Suggested Events for October 26th-November 1st, 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

Loads of Halloween fun happening all over Western MA this weekend and next week.  Check out what’s happening on Halloween night, including rag shag parades and trick-or-treating.

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

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HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

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!

Hilltown Families Kids’ Winter Wear Swap: Join local families for an informal Kids’ Winter Wear Swap this Saturday, Oct 26th, 2013 from 9:30-11am. Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, gloves & scarves that kids of all ages have outgrown to swap with families in the Community Room of the Meekins Library in Williamsburg! Free and open to families with children of all ages. Leftover winter wear will be donated to charity and civic organizations. The Meekins Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. If you only have donations, these are welcomed at 9am the day of the swap. For more information, questions or wanting to help out as a volunteer, contact Hilltown Families at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

BULLETIN BOARD

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.

Nov 2

Celebrate creativity through the arts! Everyone is welcome to the Smith College Museum of Art’s free Afternoon @ My Museum: Creative Kids! event on Saturday, November 2 from 1–4 PM. Kids can explore and create their own Museum masterpieces. Drop-in activities (designed for preschoolers+ with adult) include storytime in the galleries, art making, and a live musical performance (2:30 pm) by Nick Deysher of “In the Nick of Time.” Free admission and snacks; open to all; no registration required. Wheelchair and stroller accessible. Questions: museduc@smith.edu. Smith College Museum of Art is located at Elm Street at Bedford Terrace in Northampton, MA. 413-585-2760.

Nov 3

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators ‘Inside Story’ Event! 18 children’s books authors and illustrators will be at the Odyssey bookshop on Sunday, November 3rd to share the “Inside Story” about their latest publications. From picture books, middle grade and early readers to young adult this event has something for everyone! Free prizes, a drawing to win a phone call from a famous author and First Book will donate a book to a child in need for every book purchased! Perfect for children, educators and librarians. See website for more details and a list of the authors. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. www.odysseybks.com 413-534-7307

Begins Nov 4

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

Dec 6-8

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

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HALLOWEEN HIGHLIGHTS


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 26th – November 1st, 2013

SaturdaySunday
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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, October 26th, 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, 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.

ALL DAY – PUMPKIN DECORATING CONTEST: Decorate or carve a pumpkin with your kids and bring it by Randall’s Farm for their pumpkin contest!  Customers will vote on the pumpkins on 10/26 and prizes will be given for several categories on 10/27.  This event is all ages, and kids under 12 will be judged separately.  Looking for pumpkin carving ideas?  Check out these ideas and get involved in some creative free play with your kids… and don’t forget to toast those pumpkin seeds! 413-598-7071.  631 Center Street.  Ludlow, MA.

8am-10am – ORNITHOLOGY: Learn about what birds are around the Berkshires this time of year with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council on an early morning walk at Constitution Hill.  Explore the shrubby fields, wetlands, and hardwood forests of this preserve on a leisurely walk while searching for migratory and resident birds. Discover what types of local habitats are important for their survival and the different types of seeds they feed on. Older students interested in birds or local habitat would find this program interesting. Bring along a Birds of Massachusetts Field Guide, notebook and binoculars too! 413-499-0596.  Bridge Street.  Lanesborough, MA.

9am – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Bernardston’s Scarecrow in the Park celebration takes place 10/26 and 10/27.  Local artists and crafters will be present and there will be tons of fun activities for all ages, including pumpkin decorating, food, kids’ games, an antique tractor parade, fireworks, and more.  Shop local and handmade while spending time with your family at a fun community event celebrating the season. 413-648-9656.  Brattleboro Road.  Bernardston, MA.

9am-12noon – PARENT WORKSHOP: Do you often times find yourself at your parenting wits end?  You’re not alone! “Beyond Bossing, Begging, and Bribing,” presented by Jeanine Fitzgerald, is a workshop for parents that explores different teaching and parenting styles and their effects on children.  This is a popular workshop (you’re not alone!) and will include a complimentary breakfast bar and free child care  Takes place at Erving Elementary School.  Registration is required.  978-544-5157.  28 Northfield Road.  Erving, MA.

9:30am – PLANT SCIENCE/LOCAL FOOD:  This week’s Trustees of Reservation’s “Fall Food on the Farm” workshop is Halloween themed!  Participants will plant and harvest carrots and learn to make fun and healthy Halloween treats, like carrot witch fingers, skillet apples, and sweet potato jack-o-lanterns.  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.  Kids can learn how a root vegetable grows and maybe inspired to grow them next year in their family garden! Takes place at Land of Providence.   413-532-1631.  Main St.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

9:30am-11am – CLOTHING SWAP: Hilltown Families is holding a winter wear clothing swap at the Meekins Library!  Come by with your kids’ outgrown winter clothes and swap them with other families for the right size.  This is an eco- and budget-friendly way to clean out and update your child’s winter wardrobe.  If you would like to donate (but not swap), donations will be accepted at 9am the day of the swap.  All are welcomed to stop in to this informal clothing swap in the community room at the library. Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, gloves & scarves that kids of all ages have outgrown to swap with other families. Leftover winter wear will be donated to charity and civic organizations.Route 9.  Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

9:30am-3:40pm – SCIENCE: 10th, 11th, and 12th graders can attend the fourth annual ScienceQUEST at UMass Amherst.  This event gives high school students the chance to do hands-on science activities in a college setting while experiencing demonstrations and guided lab tours.  This is an amazing opportunity for students to learn more about the study of science and discover the many facilities and programs available at UMass.  Registration is required.  More information is available here.  Takes place in the Integrated Sciences Building.  661 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am-3pm – SCAVENGER HUNT: The Mason Library is holding Halloween scavenger hunt bingo in the Children’s Room!  Come by for some Halloween fun at the library, and check out a book or two to take home and read together tonight!  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Stop by Historic Deerfield to learn all about the history of foods prepared for the fall harvest at their open hearth cooking demonstrations.  You will discover how early American kitchens right here in Western MA made use of the local fall harvest by processing and preserving foods for winter.  The demonstration will focus on traditional fall foods like pumpkins, apples, and corn.  Ask the interpreters to share how the lost art of roasting meats is now taken over by baked meats, and see the different types of tools used when cooking in front of a fire rather than on top of a stove. 413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  $

10am-4pm – PLANT STUDIES: The Berkshire Community College Orchid and Tropical Show takes place 10/26 and 10/27 at the Paterson Field House.  This weekend celebrates orchids, succulents, bromeliads, bonsai, and other tropical plants.  Learn about the different types of environments these plants need to thrive in and their adaptations that support their pollination.  With twenty exhibits, features vendors, demonstrations, educational talks, and workshops, find out what types of insects pollinate the different species of plants and how you might be able to grow them in your own home.  Discover this exciting world of unique and beautiful plants while learning all about them!  More information can be found here.  413-236-2185.  1350 West Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  >$

10am-4pm – HISTORY: Learn about the art of silversmithing and the process of making a sterling silver flatware set for an 18th-century American home with silversmith Steve Smithers at Historic Deerfield.  Smithers will go through the entire process, from research and design to the actual silver work itself.  Learn about the trade, it’s historical roots here in Western MA, and the class of families who would have sterling silver flatware at their dining room tables during the Colonial era. Free with museum admission.  413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA.  $

10am-4pm – LIBRARY/BOOK SALE: Come by the Bushnell-Sage Library for their book sale and pick up some new reads for the winter months. They will have a great selection of newly donated books at good prices, making this a great way to update your bookshelf without breaking the bank. Let the kids pick out their own children’s titles too, inspiring a love for reading. 413-229-7004.  48 Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.

10:30-11:30 – LIBRARY/PUMPKIN DECORATING: Get creative with the kids and come decorate pumpkins for Halloween at Ramsdell Library!  413-274-3738.  1087 Main Street.  Housatonic, MA.

10:30am-12noon – LIBRARY/FALL CELEBRATION: Toddlers and preschoolers are invited to the Berkshire Athenaeum for a Fall Fun Extravaganza!  Includes reading, crafts, stories, a video, and snacks…and of course, many, many books to lend and inspire a love for reading! Pick out a bedtime book for tonight together! 413-499-9480 x5.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

11am – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Today is the 3rd Annual Monster Dash to benefit the Holyoke Children’s Museum.  Use your body and stay healthy while supporting this local museum that brings much support, education and joy to Western MA families. There is a kids dash as well as a 5K walk/run.  Afterwards, there will be a kids Halloween costume party, games and activities, a DJ, food, and more.  Please register in advance.  Cost is $20/person or $40/family.  Takes place at Holyoke Elks Lodge.  413-536-5437.  250 Whitney Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

11am-12noon – CHEMISTRY: Be a mad scientist at the Berkshire Museum! Along with the help of the museum’s very own crazy chemist, kids can learn how to do exciting and surprising (and safe!) experiments with regular household materials. Kitchen Kaboom! is totally kid-safe, but adults must accompany participating scientists. After exercising their interests in science, visit the aquarium and learn about aquatic habitats, and check out the taxidermic animals and find the similarities and differences between species from our region and other regions of the country. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

11am-1pm – LIBRARY/HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: The Monson Free Library is hosting their Boo Bash, a family Halloween celebration!  Come by the library for games, crafts, snacks, and balloon animals.  This non-scary event is great for the whole family, so come in costume and prepare to have a great time while perusing the stacks for some good reads!  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.

11am-1pm – LIBRARY/HALLOWEEN PARTY: The annual Moms Club Halloween Party takes place at the East Longmeadow Public Library today!  Kids can come in costume for games, goodies, and Halloween activities, making their local library not only a great place to find good books, but also a place to meet friends and neighbors.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

11am-3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Explore Amherst College’s Mead Museum on this special Halloween-themed Family Fun Day!  The Mead Docents will lead the Halloween-themed celebrations, offering “candlelit” tours of the museum’s galleries, spooky stories, and scavenger hunts. A highlight of the Halloween-themed tours will be an ancient Roman sarcophagus, a new addition to the Mead’s collectign. Spooking interpretations of the Museums exhibits is a brilliant way to get kids interested in history and art! Refreshments & craft projects included. What a fun way to celebrate Halloween while exploring a great local museum!  413-542-2335.  41 Quadrangle Drive.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-3pm – LOCAL FOOD/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Today is the last day of the Pittsfield Farmers’ Market Inaugural season!  Come celebrate at their community Pig Roast Party and End-of-Season Celebration.  There will be live music, food, and fun for the whole family following the market (9am-1pm).  Celebrate local food with farmers and friends. Tickets are required and can be purchased in advance or at the door.  More information here.  First & Fenn Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

1pm – ORNITHOLOGY: The Agawam Public Library presents Wingmasters, a live birds of prey program featuring eagles, hawks, and falcons.  Wingmasters aims to increase public understanding and appreciation for North American birds of prey through their programs and presentations.  This program will teach about these remarkable birds and give audience members a chance to ask questions like, “What types of habitats are important for their survival,” and “How long do they live in the wild?”  For ages 5 and up.  Registration is required.  413-789-1550 x3.  750 Cooper Street.  Agawam, MA.

1pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: MASS MoCA invites you and your family to their Family Art Quest, a museum-wide scavenger hunt complete with art-making activities, snacks, and hidden treasures!  Kids of all ages are invited to dress up as mythical creatures in honor of Chinese artist Xu Bing’s gigantic found-material phoenix sculptures, which are only on view through Sunday, October 27.  Integrate your family into the museum with costumes and exploring the museum for clues and treasures… building a love for art and local community art resources like the Museum. 413-662-2111 x1.  1040 MASS MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  $$

1pm – PUPPET SHOW: The myth of dragons, knights and maidens in distress comes to life with Pumpernickel Puppets Co. at the Holyoke Public Library. “Sir George and the Dragon” will be performed in a colorful puppet show in the Community Room at the library.  Families can come see this tale played out and then learn about the “behind the scenes” of a puppet show.  RSVP recommended.   413-322-5640.  335 Maple Street.  Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

1pm-4pm – HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: The Wistariahurst Museum and Holyoke Parks and Recreation are collaborating for a fun-filled family event at Wistariahurst!  “Jeepers Creepers: Ghouls and Goblins” features games, crafts, and activities for kids of all ages.  Please register.  413-322-5620.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

2pm – MUSICAL: 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 – 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.  $

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, giving kids the opportunity to practice concepts of geometry and applying it to the physics of flying. The test the design to learn what factors affect the plane’s ability to fly. Pair your trip with their Kitchen Kaboom event happening earlier in the day at the museum for a little chemistry, visiting the exhibits, aquarium and dioramas inbetween the two events. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

2pm - HALLOWEEN STORYTIME: Join South Hadley’s locally owned, independent book store, the Odyssey Bookshop, for a Halloween storytime and pumpkin decorating event!  Come in costume and listen to spooky stories while decorating pumpkins.  Halloween snacks will be served and there will be a costume contest.  For ages 3 and up.  RSVP by 10/24.  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.

2pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: The Goodwin Memorial Library and Wolf Tree Programs present “A Window Into the Past: Native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands,” a program for kids ages 7-12 that focuses on what life was like for Native Americans in New England before the arrival of the Europeans.  Participants will learn about the tools they used, how to make a fire, what they would have hunted and with what types of weapons.  They also learn about beads use to make jewelry by indigenous hunter-gatherer groups in the Paleolithic age.  This is a great way for kids to learn about indigenous groups of the Northeast and how they lived and thrived before the arrival of the Europeans.  413-584-7451.  Route 47 & Route 9.  Hadley, MA. (FREE)

2pm – CEMETERY TOUR: The Sheffield Historical Society is holding a “Spiritwalk” through Center Cemetery for kids and adults.  Learn about local history on this guided walk.  Rain date is 10/27.  Berkshire School Road.  Sheffield, MA.  >$

2-9pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: Halloween Fun Fest happens on the Common.  Come in costume and spend the day with your kids engaged in your community while celebrating a fun time of year.  There will be hayrides and a celebratory atmosphere.  Participate in creative free play too by decorating pumpkin cookies or carving a pumpkin at home and bringing it to light and display. Family bon fire to warm your toes while connecting with your neighbors begins at 6:30pm. Town Common. Belchertown, MA (FREE)

3-4:30pm – MONSTER MASH BASH: Monster Mash Bash at the Florence VFW with the Northampton Rec Department. Live DJ, snacks, crafts and lots-o-fun! For kids 9yo and younger, accompanied by an adult. Come in costume and bring your parents/guardian with you! 413-587-1040. 18 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (>$)

3pm-5pm – TEENS/HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: The Sunderland Public Library is holding Zombie Fest for tweens and teens.  Learn how to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, put on zombie makeup for a photobooth, and enjoy zombie-themed snacks.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.

3-5pm – SPORTS FANS/HOCKEY: Have your kids been squawking about wanting to play ice hockey?  Today at the Mullins Center practice rink the Amherst Hockey Association will be holding a Try Hockey For Free day for kids ages 4-8yo. Current players and coaches available to assist and to inspire young ice hockey players… a great sport for keeping your kids moving in the colder months while developing the skills of cooperation and team building. Mullins Center Practice Rink. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA (FREE)

4pm - LIBRARY/HALLOWEEN STORY TIME: It’s “Howlarious Halloween” story time at the Grace Hall Memorial Library with Mary Jo Maichack for kids of all ages. Come in costume and hear some funny stories for the season, then check out a book or two for story time tonight at bedtime! 413-862-3894. Montgomery, MA (FREE)

4pm – CULINARY ARTS: Berkshire Co-Op Market is holding a special Halloween “Kids Can Cook” event.  Learn to make low sugar sweet treats for Halloween, like chocolate pumpkin cups and homemade ice cream!  Please call or stop by the front desk to register.  413-528-9697 x10.  42 Bridge Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

4pm - LIBRARY/HALLOWEEN STORY TIME: Goblins and Giggles: Stories for Halloween with Rona Leventhal of Ashfield, MA,  happens this afternoon at the Lenox Library.  Rona is an international storyteller who has put smiles on thousands of faces.  Come hear a tale or two that will put shivers up your spine and send you home with a smile, and maybe even a book you’ve checked out to read with your kids!  Recommended for ages 4 – 10. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA (FREE)

5pm-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.  >$

4:45pm - HALLOWEEN PARTY/RAG SHAG PARADE:  Annual Halloween Party & Rag Shag Parade for families with elementary aged children happens today.  The parade leaves promptly at 5pm from the Hopkins Academy parking lot. Meet at 4:45 pm at Hopkins to march in the parade. Immediately following the parade there will be a  “Spooktacular Mad Science Show” with Halloween themed science to inspired your little scientists!   Bring a trick or treat bag—Refreshments will be served. There will be no parade if it rains! 131 Russell Street. Hadley, MA (FREE)

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.”  Local creatures that inhabit the nature center grounds will emerge to share stories and teach you about themselves and their habitats 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-8pm – HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: Kids ages 2-12 can stop by Red Gate Farm for their “Haunted Farm,” a Halloween celebration featuring a not-so-scary haunted hayride, cider pressing, food, and more.  Come in costume and enjoy this fun Halloween celebration!  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, 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.  >$

5:30-8pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: Halloween party at the town hall gymnasium. Trick-or-treating out back through Watson Park from 5:30-6:30pm.  Party will run 6-8pm. There will be games, prizes, refreshments and entertainment.  Please bring donations of baked goods for our refreshment table.  All are welcome. Town Hall. Blandford, MA (FREE)

6-8pm – CREATURE CRAWL: Along the Canal Walk and Dwight Street, costumed creatures will parade along with the Expandable Brass Band for the annual Creature Crawl.  There will be food, art activities and games along the parade route towards Heritage State Park. Explore the streets of Holyoke, the first planned industrial community in the United States along the Connecticut River, with it’s elaborate canal system that once supported paper and textile mills (hence the nickname, “The Paper City.”). 413-535-5028. Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

6pm-8pm – ASTRONOMY: Discover the night sky with MassAudubon at a presentation and sky-viewing event.  This family astronomy program (for ages 6 and up) invites families to look at and learn about the stars, constellations, and planets in the sky, as well as the science and mythology behind them.  Meet at Hampden Town Hall.  Registration is required.  If you want to continue your learning about the night sky with your family following this event, check out Sky Map, and Android phone app, that allows you to identify the constellations and planets in your night sky. 413-584-3009.  625 Main Street.  Hampden, MA.  $

6:30pm – HAUNTED HOUSE: The town of Middlefield will have a haunted house featuring monsters, werewolves, and more!  Come by for a spooky time in costume with your neighbors and friends.  16 Bell Road.  Middlefield, MA.

6:30pm – 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. $$

6:30pm-9pm – POTLUCK/CULINARY ARTS: The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation and Williams Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program are holding their annual Pie Potluck and People’s Choice Competition today!  Bakers of all ages and pie-lovers are invited to bake pies to bring and share, participate in the People’s Choice pie contest, see a crust-making demonstration by Williams Dining’s lead baker Michael Menard, make candlefloats, sing, and more.  This event brings community members together over homemade food and is a great source of inspiration to get your young bakers in the kitchen cooking up with local ingredients to share at this community event. 413-458-2494.  671 Cold Spring Road.  Williamstown, MA.  >$

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.  $$$

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

7pm – THEATER: The Hampshire Regional High School Drama Company presents their production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, based on the first installments of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.  This fantastical performance will delight all ages and introduce viewers to these classic stories while seeing local teens at their performance finest.  413-695-9293.  9 Stage Road.  Westhampton, MA.  $

7pm & 8:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Explore the Wistariahurst Museum and the Skinner Family Estate by candlelight on their Halloween ghost tours  (7pm & 8:30pm).  This is a rare chance to see the inside of the Skinner Mansion at night while learning about its haunted history!  The Museum is the former home of William Skinner, a silk manufacturer from Western MA whose family donated their estate to the City of Holyoke in the late 50’s.  Tour the Museum by candlelight and learn more about this prominent Pioneer Valley family amongst the museum’s permanent collection of textiles, manuscripts and decorative arts. Registration is required.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, 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.  $$

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 ($)

7:30pm – FILM/MUSIC: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Shapiro, will perform along with the film Frankenstein (1931; not rated).  Come in costume and enjoy this classic horror film with live orchestral accompaniment.  A fun way to expose children to the orchestra while supporting film studies. Ages 4 and up only.  Buy tickets in advance here.  413-733-2291.  1350 Main Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$+

8pm – THEATER: Mary Chase’s comedy production Harvey is at Mill City Productions this month.  The play is about a man and his imaginary friend, a six-and-a-half rabbit named Harvey, and the problems that stem from their friendship.  Older students interested in theater may enjoy this performance.  More information available here.  Located in Western Gateway Heritage State Park’s building 4N.  State Street.  North Adams, MA.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

4:30pm – HALLOWEEN/FILM FESTIVAL: The Palmer Historical and Cultural Center is hosting the “Scared Stiff Halloween Horror Film Festival,” which features chosen written and film submissions that fit with the horror/Halloween theme.  Please call for more information.  413-289-9295.  2072 Main Street.  Three Rivers, MA.

7pm-11pm – PUB TOUR: Dress as your favorite movie star from a Hollywood classic and spend the night out in downtown Westfield for the third annual Haunted Harvest Halloween Restaurant and Pub Tour! Parents can meander through town to numerous locations, each decked out in Halloween decorations and filled with other costumed stars. Westfield, MA. ($$)

8pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: Come to Bousquet for a Halloween party!  The theme is “Forest of Grim” and DJ BFG will perform.  413-442-8316.  101 Dan Fox Drive.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

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Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see 6 years of archived shows.

TBA – HIKING: Join the Appalachian Mountain Club for a family hike at Mount Sugarloaf on an easy two-mile round trip hike.  Named after the loaf-like shape that sugar historically was molded into for shipment, this butte-like mountain offers views of the Connecticut River Valley. With the leaves falling, the colors of autumn will surround you, giving you a better view of trees and shrubs that call Mount Sugarloaf home.  Registration is required.  Call 401-523-4672 to find out time.  300 Sugarloaf Street.  South Deerfield, MA.

9am – HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: Bernardston’s Scarecrow in the Park celebration takes place 10/26 and 10/27.  Local artists and crafters will be present and there will be tons of fun activities for all ages, including pumpkin decorating, food, kids’ games, an antique tractor parade, fireworks, and more.  413-648-9656.  Brattleboro Road.  Bernardston, MA.

9am-4pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: The Amelia Park Children’s Museum is hosting a day of fun Halloween activities, including face-painting, treats, a fortune teller, jack-o-lantern decorating, and more.  Come in costume and enjoy these exciting activities at this fun family-friendly Museum!  Free with museum admission.  413-572-4014.  29 South Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  $

10am-4pm – PLANT STUDIES: The Berkshire Community College Orchid and Tropical Show takes place 10/26 and 10/27 at the Paterson Field House.  This weekend celebrates orchids, succulents, bromeliads, bonsai, and other tropical plants.  Learn about the different types of environments these plants need to thrive in and their adaptations that support their pollination.  With twenty exhibits, features vendors, demonstrations, educational talks, and workshops, find out what types of insects pollinate the different species of plants and how you might be able to grow them in your own home.  Discover this exciting world of unique and beautiful plants while learning all about them!  More information can be found here.  413-236-2185.  1350 West Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  >$

11am & 1pm – KIDS CONCERT: Mister G’s Halloween Fiesta is coming to the Academy of Music!  Come in costume and rock out to Mister G’s new, Grammy-nominated, bilingual album ABC Fiesta.  This concert is fun for kids of all ages, so come and enjoy the show and get ready for Halloween!  Please get tickets in advance on the Academy of Music website or by phone.  413-584-9032 x105.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $ — Hilltown Families is a proud sponsor of this music event.

10am-4pm – LIBRARY/BOOK SALE: Come by the Bushnell-Sage Library for their book sale and pick up some new reads for the winter months. They will have a great selection of newly donated books at good prices, making this a great way to update your bookshelf without breaking the bank. Let the kids pick out their own children’s titles too, inspiring a love for reading. 413-229-7004.  48 Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.

12noon-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: In the spirit of the major construction activity under way at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute as it enters the final phase of its expansion project, the Institute will hold a free construction-themed Family Day. Children of all ages will delight in the activities planned for the day, including: “Great Big Cardboard Building Challenge,” in which kids of all ages can create large-scale buildings using sturdy cardboard; Tonka Truck play area, complete with all kinds of toy construction vehicles and large piles of wood chips, gravel, and dirt to spark building and excavation ideas; Sketching gallery artwork on cardboard at Stone Hill Center;  Trail walks up Stone Hill, culminating in hayrides, jack-o’-lantern carving, free cider, and enjoying a bird’s-eye view of the expansion project. 413-458-0471. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

12noon-2pm & 2-5pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: A community Polish dinner will be served from 12noon-2pm at the Ashfield Community Hall.  Then the legendary Eddie Forman Orchestra will take the main stage at the Ashfield Town Hall from 2-5pm providing an afternoon of amazing music and dancing! The PolkFest celebrates the many families who immigrated in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Coming from the Eastern European countries of Poland, Ukraine, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, these families have richly contributed to the Pioneer Valley’s cultural heritage. 413-628-3299. Town Hall. Ashfield, MA ($$)

12:45-4:30pm – HALLOWEEN FEST: Did you miss the Westhampton annual Pumpkin Roll last weekend? Amherst LSSE hosts their first ever annual Halloween Fest on the north common today.  Costume parade and carnival too!  Amherst, MA (FREE/>$)

1pm – CEMETERY TOUR: The David Ruggles Center for Early Florence History presents a Florence Graveyard Tour – Celebrating the Park Street Cemetery.  Steve Strimer will lead the tour, and will discuss the burials of anti-slavery activists, educators, and progressive industrialists that founded Florence.  Those who are interested in local history and the Underground Railroad will enjoy this tour, which introduces cemetery visitors to Florence’s rich and interesting history and the residents that helped to shape not only local history, but had an impact on the course of National history. Park Street.  Florence, MA.

2pm – THEATER: Mary Chase’s comedy production Harvey is at Mill City Productions this month.  The play is about a man and his imaginary friend, a six-and-a-half rabbit named Harvey, and the problems that stem from their friendship.  Older students interested in theater may enjoy this performance.  More information available here.  Located in Western Gateway Heritage State Park’s building 4N.  State Street.  North Adams, MA.

2pm – THEATER: The Hampshire Regional High School Drama Company presents their production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, based on the first installments of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.  This fantastical performance will delight all ages and introduce viewers to these classic stories while seeing local teens at their performance finest.  413-695-9293.  9 Stage Road.  Westhampton, 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 that are on exhibit right here in Western MA.  413-542-2335.  Route 9 & Route 116.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

2-5pm – HALLOWEEN CRAFTS: All Hallow’s Crafternoon at The Haberdashery.  Bring the family for an afternoon of seasonal crafts, like pumpkin carving, candy-making, costume making… and much merry-making at this new establishment. All ages welcomed. 63 Bradford Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

2-6pm – FARM FESTIVAL: The Greenfield Community Farm is hosting a Fall Farm Festival!  There will be activities for all ages and interests: a farm tour; a pig tractor demonstration; workshops; a food policy discussion and letter-writing; medicinal plant harvesting and distribution; weed dating; work projects; kids’ activities and childcare; clowns, juggling, and face-painting; music and theatre performances; a potluck with barbeque and hot soup; a campfire; and hot apple cider. Wow!  Loads of opportunities to learn about local farming while having fun with your family and new friends! 413-376-8333. 34 Glenbrook Drive. Greenfield, MA (>$)

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)

3pm – CONCERT: The West Country Jazz Band performs at the Shaw Hudson House to help raise money for the House.  The group plays mainstream jazz music, including compositions by Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock, and Miles Davis.  Come by and hear this great concert – you can maybe even learn a few things about important Plainfield residents of the past! Children with audience skills welcomed. 286 Main Street.  Plainfield, MA.  $

3pm & 6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Tour Holyoke’s Forestdale Cemetery with historian Penni Martorell.  She will reveal the lives and histories of many of Holyoke’s earliest residents.  Learn how diseases like whooping cough, smallpox and influenza took the lives of paper and textile mill workers and their young children in the late 1800 and early 1900’s. This beautiful cemetery has many stories to tell you, and tales of the residents buried there will broaden your understanding of the history of Holyoke and the people who lived there before you. Tours take place at 3pm and 6pm.  Registration is required.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

3-5:30pm – LITTLE GOBLINS FUN HOUSE: The Dalton Youth Center will host a Little Goblins Fun House for a not-so-spooky fun time for kids age 6yo and younger. Candy & health snacks with be distributed. 413-684-0260. 400 Main St. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

3pm-6pm – DANCE: There will be a family-friendly community contra dance at Flywheel Arts Collective today to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center.  Live music will be performed by Jim Armenti, Joe Blumenthal, Sue Burkhart, and Amy Rose.  No prior experience is necessary and there will be a class for beginners from 3pm-3:30pm.  This is a great chance to have fun with your family and neighbors while supporting a local community music center that fosters a love of music in children and adults.  413-585-0001.  43 Main Street.  Easthampton, 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. 413-204-555. Parking for the tours will be available in St. Mary’s Church Parking Lot on Mechanic Street. Westfield, MA (>$)

6:30pm – HAUNTED HOUSE: The town of Middlefield will have a haunted house featuring monsters, werewolves, and more!  Come by for a spooky time.  16 Bell Road.  Middlefield, MA.

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Monday, October 28th, 2013

10am – HALLOWEEN PARADE: Join the Easthampton Family Center for a Halloween parade at the Easthampton Municipal Building.  The parade and trick-or-treating take place in the building, and then families can head to the Family Center for more Halloween fun.  413-527-5496.  50 Payson Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.

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.  $

4pm-5pm - LIBRARY/READING TO DOGS: Young early readers can benefit from reading aloud to a non-judging, non-threatening audience.  This is why the East Longmeadow Public Library is holding an event during which kids can come read to Cassie, a trained reading therapy dog.  Kids can come sit in the library’s book nook and spend one-on-one time with Cassie, reading to her and gaining confidence reading aloud.  Please call to register and sign up for a specific time slot.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

6pm – STORYTIME: The Westfield Athenaeum is hosting a pajama storytime for kids ages 2-4.  Kids should come dressed in pajamas and can even bring along a favorite stuffed animal.  Please register in advance.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

3:30pm – PUMPKIN CARVING: Join the residents of Worthington for pumpkin carving in preparation of Halloween at the Town Hall. Worthington, 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. (FREE)
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Come by the Goodwin Memorial Library for “Lunatunes!” a dynamic storytime with songs, movement, stories, and original art.  For babies through age 5.  413-584-7451.  Route 47 & Route 9.  Hadley, MA.  (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman is returning to the Hilltowns for a weekly drop-in group for mothers of young children.  The group offers a supportive environment for mothers to discuss motherhood and all aspects of raising young children.  Takes place at the St. John’s Corner House Mission.  413-625-6948.  469 Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.
  • 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. (FREE)
  • 6pm-7pm – CHESS: The Sunderland Public Library is holding chess club every Tuesday until the end of November.  Come by and learn the art and science of chess, including sportsmanship, fair play, and how to learn from one another.  This program is intended for children and their parents or caregivers, and will teach the whole family a great way to bond and spend time together.  Ages 7 and up.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.

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Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

3-5pm - PUMPKIN CARVING: Families are invited to the Dan Raymond House for a pumpkin carving contest hosted by the Sheffield Historical Society.  Bring tools and accessories for your pumpkin – the pumpkins will be provided by Howden Farm.  Cost is $5 per pumpkin.  Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.  >$

5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Springfield Preservation Trust is offering a twilight tour of Oak Grove Cemetery which opened for burials in 1882.  Docents will lead visitors around the graveyard to six different graves, where costumed interpreters will speak about each person, including philanthropist Primus Mason and clothing store pioneer Lyman Besse.  Half-hour tours leave every fifteen minutes from 5pm-6:45pm.  Tickets must be purchased in advance and can be found here.  413-736-0629.  Bay Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$

6pm – ASTRONOMY: The Westfield Athenaeum and Dr. Kevin Manning present “Astronomy for Everyone: Size and Scale of the Universe.”  Audience members will learn all about the stars and the universe, and will get the chance (weather permitting) to view the night sky with a powerful telescope.  You can hope to see the rings of Saturn, the craters of the moon, and more!  All ages.  Registration is required.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – RAG SHAG PARADE: Easthampton Rag Shag parade begins at Maple Street School and marches to the Williston Quadrangle for treats to be handed out.  Easthampton, MA (FREE) [Rain date: 10/30]

6:30pm – HISTORY: Lighthouse historian Jeremy D’Entremont presents “Haunted Lighthouses of New England” at the Storrs Library.  He will tell tales of spooky activities in several New England lighthouses, show a slideshow of new and historic lighthouses photos, and play audio clips.  This talk is a fun chance to learn about this unique bit of New England’s history.  413-565-4181.  693 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, 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.  $$$

7pm – HISTORY: Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation presents “New England’s Other Witch Hunt,” a lecture by Connecticut State Historian and UConn professor Walter Woodward.  This talk would be of interest to older students who like regional history and want to learn more about witch hunts in New England.  413-357-8814.  42 Water Street.  Granville, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – DINING: Tonight is “All Hallows Eats,” the Pioneer Valley Halloween-themed Dishcrawl.  This event is a great way to try out some of Amherst’s many restaurants – buy your tickets, come in costume (if you wish), and walk around Amherst trying different foods.  Dishcrawls allow you to sample different dishes at several restaurants in one night and all food is included with the cost of the ticket.  Tickets and more information can be found here.  Amherst, MA. $$$

7-9pm – PECHAKUCHAT: Tonight is the Berkshire Museum’s Halloween-themed PechaKucha night.  PechaKucha is a presentation format invented by an architecture firm in Japan and limits presenters to twenty slides, each twenty seconds long.  The 20×20 format helps presenters talk more concisely and for a shorter amount of time, so no audience members lose interest.  The format also helps to stimulate creative thinking.  Adults are invited to present at PechaKucha night or just watch others give their talks.  Free beer will be provided by Wandering Star Craft Brewery.  Come in costume and get in for free!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  >$

7:30pm - CULTURAL STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES:  The Idan Raichel Project will perform at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center in one of two New England shows.  The group, known for their live concert experience and their cross-cultural, boundary-breaking collaboration, released their latest record, “Quarter to Six,” this past June.  Idan Raichel, an Israeli composer, keyboardist and producer, has co-written and performed with artists including India.Arie and Alicia Keys.  Don’t miss what the Boston Globe calls “a fascinating window into the young, tolerant, multi-ethnic Israel taking shape away from the headlines.”  Tickets can be purchased online or by phone.  413-545-2511.  151 Presidents Drive.  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)

  • 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 30th, 2013

10am-11:30am – HALLOWEEN STORYWALK: Put on your Halloween costume and join the Wheeler Memorial Library for a special Halloween StoryWalk!  Stroll through Grove Street Cemetery as you read Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington and enjoy related activities.  978-544-2495 x103.  49 East Main Street.  Orange, MA.

12:15pm-1:45pm - PARENT WORKSHOP: North Star is hosting a Teen Resources Panel, where representatives from local organizations that provide resources for teens will speak about their organizations and centers.  This is a good way for parents, caregivers, and teachers to learn about some great local resources.  413-582-0193.  135 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.

1:30pm-2:30pm – SCIENCE: Kids in K-3 can learn all about simple machines with Helen Ann Sephton from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment at the Wendell Free Library!  Kids will learn about machines using levers, pulleys, wheels, axles, and inclined planes through hands-on activities and solving challenges.  This is part of a four-part “Exploring Science” series sponsored by the Community Network for Children and a great hands-on opportunity for kids to relate to the physics and construction of simple machines.  Pre-registration is required.  More information and registration forms can be found here.  978-544-5157.  7 Wendell Depot Road.  Wendell, MA.

3pm-5pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Whately Library is hosting a Halloween-themed arts and crafts project.  Drop by for this fun Halloween activity among the stacks, then go on a hunt for a great title to check out and take home to read together!  413-665-2170.  202 Chestnut Plain Road.  Whately, MA.

3:15pm-7pm - HALLOWEEN PARTY: Hampshire Regional YMCA is having a Halloween party today!  Come in costume for fun activities, including zumba (3:30pm-4pm).  413-584-7086.  286 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.

5pm-7pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: Children can come trick or treat indoors and a day early at UMass Amherst’s Northeast Residential Area.  Students will be in their rooms to give out candy and there will be Halloween-themed activities, like trick-or-treat bag decorating, coloring, and Halloween movies, in the lobbies and lounges of the buildings.  North Pleasant Street & Eastman Lane.  Amherst, MA.

5:30pm-7pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: The Emily Williston Memorial Library is hosting a Halloween party for family members of all ages!  Come in costume and enjoy fun for grown-ups and kids, including storytime, activities, and more.  413-527-1031.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.

6-7pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: The Sheffield Historical Society is holding a trick-or-treating event for kids at the Dan Raymond House.  “A Walk on the Dark Side” will feature zombies, pumpkins, cider, and trick-or-treating.  Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.

6pm-10pm – HAUNTED HOUSE: Westfield State University’s Department of Residential Life is holding “Night of the Residential Living Dead.”  Their 28th annual haunted house will be in Scanlon Banquet Hall.  There will also be a “Fun Stop,” which is a room full of kid-friendly games and activities for those who are too young for the haunted house.  577 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.

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.  $$$

7pm – POLITICAL/CULTURAL STUDIES:  Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield invites you to the first of their five-part Human Rights Speaker Series of the 2013-2014 season:  Lynn Pasquerella, “Revisiting the Promise of Women’s Leadership – Uncommon Women for the Common Good.”  Pasquerella is the president of Mt. Holyoke College, a philosopher and an ethicist, and a staunch advocate for both local and global community engagement and social justice.  Students interested in gender studies, cultural studies, social justice, and education will find this talk of particular interest.  The talk is free, and open to the public.  413-443-6401.  492 Holmes Road.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm - FILM/CULTURAL STUDIES: UMass Amherst’s New Asia Cinema is screening an anime film (title TBA) for Halloween and holding a costume contest.  Older students interested in anime are encouraged to come to the screening dressed as a favorite anime character, or one inspired by anime, manga, pop culture, music, or one from your own imagination!  The film will be in Japanese with English subtitles.  Takes place in the Flavin Family Auditorium in the Isenberg School of Management building.  121 Presidents Drive.  Amherst, MA.

7:30pm – HALLOWEEN CONCERT: Tonight is the 20th annual Rev Tor Halloween Jam at the Colonial Theater.  Rev Tor and Friends, along with loads of other great musicians, will perform at this family Halloween spooktacular!  A costume contest, pranks, gags, and the famous haunted bathrooms await families at the Colonial Theater.  The concert is a benefit for Moments House, a local non-profit offering free programs and activities to those who have been impacted by a diagnosis of cancer.  More information and tickets can be found here.  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, 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-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 31st, 2013

ALL DAY – HALLOWEEN COSTUMES: Come to the Richmond Free Library dressed in your costume and enjoy some Halloween activities, like getting your picture taken, choosing a free book from the book sale, and getting some yummy treats.  413-698-3834.  2821 State Road.  Richmond, MA.

11am - HALLOWEEN PARADE: The Berkshire Athenaeum will host a preschool & toddler Halloween Parade, stopping at the various departments at the library.  A fun way to tour the library! 413-499-9480. One Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

11am – HALLOWEEN STORYTIME/PARADE: The Westfield Athenaeum invites kids ages 3-5 to a not-so-scary Halloween storytime, to be followed by a mini parade around the different library departments.  Kids are invited to come in costume.  Please pre-register.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

12:15pm - LOCAL HISTORY: This week’s Museums a la Carte Lecture at the Springfield Museums is “Ghosts of the Quadrangle” with architect William J. Devlin.  Devlin will tell of his experiences in the museum quadrangle in the ‘50s and will trace the history back hundreds of years.  Takes place in the Davis Auditorium at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

2:30-5pm – TRICK-OR-READ: Halloween Trick-or-Read event at the Hatfield Library. Bring you little ones in costume for some fun amongst the stacks! There will be a monster photo booth and opportunities for creative free play with DIY crafts!  Leave with a free book to encourage reading together as a family. Hatfield, MA (FREE)

3pm-4:30pm – HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL: The Rudolf Steiner School is hosting “Halloween Tricks and Treats,” an afternoon of activities, games, food, fortune tellers, a haunted house, and more.  Hosted by the Eighth Grade Ghouls and Goblins.  413-528-4015.  35 West Plain Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  >$

3-5pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: The Bushnell-Sage Library hosts a Halloween Party for kids 5-10yo.  Games, music, magic and more!  Call to register. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street.  Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

3pm-5pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: Come trick-or-treat in Turners Falls today!  Participating businesses can be identified by a bright orange pumpkin displayed in their door or window.  In addition to trick-or-treating fun, kids can come by Greenfield Savings Bank between 3:30pm and 5pm for a free portrait of them in costume!  Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.

3-6pm – HALLOWEEN COMIC FEST: Kids dressing up as their favorite comic book hero or heroine? Modern Myths hosts a Halloween comic fest! Free Halloween Comics for all Trick-R-Treaters!  Wear a costume and have your photo taken too.  413-582-6973.  34 Bridge St # 4. Northampton, MA (FREE)

3pm-6pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: Get in costume and come out for Downtown Northampton’s Trick-Or-Treat!  Participating stores will have a “Trick-Or-Treat” poster in their windows.  413-582-0723.  Downtown.  Northampton, MA.

Chandler's Restaurant4pm & 5:30pm – HALLOWEEN DINNER: Chandler’s Restaurant is hosting a Witches Ball Halloween dinner!  Come in costume and enjoy Halloween-themed foods with your family.  Kids can choose from the Halloween menu (>$ per child) and adults will be offered the dinner menu (>$-$$$).  In addition to delicious food, there will be kids karaoke, pumpkin decorating, and trick-or-treating around Yankee Candle Village!  Reservations are required.  413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road.  South Deerfield, MA.

4pm-6:30pm – RAG SHAG PARADE: Greenfield’s annual rag shag parade, downtown trick or treat, and costume contest take place tonight!  Come in costume for Halloween tricks and treats!  413-772-1553.  Downtown.  Greenfield, MA.

TBA – RAG SHAG PARADE: Today is the annual Turners Falls Rag Shag Parade!  Kids in 6th grade and younger are invited to participate in the parade and costume contest.  Parade starts in Food City parking lot and then goes down Avenue A.  413-863-3216.  250 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.

4pm – RAG SHAG PARADE & HAUNTED HOUSE: Kids can parade through downtown Chesterfield for a Halloween parade and visit the town hall for a haunted house at 5pm. Route 143. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

5pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: The Lee Premium Outlets is hosting a trick-or-treat!  Participating stores will display a pumpkin sign on their window and kids in costume can go and get treats.  17 Premium Outlets Boulevard.  Lee, MA.

5pm - RAG SHAG PARADE: Lenox Community Centers’ annual Halloween parade begins at St. Ann’s and goes through town and ends up at LCC with treats being passed out.  Town wide trick or treating follows from 5:30-7pm. Lenox, MA (FREE)

5-7pm – ENCHANTED KINGDOM: Looking for an alternative to scary haunted houses tonight? This afternoon the All Soul’s Unitarian Universalist Church will host an Enchanted Kingdom for kids ages 3-10yo. Bring your family for an interactive fantasy world with a magic castle & fairy garden and an enchanted forest & under sea world. Take place during the Greenfield Rag Shag parade in Downtown Greenfield. 399 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (>$)

5-8pm – RAG SHAG PARADE: Florence annual Rag Shag Parade will be stepping off from Trinity Row Park on the corner of Main & South Main St. at 6pm. Route 9 (Main St) will be closed at this time for the parade to march to the Florence Civic & Business Center where kids can pick up a goody bag and costume judging will take place. Gathering at Trinity Row will start around 5pm. Florence, MA (FREE)

TBA – RAG SHAG PARADE: Celebrate Halloween at the Williamsburg Halloween parade!  After the parade, stop by the Meekins Library for candy, treats, and fun.  Route 9.  Williamsburg, MA.

5-8pm – DAY OF THE DEAD: Stop by the Meekins Library and enjoy treats and Pan de Muertos (Day of the Dead Bread). Bring your Day of the Dead mementos to add to the community altar too. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

5:30pm - RAG SHAG PARADE: Cummington’s annual Rag Shag Parade.  Meet in the Berkshire Trail Elementary school parking lot at 5:15pm. Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)

6pm-8pm - HALLOWEEN STORY/LITERATURE: Edith Wharton’s short story “Kerfol” (1916) is one of her most famous ghost stories.  Hear this story read aloud at The Mount for a fun and interesting Halloween evening!  Free cider will be provided and other refreshments and snacks will be available for purchase.  Tickets can be bought online.  413-551-5100.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  $$

6-8pm - TRUNK OR TREAT: Held in the parking lot of the Chesterfield Congregational Church will be a “Trunk or Treat” event. At “Trunk or Treat,” all those interested can park their vehicles in the church parking lot, open their trunks, and hand out candy.  Feel free to decorate your trunk and bring a chair to relax.  “Trunk or Treat” is an opportunity to offer kids a safe and friendly option for trick-or-treating. Route 143. Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

6:30pm – HAUNTED HOUSE: The town of Middlefield will have a haunted house featuring monsters, werewolves, and more!  Come by for a spooky time.  16 Bell Road.  Middlefield, MA.

6:30pm & 7:30pm – HALLOWEEN FILM: The Garden Cinemas will screen “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!”  413-774-4881. 361 Main Street. Greenfield, 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.  $$$

8:30pm & 10:30pm –  – 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. $$

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-11am – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: New parents and their infants from birth to one year are invited to a support group at the Greenwood Children’s Center.  Come share stories about the new little one in your life.  413-565-4163.  231 Maple Road.  Longmeadow, 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, November 1st, 2013

Download a Kindness Calendar for the month of November!

1pm-3pm – VOLUNTEER/GARDENING: Volunteer to help clean up Naumkeag this fall!  The Trustees of Reservations will need help clearing leaves and preparing the grounds for winter.  A great opportunity for families to volunteer together at a beautiful historic site.  413-298-3239 x3013.  5 Prospect Hill Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)

5pm-7pm – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum is holding a WeeRead Pajama Party, where kids can come to the Museum in their pajamas for a night of reading and storytelling.  Each gallery will feature a different story and storyteller, and families can receive free copies of the books while supplies last.  This is an exciting storytime opportunity and a chance to explore the Museum.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – HAUNTED HAYRIDE: The Great Barrington Historical Society will host a Haunted Hayride. Leaves the GBHS Wheeler House on Main Street. Great Barrington, MA (>$)

7pm - STORYTELLING/HISTORY: The Agawam Cultural Council’s Applause Series presents “Gothic Victorian Tales by Candlelight,” a one-woman storytelling program performed by Rita Parisi.  This theatrical storytelling is adapted from the original stories of Sarah Orne Jewett, a well-known New England writer from the 19th century.  The tales deal with curses, death, and immortality and would therefore be appropriate for older teens and adults.  This performance takes place at the Agawam Public Library.  413-789-1550.  750 Cooper Street.  Agawam, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: The Springfield Museums’ rooftop telescope will be open for a sky viewing tonight!  Curator of Physical Science Richard Sanderson will present a talk titled “Comet ISON: Comet of the Century?”  Comet ISON was recently discovered and is expected to make an appearance in late November.  This event is recommended for ages 8 and up.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, 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 – 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)

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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