Suggested Events for September 29th – October 5th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Caramel apples are sure to be found at the many fall festivals happening this weekend and over the next few weeks! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

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

BEST BETS: Fall Festivals this Weekend!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Ramblin' Jack ElliotNext Saturday, Oct. 6th at 11am and 1pm – CULTURAL/ART STUDIES: The Berkshire Museum hosts guest artist Jeremy Frey, who will be demonstrating traditional Passamaquoddy basket-weaving techniques.  The demonstrations are in conjunction with the museum’s Rethink! American Indian Art exhibit.  Tickets required.  413-443-7171.  30 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

Magic School BusNext Sunday, Oct. 7th from 2-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL/HISTORY: Explore local history and celebrate fall at the Wilder Homestead’s Colonial Sampler!  There will be open hearth cooking, Morris dancers, cider making, and traditional arts like weaving, spinning, and shoemaking.  413-625-9763.  Buckland, MA.  (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Sept 25 – Oct 16

Enjoy gardening with your child or want to start? Join the Sweet Roots Kids CSA this fall for kids (2-5yo) and their grown ups! This 4-week program runs Tuesday mornings, Sept 25-Oct 16, from 10-11:30am in Deerfield. Sweet Roots Gardens is a garden-based education program providing on site programs as well as off-site garden installation & education services for children & families. The Tuesday Kids CSA program celebrates the fall harvest. Participants can pick beans under the bean tunnel, paint pumpkins, snack on fresh veggies & get silly in the garden. Includes a weekly veggie snack share. Cost: $75 for 4-weeks or $20 per session. More info at www.facebook.com/SweetRootsGardens. To register contact Sara: saracoblyn@gmail.com. 413-230-4833

Sept 29-30

The Sharing Tree Consignment Sale: Offering high-quality, gently used items for babies and kids, including clothes, shoes, toys, books, baby equipment, and maternity wear. Thousands of items expected. Public sale: Saturday, September 29, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Half-Price Sale: Sunday, September 30, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, 28 West Silver St., Westfield (behind Amelia Park Ice Arena). Now registering sellers and volunteers: sellers earn a percentage on the items they sell and shop early – before the sale opens to the public. Volunteers shop first – even before sellers! Find out more at www.sharingtreekids.com. For questions, email Karen at info@sharingtreekids.comor call 413-324-8733.

Sept 30

Conway Festival of the Hills – Sunday, September 30. One of the best fall festivals around! Like their page on Facebook. The Festival has something for everyone – Covered Bridge Classic Road Race, kids activities (hill slide, hay maze, petting zoo, pony rides, and more), food (ice cream, baked goodies, fresh cider, and more), craft fair with many vendors, art exhibit and book sale, author signing with numerous local authors, live bands and music all day, Festival Parade at 1 p.m., Conway Historical Society open house, and the heralded Log Splitting and Skillet Toss competitions. 10am – 4pm. Free. Center of Conway, MA.

Oct 4

Free introductory sign language class for parents and children 0-3 yrs on Thursday, Oct 4th at 11am at Cradle in downtown Northampton. An 8-week class to follow on Thursdays at 11am beginning Oct 11th, also at Cradle. Cost: $100. Instructor: Kathryn Petruccelli. Classes include music, movement, & stories. Follows the Baby Signing Time series with additional activities apart from the Signing Time curriculum. Teaches real American Sign Language. Reduces frustration and tantrums; enhances cognitive development. A space to play and learn around this amazing communicative tool and watch our children speak to us with their hands – even before we get to hear their voices! Expectant parents, older siblings welcome. More info: www.startwithsign.com.

Oct 2, Oct 27 & Nov 7

Nestled among field and forest, The Montessori School of the Berkshires in Lenox Dale provides hands-on, individualized education for toddlers through eighth graders. Montessori education helps children become responsible, caring learners and community members who are self-motivated, confident, independent, and creative. MSB’s LEED-registered campus allows children to learn about sustainability both within the classroom and out of doors. Children have access to the natural world through garden areas and trails. Dr. Maria Montessori considered this connection to the earth and living things to be an essential part of education. Join the school for an Open House! Oct 2, Oct 27, Nov 7. For more info and to register visit BerkshireMontessori.org.

Oct 20 & 27

Click here to registerThe Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst is offering a two-Saturday youth workshop in Oct in conjunction with their newest exhibit. “In The Art Studio: Inspired by Eric Carle” takes place on Oct 20 & 27 from 9:30-11:30am for youth ages 5-8. In this workshop children will study the new exhibition Beyond Books: The Independent Art of Eric Carle to take inspiration from his non-representational, 3D & collaborative art. Participants will paint colorful textures & patterns on a variety of surfaces such as paper, vinyl, & cardboard then sculpt them into window hangings, mobiles, name plates, & more. Advance registration required by Oct 15. Instructor: Meghan Burch. Cost: $50 (Members $40). Registration info at www.carlemuseum.org.

Oct 28

Halloween Costume Party with Mister G! Popular, international children’s music artist & local hero Mister G will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume party at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton on Sun., Oct 28 at 11am. The event will double as a CD release concert for his Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning album, Chocolalala. The bilingual (Spanish/English) CD blends Latin rhythms, traditional instruments and uniquely catchy songwriting. Mister G will also perform songs from his 2011 Grammy-nominated CD BUGS, called “irresistible” by People Magazine. Eat Pizza for Breakfast, wear your funkiest, scariest costume & come ready rock. !Bailamos! Tix: $8 children/$10 Adults. info@mistergsongs.com. www.mistergsongs.com.

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

Ashfield Community PreschoolVOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Ashfield Community Preschool is looking for some volunteer help with their booths during the Ashfield Fall Festival Columbus Day Weekend – October 6 and 7.  This small non-profit preschool relies on the Fall Festival as the biggest fundraiser of the year. Volunteer jobs are appropriate for teens and up.  If you would like to help with simple face painting, running a mini-golf game (also very simple), or dipping apples in caramel while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Ashfield in early October please contact Jess Kuttner at jkuttner@gmail.com or 413-522-9732.

Halloween Costume SwapHALLOWEEN COSTUME SWAP: You know that handmade costume you spent hours on a couple of years ago that your child has now outgrown, or the mask and cape you picked up at the dollar store that is “so last year” for your child this year? Bring it to the Hilltown Families Halloween Costume (& Props) Swap on Saturday, Oct 13th from 9:30-11am in the community room of the Meekins Library and swap with another child who would love to be that robot, purple monster or masked superhero this year… all while finding new inspirations for this year!  Leftover costumes and props will be donated to Northampton ReUse. The Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. Free & open to all. Join us on Facebook.

Kids' Winter Wear SwapKIDS’ WINTER WEAR SWAP: Do you have a bunch of winter weather gear that your kids have outgrown and wish that it would somehow just… get bigger? That may never happen, but you can get the next best thing… new-to-you gear that fits! Hilltown Families Kids’ Winter Wear Swap is happening again this year after a fun and successful swap last year on Saturday, Oct 13th from 9:30-11am in the community room of the Meekins Library! Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, gloves & scarves that kids of all ages have outgrown to swap with other families. Leftover winter wear will be donated to charity. The Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. Free & open to all. Join us on Facebook.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
September 29th – October 5th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

“The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival!” – Jessica Larkin (Bernardston, MA)

6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. – Special guest DJ this week is Aaron Nigel Smith! –  Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

8am-12midnight: FALL FESTIVAL: North Adams celebrates the annual Northern Berkshire Fall Foliage Festival this weekend, Sat. & Sun.! Today’s events include a morning farmer’s market, a pet parade, family music, a family dance, and more! North Adams, MA. (<$)

Over 10 Western MA Museums Offer Free Admission Today!

9am-3pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help clean up local watersheds!  The annual Source to Sea Cleanup takes place today at the Green River Swimming Area and the Great Falls Discovery Center (located on the Connecticut River).  Dress to be a mess and come with enthusiasm!  413-772-2020.  Nash Mill Road.  Greenfield, MA.  Or 413-659-3714.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-12:30pm – BOTANICAL STUDIES: Learn to identify the many different types of ferns found locally with the Hitchcock Center! Explore the beautiful landscape at Mt. Toby, too! Registration required. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

9:30am-5pm – HISTORY/FALL FESTIVAL: Step into September in the 19th century at Old Sturbridge Village! This weekend, the village hosts Apple Days – an event full of fall activities like cider pressing and apple picking (and eating!). Families can learn about the many antique apple varieties that are grown in the village’s orchards, and then learn about the process of picking apples, storing them, and using them for foods like sauce, pies, and cider. Along with special apple activities, the village will be offering their usual daily fun and educational opportunities as well! 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

10am-2pm – BOTANICAL STUDIES: We see trees without their leaves for roughly six months of the year – so why not learn to identify them using their bark?  Greenfield Community College hosts naturalist Nancy Goodman, who will lead participants in an exploration of Mount Sugarloaf to learn to identify trees!  Two books will be used – Michael Wojtech’s Bark and George Symonds’ The Tree Identification Book – participants are asked to bring one or both.  Email for location: wildeyes@rcn.com South Deerfield, MA.  ($)

10am-2pm – HISTORY/SCARECROWS: Visit Historic Deerfield to learn about the history and cultural significance of scarecrows!  Once used to guard crops, scarecrows are now a Halloween tradition.  Families can even make their own! 413-774-5581.  84 Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (<$)

10am-3pm – FARM/FIBER ARTS: Sweet Brook Farm is celebrating National Alpaca Farm Days this weekend. Families can come learn about these animals and the gorgeous fiber they provide local farmers.  There will be spinning and weaving demonstrations and hands-on opportunities to participate in both. Wagon rides take a scenic tour around the farm all day.  Families are invited to BYO picnic lunch and to come enjoy an fun and educational day at the farm. 413-884-4246. 580 Oblong Road. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate fall on the Amherst Town Common this Sat.!  The Apple Harvest Festival features a crafts fair and lots of special children’s activities including hay rides, scarecrow making, pumpkin decorating, and cider making!  413-545-0865.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The smelliest festival around is happening this weekend, Sat. & Sun.! Forster’s Farm hosts the 14th annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival – a celebration of local artists and artisans and locally-grown and locally-produced delicious, healthy foods. The festival includes fun for families of all ages – there is a new nature path, which ends at a quiet, hands-on art area for kids; there will be live music throughout the day, featuring tons of favorite local acts; demonstrations of cooking (using local food), skills for self-sufficiency, etc.; educational displays of all sorts… and even more! 60 Chestnut Hill Road. Orange, MA. ($)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Hancock Shaker Village hosts an old-fashioned country fair this weekend, Sat. & Sun.! The fair celebrates fall, and highlights many of the unique, interesting, and educational things that the village has to offer. There will be a farmer’s market featuring local goods, displays of art inspired by scenes at the village throughout all seasons, a quilt show (featuring both antique and newly made quilts), wagon and pony rides, a pie contest, and lots of fun activities for kids, including chicken races, crafts, Shaker games, and more! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

10am-6pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The town of Sunderland is hosting the 14th annual Fall Festival this Saturday! The event features local artists and crafters, livestock exhibits, live music throughout the day, games and activities for kids, an amateur dog show, local food (and beer from BBC for grown ups!), and more. Takes place on the town ball fields behind the library. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

10am-6:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL/HISTORY: Head to Westfield for Colonial Harvest Days this Saturday! The event features lots of fun activities and performances, including a Revolutionary War reenactment, carriage and wagon rides, live music, the local celebrity Town Crier contest, a harvest hoedown and fiddle contest (open to the community!), local art and artisan goods, and more!  Learn about the history of Westfield’s earliest days, the Revolutionary War, and more.  Takes place next to the Town Common.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Celebrate New England’s largest fair state today at the Big E, Maine!  Of course, there will be lobster rolls and Maine baked potatoes, but there’s much more to the state than food – visit the Avenue of States to learn about Maine’s interesting history (did you know it was once part of Massachusetts?), culture, and traditions – like the annual Chester Greenwood day which celebrates the inventor of earmuffs, or the harvest break given to students in Aroostook County for the potato harvest in September!  Along with exciting Maine events are the fair’s other attractions, including opportunities to learn about early New England life at Storrowton Village, and demonstrations, displays, and activities centered around everything from dairy farming to quilting!  413-737-2443.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)

11am – CULTURAL STUDIES: The Berkshire Museum hosts a workshop on quillwork as part of the museum’s current Rethink! American Indian Art exhibit. Visitors can try some hands-on quillwork themselves, while learning about its place in Native American history and culture. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

11am-4pm – CONSIGNMENT SALE: The Sharing Tree Consignment Sale is today and tomorrow at the Boys & Girls Club in Greater Westfield.  413-324-8733. 28 West Silver St. Westfield, MA (SALE)

11am-8:30pm – CORN MAZE: Austin Brothers Farm’s corn maze opens today! Visit the farm to explore the maze, go for a hayride, pick pumpkins, and have tons of fall fun! 413-668-6843. 270 West Street. Belchertown, MA. ($)

11:30am – HISTORY: Older students can learn about how presidency came about in the United States at the Sixteen Acres Library this morning! Baypath College professor Dr. Donald Murphy will present a lecture on the roots of presidency in the Constitution, and then will discuss how the first three people to hold office helped to shape the important position. The lecture is particularly relevant, considering the upcoming election, and can help to supplement students’ in-depth studies of American history. 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

11:30am – CULINARY ARTS: The Great Barrington Farmers’ Market is holding an Apple Cook Off! The event challenges community members to produce unique and delicious dishes, the main ingredient of which is local apples. There are separate age groups for kids and adults, and prizes will be given to dishes that are most unique, most creative, and most delicious. The contest offers kids a chance to practice their kitchen skills, learn about local food, and practice basic math and literacy skills while creating their entry! Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

1pm – FRISBEE – The Meekins Library hosts frisbee champion Todd Brodeur!  Champion of freestyle frisbee, Brodeur will show off his frisbee flipping skills.  Make it educational and do a family study of basic physics before going!  413-268-7472.  2 Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)

3-5pm- DANCE TEAM AUDITIONS: The CYC of Pittsfield is starting a new competitive dance team! Open to ages 9-19 (there will be separate divisions based on age), auditions will take place both today and tomorrow (Sunday, 9/30) at the same time – those interested must attend both days of auditions. Practices for the team will take place from 5:30-7pm on Wednesday evenings. 413-445-5496. 26 Melville Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

5:30-7:30pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Community Action and the Greenfield YMCA are offering Family Healthy and Wellness Day today, featuring a delicious Harvest Dinner!  RSVP requested.  413-475-1543. 451 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-10:30pm – HALLOWEEN: Visit Jiminy Peak for a scary tour – that’s based a little bit on legend, and mostly in some spooky local history.  There are special tours of the location (which depart every 15 minutes), as well as a haunted mountain roller coaster and a scary tree-top zipline.  Open to families with older kids (minimum age is 10, but it’s pretty creepy!), the tour explores the former hillside Plantation of Jericho – settled by sheep farmers to avoid a sickness believed to exist in the valley – and explores the 13 Nights legend, in which sheep at the plantation disappear overnight for thirteen nights out of the year.  Starts tonight and happens every weekend (and Columbus Day)  through the 27th, and then Oct 29-31. 413-738-5500.  37 Corey Road. Hancock, MA.  ($$)

7pm – MOVIE: Pothole Pictures presents a Woody Guthrie tribute – Bound for Glory will be screened at Memorial Hall!  The film will begin at 7:30, with a Woody Guthrie singalong lead by Court Dorsey beginning at 7.  413-625-2896.  Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)

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Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Lakeview Orchards in Lanesboro.  Apple picking, hayrides, and warm apple cider donuts. Along with great views.” – Kenna Major (Adams, MA)

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

7am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: North Adams celebrates the annual North Berkshire Fall Foliage Festival today! Events take place throughout the day, including a community breakfast, a 5K road race, and, of course, the fall foliage parade! North Adams, MA. (FREE)

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Volunteer to clean up the Connecticut River with the Trustees of Reservations Source-to-Sea Community Clean-up Event!  Volunteers will help to pull debris (of all types and sizes) from the river for sorting and proper disposal.  Dress to be a mess! Meet at the American Legion next to Pulaski Park.  50 Saint Kolbe Drive.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-12:30pm – CONSIGNMENT SALE: The Sharing Tree Consignment Sale continues today at the Boys & Girls Club in Greater Westfield.  413-324-8733. 28 West Silver St. Westfield, MA (SALE)

9:30am-5pm – HISTORY/FALL FESTIVAL: Step into September in the 19th century at Old Sturbridge Village! This weekend, the village hosts Apple Days – an event full of fall activities like cider pressing and apple picking (and eating!). Families can learn about the many antique apple varieties that are grown in the village’s orchards, and then learn about the process of picking apples, storing them, and using them for foods like sauce, pies, and cider. Along with special apple activities, the village will be offering their usual daily fun and educational opportunities as well! 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

10am-2pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Whately Historical Society is hosting a fall festival today.  There will be a special exhibit too, “Whately Schools Yesterday & Today.” Food, crafts, vendors, music. Come check out a small town harvest/history celebration! 218 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA (FREE)

10am-3pm – FARM/FIBER ARTS: Sweet Brook Farm is celebrating National Alpaca Farm Days. Families can come learn about these animals and the gorgeous fiber they provide local farmers.  There will be spinning and weaving demonstrations and hands-on opportunities to participate in both. Wagon rides take a scenic tour around the farm all day.  Families are invited to BYO picnic lunch and to come enjoy an fun and educational day at the farm. 413-884-4246. 580 Oblong Road. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Head north to the  51st annual Festival of the Hills this Sunday! The event, an annual celebration, features a plethora of fun activities and educational opportunities. The day begins with a road race, and will also feature a parade (at 1pm), live music, pony rides, an art show featuring work by local artists and artisans, a skillet toss, and many demonstrations and exhibits from which families can learn about many different fall- and country-themed skills, activities, and more. South Deerfield Road. Conway, MA. (FREE)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The smelliest festival around is happening this weekend, Sat. & Sun.! Forster’s Farm hosts the 14th annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival – a celebration of local artists and artisans and locally-grown and locally-produced delicious, healthy foods. The festival includes fun for families of all ages – there is a new nature path, which ends at a quiet, hands-on art area for kids; there will be live music throughout the day, featuring tons of favorite local acts; demonstrations of cooking (using local food), skills for self-sufficiency, etc.; educational displays of all sorts… and even more! 60 Chestnut Hill Road. Orange, MA. ($)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Hancock Shaker Village hosts an old-fashioned country fair this weekend, Sat. & Sun.! The fair celebrates fall, and highlights many of the unique, interesting, and educational things that the village has to offer. There will be a farmer’s market featuring local goods, displays of art inspired by scenes at the village throughout all seasons, a quilt show (featuring both antique and newly made quilts), wagon and pony rides, a pie contest, and lots of fun activities for kids, including chicken races, crafts, Shaker games, and more! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

10am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Get lost in the corn maze at Warner Farm! Mike’s maze offers a fun and challenging outdoor adventure (of the best kind!) for families of all ages. The maze is open every weekend and on Monday holidays. Pair a visit to the farm with studies of local agriculture. 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA. ($)

10am-9pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: New England’s largest (and longest) agricultural fair has begun! The Big E is in full swing, and is loaded with opportunities (both fun and educational) for families with kids of all ages. Along with the usual rides and midway games are educational gems like Storrowton Village, where kids can learn about 19th century life in New England; the Avenue of States, which features information on all of the New England states; numerous demonstrations, displays, and events featuring many different aspects of the varied types of agriculture present in New england; and more! 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

11am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Austin Brothers Farm’s corn maze opens today! Visit the farm to explore the maze, go for a hayride, pick pumpkins, and have tons of fall fun! 413-668-6843. 270 West Street. Belchertown, MA. ($)

11am, 1:15 or 3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Take a ride on the Quinnetukut II, an open-air riverboat, along the Connecticut River! The boat makes a 12-mile loop through French King Gorge to Barton’s Cove, home to nesting bald eagles and a dinosaur track quarry. The boat docks at the Riverview Picnic Area, and sails every Friday-Sunday. Call ahead for reservations. 800-859-2960. Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. ($)

12noon-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Apple Spree takes place today at Look Park! The event is a fundraiser for the Northampton Survival Center – for each peck of apples purchased by a family, a peck will be donated to the center. There will be live music from Appalachian Still, an apple car race for kids to enter, an apple cooking contest, and, of course, lots of delicious apples to enjoy! 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE, fee for parking)

12noon-4pm – ART HISTORY: Visit Historic Deerfield to learn about the history of stencil artists who, during New England’s early days, traveled from town to town painting building interiors on commission! There is a special exhibit of stenciled furniture, and families can create their own stenciled masterpieces to take home.  Takes place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon through October 28th.  413-774-5581.  84 Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

1-3pm – PALEONTOLOGY: Visit the Wistariahurst Museum to learn about dinosaur tracks and the 200 million-year-old history of Holyoke! Paleontologist Patrick Getty will teach kids about the dinosaurs who once inhabited the valley, and kids will get to do dino-themed hands-on activities. 413-322-3660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

1-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Join Mass Audubon for a canoe trip! The last one of the “summer”, the trip will take visitors down the Mill River and into the marsh at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.  Learn about the beavers who live in the marsh, and search for migrating hawks in the sky!  Registration required.  Recommended for families with kids ages 8+.  413-584-3009.  127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA.  ($) 

2pm – SPORTS: The UMass Minutewomen field hockey team plays the University of Maine Lady Black Bears this afternoon at Garber Field!  Young athletes (especially girls!) can watch the exciting and fast-paced game – they’ll likely learn about sportsmanship and the commitment necessary to be a serious athlete.  Watching college-level field hockey also provides young female athletes with a chance to watch a women’s-only sport and to see strong, athletic women in the spotlight.  North University Drive. Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

2:30-4:20pm – ICE SKATING: UMass’ Mullins Center offers public skating on Sunday afternoons! Practice basic skating skills and get some exercise. 413-545-3001. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. (<$)

4-5pm – FASHION DRAWING: Youth fashion drawing class offered by Gayle Kabaker at Elmer‘s. Bring paper, colored pencils,  markers, crayons, etc.  All ages & abilities welcomed. 413-628-4003. 396 Main St. Ashfield, MA (FREE) 

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Monday, October 1st, 2012

9:30am-12noon – HISTORY/MATH: Storrowton Village is offering a special program on math this morning!  Designed for students in grades 4-6 (or working on math that correlates to those grades), the hands-on activities incorporate 19th century history with mathematical concepts, problem solving, and vocabulary!  413-205-5051.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)

10-11:30am – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Red Gate Farm for Mornings on the Farm, a chance for kids ages 0-4 to explore the farm, meet animals, and do hands-on farming activities.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (<$)

6pm – HISTORY/FASHION DESIGN: The Wistariahurst Museum hosts historian Ned Lazaro, who will share the story of Violet Angotti, a Northampton dress designer during the early 20th century.  The talk will discuss how, despite her profession becoming gradually more and more obsolete, Angotti worked to maintain her craft.  Best for older students – pairs well with studies of technological advances and cultural change throughout the 20th century.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA (<$)

7pm – SING-A-LONG: The Westhampton Library hosts a community sing-a-long tonight!  Open to musicians and vocalists of all ages, the community music-making will use mainly music from Rise Up Singing – bring a copy if you have one!  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the South Hadley Family Center.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: At the MN Spear Memorial Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013! 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Williamstown Youth Center! Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires. 413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building.  413-527-5496.  Main Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am-12:20pm – ICE SKATING: Smead Arena offers a public skating session this morning – great for families with kids who are still learning to skate, daytime skating sessions offer low-key and less crowded ice time. Open ice times take place at the same time Monday-Friday. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (<$)
  • 12noon-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Shelburne Falls Historical Society has open hours today! Visit the museum, located in a former school building, to peruse numerous displays of artifacts, memorabilia, and other important items, books, and documents pertaining to local history. Learning about local history and the evolution of the community can help kids put studies of American history into context! 413-625-6150. Church and Maple Streets. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Meekins Library’s Teen/Preteen Time takes place this afternoon!  Teens can visit the library to hang out with friends, work on homework, play games, use computers, and check out awesome new books, movies, and music.  413-268-7473.  2 Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)   ♦
  • 3pm – STORYTIME: Mountain View Farm hosts storytime! Farm-themed stories galore. Runs until their shares end. 413-329-0211. 393 East Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:30pm – BREAK DANCE: Learn to break like a b-boy!  The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly break dance class, taught by Joshua McHugh, accomplished dancer and dance teacher.  413-499-9348.  28 Renne Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – ANIME: The Springfield Central Library hosts Anime and Manga Club on Monday afternoons!  Kids enthusiastic about the popular Japanese style of animation and cartooning can visit the library to read new manga and watch great anime!  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-7pm – SCRABBLE: Enjoy an evening of friendly Scrabble at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center!  Open to anyone ages 8+, the game night offers families an opportunity to practice fair play and basic sportsmanship while allowing kids to expand their spelling, vocabulary, and basic practical math skills.  Sponsored by Bobbie Halig and Jenny and Adam Hersch.  413-528-2810.  15 Crissey Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires holds gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6-7pm – MUSIC: Learn to drum, Afro-Carribbean style!  The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly drum class, lead by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots.  Drums available to borrow.  28 Renne Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time!  Basketball equipment will be provided by Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20.  Runs through 11/12. 413-565-4163.  95 Grassy Gutter Road.  Longmeadow, MA.  ($) ♦

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Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

OPEN HOUSE: The Montessori School of the Berkshires hosts an open house today. Contact to register. Lenox Dale, MA (FREE)

10-11am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Families with small children can go on an easy, family-friendly Tyke Hike at Natural Bridge State Park!  The hike is for kids 8 and under and their grown-ups, and will be lead by a park interpreter.  413-663-6392.  McAuley Road.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

10-11:30am or 1-2:30pm – GENEALOGY: The Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting a 4-week basic genealogy workshop series!  Genealogist Alan Doyle Horbal will teach the workshops, from which participants will learn basic skills and resources for genealogical research.  The workshops could be useful for parents and older students (teens and mature tweens) interested in digging up some family history.  Working on a genealogical project is also a great way for students to put themselves into historical, cultural, and socioeconomic context.  Registration required.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Ventfort Hall hosts, “Food and Feasting in the Middle Ages,” a tea-and-talk featuring tastings of traditional medieval foods and interesting facts about the intersection of food and social class during the middle ages. Best for older students, the event will also cover food-related beliefs and practices popular during the middle ages. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$) [CANCELLED]

7-8pm – CARTOONING: Syndicated cartoonist Hilary Price (the brains behind “Rhymes With Orange”) will speak at the Leverett Library tonight about how she became a cartoonist and what it’s like to produce a daily comic strip.  Great for kids interested in using their artistic talents for humor!  413-548-9220.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Health Coalition hosts Toddler Steps Playgroup at the CHP building.  413-644-0104.  442 Stockbridge Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: At Farmington River Preschool for kids 5 and under, sponsored by the Community Health Coalition.  413-664-0104.  555 North Main Road.  Otis, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30 or 11am – STORYTIME: The Westfield Library hosts storytime for kids 6 months – 3 years today.  Registration required.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center!  413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: It’s Baby Day at the South Hadley Family Center!  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Berkshire Athenaeum!  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – PARENT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a mother’s group for Spanish-speaking moms at Brightwood Health Center.  413-796-8365.  380 Plainfield Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Preschool playgroup learning experiences at the Haskins Center! Takes place on the lower level. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: At the Greenfield Library.  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network.  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
    10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building.  413-527-5496.  Main Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: At the Lanesborough Library! Stories, crafts, and music for all ages. 413-499-5981. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am-12:15pm – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a Postpartum Support Group for mothers. The group is a safe space for those adjusting to motherhood and is lead by trained facilitators. Takes place at Berkshire Children and Families. Childcare available. 413-253-8990. 220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Visit the Great Falls Discovery Center for Kidleidescope, an environment-themed program for kids! Interactive learning opportunities and crafts always included. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Springfield Central Library’s preschool storytime takes place this morning.  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: The Lenox Library offers storytime for kids 18 months-3 years.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc.  413-323-8728.  66 State Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3-5pm – TEEN: It’s Teen Tuesday at the Chicopee Library – visit for a new activity every week. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – PARENT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a support group for young mothers and expecting women between the ages of 13 and 19.  Group meetings are held bi-weekly and are drop-in.  Babies welcome!  Takes place at Mercy Care Holyoke.  413-886-0410.  306 Race Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the gym at the Abbot School. 56 North Country Road. Florida, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – BREASTFEEDING: The La Leche League of North/Central Berkshires meets every third Tuesday at The Montessori School of the Berkshires.  21 Patterson Road.  Lenox Dale, MA.  (FREE)
  • 6:30-8pm – MUSIC: The Berkshire South Regional Community Center hosts a free ukulele group tonight!  Beginners and kids without any knowledge of music reading can join in – the class will teach basic chord progressions and styles of playing from around the world.  Registration requested but drop-in is OK.  Sponsored by Bobbie Hallig and Jenny and Adam Hersch.  413-528-2810.  15 Crissey Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

7pm – THEATER: Barrington Stage Company presents a theatrical version of William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies. The classic young adult novel, adapted for the stage, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island and the struggles for power and control that ensue. Best for older students with audience skills, the show addresses topics of basic sociology and psychology, and can help kids begin thinking about the role that power and influence play in society. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer-Monson Family Network hosts infant and toddler play group!  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Bi-weekly in the community room at Becket Town Hall, sponsored by Community Health Programs.  413-664-0104.  65 Walker Street.  Becket, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Lenox Community Center, sponsored by Community Health Programs.  413-644-0104.  65 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am or 1:30pm – STORYTIME: Fantastic Fours and Fives takes place today at the Westfield Library!  Registration is required for storytime.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center!  413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: At the South Hadley Family Center.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30am-12noon – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Red Gate Farm for a Homeschool Half Day! Students ages 6-12 will all explore the farm and do activities centered around a common theme. Each meeting includes free play time! Call to register. (No program November 21st.) 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (<$)
  • 9:45-11:15am – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts, “Getting Real about Motherhood,” a support group designed to help mothers share the stress and adjustments of motherhood and work to find ways to feel renewed, valued, and energized.  Takes place at the Amherst Family Center, in the basement of the Unitarian Society.  Childcare available.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Wendell Free Library hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 978.544.5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime at the Westhampton Library!  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PARENT GROUP: Enjoy coffee and a chat with other parents at the Westhampton Library – stop in after dropping kids off at school through the end of Sept.!  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Sunshine Storytime!  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network.  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Hike at Mt. Greylock! Every Wednesday through Oct 24th, there’s a “Nice and Easy” family-friendly hike – it’s about two hours long and will cover 1-2 miles of trail. Call to find out meeting place. 413-499-4262. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – ART: The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts, “Creating Together: A Parent-Child Experience,” an art workshop featuring a gallery tour and hands-on art making. Each week brings a new theme and art style to explore. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183 Stockbridge, MA. ($) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: In the gym at Erving Elementary School, hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413- 423-3326. 18 Northfield Road. Erving, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: Hosted by the Mason Library – also includes stories, songs, and crafts.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the New Marlborough Library, sponsored by Community Health Programs.  413-644-0104.  1 New Marlborough-Great Barrington Road.  New Marlborough, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: At the Leverett Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
    11-11:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler Time with Stephanie at the Forbes Library! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – GYMNASTICS: Whip City Gym hosts homeschool open gymnastics! The event is not a formal class, but offers kids unstructured play time physical activity amongst true gymnastics equipment. Great for kids interested in gymnastics, dance, or cheerleading, and gym playtime can also help kids work on balance and coordination. Takes place through the school year. 413-569-3231. 320 College Highway. Southwick, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 1pm – STORYTIME: At the Dickinson Library! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-3pm – CHESS: Drop-in chess games in the mezzanine at Forbes Library. All ages, BYO chess set or borrow one. Playing chess can help kids develop logic and analytical skills. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Ashintully’s beautifully landscaped grounds, gardens, and water features! Families can hike to the ruins of the mansion once located on the site, as well. Runs weekly through Oct. 10th. 413-298-3239. Sodom Road. Monterey, MA. (DONATION) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc.  413-323-8728.  66 State Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Mountain View Farm for a farm activity for pre-school kids though the harvest! 413-329-0211. 393 East Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30pm – LEGOS: The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts LEGO Club on the third Wednesday of each month. Kids can use LEGOs to experiment with basic principles of architecture, physics, and design. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ♦ (FREE)
  • 3-5pm – MOVIE: The Mason Library screens classic films every Wednesday afternoon!  The “Mason Matinee” is best for tweens/teens and adults – call to find out what’s playing.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:30pm – STORYTIME: The Ramsdell Library hosts Time for Tots, and special story, craft, etc. time for littlest kiddos.  413-274-3738.  1087 Main Street.  Housatonic, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3:50-4:30pm – ICE SKATING: Visit Fitzpatrick Arena for an afternoon of skating! The rink offers daily public skating sessions at the same time, Monday-Friday. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 4pm – CHESS: Visit the East Longmeadow Library for some afternoon chess!  Playing chess can help kids develop analytical skills and logic.  413-525-5432. 60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: At the Cushman Library!  413-648-5402.  28 Church Street.  Bernardston, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-7:30pm – KNITTING: The Wednesday Night Knitters meet tonight at the Cushman Library!  Knitters with any level of experience are welcome to join – bring a project to work on!  No formal instruction is offered, but if help is needed, there will be many experienced knitters on hand.  Great intergenerational opportunity for kids learning how to knit. 413-648-5402.  28 Church Street.  Bernardston, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Sing your heart out with Berkshire Sings!, a community singing group at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center.  Singers of all abilities welcome (adults, too) to sing pop, jazz, folk, showtunes, and more.  Sponsored by Bobbie Hallig and Jenny and Adam Hersch.  413-528-2810.  15 Crissey Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time!  Basketball equipment will be provided by the Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20.  413-565-4163.  95 Grassy Gutter Road.  Longmeadow, MA.  ($) ♦ 

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Thursday, October 4th, 2012

10am-12noon or 1-2pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore a former quarry at Natural Bridge State Park!  A park interpreter will lead adventurous visitors to the quarry, which operated during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and share information about its operations and its place within local history.  413-663-6392.  McAuley Road.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

11am – BABY SIGN LANGUAGE: Introductory sign language class for parents and children 0-3yrs at Cradle with Kathryn Petruccelli. Expectant parents, older siblings welcome. 3rd Floor, Thornes Market. Northampton, MA (FREE)

4-5pm – COMICS: Modern Myths comic book store is hosting a series of comic-making parties for kids – every Thursday afternoon in October.  The workshops, offered to accompany the Paint and Pixel Festival (which takes place on Saturday, October 20th), present an opportunity for kids to learn about the language of comics and to learn how to express themselves through comic drawings and storylines.  34 Bridge Street #4.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

5-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Join the Collaborative SPIFFY Coalition’s Easthampton Prevention Task Force for a town hall meeting to discuss underage drinking and marijuana use.  There will be free dinner from 5-5:30, and the meeting will also include guest speakers from the Collaborative, the District Attorney’s office, the Easthampton police department, and Easthampton high school’s chapter of SADD.  Parents can work together to share strategies for dealing with underage drinking and drug use, and can work on developing ways to work together as a community to keep teens safe and healthy.  Takes place in the cafeteria at Easthampton High School.  70 Williston Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – THEATER: Barrington Stage Company presents a theatrical version of William Golding’s, Lord of the Flies. The classic young adult novel, adapted for the stage, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island and the struggles for power and control that ensue. Best for older students with audience skills, the show addresses topics of basic sociology and psychology, and can help kids begin thinking about the role that power and influence play in society. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5-8pm – OKTOBERFEST: The Springfield Museums host a special Oktoberfest party for grown-ups!  Taste a variety of interesting beers (local and homebrewed) enjoy German food, and listen to great live music.  413-263-6800.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS

  • 9am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Volunteer to help maintain the healthy landscape and walking trails at Bartholomew’s Cobble through November 2012. Named a National Natural Landmark because of its unique biodiversity and abundance of rare species, the Cobble is a valuable local resource. By volunteering time to help preserve the area, families help to ensure that the area will be available to them for years to come. Great project for homeschool groups. 413-229-8600. Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Health Coalition hosts Toddler Steps Playgroup at the CHP building.  413-644-0104.  442 Stockbridge Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30 or 11am – STORYTIMEWestfield Athenaeum hosts Terrific Twos and Threes – storytime for kids ages 2 and 3!  Registration required.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: The Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys and Girls Club hosts playgroup this morning, including snack, stories, playtime, music, and crafts.  413-583-3527.  488 Chapin Street.  Ludlow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center!  413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC CLASS: The  Northampton Parents Center is open this morning!  Thursday mornings feature music class at 11a with Felicia Sloin or Tom Knight (alternating weeks).  Located in the basement of Edwards Church.  413-582-2636.  Main and State Streets.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Music and Movement Group meets at the Millers Falls Library!  413-863-3214.  23 Bridge Street.  Montague, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIMESpringfield Central Library hosts storytime for kiddos 6 months-3 years.  413-263-6828. 220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 10-11am – SUPPORT GROUP: Longmeadow Rec Dept hosts a New Moms Group at the Greenwood Center!  413-794-5515.  231 Maple Road.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network.  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: At the Williston Memorial Library!  Stories, snacks, and more.  413-529-1605.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Lenox Library offers storytime and crafts for kids 3-5 years old.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC CLASS: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Thursday morning music classes will be from 11 to 11:30 am with Felicia Sloin and Tom Knight alternating weeks. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: At the Hatfield Library, just for preschoolers! 413-547-9237. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-3:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The High Street Market is open today! Stop by for fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and more! High Street. Holyoke, MA. (MARKET) ♦
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires holds gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-3pm – PLAYGROUP: Baby playgroup at the Forbes Library! In the children’s room with Judy. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a post-partum support group for mothers with babies up to a year old.  Childcare available.  Takes place at Midwifery Care of Holyoke.  413-534-2700.  230 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc.  413-323-8728.  66 State Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-7pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Visit the Burgy Thursday Market for local produce, locally made goods, and delicious treats! Takes place on the lawn at Meekins Library. Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (MARKET)
  • 5-8pm – ART WALK: On the first Thursday of every month, the Amherst Art Walk takes place. Families can enjoy arts and culture, entertainment, shopping and dining. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 6-10pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Visit the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College! It’s home to a large variety of natural wonders, including the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks and lots of exhibits on local natural history. 413-542-2165. 11 Barrett Hill Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Sing some chanteys and bar songs at the Brewmaster’s Tavern– and order some delicious food and drinks while you sing! Takes place on the first and third Thursdays of each month. 4 Main Street. 413-268-7741. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Friday, October 5th, 2012

10am & 7pm – THEATER: Barrington Stage Company presents a theatrical version of William Golding’s, “Lord of the Flies. The classic young adult novel, adapted for the stage, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on an island and the struggles for power and control that ensue. Best for older students with audience skills, the show addresses topics of basic sociology and psychology, and can help kids begin thinking about the role that power and influence play in society. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

2-3:30pm – CULINARY ARTS: Kids who love apples can learn how to make their harvest last all year long this afternoon with the Berkshire Co-op!  The workshop will teach kids how to preserve apples – parents must accompany their kids throughout the workshop.  Along with learning skills for a sustainable lifestyle, kids can practice basic math and kitchen skills while reading recipes, measuring ingredients, and preparing apples.  Registration is required – e-mail jschwartz@berkshire.coop.  413-528-9697 ex 10.  94 West Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

5-8pm – ART: Pittsfield’s monthly First Friday Artswalk takes place tonight!  Explore downtown and visit shops, restaurants, and galleries to see a wide variety of works in many different media by local artists.  Artswalk offers families an opportunity to view and learn about art (and to help kids learn art appreciation), and also draws visitors to the newly designated Upstreet Cultural District, full of great local businesses.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

5:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/FILM FESTIVAL: The Northampton International Film Festival begins tonight!  Events include a screening of a group of short films and a documentary on jazz.  Takes place (mostly) at the Academy of Music.  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($$)

6:30-10:30pm – HALLOWEEN: Visit Jiminy Peak for a scary tour – that’s based a little bit on legend, and mostly in some spooky local history.  There are special tours of the location (which depart every 15 minutes), as well as a haunted mountain roller coaster and a scary tree-top zipline.  Open to families with older kids (minimum age is 10, but it’s pretty creepy!), the tour explores the former hillside Plantation of Jericho – settled by sheep farmers to avoid a sickness believed to exist in the valley – and explores the 13 Nights legend, in which sheep at the plantation disappear overnight for thirteen nights out of the year.  Starts tonight and happens every weekend (and Columbus Day)  through the 27th, and then Oct 29-31. 413-738-5500.  37 Corey Road. Hancock, MA.  ($$)

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS

  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: In the gym at Shutesbury Elementary School, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 10am – MOVIE: The Berkshire Athenaeum shows short kids’ movies every Friday morning.  Call to check what’s playing!  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building.  413-527-5496.  Main Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
    10-11:30am – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a postpartum support group for mothers with babies up to a year old at the Community Action Family Center.  Childcare available.  413-475-1566.  90 Federal Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit Naumkeag, a historic home in the Berkshires, to tour the house and grounds. Visitors can learn about the home’s interesting history and tour the many beautiful gardens! 413-298-3239. Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: On the first and third Fridays of each month, the YMCA of Greenfield hosts Jump Into Fitness playgroup! Lots of fun physical activity. Snack provided. 413-475-1543. 451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: The Mason Library hosts Young Children’s Storytime this morning!  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: For little ones at the Pelham Library!  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Monson Library’s baby group takes place this morning – kiddos ages 0-2 and their caregivers can visit for stories, songs, and playtime.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Heath Library offers bi-weekly storytime throughout the fall.  413-337-4934.  1 East Main Street.  Heath, MA.  (FREE) ♦
    11am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Griswold Memorial Library!  413-624-3619.  12 Main Road.  Colrain, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – PLAYGROUP: The Haskins Center hosts baby group! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the community room at the Lanesborough Town Hall. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – AQUARIUM ADVENTURE: Meet an animal at the Berkshire Museum! Friends from the aquarium will be shared, and kids can learn all about them through stories and activities. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 11-11:40am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Mother Goose on the Loose, a special lap-sit story hour for kids under the age of 3.  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11-12:50: ICE SKATING: There will be an ice skating session at the Mullins Center for homeschoolers through June ’13. Some skate sessions can be bumped due to UMass ice hockey, so call to confirm before heading out. 413-230-6516. UMass Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA (>$)
  • 5:45 and 7pm – HISTORY/MYSTERY TOUR: Take a spooky mystery tour of The Mount every Friday night through Oct. 26th… beware – you never know what you might encounter! Visitors will not only be thoroughly creeped out, but will learn some of the building’s interesting history. 413-997-4444. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)
  • 7-10pm – TWEEN: Kids in grades 6-8 can enjoy a fun night out with friends at the Greenwood Center!  Hosted by Longmeadow Rec Dept, the event features DJ dance music, and will be supervised by adults.  Dress code is the same as school, and students must sign in before entering.  Takes place on the second and fourth Friday of each month.  413-565-4163.  231 Maple Road.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Williams College’s Milham Planetarium offers free shows on Friday evenings!  Using the planetarium’s Zeiss Skymaster, Williams students will teach visitors about all sorts of astronomical phenomena, including phases of the moon, retrograde planetary motion, varying colors/temperatures of stars, constellations and zodiac signs, and more!  Reservations recommended but not required.  413-597-2188.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)
  • 8:30pm-12:30am – DANCE: Dance the night away at Dance Spree, a family-friendly, substance free, barefoot community night of dancing! Kids of all ages are welcome, but young children must be accompanied by adults. Takes place on the 4th floor of the Fitzwilly’s building. 25 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦

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