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

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

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

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

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

BEST BETS

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

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

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

Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families.

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

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

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

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

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

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

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 27

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

Oct 28

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

Oct 31

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

Nov 3

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

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

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

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


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

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

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

“Hilltown Families does such a great job of listing EVERYTHING that’s going on in the area, and the fact it’s automatically emailed to me (rather than me having to visit the site) once a week assures that I read that list of “everything.” Thanks!” – Jessica Day (Greenfield, MA)

7-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 3-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. – It’s Howling Halloween fun this Saturday with guest DJ award-winning family music recording artist and performer, Andy Z. Listen along as Andy Z takes you on a musical tour of all things All Hallow’s Eve. Andy’s special set will include both classic and unexpected Halloween and Halloween-friendly tunes, including a few from his new Halloween-themed album, The Grand Scream Of Things. – Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

OPEN HOUSE: The Montessori School of the Berkshires in Lenox Dale is hosting an open house today. For more info and to register visit BerkshireMontessori.org. Lenox, MA (FREE)

7:30am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/HIKE: Explore Mahanna Cobble, and search for migratory birds! If you’re lucky, you might spot a raptor. The hike will cover 2.5 miles of steep slopes and hiking trails. Dan Fox Drive. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

9am-1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/HIKE: Hike Putney Mountain with the Hitchcock Center! The adventure, open to teens and adults, includes lots of opportunity for hawk-watching and a chance to learn about the interesting geological history of the site. Registration required. 413-256-6006. Amherst, MA (FREE)

9am-1pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP/NUTRITION: The Hartsbrook School will host a workshop with Dr. Alicia Landman-Reiner and Elizabeth Sustick, “The Body and Soul of Nourishment.” This workshop is for parents with children from age 2 through young adult ~ promoting the consciousness and vital role of healthy nutrition. Sustick is an Anthroposophic Nurse educator and trained natural foods cook, co-owner of Paul & Elizabeth’s. Held in the Hartsbrook Hall. 413-584-3198. 193 Bay Road. Hadley, MA ($$)

9:30am-3:40pm – STEM/TEEN: Explore science of all kinds today at UMass’ ScienceQUEST – an event for high school students (or those in the homeschool equivalent), where students can visit campus, take part in hands-on science activities, and tour the school’s science labs. Students will learn not only about studying college-level sciences, but can choose to take part in workshops on obscure scientific topics like hidden universes and polymers! Students can learn ways to apply their interests to topics in science that they may not have been aware of, and will learn about the practical applications of many unique scientific studies. Registration required. Takes place in the Integrated Science Building. 661 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

10am-3pm – FAMILY SUPPORT: Score some great new-to-you clothes and toys today at GROW’s (Gathered Resources of Women) toy and clothes giveaway! The group has collected donations of gently used family gear – books, movies, CD’s, toys, baby gear, and clothes for babies, kids, and maternity – and they will be giving them away all day! The event is set up like a tag sale, but with no money exchanged. 88 Sheffield Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

11am – HALLOWEEN COOKING: Make a special Halloween food with the Berkshire Co-op! Kids can learn to make Monster Mash Dip and a cheddar cup to eat it from as part of the Kids Can Cook! series. Great for kids learning basic kitchen skills – plus cooking calls for some math and literacy skills, too – it’s multidisciplinary! Registration required. 413-528-9697. 42 Bridge Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

10am-12noon – HARVEST FUN: The Berkshire South Regional Community Center hosts a Harvest Family Fun morning with fall family activities, including arts & crafts. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA ($)

10am-12noon – ENTOMOLOGY/SPIDERS: Spiders can be a bit creepy – but they’re fascinating, too! Visit Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary to learn about the many different types of arachnids found all around the world – there will be hands-on activities, including a Halloween-themed craft! Registration required. 413-584-3009. 127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

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

10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Historic Deerfield’s fall Open Hearth Cooking series will focus on foods harvested by early New Englanders and the ways in which they were preserved in order to be enjoyed through the winter. Visitors will learn about traditional recipes and unique methods of preservation! 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

10:30am – HALLOWEEN MAGIC SHOW: Tommy James presents a Halloween Magic Show at the Palmer Public Library Community Room. 1455 North Main Street. Palmer, MA (FREE)

11-11:30am – HALLOWEEN CRAFTS: Ramsdell Library will host a Halloween craft, making Halloween Shadow Puppets! 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA (FREE)

11am and 1pm – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: The Eric Carle Museum and Greenfield Savings Bank present, “Pinkalicious!” the musical! Performed by Ja’Duke Productions, the show shares the story found in the children’s book of the same name – a young girl, who loves pink, learns about self control and moderation in one of the silliest ways possible! 413-685-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

11am-1pm – HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL: The East Longmeadow Public Library Mom’s Club will host a Halloween Festival for families with kids up to 9yo! Come for sweets, games, costumes and more! 413-525-5400. East Longmeadow, MA (>$)

11am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Montessori School of Northampton’s annual fall festival and open house takes place today! There will be lots of fun things for families to do, as well as performances by percussionist Tony Vacca, puppeteer Tom Knight, and singer-songwriter Chris Scanlon. In addition to the entertainment, there will be a petting zoo, bounce house, pony rides, crafts, and more! Some activities require ticket purchasing, and proceeds benefit the school’s scholarship fund! 413-586-4538. 51 Bates Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

10:30am-1pm – HALLOWEEN: The Monson Library goes all out today for a special Halloween party! The BOO Bash will feature storyteller Mary Jo Maichak sharing a set of spooky tales, jokes, and songs, plus tons of f activities (and maybe some treats!). 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

12noon – HALLOWEEN TEA: Join the Pelham Library for a haunted Halloween tea! Storyteller Davis Bates will share spooky seasonal stories, and there will be delicious treats for all. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

12noon-2pm – CRAFTS: Make your own stuffed critter out of felt at the Whately Library! Registration required as space is limited. 413-665-2170. Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. ($)

12noon-4pm – PUMPKIN CARVING CONTEST: The Meat Market will host a pumpkin carving contest for all ages. You can purchase pumpkins to care and refreshments will be available. 389 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA (>$)

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

12noon-7pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: Carve a creative pumpkin and bring it to Easthampton’s Pumpkin Festival! There will be prizes for the funniest, scariest, cutest, and most original pumpkins – as well as games, live music, face painting, pie-eating and pie-baking contests, and booths featuring local farmers, artists, and artisans. Takes place at Nonotuck Park. Daley Field Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

1-2pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Meet some interesting creatures at the Great Falls Discovery Center with Teaching Creatures, a show-and-tell program that helps kids learn about animals with interesting evolutionary adaptations. The program will focus on the different defense mechanisms that animals have, and how and why they have evolved. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

1-4pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: Jeepers Creepers- Ghouls and Goblins Halloween Party! Bring the family to the haunted doorstep of the Wistariahurst Museum for an afternoon of music, magic, games, crafts and goodie bags. Come in costume. Rain or shine. 413-322-5620. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA (>$)

1-4pm – HALLOWEEN/COSTUME PARTY: Fountain Park will host a Spooktacular Halloween Costume Party! Bring your family for a party in their newly renovated barn. The whole family can dress up and enjoy a spirited storyteller, batty balloon art, creepy crafts, spellbinding snack, and a ghostly goodie bag. 413-596-2712. 883 Tinkham Rd. Wilbraham, MA (>$)

1:30-4pm – INTERNGENERATIONAL: Visit Candyland Village at the Calvin Coolidge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center! There will be fun crafts for kids (featuring sand art!), face painting, games, a magic show, and ice cream! 548 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

2pm – HALLOWEEN STORYTIME: The Eric Carle Museum hosts a special Halloween visit with a hobgoblin! David Hyde Costello will share his puppetry, music and art while reading “Here They Come” and “Little Pig Joins the Band.” Book signing follows. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

2-4pm – RAG SHAG PARADE: Starting at the Russell Elementary School. Russell, MA (FREE)

2-4pm – TRICK OR TREAT: North Street businesses invite youth to stop by in costume for trick or treating. Look for the bright “Trick or Treat Participating Merchant” signs in the windows/doors of participating businesses. 413-443-6501. North Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

2-4pm – HAWLEYWEEN: Hawleyween, a family-friendly, eco-educational event happens at the Kenneth Dubuque State Forest on Hallockville Pond with the Student Conservation Assoc. of MA. There will be games, treats and forest adventures – help the animals of Hawley rescue their treasure. Open to all ages. 413-339-6631. Route 8A on the Hawley/ Plainfield town line between Plainfield and Charlemont. Hawley, MA (FREE)

2-4pm – RAG SHAG PARADE/SCARECROW MAKING: The Huntington Rec. Committee invites families to a rag shag parade starting at Pettis Field marching to the Town Common. On the Common, prizes will be awarded to different costume designs. Scarecrow making with follow. Hay provided but families should bring a “costume” for their scarecrows (old clothing, markers, scissors twine/rubberbands to help with tying arms & legs, etc.) (Rain cancels parade but scarecrow activities move to Stanton Hall.). Pettis Field/Town Common. Huntington, MA (FREE)

3-4:30pm – HALLOWEEN STUDIES: White Square Books hosts “Ghost Stories of the Ancient Greeks and Romans” with UMass classic professor, Debbie Felton. Felton will lead participants to discover ancient Halloween-type festivals that celebrate the dead. 413-203-1717. 86 Cottage Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

3-8pm – HALLOWEEN: Celebrate Halloween in Chesterfield today, with a rag shag parade, pumpkin painting, and a spooky haunted house (Not too spooky, though.)! There will also be fun family games, food, and prizes for unique and exciting costumes. Rag-shag begins at 3pm at the Davenport School Building. Other activities take place at Russell Park. Route 143. Chesterfield, MA. (<$)

4-6pm – HALLOWEEN HARVEST FEST: Get some extra mileage out of your Halloween costume at the Congregational Church of South Hadley’s Harvest Festival! There will be crafts, games, clowning, music, treats, and more! 413-539-9373. 11 North Main Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

5-6:45pm or 7pm – HALLOWEEN HAYRIDES: McCray’s Farm hayrides have begun! Munchkin Rides (for kids) take place earlier in the evening – best for kids 7 and under (and their grown-ups), the ride is slow but exciting! Rides for big kids begin at 7pm and run until the line is gone. Runs Friday-Sunday through Halloween. The farm also features homemade ice cream, animals, and mini golf. 413-533-0775. 33 Alvord Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

5-8pm – HAUNTED HOUSE: The Spectrum Playhouse hosts a Haunted House for families with kids ages 6yo+. Take a spooky tour of the Playhouse! 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin St. Lee, MA ($$)

5-9pm – HALLOWEEN: Things That Go Bump in the Night at Old Sturbridge Village. Includes The Trail of Terror (ages 11yo & up), haunted pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, puppet show, comedy and more. 800-733-1830 Sturbridge, MA ($)

5:30 – CHORAL FESTIVAL: UMass hosts the 2012 High School and Collegiate Choral Festival! The event features a massive group of combined choirs, performing Mozart’s Coronation Mass together. Takes place at the UMass Fine Arts Center. (For kids with audience skills!) 413-545-2511. 151 President’s Drive. Amherst, MA. ($)

5:30-7:30pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: Youth Center Inc a Halloween party with Pumpkin decorating, bounce house, prizes, cotton candy, crafts, tons of games and more! Costume prizes will be issued too for different age divisions. 413-743-3550. 20 East Street. Adams, MA

5:30-8:30pm – HAUNTED TRAIN RIDE: Ride the haunted train at Look Park! Recommended for kids ages 4+, the train ride includes monsters and surprises, but is not terrifying for elementary-aged kids. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (<$)

6-8pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: The Blandford Rec. Committee is sponsoring a Halloween party in the auditorium at the town hall with games, prizes, entertainment & refreshments. Baked goods & candy donations are welcomed. Trick-or-treating booths will be set up behind the school too for residents to distribute Halloween treats and to meet neighbors. A warming fire will be ablaze. Open to all. 413-848-2459. Blandford, MA (FREE)

6:30-7:30pm – HALLOWEEN CAMPFIRE: Celebrate around the campfire with singer/songwriter Roger Tincknell at Northfield Mountain! A locally beloved kids’ entertainer, Tincknell will share slightly spooky stories and special music. In case of bad weather, the event will take place inside the yurt. 860-430-2110. Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

6:30-10:30pm – HALLOWEEN: Visit Jiminy Peak for 13 Nights at Jiminy – 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. Open Friday and Saturday evenings through Halloween. 413-738-5500. 37 Corey Road. Hancock, MA. ($$)

7pm – HISTORY/MUSICAL: Pittsfield’s Youth Alive presents, “The Evolution of Rhythms,” an original show that uses dance, drum, step, song, and spoken word to walk viewers through the evolution of modern music – all the way from the 1800’s! The show digs deep in order to share with the audience the roots of modern hip-hop – which stems from stomping and clapping to the beat of Malawean drums. The production features local youth as well as guest performers, and takes place on the Barrington Stage Company’s main stage. 58 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

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

7pm –HALLOWEEN PARTY/PARADE: The Lenox Dale Fire Co. will host their annual Halloween Parade beginning at 7pm at St. Vincent dePaul Church (Crystal St.), marching to the Fire Station (Elm St.). Party for kids follows at the station. Lenox Dale, MA (FREE)

7pm – HAUNTED TOUR: Tour the spooky Skinner Mansion at the Wistariahurst Museum by candlelight – if you dare! The tour will be guided by a museum interpreter – reservations are required. Families (with older kids) can learn about the history behind the museum… especially the spooky parts. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

7:30pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: Black Cat Theater presents, Little Shop of Horrors, at South Hadley High School – find out what happens to Seymour and his giant, hungry plant! 153 Newton Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

7:30pm – HALLOWEEN CIRCUS SHOW: SHOW Circus Studio, Manavi, and the Northampton Center for the Arts present, “Otherworld,” a family-friendly mysterious Halloween circus show. There will be aerial silks, trapeze, acrobatics, bellydancers, rollerblading, and more set to original Halloween music created just for the show! 413-584-7327. 17 New South Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

7:30pm – THEATER: What lies behind the hedges? Find out at the Monson Arts Council’s production of, The Secret Garden. Enjoy the classic story, paired with a beautiful score – presented at Memorial Hall. Main Street. Monson, MA. ($$)

7:30pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: Westfield State University brings Elle Woods to the stage in their production of Legally Blonde: The Musical! 413-454-3926. Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. ($)

7:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School’s fall theater production of Neil Simon’s classic farce, Rumors concludes tonight at the Williston Theatre. 413-529-3434. 18 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA ($$)

8pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: Bay Path College presents, The Pirates of Penzance! The musical is a comedy, and tells the story of a young apprentice – to PIRATES! – and a woman named Mabel, with whom he is quite smitten. Takes place in the Mills Theater in the school’s Carr Hall. 413-535-1307. Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT:

8pm – CONCERT: Rebel Montez and Christine Ohlman rock the IMA tonight! Often called the Beehive Queen, Ohlman’s voice and stage presence are legendary (as is her hairstyle). There will be an open dance floor, as well as an outdoor fire pit. Retro-wear optional, but suggested. 413-268-3074. Route 116. Goshen, MA. ($$)

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012

“I have been referring to Hilltown Families for years — I make my weekly calendar from the suggested events list! As a mother of 3, 5 and under, it has been an invaluable resource for our family.” – Ellen Ferris (South Hadley, 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.

8:30-11:30am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Bear Swamp with the Hitchcock Center! The rocky area includes a pond, which is home to diverse plants and wildlife. Open to teens and adults, registration required. 413-256-6006. Amherst, MA (FREE)

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. ($) ♦

10:30am – HALLOWEEN FUN RUN: Run in costume for the annual Halloween Fun Run! Sponsored by the Toasted Owl, the race raises money for the Cutchins Program for Children and Families. The event includes a 5K road race and a 2-mile fun run/walk for families. Race begins at 10:30- arrive early to register. 23 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

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

RH Conwell School 11am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: RH Conwell Community Education Center is hosting their first ever fall festival today! Visit the school for fun fall activities – pumpkins, foliage, cider, and more! 147 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

11am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Visit the Austin Brothers Farm’s corn maze! The farm also offers hayrides, pumpkin picking, and tons of fall fun. 413-668-6843. 270 West Street. Belchertown, MA. ($)

11am, 1:15 or 3pm – RIVER ADVENTURE/BOAT RIDE: 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-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 stencilled masterpieces to take home. Takes place every Saturday and Sunday afternoon through October 28th. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

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

12:45pm – HALLOWEEN FEST: The Amherst Leisure Services host their annual Halloween Fest. Starts of with a rag shag parade through downtown, followed by a carnival and haunted house. There will be refreshments and music too. Happens at the Bangs Community Center. 413-259-3333. 4 Boltwood Ave. Amherst, MA (>$)

1pm – RAG SHAG PARADE: Halloween Parade begins on Park Street. Adams, MA (FREE)

1pm –YOUTH CHORAL CONCERT: To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Springfield’s Central Library, the Children’s Chorus of Springfield will perform in the rotunda! The chorus, which helps youth develop skills for self-discipline, cooperation, and collaboration, as well as musical understanding, is made up of children from all over the city and brings together voices in beautiful harmony. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

1-4pm – HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: Don your Halloween costume early and visit the Amelia Park Children’s Museum for a special Halloween celebration! There will be a costume parade, special treats, exciting decorations, and one pumpkin per visitor – for carving or painting. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. ($).

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

2pm – RAG SHAG PARADE: The Cheshire Halloween Parade begins at the Cheshire School and marches down to the police station. Cheshire, MA (FREE)

2pm – LITERACY: The Arms Library and Boswell’s Books host beloved children’s author Norman Juster (author of The Phantom Tollbooth and The Dot and the Line), who will speak and read from some of his many classic books! 413-625-0306. Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

2pm – HALLOWEEN CIRCUS SHOW: SHOW Circus Studio, Manavi, and the Northampton Center for the Arts present, “Otherworld,” a family-friendly mysterious Halloween circus show. There will be aerial silks, trapeze, acrobatics, bellydancers, rollerblading, and more set to original Halloween music created just for the show! 413-584-7327. 17 New South Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

2pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: Black Cat Theater presents, Little Shop of Horrors, at South Hadley High School – find out what happens to Seymour and his giant, hungry plant! 153 Newton Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

2pm – THEATER: What lies behind the hedges? Find out at the Monson Arts Council’s production of, The Secret Garden. Enjoy the classic story, paired with a beautiful score – presented at Memorial Hall. Main Street. Monson, MA. ($$)

2pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Tour the Forestdale Cemetery – final resting place of many of the families who played key roles in the development of early Holyoke. Lead by city historian Penni Martorell, the tour will teach visitors about the development of their city and community. Sponsored by the Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. St. Jerome Avenue. Holyoke, MA. ($)

2pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: Bay Path College presents, The Pirates of Penzance! The musical is a comedy, and tells the story of a young apprentice – to PIRATES! – and a woman named Mabel, with whom he is quite smitten. Takes place in the Mills Theater in the school’s Carr Hall. 413-535-1307. Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

2-4pm – MONSTER MASH BASH: Monster Mash Bash at the Florence VFW with the Northampton Rec Department. Live DJ, snacks, crafts and lots-o-fun! For kids 9yo and younger, accompanied by an adult. Come in costume and bring your parents/guardian with you! 413-587-1040. 18 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (>$)

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

4:45pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY/RAG SHAG PARADE: Meet in costume at the Hopkins Academy parking lot and march in the parade! A non-scary fun time for families with elementary aged children, sponsored by the American Legion and Park & Rec. Rain cancels parade. 413-586-0221. Hadley, MA (FREE)

5-6:45pm or 7pm – HALLOWEEN HAYRIDES: McCray’s Farm hayrides have begun! Munchkin Rides (for kids) take place earlier in the evening – best for kids 7 and under (and their grown-ups), the ride is slow but exciting! Rides for big kids begin at 7pm and run until the line is gone. Runs Friday-Sunday through Halloween. The farm also features homemade ice cream, animals, and mini golf. 413-533-0775. 33 Alvord Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

5-8pm – HAUNTED HOUSE: The Spectrum Playhouse hosts a Haunted House for families with kids ages 6yo+. Take a spooky tour of the Playhouse! 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin St. Lee, MA ($$)

5:30-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN: Ride the haunted train at Look Park! Recommended for kids ages 4+, the train ride includes monsters and surprises, but is not terrifying for elementary-aged kids. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (<$)

7pm – HALLOWEEN FILM: Looking for a classic Halloween scare? The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center screens Alford Hitchcok’s classic, The Birds (1963). 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA ($)

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Monday, October 29th, 2012

2 and 7pm – FILM: Are you a witch? Find out how you can tell – the Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema screens, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” this afternoon & evening. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

5:30-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Amherst Family Center hosts Dinner On Us, a weekly parent conversation series. This week’s topic is empowering children to be responsible and respectful – parents can gain new insights and gather useful information, and share their experiences with others! There will be dinner at 5:30, and kids’ activities while parents chat. Takes place in room 428 of the UMass Student Union. University Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

6:30-7:30pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: The Emily Williston Memorial Library will host a Halloween party. Prepare yourself for: The Funky Fear Station, The Cataclysmic Costume Parade, the Terrifying Fortune Teller, the Fairly Frightening Village for Fairies, the consumption of Strange Snacks and Emily’s Player’s in “Scary Stories from the Haunted Library!” 413-529-1605. 9 Park St. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

6-7pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: The Junior Advisory Club at the East Longmeadow Library hosts a JAC Haunted Halloween Party. Spooky haunted house, terrifying treats, a costume contest….and more fang-tastic fun for kids in 3rd-8th grade! Pre-reg. 413-525-5400. East Longmeadow, MA (>$)

6:30pm – HALLOWEEN STORYTIME: There will be a slightly spooking storytime at the Springfield Central Library. Families are invited to come in costume (or PJs) for story and songs. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA (FREE)

7pm – HALLOWEEN FILM: Images and Williams College present, “Let the Right One In,” a Swedish film about a bullied student and his encounters with a vampire. The film is rated R (older students only!) and is in Swedish with English subtitles. The screening is part of the cinema’s Halloween Screamings, and the college’s Halloween Through an Academic Lens series. Following the film will be a discussion about its themes! 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Willamstown, MA. (FREE)

7-9pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists often must apply a skill set similar to those used by forensics experts – they look at remnants of lives (caves, basements, stone walls, etc.) and use tiny clues in order to deduce the use of the place, item, etc. Learn about how archaeologists have used these skills to determine information about the history of the earliest European settlers in New England tonight at Greenfield High School, where Central Connecticut State professor Ken Feder presents, “Monk’s Caves, Sacrificial Altars, and Wandering Celts.” Takes place in the auditorium. Best for older students. 1 Lenox Street. Greenfield, MA. (DONATION)

6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Tour the Forestdale Cemetery – final resting place of many of the families who played key roles in the development of early Holyoke. Lead by city historian Penni Martorell, the tour will teach visitors about the development of their city and community. Sponsored by the Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. St. Jerome Avenue. Holyoke, MA. ($)

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 30th, 2012

10am-12noon – HALLOWEEN PARTY: The Easthampton Family Center hosts a Halloween celebration. There will be pumpkins to decorate, fishing for apples, face paints, dress up, Halloween stories and more. 413-527-5496. Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

4-6pm: TRICK-OR-TREATING/COSTUME CONTEST: Bring your little ghosts and goblins under the age of 12 to “Trick or Treat” at participating store locations in the Hampshire Mall. Costume Contest will be held in the Food Court at 5:30pm. Russell Street. Hadley, MA (FREE)

5:30pm – HALLOWEEN: The Palmer Library hosts Halloween celebration this afternoon! Don costumes and head to the library for games, magic, treats, crafts, and more! 1455 North Main Street. Palmer, MA. (FREE)

6pm – HALLOWEEN PARADE/COSTUME PARTY: Leaving from the Dalton Senior Center, ghosts, bats & all manner of heroes can march in a community parade up Main Street to the Dalton CRA. Participants will be announced as the parade down the stage & everyone wins with a grab bag! Field Street. Dalton, MA (FREE)

6-9pm – PARENT WORKSHOP/OWNING A HOME: The Valley CDC is hosting a free homeowner’s workshop – if your family recently bought a home, there will be lots of useful information provided for you! The workshop is divided into two parts (the second takes place on Thursday, 11/1 at the same time), and will provide financial and maintenance advice for sustaining homes! Call to register. 413-586-5855 ex 18. 30 Market Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

7-9pm – PECHA KUCHA: The Berkshire Museum is hosting yet another round of PechaKucha presentations tonight! The event is a space for community members to present a series of 20 20-second slides (20×20 is another name for the event) on any topic they choose – audience members can leave having learned about anything from candy bar shapes to native plants. Best for older students (mature tweens and teens), the event is a great way to celebrate diversity in knowledge and experience within the community! Free beer from Wandering Star for adults, and anyone wearing a costume gets free admission! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

8pm-2am – HALLOWEEN/HISTORY: Chicopee Paranormal Investigators (CPI) bring their equipment to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum to check out the paranormal activity in the historic house – and you can help! Participants will be trained to use some of the team’s equipment and will learn how to carefully conduct an investigation into the unknown. Best for older teens and adults, the event is not for those who are easily scared! Reservations required. 413-536-1811. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$$)

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) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Dickinson Librar! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, 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 31st, 2012

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

9am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Happy Halloween! Spend the morning exploring the Cascades Trail – roughly two miles of relatively easy walking. Meet in the lot behind Friendly’s to carpool. Route 2. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

9:30-11:30am – HALLOWEEN: Celebrate the holiday with the Cummington Family Center! For kids ages 0-4 and their grown-ups. 413-634-8853. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

9:30–11:30am – HALLOWEEN PARADE/PARTY: The Northampton Parents Center will host a Halloween party & parade. Come in costume or use the center’s collection of dress-up clothes for the morning. A short parade will march around half a block, followed by nut-free snacks & crafts. Northampton, MA (FREE)

10am – HALLOWEEN PARADE/STORY TIME: The Westfield Athenaeum will read non-so-scary stories, sing Halloween songs and invite patrons ages 3-5 to join in a Halloween costume parade around the library. Register by 10/23. 413-562-6158. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA (FREE)

10am – HALLOWEEN PARTY/PARADE: The Gateway Family Center invites families with kids up through the age of 4 to a Halloween party and rag shag parade. 9 Russell Rd. Huntington, MA (FREE)

10:15-11am – HALLOWEEN CRAFTS: Make a not-so-spooky mobile at the Mason Library! Preschool storytime this morning will feature Halloween stories and a holiday-themed mobile craft. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

11am – TRICK OR TREAT: The Berkshire Athenaeum will hold trick-or-treating for little ones at the library. Groups welcomed! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Ave. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

11am – HALLOWEEN STORY TIME: Youth ages 3yo and older are invited to a special Halloween themed story time at the Odyssey Bookshop. Come in costume and hear The Monsters’ Monster and Creepy Carrots read by the staff. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

3-6pm – TRICK-OR-TREATING: Parade around in costume through downtown Northampton and trick-or-treat safely (and in daylight) at 40+ businesses. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

3-4pm – DAY OF THE DEAD: The Southwick Library will have sugar skulls available for teens to come decorate with icing, feathers, glitter, etc. Stop in! 413-569-1221. 95 Feeding Hills Road. Southwick, MA (FREE)

4-5pm: HALLOWEEN CRAFT: Ramsdell Library Time for Tots program will make felt ghouls for Halloween. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA (FREE)

4 or 5:30pm – HALLOWEEN: Chandler’s Restaurant is hosting their annual Witches Ball! Come dressed in your Halloween costumes and enjoy a buffet including oozing zombie zits, lumberjack fingers, shredded mummy guts, vampire eyeballs and more. The fun doesn’t end with the food- Cloud 9 Productions will be at the Witches Ball for kid’s karaoke, there will be pumpkin decorating, and Teaching Creatures will be bringing some creepy crawly creatures to learn about, some of them you can even touch! Reservations required. 413-665-1277. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA. ($$)

4-6pm – TRICK-OR-TREATING: Spooky pint-sized ghosts, ghouls, and goblins can take to the streets of downtown Greenfield to trick-or-treat safely in daylight and on familiar turf! Strut your stuff through town and collect treats. Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

4-6pm – TRICK-OR-TREATING & COSTUME PARADE: West Stockbridge trick-or-treating takes place this afternoon – show off your costume around town while collecting goodies! There will be a costume parade at 6pm, and a Halloween party at the town hall until 8pm. Main Street. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

5-7pm – TRICK-OR-TREATING: Witches, wizards, superheroes, mythical creatures – grab a pillowcase and head to the streets for treats! Pittsfield’s official trick-or-treating takes place this evening. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

5-7pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: Town of Richmond, MA. (FREE)

RAG SHAG PARADE: The Turners Falls VFW invites all kids in costume (ages 12yo and younger) to join in their annual Rag Shag Parade. Prizes for costumes. Meet in the Food City Parking Lot, then march down Avenue A. 413-863-3216. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

5pm – RAG SHAG PARADE: Florence rag shag parade steps off from Trinity Row Park (corner of Main & S. Main) at 5pm and march to the Florence Civic Center. At the center there will be goody bags and costume judging. Florence, MA (FREE)

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

5-8pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY/TRICK OR TREAT: The Worthington Rec. Committee will host a Halloween party at the town hall with music and refreshments starting at 6pm. Town wide trick or treating begins at 5pm. 413-386-7576. Worthington, MA (FREE)

5-7pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: Trick or treating in Lenox Dale.

5-8pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: Town of Russell, MA.

5:30-7pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: Town of Adams, MA.

5:30-7pm – TRICK-OR-TREAT: Town of Monterey, MA.

6:30-8pm: HALLOWEEN MOVIE: Ramsdell Librarywill be screening Mel Brooks film, Young Frankenstein (PG). 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA (FREE)

7pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY: The Shelburne Grange will host a Halloween party with a costume contest, games fo kids, prizes and refreshments. Held at the Fellowship Hall. 413-625-2914. Little Mohawk Road. Shelburne, MA (FREE)

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. (<$) ♦
  • 1-3pm – CHESS: Drop-in chess games in the mezzanine at Forbes Library. All ages, BYO chess set or borrow one. Playing chess can help kids develop logic and analytical skills. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Ashintully’s beautifully landscaped grounds, gardens, and water features! Families can hike to the ruins of the mansion once located on the site, as well. Runs weekly through Oct. 10th. 413-298-3239. Sodom Road. Monterey, MA. (DONATION) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc. 413-323-8728. 66 State Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Mountain View Farm for a farm activity for pre-school kids though the harvest! 413-329-0211. 393 East Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30pm – LEGOS: The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts LEGO Club on the third Wednesday of each month. Kids can use LEGOs to experiment with basic principles of architecture, physics, and design. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ♦ (FREE)
  • 3-5pm – MOVIE: The Mason Library screens classic films every Wednesday afternoon! The “Mason Matinee” is best for tweens/teens and adults – call to find out what’s playing. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:30pm – STORYTIME: The Ramsdell Library hosts Time for Tots, and special story, craft, etc. time for littlest kiddos. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:50-4:30pm – ICE SKATING: Visit Fitzpatrick Arena for an afternoon of skating! The rink offers daily public skating sessions at the same time, Monday-Friday. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 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, November 1st, 2012

HAPPY DAY OF THE DEAD

6-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Gateway Middle School hosts, “Guiding Good Choices,” a workshop series for parents on helping teens to develop strategies for keeping drugs and alcohol out of their lives, encouraging family involvement, and helping youth recognize and utilize their own strengths. Sponsored by Berkshire Children and Families, the event is part of a 5-part series on the topic. Parents can share experiences with others, and use to event to piece together a plan for guiding preteens and teens to make healthy, informed choices. 413-584-5960 ex 102. Littleville Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

7pm – FILM STUDIES: The Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema is screening, “The Odyssey of Film,” in weekly 2-part installments throughout the fall. The series provides an in-depth look at the history and development of film, both in terms of artistry and technology. Tonight, parts 5+6 will be screened, giving viewers a look at post-WWII film and the development of melodrama in 1950’s film. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, 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 – STORYTIME: Westfield 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 – STORYTIME: Springfield 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, November 2nd, 2012

5-8pm – ART WALK: Explore downtown Pittsfield and see art made with a variety of media and in numerous styles by local artists! The First Fridays Artswalk takes place tonight, offering families a chance to view lots of great art, and to spend time out and about in the community. North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

6-8pm – DIVERSITY/MENTAL ILLNESS: The Westhampton Library hosts, “Nothing to Hide: Mental Illness in the Family,” an exhibit featuring photographs and interviews with families whose lives have been affected by mental illness (including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, etc.). The exhibit can help students in learning the side of mental illness not often shared publicly – the side that debunks stereotypes and illustrates strength, courage, integrity, and accomplishment. Includes an author talk from 7-8pm with Jean Beard, co-author of the exhibit’s namesake book. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

7:30pm – THEATER: What lies behind the hedges? Find out at the Monson Arts Council’s production of, The Secret Garden. Enjoy the classic story, paired with a beautiful score – presented at Memorial Hall. Main Street. Monson, MA. ($$)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: The Springfield Science Museum will be open for public sky-gazing. Now in it’s 75th year of connecting the public with the night sky, tonight’s viewing marks the anniversary of the first public demo of the planetarium. This month’s talk is titled, “The Korkosz Brothers and their Amazing ‘Star-ball.” 413-263-6800 x318. 21 Edwards St. Springfield, MA (>$)

8pm – THEATER/MUSICAL: Bay Path College presents, The Pirates of Penzance! The musical is a comedy, and tells the story of a young apprentice – to PIRATES! – and a woman named Mabel, with whom he is quite smitten. Takes place in the Mills Theater in the school’s Carr Hall. 413-535-1307. Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, 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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