids in grade 5 and up.  Come sing and dance with friends. 413-736-4561 x3.  200 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.

6:30pm-8pm – GHOSTS: Come to the East Longmeadow Public Library for “Ghostology 101: A General Study of the Paranormal.”  Learn about ghosts and spirits and how to investigate hauntings.  Presented by Agawam Paranormal.  413-525-5400 x1511.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

6:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Coordinated Family/Community Engagement and CHP Family Network present “Helping Children Develop Healthy Sleep Patterns,” a workshop led by Scott Noyes.  Noyes will discuss the importance of getting your kids into a good sleep routine and how this healthy pattern can help them throughout life.  He will discuss the effects of sleep deprivation on children and why it is important that they get the recommended amount each night.  Takes place at Community Health Programs, Inc. campus.  Please register.  413-464-5095.  444 Stockbridge Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm - CULTURAL STUDIES/MUSIC & DANCE: The UMass Fine Arts Center presents “Treasures of Japan: Gagaku and Bugaku Classical Music and Dance” by Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble at Bowker Auditorium.  This performance features the ancient and imperial court music of the gagaku orchestra and dances, the oldest orchestral tradition in the world!  This exciting performance is a good way for families to experience this historic and beautiful music and dance together.  Tickets and more information can be found here.  413-545-2511.  100 Holdsworth Way.  Amherst, 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-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 17th, 2013

12:15pm – HISTORY: This week’s “Museums a la Carte” lecture at the Springfield Museums is titled “Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson’s ‘Banner’ Guitars of WWII,” by author and professor John Thomas.  The lecture is about the women who built Gibson guitars during WWII, when the company denied having built them.  Thomas found a photo of a group of women outside the factory and did some detective work to figure out the story.  His lecture covers this history and tells of his own research.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

2pm – THEATER/SHAKESPEARE: The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is screening London National Theatre’s Macbeth.  Directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh, this new production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale will entertain theater and Shakespeare fans.  Best for adults or older students interested in theater.  Get tickets in advance here.  413-458-0524.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  $$

3:45pm – BOOK CLUB: Second and third graders can come to the West Springfield Public Library for “Ready Readers Book Club.”  Come discuss the book of the month and do a related craft activity.  No registration necessary.  413-736-4561 x3.  200 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.

5pm - HALLOWEEN/PERFORMANCE: The Royal Frog Ballet presents the sixth annual Surrealist Cabaret and Pumpkin Walk.  This event is a magical, surrealistic, and spooky performance for kids and adults.  There will be songs, sculptures, dances, puppet shows, stilts, poems, characters, and more, as well as jack-o-lanterns and cider at the Pumpkin Walk!  Reservations are required.  Email RFBtickets@yahoo.com for reservations and directions.  Runs at 5pm from 10/17-10/20.  Amherst, MA.  $

5-8pm – COMMUNITY: This month’s 3rd.Thursdays street festival’s theme is “Monster Mash.”  There will be a costume contest, parade, and other activities.  413-499-9348. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

5:30pm-8:30pm – ART WALK: T3F, Third Thursday Turners Falls, a monthly arts, culture and downtown business night featuring art exhibits, open studios, musical performances, walking tours, theater, invited artisans, and other attractions in the village is happening!  Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

6-8:30pm – NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY: Mary Lou and Robert Heiss, owners of Tea Trekker in Northampton, are leading an event in the UMass Fine Arts Center lobby.  “Matcha: Japan’s Elite Green Tea” (6-7pm) is a lecture and slideshow all about matcha and its importance in the Japanese traditional tea ceremony “Chanoyu.”  From 7:30-8:30pm, you can sample authentic stone-ground matcha that was created in Kyoto, Japan.  This event would be interesting to older students interested cultural studies, nutrition, anthropology, or even those who just enjoy drinking tea!  Tickets can be purchased in advance here.  413-545-2511.  151 Presidents Drive.  Amherst, MA.  $

7pm – ARTS AND CRAFTS/LOCAL HISTORY: Suzanne Flynt, author of Poetry to the Earth: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Deerfield, presents a lecture on Deerfield and how its history was shaped by the American arts and crafts movement in the 1800s and early 1900s.  Takes place at Memorial Hall Museum.  Presented by Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association.  413-774-7476.  Memorial Street.  Deerfield, MA.  >$

7pm – WOMEN & SPORTS LECTURE/HISTORY:  In 1967, at age 19, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.  Today, at 65, she still runs marathons, and is a passionate advocate for gender equity in athletics.  She will present a public lecture entitled “Breaking Through: The Power of Resilience” at Mount Holyoke College’s Gamble Auditorium, where she will share her personal story, including her experience at the ‘67 Boston Marathon, and her work to champion Title IX and women’s global access to sports and education.  Student athletes, along with students of women and gender studies, will find this talk particularly resonant.  This lecture is organized by the Weissman Center for Leadership.  413-538-3071.  Gamble Auditorium.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

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

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.
  • 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)

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Friday, October 18th, 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.  $

11am-1pm – HISTORY/ARTS AND CRAFTS: Historic Deerfield’s Art and Craft program presents a workshop on making Wallpapered Bandboxes.  Adults and older students can learn about the history and importance of these boxes and will get the chance to make their own.  Included with general admission, plus a materials fee.  Register in advance by emailing arlopez@historic-deerfield.org.  413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  $+

2:15pm-4pm – LOCAL AUTHOR: Natasha Lowe, author of The Power of Poppy Pendle, will visit the Dickinson Memorial Library to talk about her book, which is about a witch who aspires to be a baker.  The book is aimed at young readers in grades 1-3.  Following the book talk, there will be cupcake decorating and cookie sampling.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, 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.

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

5pm - HALLOWEEN/PERFORMANCE: The Royal Frog Ballet presents the sixth annual Surrealist Cabaret and Pumpkin Walk.  This event is a magical, surrealistic, and spooky performance for kids and adults.  There will be songs, sculptures, dances, puppet shows, stilts, poems, characters, and more, as well as jack-o-lanterns and cider at the Pumpkin Walk!  Reservations are required.  Email RFBtickets@yahoo.com for reservations and directions.  Runs at 5pm from 10/17-10/20.  Amherst, MA.  $

5:30-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN/HAUNTED TRAIN RIDE: Look Park’s train becomes haunted this Halloween season!  Kids 5 and up can enjoy this fun and spooky haunted train ride around the park.  Cancelled in case of rain.  Runs 10/18-10/20 and 10/25-10/27.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

5:45pm & 7pm  – LOCAL HISTORY: You may know about Edith Wharton’s home, the Mount, but did you know that it’s considered to be haunted? Come see for yourself on one of the Mount’s ghost tours. The tour will take you through the stables and the main house, where you will learn about and even witness the property’s haunted creaks and footsteps. Please see website for more information and to buy tickets.  Not recommended for children under 12.  413-551-5100.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA. $$

6:30-10:30pm – HALLOWEEN/HAUNTED TOUR: 13 Nights at Jiminy is a haunted tour of Jiminy Peak, focusing on its haunted past as the Plantation of Jericho.  These tours are scary and are recommended for kids age 10 and up.  Open 10/11, 10/12, 10/13, 10/18, 10/19, 10/25, 10/26, 10/29, 10/30, and 10/31 from 6:30pm-10:30pm.  It is encouraged that you get tickets in advance.   413-738-5500.  37 Corey Road.  Hancock, MA.  $$$

7pm-8pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Spend time at Storrowtown Village and hear tales from haunted New England!  These spooky stories and mysterious tales will be told in Storrowtown’s Union Meetinghouse.  413-205-5051.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  >$

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

8pm – CHILDREN’S MUSICAL:  Kids of all ages will love this musical adaptation of The Doll People, a children’s book by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin.  The story, adapted for the stage by Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner, follows a young, adventurous porcelain doll named Annabelle as she discovers her missing aunt’s diary, gets acquainted with the new and very different next-door doll neighbors, and explores the “Real People” house in which her dollhouse is located, risking her status as a living doll in the process.  There will be several performances – 10/18, 10/19, 10/24, and 10/25 at 8pm, as well as 10/26 at 2pm.  The performance will be at the Smith College Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, Theatre 14.  413-585-2787.  122 Green Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

8-10pm - FILM: The Spectrum Playhouse presents a Halloween-themed Berkshire Shorts Film Festival.  The Festival features scary and entertaining local and independent short films from the Berkshires and around the world.  Don’t miss this fun opportunity to see short films made from up-and-comers all over the world!  413-394-5023 x12.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.

6-8pm - HISTORY: The Sheffield Historical Society and the Lenox Garden Club host a preview party for Berkshire Haunts, a flower show at the Old Stone Store and the Education Building (behind Dan Raymond House).  This cocktail party hors d’oeuvres, spirits, and a chance to see the flower show.  Get tickets in advance here.  Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.  $$$

10pm – FILM: Late Nights at Amherst Cinema continue tonight with a screening of Labyrinth (1986; rated PG).  The film was directed by Jim Henson, produced by George Lucas, and stars David Bowie, who also did the music.  It is a campy ‘80s classic that would be appropriate for kids as well as adults.  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)
  • 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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