Halloween Candy Collection Shows Kindness to Others

Halloween Candy: Catalyst Towards Service Based Learning

After the magic of Halloween has ended and bits of costumes have been strewn about the house, kids are left with fond memories and gigantic piles of candy. While the candy can be of moderate educational value, it primarily serves as an unnecessary dietary supplement that, if well-rationed, can hang around the house for months to come. As much as most children love to eat candy, health-conscious parents may not want the collected treats to hang around and be consumed. On Nov 1 in Easthampton, Easthampton CrossFit will be collecting unwanted candy to donate to Operation Gratitude!

Halloween brings haunted hayrides, cute costumes, and more candy than anyone needs–or even wants–to eat. This year, families can use Halloween candy as a catalyst toward community service by getting rid of unwanted candy and helping our troops at the same time. On Saturday, November 1, at a “Halloween Candy Give Back,” Easthampton CrossFit will accept donations of candy to be sent to the troops serving overseas through Operation Gratitude, a California-based non-profit that sends military care packages.

“Halloween candy brings a memory of home,” says Jim Rego, a military veteran and a coach at the gym. By donating their candy to the troops, children can learn about service and giving back, and also cut down on eating Halloween candy.

This is a great event for kids who want to trick or treat, but either can’t eat candy due to food allergies or who just don’t want to eat too much. Parents can allow kids to pick out a few pieces of candy to keep, and bring the rest to Easthampton CrossFit ((180 Pleasant Street) on Saturday morning from 11am to 1pm to be donated.

Can’t make it? Want to organize a similar event in your community? Find out how you can organize a collection drive in your community through Operation Gratitude.

Halloween Links to Local History Learning Opportunities

7 Halloween-Themed Events that Spotlight Western MA History

On Saturday, October 18 and Friday, October 31, come to Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA, for ghoulish fun and eerie entertainment. Tour the ghostly Skinner Mansion by candlelight or take a bone chilling walk through the cemetery!

As the hills and valleys of western Massachusetts brighten with the changing of seasons, the evenings become just a bit darker and a bit spookier. While we enjoy the harvest and enjoy our fair share (at least) of apples, squash, and all things pumpkin, the days shorten and darken around us – serving as a reminder that Halloween is creeping up on us. In addition to Halloween’s costume frenzy and the potential for candy accumulation that the holiday presents, the spooking season brings with it a myriad of ways to learn about local history!

This area of New England is rich with history, and much of it spooky and surrounded by mystery. Towns across western Massachusetts are home to potentially haunted historic buildings, controversial centuries-old community history, and cemeteries that are the final resting place of folks who may have met questionable ends. All of these eerie tales amount to more than a good, healthy scare – they offer entry points for learning about the history of many small communities, as well as the western portion of the state as a whole.

Additionally, an examination of the history of a single community can help children to understand the history of the region and country better, as it provides context for understanding the specifics of a large, broad look at the events and aesthetic of a particular era. Learning about Civil War-era community members, for example, can help students imagine life during that time period, as they’ll be able to imagine the surroundings in which such people existed. Trying to understand life in the past without context, on the other hand, may lead to more guesswork on the child’s part – something that exercises their imagination but may not lead to as thorough an understanding (and definitely will not lead to developing deeper ties to their local landscape!).

To begin exploring local history through the lens of spooky history, take advantage of one (or all!) of the many upcoming Halloween-themed events that spotlight local history:
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Halloween Events in Western MA, 2014

Halloween in Western Massachusetts: 2014
Over 161 Listings and Still Counting…

Find out about all the Halloween happenings throughout Western MA with Hilltown Families comprehensive list of Halloween activities happening for families. We will be adding to this list as Halloween approaches, so check back!

Saturday, Oct. 11th – Friday, Oct. 17th, 2014
Saturday, Oct. 18th – Friday, Oct. 24th, 2014
Saturday, Oct. 25th – Sunday, Nov. 2nd, 2014

As with all of our suggested events, families are asked to take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.

If you have a Halloween event you would like to add, simply post it here. If you’d like to have your event featured on Hilltown Families, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org for details.

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Suggested Events for November 2nd-8th, 2013

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, takes place Oct 31, Nov 1 & 2. It’s a time when family and friends gather to  remember friends and family members who have passed away. Traditions connected with the holiday include creating altars called ofrendas to remember ancestors, offering sugar skulls, marigolds, and traditional Mexican foods and drinks. Discover resources to learn more in our archived post, El Diá de los Muertos.

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

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

BULLETIN BOARD

Nov 2

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

Nov 3

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

Open Houses: Nov 4 & 11

The Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, MA, will host two open houses in November. Please join them for a Middle School Open House (grades 7 and 8) on Monday, November 4, 7:00-8:30 p.m. in the Williston Middle School. The Upper School Open House (grades 9 through 12 and a PG year) is Monday, November 11, from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at the Reed Campus Center. Meet with their community of faculty, staff, and students, learn about their exceptional academics and afternoon program, and tour their campus and see their classrooms, art spaces, and athletic facilities. For more information and to register, visit www.williston.com/openhouse, call 413-529-3241, or email admission@williston.com.

Begins Nov 4

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

Wed.

Art Alive is offering weekly Wine and Painting classes every Wednesday from 6-8:30pm in downtown Amherst! All ages are welcome in our store, which features an ongoing $5 Craft of the Week and DIY kits in the craft center, but Wine and Painting Wednesdays are strictly for adults. Looking for a Parents’ Night Out? Grab a friend or your partner & enjoy a relaxing evening and bring home your very own painting! Cost is $30; art supplies, snacks & instructor are provided while attendees are encouraged to bring their own beverage. Questions about classes, birthday parties & more: artaliveamherst@gmail.com. Stay current with the Craft of the Week & new items at www.facebook.com/artaliveamherst. Art Alive is located at 35 S. Pleasant St. in Amherst.

Nov Special

Prenatal and Postpartum Support: If you are an expecting mother experiencing morning sickness, insomnia, heartburn, back pain or migraines; know that these symptoms don’t have to ruin your blessed nine months. Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga in Northampton specializes in women’s health, especially the Birthing Year. Chinese Medicine during pregnancy is a gentle, safe way to balance your body and allow you to reconnect with your baby. A stronger, happier mother grows a healthier baby. For more info on prenatal/postnatal care or birth preparation call 413-303-1246 or visit www.windowofheavenacupuncture.com. November Special: Expecting mothers who book appointments in November get $25 off the first appointment and $20 off the second.

Begins Dec 1

In 1836, Ralph Waldo Emerson started the Transcendental Club to bring people together to talk about nature, politics and theology—but he didn’t start Transcendentalism. It began in Northampton 100 years earlier when Sarah and Jonathan Edwards felt God’s presence in its people and places, a feeling that generated both evangelical Christianity and Transcendentalism. This Club, playfully descended from Emerson’s, discovers how Transcendentalism begins here, where we live. Readings, 4 seminars, group discussions and 3 field environmental philosophy outings will leave you with an advanced understanding of Transcendentalism, and of our Nonotuck biome. By the time the Club disbands, you’ll be living someplace new: a more beautiful & inspiring “here.”

Dec 6-8

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

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

TICKET GIVEAWAY

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Mavis Staples, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient, comes to the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA, on Nov 7th… and Hilltown Families has tickets to giveaway! Enter to win a pair of tickets for a parents’ night out!


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
November 2nd-8th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for October 26th-November 1st, 2013

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

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

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

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

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENT

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

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

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 29

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

Oct 31

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

Nov 2

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

Nov 3

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

Begins Nov 4

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

Dec 6-8

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

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

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HALLOWEEN HIGHLIGHTS


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

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

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Community Service: An Alternative to Halloween Candy

Community Service & Hands-On Learning as Alternatives to Candy Consumption

Halloween candy can be donated or repurposed for educational and scientific value by donating to members of the military deployed overseas to candy science experiments…

After the magic of Halloween has ended and bits of costumes have been strewn about the house, kids are left with fond memories and gigantic piles of candy. While the candy can be of moderate educational value, it primarily serves as an unnecessary dietary supplement that, if well-rationed, can hang around the house for months to come. As much as most children love to eat candy, health-conscious parents may not want the collected treats to hang around and be consumed. Never fear! There are lots and lots of alternatives to Halloween as it is most often celebrated…

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Halloween Math: Counting Kit Kats & Charleston Chews

Masking Math in Halloween Adventures

Before Halloween, think of a question that you could research as a family, something that leads to collecting some basic data on Halloween night, and mask informal math studies with collecting and counting candy and costumes!

Of all of the subjects that are taught in elementary school, math can be the hardest one to explore creatively at home. Simple exercises in counting and basic addition and subtraction can be integrated into daily routines, and math concepts arise in cooking and baking projects, but more challenging and content-specific math concepts can be difficult to weave into day to day activities at home.

However, the candy collecting done on Halloween presents an opportunity for some informal at-home math studies! Even kids who are too old to trick-or-treat (or those who don’t collect candy) can use the holiday as an opportunity to practice what they know about basic logic, data collection, and statistical analysis…

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HFVS Halloween Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to the Podcast:

HALLOWEEN EPISODE

Saturdays from 9-10am & Sundays from 7-8am
October 19th & 20th, 2013
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

Featured Video:  “Boo!” by Trout Fishing in America. Keith and Ezra engaged the creative folks at TweedVideo.com to produce this video and they did not disappoint! From the new Trout Fishing in America release, Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers, and just in time for Halloween!


Archived Podcasts Subscribe to Podcast
Radio  Facebook Twitter

  • The Citizens of Halloween – “This is Halloween” [Nightmare Before Christmas]
  • The Candy Band – “Monsters” [Calling All Kids]
  • Vintage Commercial: Remco’s Baby Laugh A-Lot
  • Ella  Fitzgerald – “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead” [The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books]
  • Justin Roberts – “Maybe the Monster” [Meltdown!]
  • The Hit Co. – “Werewolves of London” [Halloween Party Favorites]
  • Noggin – “I Don’t Like Candy Corn”
  • Recess Monkey – “Wolfman” [Tabby Road]
  • Rosemary Clooney – “Punky Punkin” [Novelty & Children's Songs]
  • Gene Simmons – “Haunted House” [The Complete Jumpin' Gene Simmons]
  • Andrew Gold – “Spooky Scary Skeletons” [Halloween Howls]
  • Richard Perlmutter – “Here Lies Homer Jones” [Beethoven's Wig 3]
  • Waco Brothers – “Them Bones” [Rudy's Rockin Kiddie Caravan]
  • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • STORY: “Winchell’s Donut House Halloween Record” [Hear the Monsters (Spooky Sounds and a Spooky Tale]
  • Steve Weeks – “4 Little Girls” [Alphabet Songs, Vol. 1]
  • Uncle Rock – “Picnic in the Graveyard” [Plays Well with Others] VIDEO HERE
  • Little Tibia and the Fibulas – “The Mummy” [Mad Monster Party]
  • Starlite Singers – “Theme from the Munsters” [Halloween Party for Kids]
  • Barenaked Ladies – “What a Wild Tune” [Snacktime]
  • The Hobo Nickels – “The Cottleville Crickety Bridge” [Cooper County]
  • Station Id: The Harmonica Pocket [www.harmonicapocket.com]
  • Bela LaGoldstein – “Old Boris”
  • The Who – “Boris The Spider” [A Quick One]
  • Oingo Boingo – “Dead Man’s Party” [Dead Man's Party]
  • Station Id: Yosi & The Superdads [www.yosimusic.com]
  • Milkshake Music – “Scared” [Happy Songs]
  • Bow Wow Wow – “I Want Candy” [The Best of Bow Wow Wow]
  • Station Id: Princess Katie & Racer Steve [www.princessracer.com]
  • Recess Monkey – “Under My Bed” [Tabby Road]
  • The Who – “Batman” [A Quick One]
  • The Sippy Cups – “The Day After Halloween” [One Day Soon]

Halloween Events in Western MA, 2013

Halloween in Western Massachusetts: 2013
152 Listings and Still Counting…

Find out about all the Halloween happenings throughout Western MA with Hilltown Families comprehensive list of Halloween activities happening for families. We will be adding to this list as Halloween approaches, so check back!

Saturday, Oct. 12th – Friday, Oct. 18th, 2013
Saturday, Oct. 19th – Friday, Oct. 25th, 2013
Saturday, Oct. 26th – Friday, Nov. 1st, 2013

As with all of our suggested events, families are asked to take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.

If you have a Halloween event you would like to add, simply post it here. If you’d like to have your event featured on Hilltown Families, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

Chandler's Restaurant

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Suggested Events for November 3rd – 9th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Chrysanthemums are in bloom at the Smith College Botanic Gardens! Visit to see a wide array of colors and blooms of all sizes. Kids can learn about the growing and blooming process that the plants go through, and can learn about greenhouse gardening, too! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

In it’s third year, the Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair is the Cummington Family Center’s annual fundraiser and an excellent opportunity for community members to find commercial-free handmade items, many supporting creative free play.

Saturday, November 3rd 10am-3pm – HANDMADE FOR KIDS CRAFT FAIR: The 3rd annual Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair takes place today at Berkshire Trail Elementary School! The fair will feature a wide variety of locally handmade items for kids – including clothes, toys, and many other treasures and necessities, especially items that promote creative non-commercial free play! Get a jump-start on holiday shopping and support local artists, artisans, crafters, and creators of all sorts. Workshops offered too. Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families. Fundraiser for the Cummington Family Center. Route 9. Cummington, MA. (SALE)

Saturday & Sunday, November 3rd & 4th from 8am-7pm in Franklin County. – CIDER DAYS: Franklin County celebrates its plentiful apple harvest and the delicious batches of cider that follow at the 18th annual Cider Days! The event includes fun events and activities county-wide – including an apple pancake breakfast, wagon rides and orchard explorations, cider pressing, lots of tastings (of ciders for big kids and little kids), and chances to learn about apple varieties, heirloom apples, organic orchards, and more! It’s a chance for families to develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the apple industry – and to drink endless cider! Franklin County, MA.

Saturday, November 3rd 10am-5pm – FAMILY VOLUNTEERING: Help build doghouses for Kane’s Krusade, an organization that helps dogs in need in the Springfield area. The organization is putting together CARE Kits (Canine Assistance Resources and Education) for families who struggle financially to care for their dogs – providing assistance in the form of insulated dog houses, leashes, collars, treats, etc. helps to keep dogs with their loving families, rather than in shelters. Families can volunteer for the entire day, or sign up for either a 10am-12noon or a 1-5pm shift. Lunch is served for volunteers between 12noon and 1pm! Best for older kids, the event is an opportunity to practice (or learn) simple carpentry skills! Takes place at ServPro. 413-363-2102. 264 Moody Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)


MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, November 10th from 9:30am-5pm – FAMILY VOLUNTEERING: Bring the family and head to Springside Park, Pittsfield’s largest public park, and work together with your community to clean up the park before the snow falls. Bring gloves and park at the upper playground (near the old zoo). Rain date: 11/11. 874 North Street. Pittsfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, November 10th 1pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: The Berkshire Museum hosts the Chief Konkapot Festival of Native American Culture and History this weekend, an event that features unique and exciting performances from Native American singers, musicians, songwriters, and more! This afternoon’s performance features Jerry Thundercloud Macdonald, performing Mohawk stories, songs, and dance. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Nov 3

The Cushman Scott Children’s Center is holding their annual Mini-Mall Craft Fair on Saturday, November 3rd from 10am-2pm at 71 Henry Street, North Amherst. There will be craft vendors, a petting farm, pony rides, face painting, a bake sale and raffle. Handmade items by the Cushman Kids will be for sale too! For more information call 413-549-1167 or visit online at www.cushmanscott.org. Cushman Scott Children’s Center is an independent, non-profit educational center serving children ages 15 months to 6 years old and their families. The center is raising funds for their new playground. Come check it out and support the school. Cushman is community!

The Valley Advocate has spoken and moms throughout the Valley have placed their votes, and trust in Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center…again! The Women’s Health and Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital was voted the #1 Birthing Center in the Advocate reader’s poll for 2012. Cooley Dickinson delivers tons of choices from OB/GYNs to certified nurse midwives, to water births and more! Show your support for the Valley’s Best Birthing Center, simply “LIKE” Cooley Dickinson on Facebook and receive a free pair of socks for your baby! Facebook.com/cooleydickinson. For information about the Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital visit www.cooley-dickinson.org. And remember, “LIKE” Cooley Dickinson on Facebook for FREE baby socks!

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your holiday event, open house, afterschool class, homeschool program, community celebration, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

TEEN VOLUNTEERS OPPORTUNITY: Moments House is looking for teens interested in being on their Jr. Board of Directors. If you know a teen who would be interested in becoming involved in any way with their mission to ensure no one faces a cancer diagnosis alone, call 413-443-6800. Moments House is a non-profit organization based out of South Lee, working to open a homelike gathering place where all Berkshire County families impacted by a cancer diagnosis can come together to gather information, and comfort and support one another. www.momentshouse.org

Follow Hilltown Families on PinterestHilltown Families is on Pinterest (pinterest.com/hilltwnfamilies) to provide Western MA families with information to browse in a comprehensible way. Some of our boards include Local Events, History, Community Based Education, Reading Lists, and Health & Wellness – among many others. If you’re looking for a project to do with your kids, check out our Arts & Crafts board. If you’re trying to find ways to help out the local community, browse our Family Volunteering board. If you’re interested in discovering nature in Western MA, peruse our Ecology board. Never has a content sharing website been so easy to use and understand!


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
November 3rd – 9th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

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Berkshire Family Fun for Early to Mid November

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
November 3rd – 16th, 2012

Halloween always seems to mark the beginning of the holiday season with Thanksgiving just around the corner. In between Halloween and Thanksgiving is Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. Families can join students from Berkshire Community College (BBC) for a Diwali celebration in Lee in mid-November as they share several traditions from this holiday.

Early this month, Native American culture is also being celebrated by BCC and at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, and in Great Barrington the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center will offer an autism-friendly screening of London’s National Theater’s production of, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.”

Other highlights in Berkshire County early this month include Dr. Augie’s Entomology Workshop, family volunteering at Springside Park, Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School’s Holiday Handcraft Fair, Monument Mountain Music in Common Youth Program at the Guthrie Center, and international game day at the Ramsdell and Mason libraries.

Find out about these events and other community building events, community based educational opportunities, and community service based learning connections happening throughout Berkshire County through November 16th, 2012:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday! There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.

List of Weekly Suggested Events

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6 Resources for Learning at Home During Frankenstorm While the Lights are On!

Hurricane Sandy and Halloween Offer Learning Opportunities Online

Hurricane Sandy might have schools closed while we await her arrival, but the learning can continue at home (so long as you have power!). Check out these online resources to brush up on math, chemistry, physiology, language arts and world & local history:

MATH

After you’ve battening down the shutters and have prepared your home & family for Hurricane Sandy (and still have power), let’s to use this event for real-world applications for learning. One online resource is “Math in the News” who takes current events as seen through the prism of mathematics every week. They are currently looking a probability maps for Hurricane Sandy.  Take a look with your kids at Math in the News and practice math skills:

CHEMISTRY

Who has Halloween candy laying around right now from events this past weekend or for passing out on Halloween night? Did you know you can use candy to conduct science experiments in the kitchen with your kids! Experiments include Acid Test using Pixy Stixs, Chromatography using M&M’s, Density experiment with Skittles, and many others!  Check out our post from last year, “Science Experiments with Candy” for ideas.

WORLD HISTORY

Here’s a succinct video about the history of Halloween produced by the History Channel: “Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity, life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes and sweet treats.”

PHYSIOLOGY

Are your kids all about Zombies this Halloween? In this animated video from TEDed, Tim Verstynen & Bradley Voytek apply the various human medical possibilities that make zombies…zombies. Find out the physiology behind what’s happening in their brains to make them act as they do.  After watching this video check out the full lesson.

LANGUAGE ARTS

H-A-Double L-O-W-Double E-N spells Halloween! Remember that song when you were a kid just learning to spell? Here’s a cool video for this song for your young kids to watch for a fun way to learn how to spell Halloween

LOCAL HISTORY

Are your kids learning about or interested in the Salem Witch Trials?  National Geographic has an interactive resource on the Salem Witch Hunt, Discovery Education has tips for teachers and home educators on the Salem Witch Trials for grade level 5-8, the National Teacher Training Institute offers lesson plans on the The Salem Witchcraft Trials and The Crucible for grades 5-12, and Historian Elizabeth Reis uses primary sources in an education video on the history of the Salem Witch Trials at Teaching History.  The History Channel offers this short video to help tell the tale of this event in Massachusetts history:

HFVS Halloween Episode with Guest DJ, Andy Z (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to the Podcast:

HALLOWEEN EPISODE with GUEST DJ ANDY Z

Saturdays from 9-10am & Sundays from 7-8am
October 27th & 28th, 2012
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA

It’s Howling Halloween with guest DJ. award-winning family music recording artist and performer, Andy Z. Listen along as Andy Z takes you on a musical tour of all things All Hallow’s Eve. Andy’s special set will include both classic and unexpected Halloween and Halloween-friendly tunes, including a few from his new Halloween-themed album, “The Grand Scream Of Things”. Don’t miss this Grand opportunity to gear up for the big holiday! – www.andyz.com

Featured Video: Andy Z & The Beeheads engage in a little healthy Halloween hijinks, with a helping hand from some “punk” rockin’ kids!


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  • The Beatles- “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!” [Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band]
  • Daniel Pinkwater- “Polkabats” [Polkabats & Octopus Slacks]
  • Andy Z- “Punkin’ Patch” [The Grand Scream Of Things]
  • The Hipwaders- “Song Of The Paleo Pirates” [Educated Kid]
  • RhymeZwell- “I’m A Pirate” [Nursery Rhymez]
  • Andy Z- “How We Roll” [The Grand Scream Of Things]
  • They Might Be Giants- “I Am Not Your Broom” [NO!]
  • Ralph’s World- “Harry’s Haunted Halloween Circus” [Ralph’s World At the Bottom Of The Sea]
  • Andy Z- “Alien Girlfriend” [The Grand Scream Of Things]
  • David Seville- “Witch Doctor” [Witch Doctor (Digitally Remastered)]
  • John Lithgow- “Big Kids” [Singing In The Bathtub]
  • Rube Bloom & His Bayou Boys- “Mysterious Mose” [30’s & 40’s Era Halloween, Vol. 2]
  • Rain Station- “Trick Or Treatin’” [Dark Ride]
  • Andy Z- “The Grand Scream Of Things” [The Grand Scream Of Things]
  • Vince Guaraldi Trio- “Great Pumpkin Waltz” [Charlie Brown Holiday Hits]
  • Daniel Pinkwater- “Skeleton Flowers” [Polkabats & Octopus Slacks]
  • The Hipwaders- “Howling At The Moon” [The Hipwaders]
  • The Not-Its!- “Bath” [We Are the Not-It’s]
  • They Might Be Giants- “Bed Bed Bed” [NO!]

Suggested Events for October 27th – November 2nd, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Old Sturbridge Village hosts “Things That Go Bump in the Night” this Saturday evening, Oct. 27th, featuring the glow of 1,000 hand-carved jack-o-lanterns and nearly 30 Halloween themed “vignettes.” (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

Western MA Premiere List of Halloween Events & Activities for Families!

Saturday & Sunday, October 27th & 28th in Franklin County from 12noon-9:30pm – HALLOWEEN HARVEST FESTIVAL: The Skeleton Crew Theater is hosting a Halloween Harvest Festival today! The event is a benefit for Blue Star Equiculture, the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, Camp Kee Wanee, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Highlights of the festival include performances by the theater company themselves, along with hay rides, a scarecrow village, kids games and activities, food, arts and crafts vendors, and live music all day long! Takes place at Camp Kee Wanee. 413-475-0913. 1 Health Camp Road. Greenfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 27th in Hampden County from 10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/HALLOWEEN: The Springfield Museums are celebrating the season today with special presentations and activities! The Halloween Spooktacular will feature a special Halloween laser show (set to songs like, “The Monster Mash,” and, “Purple People Eater”), a meet-and-greet with night critters presented by Teaching Creatures, as well as art and science activities throughout the day. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families.

Sunday, October 28th in Hampshire County at 11am – HALLOWEEN FIESTA: Halloween Costume Party with Mister G! Popular, international children’s music artist & local hero Mister G will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume party at the Academy of Music Theatre. The event will double as a CD release concert for his Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning album, Chocolalala. The bilingual (Spanish/English) CD blends Latin rhythms, traditional instruments and uniquely catchy songwriting. Mister G will also perform songs from his 2011 Grammy-nominated CD BUGS, called “irresistible” by People Magazine. Eat Pizza for Breakfast, wear your funkiest, scariest costume & come ready rock. Northampton, MA ($$)

Sunday, October 28th in Berkshire County at 2pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Berkshire Theatre Group presents the much-anticipated new production from Mermaid Theatre, A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar at the Colonial Theatre. This new production brings together three of Eric Carle’s most beloved tales. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is joined by a whimsical cast of adventurous animals drawn from the pages of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and a young girl on an unusual quest from the poignant story, Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me. Evocative music, stunning visual effects and innovative puppetry entertain and educate. 413-298-5536. Colonial Theatre Pittsfield, MA ($$$)


MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter for a chance to win a Handmade Doll House and Accessories at the 3rd Annual Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair happening on Saturday, Nov. 3rd from 10am-3pm at the Berkshire Trail Elementary School in Cummington, MA. – Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families.

Saturday, November 3rd at 10am in Berkshire County. - CULTURAL STUDIES: Native American artist Teri Greeves will be at the Berkshire Museum to lead a hands-on beaded medallion workshop for kids to accompany the museum’s Rethink! Native American Art exhibition. Kids will learn basic beadworking skills, and will also learn about the role of beadwork in traditional Native American art. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday & Sunday, November 3rd & 4th from 8am-7pm in Franklin County. – CIDER DAYS: Franklin County celebrates its plentiful apple harvest and the delicious batches of cider that follow at the 18th annual Cider Days! The event includes fun events and activities county-wide – including an apple pancake breakfast, wagon rides and orchard explorations, cider pressing, lots of tastings (of ciders for big kids and little kids), and chances to learn about apple varieties, heirloom apples, organic orchards, and more! It’s a chance for families to develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the apple industry – and to drink endless cider! Franklin County, MA.


BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 27

The Montessori School of Northampton’s annual Children’s Fall Fair and Open House will be held on Saturday, October 27 from 11am-3pm on the school’s campus at 51 Bates Street, Northampton. The full day of fun for families will include children’s games, arts and crafts, pony rides, a petting zoo, a bounce house, and more. Entertainment will be provided by percussionist Tony Vacca, and singer-songwriters Chris Scanlon and Burchie Green & Tom Knight. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. General admission is free; participation in some activities requires purchase of activity tickets at a minimal charge. Admissions information and tours of the school will also be available. 413-586-4538 or www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Oct 28

Sponsor: The Farm Education CollaborativeFamily Felting for all ages on Sunday, Oct 28 from 1-3pm at Crimson & Clover Farm (part of Northampton Community Farm) in Florence, MA. Come explore the world of fiber craft and learn about the animals that provide us with fiber. There will be an Angora rabbit and Shetland sheep for participants to meet, and learning stations for wet and needle felting. Create and take home a woolcraft. All levels welcome. $20-25/family (sliding scale). Spaces are limited! Financial Aid is available for all programs. Email farmeducationcollaborative@gmail.com for scholarship application. For more info & to register online, visit www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Oct 31

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

Nov 3

The Cushman Scott Children’s Center is holding their annual Mini-Mall Craft Fair on Saturday, November 3rd from 10am-2pm at 71 Henry Street, North Amherst. There will be craft vendors, a petting farm, pony rides, face painting, a bake sale and raffle. Handmade items by the Cushman Kids will be for sale too! For more information call 413-549-1167 or visit online at www.cushmanscott.org. Cushman Scott Children’s Center is an independent, non-profit educational center serving children ages 15 months to 6 years old and their families. The center is raising funds for their new playground. Come check it out and support the school. Cushman is community!

The Valley Advocate has spoken and moms throughout the Valley have placed their votes, and trust in Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center…again! The Women’s Health and Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital was voted the #1 Birthing Center in the Advocate reader’s poll for 2012. Cooley Dickinson delivers tons of choices from OB/GYNs to certified nurse midwives, to water births and more! Show your support for the Valley’s Best Birthing Center, simply “LIKE” Cooley Dickinson on Facebook and receive a free pair of socks for your baby! Facebook.com/cooleydickinson. For information about the Childbirth Center at Cooley Dickinson Hospital visit www.cooley-dickinson.org. And remember, “LIKE” Cooley Dickinson on Facebook for FREE baby socks!

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your holiday event, open house, afterschool class, homeschool program, community celebration, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
October 27th – November 2nd, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

One Clover & A Bee: Poetry for Halloween

Tricks & Treats: Two Not-So-Spooky Poems

Many of the poems I looked at for this month’s column explore that space where spooky crosses over to scary. Some of the poems I read really were too scary to say with kids, but some found that sweet spot where we might get goose bumps, but know we can always turn the lights on. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Halloween is a time when we like to be scared…a little, and some of us more than others. In the light of day when we’re putting on our costumes and makeup, it’s easy to see that you are you and I am me. But when the sun goes down, the wind picks up and strange grinning faces light the streets, it can be tough to remember that it’s all just pretend, and some parents may find their children suddenly attaching like barnacles to their arms or legs, a little less enamored of Halloween’s spooky surprises.

Many of the poems I looked at for this month’s column explore that space where spooky crosses over to scary. Some of the poems I read really were too scary to say with kids, but some found that sweet spot where we might get goose bumps, but know we can always turn the lights on.

I decided to offer you two poems on a similar theme, neither of them terribly creepy, but one is definitely more benign than the other—you get to choose how much scary your family can take!

Keep in mind as you read these: both poems follow the convention of capitalizing the first word of each line, even though it’s not a new sentence. Not many poets do this anymore, but it used to be the standard.

You can ignore the capitalized letters, BUT they do create a kind of emphasis, both in music and meaning—you’ll see this especially when you get to the more tricky line breaks, such as his/Wry, and everyone/Dies in this first poem, “Mr. Macklin’s Jack O’Lantern,” by David McCord. Read it aloud a few times and you’ll get what I mean:

Mr. Macklin’s Jack O’Lantern
by David McCord

Mr. Macklin takes his knife
And carves the yellow pumpkin face:
Three holes bring eyes and nose to life,
The mouth has thirteen teeth in place.
Then Mr. Macklin just for fun
Transfers the corn-cob pipe from his
Wry mouth to Jack’s, and everyone
Dies laughing! O what fun it is
Till Mr. Macklin draws the shade
And lights the candle in Jack’s skull.
Then all the inside dark is made
As spooky and as horrorful
As Halloween, and creepy crawl
The shadows on the tool-house floor,
With Jack’s face dancing on the wall.
O Mr. Macklin! where’s the door?

If the first one doesn’t fit for you, this second poem, by Carl Sandburg, strikes a lovely balance. I encourage you to seek out more of Sandburg’s work; he fell out of fashion for a while, but is being “rediscovered” these days. Sandburg’s a poet with a strong social conscience who cared deeply about the lives of working people. He also wrote some wonderful children’s books, including Rootabaga Stories. Here’s his gentle take on the Halloween experience (from the pumpkin’s point-of-view):

Theme in Yellow
by Carl Sandburg

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.

Hope your Halloween is all treats. No fooling.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Dryansky

Amy’s the mother of two children who seem to enjoy poetry, for which she’s extremely grateful. Her first book, How I Got Lost So Close To Home, was published by Alice James Books and poems have appeared in a variety of anthologies and journals. She’s a former Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center at Mt. Holyoke College, where she looked at the impact of motherhood on the work of women poets. In addition to her life as a poet, Dryansky works for a land trust, teaches in at Hampshire College, leads workshops in the community and writes about what it’s like to navigate the territory of mother/poet/worker at her blog, Pokey Mama. Her second book, Grass Whistle, is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in 2013.

10 New Picture Books for Halloween

Oprn Drdsmr: Kid Lit Musings and Review by Cheli Mennella

10 New Picture Books for Halloween

Halloween is just days away. In our home there is a flurry of costume making and pumpkin carving and spider webbing as we countdown to the spookiest day of the year. And each evening, as the jack-o-lanterns glow in the dark, we take out the Halloween stories. This year, we’ve added a few new books to our nightly line-up.  Here are ten recently published picture books that prickle the spine, rattle the funny bone and charm the candy right into our hands!

Halloween Forest written by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by John Shelley. A cloaked child wanders into a forest of bones on Halloween, but is not scared by the spooky skeletal creatures. Instead the fearless traveler cries out to chase the creatures away and reveals a skeleton beneath the cloak. The scary becomes friendly and treats await to be sacked. (Holiday House, New York, 2012.  ISBN 978-0-82342-324-8)

Vampirina Ballerina written by Anne Marie Pace and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. A young vampire has some challenges to overcome as she practices ballet. From frightening her classmates and not being able to see her reflection in the mirror to dealing with stage fright on the night of her big debut. (Disney Hyperion, New York, 2012.  ISBN 978-1-42315-753-3

Sounds Spooky written by Christopher Cheng and illustrated by Sarah Davis. An old abandoned house is full of spooky sounds. But what are those new sounds? Is the house really empty? Lots of onomatopoeia and chant-like rhythm make for a good read aloud. The detailed pictures, created from photography, illustration, and computer wizardry, feature a model house made from cardboard and plaster and characters made from plasticene. (Random House Australia, 2012. ISBN 978-1-86471-879-9)

Trick or Treat written and illustrated by Leo Landry. When the ghost in the empty house at the end of the street throws a Halloween party, two invitations get mixed-up. When the unexpected guests arrive, there are both tricks and treats. A non-scary Halloween story about generosity and friendship. (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 2012.  ISBN 978-0-54724-969-8)

A Halloween Treat written and illustrated by Edward Gorey. A back-to-back book featuring unpublished Gorey material. The first half is a short vignette about a trick or treat adventure. The other half is a wordless collection of Gorey ghosts. Charming, with a bit of spook and classic Gorey pen and ink. (Published by Bloomsbury, New York, 2012.  ISBN 978-1-60819-616-6)

Into the Pumpkin written and illustrated by Linda Franklin. In this beautifully illustrated book, readers journey inside a pumpkin to see how witches, bats, ravens, scarecrows, spiders, ghosts and other characters prepare to celebrate Halloween. (Schiffer Publishers, Atglen, PA, 2012. ISBN 978-0-76434-183-0)

Creepy Carrots! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. A parable about a rabbit who is always after carrots, until one day paranoia slinks in, and it seems as if the carrots are after him. The right amount of creep factor for a picture book about veggies, heightened by a palette of gray and orange. (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, New York, 2012.  ISBN 978-1-44240-297-3)

That One Spooky Night written by Dan Bar-el and illustrated by David Huyck. Three strange stories about one spooky night, when a broom searches for a witch and mermaids swim in the bathtub and a house party goes batty. Drawn in a comic book/graphic novel style, this 80-page book will appeal to older readers. (Kids Can Press, Toronto, 2012.  ISBN 978-1-55453-751-8)

Frankenstein by Ludworst Bemonster (written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Nathan Hale) is a parody of Ludwig Bemelmans’ classic story Madeleine. Of all the little monsters that live in the castle with spines, the ugliest one is Frankenstein. He can frighten anyone, until he loses his head. A monstrously funny twist on an old classic. (Feiwel & Friends of Macmillan, New York, 2012.  ISBN 978-0-31255-366-1)

The Monsters’ Monster written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. Three little monsters who all think they are the biggest and baddest monster, decide to build the biggest, baddest monster of all. But their creation turns out to be very different from what they imagined. A monster story with huge heart. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, New York, 2012.  ISBN 978-0-31604-547-6)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cheli Mennella

Cheli has been involved with creative arts and education for most of her life, and has taught many subjects from art and books to yoga and zoology. But she has a special fondness for kid’s books, and has worked in the field for more than 20 years. She is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Valley Kids and teaches a course for adults in “Writing for Children.” She writes from Colrain, where she lives with her musician-husband, three children, and shelves full of kid’s books.

HFVS Halloween Episode (Radio Show/Podcast)

Listen to the Podcast:

HALLOWEEN EPISODE

Saturdays from 9-10am & Sundays from 7-8am
October 20th & 21st, 2012
WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA


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  • The Citizens of Halloween – “This is Halloween” [Nightmare Before Christmas]
  • The Candy Band – “Monsters” [Calling All Kids]
  • Vintage Commercial: Remco’s Baby Laugh A-Lot
  • Ella  Fitzgerald – “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead” [The Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books]
  • Justin Roberts – “Maybe the Monster” [Meltdown!]
  • The Hit Co. – “Werewolves of London” [Halloween Party Favorites]
  • Noggin – “I Don’t Like Candy Corn”
  • Recess Monkey – “Wolfman” [Tabby Road]
  • Rosemary Clooney – “Punky Punkin” [Novelty & Children's Songs]
  • Gene Simmons – “Haunted House” [The Complete Jumpin' Gene Simmons]
  • Andrew Gold – “Spooky Scary Skeletons” [Halloween Howls]
  • Richard Perlmutter – “Here Lies Homer Jones” [Beethoven's Wig 3]
  • Waco Brothers – “Them Bones” [Rudy's Rockin Kiddie Caravan]
  • Station Id: Steve Weeks [www.steveweeksmusic.com]
  • STORY: “Winchell’s Donut House Halloween Record” [Hear the Monsters (Spooky Sounds and a Spooky Tale]
  • Steve Weeks – “4 Little Girls” [Alphabet Songs, Vol. 1]
  • Uncle Rock – “Picnic in the Graveyard” [Plays Well with Others] VIDEO HERE
  • Little Tibia and the Fibulas – “The Mummy” [Mad Monster Party]
  • Starlite Singers – “Theme from the Munsters” [Halloween Party for Kids]
  • Barenaked Ladies – “What a Wild Tune” [Snacktime]
  • The Hobo Nickels – “The Cottleville Crickety Bridge” [Cooper County]
  • Station Id: The Harmonica Pocket [www.harmonicapocket.com]
  • Bela LaGoldstein – “Old Boris”
  • The Who – “Boris The Spider” [A Quick One]
  • Oingo Boingo – “Dead Man’s Party” [Dead Man's Party]
  • Station Id: Yosi & The Superdads [www.yosimusic.com]
  • Milkshake Music – “Scared” [Happy Songs]
  • Bow Wow Wow – “I Want Candy” [The Best of Bow Wow Wow]
  • Station Id: Princess Katie & Racer Steve [www.princessracer.com]
  • Recess Monkey – “Under My Bed” [Tabby Road]
  • The Who – “Batman” [A Quick One]
  • The Sippy Cups – “The Day After Halloween” [One Day Soon]

Suggested Events for October 20th – 26th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Does your family carve pumpkins for Halloween? Carve an extra and bring it to the Franklin County Pumpkinfest in Turners Falls or the Stockbridge Library to be showcased in the Pumpkin Walk-About his weekend! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS

Hilltown Families Co-Sponsors

Saturday, October 20th from 12noon-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Franklin Land Trust invites the community to a Fall Festival at Guyette Farm! Highlights of the event include a scarecrow making workshop with artist Michael Melle (takes place from 12noon-4pm), hayrides, an evening bonfire, and lots of fun fall-themed activities for the whole family. BYO instrument for a jam around the fire! Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families. 413-625-9151. Gloyd Street. Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 20th from 5:30-8pm – HAUNTED FARM: The animals at Red Gate Farm are getting excited for Halloween – so excited, in fact, that they’ve decorated their barn! Visit the farm for a Halloween party and check out the Haunted Barn (not-so-scary), go for a hay ride, and enjoy Halloween treats and games. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. ($)

Western MA Premiere List of Halloween Events & Activities for Families!

Saturday, October 20th from 3-9pm – PUMPKINFEST: Pumpkins galore! The annual Franklin County Pumpkinfest fills Turners Falls’ Avenue A with more pumpkins than you’ve ever seen before! Costumes are encouraged, and families can bring their own painted or carved pumpkins to add to the display beginning at 10am. Along with the pumpkin display will be lots of fun family activities, beer for big people, and games and crafts for little people. Pair a visit to the event with a study of local agriculture – where do the pumpkins come from? How do they grow? When were they planted? It’s a great way to learn about the full season of farming that it takes to produce a pumpkin. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Deadline to enter: 10/23

Saturday, October 20th from 6:30-8:30pm – DRUM FEST: The third annual Berkshire Drum Fest takes place tonight at Berkshire Community College! The event features professional drummers, percussionists, and drum ensembles performing drumming of all different types. Kids can hear and learn about drumming from multiple world cultures, and learn about different types of drums and their unique sounds. The event benefits BCC’s music program and Tamarack Hollow, an educational organization focusing on environmental and cultural awareness. Takes place in the Boland Theater at the school’s arts center. West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (DONATION)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, October 27th at 7pm – CULINARY ARTS: The 9th Annual Williamstown Pie Contest will be held at the WRLF Sheep Hill Headquarters. This is intergenerational event allows adults, youth (16yo and younger) and professional bakers to participate together in their own categories. This is a great opportunity for kids, parents and grandparents to work side by side in the kitchen, making a traditional family favorite pie, sharing family stories and learning culinary skills at the same time. Sweet and savory pies made with local ingredients are welcomed. Pie tasting is at 7pm, followed by a full moon hike (weather permitting). Pies must be delivered to Sheep Hill on Oct 27 between 5-6pm. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.wrlf.org or requested by emailing lre@wrlf.org. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA (>$)

Deadline to enter: 10/25

Sunday, October 28th at 11am – HALLOWEEN FIESTA: Halloween Costume Party with Mister G! Popular, international children’s music artist & local hero Mister G will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume party at the Academy of Music Theatre. The event will double as a CD release concert for his Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning album, Chocolalala. The bilingual (Spanish/English) CD blends Latin rhythms, traditional instruments and uniquely catchy songwriting. Mister G will also perform songs from his 2011 Grammy-nominated CD BUGS, called “irresistible” by People Magazine. Eat Pizza for Breakfast, wear your funkiest, scariest costume & come ready rock. Northampton, MA ($$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 18-20 & 25-27

Where is Myra and who shot Charley? Find out at The Williston Northampton School’s fall theater production of Neil Simon’s classic farce, Rumors. Opening night is Thursday, October 18th running October 18th-20th & 25th-27th. All performances begin at 7:30pm, with the Saturday, October 26th performance beginning at 8pm. The Williston Theatre is located at 18 Payson Avenue in Easthampton. Seats can be reserved in advance at www.williston.com/theaterproductions or by calling the Williston box office at 413-529-3434. Tickets are $7 students/seniors and $10 adults.

Oct 19-20

Westfield Theatre Group presents The Odd Couple – Female Version on Oct. 12, 13, 19 & 20 at 8pm, & Oct. 20 at 2pm in Westfield for a fun parents’ night out. Recently divorced Olive Madison and friends play a friendly game of Trivial Pursuit. Then arrives Florence Unger, whose husband just left her. Thinking she is on the verge of suicide, she is barely able to go to the bathroom alone. Olive the slob and Florence the neat freak decide to live together with hilarious results. Directed by Theresa Allie. Produced by Linda Buzzee. Come see Linda Slozak, Nancy Colby, Winnie Legere, Kathy Leary, Kate Hebert, Larry Chiz, Paul Rothenberg & Sue Davis in Neil Simon’s hilarious contemporary classic. Tix: $10-$12. 413-572-6838. westfieldtheatregroup.com.

Oct 20

Paint & Pixel Festival showcases Western New England’s amazing comic artists, book illustrators, and cartoonists! This year features 60+ artists, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle co-creator Peter Laird, Vertigo Comics Fables artist Shawn McManus, DC Comics Batman inker Jack Purcell, Conan the Barbarian and Goosebumps artist Greg Ruth, and underground cartoonist Gary Hallgren. Saturday, October 20, at the Northampton Center for the Arts, 10AM to 6PM. Paint & Pixel offers a free Children’s Comics Workshop every Thursday in October, 4-5PM at Modern Myths, and is looking for a few schools who would like a comic book artist to visit their students. For details on the festival, comics workshop, and school outreach, visit www.paintandpixelfestival.com.

Oct 26

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Eric Carle Museum, the Academy of Music in Northampton is presenting Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s much anticipated new production of Eric Carle stories on October 26, 2012 at 6:30pm. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects, innovative puppetry, the triple bill shares Eric Carle’s most beloved stories: A Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me. Immediately following the performance will be a question & answer period focused on how special effects were accomplished. Running time is sixty minutes. For ticket information please visit the AOM website, www.academyofmusictheatre.com, or phone the Box Office at 413-584-9032 x105.

Oct 27

The Montessori School of Northampton’s annual Children’s Fall Fair and Open House will be held on Saturday, October 27 from 11am-3pm on the school’s campus at 51 Bates Street, Northampton. The full day of fun for families will include children’s games, arts and crafts, pony rides, a petting zoo, a bounce house, and more. Entertainment will be provided by percussionist Tony Vacca, and singer-songwriters Chris Scanlon and Burchie Green & Tom Knight. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. General admission is free; participation in some activities requires purchase of activity tickets at a minimal charge. Admissions information and tours of the school will also be available. 413-586-4538 or www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Oct 28

Sponsor: The Farm Education CollaborativeFamily Felting for all ages on Sunday, Oct 28 from 1-3pm at Crimson & Clover Farm (part of Northampton Community Farm) in Florence, MA. Come explore the world of fiber craft and learn about the animals that provide us with fiber. There will be an Angora rabbit and Shetland sheep for participants to meet, and learning stations for wet and needle felting. Create and take home a woolcraft. All levels welcome. $20-25/family (sliding scale). Spaces are limited! Financial Aid is available for all programs. Email farmeducationcollaborative@gmail.com for scholarship application. For more info & to register online, visit www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Oct 31

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

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall festival, holiday event, afterschool class, homeschool program, community celebration, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

COATS FOR KIDS: Did you recently drag out your family’s winter gear, only to discover that your kids have outgrown most of it? Once your kids have been outfitted with new warm coats, donate your old ones to the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids drive! Sponsored by Berkshire Bank, the drive collects new and gently-used kid-sized winter jackets in order to distribute them to local kids who might otherwise find themselves without proper outerwear for the cold, windy New England winter. Each jacket is cleaned before it is distributed, but families are asked to please only donate items that are without many obvious signs of wear and tear. There are donation sites all over western Massachusetts, including at any Berkshire Bank branch. Coats can be donated through October 26th. For more information, visit www.salvationarmycoatsforkids.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
October 20th – 26th , 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun for Late Oct to Early Nov

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
Oct 20th-Nov 2nd, 2012

The leaves have peeked and now enters Halloween in the Berkshires. Trick-or-treating and rag shag parades happen all through out the region, but Berkshire County will play host to several annual Halloween traditions, including MCLA’s 18th annual Boo Bash in North Adams, Pittsfield Halloween Parade, the Pumpkin Walk-About in Stockbridge, and Washington’s Pumpkin Walk. Other fun events not to miss in Berkshire County through the end of October include a Muppet extravaganza at MASS MoCA, Chilling Tales and Ghost Tour at The Mount, the last days of Lord of the Flies at the Barrington Stage Company, Mermaid Theatre’s production of A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar at the Colonial Theatre and family supper at Hancock Shaker Village.

“I’m relatively new to the Berkshires so I’m mostly familiar with the southern Berkshires. I love finding out about all these lovely little towns north of me, and knowing about all the various events going on ALL THE TIME, from concerts to theater, to apple picking. I moved here to live in the country and Hilltown Families keeps me informed of all the wonderful things country life has to offer.” – Valerie Sheehan (Lenox, MA)

Find out about these events and other community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County through Nov. 1st, 2012:

North Berkshire
Central Berkshire
South Berkshire

Halloween in Western MATo find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday. There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region. Be sure to check our columnLearn Local. Play Local. everyFriday too for event highlights to are not only fun but educational too!

List of Weekly Suggested Events

Read the rest of this entry »

8 Halloween Costume Safety Tips

Halloween Costume Safety Tips

Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids (and grown-ups!). To help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are eight tips the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests for keeping kids safe in their costumes:

  1. Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame.
  2. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  3. Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  4. When shopping for costumes, wigs and accessories look for and purchase those with a label clearly indicating they are flame resistant.
  5. If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  6. Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  7. Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss.
  8. Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.

Suggested Events for October 13th – 19th, 2012

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The stalls at the farmers’ markets are filled with pumpkins, winter squash, brussel sprouts, apples and other harvest crops. A great time of the year to stock up with local produce! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield – Ashfield Farmers’ Market)

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

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

BEST BETS THIS WEEKEND: OCT 13th & 14th


MARK YOUR CALENDAR & TICKET GIVEAWAY

Hilltown Families Co-Sponsors

Saturday, October 20th from 12noon-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Franklin Land Trust invites the community to a Fall Festival at Guyette Farm! Highlights of the event include a scarecrow making workshop with artist Michael Melle (takes place from 12noon-4pm), hayrides, an evening bonfire, and lots of fun fall-themed activities for the whole family. BYO instrument for a jam around the fire! Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families. 413-625-9151. Gloyd Street. Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

Deadline to enter: 10/17

Saturday, October 20th from 3-9pm – PUMPKINFEST: Pumpkins galore! The annual Franklin County Pumpkinfest fills Turners Falls’ Avenue A with more pumpkins than you’ve ever seen before! Costumes are encouraged, and families can bring their own painted or carved pumpkins to add to the display beginning at 10am. Along with the pumpkin display will be lots of fun family activities, beer for big people, and games and crafts for little people. Pair a visit to the event with a study of local agriculture – where do the pumpkins come from? How do they grow? When were they planted? It’s a great way to learn about the full season of farming that it takes to produce a pumpkin. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Deadline to enter: 10/23

Saturday, October 20th from 5-8:30pm – ENCHANTED FOREST: The forest at the Hitchcock Center is lighting up and coming alive with creatures who would love to share their stories with you! Visit the Enchanted Forest to navigate along the pumpkin-lit paths and learn about various animals and their unique characteristics as you journey! The theme this year is “50-Something” (in celebration of the center’s 50th anniversary) – forest animals include a salamander with 50+ spots and a 50-year-old turtle. Advance tickets not required, but are strongly suggested. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Deadline to enter: 10/25

Saturday, October 20th at 11am – HALLOWEEN GALLERY QUEST: Dress in costume and visit Mass MoCA for a Halloween gallery tour and some hands-on artmaking! Kids will learn about the work being shown in the museum’s KidSpace, and then will get to try out interesting materials for themselves. 413-662-2111. 87 Marshall Street. North Adams, MA. ($)


BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 12-13, 19-20

Westfield Theatre Group presents The Odd Couple – Female Version on Oct. 12, 13, 19 & 20 at 8pm, & Oct. 20 at 2pm in Westfield for a fun parents’ night out. Recently divorced Olive Madison and friends play a friendly game of Trivial Pursuit. Then arrives Florence Unger, whose husband just left her. Thinking she is on the verge of suicide, she is barely able to go to the bathroom alone. Olive the slob and Florence the neat freak decide to live together with hilarious results. Directed by Theresa Allie. Produced by Linda Buzzee. Come see Linda Slozak, Nancy Colby, Winnie Legere, Kathy Leary, Kate Hebert, Larry Chiz, Paul Rothenberg & Sue Davis in Neil Simon’s hilarious contemporary classic. Tix: $10-$12. 413-572-6838. westfieldtheatregroup.com.

Oct 13-14

The 10th Annual All- 4- Kids Fall/Winter Consignment Sale happens on Saturday, October 13th from 8am-4pm and Sunday, October 14th from 10am to 3pm (1/2 price sale). New extended shopping hours! This year the sale is in a NEW LOCATION at the former Fedor Auto Dealership at 228 Northampton Street in Easthampton, MA. Stop in and find new and gently-used clothing for infants through children’s size 20, baby gear, shoes and boots, Halloween costumes, snowsuits, toys, books, DVD’s, games, children’s furniture, and sports equipment. More info at www.sites.google.com/site/all4kidseasthampton.

Oct 14

The Farm Education CollaborativeOn Sunday, Oct 14 from 11:30am-4:30pm is the Grow Food Northampton FARM FEST 2012 at Crimson & Clover Farm (part of Northampton Community Farm)! Join The Farm Education Collaborative in celebrating the harvest at Farm Fest! Meet and learn about some of their farm animals and spend some time working with fibers, seeds, and more. Fun on the Farm in the Fall with Family! Meadow and Spring Streets in Florence, MA. For more info visit www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Oct 18, 20 & 25

Stitch Lounge in Greenfield offers both youth & adult classes this fall, including: Alabama Chanin Skirt class using upcycled tee’s, stenciling & hand-stitching, Oct 18 & 25; and a beginners 3-part Wonky Squares Quilt class starting Oct 20. Never sewn before or have rusty skills? Check out their Beginner Sewing Class. Kids Classes begin in Nov.! Visit stitchlounge.net for more classes. Stop-in to find inspiration, modern fabrics, sewing notions & lots more, including social sewing! A devoted sewing space with all the supplies you need. Bring your own machine or use one of theirs. Stitch Lounge is located at 30 Mohawk Trail. Open Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, & Sat 10am-3pm. stitchlounge@comcast.net. 413-475-3246.

Oct 20

Paint & Pixel Festival showcases Western New England’s amazing comic artists, book illustrators, and cartoonists! This year features 60+ artists, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle co-creator Peter Laird, Vertigo Comics Fables artist Shawn McManus, DC Comics Batman inker Jack Purcell, Conan the Barbarian and Goosebumps artist Greg Ruth, and underground cartoonist Gary Hallgren. Saturday, October 20, at the Northampton Center for the Arts, 10AM to 6PM. Paint & Pixel offers a free Children’s Comics Workshop every Thursday in October, 4-5PM at Modern Myths, and is looking for a few schools who would like a comic book artist to visit their students. For details on the festival, comics workshop, and school outreach, visit www.paintandpixelfestival.com.

Oct 26

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Eric Carle Museum, the Academy of Music in Northampton is presenting Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s much anticipated new production of Eric Carle stories on October 26, 2012 at 6:30pm. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects, innovative puppetry, the triple bill shares Eric Carle’s most beloved stories: A Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me. Immediately following the performance will be a question & answer period focused on how special effects were accomplished. Running time is sixty minutes. For ticket information please visit the AOM website, www.academyofmusictheatre.com, or phone the Box Office at 413-584-9032 x105.

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall festival, holiday event, afterschool class, homeschool program, community celebration, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Deadline to enter: 10/15

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

Western MA Premiere List of Halloween Events & Activities for Families!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Kane’s Krusade is seeking volunteers to assist with a doghouse-building event on Sat, Nov. 3 from 10am-5pm to help launch the distribution of Kane’s Canine Assistance Resources and Education kits for Springfield families who struggle financially to care for their dogs. Doghouses built by volunteers will be donated to provide insulated shelter for dogs whose owners cannot afford one. Kane’s staff will pair volunteers at assembly stations that meets their experience & interest level. No carpentry experience is required and tools provided. Volunteers can choose to build for the whole day or can work 2-3 hour shifts. Children welcomed if supervised by an adult. For more information, contact George at 413-363-2101 or visit www.kaneskrusade.org


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
October 13th – 19th , 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Halloween Events in Western MA, 2012

Halloween in Western Massachusetts: 2012
131 Listings and Still Counting…

Find out about all the Halloween happenings throughout Western MA with Hilltown Families comprehensive list of Halloween activities happening for families. We will be adding to this list as Halloween approaches, so check back!

Saturday, Oct. 13th – Friday, Oct. 19th, 2012
Saturday, Oct. 20th – Friday, Oct. 26th, 2012
Saturday, Oct. 27th – Wednesday, Oct. 31st, 2012

As with all of our suggested events, families are asked to take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.

If you have a Halloween event you would like to add, simply post it here. If you’d like to have your event featured on Hilltown Families, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for details.

Read the rest of this entry »

Halloween Costume Swap & Kids’ Winter Wear Swap: Oct 13th!

2 Swaps. 1 Day.
Oct 13th • 9:30-11am
Meekins Library • Williamsburg, MA

Hilltown Families has organized two informal community swaps to happen on one day! On Saturday, Oct 13th, 2012 from 9:30-11am families with kids of all ages can bring their outgrown winter wear and Halloween costumes (& props) to swap with other families in the area in the Community Room of the Meekins Library in Williamsburg! No need to buy new when we can reuse and swap with your friends & neighbors! Free and open to families with children of all ages.

Halloween Costume Swap

You know that handmade costume you spent hours on a couple of years ago that your child has now outgrown, or the mask and cape you picked up at the dollar store that is “so last year” for your child this year? Bring it to the Hilltown Families Halloween Costume Swap and swap with another child who would love to be that robot, purple monster or masked superhero this year… all while finding new inspirations for this year!  Leftover costumes and props will be donated to Northampton ReUse.

Kids’ Winter Wear Swap

Do you have a bunch of winter weather gear that your kids have outgrown and wish that it would somehow just… get bigger? That may never happen, but you can get the next best thing… new-to-you gear that fits! Hilltown Families Kids’ Winter Wear Swap is happening again this year after a fun and successful swap last year! Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, gloves & scarves that kids of all ages have outgrown to swap with other families. Leftover winter wear will be donated to charity.

The Meekins Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9)in Williamsburg, MA.  Both swaps are free and open to all families. If you only have donations, these are welcomed at 9:30am the day of the swap.  Leftover winter wear, costumes & props will be donated to charity and civic organizations.

For more information, questions or wanting to help out as a volunteer, contact Hilltown Families at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Mark Your Calendars: Another swap coming up in December is the Hilltown Families 3rd Annual Board Game Swap: Saturday, Dec. 1st, 2012 from 9:30-10:30am, also in the community room at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA! Puzzles and card games welcomed.  Leftover games to be donated to the Meekins Library Holiday Market… and new this year, we’re accepting incomplete games to donate to the Northampton Arts ReUse committee.

Suggested Events for Nov 5th-11th, 2011

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Halloween Snow-tacular! Events rescheduled from last weekend in Northampton, South Deerfield, Greenfield, Chicopee, Amherst, Westfield, Williamsburg and Florence! Details below. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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

BEST BETS

Deadline to enter to win is Sunday, 11/06/11 @ 7pm (EST).


November 5th & 6th in Franklin Co: The first weekend of November brings us Franklin County’s Cider Days. Celebrating the traditional drink of New England, Cider Days is for everyone who loves fresh apples, sweet and hard cider, cooking with apples, and enjoying autumn in New England. This is the 17th year of this festival, and there will be orchard tours, cider making workshops, cider tastings, talks by orchardists, and more. Highlights include Saturday’s Apple Pancake Breakfast at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield, and the Marketplace at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne Falls, with local artisans and producers, food vendors, and of course, apples!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15th from 7-9pm: HILLTOWN FAMILIES PRESENTS: “The Importance of Creative Play in a Commercialized World” with Dr. Susan Linn, author of The Case for Make Believe and Consuming Kids on Tues., Nov 15th from 7-9pm at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg (FREE). In the critically acclaimed Consuming Kids, Dr. Linn, the nation’s leading advocate for protecting children from corporate marketers, provided an unsparing look at modern childhood molded by commercialism. In her book, The Case for Make Believe, Dr. Linn argues that while play is crucial to human development and children are born with an innate capacity for make believe, the convergence of ubiquitous technology and unfettered commercialism actually prevents them from playing. Dr. Linn will speak about these issues and help generate ideas for preserving non-commercialized creative play, especially around the holidays. A Q&A session will follow.

BULLETIN BOARD

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS: Spring forward, Fall back… Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday, Nov 6th at 2am. Before hitting the hay Saturday night, remember to set your clocks back one hour and enjoy an extra hour of sleep (if your kids will let you!).

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Nov 5th-11th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for Oct 29th-Nov 4th, 2011

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Happy Halloween, All Souls' Day and Day of the Dead! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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

BEST BETS

On Saturday, Oct 29th from 11am-3pm in Hampshire Co. - HAUNTED MUSEUM: Amherst College’s Mead Museum of Art becomes a haunted museum today!  You can view the spookiest of pieces within the museum’s collection on a candle-lit tour and  participate in fun seasonal activities afterward!  413-542-5123.  12 Quadrangle Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Also on Saturday, Oct 29th from 2-5pm in Franklin Co. – HAWLEYWEEN: Hawleyween, a family-friendly, eco-educational event happens at the Kenneth Dubuque State Forest on Hallockville Pond with the Student Conservation Assoc. of MA. There will be games, treats and forest adventures – help the animals of Hawley rescue their treasure. Open to all ages. 413-339-6631. West Hawley Road. Hawley, MA (FREE)

On Sunday, Oct 30th at 10am & 2pm in Berkshire Co. – HALLOWEEN TRAIN RIDE:  Take the “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” Express on the Berkshire Scenic Railroad. Come in costume and take the train to the Great Pumpkin Patch to enjoy seasonal refreshments, play games and enjoy a live family performance with David Grover. Train leaves from the Lenox Station. 413-637-2210. 10 Willow Creek Road. Lenox, MA ($)

Also on Sunday, Oct 30th at 4pm in Hampden Co. – HALLOWEEN PARADE/HAUNTED HOUSE: The Westfield Children’s Museum invites families to their Halloween Spooktacular!  Come in costume, join the parade, visit the Haunted House, play games, and grab some treats to rot your teeth! Westfield, MA ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS


November 5th & 6th in Franklin Co: The first weekend of crisp November brings us Franklin County’s Cider Days. Celebrating the traditional drink of New England, Cider Days is for everyone who loves fresh apples, sweet and hard cider, cooking with apples, and enjoying autumn in New England. This is the 17th year of this festival, and there will be orchard tours, cider making workshops, cider tastings, talks by orchardists, and more. Highlights include Saturday’s Apple Pancake Breakfast at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield, and the Marketplace at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne Falls, with local artisans and producers, food vendors, and of course, apples!

BULLETIN BOARD

CONSIGNMENT SALE: The 9th Annual All- 4- Kids Fall/Winter Consignment Sale happens on Saturday, October 29th from 8am-3pm and Sunday, October 30th from 12noon to 3pm (1/2 price sale). This year the sale is in a NEW LOCATION at the former Cahillane Dodge Building at 375 South Street in Northampton, MA. Stop in and find new and gently-used clothing for infants through children’s size 20, baby gear, shoes and boots, Halloween costumes, snowsuits, toys, books, DVD’s, games, children’s furniture, and sports equipment. More info at www.sites.google.com/site/all4kidseasthampton

HILLTOWN FAMILIES PRESENTS: “The Importance of Creative Play in a Commercialized World” with Dr. Susan Linn, author of The Case for Make Believe and Consuming Kids on Tues., Nov 15th from 7-9pm at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg (FREE). In the critically acclaimed Consuming Kids, Dr. Linn, the nation’s leading advocate for protecting children from corporate marketers, provided an unsparing look at modern childhood molded by commercialism. In her book, The Case for Make Believe, Dr. Linn argues that while play is crucial to human development and children are born with an innate capacity for make believe, the convergence of ubiquitous technology and unfettered commercialism actually prevents them from playing. Dr. Linn will speak about these issues and help generate ideas for preserving non-commercialized creative play, especially around the holidays. A Q&A session will follow.

Enhanced PublicitySPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

GINGERBREAD HOUSES: The Springfield Museums are currently accepting submissions of designs for gingerbread houses for their annual gingerbread house exhibit in December. Designs can be inspired by (or recreations of) homes, historic places, local architecture, and more- design a gingerbread house that looks just like Northampton’s city hall or one that represents your dream house. Designs must be for structurally sound houses, so this is a great opportunity for kids to learn about and practice basic architectural concepts. If they choose to design a house based on a historic building, they can learn about the history behind that place, too. Entry form deadline: Nov. 11th. The entry form is available HERE and guidelines for entries can be found HERE.

DRUG TAKE-BACK: Do you have leftover prescription drugs?  Get them out of your house and have them recycled.  Drop-off locations are all over Western MA from 10am-2pm on Saturday, October 29th.  (FREE)

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Oct 29th-Nov 4th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Read the rest of this entry »

Science Experiments with Candy

Sacrifice Your Kids Halloween Candy in the Name of Science!

Candy ExperimentsWondering what to do with the three pounds of candy your kids will be bringing home Halloween night?  How about SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS! Loralee, a mom of three, has created a great web site, Candy Experiments, filled with science experiments you can do with your kids using all that candy. Experiments include Acid Test using Pixy Stixs, Chromatography using M&M’s, Density experiment with Skittles, and many others!  There’s even a series of videos demonstrating several of the experiments.

Experiment with your kids Halloween (or other holiday, birthday candy loot) and share your results HERE.

Museum Haunting this Halloween at Amherst College

The Haunted Museum
at the Mead Museum of Art
Amherst College
Saturday, October 29th from 11am-3pm

Click to see poster

“Last year’s ‘Haunted Museum’ proved to be a tremendous success with children and grown-ups,” noted museum director and chief curator Elizabeth Barker, “We couldn’t wait to repeat it. The Docents do a wonderful job leading art-looking and art-making activities tailored to the interests of a wide range of visitors. We hope many families will take advantage of Amherst College’s free on-campus weekend parking, and join the fun!”

Amherst College’s Mead Museum of Art will come alive with Halloween spirit on Saturday, October 29th during their free family-friendly Haunted Museum! The spookier bits of the museum’s collection will be on display for those who dare to see them. Discover art and culture on a candle-lit tour of the galleries or a spooky scavenger hunt.  All afternoon there will be fun family activities, as well, including mask making, face painting, and pumpkin carving!  You can even celebrate Halloween with your taste buds by enjoying delicious local cider and cider donuts.  The event is lead by the college’s student museum docents and takes place from 11am-3pm.  For more information, call the museum at 413-542-5123.

Suggested Events for Oct 22nd-28th, 2011

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Check out the jack-o-lanterns this weekend at the Franklin County Pumpkin Fest in Turners Falls on Saturday, and the smaller pumpkin festival at Nonotuck Park in Easthampton on Sunday.(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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

BEST BETS

In the morning of Saturday, Oct 22nd from 10-11am in Franklin Co. – NATURE STUDIES: Educator Rachel Roberts presents, “Last Leaves” at the Arms Library.  This program is intended for young children, and gives them an opportunity to learn about why leaves change color through discussion and activities- kids will be asked to contribute their own experiences with leaf-changing in order to help with their learning.  413-625-0306.  Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

On Saturday, Oct 22nd from 6-8pm also in Franklin Co. – HALLOWEEN HAUNTED FARM: Haunted Farm at Red Gate Farm. A festive Halloween Celebration complete with a “not-so-scary” haunted barn, games, food, treats, and a haunted hay ride! Put on your costume and come on over! The only scary part is how much our farm animals are looking forward to Halloween! Ages 2 – 12. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA (>$)

All day on Saturday, Oct 22nd from 11am-9pm and Sunday, Oct 23rd from 11am-4pm in Hampden Co. – CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Saint Luke’s Greek Orthodox Church presents the annual Taste of Greece!  The event will include delicious traditional Greek foods, as well as performances by the St. Luke’s Youth Dancers and the Agora Gift Shop- full of Greek goods!  Celebrate your Geek heritage or learn more about another culture.  413-525-4551.  400 Prospect Street.  East Longmeadow, MA.

On Sunday, Oct 23rd from 2-6:30pm in Hampshire Co. – HALLOWEEN PUMPKIN FEST: Pumpkin Festival and carving contest at Nonotuck Park. Come with your family and carve pumpkins with others.  You can even enter your creation into their contest.  A lighted pumpkin walk happens from 5-6pm. Enjoy seasonal refreshments too. 1 Daley Field Road. Easthampton, MA

Also on Sunday, Oct 23rd from 1-5pm in Berkshire Co.- ENCHANTED HALLOWEEN FOREST: The New Stage Performing Arts Center is now home to an Enchanted Halloween Forest! Made up of sets from Castle Hill Theater’s family shows and full of witches, wolves, and other characters, the forest is an interactive Halloween adventure! 413-418-0999. 55 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, Oct 29th at 1pm in Hampshire Co. – FAMILY CONCERT: The Northampton Community Music Center presents the educational rock band, The Deedle Deedle Dees at the Eric Carle Museum!  The group’s music is catchy, educational and fun for the whole family.  413-658-1100.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

Also on Saturday, Oct 29th from 2-5pm in Franklin Co. – HAWLEYWEEN: Hawleyween, a family-friendly, eco-educational event happens at the Kenneth Dubuque State Forest on Hallockville Pond with the Student Conservation Assoc. of MA. There will be games, treats and forest adventures – help the animals of Hawley rescue their treasure. Open to all ages. 413-339-6631. West Hawley Road. Hawley, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

FUNDRAISER: Amherst-based group MotherWoman, which works to support and empower mothers, is holding their annual fundraising breakfast on Friday, October 28th at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.  MotherWoman supports mothers in breaking unrealistic mothering stereotypes/expectations and provides support and inspiration for mothers working to combat the isolation and lack of support for mothers that is often found within communities.  There is no charge to attend the breakfast- it is an event to inspire mothers as much as it is a fundraiser.  Attendees can donate any amount they are comfortable with.  The event takes place from 8:30-9:30am.  For more information, visit www.motherwoman.org.

Enhanced PublicitySPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Help support The Food Bank of Western MA. Food and fund drives organized by community groups, schools, and local businesses help fill The Food Bank’s warehouse and enable them to dedicate more resources towards their mission. Organizing a food drive or other fundraising event for The Food Bank can make a major impact in your community. Most-needed items: peanut butter and jelly, rice and canned soup or stew, spaghetti and canned spaghetti sauce, canned pasta meals, tuna, low-sugar cereals, canned beans. For more information about how your group can support The Food Bank, or to arrange a drop-off time of food or funds, please call The Food Bank at 413-247-9738 or email our Development & Marketing Department: development@foodbankwma.org.

METEOR SHOWER: Orionid Meteor Shower early Saturday morning! The Earth is passing through the stream of Halley’s comet and it’s reported that 15 meteors per hour on average can be spotted in the early hours of Saturday morning. Set your alarm and check out the night sky!

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Oct 22nd-28th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: Halloween in the Berkshires

Fall is “Boo”tiful in the Berkshires

Last weekend I broke out my gloves, hat and favorite cozy fleece, grabbed the travel mug filled to the rim with a delectable hazelnut blend, and prepared myself for a full day of football at Bill Laston Memorial Park in Lanesboro. The air was crisp and clean, the brilliant foliage filled the landscape and eased my mind, and the energy on the gridiron was contagious. Ahh, I love fall in the Berkshires.

Highlights in this week’s Berkshire Family Fun:

Read the rest of this entry »

Halloween Events for Families in Western MA, 2011

The following links have Halloween events for the second half of October 2011.  To find out all the events that are happening this week, check out the Hilltown Families list of Weekly Suggested Events and be sure to subscribe to our free weekly eNewsletter for our Best Bets, Featured Events & Classes, Upcoming Events, and Updates.

 

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