35 Community Highlights: Square Dance to Ballet. Make-Your-Own Gifts to Community Dinners.

Kids love to move & dance! This weekend there are several opportunities for them to dance and learn about different styles of dance. From Irish Dance to Square Dance to Ballet to Contra Dance… or just an all around community dance party! See our highlights below. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Make-Your-Own Gifts to Community Dinners. Beatrix Potter to Eric Carle. Hindu to Native American. Square Dance to Ballet… These are just a few of the learning highlights we’re featuring this week! Get out into your community and learn while you play! And be sure to check our list of supporting book titles to supplement the learning on the different topics highlighted each week. Purchase them for your family library, or check them out from the public library!

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/HIKES

The Franklin Land Trust has several hiking trails for families to explore in Franklin County. Get out with the kids and enjoy the tail end of Fall before thick blankets of snow arrive. Other opportunities this Saturday, November 10th, include the a search for geologic and historic landmarks at the Lime Kiln Farm Sanctuary with Mass Audubon in Sheffield, and a morning nature hike at Springside Park in Pittsfield with naturalist Victor Capelli.

On Sunday morning, November 11th, families can explore a Bear Spring, rock ledges, and ancient shorelines and see unique plant life like witch hazel, mountain laurel, and sassafras at Pine Cobble in Williamstown, and in the afternoon explore the Hilltown Land Trust’s Stevens Property in Huntington– a site covering over 350 acres of land skirting the Mt. Pisgah ridge line and filled with forests, streams, and boulders.

HISTORY

Saturday evening, November 10th, experience a darkening Fall evening just as early New Englanders did at Old Sturbridge Village’s Evening of Illumination. Guided tours – lit by candles, oil lamps, and firelight – will stop by a handful of the village’s homes and shops around the common.

On Sunday evening, November 11th, at Smith College in Northampton, older students can learn about Marion Turner, a resident of Florence from 1898-1903 – Turner was African-American, a woman, a nurse, and also an open cross-dresser. New research from the Sexual Minorities Archives will be presented on Turner’s life, and what her experience says about the culture of early 20th century Northampton.

GEOLOGY, ASTRONOMY & NATURE STUDIES

See rock specimens of all shapes and sizes at the Jewelry, Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Show and Sale at Greenfield Community College on Saturday, November 10th. Kids can see a wide variety of stone specimens, jewelry, fossils, and geology-themed art. In the evening on Saturday, November 10th, families can gaze into the night sky at the stars with Arunah Hill at Notchview in Windsor!

In Amherst on Tuesday morning, November 13th, the Hitchcock Center’s Nature Discovery Day will focus on salmon and other anadromous fish! Participants will visit the Salmon Station in Sunderland and learn about freshwater fish’s habitats, as well as the special adaptations that allow salmon to live partly in freshwater and partly in saltwater.

MAKE YOUR OWN CRAFTS & HOLIDAY GIFTS

Making your own holiday gifts is a great way to get creative with your kids, and an excellent alternative to the commercialism that takes over the holiday season. This coming week there are several MYO gifts and crafts happening as either a dedicated event or part of a larger community event, like at Snow Farm in Williamsburg where as part of their annual seconds sale on Saturday, November 10th you can make your own glass ornament in their glass studio. Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School’s Holiday Handcraft Fair is on Saturday too with several opportunities to MYO gifts, including hand-dipped beeswax candles and jumpropes, and at the Whatley Library families can make a stuffed critter out of felt.

Bird lovers will enjoy a hand made gift that welcomes their feathered friends to their homes too! On Saturday, November 10th, the Amherst Family Center hosts a free morning family program at the UMass that begins with making a bird feeder out of recycled materials. And on Wednesday, November 14th, the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke will host an evening event for families to make a bird feeder, also out of recycled materials.

LITERATURE

On Saturday afternoon, November 10th, celebrate Beatrix Potter and her classic children’s tales featuring a menagerie of woodland critters at White Square Books in Easthampton, and in the morning watch you favorite fairy tales come alive in the morning as Red Door Theatre in Feeding Hills presents, “Aesop’s Fables!

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is celebrating its 10th birthday on Sunday afternoon, November 11th with a book signing bash! Authors Tony DiTerlizzi, Peter Laird, and Eric Carle himself will be signing books and drawing doodles for visitors in Amherst.

Later in the week, the Forbes Library in Northampton will discuss GLBT literature for boys on Wednesday evening, November 14th. Participants can discuss the barriers to getting books with gay children as characters published, and imagine what a book with gay kids as characters would look like!

CULTURAL STUDIES

Saturday, November 10th, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield hosts the Chief Konkapot Festival of Native American Culture and History. In the afternoon Jerry Thundercloud Macdonald will performing Mohawk stories, songs, and dance, and in the evening Joseph Firecrow and Northern Cheyenne flautist, singer, and songwriter (Grammy-nominated!) will perform.

The Chief Konkapot Festival of Native American Culture and History continues on Sunday, November 11th, with an afternoon performance features Larry Spotted Crow Mann, who will present Nipmuck stories, songs, and drumming alongside the Quabbin Lake Singers. Sandy Rhodes follows, sharing a presentation on traditional pow wow culture, dance, and regalia.

If you miss Joseph Firecrows performance at the Berkshire Museum, The Berkshire Community College Committee for Diversity will also host him in a free noontime performance on Monday at noon, November 12th in Pittsfield, and on Thursday evening, November 15th, the committee invites the public to come celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, at Bombay Bar and Grill in Lee.

PARENT WORKSHOPS

On Monday evening, November 12th, Childcare of the Berkshires is offering a free 3-week parenting workshop series for parents of children ages 5-12 in North Adams. Parents will learn tools for helping to develop independence, character, and responsibility in school-aged children, as well as strategies for positive discipline and effective communication.

Scott Noyes is presenting a free workshop on “Children’s Rivalry” on Tuesday evening, November 15th in Great Barrington. Learn how to help children with rivalry, competition for parent’s attention, resentfulness, envy and conflict.

Baystate Children’s Hospital hosts a free evening workshop for grandparents and parents-to-be on Wednesday, November 14th in West Springfield. Called, “Your Baby is Having a Baby,” the workshop will share information on maximizing your role as a grandparent and ways to be supportive to new parents.

COMMUNITY DINNERS

There are a host of community dinners happening this week! A couple we’ve featured this Saturday evening, November 10th, include the Monson-Glendale United Methodist Church’s Polish Dinner in Monson, and the Berkshire Trail Elementary School community dinner, featuring locally-made Ooma Tesoro’s pasta sauce and bread from Bread Euphoria (there will even be gluten-free pasta) in Cummington.

Also featured on Thursday evening, November 15th, are Faith United Methodist Church’s community spaghetti dinner in Chicopee, and in Ashfield the Bullitt Reservation’s community potluck and discussion on saving money and saving energy.

On Friday evening, November 16th, bring a dish to share (incorporate local foods if you can!) to a community potluck with C3 Deerfield (Creative Community Central) at the South Deerfield Congregational Church. Following dinner (at 6:30) will be workshops on making hula hoops and earrings.

DANCE

There are a few dance opportunities happening on Saturday, November 10th. In the morning, Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance is offering free trial classes for kids and parents in Greenfield. In the evening families can dance the night away at the Lander-Grinspoon Academy PTO’s Bake-and-Shake DJ Dance Party in Northampton, or learn square dances at the Chesterfield Grange community square dance.

Dancers from the Berkshire Albany Ballet present scenes from the nutcracker on Wednesday afternoon, November 14th at the Mason Library in Great Barrington, and on Friday evening, November 16th, the Northern Berkshire Contra Dance takes place at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown.

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about these events and over 100 other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events.

SUPPORTING BOOK TITLES

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