Holiday Events for Families in Western MA: 2013

Find out about family holiday events in Western MA!
We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to
check back each week!

Friday, November 29th — Thursday, December 5th, 2013
Friday, December 6th — Thursday, December 12th, 2013
Friday, December 13th — Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Friday, December 20th — Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Berkshire CountyFranklin CountyHampden CountyHampshire County

Tree LightingSantaHoliday StrollsMYO GiftsCaroling/Choral Music ♦ HanukkahChristmasKwanzaa ♦ Winter Solstice

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Friday, November 29th — Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Saturday, November 30th at 9am – SANTA: Don’t miss Yankee Candle’s holiday celebration for kids of all ages!  Santa’s elves will entertain and then Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by helicopter at Yankee Candle Village (10am)!  There will also be souvenir reindeer antlers, hot chocolate and cookies, carolers, balloon making, pictures with Santa, deals at the Yankee Candle store, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and more!  The event is free but some activities may have fees.  More information available here.  877-636-7707.  25 Greenfield Road.  South Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, November 30th at 9:30am – HOLIDAY PARADE: The Florence Holiday Parade steps off at Trinity Row and marches down towards the Civic Center!  Bring family and friends and come usher in the holidays with this fun parade.  Meet Santa and enjoy a festive morning. Downtown.  Florence, MA.

Saturday, November 30th from 10am-4pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Westfield’s Dickens Days kicks off with their Village Stroll!  Musicians and performers will be around town to make this Victorian shopping celebration extra special.  The first Saturday after Thanksgiving is also Small Business Saturday, and those who wish to participate and shop at local stores can pick up a Westfield BID shopping bag at the Downtown Art Gallery (105 Elm Street; 10am-3pm) for special deals and discounts!  Don’t miss this opportunity to see Westfield transformed into a Victorian village while supporting local shops and restaurants.  413-562-2277.  Downtown.  Westfield, MA.

Saturday, November 30th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Berkshire Bach Players are holding a Handel’s Messiah Sing-In at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington.  All are welcome to come usher in the holidays and sign in this informal chorus.  You are welcome to bring your own score or borrow one at the Church.  This event would be best for older students interested in classical music.  413-528-9277.  251 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, November 30th at 5:30pm – PARADE/TREE LIGHTING: Westfield’s Dickens Days Lanternlight Parade and Tree Lighting take place in Downtown Westfield!  The festive parade features music, community groups, giant puppets, Dickens Days spirits, Santa Claus, and more.  Follow the parade down Elm Street to Park Square, where the mayor will light the city’s 20-foot tree.  The Youth Chorale of the Full Gospel Church of Westfield will also perform at this event.  Families are welcome to create their own puppets at the South Middle School cafeteria (West Silver Street) from 11am-1pm, and then show their puppets off in the parade!  Celebrate the holidays and engage with your community on this special day.  413-562-2277.  Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.

Saturday, November 30th at 7pm & Sunday, December 1st at 2pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Celebrate Christmas early at the Colonial Theater! Berkshire Theater Group presents Mary Verdi, a local singer-songwriter who annually performs for the holidays in the Berkshires. The show will feature a children’s and bell choir plus a full band for families to sing-along with to old holiday favorites  Families will love this special night of nostalgia and holiday music! Best for kids with audience skills. 413-997-4444. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 1st at 9am – HANUKKAH/COMMUNITY MEAL: B’Nai Torah is holding their annual Katz Family Chanukah Breakfast!  There will be food, entertainment, and a kids vs. adults sufganiyah  catapult contest.  Spend time with family and friends at this fun community meal.  413-567-0036.  2 Eunice Drive.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 1st from 10am-12noon – CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: Sláinte is holding a “Cookies and Milk with Santa” event for kids!  There will be face painting, balloon sculptures, letters to Santa, Christmas carols, and an opportunity for kids to meet Santa himself.  Kids will love this fun Christmas celebration!  Please bring one unwrapped gift for the Rotary for Children’s Toy Drive.  413-534-4000.  80 Jarvis Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 1st from 4pm-8pm – HANUKKAH: Congregation B’nai Israel is hosting “A Really Great Chanukah Party!”  This family-friendly event features a live band, dancing, menorah lighting, homemade latkes and treats, and beer for grown-ups.  There will also be a movie screening.  413-584-3593.  253 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Sunday, December 1st from 11am-2pm – HANUKKAH: Celebrate Chanukah at Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy’s Chanukah Wonderland!  You can get your face painted, meet Judah Maccabee, do crafts, play games, see a magic show, and make your own doughnuts.  Join together with family and your community at this fun Chanukah event.  Lunch is available for purchase at the event.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 1st at 6pm – TREE LIGHTING/SANTA: Santa will arrive by fire engine to help with Lenox Dale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Memorial Park tonight!  Kids will have a chance to meet Santa and pose for photos at the Fire Station (Elm Street), where gifts and refreshments will be distributed.  This fun community holiday event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company.  413-637-5542.  Walker Street & Crystal Street.  Lenox Dale, MA.

Monday, December 2nd at 1:10pm – HANUKKAH: Help light the largest menorah in Springfield with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy in Court Square at this community Hanukkah celebration!  There will also be Hanukkah songs, latkes, and hot cocoa.  413-567-8665.  Downtown.  Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 2nd at 2pm – HANUKKAH: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the annual Chanukah Celebration today in the Majestic Theater Lobby Cafe.  Celebrate Hanukkah with community members at this special event.  413-263-3284.  Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 2nd at 6:30pm – HANUKKAH/SCIENCE: Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy invites you to the Electric Chanukah Dinner and Show.  Families can come for dinner, a menorah lighting, a performance by the LYA Choir, and Fun with Energy with Jeff Boyer (6:30pm).  Boyer will demonstrate to kids the wonders of energy and how it makes our world work through activities and interactive demonstrations.  Please RSVP ASAP.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  $

Wednesday, December 4th at 6pm – HANUKKAH: Celebrate Hanukkah in the Westfield Athenaeum Courtyard (Court Street) with the mayor as he lights the menorah, and then attend a community Hanukkah party at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum (29 South Broad Street)!  This is a fun way to celebrate Hanukkah with family and community members.  413-562-2277.  Westfield, MA.

Thursday, December 5th at 4pm – CHRISTMAS STORY TIME: The Odyssey Bookshop hosts a special holiday themed reading… The Grinch himself will read aloud from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Enjoy free giveaways, stickers, snacks and more! There will even be a photo opportunity with the Grinch himself— so parents, don’t forget to bring your cameras! Odyssey Bookshop. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 5th at 5:45pm – CHRISTMAS CAROLS: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the 26th Annual Caroling on the Green event in the Elm Street Gazebo.  Community members are welcome to attend and sing along!  413-263-3284.  Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.

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Friday, December 6th — Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Friday, December 6th from 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.”  This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest,  Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more.  This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$$

Friday, December 6th at 5:30pm – TREE LIGHTING: Pittsfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is tonight at Park Square!  There will be performances by the Berkshire Hills Chorus and the Taconic High School Chorus before and after the ceremony, an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, free hot chocolate, and more.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to the Christian Center’s food pantry.  Downtown.  Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, December 6th at 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: The town of Lenox will light their Christmas tree in Lilac Park!  Come with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and meet with Santa!  Lenox, MA.

Friday, December 6th from 6:30pm-8:30pm – FROSTY FESTIVAL: The Westfield YMCA is holding their annual Frosty Festival with Mr. and Mrs. Claus tonight!  Families can come dressed in ugly sweaters for swimming, a kids’ carnival, crafts, a bake sale, and much more!  This is a great event for the whole family to attend together to get into the holiday spirit.  413-568-8631.  67 Court Street.  Westfield, MA.  >$

Friday, December 6th – Sunday, December 8th at 7pm or 7:30pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: The Belchertown Performing Arts Center presents “A Christmas Carol.” 413-323-7442. 18 Park Street. Belchertown, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th from 8:30am & 10:30am – BREAKFAST W/SANTA: Join the Westfield State University community for breakfast with Santa in Scanlon Banquet Hall.  Admission to the meal includes breakfast, face painting, a gift for each child, and entertainment by the Melha clowns.  A great way for families to spend time together with other community members.  Tickets available here.  413-572-5218.  577 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  $

Saturday, December 7th from 9:30am-11am – BREAKFAST W/SANTA: Come have breakfast with Santa at the Garden House at Look Park!  The whole family will love this delicious breakfast buffet and enjoy having the opportunity to hang out with Santa.  Reservations requested.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  $

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-11:30am – MYO GIFTS: Come make holiday cards with friends and family at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!  All materials will be provided, so bring your creativity and make five fun cards and envelopes.  For ages 3 and up.  Registration is requested.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-11:30am – HOLIDAY STORYTIME: As part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, the Stockbridge Library is hosting a children’s holiday storytime.  Kids can come hear favorite holiday stories!  413-298-5501.  46 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA. 

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-3pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Home for the Holidays in downtown Greenfield. Greenfield, known for its picturesque and vibrant downtown, features a quintessential American Main Street where you can enjoy dining, shopping, entertainment, history, architecture, and recreation by simply taking a stroll. At the season’s Home for the Holidays celebration, you’ll find Santa, caroling, shopping & hot chocolate to warm up with.  413-774-2791. Veterans Mall, downtown Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th & December 8th from 11am-4pm – YULETIDE: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowtown Village’s Yuletide!  This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment.  There will be traditional music, dance, holiday songs, people in period costume, ice sculpting, kid’s activities, a petting zoo, visits with Santa, and much more.  More Storrowtown Yuletide information can be found here.  413-205-5051.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-4pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Explore some of Stockbridge’s historic homes and properties as past of Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas on this Holiday House Tour.  The self-guided tour will take you to October Mountain Farm, 1862 Seasons on Main B&B, Merwin House, Southmayd, Naumkeag, and Windermere.  Discover local history and learn about the Stockbridge of the past on this tour.  Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Chamber of Commerce or on the day of at the Red Lion Inn.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$$

Saturday, December 7th from 1pm-5:30pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Today is the South Hadley Holiday Stroll!  Come into town for events for the whole family, like a holiday craft activity at the Gaylord Library, musical performances, a parade with Santa, activities at Odyssey Books, a tree lighting, and more.  A full schedule can be found here.  Downtown.  South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 3pm-6pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Williamstown’s 30th Annual Holiday Walk includes fun activities for the whole family!  The Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, where Williamstown’s cutest dogs stroll down Spring Street in their holiday best.  You can then go see Santa and a holiday bake-off at The Log.  There will also be live music throughout the day, a toy drive, caroling, and more.  A full schedule and list of events can be found here.  Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, December 7th at 4:15pm – TREE LIGHTING: Holiday Tree Lighting in Pulaski Park. Mrs. Claus will lead the singing, and Santa will arrive on a Northampton Fire Truck. Choral music. Free hot chocolate and cookies. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 3-4:30pm: CAROLING: Start a new family tradition and take the kids to go Christmas Caroling in a horse drawn wagon with Blue Star Equiculture Horse Rescue. After your ride, warm up with hot cider and refreshments and visit their rescue horses. 413-289-9787. 3090 Palmer Street Rte 181. Palmer, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel.  Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols.  In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries.  413-597-4277.  Route 2.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 6pm-7pm – CAROLING: Participate in the Caroling Luminaria Walk as part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festivities.  Meet in front of the Red Lion Inn with your flashlight or candle, sing carols, and walk to the First Congregational Church with luminarias.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 7th at 7pm – CHORAL MUSIC: For the 57th year, the Hilltown Choral Society will perform a Christmas Concert at the First Congregational Church of Williamsburg.  The whole family will enjoy this concert filled with classic Christmas music.  4 North Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Saturday, December 7th from 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: Celebrate the holidays at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge at the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Holiday Concert.  There will be performances by the Berkshire Lyric Chorus, the Blafield Children’s Chorus, and others.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$-$$$

Sunday, December 8th from 8am-11:30am – BREAKFAST W/SANTA: The Agawam Junior Women’s Club is hosting Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus!  Come to Roberta G. Doering Middle School for breakfast food, pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, letters to Santa, a raffle, a StoryWalk, and more.  68 Main Street.  Agawam, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 8am-12noon - BREAKFAST W/SANTA: The West Springfield Lions Club is holding a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser to benefit Operation Santa, which provides food and gifts to local families in need.  Santa will also be at this event.  Spend time with family, friends, and community members at this community meal.  Takes place at West Springfield Senior Center.  413-495-1891.  128 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 9:30am-11:30am – BREAKFAST W/SANTA: Enjoy breakfast with Santa and his elves at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel!  There will be breakfast foods and an opportunity to meet Santa himself.  Please call for reservations.  413-263-2009.  1 Monarch Place.  Springfield, MA.  $

Sunday, December 8th at 2pm: SANTA: How does Santa manage the elves in his workshop at the North Pole? Did you know that Santa has changed his costume over the years? Learn more about the festive celebrations that take place all over the world when Santa visits The Eric Carle Museum, sharing some of his secrets and hidden surprises in his new book, All About Me. He wants to meet you, take photos with you, and talk about his favorite winter holiday. Book signing to follow. 413-658-1105. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: For the 57th year, the Hilltown Choral Society will perform a Christmas Concert at the Plainfield Congregational Church.  The whole family will enjoy this concert filled with classic Christmas music.  Church Lane.  Plainfield, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel.  Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols.  In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries.  413-597-4277.  Route 2.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th at 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Cheshire Holiday Tree Lighting happens at Town Hall with hayrides, refreshments and Santa! Cheshire, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th from 12noon-2pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Recreation is today!  Stroll down Main Street and see it as it was when Norman Rockwell painted his famous painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.”  Antique cars will be parked along the street, and there will be music, carols, Christmas food, Roger the Jester, kids’ activities, and visits with Santa.  This holiday event allows you to get an idea of what Stockbridge was like in the past, while celebrating the present-day town and the upcoming holidays.  A full schedule is available here.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 1pm – FAMILY MOVIE: As part of Williamstown’s Holiday Walk festivities, there will be a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993; rated PG) at Images Cinema.  This animated Christmas classic tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who wants to spread the joy of Christmas.  50 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm & 7:30pm: CHORAL MUSIC: Two Christmas Vespers concerts—a beloved Mount Holyoke College tradition—will be presented in Abbey Chapel. The event will begin, as it has for decades, with a traditional Gregorian chant as the College’s Glee Club processes through the chapel by candlelight. The program will include seasonal choral works from many countries, with traditional songs from Latvia, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. Mount Holyoke Vespers dates back to the late 1800s, and has long been a popular event in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. This year, some 120 students are expected to perform. 413-538-2809. Mount Holyoke College. 50 College Street South. Hadley, MA

Sunday, December 8th from 3pm-4:30pm -CAROLING: Choral group Schola Nova will be at St. John’s Lutheran Church for an evening of readings and Christmas carols.  Audience members are welcome to join in the singing.  Please bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Westfield Food Pantry.  413-562-2277.  60 Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: For the 57th year, the Hilltown Choral Society will perform a Christmas Concert at the Plainfield Congregational Church.  The whole family will enjoy this concert filled with classic Christmas music.  Church Lane.  Plainfield, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Open Daily December 11th-23rd from 4-8pm and December 24th 10am-2pm from 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Thursday, December 12th at 6pm - CHORAL MUSIC: The Northampton Community Music Center’s Holiday Choral Festival takes place tonight at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel!  Performers include the Hartsbrook School 7th & 8th Grade Choir, NCMC’s High Definition, Hilltown Cooperative Charter School Chorus, NCMC Ku’umba Women’s Choir, NCMC’s Community Children’s Choir, Northampton High School Chamber Choir, Valley Jazz Choir, and Valley Rock Choir.  This festive concert is free but donations will be accepted for NCMC’s Scholarship Fund.  413-585-0001.  Elm Street & Round Hill Road.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

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Friday, December 13th — Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Friday, December 13th at 4pm & 6:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet and members of the Ballet Educational Training Association at the Wistariahurst Museum.  This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance.  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

Friday, December 13th at 4pm & 7:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then.  Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its 35th anniversary of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre.  This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music.  It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP.  413-584-9032 x105.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $$-$$$

Friday, December 13th at 7pm, Saturday, December 14th at 2 & 7pm and Sunday, December 15th at 2pm – CHRISTMAS STORIES: Mill City Productions will host “Fireside Yuletide,” a dramatic reading of classic Christmas stories for the whole family read by Mill City actors. “Fireside Yuletide” include dramatic readings of many holiday classics, including “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The production also includes singing of classic holiday songs and festive holiday refreshments will be served.  Mill City’s Theatre (115 State Street, Building 4) in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. North Adams, MA (>$)

Friday, December 13th at 7:30pm – CAROLING: Enjoy an evening of traditional, festive winter carols and general merriment, performed by the four gentlemen who are Nowell Sing We Clear. Fiddles, accordions and gorgeous harmonies, peppered with their unique humor and a traditional Mummer’s Play are sure to get the whole family into the Holiday spirit. Takes place at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Auditorium. Limited seating available. 413-528-4015 x104. 35 West Plain Road. Great Barrington, MA ($)

Friday, December 13th-Sunday, December 15th at 7:30pm or 2pm (Sunday only) – WINTER SOLSTICE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration. Delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light. 29th anniversary show for all ages, at The Shea Theater. This yearly show close to the winter solstice celebrates the return of light at the heart of winter’s darkness.  The Swedish tradition of Santa Lucia Day is featured in this year’s 29th annual production of Welcome Yule. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Saturday, December 14th from 9:30am-11:30am – SANTA: Santa Claus will be visiting Cummington this morning!  Come to the gazebo to meet him!  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon – SANTA: Spend this morning on a special half-mile hike with Santa at Bartholomew’s Cobble!  Kids can learn about nature and the wonders of winter while spending time friends, parents, and Santa.  Adults free; cost for children includes a present.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon – SANTA: Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Easthampton Family Center.  Enjoy milk and cookies during this annual holiday event, and bring your camera to snap a photo to send to the grandparents too. There will be a holiday sing along, stories with Mrs. Claus and craft making. Takes place in the Old Town Hall.  413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (>$)

Saturday, December 14th from 12:30pm-2:30pm – SANTA: Cookies with Santa at East Forest Park Branch Library. 413-263-6836. Springfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th & Sunday, December 15th from 10am-2pm - HOLIDAY FARMERS’ MARKET: The Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market features holiday ingredients and gifts from local farmers and artisans.  Support local agriculture and craftspeople this holiday season!  Takes place at Monument Valley Middle School.  413-528-0041.  313 Monument Valley Road.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 9am-5pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: 8th Annual “Special Day in Northfield.” Bring the kids for an old fashioned holiday celebration with horse-drawn hay rides costumed characters, live music. MYO crafts, tree lighting, shopping on Main Street and more!  Visit with Santa, decorage gingerbread people, celebrate St. Lucia Day, take in a theater production, join in caroling, and buy local! Main Street. Northfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th at 1pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then.  Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its 35th anniversary of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre.  This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music.  It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP.  413-584-9032 x105.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $$-$$$

Saturday, December 14th from 3-4:30pm: CAROLING: Start a new family tradition and take the kids to go Christmas Caroling in a horse drawn wagon with Blue Star Equiculture Horse Rescue. After your ride, warm up with hot cider and refreshments and visit their rescue horses. 413-289-9787. 3090 Palmer Street Rte 181. Palmer, MA ($)

Saturday, December 14th from 6pm-12midnight – HOLIDAY STROLL: Stroll the towns of Athol & Orange and shop local for the holidays furing Midnight Madness.  Local businesses will be open late. Santa will be around and live music will be playing. Come caroling, and win prizes!  A fun evening out shopping local while enjoying the holiday season. Athol, MA & Orange, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th at 10:30am & 1pm - THEATER/SANTA: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Adventures of Santa Claus” at Northampton High School.  This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family!  413-210-1898.  380 Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

Saturday, December 14th from 11am-1pm – ICE SKATING/SANTA: Ice skating with Santa takes place outdoors at Community Field, Holyoke’s innovative four-season-park, home to an outdoor refrigerated ice skating pathway.  Skate rentals available. 1 Community Field Road. Holyoke, MA (>$)

Saturday, December 14th at 11:30am, 2pm, & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet and members of the Ballet Educational Training Association at the Wistariahurst Museum.  This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance.  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

Saturday, December 14th from 1pm-2pm – CHRISTMAS: The East Longmeadow Public Library is holding their second annual Grinch Gala today!  Have holiday snacks, play games, hear Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas read aloud, and then enjoy a screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  All ages.  Please register.  413-525-5400 x1511.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 1:30pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Albany Berkshire Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker” at Symphony Hall.  The classic Christmas performance features beautifully-designed sets and costumes, as well as wonderful dancing.  This classic holiday ballet is great for all ages.  Purchase tickets in advance.  413-788-7033.  34 Court Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$$

Open Daily December 11th-23rd from 4-8pm and December 24th 10am-2pm from 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 15th from 4pm-6pm – CHRISTMAS/HANUKKAH: The Meekins Library is hosting a special afternoon of Holiday Classics!  Come to the library for Malka Penn’s “The Miracle of the Potato Latkes” and Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”  All are welcome at this annual community storytime.  Please bring food for the Williamsburg COA Pantry, a warm coat for the Survival Center, or something for the animals at Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society.  413-268-7472.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA.

Sunday, December 15th at 11am – CHRISTMAS MOVIE: The Berkshire Museum will host a screening of the holiday classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  Books will be given out to attending children while supplies last! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

December 14th-December 29th – THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The Colonial Theatre. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Sunday, December 15th from 9:30am-11:30am – SANTA: Enjoy breakfast with Santa and his elves at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel!  There will be breakfast foods and an opportunity to meet Santa himself.  Please call for reservations.  413-263-2009.  1 Monarch Place.  Springfield, MA.  $

Sunday, December 15th at 12noon – SANTA: Come to the Lenox Community Center for lunch, crafts, and a chance to get your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus!  413-637-5530.  65 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.

Sunday, December 15th from 1-3pm – SANTA: Forget about Santa… come hang out with Mrs. Claus! Bring the kids and grandkids for an afternoon on the Williamstown Common to visit with Mrs. Claus and enjoy refreshments. 413-458-2111. 25 Adams Road. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 15th from 1pm-4pm – SANTA: Come spend time with Santa today at Pine Hill Orchards!  There will be cider donuts and apple cider, as well as the opportunity to decorate gingerbread houses and make ornaments.  413-624-3325.  248 Greenfield Road.  Colrain, MA.

Sunday, December 15th at 3pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Cantilena Chamber Choir will perform a Christmas concert today at Trinity Church.  They will sing classic carols, as well as the music of Poulenc, Britten, and more.  The whole family will enjoy this Christmas concert.  Kids get in for free.  88 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  $

Wednesday, December 18th at 4pm – CAROLING: Engage with your community and spread holiday cheer by going caroling at the Claire Teague Senior Center!  All are welcome at this fun holiday activity, which is a great opportunity to spend time with community members of all ages.  Please RSVP.  413-248-0755.  917 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

Thursday, December 19th from 5-9pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The 3rd annual It’s a Wonderful Night happens in downtown Turners Falls. Join in for a holiday event featuring festive storefront windows, roving musicians, in store performances, caroling, tree lighting with Santa, and specials at local shops, many staying open until 9pm. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

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Friday, December 20th — Thursday, December 26th, 2013

December 14th-December 29th – CHRISTMAS: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The Colonial Theatre. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Friday, December 20 at 10:30am – CHRISTMAS:  Theatre IV presents ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Academy of Music Theatre. Inspired by the timeless poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and the life of its author, Clement Moore, this hilarious musical introduces Santa in a particularly beneficent light. Recommended for Grades K-5.  1-800-275-5005  274 Main Street. Northampton, MA ($) 

Friday, December 20th at 6:30pm -WINTER SOLSTICE: The annual Ashfield Winter Solstice Community Celebration happens on the Town Common with a warming fire, singing and storytelling. Warm up at Elmer’s with neighbors following the outdoor celebration. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st, 7am & 3:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: See the sun rise (7am) and set (3:30pm) at the UMass Sunwheel today.  There will be presentations that describe the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, the cause of seasons and moon phases, and the history of the Sunwheel and other calendar sites around the world.  Those who are interested in astronomy or who want to learn more about the Sunwheel, the sun, moon, and seasons would enjoy these events.  More information and directions available here.  Rocky Hill Road.  Amherst, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 21st from 11:30am-9pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Starseed Sanctuary, an interfaith healing sanctuary in the northern Berkshires, is hosting a daylong Winter Solstice celebration. Come together in community. Enjoy delicious food and enlivening company. Commune with the land. Enjoy music and song; meditation and ceremony; gift-making and gift-giving; gift-purchasing and fun-raising. 413- 743-0417. 672 Chapel Rd. Savoy, MA

Saturday, December 21st, 9:30am – HOLIDAYS: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack.  This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit.  Please register in advance.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st, 10am-12noon – HOLIDAYS: The Pelham Library and Historical Society are co-sponsoring the annual Holiday Tea, featuring an appearance by Santa and a performance by That Long Tall Sword.  They will perform traditional songs, a mummers’ play, and longsword and Abbotts Bromley horn dances.  There will also be a seasonal sing-along with Roger Conant.  This event is a good way to spend time with community members during the holidays.  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 10:30am & 1pm – CHRISTMAA: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Adventures of Santa Claus” at Northampton High School.  This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family!  413-210-1898.  380 Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

Saturday, December 21st, 11am-2pm – SANTA: Wilson’s Department Store is one of only a handful of family-owned department stores left in the country.  This downtown Greenfield landmark has been in the same location since it first opened in 1882, under the name “The Boston Store.”  This is Wilson’s 131st year of holiday shopping, and you can celebrate and get in the holiday spirit by coming to the store and meeting Santa.  Celebrate Christmas and this department store tradition at this unique family-owned store!  413-774-4326.  258 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 12noon-2pm – HOLIDAYS: Come to the East Springfield Branch Library to drink hot chocolate and decorate gingerbread cookies.  Family members of all ages are invited to spend time together at the library doing this fun holiday activity.  413-263-6840.  21 Osborne Terrace.  Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 2pm & 7:30pm – HOLIDAYS: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play!  The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more.  This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas!  More information and a full list of showtimes can be found here.  413-637-3353.  70 Kemble Street.  Lenox, MA.  $$-$$$

Saturday, December 21st, 2pm & 8pm – HOLIDAYS: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year!  The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers.  The whole family will enjoy this holiday production.  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 21st, 3pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Western Gateway Heritage State Park is offering an educational astronomy lecture on the Winter Solstice.  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building #4.  North Adams, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 3-4:30pm: CAROLING: Start a new family tradition and take the kids to go Christmas Caroling in a horse drawn wagon with Blue Star Equiculture Horse Rescue. After your ride, warm up with hot cider and refreshments and visit their rescue horses. 413-289-9787. 3090 Palmer Street Rte 181. Palmer, MA ($)

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Join the Guthrie Center at the old Trinity Church for Circle of Sound – A Global Sound Meditation in Honor of the Winter Solstice.  Bring a drum, bowl, or your voice and come meditate for “joy, harmony, acceptance, unity, and compassion for all beings on Mother Earth.”  Please RSVP.  413-528-1955.  2 Van Deusenville Road.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm-6pm -WINTER SOLSTICE: Celebrate the Winter Solstice at Bartholomew’s Cobble.  Hang out around the campfire, enjoy solstice stories and songs, and eat marshmallows and hot chocolate.  Spend time with family and friends while welcoming the winter season.  Free with admission.  Please RSVP.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm-6pm – CAROLING: Take part in Creative Community Caroling in South Deerfield. Meet at the Deerfield Arts Bank, then travel all over town singing Christmas classics.  Candles and song books will be provided.  3 Sugarloaf Street.  South Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  You can find more information here.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm-9pm - CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.”  This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest,  Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more.  This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$$

Saturday, December 21st, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun!  Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display.  More information and a schedule available here.  Runs until the New Year.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 21st, 6pm-8:30pm - WINTER SOLSTICE: Celebrate the shortest day of the year at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary!  This annual winter solstice celebration features music, a bonfire, hot drinks, and fun for all ages.  Please bring a nonperishable food item for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st, 6pm-9pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Enjoy a headlamp hike to celebrate the Winter Solstice at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center.  Hike Northfield’s ski trails on the longest night of the year and share solstice facts and quotes about the night.  There will also be a campfire, cider, and snacks.  If it is snowy, you must wear snowshoes.  The hike is 1.5 miles with a 300 foot elevation gain.  Ages 11 and up.  Pre-registration required.  800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st, 7pm - THE NUTCRACKER: This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by Celtic Heels Director Cara Leach at  The Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032 x105. Northampton, MA ($$)

Saturday, December 21st, 7pm – CHRISTMAS: Celebrate Christmas at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s performance of A Christmas Carol.  This classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge will take you back in time to Victorian England and entertain you with holiday music.  All ages will enjoy this holiday performance.  Show takes place at the Colonial Theatre.  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$$

Saturday, December 21st, 7pm – CHORUS: The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra & Chorus will perform their Annual Family Holiday Concert at Greenfield High School.  All Greenfield Public School choirs will be performing making this a fun event for community members of all ages.  The concert will include both classical and popular favorites, and there will be musical puzzles and games for younger audience members.  More information on this exciting holiday performance can be found here.  413-772-1300.  141 Davis Street.  Greenfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 21st, 7:30pm – CHRISTMAS: The Berkshire Lyrics Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus come together tonight for “Making Spirits Bright,” a Christmas concert at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.  The featured work at this concert will be Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols.”  This Christmas concert is appropriate for all ages and is a great holiday event for the whole family.  413-499-0258.  67 East Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

Sunday, December 22nd, 2pm – CHRISTMAS: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play!  The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more.  This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas!  More information and a full list of showtimes can be found here.  413-637-3353.  70 Kemble Street.  Lenox, MA.  $$-$$$

Sunday, December 22nd, 2pm – CHRISTMAS: Celebrate Christmas at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s performance of A Christmas Carol.  This classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge will take you back in time to Victorian England and entertain you with holiday music.  All ages will enjoy this holiday performance.  Show takes place at the Colonial Theatre.  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$$

Sunday, December 22nd, 2pm & 7pm – HOLIDAYS: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year!  The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers.  The whole family will enjoy this holiday production.  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  $$

Sunday, December 22nd, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  You can find more information here.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 22nd, 5pm-9pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun!  Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display.  More information and a schedule available here.  Runs until the New Year.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Sunday, December 22nd, 6pm – CAROLING: Come to the Christmas tree in Easthampton Center tonight for a “Whoville Flash Mob!”  Come together and sing like the Whos in Whoville (of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!).  This is a great way to spend time with community members to celebrate the holidays.  Please bring an unwrapped toy under $10 to donate to the Easthampton Community Center, who will distribute the gifts to local families in need.  Downtown.  Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, December 22nd, 7pm – CHRISTMAS: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is screening It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).  This classic Christmas film will delight all ages and get everyone in the Christmas spirit!  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

Tuesday, December 24th, 10am-2pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Berkshire Museum presents the 29th annual Festival of Trees 2013: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow featuring more than 100 dazzling holiday trees sponsored by local businesses, schools, and community organizations and decorated to express the nostalgia of years past, the excitement of today’s hustle-bustle lifestyle, and the endless possibilities of the future. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA ($)

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Berkshire County

Saturday, November 30th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Berkshire Bach Players are holding a Handel’s Messiah Sing-In at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington.  All are welcome to come usher in the holidays and sign in this informal chorus.  You are welcome to bring your own score or borrow one at the Church.  This event would be best for older students interested in classical music.  413-528-9277.  251 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, November 30th at 7pm & Sunday, December 1st at 2pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Celebrate Christmas early at the Colonial Theater! Berkshire Theater Group presents Mary Verdi, a local singer-songwriter who annually performs for the holidays in the Berkshires. The show will feature a children’s and bell choir plus a full band for families to sing-along with to old holiday favorites  Families will love this special night of nostalgia and holiday music! Best for kids with audience skills. 413-997-4444. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 1st at 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Santa will arrive by fire engine to help with Lenox Dale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Memorial Park tonight!  Kids will have a chance to meet Santa and pose for photos at the Fire Station (Elm Street), where gifts and refreshments will be distributed.  This fun community holiday event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company.  413-637-5542.  Walker Street & Crystal Street.  Lenox Dale, MA.

Friday, December 6th at 5:30pm – TREE LIGHTING: Pittsfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is tonight at Park Square!  There will be performances by the Berkshire Hills Chorus and the Taconic High School Chorus before and after the ceremony, an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, free hot chocolate, and more.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to the Christian Center’s food pantry.  Downtown.  Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, December 6th at 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: The town of Lenox will light their Christmas tree in Lilac Park!  Come with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and meet with Santa!  Lenox, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-11:30am – HOLIDAY STORYTIME: As part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, the Stockbridge Library is hosting a children’s holiday storytime.  Kids can come hear favorite holiday stories!  413-298-5501.  46 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA. 

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-4pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Explore some of Stockbridge’s historic homes and properties as past of Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas on this Holiday House Tour.  The self-guided tour will take you to October Mountain Farm, 1862 Seasons on Main B&B, Merwin House, Southmayd, Naumkeag, and Windermere.  Discover local history and learn about the Stockbridge of the past on this tour.  Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Chamber of Commerce or on the day of at the Red Lion Inn.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$$

Saturday, December 7th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel.  Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols.  In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries.  413-597-4277.  Route 2.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 3pm-6pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Williamstown’s 30th Annual Holiday Walk includes fun activities for the whole family!  The Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, where Williamstown’s cutest dogs stroll down Spring Street in their holiday best.  You can then go see Santa and a holiday bake-off at The Log.  There will also be live music throughout the day, a toy drive, caroling, and more.  A full schedule and list of events can be found here.  Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 6pm-7pm – CAROLING: Participate in the Caroling Luminaria Walk as part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festivities.  Meet in front of the Red Lion Inn with your flashlight or candle, sing carols, and walk to the First Congregational Church with luminarias.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: Celebrate the holidays at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge at the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Holiday Concert.  There will be performances by the Berkshire Lyric Chorus, the Blafield Children’s Chorus, and others.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$-$$$

Sunday, December 8th from 12noon-2pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Recreation is today!  Stroll down Main Street and see it as it was when Norman Rockwell painted his famous painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.”  Antique cars will be parked along the street, and there will be music, carols, Christmas food, Roger the Jester, kids’ activities, and visits with Santa.  This holiday event allows you to get an idea of what Stockbridge was like in the past, while celebrating the present-day town and the upcoming holidays.  A full schedule is available here.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 1pm – FAMILY MOVIE: As part of Williamstown’s Holiday Walk festivities, there will be a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993; rated PG) at Images Cinema.  This animated Christmas classic tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who wants to spread the joy of Christmas.  50 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel.  Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols.  In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries.  413-597-4277.  Route 2.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th at 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Cheshire Holiday Tree Lighting happens at Town Hall with hayrides, refreshments and Santa! Cheshire, MA (FREE)

Friday, December 13th at 7pm, Saturday, December 14th at 2 & 7pm and Sunday, December 15th at 2pm – CHRISTMAS STORIES: Mill City Productions will host “Fireside Yuletide,” a dramatic reading of classic Christmas stories for the whole family read by Mill City actors. “Fireside Yuletide” include dramatic readings of many holiday classics, including “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The production also includes singing of classic holiday songs and festive holiday refreshments will be served.  Mill City’s Theatre (115 State Street, Building 4) in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. North Adams, MA (>$)

Friday, December 13th at 7:30pm – CAROLING: Enjoy an evening of traditional, festive winter carols and general merriment, performed by the four gentlemen who are Nowell Sing We Clear. Fiddles, accordions and gorgeous harmonies, peppered with their unique humor and a traditional Mummer’s Play are sure to get the whole family into the Holiday spirit. Takes place at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Auditorium. Limited seating available. 413-528-4015 x104. 35 West Plain Road. Great Barrington, MA ($)

Saturday, December 14th & Sunday, December 15th from 10am-2pm - HOLIDAY FARMERS’ MARKET: The Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market features holiday ingredients and gifts from local farmers and artisans.  Support local agriculture and craftspeople this holiday season!  Takes place at Monument Valley Middle School.  413-528-0041.  313 Monument Valley Road.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon – HIKING/SANTA: Spend this morning on a special half-mile hike with Santa at Bartholomew’s Cobble!  Kids can learn about nature and the wonders of winter while spending time friends, parents, and Santa.  Adults free; cost for children includes a present.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-5pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: The Berkshire Museum is offering a special Family Day in conjunction with the “Festival of Trees: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”  This fun day at the museum features Animals Up Close with Richard Roth of Creature Teachers, cookie decorating, a performance by the Blafield Children’s Chorus and the Berkshire Singers, and all the museum has to offer.  More information can be found here.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

December 14th-December 29th – THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The Colonial Theatre. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Sunday, December 15th at 11am – CHRISTMAS MOVIE: The Berkshire Museum will host a screening of the holiday classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  Books will be given out to attending children while supplies last! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 15th at 12noon – SANTA: Come to the Lenox Community Center for lunch, crafts, and a chance to get your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus!  413-637-5530.  65 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.

Sunday, December 15th from 1-3pm – SANTA: Forget about Santa… come hang out with Mrs. Claus! Bring the kids and grandkids for an afternoon on the Williamstown Common to visit with Mrs. Claus and enjoy refreshments. 413-458-2111. 25 Adams Road. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 15th at 3pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Cantilena Chamber Choir will perform a Christmas concert today at Trinity Church.  They will sing classic carols, as well as the music of Poulenc, Britten, and more.  The whole family will enjoy this Christmas concert.  Kids get in for free.  88 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  $

Wednesday, December 18th at 4pm – CAROLING: Engage with your community and spread holiday cheer by going caroling at the Claire Teague Senior Center!  All are welcome at this fun holiday activity, which is a great opportunity to spend time with community members of all ages.  Please RSVP.  413-248-0755.  917 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

Wednesday, December 18th & Thursday, December 19th in the evening: SANTA: Pittsfield families are invited to participate in the North Pole Calling Program 2013. The purpose of this program is to offer City of Pittsfield children in Kindergarten through Second Grade an opportunity to speak directly with Santa Claus, or his number one assistant Mrs. Claus. The Parks & Recreation Program ‘elves’ would be more than happy to call your son or daughter and wish him or her ‘Happy Holidays’ on the evening of Wednesday, December 18 or Thursday, December 19.  Calls will be made from 5:00-7:30 p.m.  Forms will be sent home through the schools late November. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, December 20th at 10:30am – SOLSTICE: Celebrate the Winter Solstice with Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc.!  Their special celebration features winter activities, stories, songs, snacks, and a fun parade with homemade instruments.  Please register.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.

Saturday, December 21st from 11:30am-9pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Starseed Sanctuary, an interfaith healing sanctuary in the northern Berkshires, is hosting a daylong Winter Solstice celebration. Come together in community. Enjoy delicious food and enlivening company. Commune with the land. Enjoy music and song; meditation and ceremony; gift-making and gift-giving; gift-purchasing and fun-raising. 413- 743-0417. 672 Chapel Rd. Savoy, MA

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Join the Guthrie Center at the old Trinity Church for Circle of Sound – A Global Sound Meditation in Honor of the Winter Solstice.  Bring a drum, bowl, or your voice and come meditate for “joy, harmony, acceptance, unity, and compassion for all beings on Mother Earth.”  Please RSVP.  413-528-1955.  2 Van Deusenville Road.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm-6pm -WINTER SOLSTICE: Celebrate the Winter Solstice at Bartholomew’s Cobble.  Hang out around the campfire, enjoy solstice stories and songs, and eat marshmallows and hot chocolate.  Spend time with family and friends while welcoming the winter season.  Free with admission.  Please RSVP.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 21st, 7:30pm – CHRISTMAS CONCERT: The Berkshire Lyrics Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus come together tonight for “Making Spirits Bright,” a Christmas concert at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.  The featured work at this concert will be Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols.”  This Christmas concert is appropriate for all ages and is a great holiday event for the whole family.  413-499-0258.  67 East Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

Sunday, December 22nd, 7pm – CHRISTMAS: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is screening It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).  This classic Christmas film will delight all ages and get everyone in the Christmas spirit!  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

Tuesday, December 24th, 10am-2pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Berkshire Museum presents the 29th annual Festival of Trees 2013: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow featuring more than 100 dazzling holiday trees sponsored by local businesses, schools, and community organizations and decorated to express the nostalgia of years past, the excitement of today’s hustle-bustle lifestyle, and the endless possibilities of the future. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA ($)

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Franklin County

Saturday, November 30th at 9am – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Don’t miss Yankee Candle’s holiday celebration for kids of all ages!  Santa’s elves will entertain and then Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by helicopter at Yankee Candle Village (10am)!  There will also be souvenir reindeer antlers, hot chocolate and cookies, carolers, balloon making, pictures with Santa, deals at the Yankee Candle store, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and more!  The event is free but some activities may have fees.  More information available here.  877-636-7707.  25 Greenfield Road.  South Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-3pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Home for the Holidays in downtown Greenfield. Greenfield, known for its picturesque and vibrant downtown, features a quintessential American Main Street where you can enjoy dining, shopping, entertainment, history, architecture, and recreation by simply taking a stroll. At the season’s Home for the Holidays celebration, you’ll find Santa, caroling, shopping & hot chocolate to warm up with.  413-774-2791. Veterans Mall, downtown Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 13th-Sunday, December 15th at 7:30pm or 2pm (Sunday only) – WINTER SOLSTICE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration. Delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light. 29th anniversary show for all ages, at The Shea Theater. This yearly show close to the winter solstice celebrates the return of light at the heart of winter’s darkness.  The Swedish tradition of Santa Lucia Day is featured in this year’s 29th annual production of Welcome Yule. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Saturday, December 14th from 9am-5pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: 8th Annual “Special Day in Northfield.” Bring the kids for an old fashioned holiday celebration with horse-drawn hay rides costumed characters, live music. MYO crafts, tree lighting, shopping on Main Street and more!  Visit with Santa, decorage gingerbread people, celebrate St. Lucia Day, take in a theater production, join in caroling, and buy local! Main Street. Northfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th from 6pm-12midnight – HOLIDAY STROLL: Stroll the towns of Athol & Orange and shop local for the holidays furing Midnight Madness.  Local businesses will be open late. Santa will be around and live music will be playing. Come caroling, and win prizes!  A fun evening out shopping local while enjoying the holiday season. Athol, MA & Orange, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 15th from 1pm-4pm – SANTA: Come spend time with Santa today at Pine Hill Orchards!  There will be cider donuts and apple cider, as well as the opportunity to decorate gingerbread houses and make ornaments.  413-624-3325.  248 Greenfield Road.  Colrain, MA.

Thursday, December 19th from 5-9pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The 3rd annual It’s a Wonderful Night happens in downtown Turners Falls. Join in for a holiday event featuring festive storefront windows, roving musicians, in store performances, caroling, tree lighting with Santa, and specials at local shops, many staying open until 9pm. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st from 4-6pm – CAROLING: Creative Community Caroling. South Deerfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st from 11am-2pm, Sunday, December 22nd from 1-3pm and Wednesday, December 24th from 11am-1pm -  Wilson’s Department Store is one of only a handful of family-owned department stores left in the country.  This downtown Greenfield landmark has been in the same location since it first opened in 1882, under the name “The Boston Store.”  This is Wilson’s 131st year of holiday shopping, and you can celebrate and get in the holiday spirit by coming to the store and meeting Santa.  Celebrate Christmas and this department store tradition at this unique family-owned store!  413-774-4326.  258 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.

Friday, December 20th at 6:30pm -WINTER SOLSTICE: The annual Ashfield Winter Solstice Community Celebration happens on the Town Common with a warming fire, singing and storytelling. Warm up at Elmer’s with neighbors following the outdoor celebration. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm-6pm – CAROLING: Take part in Creative Community Caroling in South Deerfield. Meet at the Deerfield Arts Bank, then travel all over town singing Christmas classics.  Candles and song books will be provided.  3 Sugarloaf Street.  South Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 6pm-9pm – WINTER SOLSTICE/HIKING: Enjoy a headlamp hike to celebrate the Winter Solstice at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center.  Hike Northfield’s ski trails on the longest night of the year and share solstice facts and quotes about the night.  There will also be a campfire, cider, and snacks.  If it is snowy, you must wear snowshoes.  The hike is 1.5 miles with a 300 foot elevation gain.  Ages 11 and up.  Pre-registration required.  800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st at 6:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Stories, music and juggling to celebrate the arrival of winter at the 32nd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration at the Center for Cultural Evolution.  Reservation recommended. 413-624-5140. 68 Van Nuys Road. Colrain, MA ($)

Saturday, December 21st, 7pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra & Chorus will perform their Annual Family Holiday Concert at Greenfield High School.  All Greenfield Public School choirs will be performing making this a fun event for community members of all ages.  The concert will include both classical and popular favorites, and there will be musical puzzles and games for younger audience members.  More information on this exciting holiday performance can be found here.  413-772-1300.  141 Davis Street.  Greenfield, MA.  $$

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Hampden County

HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun!  Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display.  More information and a schedule available here.  Runs through the New Year.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, November 30th from 10am-4pm – VILLAGE STROLL: Westfield’s Dickens Days kicks off with their Village Stroll!  Musicians and performers will be around town to make this Victorian shopping celebration extra special.  The first Saturday after Thanksgiving is also Small Business Saturday, and those who wish to participate and shop at local stores can pick up a Westfield BID shopping bag at the Downtown Art Gallery (105 Elm Street; 10am-3pm) for special deals and discounts!  Don’t miss this opportunity to see Westfield transformed into a Victorian village while supporting local shops and restaurants.  413-562-2277.  Downtown.  Westfield, MA.

Saturday, November 30th at 5:30pm – LANTERNLIGHT PARADE: Westfield’s Dickens Days Lanternlight Parade and Tree Lighting take place in Downtown Westfield!  The festive parade features music, community groups, giant puppets, Dickens Days spirits, Santa Claus, and more.  Follow the parade down Elm Street to Park Square, where the mayor will light the city’s 20-foot tree.  The Youth Chorale of the Full Gospel Church of Westfield will also perform at this event.  Families are welcome to create their own puppets at the South Middle School cafeteria (West Silver Street) from 11am-1pm, and then show their puppets off in the parade!  Celebrate the holidays and engage with your community on this special day.  413-562-2277.  Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.

Sunday, December 1st at 9am – CHANUKAH BREAKFAST: B’Nai Torah is holding their annual Katz Family Chanukah Breakfast!  There will be food, entertainment, and a kids vs. adults sufganiyah  catapult contest.  Spend time with family and friends at this fun community meal.  413-567-0036.  2 Eunice Drive.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 1st from 10am-12noon – COOKIES & MILK: Sláinte is holding a “Cookies and Milk with Santa” event for kids!  There will be face painting, balloon sculptures, letters to Santa, Christmas carols, and an opportunity for kids to meet Santa himself.  Kids will love this fun Christmas celebration!  Please bring one unwrapped gift for the Rotary for Children’s Toy Drive.  413-534-4000.  80 Jarvis Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 1st from 11am-2pm – CHANUKAH WONDERLAND: Celebrate Chanukah at Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy’s Chanukah Wonderland!  You can get your face painted, meet Judah Maccabee, do crafts, play games, see a magic show, and make your own doughnuts.  Join together with family and your community at this fun Chanukah event.  Lunch is available for purchase at the event.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Monday, December 2nd at 1:10pm – HANUKKAH CELEBRATION: Help light the largest menorah in Springfield with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy in Court Square at this community Hanukkah celebration!  There will also be Hanukkah songs, latkes, and hot cocoa.  413-567-8665.  Downtown.  Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 2nd at 2pm – CHANUKAH CELEBRATION: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the annual Chanukah Celebration today in the Majestic Theater Lobby Cafe.  Celebrate Hanukkah with community members at this special event.  413-263-3284.  Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 2nd at 6:30pm – ELECTRIC CHANUKAH: Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy invites you to the Electric Chanukah Dinner and Show.  Families can come for dinner, a menorah lighting, a performance by the LYA Choir, and Fun with Energy with Jeff Boyer (6:30pm).  Boyer will demonstrate to kids the wonders of energy and how it makes our world work through activities and interactive demonstrations.  Please RSVP ASAP.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  $

Wednesday, December 4th at 6pm – HANUKKAH CELEBRATION: Celebrate Hanukkah in the Westfield Athenaeum Courtyard (Court Street) with the mayor as he lights the menorah, and then attend a community Hanukkah party at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum (29 South Broad Street)!  This is a fun way to celebrate Hanukkah with family and community members.  413-562-2277.  Westfield, MA.

Thursday, December 5th at 5:45pm – CHRISTMAS CAROLING: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the 26th Annual Caroling on the Green event in the Elm Street Gazebo.  Community members are welcome to attend and sing along!  413-263-3284.  Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.

Friday, December 6th from 6:30pm-8:30pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: The Westfield YMCA is holding their annual Frosty Festival with Mr. and Mrs. Claus tonight!  Families can come dressed in ugly sweaters for swimming, a kids’ carnival, crafts, a bake sale, and much more!  This is a great event for the whole family to attend together to get into the holiday spirit.  413-568-8631.  67 Court Street.  Westfield, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 7th at 8:30am & 10:30am: BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Westfield State University’s annual Breakfast with Santa event is back for its 30th year. Along with breakfast, admission includes face painting, a gift for each child, and entertainment by the Melha clowns from Shriners Hospital.  The event will be held in Scanlon Banquet Hall with two seatings: 8:30 am and 10:30 am. 413-454-3926. Westfield, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th & December 8th from 11am-4pm – YULETIDE: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowtown Village’s Yuletide!  This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment.  There will be traditional music, dance, holiday songs, people in period costume, ice sculpting, kid’s activities, a petting zoo, visits with Santa, and much more.  More Storrowtown Yuletide information can be found here.  413-205-5051.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7th, 14th & 21st from 3-4:30pm: CAROLING: Start a new family tradition and take the kids to go Christmas Caroling in a horse drawn wagon with Blue Star Equiculture Horse Rescue. After your ride, warm up with hot cider and refreshments and visit their rescue horses. 413-289-9787. 3090 Palmer Street Rte 181. Palmer, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th from 8:30am & 10:30am – BREAKFAST W/SANTA: Join the Westfield State University community for breakfast with Santa in Scanlon Banquet Hall.  Admission to the meal includes breakfast, face painting, a gift for each child, and entertainment by the Melha clowns.  A great way for families to spend time together with other community members.  Tickets available here.  413-572-5218.  577 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  $

Sunday, December 8th from 8am-12noon - BREAKFAST W/SANTA: The West Springfield Lions Club is holding a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser to benefit Operation Santa, which provides food and gifts to local families in need.  Santa will also be at this event.  Spend time with family, friends, and community members at this community meal.  Takes place at West Springfield Senior Center.  413-495-1891.  128 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 8am-11:30am – BREAKFAST W/SANTA: The Agawam Junior Women’s Club is hosting Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus!  Come to Roberta G. Doering Middle School for breakfast food, pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, letters to Santa, a raffle, a StoryWalk, and more.  68 Main Street.  Agawam, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 3pm-4:30pm – CAROLING: Choral group Schola Nova will be at St. John’s Lutheran Church for an evening of readings and Christmas carols.  Audience members are welcome to join in the singing.  Please bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Westfield Food Pantry.  413-562-2277.  60 Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Friday, December 13th at 4pm & 6:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet and members of the Ballet Educational Training Association at the Wistariahurst Museum.  This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance.  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

Saturday, December 14th from 11am-1pm – ICE SKATING/SANTA: Ice skating with Santa takes place outdoors at Community Field, Holyoke’s innovative four-season-park, home to an outdoor refrigerated ice skating pathway.  Skate rentals available. 1 Community Field Road. Holyoke, MA (>$)

Saturday, December 14th from 12:30pm-2:30pm – SANTA: Cookies with Santa at East Forest Park Branch Library. 413-263-6836. Springfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th from 12:30pm-2:30pm – SANTA: Spend the afternoon at East Forest Park Branch Library hanging out with Santa, doing holiday crafts, and enjoying Christmas cookies.  413-263-6836.  122 Island Pond Road.  Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 11:30am, 2pm, & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet and members of the Ballet Educational Training Association at the Wistariahurst Museum.  This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance.  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

Saturday, December 14th from 1pm-2pm – CHRISTMAS: The East Longmeadow Public Library is holding their second annual Grinch Gala today!  Have holiday snacks, play games, hear Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas read aloud, and then enjoy a screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  All ages.  Please register.  413-525-5400 x1511.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 1:30pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Albany Berkshire Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker” at Symphony Hall.  The classic Christmas performance features beautifully-designed sets and costumes, as well as wonderful dancing.  This classic holiday ballet is great for all ages.  Purchase tickets in advance.  413-788-7033.  34 Court Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$$

Sunday, December 15th from 9:30am-11:30am – SANTA: Enjoy breakfast with Santa and his elves at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel!  There will be breakfast foods and an opportunity to meet Santa himself.  Please call for reservations.  413-263-2009.  1 Monarch Place.  Springfield, MA.  $

Saturday, December 21st, 12noon-2pm – HOLIDAYS: Come to the East Springfield Branch Library to drink hot chocolate and decorate gingerbread cookies.  Family members of all ages are invited to spend time together at the library doing this fun holiday activity.  413-263-6840.  21 Osborne Terrace.  Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 2pm & 8pm – THEATER/HOLIDAYS: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year!  The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers.  The whole family will enjoy this holiday production.  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  $$

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Hampshire County

Sunday, December 1st from 4pm-8pm – CHANUKAH PARTY: Congregation B’nai Israel is hosting “A Really Great Chanukah Party!”  This family-friendly event features a live band, dancing, menorah lighting, homemade latkes and treats, and beer for grown-ups.  There will also be a movie screening.  413-584-3593.  253 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Friday, December 6th from 4:15-6:30pm – MERRY MAPLE: Kick off the holiday season with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce as they light the Merry Maple tonight!  There will be hayrides, crafts, a performance by the Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus, the Minuteman Marching Band parade, an appearance by Santa Claus, cider doughnuts, and more.  This is an exciting annual event and a great way to spend time with family and friends of all ages!  413-253-0700.  Downtown.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Friday, December 6th – Sunday, December 8th and Friday, December 13th – Sunday, December 15th 7pm or 7:30pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: The Belchertown Performing Arts Center presents “A Christmas Carol.” 413-323-7442. 18 Park Street. Belchertown, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th from 9:30am-11am – BREAKFAST W/SANTA: Come have breakfast with Santa at the Garden House at Look Park!  The whole family will love this delicious breakfast buffet and enjoy having the opportunity to hang out with Santa.  Reservations requested.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  $

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-11:30am – MYO GIFTS: Come make holiday cards with friends and family at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!  All materials will be provided, so bring your creativity and make five fun cards and envelopes.  For ages 3 and up.  Registration is requested.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 7th from 1pm-5:30pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Today is the South Hadley Holiday Stroll!  Come into town for events for the whole family, like a holiday craft activity at the Gaylord Library, musical performances, a parade with Santa, activities at Odyssey Books, a tree lighting, and more.  A full schedule can be found here.  Downtown.  South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, December 7th at 4:15pm – TREE LIGHTING: Holiday Tree Lighting in Pulaski Park. Mrs. Claus will lead the singing, and Santa will arrive on a Northampton Fire Truck. Choral music. Free hot chocolate and cookies. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th at 7pm – CHORAL MUSIC: For the 57th year, the Hilltown Choral Society will perform a Christmas Concert at the First Congregational Church of Williamsburg.  The whole family will enjoy this concert filled with classic Christmas music.  4 North Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Sunday, December 8th from 9:30am-11:30am – BREAKFAST W/SANTA: Enjoy breakfast with Santa and his elves at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel!  There will be breakfast foods and an opportunity to meet Santa himself.  Please call for reservations.  413-263-2009.  1 Monarch Place.  Springfield, MA.  $

Sunday, December 8th at 2pm: SANTA: How does Santa manage the elves in his workshop at the North Pole? Did you know that Santa has changed his costume over the years? Learn more about the festive celebrations that take place all over the world when Santa visits The Eric Carle Museum, sharing some of his secrets and hidden surprises in his new book, All About Me. He wants to meet you, take photos with you, and talk about his favorite winter holiday. Book signing to follow. 413-658-1105. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: For the 57th year, the Hilltown Choral Society will perform a Christmas Concert at the Plainfield Congregational Church.  The whole family will enjoy this concert filled with classic Christmas music.  Church Lane.  Plainfield, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm & 7:30pm: CHORAL MUSIC: Two Christmas Vespers concerts—a beloved Mount Holyoke College tradition—will be presented in Abbey Chapel. The event will begin, as it has for decades, with a traditional Gregorian chant as the College’s Glee Club processes through the chapel by candlelight. The program will include seasonal choral works from many countries, with traditional songs from Latvia, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. Mount Holyoke Vespers dates back to the late 1800s, and has long been a popular event in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. This year, some 120 students are expected to perform. 413-538-2809. Mount Holyoke College. 50 College Street South. Hadley, MA

Open Daily December 11th-23rd from 4-8pm and December 24th 10am-2pm from 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Thursday, December 12th at 6pm - CHORAL MUSIC: The Northampton Community Music Center’s Holiday Choral Festival takes place tonight at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel!  Performers include the Hartsbrook School 7th & 8th Grade Choir, NCMC’s High Definition, Hilltown Cooperative Charter School Chorus, NCMC Ku’umba Women’s Choir, NCMC’s Community Children’s Choir, Northampton High School Chamber Choir, Valley Jazz Choir, and Valley Rock Choir.  This festive concert is free but donations will be accepted for NCMC’s Scholarship Fund.  413-585-0001.  Elm Street & Round Hill Road.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Friday, December 13th-Sunday, December 14that 4pm & 7:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then.  Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its 35th anniversary of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre.  This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music.  It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP.  413-584-9032 x105.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $$-$$$

Saturday, December 14th from 9:30am-11:30am – SANTA: Santa Claus will be visiting Cummington this morning!  Come to the gazebo to meet him!  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon – SANTA: Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Easthampton Family Center.  Enjoy milk and cookies during this annual holiday event, and bring your camera to snap a photo to send to the grandparents too. There will be a holiday sing along, stories with Mrs. Claus and craft making. Takes place in the Old Town Hall.  413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (>$)

Saturday, December 14th at 10:30am & 1pm - THEATER/SANTA: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Adventures of Santa Claus” at Northampton High School.  This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family!  413-210-1898.  380 Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

Saturday, December 14th at 1pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then.  Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its 35th anniversary of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre.  This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music.  It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP.  413-584-9032 x105.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $$-$$$

Open Daily December 11th-23rd from 4-8pm and December 24th 10am-2pm from 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Friday, December 20 at 10:30am – NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS:  Theatre IV presents ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Academy of Music Theatre. Inspired by the timeless poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and the life of its author, Clement Moore, this hilarious musical introduces Santa in a particularly beneficent light. Recommended for Grades K-5.  1-800-275-5005  274 Main Street. Northampton, MA ($) 

Saturday, December 21st, 7am & 3:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: See the sun rise (7am) and set (3:30pm) at the UMass Sunwheel today.  There will be presentations that describe the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, the cause of seasons and moon phases, and the history of the Sunwheel and other calendar sites around the world.  Those who are interested in astronomy or who want to learn more about the Sunwheel, the sun, moon, and seasons would enjoy these events.  More information and directions available here.  Rocky Hill Road.  Amherst, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 21st, 10am-12noon – CHRISTMAS: The Pelham Library and Historical Society are co-sponsoring the annual Holiday Tea, featuring an appearance by Santa and a performance by That Long Tall Sword.  They will perform traditional songs, a mummers’ play, and longsword and Abbotts Bromley horn dances.  There will also be a seasonal sing-along with Roger Conant.  This event is a good way to spend time with community members during the holidays.  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.

Saturday, December 21st from 6-8:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Gather with music, bonfire, hot drinks and your community at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st at 7pm: THE NUTCRACKER:  Celtic Heels presents A Celtic Nutcracker at the Academy of Music Theatre.  Experience the story of the Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance from the perspective of a young girl living in a cottage in Ireland. The journey takes her to Tir Na Nog, the land of eternal youth, where she finds herself transformed into a princess and receives gifts from Scottish Sword Dancers and Cornish Dancers and meets a few leprechauns along the way.   A first in the Pioneer Valley, this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance. 413-584-9032 ext.105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA ($) 

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Tree Lighting

Saturday, November 30th at 5:30pm: Westfield’s Dickens Days Lanternlight Parade and Tree Lighting take place in Downtown Westfield!  The festive parade features music, community groups, giant puppets, Dickens Days spirits, Santa Claus, and more.  Follow the parade down Elm Street to Park Square, where the mayor will light the city’s 20-foot tree.  The Youth Chorale of the Full Gospel Church of Westfield will also perform at this event.  Families are welcome to create their own puppets at the South Middle School cafeteria (West Silver Street) from 11am-1pm, and then show their puppets off in the parade!  Celebrate the holidays and engage with your community on this special day.  413-562-2277.  Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.

Sunday, December 1st at 6pm: Santa will arrive by fire engine to help with Lenox Dale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Memorial Park tonight!  Kids will have a chance to meet Santa and pose for photos at the Fire Station (Elm Street), where gifts and refreshments will be distributed.  This fun community holiday event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company.  413-637-5542.  Walker Street & Crystal Street.  Lenox Dale, MA.

Friday, December 6th from 4:15-6:30pm: Kick off the holiday season with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce as they light the Merry Maple!  There will be hayrides, crafts, a performance by the Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus, the Minuteman Marching Band parade, an appearance by Santa Claus, cider doughnuts, and more.  This is a festive annual event and a great way to spend time with family and friends of all ages!  413-253-0700.  Downtown.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Friday, December 6th at 5:30pm: Pittsfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is tonight at Park Square!  There will be performances by the Berkshire Hills Chorus and the Taconic High School Chorus before and after the ceremony, an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, free hot chocolate, and more.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to the Christian Center’s food pantry.  Downtown.  Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, December 6th at 6pm: The town of Lenox will light their Christmas tree in Lilac Park!  Come with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and meet with Santa!  Lenox, MA.

Saturday, December 7th at 4:15pm: Holiday Tree Lighting in Pulaski Park. Mrs. Claus will lead the singing, and Santa will arrive on a Northampton Fire Truck. Choral music. Free hot chocolate and cookies. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th at 6pm: Cheshire Holiday Tree Lighting happens at Town Hall with hayrides, refreshments and Santa! Cheshire, MA (FREE)

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Santa

Saturday, November 30th at 9am: Don’t miss Yankee Candle’s holiday celebration for kids of all ages!  Santa’s elves will entertain and then Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by helicopter at Yankee Candle Village (10am)!  There will also be souvenir reindeer antlers, hot chocolate and cookies, carolers, balloon making, pictures with Santa, deals at the Yankee Candle store, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and more!  The event is free but some activities may have fees.  More information available here.  877-636-7707.  25 Greenfield Road.  South Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 1st from 10am-12noon: Sláinte is holding a “Cookies and Milk with Santa” event for kids!  There will be face painting, balloon sculptures, letters to Santa, Christmas carols, and an opportunity for kids to meet Santa himself.  Kids will love this fun Christmas celebration!  Please bring one unwrapped gift for the Rotary for Children’s Toy Drive.  413-534-4000.  80 Jarvis Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 1st at 6pm: Santa will arrive by fire engine to help with Lenox Dale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Memorial Park tonight!  Kids will have a chance to meet Santa and pose for photos at the Fire Station (Elm Street), where gifts and refreshments will be distributed.  This fun community holiday event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company.  413-637-5542.  Walker Street & Crystal Street.  Lenox Dale, MA.

Tuesday, December 3rd – Friday, December 13th during library hours: The Monson Library is hosting Letters to Santa.  This holiday season, anytime between Dec 3rd-13th, kids can deposit letters to Santa Claus in their special mailbox. Include a self-addressed stamped envelope and see the excitement on your kids faces when they get a reply arriving in their mail box at home from the North Pole. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 8:30am & 10:30am: Join the Westfield State University community for breakfast with Santa in Scanlon Banquet Hall.  Admission to the meal includes breakfast, face painting, a gift for each child, and entertainment by the Melha clowns.  A great way for families to spend time together with other community members.  Tickets available here.  413-572-5218.  577 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  $

Saturday, December 7th from 9:30am-11am: Come have breakfast with Santa at the Garden House at Look Park!  The whole family will love this delicious breakfast buffet and enjoy having the opportunity to hang out with Santa.  Reservations requested.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  $

Sunday, December 8th from 8am-11:30am: The Agawam Junior Women’s Club is hosting Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus!  Come to Roberta G. Doering Middle School for breakfast food, pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, letters to Santa, a raffle, a StoryWalk, and more.  68 Main Street.  Agawam, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 8am-12noon: The West Springfield Lions Club is holding a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser to benefit Operation Santa, which provides food and gifts to local families in need.  Santa will also be at this event.  Spend time with family, friends, and community members at this community meal.  Takes place at West Springfield Senior Center.  413-495-1891.  128 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 9:30am-11:30am: Enjoy breakfast with Santa and his elves at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel!  There will be breakfast foods and an opportunity to meet Santa himself.  Please call for reservations.  413-263-2009.  1 Monarch Place.  Springfield, MA.  $

Sunday, December 8th at 2pm: How does Santa manage the elves in his workshop at the North Pole? Did you know that Santa has changed his costume over the years? Learn more about the festive celebrations that take place all over the world when Santa visits The Eric Carle Museum, sharing some of his secrets and hidden surprises in his new book, All About Me. He wants to meet you, take photos with you, and talk about his favorite winter holiday. Book signing to follow. 413-658-1105. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

Wednesday, December 11th – December 23rd from 4pm-8pm: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 14th from 9:30am-11:30am: Santa Claus will be visiting Cummington this morning!  Come to the gazebo to meet him!  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon: Spend this morning on a special half-mile hike with Santa at Bartholomew’s Cobble!  Kids can learn about nature and the wonders of winter while spending time friends, parents, and Santa.  Adults free; cost for children includes a present.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon: Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Easthampton Family Center.  Enjoy milk and cookies during this annual holiday event, and bring your camera to snap a photo to send to the grandparents too. There will be a holiday sing along, stories with Mrs. Claus and craft making. Takes place in the Old Town Hall.  413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (>$)

Saturday, December 14th from 11am-1pm: Ice skating with Santa takes place outdoors at Community Field, Holyoke’s innovative four-season-park, home to an outdoor refrigerated ice skating pathway.  Skate rentals available. 1 Community Field Road. Holyoke, MA (>$)

Saturday, December 14th from 12:30pm-2:30pm: Cookies with Santa at East Forest Park Branch Library. 413-263-6836. Springfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th from 12:30pm-2:30pm: Spend the afternoon at East Forest Park Branch Library hanging out with Santa, doing holiday crafts, and enjoying Christmas cookies.  413-263-6836.  122 Island Pond Road.  Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 4pm-8pm: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  You can find more information here.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 15th from 9:30am-11:30am: Enjoy breakfast with Santa and his elves at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel!  There will be breakfast foods and an opportunity to meet Santa himself.  Please call for reservations.  413-263-2009.  1 Monarch Place.  Springfield, MA.  $

Sunday, December 15th at 12noon: Come to the Lenox Community Center for lunch, crafts, and a chance to get your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus!  413-637-5530.  65 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.

Sunday, December 15th from 1-3pm: Forget about Santa… come hang out with Mrs. Claus! Bring the kids and grandkids for an afternoon on the Williamstown Common to visit with Mrs. Claus and enjoy refreshments. 413-458-2111. 25 Adams Road. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 15th from 1pm-4pm: Come spend time with Santa today at Pine Hill Orchards!  There will be cider donuts and apple cider, as well as the opportunity to decorate gingerbread houses and make ornaments.  413-624-3325.  248 Greenfield Road.  Colrain, MA.

Sunday, December 15th from 1-4pm: Santa will be on the Town Common.  There will be caroling, displays of miniature replicas of Granby historic buildings, refreshments. Granby, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, December 18th & Thursday, December 19th in the evening: Pittsfield families are invited to participate in the North Pole Calling Program 2013. The purpose of this program is to offer City of Pittsfield children in Kindergarten through Second Grade an opportunity to speak directly with Santa Claus, or his number one assistant Mrs. Claus. The Parks & Recreation Program ‘elves’ would be more than happy to call your son or daughter and wish him or her ‘Happy Holidays’ on the evening of Wednesday, December 18 or Thursday, December 19.  Calls will be made from 5:00-7:30 p.m.  Forms will be sent home through the schools late November. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st from 11am-2pm, Sunday, December 22nd from 1-3pm and Wednesday, December 24th from 11am-1pm -  Wilson’s Department Store is one of only a handful of family-owned department stores left in the country.  This downtown Greenfield landmark has been in the same location since it first opened in 1882, under the name “The Boston Store.”  This is Wilson’s 131st year of holiday shopping, and you can celebrate and get in the holiday spirit by coming to the store and meeting Santa.  Celebrate Christmas and this department store tradition at this unique family-owned store!  413-774-4326.  258 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, December 21st – Monday, December 23rd from 4pm-8pm: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Tuesday, December 24th from 10am-2pm: Celebrate the holidays at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity. 413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >

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Holiday Strolls

Saturday, November 30th from 10am-4pm: Westfield’s Dickens Days kicks off with their Village Stroll!  Musicians and performers will be around town to make this Victorian shopping celebration extra special.  The first Saturday after Thanksgiving is also Small Business Saturday, and those who wish to participate and shop at local stores can pick up a Westfield BID shopping bag at the Downtown Art Gallery (105 Elm Street; 10am-3pm) for special deals and discounts!  Don’t miss this opportunity to see Westfield transformed into a Victorian village while supporting local shops and restaurants.  413-562-2277.  Downtown.  Westfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-3pm: Home for the Holidays in downtown Greenfield. Greenfield, known for its picturesque and vibrant downtown, features a quintessential American Main Street where you can enjoy dining, shopping, entertainment, history, architecture, and recreation by simply taking a stroll. At the season’s Home for the Holidays celebration, you’ll find Santa, caroling, shopping & hot chocolate to warm up with.  413-774-2791. Veterans Mall, downtown Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 1pm-5:30pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Today is the South Hadley Holiday Stroll!  Come into town for events for the whole family, like a holiday craft activity at the Gaylord Library, musical performances, a parade with Santa, activities at Odyssey Books, a tree lighting, and more.  A full schedule can be found here.  Downtown.  South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 3pm-6pm: Williamstown’s 30th Annual Holiday Walk includes fun activities for the whole family!  The Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, where Williamstown’s cutest dogs stroll down Spring Street in their holiday best.  You can then go see Santa and a holiday bake-off at The Log.  There will also be live music throughout the day, a toy drive, caroling, and more.  A full schedule and list of events can be found here.  Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.

Sunday, December 8th from 12noon-2pm: The Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Recreation is today!  Stroll down Main Street and see it as it was when Norman Rockwell painted his famous painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.”  Antique cars will be parked along the street, and there will be music, carols, Christmas food, Roger the Jester, kids’ activities, and visits with Santa.  This holiday event allows you to get an idea of what Stockbridge was like in the past, while celebrating the present-day town and the upcoming holidays.  A full schedule is available here.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 14th from 9am-5pm: 8th Annual “Special Day in Northfield.” Bring the kids for an old fashioned holiday celebration with horse-drawn hay rides costumed characters, live music. MYO crafts, tree lighting, shopping on Main Street and more!  Visit with Santa, decorage gingerbread people, celebrate St. Lucia Day, take in a theater production, join in caroling, and buy local! Main Street. Northfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th from 6pm-12midnight: Stroll the towns of Athol & Orange and shop local for the holidays furing Midnight Madness.  Local businesses will be open late. Santa will be around and live music will be playing. Come caroling, and win prizes!  A fun evening out shopping local while enjoying the holiday season. Athol, MA & Orange, MA (FREE)

Thursday, December 19th from 5-9pm: The 3rd annual It’s a Wonderful Night happens in downtown Turners Falls. Join in for a holiday event featuring festive storefront windows, roving musicians, in store performances, caroling, tree lighting with Santa, and specials at local shops, many staying open until 9pm. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

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MYO Gifts

Tuesday, December 3rd from 5:30pm-7:45pm: Are you interested in being crafty this holiday season?  Come to the Springfield Library’s Sixteen Acres Branch for “Adventures in Upcycling: Make Your Own Gift Bags and Wrapping Paper!”  You can create gift bags from recycled newspaper and cardboard and design and make your own wrapping paper.  Materials and instruction provided.  Best for adults and older teens.  Registration is required.  413-263-6858.  1187 Parker Street.  Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 12noon-4:30pm: Make your own holiday gifts at Historic Deerfield. Those who need to make progress on their gift list will appreciate making a special gift by hand! 413-775-7127. Deerfield, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-11:30am: Come make holiday cards with friends and family at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!  All materials will be provided, so bring your creativity and make five fun cards and envelopes.  For ages 3 and up.  Registration is requested.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-3pm: The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is hosting a family book and craft fair in the Brassworks building.  Kids and their parents will have the opportunity to do make their own holiday gifts, including evergreen wreaths, felt masks, rubber band bracelets, bookmarks, wind chimes, and more!  413-268-3421.  132 Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.

Sunday, December 8th at 10am: Four Rivers Family Council is holding its annual Holiday Craft Workshop today!  Families can come and spend time together while making crafty holiday gifts.  413-775-4577.  248 Colrain Road.  Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 3pm: Kids can make their own holiday snow globes at the Berkshire Co-Op Market!  Bring small old toys (some will be provided) to put in the snow globes.  This is a great way for kids to get into the holiday spirit by creating holiday decorations made from pre-used goods (jars, toys).  Please call or stop by the front desk to sign up.  413-528-9697 x10.  42 Bridge Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

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Caroling/Choral Music

Saturday, November 30th at 4pm: The Berkshire Bach Players are holding a Handel’s Messiah Sing-In at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington.  All are welcome to come usher in the holidays and sign in this informal chorus.  You are welcome to bring your own score or borrow one at the Church.  This event would be best for older students interested in classical music.  413-528-9277.  251 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

Thursday, December 5th at 5:45pm: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the 26th Annual Caroling on the Green event in the Elm Street Gazebo.  Community members are welcome to attend and sing along!  413-263-3284.  Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 1-3pm: The Connecticut Yuletide Carolers will bring the holiday spirit with their festive selection of music to kick off the holiday season at Historic Deerfield. 413-775-7127. Deerfield, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th at 4pm : The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel.  Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols.  In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries.  413-597-4277.  Route 2.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 3-4:30pm: Start a new family tradition and take the kids to go Christmas Caroling in a horse drawn wagon with Blue Star Equiculture Horse Rescue. After your ride, warm up with hot cider and refreshments and visit their rescue horses. 413-289-9787. 3090 Palmer Street Rte 181. Palmer, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th from 6pm-7pm: Participate in the Caroling Luminaria Walk as part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festivities.  Meet in front of the Red Lion Inn with your flashlight or candle, sing carols, and walk to the First Congregational Church with luminarias.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 7:30pm: Celebrate the holidays at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge at the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Holiday Concert.  There will be performances by the Berkshire Lyric Chorus, the Blafield Children’s Chorus, and others.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$-$$$

Saturday, December 7th at 7pm: For the 57th year, the Hilltown Choral Society will perform a Christmas Concert at the First Congregational Church of Williamsburg.  The whole family will enjoy this concert filled with classic Christmas music.  4 North Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm & 7:30pm: Two Christmas Vespers concerts—a beloved Mount Holyoke College tradition—will be presented in Abbey Chapel. The event will begin, as it has for decades, with a traditional Gregorian chant as the College’s Glee Club processes through the chapel by candlelight. The program will include seasonal choral works from many countries, with traditional songs from Latvia, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. Mount Holyoke Vespers dates back to the late 1800s, and has long been a popular event in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. This year, some 120 students are expected to perform. 413-538-2809. Mount Holyoke College. 50 College Street South. Hadley, MA

Sunday, December 8th from 3pm-4:30pm: Choral group Schola Nova will be at St. John’s Lutheran Church for an evening of readings and Christmas carols.  Audience members are welcome to join in the singing.  Please bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Westfield Food Pantry.  413-562-2277.  60 Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel.  Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols.  In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries.  413-597-4277.  Route 2.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Thursday, December 12th at 6pm - CHORAL MUSIC: The Northampton Community Music Center’s Holiday Choral Festival takes place tonight at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel!  Performers include the Hartsbrook School 7th & 8th Grade Choir, NCMC’s High Definition, Hilltown Cooperative Charter School Chorus, NCMC Ku’umba Women’s Choir, NCMC’s Community Children’s Choir, Northampton High School Chamber Choir, Valley Jazz Choir, and Valley Rock Choir.  This festive concert is free but donations will be accepted for NCMC’s Scholarship Fund.  413-585-0001.  Elm Street & Round Hill Road.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Friday, December 13th at 7:30pm: Enjoy an evening of traditional, festive winter carols and general merriment, performed by the four gentlemen who are Nowell Sing We Clear. Fiddles, accordions and gorgeous harmonies, peppered with their unique humor and a traditional Mummer’s Play are sure to get the whole family into the Holiday spirit. Takes place at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Auditorium. Limited seating available. 413-528-4015 x104. 35 West Plain Road. Great Barrington, MA ($)

Saturday, December 14th from 3-4:30pm: Start a new family tradition and take the kids to go Christmas Caroling in a horse drawn wagon with Blue Star Equiculture Horse Rescue. After your ride, warm up with hot cider and refreshments and visit their rescue horses. 413-289-9787. 3090 Palmer Street Rte 181. Palmer, MA ($)

Sunday, December 15th at 3pm: The Cantilena Chamber Choir will perform a Christmas concert today at Trinity Church.  They will sing classic carols, as well as the music of Poulenc, Britten, and more.  The whole family will enjoy this Christmas concert.  Kids get in for free.  88 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  $

Wednesday, December 18th at 4pm: Engage with your community and spread holiday cheer by going caroling at the Claire Teague Senior Center!  All are welcome at this fun holiday activity, which is a great opportunity to spend time with community members of all ages.  Please RSVP.  413-248-0755.  917 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 3-4:30pm: Start a new family tradition and take the kids to go Christmas Caroling in a horse drawn wagon with Blue Star Equiculture Horse Rescue. After your ride, warm up with hot cider and refreshments and visit their rescue horses. 413-289-9787. 3090 Palmer Street Rte 181. Palmer, MA ($)

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm-6pm: Take part in Creative Community Caroling in South Deerfield. Meet at the Deerfield Arts Bank, then travel all over town singing Christmas classics.  Candles and song books will be provided.  3 Sugarloaf Street.  South Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 7pm: The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra & Chorus will perform their Annual Family Holiday Concert at Greenfield High School.  All Greenfield Public School choirs will be performing making this a fun event for community members of all ages.  The concert will include both classical and popular favorites, and there will be musical puzzles and games for younger audience members.  More information on this exciting holiday performance can be found here.  413-772-1300.  141 Davis Street.  Greenfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 21st, 7:30pm: The Berkshire Lyrics Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus come together tonight for “Making Spirits Bright,” a Christmas concert at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.  The featured work at this concert will be Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols.”  This Christmas concert is appropriate for all ages and is a great holiday event for the whole family.  413-499-0258.  67 East Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

Sunday, December 22nd, 6pm: Did you know that Easthampton is thought to be the inspiration for Dr. Seuss’s Whoville, the town in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas?” Bundle up the kids and meet at the town Christmas tree at Easthampton Center for a “Whoville Flash Mob!” Sing with neighbors and friends like the Whos in Whoville, spending time with community members to celebrate the holidays.  Please bring an unwrapped toy under $10 to donate to the Easthampton Community Center, who will distribute the gifts to local families in need.  Downtown.  Easthampton, MA.

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Hanukkah

Sunday, December 1st at 9am: B’Nai Torah is holding their annual Katz Family Chanukah Breakfast!  There will be food, entertainment, and a kids vs. adults sufganiyah  catapult contest.  Spend time with family and friends at this fun community meal.  413-567-0036.  2 Eunice Drive.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 1st from 4pm-8pm: Congregation B’nai Israel is hosting “A Really Great Chanukah Party!”  This family-friendly event features a live band, dancing, menorah lighting, homemade latkes and treats, and beer for grown-ups.  There will also be a movie screening.  413-584-3593.  253 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Sunday, December 1st from 11am-2pm: Celebrate Chanukah at Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy’s Chanukah Wonderland!  You can get your face painted, meet Judah Maccabee, do crafts, play games, see a magic show, and make your own doughnuts.  Join together with family and your community at this fun Chanukah event.  Lunch is available for purchase at the event.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Monday, December 2nd at 1:10pm: Help light the largest menorah in Springfield with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy in Court Square at this community Hanukkah celebration!  There will also be Hanukkah songs, latkes, and hot cocoa.  413-567-8665.  Downtown.  Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 2nd at 2pm: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the annual Chanukah Celebration today in the Majestic Theater Lobby Cafe.  Celebrate Hanukkah with community members at this special event.  413-263-3284.  Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 2nd at 6:30pm: Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy invites you to the Electric Chanukah Dinner and Show.  Families can come for dinner, a menorah lighting, a performance by the LYA Choir, and Fun with Energy with Jeff Boyer (6:30pm).  Boyer will demonstrate to kids the wonders of energy and how it makes our world work through activities and interactive demonstrations.  Please RSVP ASAP.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  $

Tuesday, December 3rd at 6:30pm: The Jewish Learning Institute of Greater Springfield is holding an Adult Chanukah Dinner featuring a performance by stand-up comedian Reuven Russell.  Celebrate Hanukkah, enjoy live comedy, and spend time with friends and community members at this special event.  Please RSVP.  413-348-4978.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  $$$

Wednesday, December 4th at 6pm: Celebrate Hanukkah in the Westfield Athenaeum Courtyard (Court Street) with the mayor as he lights the menorah, and then attend a community Hanukkah party at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum (29 South Broad Street)!  This is a fun way to celebrate Hanukkah with family and community members.  413-562-2277.  Westfield, MA.

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Christmas

Saturday, November 30th at 7pm & Sunday, December 1st at 2pm: Celebrate Christmas early at the Colonial Theater! Berkshire Theater Group presents Mary Verdi, a local singer-songwriter who annually performs for the holidays in the Berkshires. The show will feature a children’s and bell choir plus a full band for families to sing-along with to old holiday favorites  Families will love this special night of nostalgia and holiday music! Best for kids with audience skills. 413-997-4444. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 1st from 10am-12noon: Sláinte is holding a “Cookies and Milk with Santa” event for kids!  There will be face painting, balloon sculptures, letters to Santa, Christmas carols, and an opportunity for kids to meet Santa himself.  Kids will love this fun Christmas celebration!  Please bring one unwrapped gift for the Rotary for Children’s Toy Drive.  413-534-4000.  80 Jarvis Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 1st at 6pm: Santa will arrive by fire engine to help with Lenox Dale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Memorial Park tonight!  Kids will have a chance to meet Santa and pose for photos at the Fire Station (Elm Street), where gifts and refreshments will be distributed.  This fun community holiday event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company.  413-637-5542.  Walker Street & Crystal Street.  Lenox Dale, MA.

Thursday, December 5th at 4pm: The Odyssey Bookshop hosts a special holiday themed reading… The Grinch himself will read aloud from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Enjoy free giveaways, stickers, snacks and more! There will even be a photo opportunity with the Grinch himself— so parents, don’t forget to bring your cameras! Odyssey Bookshop. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 6th from 4pm-9pm: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.”  This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest,  Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more.  This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$$

Friday, December 6th from 6:30pm-8:30pm: The Westfield YMCA is holding their annual Frosty Festival with Mr. and Mrs. Claus tonight!  Families can come dressed in ugly sweaters for swimming, a kids’ carnival, crafts, a bake sale, and much more!  This is a great event for the whole family to attend together to get into the holiday spirit.  413-568-8631.  67 Court Street.  Westfield, MA.  >$

Friday, December 6th – Sunday, December 8th and Friday, December 13th – Sunday, December 15th 7pm or 7:30pm: The Belchertown Performing Arts Center presents “A Christmas Carol.” 413-323-7442. 18 Park Street. Belchertown, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th & December 8th from 11am-4pm – YULETIDE: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowtown Village’s Yuletide!  This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment.  There will be traditional music, dance, holiday songs, people in period costume, ice sculpting, kid’s activities, a petting zoo, visits with Santa, and much more.  More Storrowtown Yuletide information can be found here.  413-205-5051.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.

Sunday, December 8th from 2pm-4pm – CHRISTMAS MUSIC: The Dan Kane Singers come to the Westfield Athenaeum tonight for an evening of Christmas music, including a sing-a-long and visit from Santa.  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.

Friday, December 13th at 4pm & 6:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet and members of the Ballet Educational Training Association at the Wistariahurst Museum.  This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance.  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

Friday, December 13th at 4pm & 7:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then.  Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its 35th anniversary of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre.  This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music.  It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP.  413-584-9032 x105.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $$-$$$

Friday, December 13th at 7pm, Saturday, December 14th at 2 & 7pm and Sunday, December 15th at 2pm: Mill City Productions will host “Fireside Yuletide,” a dramatic reading of classic Christmas stories for the whole family read by Mill City actors. “Fireside Yuletide” include dramatic readings of many holiday classics, including “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The production also includes singing of classic holiday songs and festive holiday refreshments will be served.  Mill City’s Theatre (115 State Street, Building 4) in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. North Adams, MA (>$)

Saturday, December 14th at 10:30am & 1pm: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Adventures of Santa Claus” at Northampton High School.  This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family!  413-210-1898.  380 Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

Saturday, December 14th at 11:30am, 2pm, & 4:30pm: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet and members of the Ballet Educational Training Association at the Wistariahurst Museum.  This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance.  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

Saturday, December 14th at 1pm & 4:30pm: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then.  Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its 35th anniversary of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre.  This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music.  It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP.  413-584-9032 x105.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $$-$$$

Saturday, December 14th from 1pm-2pm: The East Longmeadow Public Library is holding their second annual Grinch Gala today!  Have holiday snacks, play games, hear Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas read aloud, and then enjoy a screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  All ages.  Please register.  413-525-5400 x1511.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 1:30pm & 4:30pm: Albany Berkshire Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker” at Symphony Hall.  The classic Christmas performance features beautifully-designed sets and costumes, as well as wonderful dancing.  This classic holiday ballet is great for all ages.  Purchase tickets in advance.  413-788-7033.  34 Court Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$$

December 14th-December 29th: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The Colonial Theatre. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($$)

Friday, December 20 at 10:30am:  Theatre IV presents ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Academy of Music Theatre. Inspired by the timeless poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and the life of its author, Clement Moore, this hilarious musical introduces Santa in a particularly beneficent light. Recommended for Grades K-5.  1-800-275-5005  274 Main Street. Northampton, MA ($) 

Saturday, December 21st, 10am-12noon: The Pelham Library and Historical Society are co-sponsoring the annual Holiday Tea, featuring an appearance by Santa and a performance by That Long Tall Sword.  They will perform traditional songs, a mummers’ play, and longsword and Abbotts Bromley horn dances.  There will also be a seasonal sing-along with Roger Conant.  This event is a good way to spend time with community members during the holidays.  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 7:30pm: The Berkshire Lyrics Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus come together tonight for “Making Spirits Bright,” a Christmas concert at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.  The featured work at this concert will be Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols.”  This Christmas concert is appropriate for all ages and is a great holiday event for the whole family.  413-499-0258.  67 East Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

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Kwanzaa

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Winter Solstice

“The solstice celebration at The Roundhouse in Colrain is at the top of my list of things to do during the holiday season. The space is spectacular and becomes filled with wonderful, warm and cheerful people all cozied up together listening to stories and music and enjoying a potluck of delicious treats. They also ask that guests bring canned goods to be donated to the Franklin County Survival Center…” Robin S. of Greenfield, MA

Friday, December 13th-Sunday, December 15th at 7:30pm or 2pm (Sunday only): Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration. Delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light. 29th anniversary show for all ages, at The Shea Theater. This yearly show close to the winter solstice celebrates the return of light at the heart of winter’s darkness.  The Swedish tradition of Santa Lucia Day is featured in this year’s 29th annual production of Welcome Yule. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($) 

Friday, December 20th at 10:30am: Celebrate the Winter Solstice with Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc.!  Their special celebration features winter activities, stories, songs, snacks, and a fun parade with homemade instruments.  Please register.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.

Friday, December 20th at 6:30pm: The annual Ashfield Winter Solstice Community Celebration happens on the Town Common with a warming fire, singing and storytelling. Warm up at Elmer’s with neighbors following the outdoor celebration. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st, 7am & 3:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: See the sun rise (7am) and set (3:30pm) at the UMass Sunwheel today.  There will be presentations that describe the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, the cause of seasons and moon phases, and the history of the Sunwheel and other calendar sites around the world.  Those who are interested in astronomy or who want to learn more about the Sunwheel, the sun, moon, and seasons would enjoy these events.  More information and directions available here.  Rocky Hill Road.  Amherst, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 21st, 11:30am-9pm: Starseed Sanctuary, an interfaith healing sanctuary in the northern Berkshires, is hosting a daylong Winter Solstice celebration. Come together in community. Enjoy delicious food and enlivening company. Commune with the land. Enjoy music and song; meditation and ceremony; gift-making and gift-giving; gift-purchasing and fun-raising. 413- 743-0417. 672 Chapel Rd. Savoy, MA

Saturday, December 21st, 3pm: Western Gateway Heritage State Park is offering an educational astronomy lecture on the Winter Solstice.  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building #4.  North Adams, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm: Join the Guthrie Center at the old Trinity Church for Circle of Sound – A Global Sound Meditation in Honor of the Winter Solstice.  Bring a drum, bowl, or your voice and come meditate for “joy, harmony, acceptance, unity, and compassion for all beings on Mother Earth.”  Please RSVP.  413-528-1955.  2 Van Deusenville Road.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 21st, 4pm-6pm: Celebrate the Winter Solstice at Bartholomew’s Cobble.  Hang out around the campfire, enjoy solstice stories and songs, and eat marshmallows and hot chocolate.  Spend time with family and friends while welcoming the winter season.  Free with admission.  Please RSVP.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 21st from 6-8:30pm: Gather with music, bonfire, hot drinks and your community at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st, 6pm-9pm: Enjoy a headlamp hike to celebrate the Winter Solstice at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center.  Hike Northfield’s ski trails on the longest night of the year and share solstice facts and quotes about the night.  There will also be a campfire, cider, and snacks.  If it is snowy, you must wear snowshoes.  The hike is 1.5 miles with a 300 foot elevation gain.  Ages 11 and up.  Pre-registration required.  800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 21st at 6:30pm: Stories, music and juggling to celebrate the arrival of winter at the 32nd Annual Winter Solstice Celebration at the Center for Cultural Evolution.  Reservation recommended. 413-624-5140. 68 Van Nuys Road. Colrain, MA ($)

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