Sledding Hills in Western MA

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for February 1st & 2nd, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Feb 12th by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors Here’s the link to vote: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot.

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for February 1st-7th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including:

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 27 Community Highlights: Thumb Piano to A Cappella. Telescopes to Time Travel., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: February 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

Want to advertise your event, open house, camp, volunteer opportunity or announcement with Hilltown Families. Find out about our enhanced publicity options and about our Summer Camp promotion! Great ways to reach thousands of families living throughout the region while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families!

February 1st-7th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


SportsMusic StudiesLiteracyImmigrationAstronomyNature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresNew England HistoryCommunity ServiceValentine’s DayOrnithologySTEM/Physics

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

Check out our upcoming family events & featured posts from the archives…

27 Community Highlights: Thumb Piano to A Cappella. Telescopes to Time Travel.

Ice was once an important “cash crop” in New England. Learn about the history and science behind ice harvesting this Saturday, Feb 1st at the NCCHP Museum annual Ice Harvest in Granville, and next Saturday, Feb 8th at the Easthampton Winterfest!

Thumb Piano to A Cappella. Telescopes to Time Travel. Sleigh Rally to Ice Harvest

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: The Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation (NCCHP) Museum is holding their 6th Annual Ice Harvest on Saturday afternoon, Feb 1 in Granville! Dennis Picard will organize the harvest and teach about the history of ice harvesting in New England – visitors will even get to try using an ice saw! Ice was once an important “cash crop” in New England, and you can learn about the history and science behind ice harvesting. The NCCHP museum will be open for tours, a video on ice harvesting, and information about drum-making. There will also be rescue horses from Blue Star Farm on site in order to help teach about the many roles of horses in New England’s history, live music, and refreshments at this free event.


SportsMusic StudiesLiteracyImmigrationAstronomyNature StudiesOutdoor AdventuresNew England HistoryCommunity ServiceValentine’s DayOrnithologySTEM/Physics


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 1st-7th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Great website! Found just what I was looking for… a plan for a special day with my granddaughter… The Eric Carle Museum will be perfect and I found links to so many more fun spots! Anyone with kids in Western Mass should bookmark this site!” – Gail Hescock

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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES

VOTE FOR HILLTOWN FAMILIES! As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the Information Age” category Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 12th. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? Spread the word & share the ❤ love! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

BULLETIN BOARD

Open House Feb 1

Amherst Montessori School will be holding an Open House on Saturday, February 1st from 10am-12noon. They are now accepting applications for the 2014- 2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. They are a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Open House Feb 2

Birds of Prey Open House, Sun. Feb. 2nd, 1-4pm. The Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2 to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4 enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects lead by Center School teachers. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks, nests and more. Pre-K through 8th activities are free. www.centerschool.net

Feb 8

Meet Oliver Jeffers, author/illustrator of Stuck, and see the United Kingdom’s Big Wooden Horse Theatre Company bring it to life on stage at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 11am & 2pm. It all begins when Floyd gets his kite stuck in a tree. He throws up his shoe to move it, but his shoe also gets stuck. One by one Floyd throws other things up in the tree to get his kite unstuck. Jeffers, author/illustrator of Lost and Found and The Incredible Book Eating Boy, and illustrator of The Day the Crayons Quit will sign books at 12:30pm. Limited seating. Pre-purchase tickets in advance at museum or call 413-658-1126. Tickets: $12/$10 members. Museum admission included.

Open House Feb 13

Sunnyside Child Care Center in Northampton is hosting an open house on Thursday, February 13 Thursday, February 20 from 6-8pm. Interested parents and other community members are invited to join the school for a tour through their toddler and preschool classrooms. The Director, teaching staff, and Center parents will be available to answer questions about the program. Sunnyside Child Care Center is located at 557 Easthampton Rd. Serving children 18 months to five years old their mission is to provide an early care and education program of the highest quality. For more info call 413-727-3665. www.sunnysidekids.org. [RESCHEDULED DUE TO WEATHER: FEB 20]

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your winter vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, 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.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES’ EVENTS

Deadline to sign up: Friday, Jan 31st!

Handmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for the 6th Annual Hilltown Families Handmade Community Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in Western MA.  Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31. Western MA (FREE)

Free event. Limited space. Sign up to join us!

Make Your Own Handmade Valentines with Hilltown Families at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls during a free family workshop: Friday, February 7th, from 4-7pm.  Handmade valentines are wonderful expressions of thoughtfulness that can be shared with neighbors and friends, or with people you might not know. Join us to make many! Think about making a valentine for your librarian, postal worker, or teacher. Make several and deliver them to a nearby homeless shelter, nursing home, or an elderly neighbor in your community. Send them in the mail to long lost friends or relatives you have never met! Sign up to join us at the free family workshop!

Polka and pancakes! Join us!

Kicking off the Easthampton Fire & Ice Festival, Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective will host a ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ with performances by Shiprock and Anchordog and the Eddie Forman Orchestra on Saturday, February 8th at 10am in Easthampton, MA! Following a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, the party will feature performances by the storytelling band Shiprock and Anchordog and the legendary western Mass polka band the Eddie Forman Orchestra. Tickets are $12/family; $6/individual.  Flywheel Arts Collective located at 43 Main Street in the old town hall in Easthmapton.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 1st-7th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: How Rivers Still Flow When It’s Way Below

Ice-Walking Bugs, and the Lessons They Teach Us

(Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield)

For the next two months or so, if the weather isn’t too bizarre, we’ll be knee deep in snow, and our rivers and streams will be flowing beneath their softest, whitest blankets, like restless kids dreaming of bodysurfing at the beach. When it’s really really cold outside, the river becomes the warmest part of the biome—kinda like our beds become the warmest part of the house when the frost creeps over the windows.

A few weeks ago, when the temp was in single digits, I saw bathtub steam rising off the Westfield River. In the squeaky-snow brilliance of the unclouded morning, more vitality in a deep breath than a whole pot of coffee, I had a flashback of some Rocky Mountain hotsprings, arrived at after two days of backcountry snowshoeing and skiing. Like a chrome grasshopper off the top of an ear, a gleaming sliver of myself leapt to that river steam, magnetized by the delicious feeling drifting in the wavering mist: of the coincidence of opposites, wet/dry hot/cold, manifesting as a high country hottub, as exclusive and elegant as they come. I wanted to jump into this fantasy, but didn’t—because I knew that water was so cold that it burns… Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 25th & 26th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Feb 12th by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors Here’s the link to vote: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot.

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for January 25th-31st, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including:

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 21 Community Highlights: Rainforests to Surface Tension. Bread Baking to Ice Harvesting., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: January 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

January 25th-31st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


ScienceHistory/FurnitureTheater/PuppetryTransportation/RailroadsEcology/RainforestsDance/CultureFilm StudiesPastry Arts/BreadArt StudiesHistoryBook GroupsParent WorkshopsEarly Literacy

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

Check out our upcoming family events & featured posts from the archives…

21 Community Highlights: Rainforests to Surface Tension. Bread Baking to Ice Harvesting.

Trains to Bread. Rainforests to Surface Tension. Swords to Furniture

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week: Have your kids ever asked you how a water strider can glide on the surface of a pond? Or why drops of water are round? The answer? Surface tension! On Monday evening, Jan 27, adults and older students can learn about the science of surface tension with professors from Yale University at SciTech Cafe hosted at the Amherst Brewing Company in Amherst. The wonders of surface tension will be illustrated with live action science demos at this free event.


ScienceHistory/FurnitureTheater/PuppetryTransportation/RailroadsEcology/RainforestsDance/CultureFilm StudiesPastry Arts/BreadArt StudiesHistoryBook GroupsParent WorkshopsEarly Literacy


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 25th-31st, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families gives us lots of info about all the different happenings each week that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about. This has been an invaluable resource for us to get to cool events and to make connections with other local families. Thank you!” – Stacy Calabretta (Goshen, MA)

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

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

HILLTOWN FAMILIES

VOTE FOR HILLTOWN FAMILIES! As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014! Best Blog is listed under the Information Age” category Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 12th. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? Spread the word & share the ❤ love! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

BULLETIN BOARD

Open House Jan 25

The Campus School at Smith College, a coeducational day school, will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, January 25th from 9:30-11am. All prospective kindergarten through sixth grade students and their families are welcome! Come explore classrooms, see what their students are learning, and meet teachers, administrators and current parents. For more information about Smith College Campus School or to preregister for the Open House visit online at www.smith.edu/sccs or call the admission office at 413-585-3270. Smith College Campus School is located at 33 Prospect Street in Northampton, MA.

Open House Jan 25

The Common School in Amherst will host an Open House on Saturday, January 25th from 10am-12noon. Offering independent, progressive education for children age 3-12 in the Pioneer Valley, The Common School’s mission is to develop strong academic and social skills while nurturing each child’s love of learning, respect and compassion for others, and commitment to the environment. Parents and children are welcome to come to the Open House. Come meet the faculty, play in classrooms, and explore the beautiful campus. Accepting applications now for fall 2014. To schedule a visit call 413-256-8989. Find out more at www.commonschool.org

Jan 25

Kids and families, get ready for a Rainforest Adventure, the new traveling exhibit at the Springfield Science Museum. Learn about the amazing diversity of life in rainforests and the many challenges they face today. Explore a gorilla nest, climb a kapok tree, and identify endangered species. The Museum provides the vests, flashlights, and binoculars – you provide your imagination! A special Opening Day Celebration on Saturday, January 25th at 10am will feature hands-on activities, Family Science Adventures and “The Wild About Rainforest Balloon Magic Show” by Jungle Jim. The Springfield Science Museum is located at 21 Edwards Street in Springfield, MA. 413-263-6800. For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Jan 26 & Feb 2

Littlest Dancers Parent and Child Movement Class. This is a lively movement class for both parents and children where each song inspires a new way of dancing or a game for everyone to enjoy. The kiddos love the music and dance, and the adults get a moderate workout. For ages 3 months to 5 years. Sunday, January 19th, 26th & February 2nd, from 10:30 to 11:30am. Classes held at the new Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA. Classes are $12 for drop-in or $30 for the 3 class series. For more info and pre-registration, please email littlestdancers@gmail.com or call 413-230-7953.

Open House Jan 26

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 26th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church (130 Pine Street) in Florence since 1954, and is a half-day preschool with the option of extended days. See their new layout and learning centers during their open house while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House Feb 1

Amherst Montessori School will be holding an Open House on Saturday, February 1st from 10am-12noon. They are now accepting applications for the 2014- 2015 year. Early education from 15 months – 6 years, Elementary education for grades 1-6. Join them in their beautiful new school in South Amherst for Montessori education that supports each child’s individual development. Music, art, Spanish language lessons and immersion, outdoor play, and a rich offering of afterschool programming enrich each student’s learning. They are a diverse and welcoming community. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Limited openings now in Toddler for immediate enrollment.

Open House Feb 2

Birds of Prey Open House, Sun. Feb. 2nd, 1-4pm. The Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2 to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4 enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects lead by Center School teachers. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks, nests and more. Pre-K through 8th activities are free. www.centerschool.net

Enrolling Now

Spring Street Preschool in Amherst is enrolling new students for September 2014! Spring Street Preschool is a small school with both mixed aged and separate small group programming, individualized instruction, large art studio space, experienced and caring teachers, music program and outdoor play. Enrolling children from 2 yrs, 9 months – 5 years. Flexible schedule, affordable tuition. Spring Street Preschool is independent and non-denominational, welcoming new families to their school community.. Best kept secret in Amherst! To schedule a tour call 413-256-8442 or info@springstreetpreschool.org. For more info visit www.springstreetpreschool.org.

Researchers at UMass-Amherst seek volunteers to participate in a language study. They are looking for English-speaking children ages 9-12 who have a diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, or who are typically developing. Parental consent will be obtained and the single-session study should take about 90 minutes. You will be compensated $50 for your time. They have openings after school, on weekends, and during holidays. Please call Kristina Curro at 413-695-8429 or email her at kcurro@comdis.umass.edu for more information.

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your winter vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, 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.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES’ EVENTS

Handmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for the 6th Annual Hilltown Families Handmade Community Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in Western MA.  Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31. Western MA (FREE)

Make Your Own Handmade Valentines with Hilltown Families at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls during a free family workshop: Friday, February 7th, from 4-7pm.  Handmade valentines are wonderful expressions of thoughtfulness that can be shared with neighbors and friends, or with people you might not know. Join us to make many! Think about making a valentine for your librarian, postal worker, or teacher. Make several and deliver them to a nearby homeless shelter, nursing home, or an elderly neighbor in your community. Send them in the mail to long lost friends or relatives you have never met! Sign up to join us at the free family workshop!

Kicking off the Easthampton Fire & Ice Festival, Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective will host a ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ with performances by Shiprock and Anchordog and the Eddie Forman Orchestra on Saturday, February 8th at 10am in Easthampton, MA! Following a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, the party will feature performances by the storytelling band Shiprock and Anchordog and the legendary western Mass polka band the Eddie Forman Orchestra. Tickets are $12/family; $6/individual.  Flywheel Arts Collective located at 43 Main Street in the old town hall in Easthmapton.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 25th-31st, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Show Your Support for Hilltown Families: Vote for Us!

Hilltown Families: BEST BLOG
Vote for Us by Feb. 12th!

As Hilltown Families enters its ninth year, celebrate the past eight with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2014!

Best Blog is listed under the
Information Age” category.

Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 12th.

Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)?

Spread the word & share the ❤ love!

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES

Hilltown Families believes in creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community based education and engagement.  We work to accomplish this by highlighting the embedded learning that is found everywhere in our communities, making the information accessible to families, and giving parents/educators access to opportunities that supports their children’s interests and education while encouraging community engagement.

Founded in late 2005 by long time activist, artist and mother, Sienna Wildfield, the Hiltown Families blog is part of a online grassroots communication network for families living in Western MA, and is incorporated as a non-profit in the state of Massachusetts last year, currently awaiting the approval of 501(c)3 status. Serving thousands of families living throughout the region, Hilltown Families connects, collaborates, and creates community building events, community based educational opportunities, and service learning experiences.

See this TEDx Talk, Supporting Education Through Community Engagement, where Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield, shares the story behind the vision and mission of Hilltown Families:

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser of Northampton, MA writes: “Sienna has an idea that community can be found through community events—to learn, to play and to serve. She’s worked hard to form meaningful partnerships to support all these areas. From citizenry in field science to winter wear swaps to Valentine card making to festivals for the springtime, there’s a place that’s not a place but is rooted in our community. It’s Hilltown Families. I am grateful to be part of this family, and this place.”

Kara Kitchen of Plainfield, MA, writes:“ “Hilltown Families keeps us connected with all the amazing educational and cultural activities and resources that abound here in W. Mass and curates them in a way to let us know just what’s out there for the many varied interests of our young families and communities, while creating networks of support and growth.”

Seth Isman, Economic Developer, Hilltown CDC writes: “Hilltown Families is a model resource for the community. When we want to know what’s happening in the hilltowns, we turn to Hilltown Families first.”

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

What we’ve been chatting about…

23 Community Highlights: California Gold Rush to Garland Dancing. Spirituals to Spoken Word.

Garland dancing, an English folk dance that began in the mill towns of North England in the 19th century, was a folk dance rural folks brought with them when they move into cities during the Industrial Revolution.

California Gold Rush to Garland Dancing.  Bald Eagles to Wolves. Spirituals to Spoken Word…

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Garland dancing, an English folk dance that originated from the British Isles, is a form of Morris dance with flower-covered garlands and measured movements. The Morning Glory Girls Garland dance group will begin practicing at the Whately Elementary School on Sunday afternoon, January 19th, and welcomes new participants (girls ages 7-12) to join in this free dance group. In this traditional dance, performers use ribbons, bells, and flower garlands while dancing in rhythmic steps to music and song. Mothers and daughter are invited to join in together with the Harts Brook dance group immediately following. Musicians (any age & gender) are welcomed too! Dancing, music, flowers and folks traditions… an inviting recipe for a Sunday afternoon!


HistoryCultural StudiesOutdoor AdventuresArts & CraftsAnimal StudiesMartin Luther King, Jr.Civic EngagementSTEMParent Workshops


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 18th-24th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“I can’t believe I didn’t know about Hilltown Families before. I thought it was just for families who lived in the Hilltowns, not for Valley families like us in Hatfield. After looking through the site (which is also great looking), I see that there are tons of events that my family would like to know about and attend, from Northampton, to Amherst to Pittsfield. Thanks!” – Kathie Gow (Hatfield, MA)

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

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

BULLETIN BOARD

Jan 19, 26 & Feb 2

Littlest Dancers Parent and Child Movement Class. This is a lively movement class for both parents and children where each song inspires a new way of dancing or a game for everyone to enjoy. The kiddos love the music and dance, and the adults get a moderate workout. For ages 3 months to 5 years. Sunday, January 19th, 26th & February 2nd, from 10:30 to 11:30am. Classes held at the new Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA. Classes are $12 for drop-in or $30 for the 3 class series. For more info and pre-registration, please email littlestdancers@gmail.com or call 413-230-7953.

Jan 23 & Feb 6

Accepting applications for fall 2014. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, upcoming Kindergarten Open Houses, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061. www.bement.org.

Open House Jan 25

The Common School in Amherst will host an Open House on Saturday, January 25th from 10am-12noon. Offering independent, progressive education for children age 3-12 in the Pioneer Valley, The Common School’s mission is to develop strong academic and social skills while nurturing each child’s love of learning, respect and compassion for others, and commitment to the environment. Parents and children are welcome to come to the Open House. Come meet the faculty, play in classrooms, and explore the beautiful campus. Accepting applications now for fall 2014. To schedule a visit call 413-256-8989. Find out more at www.commonschool.org

Open House Jan 25

The Campus School at Smith College, a coeducational day school, will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, January 25th from 9:30-11am. All prospective kindergarten through sixth grade students and their families are welcome! Come explore classrooms, see what their students are learning, and meet teachers, administrators and current parents. For more information about Smith College Campus School or to preregister for the Open House visit online at www.smith.edu/sccs or call the admission office at 413-585-3270. Smith College Campus School is located at 33 Prospect Street in Northampton, MA.

Jan 25

Kids and families, get ready for a Rainforest Adventure, the new traveling exhibit at the Springfield Science Museum. Learn about the amazing diversity of life in rainforests and the many challenges they face today. Explore a gorilla nest, climb a kapok tree, and identify endangered species. The Museum provides the vests, flashlights, and binoculars – you provide your imagination! A special Opening Day Celebration on Saturday, January 25th at 10am will feature hands-on activities, Family Science Adventures and “The Wild About Rainforest Balloon Magic Show” by Jungle Jim. The Springfield Science Museum is located at 21 Edwards Street in Springfield, MA. 413-263-6800. For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Open House Jan 26

Cloverdale Cooperative Preschool invites new parents to an Open House on Sunday, January 26th, from 2:30-4pm. Cloverdale is located in back of the First Congregational Church (130 Pine Street) in Florence since 1954, and is a half-day preschool with the option of extended days. See their new layout and learning centers during their open house while spending time playing with your children in their engaging learning environment. Meet the teachers and some parents who will answer your questions about their program. For more information visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Open House Feb 1

Amherst Montessori School has three openings for Toddlers, ages 18 months-3 years, for immediate enrollment. Full- or part-time schedule.  Maria Montessori said, “Little children, from the moment they are weaned, are making their way toward independence.” Join us in a joyful, beautiful classroom that is prepared for the child’s emerging independence. The Toddler program includes music, art, practical life, grace and courtesy, language, outdoor play, and more in a child-centered and respectful setting. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org. Also enrolling now for Fall 2014. Open House on Saturday, February 1, 10 AM-noon.

Enrolling Now

Spring Street Preschool in Amherst is enrolling new students for September 2014! Spring Street Preschool is a small school with both mixed aged and separate small group programming, individualized instruction, large art studio space, experienced and caring teachers, music program and outdoor play. Enrolling children from 2 yrs, 9 months – 5 years. Flexible schedule, affordable tuition. Spring Street Preschool is independent and non-denominational, welcoming new families to their school community.. Best kept secret in Amherst! To schedule a tour call 413-256-8442 or info@springstreetpreschool.org. For more info visit www.springstreetpreschool.org.

Researchers at UMass-Amherst seek volunteers to participate in a language study. They are looking for English-speaking children ages 9-12 who have a diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, or who are typically developing. Parental consent will be obtained and the single-session study should take about 90 minutes. You will be compensated $50 for your time. They have openings after school, on weekends, and during holidays. Please call Kristina Curro at 413-695-8429 or email her at kcurro@comdis.umass.edu for more information.

Summer Camps in Western MassachusettsMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 16th, 2014, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your winter vacation program, afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, 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.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES’ EVENTS

Handmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for the 6th Annual Hilltown Families Handmade Community Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in Western MA.  Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31. Western MA (FREE)

Make Your Own Handmade Valentines with Hilltown Families at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls during a free family workshop: Friday, February 7th, from 4-7pm.  Handmade valentines are wonderful expressions of thoughtfulness that can be shared with neighbors and friends, or with people you might not know. Join us to make many! Think about making a valentine for your librarian, postal worker, or teacher. Make several and deliver them to a nearby homeless shelter, nursing home, or an elderly neighbor in your community. Send them in the mail to long lost friends or relatives you have never met! Sign up to join us at the free family workshop!


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 18th-24th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

20 Indoor Places to Host a Winter Birthday Party in Western MA

Party Space for Winter Birthdays in Western MA

If your child has a birthday in the winter months, the options of where to celebrate become more limited.  We asked our readers to recommend indoor places in Western MA to celebrate winter birthdays. From cinema houses to places to move their bodies, here is what they had to share:

  • Jennifer Unkles recommendsThe Hitchcock Center (Amherst) does nature birthday parties any season.
  • Lei Fay recommendsRoots Gymnastics in Westfield, MA. Also Flywheel in Easthampton rents their room out to private parties, great prices.
  • Jennifer York recommends:  We had a great time when Teaching Creatures came to our house! Also, Hampshire Gymnastics has great birthday parties.
  • Rebecca Addison recommends: The Red Roof Inn in South Deerfield does birthday parties- pool parties.
  • Gina recommends: Central Rock Gym on Route  in Hadley, ages 4+, 20$ pp, LOTS of fun! We had my sons 16th birthday party there and we were very happy! They have a party room after climbing, and can order pizza.
  • Lesley Lambert recommends: New England Dance Centers in Westfield does great birthday parties, too. There are options like: Princess Ballet, High School Musical…
  • Denise Banister recommends: The Valley Swim School has taken over the pool at Clarke School, 52 Round Hill Road, Northampton. Special event rental of the pool is available.
  • Sarah Porter West recommends: We have had great luck with the Northampton Bowl.
  • Roberta Fortini-Curran recommends: Images Cinema in Williamstown: you bring your own movie, drinks and popcorn.
  • Candy Bird Laflam recommends: Big Adventures in Westfield. Awesome place!
  • Faith Ann recommends: Greenfield YMCA gymnastics center or gym. Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley.
  • Lauren Abend recommends: Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens in Deerfield, or bowling.
  • Kate Bailey recommends: Kind of a haul, but Kidsplayce in Brattleboro, VT, is AWESOME!
  • Jessica Morris recommends: Nonotuck Community School in Florence rents space for a reasonable fee and has a wonderful large room with toys, slides, trikes, chalkboard, and a stage.
  • Kara Kitchen recommends: Bouncy Place at the Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough, MA; Dalton CRA-gym games+swimming; Greenfield Cinemas rents out their theaters for movie viewing and xbox playing on big screen.
  • Sienna Wildfield recommends: One of the many indoor ice skating rinks in the region.

Have a recommendation? Post a comment and share your favorite place to host an indoor birthday party in the winter months here in Western MA!

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 11th & 12th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for January 11th-17th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements, Hilltown Families’ Events, and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 18 Community Highlights: Firefighters to Hibernation. Contemporary Art to Marshmallow Catapults., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: January 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

January 11th-17th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


STEMAnimal AdvocacyImmigrationCreative Free PlayHistoryPsychologyNature StudiesParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceContemporary Art

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

Check out our upcoming family events & featured posts from the archives…

18 Community Highlights: Firefighters to Hibernation. Contemporary Art to Marshmallow Catapults.

Firefighters to Psychology. Marshmallow Catapults to Contemporary Art. Immigration to Hibernation

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Ask your child what a family would have done in the 1800′s if their home caught on fire before the invention of modern day fire departments. They might have had to rely on private fire brigades, but only if their home had a fire insurance mark! Learning about the history of the occupation of a fireman gives a unique perspective into the history of our country and the development of technology. This year’s Storrowtown Village‘s First Person Presentation is “A Fireman of 1899 – His Life and Job,” presented by retired firefighter, teacher, and historian William Moss on Friday evening, January 17th in West Springfield. Moss will be at Storrowtown, dressed in period costume, to discuss the lives and challenges of 19th century firefighters, taking families through a typical day in the life of a fireman during the 1800′s. To further your learning at home, tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show Firefighter Episode with guest DJs, Chicago Firefighters John and Pete. A fun radio show/podcast for the whole family!


STEMAnimal AdvocacyImmigrationCreative Free PlayHistoryPsychologyNature StudiesParent WorkshopsCommunity ServiceContemporary Art


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 11th-17th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is my first stop for an interesting and fun weekend with my two 7-year olds. It is our saving grace to have a kid-friendly destination on a Saturday morning, and Hilltown Families comes through for us in spades! We especially love it being new to the Valley (from Boston) and don’t know up from down out here! Concerts are our favorites in the winter.” – The Greenwoods (Florence MA)

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

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

BULLETIN BOARD

Jan 12

Adi Bemak will lead a half-day retreat for parents, grandparents and guardians on Practicing Meditation. The retreat, hosted by the Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley, will include guided sitting and walking meditation, one-on-one conversations, and group discussions to facilitate sharing on the ups and downs of parenting and how meditation can act as a support. No prior meditation experience is necessary. Sunday, January 12, 1-4pm at Eastworks, 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 242, Easthampton. Suggested contribution: $15-$25 plus teacher donation. Please pre-register at insightpv.org/retreats or call 413-527-0388.

Open House: Jan 15

Open House, Wednesday, January 15, at the Montessori School of Northampton. On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM, the Montessori School of Northampton, located at 51 Bates Street, will hold an open house. All parents of toddler, preschool and elementary students who are interested in applying for admission for September 2014 are encouraged to attend. Parents will have the opportunity to visit the school’s Toddler, Children’s House (preschool/kindergarten), Lower Elementary (grades 1 through 3), and Upper Elementary (grades 4 through 6) classrooms, meet staff, and explore the advantages of Montessori education. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org

Open House: Jan 23, Feb 6

Accepting applications for fall 2014. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, upcoming Kindergarten Open Houses, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061 www.bement.org.

Goodchild Music Studio in Shelburne offers music classes for all ages! Simply Music Piano® (7yo-adult), a remarkable, Australian-developed piano program that has students, playing pop, classical, blues and accompaniment pieces, from their very first lessons; Play-a-Story Piano® (5-7yo w/guardian), a comprehensive improvisational piano foundation that provides a springboard into the Simply Music Piano program; Simply Music Rhapsody® (3mo-5yo w/guardian), an exciting and experiential musical immersion program, based on the Orff Schulwerk philosophy (classes by age); Bagpipe Lessons (9yo-adult). Also, Beginning Violin-Fiddle and Clawhammer Banjo lessons. More info, contact Barbara & Eric Goodchild, 413-625-8203, ebgoodchild@hughes.net.

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.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES’ EVENTS

Saturday Morning Music PartyFamily Music Party: On Saturday, January 11, at 10am, Hilltown Families and Flywheel Arts Collective present the second year of our “Saturday Morning Music Party” series! This Saturday kicks off this winter’s series, and features a free pancake breakfast, a screening of an ’80s-era kids’ TV show, and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix. All ages are invited to this super fun event! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Handmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for the 6th Annual Hilltown Families Handmade Community Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in Western MA.  Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31. Western MA (FREE)

Family Community Service NightFamily Community Service Night: On Friday, January 17th from 4-7pm, Hilltown Families will be hosting a Free Family Community Service Night with The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls.  We are inviting families to join us for an evening of DIY Mittens & Scarves for Families in Transition. Come with an outgrown felted wool sweater, and/or fleece outerwear to be repurposed into easy-to-sew mittens and scarves to donate to New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT).  No previous experience is needed and there will be tasks for all ages Sign up to join us. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 11th-17th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for January 4th & 5th, 2014

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for January 4th-10th, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Hot Chocolate Saturdays to Cuban Culture. Houses on Main Street to Space Studies., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: January 2014, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families.

January 4th-10th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Outdoor Adventures/HikingCultural Studies/Cuba  ♦ Local History/StockbridgeCommunity Service/Animal WelfareSTEM/ChessParent WorkshopsAstronomy

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Kids Becoming World Citizens: Recommended Reading
  2. Q&A: Let’s Talk Bedtime
  3. 3 Soup Recipes for Winter
  4. The Struggle of Winter Wear
  5. Recommendations for Indoor Places to Host a Winter Birthday Party

HILLTOWN FAMILIES SPONSORED EVENTS

Saturday Morning Music Party

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

20 Community Highlights: Hot Chocolate Saturdays to Cuban Culture. Houses on Main Street to Space Studies.

Hot Chocolate Saturdays to Cuban Culture. Houses on Main Street to Space Studies. Parent Workshops to Chess Club

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Children love to volunteer and to feel like they are making a difference in the world and the lives of others… especially in the lives of the animals.  Volunteering with a local animal shelter offers children the chance to bring about support to the welfare of animals right in their own community.  On Saturday, January 4th, the Berkshire Humane Society will host an orientation for their “Humane Hero” program, for kids and parents. This is a new volunteer program just for kids. Families can learn about this new program at one of two different orientations: Berkshire Humane Society in Pittsfield in the morning; Berkshire South Community Center in Great Barrington in the afternoon.


Outdoor Adventures/HikingCultural Studies/Cuba  ♦ Local History/StockbridgeCommunity Service/Animal WelfareSTEM/ChessParent WorkshopsAstronomy


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 4th-10th, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“As a partial stay-at-home-mom for almost four years, Hilltown Families has helped me find things to do with my daughter on weekdays and on weekends. Thanks and keep up the good work!” – Sandra Dias (Holyoke, MA)

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

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

BULLETIN BOARD

Jan 4

Pioneer Valley Ballet is holding auditions for an original ballet, Beauty & The Beast on January 4, 2014 in Easthampton. A moving ballet based on the fairy tale by the Brothers’ Grimm, Beauty & The Beast follows the story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love in an unexpected place. Full of whimsy and magic, Beauty & The Beast performs at The Academy of Music on March 29 & 30, 2014 in Northampton. Children 4.5 – 12 are invited to audition. No dance experience needed. Adults and advanced dancers (en pointe) should contact the studio for audition information. Registration and information at www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

Jan 5

Lander-Grinspoon Academy hosts a community concert with Mister G for families on January 5 at 3pm in Northampton. Mister G, a local children’s singer/songwriter, has performed nationally & internationally. This concert is open to the entire community & is co-sponsored with Gan Keshet preschool & Hilltown Families. Mister G’s debut family album was Pizza for Breakfast. To date, he has released 3 other CD’s. In 2013, he was a Latin Grammy nominee for Best Children’s album. In 2012, Mister G was the Parent’s Choice Gold Award winner, & he was a Grammy nominee in ’11 & ‘12. Tickets are $5/child; $7.50/adult; capped at $20/family & are being sold at Lander-Grinspoon Academy during regular school hours. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Open House: Jan 15

Open House, Wednesday, January 15, at the Montessori School of Northampton. On Wednesday, January 15, 2014, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM, the Montessori School of Northampton, located at 51 Bates Street, will hold an open house. All parents of toddler, preschool and elementary students who are interested in applying for admission for September 2014 are encouraged to attend. Parents will have the opportunity to visit the school’s Toddler, Children’s House (preschool/kindergarten), Lower Elementary (grades 1 through 3), and Upper Elementary (grades 4 through 6) classrooms, meet staff, and explore the advantages of Montessori education. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org

Goodchild Music Studio in Shelburne offers music classes for all ages! Simply Music Piano® (7yo-adult), a remarkable, Australian-developed piano program that has students, playing pop, classical, blues and accompaniment pieces, from their very first lessons; Play-a-Story Piano® (5-7yo w/guardian), a comprehensive improvisational piano foundation that provides a springboard into the Simply Music Piano program; Simply Music Rhapsody® (3mo-5yo w/guardian), an exciting and experiential musical immersion program, based on the Orff Schulwerk philosophy (classes by age); Bagpipe Lessons (9yo-adult). Also, Beginning Violin-Fiddle and Clawhammer Banjo lessons. More info, contact Barbara & Eric Goodchild, 413-625-8203, ebgoodchild@hughes.net.

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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 4th-10th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

History Exhibition Recalls Holyoke’s Industrial Past

Echoes of Industry:
The Death and Rebirth of Holyoke’s Mills
Jan – Feb, 2014

With 25 mills near the end of the 19th century, Holyoke was the largest paper manufacturer. Today these mills are reminders of another age – victims of fire, demolition or a new purpose. What remains offers a silent dignity that demands to be recorded.

This January and February, Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke remembers the city’s past through a display of artwork by Eric Broudy. “Echoes of Industry: The Death and Rebirth of Holyoke’s Mills” contains photographs Broudy took of the old, run-down mills – their exteriors and vast interiors, the “architectural details with rubble and shattered windows” – and a video installation featuring footage of Holyoke mills being given new life, through the development of creative spaces like art galleries, dance and yoga studios, offices, restaurants, even homes, in these once-mighty industrial structures…

Read the rest of this entry »

‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ with Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective

Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective
Winter 2014 ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’
January 11th, February 8th & March 11th

The Saturday Morning Music Party begins again for the second year in a row! Come shake off your cabin fever with a pancake breakfast, screening of an 80s-era cult-classic kids’ TV show (can you guess which one?) and a dance party with DJ Youthelectronix! Oh, and did we mention… it’s FREE!!! Join Hilltown Families and Flywheel in Easthampton on Saturday, January 11th at 10am!

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective of Easthampton are reviving the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, performances and diversions for kids! The Music Party Series will include three events this winter: January 11, February 8 (as part of Easthampton’s Fire & Ice Festival), and March 11, 2014.

JANUARY 11th: The first of three installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party begins on Saturday, January 11th at 10am at Flywheel Arts Collective located in the old town hall in Easthampton (43 Main Street). This event is free and open to people of all ages.

Following a free breakfast of pancakes, juice, and fruit, the January 11th event features a screening of an episode of an 80s-era cult-classic kids’ television show (can you guess which one?). After the show, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.”  Get the kids moving and shaking off the winter blues… Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 28th & 29th, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for December 28th, 2013-January 3rd, 2014 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 23 Community Highlights: Peter Rabbit to Cinderella. History of Calendars to History of New Year’s Eve., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: December 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families through the end of the year.

December 28th, 2013, – January 3rd, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Outdoor AdventuresFoodHistoryNew Year’s EveSTEMFamily PerformancesAstronomy

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Q&A: 14 Recommended Websites by Western MA Parents
  2. 10 Tips on Setting Technology Limits for Your Family
  3. Q&A: Where to Enjoy Hot Chocolate in Western MA
  4. 20 Recommendations for Keeping the Family Entertained in Subzero Weather
  5. HFVS Doo-Wop Episode with Guest DJs, Michael & Tony Napolitano (Radio Show/Podcast)

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

23 Community Highlights: Peter Rabbit to Cinderella. History of Calendars to History of New Year’s Eve.

History of Calendars to History of New Year’s Eve. Snowshoeing to Hiking. Peter Rabbit to Cinderella

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Julian calendar, Gregorian calendar, Lunisolar calendar, Sumerian calendar, Mayan calendar… with the new year approaching, let’s talk calendars! The history behind each one of these systems of keeping track of the days in a year tells an interesting story about the societies from which they came and how they saw time and the cycles of nature. On Saturday afternoon, Western Gateway Heritage State Park in North Adams is offering an educational program on the history of the calendar. Stop in with your interest and questions and learn about the history of the calendar.


Outdoor AdventuresFoodHistoryNew Year’s EveSTEMFamily PerformancesAstronomy


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 28th, 2013-January 3rd, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families always keeps us informed as to what’s going on! When boredom strikes during vacation week, we know where to go…Hilltown Families’ blog or Facebook page to find out what extra special fun thing is going on!” – Angie Gregory (Northampton, MA)

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

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

BULLETIN BOARD

Dec 31

Why should the grownups get to have all of the fun? Come celebrate New Years Eve for the KIDS at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield on December 31st from 11am – 1pm. Countdown to 12NOON instead of Midnight with interactive live entertainment by guitarist Tom Carroll. Full award winning kids menu & lunch menu will be available. Noise makers will be handed out and an apple cider toast … Just for fun! Please call for reservations. 413-665-1277.

Jan 4

Pioneer Valley Ballet is holding auditions for an original ballet, Beauty & The Beast on January 4, 2014 in Easthampton. A moving ballet based on the fairy tale by the Brothers’ Grimm, Beauty & The Beast follows the story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love in an unexpected place. Full of whimsy and magic, Beauty & The Beast performs at The Academy of Music on March 29 & 30, 2014 in Northampton. Children 4.5 – 12 are invited to audition. No dance experience needed. Adults and advanced dancers (en pointe) should contact the studio for audition information. Registration and information at www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

Jan 5

Lander-Grinspoon Academy hosts a community concert with Mister G for families on January 5 at 3pm in Northampton. Mister G, a local children’s singer/songwriter, has performed nationally & internationally. This concert is open to the entire community & is co-sponsored with Gan Keshet preschool & Hilltown Families. Mister G’s debut family album was Pizza for Breakfast. To date, he has released 3 other CD’s. In 2013, he was a Latin Grammy nominee for Best Children’s album. In 2012, Mister G was the Parent’s Choice Gold Award winner, & he was a Grammy nominee in ’11 & ‘12. Tickets are $5/child; $7.50/adult; capped at $20/family & are being sold at Lander-Grinspoon Academy during regular school hours. Tickets will also be available at the door.

30-Day Transformation for only $400. Get a month’s worth of wellness services at Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga for only $400. Imagine how you would look and feel after 3 acupuncture treatments a week, one private yoga lesson a week, personalized Chinese herbal supplements, nutritional counseling and manageable lifestyle suggestions based on your individual constitution. All these services would normally cost over $1000, but now is available for $400. It is time to face up to your age-old health concerns and make a commitment to your wellbeing. Sleep better, digest better, be pain-free and have the energy you need! For more information about this deal and services we offer visit www.windowofheavenacupuncture.com or call 413-303-1246. Northampton, MA.

Have you heard about the new Central Berkshire Parent Child Home Program offered by Child Care of the Berkshires? The mission of CCB is to strengthen families through high quality child care, education, support services and advocacy. One way they accomplish this is through their Central Berkshire Parent Child Home Program, a free home visiting program. Enrollment is currently taking place for families of children, 18 mos-3 yrs, in the towns of Becket, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington, Windsor, and Cummington for free home visits, books, and toys. For more information, please call 413- 672-2577 or email emorris@ccberkshire.org.

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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 28th, 2013-January 3rd, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 21st & 22nd, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for December 14th-20th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Winter Solstice to Christmas. Mummers’ Play to Flash Mob., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: December 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and Holiday Events for Families in Western MA: 2013 for a comprehensive list covering all four counties in Western MA!

December 21st-27th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Chorus & CarolingWinter SolsticeEuropean HistoryMYO CraftsWinter PoetryAnimal TrackingLEGO Block PartyMuseum Adventures


Tree LightingsSantaHoliday StrollsMYO GiftsCaroling/Choral MusicHanukkahChristmasKwanzaaWinter Solstice

RECAP

  Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Top 11 Family Music CD Releases from 2012
  2. 9 Resources for Surviving & Thriving the Winter in Western Massachusetts
  3. Searching for Nests & Animal Tracks in Winter
  4. Christmas Morning Clean-up: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
  5. Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield Hosts Interactive Web Site for New England History

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

20 Community Highlights: Winter Solstice to Christmas. Mummers’ Play to Flash Mob.

Saturday, December 21st is the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year. There are a number of community events, including outdoor celebrations with stories, songs and warming fires…

Flash Mob to Symphony. Winter Solstice to Christmas. Long Sword Dance to Animal Tracking

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  There are a number of dances with European origins that take place this time of year. On Saturday morning, a Holiday Tea, co-sponsored by the Pelham Library and Historical Society, takes place in Pelham and will include the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, an English folk dance from the Middle Ages. Another featured dance is the Long Sword Dance, traditional dance performed on Boxing Day in England (the day following Christmas Day).  Along with these dance, traditional songs will be sung and a mummers’ play (European folk plays) will be performed too.  Bring the family for a morning rich in European history… and maybe even a visit by Santa!


Chorus & CarolingWinter SolsticeEuropean HistoryMYO CraftsWinter PoetryAnimal TrackingLEGO Block PartyMuseum Adventures


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 21st-27th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families has been our family go-to place to know what’s going on in the community and find the fun. I am grateful for Sienna’s dedication to making the Valley accessible to all families and keeping us connected. Most recently we had a chance to start listening to the Hilltown Family Variety Show. We played the Hanukkah show over and over and the 4 year old and 9 year old BOTH loved it. As did I. Thank you so much!” – Liz Friedman (Northampton, MA)

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

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

BULLETIN BOARD

Dec 14, 20 & 21

The Adventures of Santa Claus starring Santa! Paintbox Theatre issues your special invitation to a party at Santa’s Workshop. As always, there will be hilarity, song and artwork by local kids. Santa, with the help of the audience and elves, is going to bring to life three little known stories: How Santa Met His Elves?, Why Santa Climbs Down Chimneys?, and How Santa Knows Who Has Been Good and Bad? Guaranteed Christmas spirit for all. Saturday, December 14: 10:30 & 1pm Friday, December 20: 7:00pm Saturday, December 21: 10:30 & 1pm Northampton High School. A dollar from each ticket sale benefits the Northampton Education Foundation. $10 per ticket/$7.00 for groups www.BrownPaperTickets.com. More info: PaintBoxTheatre.com

Dec 21

This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by Celtic Heels Director Cara Leach. Mark your calendars for this single performance event, held on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7pm at The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Performance Company, special Narrator John T. Allan, and live music by Adam Sweet and friends, this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves The Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $18/adults $15/seniors + students and $12 for children under 12. Tickets are available at www.academyofmusictheatre.com or by calling 413-584-9032 x105.

Dec 23-28

Celebrate the season at Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Join the Museum during school vacation week, December 23-28, and learn about the art of the picture book as featured in the exhibitions, Wendell Minor’s America, Dancing Princesses: The Fairy Tale Art of Ruth Sanderson, and Norman Rockwell: Home for the Holidays. Starting at 1 p.m., create your own picture books, inspired by the work on view. Invent your own storylines, design characters and settings during drop-in art workshops for all ages. Visitors will also have the chance to meet the artists (Wendell Minor: December 23; Ruth Sanderson: Saturday, December 28) for special talks and book signings. The events are free with Museum admission. www.nrm.org for more details. Closed Christmas Day.

Dec 27-30

There’s tons to see and do at the Springfield Museums during the holidays! See The Magic of Gingerbread exhibit with creations by local bakers amidst a backdrop of holiday trees and colorful murals. Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus each weekend and enjoy crafts & gallery games with the Elves. Shop the award winning Museum Store and stop by the Blake House Café for their signature hot chocolate. During the school break, there’s “Wacky Week 3.0” (Dec. 27-30), with fun activities and top family performers like Gustafer Yellowgold. Admission is $15/adults, $10/seniors & college students, $8/children 3-17, and free for members and children under three. General admission is free for Springfield residents. Visit springfieldmuseums.org for information.

Dec 31

Why should the grownups get to have all of the fun? Come celebrate New Years Eve for the KIDS at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield on December 31st from 11am – 1pm. Countdown to 12NOON instead of Midnight with interactive live entertainment by guitarist Tom Carroll. Full award winning kids menu & lunch menu will be available. Noise makers will be handed out and an apple cider toast … Just for fun! Please call for reservations. 413-665-1277.

Jan

Looking for pottery classes for your child or yourself… or classes you can do together? Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering Beginner Wheel Throwing Classes for adults and children interested in pottery. New classes begin in January: Adults Classes are on Tues. nights from 6-8:30pm with open studio time on Sun. from 12-2pm beginning Jan. 7 for 8 weeks (no class 2/18), $260. Classes for Kids ages 6+ begin Wed., Jan. 8 from 4-5:30pm for 6 weeks, $110. One day Parent/Child Workshops happen on Sun. afternoons from 2:30-4pm, $25/pair (Kathryn will glaze work). See www.cyclepottery.com for more info or call 413-219-9594. Classes have a max of 4 students, allowing for individualized from Kathryn.

30-Day Transformation for only $400. Get a month’s worth of wellness services at Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga for only $400. Imagine how you would look and feel after 3 acupuncture treatments a week, one private yoga lesson a week, personalized Chinese herbal supplements, nutritional counseling and manageable lifestyle suggestions based on your individual constitution. All these services would normally cost over $1000, but now is available for $400. It is time to face up to your age-old health concerns and make a commitment to your wellbeing. Sleep better, digest better, be pain-free and have the energy you need! For more information about this deal and services we offer visit www.windowofheavenacupuncture.com or call 413-303-1246. Northampton, MA.

Have you heard about the new Central Berkshire Parent Child Home Program offered by Child Care of the Berkshires? The mission of CCB is to strengthen families through high quality child care, education, support services and advocacy. One way they accomplish this is through their Central Berkshire Parent Child Home Program, a free home visiting program. Enrollment is currently taking place for families of children, 18 mos-3 yrs, in the towns of Becket, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington, Windsor, and Cummington for free home visits, books, and toys. For more information, please call 413- 672-2577 or email emorris@ccberkshire.org.

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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 21st-27th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Recap Map: Western MA Weekend Summary & Family Guide for December 14th & 15th, 2013

Here’s a recap of news and information posted on Hilltown Families this past week, along with a map for finding out what’s happening this weekend and next week throughout Western MA!

MAP

Peruse our list of Suggested Events for December 14th-20th, 2013 for a comprehensive list of events happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, including: Bulletin Board Announcements and the Hilltown Family Variety Show.

Also check our weekly column, Learn Local. Play Local. for 20 Community Highlights: Balsam Fir to Flatware. American Indian Cuisine to Cotillions., and our column, Berkshire Family Fun: December 2013, for a list of premier educational and cultural highlights in Berkshire County for families, and Holiday Events for Families in Western MA: 2013 for a comprehensive list covering all four counties in Western MA!

December 14th-20th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday


Citizen ScientistOrnithologyNature StudiesDendrenology  ♦ Historical TradeChristmas HistoryMusic HistoryCreative Free PlayLocal History Tree LightingsSantaHoliday StrollsMYO GiftsCaroling/Choral MusicHanukkahChristmasKwanzaaWinter Solstice

RECAP

Visit the Hilltown Families Facebook page and Twitter stream for more news and information!

FIVE FROM THE ARCHIVES

  1. Spread the Bread: Community Service from Hearth & Home
  2. Get Crafty with the Kids & Spread Holiday Cheer in Your Community
  3. Let’s Play: Stories from Family Holidays to Inspire Creative Free Play
  4. DIY: Repurposed Planters for Paperwhites For Giving
  5. 6 Holiday Podcasts from the Hilltown Family Variety Show

RECAP MAP SPONSORS

Lui Collins' Upside Up Music Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA
Cup & Top in Florence, MA

20 Community Highlights: Balsam Fir to Flatware. American Indian Cuisine to Cotillions.

Christmas Bird Count to Watershed Investigators. Balsam Fir to Flatware. American Indian Cuisine to Cotillions….

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week:  Would you like to learn more about what the holidays were like in the past? The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and The Mount have partnered to present “Downton Abbey and Gilded Age Holiday Entertaining,” with food historian Francine Segan on Sunday afternoon, December 15th in Great Barrington. She will discuss the variety of traditions, etiquette, dishes, and entertainment that were popular in high society during the Gilded Age, such as calling cards, horse-drawn coaches, high tea, cotillions, formal dinner, and more. The evening also includes trivia, tastings, demonstrations, recipes, and a screening of Somewhere in Time (1980; rated PG). This fascinating and entertaining lecture would be best for older students interested in history, food, or film.


Citizen ScientistOrnithologyNature StudiesDendrenology  ♦ Historical TradeChristmas HistoryMusic HistoryCreative Free PlayLocal History


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 14th-20th, 2013

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“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)

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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Dec 14, 20 & 21

The Adventures of Santa Claus starring Santa! Paintbox Theatre issues your special invitation to a party at Santa’s Workshop. As always, there will be hilarity, song and artwork by local kids. Santa, with the help of the audience and elves, is going to bring to life three little known stories: How Santa Met His Elves?, Why Santa Climbs Down Chimneys?, and How Santa Knows Who Has Been Good and Bad? Guaranteed Christmas spirit for all. Saturday, December 14: 10:30 & 1pm Friday, December 20: 7:00pm Saturday, December 21: 10:30 & 1pm Northampton High School. A dollar from each ticket sale benefits the Northampton Education Foundation. $10 per ticket/$7.00 for groups www.BrownPaperTickets.com. More info: PaintBoxTheatre.com

Dec 21

This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by Celtic Heels Director Cara Leach. Mark your calendars for this single performance event, held on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7pm at The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Performance Company, special Narrator John T. Allan, and live music by Adam Sweet and friends, this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves The Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $18/adults $15/seniors + students and $12 for children under 12. Tickets are available at www.academyofmusictheatre.com or by calling 413-584-9032 x105.

Dec 27-30

There’s tons to see and do at the Springfield Museums during the holidays! See The Magic of Gingerbread exhibit with creations by local bakers amidst a backdrop of holiday trees and colorful murals. Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus each weekend and enjoy crafts & gallery games with the Elves. Shop the award winning Museum Store and stop by the Blake House Café for their signature hot chocolate. During the school break, there’s “Wacky Week 3.0” (Dec. 27-30), with fun activities and top family performers like Gustafer Yellowgold. Admission is $15/adults, $10/seniors & college students, $8/children 3-17, and free for members and children under three. General admission is free for Springfield residents. Visit springfieldmuseums.org for information.

Jan

Looking for pottery classes for your child or yourself… or classes you can do together? Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering Beginner Wheel Throwing Classes for adults and children interested in pottery. New classes begin in January: Adults Classes are on Tues. nights from 6-8:30pm with open studio time on Sun. from 12-2pm beginning Jan. 7 for 8 weeks (no class 2/18), $260. Classes for Kids ages 6+ begin Wed., Jan. 8 from 4-5:30pm for 6 weeks, $110. One day Parent/Child Workshops happen on Sun. afternoons from 2:30-4pm, $25/pair (Kathryn will glaze work). See www.cyclepottery.com for more info or call 413-219-9594. Classes have a max of 4 students, allowing for individualized from Kathryn.

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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 14th-20th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Shop Local & Handmade During December Art Walk Easthampton

The holidays are here and many families are thinking about gift giving.  Art Walk Easthampton is happening this Saturday, December 14th from 5-8pm and is a festive event to attend with the family while shopping local and handmade for the holidays. With over fifteen exhibition spaces to explore, families can expect to discover unique gifts, art exhibits, local author/illustrator, and even art demonstrations.  There are three areas to check out during this Saturday Art Walk, including Eastworks, the Old Town Hall, and the Cottage Street Cultural District… Read the rest of this entry »

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