Suggested Events for October 19th-25th, 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

Lots of Halloween Highlights this weekend and next week! For a comprehensive list of Halloween activities in Western MA for families, check out Halloween in Western MA.

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

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 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.

Oct 19

The Montessori School of Northampton’s annual Children’s Fall Fair and Open House will be held on Saturday, October 19 from 11 AM to 3 PM on the school’s campus at 51 Bates Street, Northampton. The full day of fun for families will include children’s games, arts and crafts, zoo animals, bounce houses, a children’s tag sale, live entertainment, and more. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. General admission is free; participation in some activities requires purchase of activity tickets at a minimal charge. Tours of the school and admissions information will be available for families looking for placements now (full and half-day openings available) or in the future. 413-586-4538 or www.northamptonmontessori.org

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 & 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 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).

Oct 29

The Idan Raichel Project has become one of the hottest world music concerts on the planet since bursting onto Israel’s music scene in 2002 and changing the face of Israeli popular music by offering a message of love and tolerance. He comes to the UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall in Amherst, MA, on Tuesday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. with his electric 9-piece band. Mixing good vibes with equality and diversity, Raichel’s music reflects a global stew of cultures and traditions with a power-pop state of mind. See this Israeli superstar in New York City for $95 or here in Western MA for $35! For tickets call 413-545-2511 or 1-800-999-UMAS or go online to fac.umass.edu.

Oct 31

Chandler’s Restaurant in South Deerfield is hosting their annual Witches Ball on Halloween Night, Thursday, Oct. 31st! Come dressed in your Halloween costumes and enjoy a buffet including oozing zombie zits, lumberjack fingers, shredded mummy guts, vampire eyeballs and more. The fun doesn’t end with the food- Cloud 9 Productions will be at the Witches Ball for kid’s karaoke, there will be pumpkin decorating, and Teaching Creatures will be bringing some creepy crawly creatures to learn about, some of them you can even touch! Seatings for this event, are at 4pm and 5:30pm. Be sure to make your reservations soon by calling 413-665-1277. For more information visit chandlers.yankeecandle.com.

Dec 6-8

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

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 19th-25th, 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 19th, 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, we will be rebroadcasting our Halloween episode from 2009, and then next Saturday, October 26th, Heidi Swedberg will be our guest DJ with a brand new Halloween Episode from 2013! - Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from 6 years of archived show.

8am-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL/COMMUNITY MEAL: The annual Leverett Harvest Festival is today!  Start off the day with an intergenerational fireman’s community pancake breakfast (8am-10:30am), then enjoy games, food, live music, horse rides, and much more at the festival. There will be another intergenerational community meal later in the day too; a community spaghetti supper (5pm-7pm).  This is a great way to celebrate fall while engaging with your community.  Takes place at Leverett Elementary School.  85 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.

9am-12noon – ART REUSE DEPOT/HALLOWEEN COSTUME SWAP: Looking for new Halloween customers for your little ones? Trying to clear the playroom of pipe cleaners, finger paint and glue sticks? Bring them to the 2nd annual Art Reuse DEPOT hosted by Northampton DPW event. Donate traditional/non-traditional arts & crafts supplies like coins, jewelry, keys, hardware, fabric, sewing supplies (lace, thread, ribbon, buttons) postcards, canvas brushes and paints. For Halloween, drop off costumes to swap for children, adults and pets. Don’t forget to choose new and exciting items for your children to use! Smith Vocational High School. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

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

9am-2pm – CLOTHING SALE: Looking for new-to-you threads for your family without breaking the bank? The Northfield Trinitarian Congregational Church is holding a second hand clothing sale today.  Donations are accepted until October 17 and all clothes left after the sale will be donated to several local charities.  413-498-5839.  147 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.

9am-3pm – ORNITHOLOGY: Are you interested in learning more about sparrows?  Join David McLain at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary to search for fall sparrows, such as the savannah, swamp, Lincoln’s, white-throated, white-crowned, vesper, and clay-colored, along with other bird species.  This program is geared towards adults but may be appropriate for an older student interested in birds.  Please bring binoculars and a field guide.  Registration is required.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  $$

9am-4pm – CRAFT FAIR: For the 44th year in a row, Bizarre Bazaar takes place in the Berkshires.  This community craft fair is a classic fall tradition in the Berkshires, and features local handmade crafts, fine arts, gifts, food, and more.  This event is a fundraiser and all proceeds go towards the Brigham Center.  Get a jump start on your holiday shopping while supporting a good cause. Takes place at the Brigham Center.  413-442-5174.  165 East Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  >$

9:30am – PLANT SCIENCE/LOCAL FOOD:  This week’s Trustees of Reservation’s “Fall Food on the Farm” workshop focuses on the many different colorful varieties of vegetables.  Combine learning in both culinary arts and agriculture. Participants will learn about seasonality and do a “MyPlate” competition to create winter meals that include colorful vegetables.  Swiss chard will be harvested and planted, and you will learn to cook lemony swiss chard with pizza bread.  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-5pm – HISTORY: This weekend celebrates “From Field to Table” at Old Sturbridge Village.  Celebrate the fall harvest and learn how food historically traveled from the farm to the table by talking to costumed interpreters, helping out with the harvest, milling cider, tasting apples and touring the orchards, putting the herb garden “to bed” for the season, grinding corn, touring root cellars, churning butter, and more.  This special weekend gives visitors of all ages a chance to learn about what fall was like in the past and what activities were typically carried out during this season and why.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$

10am-12noon - NATURAL HISTORY/ECOLOGY: Join DCR and Great Barrington Trails and Greenways for a “Reading the Landscape” hike along the Threemile Hill Trail.  This guided hike focuses on the history of our local landscape, including charcoal-making and other past uses.  Meet at Berkshire South Regional Community Center, where a shuttle will take participants to and from the site of the hike.  For ages 6 and up.  Please register in advance.  413-528-2810 x10.  Crissey Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

10am-12noon – ECOLOGY/ENTOMOLOGY: Explore streams and the creatures that live in them with Franklin Land Trust at the Guyette Farm’s Meadow Brook.  Participants will discover the many different insects that live in streams and their importance in stream ecosystems in and around Western Massachusetts.  Learn how to determine the health of small streams by studying the aquatic invertebrates present in them while examining the differences between these water insects.  Open to anyone interested in stream ecology; families with children welcome.  Please call to register.  413-625-9151.  Plainfield, MA.

10am-1pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Join Springfield College Professor Emeritus and Environmental Historian Dietrich Schlobohm for a Beaver Walk at Bear Hole.  You will learn about North America’s largest rodent and its endangerment/near-extinction and subsequent comeback in New England in the 19th and 20th centuries, in addition to the current controversies regarding the animal.  The group will visit several sites of beaver activity in order to learn about the animal’s history and life cycle.  This program is geared towards adults but may be appropriate for older students interested in animal studies and natural history.  Registration is required.  413-584-3009.  Bear Hole Road.  West Springfield, MA.  $$

10am-1pm – GHOST TOWN HIKE: Ghost town storytelling hike at Tamarack Hollow & Windsor Jambs. Celebrate the season of Halloween and learn about life in the highlands, see cellar holes, water wells, sluiceways & apple orchards from the 1800’s still intact.  Hear stories about the Windigo (the “big-foot” of the Hilltowns!), the Babbit Ax factory and the dairy & maple farms that provided income for these remote dwellers. Look for “Witches Butter” and “Dead Man’s Fingers” among other ghoulish forest treasures! 3-mile one-way moderate hike. 413-584-3009. Windsor, MA. ($)

10am-2pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The Common School is holding their Children’s Carnival today!  Come by for games, a bounce house, cotton candy, face painting, music, raffles, arts and crafts, and more.  413-256-8989.  521 South Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – ARCHAEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY: Did you know October is Massachusetts Archaeology Month?  Learn and celebrate the history of the Commonwealth during Archeology Day with the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association in Deerfield.  They are holding several free events, including an archaeological tour of Deerfield Village (10am-11:30am), a guided tour of the Old Burying Ground (11:30am-12:3pm), an interactive mock dig for kids at the Indian House Memorial Children’s Museum (11am-4pm), and a visit to the Sanford Tavern Site and the Taylor’s Fort Site (11am-4pm).  These activities are not only fun for the entire family, but they give visitors of all ages to learn about local history and discover how archaeology has shed a light on life in the past here in Western Massachusetts.  413-775-7217.  Deerfield Village.  Deerfield, 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-6pm – ART: This weekend is North Adams Open Studios!  Local artists – emerging, mid-career, and established – working in a variety of mediums will open their studios to the public.  This is an excellent way to learn about many different types of art and discover new local artists.  Kids can see artist studios and learn how local artists work and make a living in their profession.  North Adams, MA.

10:30am-12:30pm - WESTERN MA SCHOOL FAIR: Are you trying to decide which of the local independent schools is best for your child?  Then come to the Pioneer Valley Independent School Fair, held at the Bement School’s Kittredge Building.  Many local schools, for students in preschool through 12th grade and beyond, will be represented at this event, including Hilltown Families sponsors: The Montessori School of Northampton, The Academy at Charlemont, Bement School, The Williston Northampton School, Amehrst Montessori School, and The Hartsbrook School.  More information and a list of schools can be found here.  413-774-7061.  94 Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

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. (FREE)

11am-1pm – STORYWALK: Join the East Longmeadow Public Library for a StoryWalk on the Rail Trail.  Meet at the library and then head out in search of the first page of I Want Your Moo!.  The StoryWalk will be followed by hot chocolate and prizes.  StoryWalks are a great way to explore books & literacy in the great outdoors while spending time with family and friends.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

11am-3pm - COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Enjoy fall family fun at the Montessori School of Northampton’s annual Children’s Fall Fair and Open House!  Come by for games, arts and crafts, zoo animals, bounce houses, live music, performances, food, a tag sale, and more.  Although admission to the fair is free, some activities may have a cost.  All proceeds benefit the school’s Scholarship Fund.  Open to the public.  413-586-4538.  51 Bates Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

11am-4pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: The North Hadley Sugar Shack’s annual Harvest Moon Pumpkin Festival is today!  Stop by for fun fall activities for the whole family.  413-585-8820.  181 River Drive.  Hadley, MA.

12noon-2pm – SCARECROWS/PUMPKIN CARVING: Get ready for Franklin County Pumpkinfest (today 2pm-9pm) by carving pumpkins and stuffing scarecrows at Unity Park!  Bring the whole family to this event, which also includes face-painting and refreshments, and then head over to Pumpkinfest where your pumpkins can go on display.  413-863-3216.  1st Street.  Turners Falls, MA.  >$

1pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: Native American flute player, traditional drummer, singer, dancer, and culturalist Shawn Stevens comes to the Stockbridge Library to present a program of stories and songs.  Stevens is a member of the Stockbridge Munsee band of Mohicans in Wisconsin.  The Mohicans were the very first residents of the Berkshires.  This program would be interesting to older students who want to learn more about Native American culture and traditions.  413-298-5501.  46 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.

1pm-3pm – DOG SHOW: Today is the fourth annual Dickinson Memorial Library dog show!  Bring your dog and enter them to win a prize in a fun category.  Both adult and child handlers are welcome.  This is a fun way to interact with other dog-loving community members, discover different breeds of dogs and how to care for them, and make some new furry friends!  Registration is required.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  >$

1-4pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: Wild Oats Market is having a Halloween party this afternoon! Stop by to carve a pumpkin, make a special mask, get your face painted (it’s like a temporary mask!), bob for apples, and more! 320 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

2-4pm – RAG SHAG PARADE/SCARECROW MAKING: Dress up in your favorite costume for all to see.  Parade will start at Pettis Field, march through Hamblin Court, over the green bridge to the Town Common. There will be special participation by the Huntington Fire Department. Children will be able to see the fire truck and get some safety tips from our local firemen.  After arriving at the town common, there will be small prizes awarded for different categories of costumes. Then get creative with scarecrow making! Bring old clothing, markers, scissors, twine/rubberbands to help with tying arms & legs. Hay will be provided. Rain cancels parade, but activities continue at Stanton Hall. Huntington, MA (FREE)

12noon-3pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Come to Clarketoberfest Family Fun Day at the Clarke School for Hearing and Speech!  This special day consists of family-friendly fall activities, like a musical petting zoo by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (12noon-1pm), a peformance by the Colby Academy of Dance (12:30pm-1pm), a visit from the Forest Park Zoo on the Go (12:30pm-1:30pm), a kids’ concert by Tom “T-Bone” Stankus (1:30pm-2:30pm), cider pressing, popcorn, face painting, pumpkin painting, a bake sale, and much more.  Free and open to the public.  413-584-3450.  Round Hill Road.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-4pm – NATURE STUDIES: Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center presents “Skulls and Bones” a Halloween-related nature program for kids 7 and older.  Discover what you can learn about an animal’s life through its skull and bones.  Compare the skulls and bones of different animals to see how birds and mammals differ and how to tell how a bone moved (if at all) by their formations.  The program will take place primarily indoors (hands-on activities), but also includes a short field walk.  800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-6pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: The third annual Easthampton Pumpkin Festival features games, activities, vendors, face-painting, a pie contest, and family fun for all!  Come by and celebrate pumpkins, fall, and Halloween at this exciting community festival  413-529-1440.  1 Daley Field Road.  Easthampton, MA.

2pm – ORIGAMI: Learn some new paper folding skills and techniques at the Berkshire Museum! Held in conjunction with the museum’s PaperWorks exhibit.  413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

2pm-9pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: Today is Franklin County Pumpkinfest!  Bring your pumpkins so they can go on display.  Pumpkinfest features food, games, activities, entertainment, crafts, and more.  Fun for the whole family.  413-522-0712.  Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.

2:30pm-4:30pm – BALLET: “The Wild Swans: A Ballet and Story” comes to the Jones Library.  Based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, this performance features Amherst Ballet students ages 8-10.  Kids and adults alike will enjoy this short excerpt performance and may even be inspired to try out ballet or other forms of movement. 413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.

3pm-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The Toolbox for Education and Social Action’s Co-Op Carnival takes place today at Food For Thought Books!  Stop by for free family-friendly activities, including prizes, music, food, drinks, and more.  This event is meant to celebrate and showcase cooperative businesses in the Pioneer Valley.  Come learn more about the power of cooperatives! 413-570-0245.  106 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.

4pm-5pm – POETRY: Stop by Art in the Orchard for “Unbuttoned: An Afternoon of Spoken Word for Kids.”  This event consists of poetry games for kids.  Feel free to bring a poem if you would like to share.  413-303-0335.  82 Park Hill Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

4pm-6:30pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: The Stockbridge School of Agriculture is holding their second annual Pumpkin Festival today during the Stockbridge Alumni Hockey Tailgate at Lot 25 near the Mullins Center.  Students, alumni, family, and friends can come carve pumpkins and celebrate homecoming.  Pumpkins will be judged and winners will be announced at 6:30pm, before the hockey game.  More information can be found here.  Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.

4:30pm-8:30pm – HIKING: View October’s “Hunting Moon” from the top of Northfield Mountain!  Enjoy fall foliage, the sunset, and the moonrise (one day past the full moon).  The hike is 4.5 miles and has an 800-foot elevation gain.  It is recommended for ages 10 and up and a nice way to spend time with your t(w)eens outdoors while engaging in your community.  Bring a snack/picnic, flashlights/headlamps, water, and warm clothing for this hike.  800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

5pm – 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.  $

5pm-7pm – ART HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY: Author Deborah Solomon will be at the Norman Rockwell Museum for the launch of her new book American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell.  Her book focuses on “the relationship between the artist’s despairing personality and his genius for reflecting America’s brightest hopes,” which Solomon learned about through letters and documents in the Museum archives.  The evening features author remarks, a reception, and a book signing.  This event would be good for older students who are interested in art and U.S. history.  Please purchase tickets in advance here.  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$

5:30pm-8:30pm – 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.  >$

6:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/HAUNTED HOUSE: 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. $$

6:30pm-10:30pm - 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.  $$$

7-9pm: 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 ($)

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.  $

7:30pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: Tonight is the 4th annual Berkshire Drum and Dance Fest!  Come to Berkshire Community College’s Boland Theater for an evening of rhythm and dance by many musicians and dancers.  Some of the featured artists include Puerto Rican Bomba & Plena Dancers, West African Djun Djun & Drum Corps, Berkshire Pulse Drummers, West African / Beatbox / Bucket Drum Fusion, Gaia Roots and many others. There will also be a silent auction (7pm) and an intergenerational community drum jam.  The Fest is a fundraiser for the Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center Raise the Roof project and a super energized way to learn about the different dance and drumming performances from various cultures.  More information can be found here.  1350 West Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $-$$

7:30pm – FILM: Pothole Pictures presents a Laurel and Hardy Festival, featuring Sons of the Desert (1933) and two shorter films.  These classic comedy flicks are great for family members of all ages, from kids to grandparents!  413-625-2896.  51 Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  >$

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

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

8pm – PERFORMANCE: The Saturday Night Live band’s Christine Ohlman (“The Beehive Queen”), along with her band Rebel Montez, are performing tonight at the Institute for the Musical Arts.  The performance is billed as “A Benefit Harvest Dance and Bonfire with a Beehive Costume Twist; Retro Wear Encouraged.”  All proceeds from the concert go to IMA’s summertime Rock and Roll Camp for Girls.  Tickets can be found here.  413-268-3074.  165 Cape Street.  Goshen, MA.

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Sunday, October 20th, 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 - 4-H/ANIMAL STUDIES: Today is Open Fun Day and Gymkhana at the Blandford Fairgrounds.  Come learn about 4-H and the gymkhana horse competition.  413-695-8343.  10 North Road.  Blandford, MA.

7:30am-11:30am – COMMUNITY MEAL: The Amherst Fire Department is holding an intergenerational community pancake breakfast to benefit the SAFE (Student Awareness of Fire Education) program in local schools.  The breakfast, which includes pancakes, sausages, bacon, coffee, and juice, takes place at the North Fire Station.  413-259-3082.  603 East Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

9am-3pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: Outlook Farm’s Pumpkin Festival is today!  Come by for a pig roast and barbecue, live music, a community craft and tag sale, and more.  413-529-9388.  Route 66.  Westhampton, MA.

9:30am-5pm – HISTORY: This weekend celebrates “From Field to Table” at Old Sturbridge Village.  Celebrate the fall harvest and learn how food historically traveled from the farm to the table by talking to costumed interpreters, helping out with the harvest, milling cider, tasting apples and touring the orchards, putting the herb garden “to bed” for the season, grinding corn, touring root cellars, churning butter, and more.  This special weekend gives visitors of all ages a chance to learn about what fall was like in the past and what activities were typically carried out during this season and why.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$

10am-11:30am – GARDENING: Kids ages 3-5 and their caregivers can attend PJ Preschool Pals’ event “Wonders of Nature.”  Discover soil, plants, and the wonders of vegetable farms while helping to harvest and plant and learning about the Jewish tradition of giving thanks for the food we grow.  Storytime and snacks included.  Takes place and Lander-Grinspoon Academy.  257 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – ART: This weekend is North Adams Open Studios!  Local artists – emerging, mid-career, and established – working in a variety of mediums will open their studios to the public.  This is an excellent way to learn about many different types of art and discover new local artists.  Kids can see artist studios and learn how local artists work and make a living in their profession.  North Adams, MA.

10am-4pm – JEWISH STUDIES: The Yiddish Book Center’s Community Open House is today!  At 11am, there will be a talk/round-table discussion titled “How Do You Say ‘Cutting-Edge’ in Yiddish?” about the Yiddish language; at 2pm there will be a concert by the Strauss Warschauer Duo, who play international klezmer and Yiddish music; and at 11am and 1pm you can tour the Center, which is the world’s first Yiddish museum.  This open house is a good way to discover this great local museum while learning more about Yiddish language, culture, and music.  413-256-4900.  1021 West Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10:15am-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Westhampton annual Fall Festival, home of the Great Pumpkin Roll, is today! Fun activities, delicious food, New England traditions, and educational opportunities abound at the festival, which takes place in the center of town.  Read our write up here. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

11am-1pm - LOCAL AGRICULTURE: Today is CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) Day at Clarkdale Fruit Farms!  BYO picnic lunch, buy some cider, and learn about preserving apples.  Visitors can discover the many different ways one can preserve this fruit, like making applesauce, apple cider vinegar, and using a solar dryer.  413-772-6797.  303 Upper Road.  Deerfield, MA.

12noon-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Wally, the fiberglass replica stegosaurus outside the Berkshire Museum, is celebrating his 16th birthday today!  Bring the kids and come make Wally a card, do hands-on art and science activities (1pm-3pm), sing Happy Birthday to Wally (2pm), and enjoy birthday cake.  Museum admission is free on this special day… a extra fun day to visit this Berkshire treasure.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – THEATER: Arena Civic Center presents Seussical!  This family-friendly musical features favorite Dr. Seuss characters like the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the Grinch, the Whos, and many more.  Come to the Shea Theater this fall and enjoy the show.  Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.  More information available here.  413-863-2281 x3.  71 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  $$

2pm-3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Every Sunday in October, the Mead Art Museum is offering free tours!  Mead Student Docents will lead these “Pick Three Focus Tours,” in which three seemingly unrelated works of art are linked.  These tours, which are free and open to the public, give you the opportunity to explore the museum and learn about works of art that you may not have known about before.  413-542-2335.  Route 9 & Route 116.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

2pm-3:30pm – HIKING: Join Williamsburg Woodland Trails for a fall hike on the Hilltown Land Trust’s Bradley Sanctuary.  The moderately easy hike is a 1.5 mile loop through mixed forest and a pine grove.  Explore the sanctuary and make new friends on this lovely fall hike.  Please RSVP.  413-628-4485 x4.  Old Goshen Road.  Williamsburg, MA.

4pm – AMERICAN HISTORY/RELIGION:  The Lenox Library continues its seventh season of Distinguished Lectures with a talk by the Reverend Michael Tuck, Rector of Trinity Church, who will speak on “George Washington’s Church: Revolution and the Founding of the American Episcopal Church.” The lecture will take place in the Lenox Library’s Sedgwick Reading room, and is free and open to the public.  Those studying American history or religion will find this lecture particularly engaging; recommended for middle-school-aged students and up.  413-637-2630.  18 Main St.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

5pm – 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.  $

5:30pm-8:30pm – 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.  >$

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6pm – MUSIC/DANCE: Come to Bascom Lodge for an evening of salsa on the porch with Johnny Salsa.  413-743-1591.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

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Monday, October 21st, 2013

10am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is offering a preschool nature program, running 10/21-11/18 – no class 11/11.  The classes include stories, crafts, and outdoor play/exploration.  This is good way to help your preschooler explore the outdoors and make new friends.  A parent or guardian must accompany every two children.  You may sign up for one class, or for all.  More information can be found here.  Pre-registration is recommended.  413-458-2494.  671 Cold Spring Road.  Williamstown, MA.  $

3pm & 5:30pm – FILM: Enjoy a screening of The Great Gatsby (2013; rated PG-13) at the Whately Library.  The film, directed by Baz Luhrmann, is based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel.  Popcorn will be available at the screening.  413-665-2170.  202 Chestnut Plain Road.  Whately, MA.

4:30pm-5:15pm – BOOK CLUB: Kids in first and second grade can participate in the East Longmeadow Public Library Book Buddies book club!  This month’s book is Lulu Goes to Witch School by Jane O’Connor.  This is a great way to get kids reading and discussing books with their peers.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, 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, Harry Rodriguez will speak about Caribbean foods.  He will highlight classic meals from Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, and Cuba, and discuss how the use of Mexican cuisine has diminished the contribution of Caribbean foods in America.  This talk would be interesting for older students who want to learn more about Caribbean food and culture.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

6pm-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn about the science behind sleep and the importance of sleep to development for all ages.  Sleep educator Beth Grams Haxby, Ed. M. presents this workshop at the Meekins Library, in which she hopes to influence others to practice better sleep habits.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more.  413-256-1145.  1200 North Pleasant Street.  North Amherst, MA
  • 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.
  • 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 22nd, 2013

10am - PARENT/CHILD WORKSHOP: “Every Child Ready to Read” is a parent/child workshop to help your preschool-aged child develop early literacy.  The workshop presents the five early literacy practices: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing along with activities.  This is a great way to get your young child reading while spending some quality time learning together.  Takes place at Westfield Athenaeum.  Please pre-register.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA. (FREE)

4pm - BOOK CLUB: Students in grades 3-5 can come to the Westfield Athenaeum for their Book Group for Kids.  Come discuss and play games based on the book My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead.  Please pre-register.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.

4:30pm – STORYTIME: Author and Mount Holyoke College professor Valerie Martin will read from her newest book Anton and Cecil, Cats at Sea at Odyssey Bookshop.  The book, for ages 7-14, is about two cat brothers and their adventures at sea.  The Dakin Humane Society will be at Odyssey with kittens for you to meet and play with during the reading.  This is a great way to discover a new book and make some new animal friends.  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.

6:30pm – HALLOWEEN STORYTIME: Friends of the Hadley Preschool presents Silliest Kind of Spooky at the Hadley Elementary School.  Bring your preschooler to hear stories acted out with props and interact in stories like the monster that came to dinner, the giant with a stinky problem, and other silly non-scary tales. 21 River Drive. Hadley, MA (FREE)

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

  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more.  413-256-1145.  1200 North Pleasant Street.  North 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.
  • 9:30am-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 23rd, 2013

1:30pm-2:30pm – SCIENCE: Kids in K-3 can learn all about water with Helen Ann Sephton from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment at the Wendell Free Library!  Kids will learn about water through hands-on “Water Olympics” activities, including floating paper clips and discovering how many drops of water can fit on a penny.  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.

3pm - HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: It’s a Halloween Spooktacular at the Chicopee Public Library!  Kids ages 3-12 can stop by for crafts and games.  Don’t forget to wear your costume!  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.

5pm-6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting a tour of Stockbridge Cemetery, led by Curator of Education, Tom Daly.  Discover the burial sites of famous Stockbridge residents like Norman Rockwell, Elizabeth Freeman, the Sedgwick family, and others while hearing about their history and influences on culture in the Berkshires.  Meet at Old Town Hall for cider and doughnuts before the tour.  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$

6pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn about the hidden dangers around your home and how to keep your child safe at “Keeping Toddler Safe,” a workshop for parents and caregivers at Baystate Health Education Center.  You will also learn American Heart Association child CPR.  This class is helpful for anyone who spends time with young children.  Registration is required.  Located in the Conference Room.  413-794-2229.  361 Whitney Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  $$

6pm-8pm - PARENT WORKSHOP: Do you think your child seems anxious or worried?  The Puzzle of Parenting Workshops presents “Little Minds, Big Worries,” a workshop for parents of young children with anxiety.  Parents will learn about the causes of childhood anxiety, why it is on the rise, and what you can do to help your anxious child feel supported.  Takes place at Our Lady’s Childcare Center.  You must register in advance.  Registration information can be found here.  413-586-4998 x102.  33 Adams Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

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

  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more.  413-256-1145.  1200 North Pleasant Street.  North Amherst, MA
  • 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 – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime at the Holyoke Public Library.  413-322-5640.  335 Maple Street.  Holyoke, MA.
  • 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 24th, 2013

12:15pm – HISTORY: This week’s “Museums a la Carte” lecture at the Springfield Museums is titled “Dutch and Flemish Masters,” and is presented by Robin Hoffman of ArtScapades.  Hoffman will discuss the seven elements of art used by artists when composing a piece – color, line, texture, value, shape, form, and space, and how these elements can be seen in Dutch and Flemish works.  She will then talk about the ways the Dutch Realism School in the 17th century helped move art forwards and away from religious themes. Best for older students and self-directed teens.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

4pm – BOOK CLUB: Kids in grades 5 and 6 can come to the East Longmeadow Public Library for book club!  This month’s book is Doll Bones by Holly Black.  Book clubs are a great way to get kids reading and to teach them how to discuss books.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

4:30pm – BOOK CLUB: Kids in grades 4-6 can participate in the Monson Free Library’s book club by reading Holly Black’s Doll Bones.  Read the book and then discuss it with your peers at the library.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.

5-8pm – HAUNTED HOUSE: Spectrum Playhouse’s “Haunted Playhouse” is open from 10/24-10/26.  The haunted house features a Ghoul’s Tea Party, a chance to waltz with ghosts in a Haunted Cemetery, and more!  413-394-5023.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.  >$

5:30pm-7pm - COMMUNITY SERVICE/PUMPKIN CARVING: Come by the Hitchcock Center for the Environment for pumpkin carving.  At this free event, families can carve pumpkins for the Enchanted Forest event taking place on 10/25 and 10/26, a fundraiser for the Center.  This is a fun chance for families to do a Halloween-related community service project together.  413-256-6006.  525 South Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (VOLUNTEER)

6-8pm – NATIONAL FOOD DAY/COMMUNITY POTLUCK: Whip up your favorite dish, gather up the kids and celebrate food with members of your community! Grow Food Amherst is sponsoring a community wide potluck to celebrate National Food Day and the importance of eating fresh, local food. Bring a dish to share prepared with items from your garden, CSA, or local farm; along with your own plate and utensils and an index card with a list of ingredients for those with food allergies. Grow Food Amherst hopes to add all the recipes together to create a community cookbook. The group will also have a photo board on hand so that people may share photos of their gardens or prepared dishes. 413-259-3149. Large Activity Room, Bangs Community Center, 4 Boltwood Walk, Amherst. (FREE)

6pm – STORYTIME: The Erving Public Library hosts “Oops!  Fractured Fairy Tales,” a storytime by Jennifer Couturier of We Tell Tales.  The storytime takes classic fairy tales and mixes them up, changes the characters, and alters the settings.  This funny performance is great for kids and adults!  978-544-5157.  17 Moore Street.  Erving, MA.

6pm-8pm - CULTURAL STUDIES: Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools are holding a Latino Heritage Celebration at Crocker Farm Elementary School.  There will be Latin music, dancing, and food, and everyone is welcome to bring a favorite dish to share.  Route 116.  Amherst, MA.

7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Belchertown Historical Association’s Stone House Speaker Series presents Gary Shattuck, author of Artful and Designing Men, who will speak about Belchertown in 1786 during Shays’ Rebellion.  His book (and his talk) focus on Job Shattuck, who was one of the most important rebels.  This event is open to all and would be interesting to older students interested in local history.  413-323-6573.  20 Maple Street.  Belchertown, MA.

7pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/LECTURE: Ed Webster (mountaineer, author, photographer) presents “Everest: The Hard Way” in the Gateway Regional School District’s Performing Arts Center.  Webster is known for his 1988 climb up Mt. Everest, for which he, and two other mountaineers, took a new route to the summit without the use of oxygen, radios, or Sherpa assistance.  Webster’s lecture is one of several special events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gateway Regional School District.  413-685-1000.  12 Littleville Road.  Huntington, MA.  $

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.  $

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 ($$$)

  • 9am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more.  413-256-1145.  1200 North Pleasant Street.  North 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 25th, 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.  $

10:30am-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Are you interested in learning more about bats?  The Great Falls Discovery Center is holding an event for kids ages 3-6 and their parents to come learn about bats and the habitats they live in.  Also participate in crafts while exploring the natural world together with your preK kids.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.

12:15pm – LOCAL HISTORY:  The Amherst Historical Society hosts History Bites, a lunchtime history talk!  This week’s talk, “Militarism in Revolutionary New England,” is presented by Barry Levy.  Tea and coffee provided.  Takes place at Simeon Strong House.  Best for older students, self directed teens and adults.  413-256-0678.  67 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – HALLOWEEN STORYTIME: Halloween Fun Fantasy Tales will be performed by Odds Bodkin. Odds will perform magical and slightly spooky Halloween tales for children. For children ages three and up. Shutesbury Elementary School. Shutesbury, MA (FREE)

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

4pm – PARADE/JACK-O-LANTERNS: The annual Stockbridge Halloween Parade and Party, as well as the Pumpkin Walk-About, are happening tonight!  Carve a jack-o-lantern and drop it off at the Stockbridge Library between 4pm and 6pm, enjoy the parade (6pm), and then come back and look at all the jack-o-lanterns, including your own!  This is a fun way to celebrate Halloween while engaging with your community.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.

4pm – COSTUME PARTY: Here’s another opportunity to show off that homemade costume you spent hours on… World Eye Bookshop invites kids to an afternoon costume party! 413-772-2186. 156 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

4-6pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY : Overlook at Northampton is hosting an intergenerational Halloween party with trick or treating, pumpkin decorating and more. Bring kids in costume and come interact with their elders. 413-584-8451. River Road. Leeds, MA (FREE)

4pm-7:30pm – FALL CELEBRATION: The Salasin Center presents their Fall Fun Festival for the whole family.  Come by the RPX for a family JourneyDance, a playful dance celebration using ribbon wands, scarves, and guided movement, and a poetry and music open mic, as well as local cider and apples.  413-774-4307.  474 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.

5-8pm – HAUNTED HOUSE: Spectrum Playhouse’s “Haunted Playhouse” is open from 10/24-10/26.  The haunted house features a Ghoul’s Tea Party, a chance to waltz with ghosts in a Haunted Cemetery, and more!  413-394-5023.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.  >$

5pm-8:30pm – FAMILY EVENT: The Hitchcock Center’s Enchanted Forest event takes place 10/25 and 10/26.  This exciting event takes you through the Hitchcock Center’s grounds on a non-scary tour with the theme of “Animal Wonders: Cool Things We’ve Learned From Animals.”  Creatures will emerge to share stories and teach you about themselves while you explore the woods and celebrate Halloween.  The event fills up quickly, so please register for a walk time ASAP!  413-256-6006.  525 South Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  $

5:30pm-8:30pm – 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.  >$

5:30-10:30pm – GRAVEYARD TOURS: If it’s ghostly apparitions, spooky spirits, and archaic graves you want to see this Halloween season, look no further than the Old Burying Ground in Westfield, MA, a National Register of Historic Places in America established in 1668. Hour-long guided tours by lantern light will be led through the Old Burying Ground,  a site containing some of the oldest, yet most significant headstones in all of Westfield.  Historic personages, who rest in the antiquated land, including General William Shepard and Reverend Edward Taylor, the poet laureate of Colonial America, will be enacted by community performers in colonial grab, who will meet participants at their respective graves. The Old Burying Ground is the oldest remaining cemetery in its original location in the United States with 1100 remaining gravestones with its last recorded burial was in 1934.  The tour will not only capture the Halloween spirit but will also offer a new appreciation for some of the founding families of Westfield, both the more famous as well as the everyday folk who helped make Westfield what it is today. 413-204-5551. Parking for the tours will be available in St. Mary’s Church Parking Lot on Mechanic Street. Westfield, MA (>$)

5:45pm & 7pm –  – LOCAL HISTORY/HAUNTED HOUSE: 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. $$

6pm-8pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: Sturbridge Village is offering a free Halloween trick-or-treating event!  Come to the Village and trick-or-treat and enjoy entertainment, such as juggling, puppetry, and storytelling.  You can also bring canned goods to donate to a local food pantry.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-10:30pm – 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.  $$$

6:45pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Roger Tincknell will perform as part of the West Springfield Park and Recreation Department’s annual Halloween party!  Children and their chaperones should come in costume to this fun community Halloween party.  Takes place in the Rotary Pavilion in Mittineague Park.  413-781-3020.  1695 Westfield Street.  West Springfield, MA.

7pm – HALLOWEEN PARADE: Pittsfield will come alive tonight with all sorts of Halloween excitement! The super fun, annual Halloween Parade takes place – featuring spooky, scary, and exciting floats. 413-499-9370. Tyler Street. Pittsfield, 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)

7:30pm – PERFORMING ARTS: “Ruckus: A Cirque Spectacular” at the Academy of Music features an exciting display of circus arts starring trapeze artists, jugglers, contortionists, and more!  “Ruckus” is a production by Nimble Arts and features an award-winning crew.  This exciting performance would be good for the whole family.  Tickets can be purchased in advance online, at the box office, or by phone.  413-584-9032 x105.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $$

7:30pm – THEATER: Arena Civic Center presents Seussical!  This family-friendly musical features favorite Dr. Seuss characters like the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the Grinch, the Whos, and many more.  Come to the Shea Theater this fall and enjoy the show.  Tickets may be purchased online or at the door.  More information available here.  413-863-2281 x3.  71 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  $$

7:30pm-9:30pm – CONCERT: The Great Barrington Waldorf High School language department presents a performance by Cuban hip-hop group Obsesión.  The group is known for their efforts to bring awareness to social justice issues like race and gender equality, domestic violence, and the importance of respect in all relationships and communities throughout the world.  Proceeds from the concert go to the GBWHS language department.  Takes place at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge.  413-528-8833.  4 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$

7:30pm-10pm – THEATER: The Westfield Theatre Group presents a musical comedy production of Dracula, written and directed by Kathleen Palmer, with music by Marion Dunk.  This play is suitable for all ages.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office.  413-572-6838.  28 Court Street.  Westfield, MA.  $$

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

5:30pm-11pm – BENEFIT: WGBY is holding an evening of Latin music, culture, food, and dance to benefit the Latino Youth Media Institute and North End Center for Literacy and Learning.  “Presencia: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage in Western New England” features a reception catered by Max’s Tavern (5:30pm-6:30pm), a tasting dinner with food from ten regional chefs (6:30pm-8:30pm), and live music, entertainment, and dance (7pm-11pm).  You can attend all three parts of the event or select which ones interest you.  Tickets and more information are available here.  Takes place at Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  1000 Hall of Fame Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$-$$$

7pm – FILM: The Sheffield Historical Society is screening The Children (1980; rated R) outside the Dan Raymond House.  The film is a low-budget horror movie about a nuclear plant leak that turns children into zombies – and it was filmed in Sheffield!  Come enjoy this interesting bit of local history.  413-229-2694.  Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.  (FREE)

10pm – FILM: Late Nights at Amherst Cinema continue tonight with a screening of Dead Alive (1992; rated R).  The film was directed by Peter Jackson and is about a man whose mother becomes the undead when she is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey.  This campy zombie movie will entertain you and help get you in the Halloween spirit.  Get tickets in advance here.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  $

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

  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more.  413-256-1145.  1200 North Pleasant Street.  North Amherst, 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.
  • 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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