18 Community Highlights: Steampunk to Colonial Crafts. Family Films to Holiday Lights.

Apples were important in the diet of early Deerfield settlers- many homes even had their own orchards!  Learn about the varieties of apples grown and the dishes created with them at Historic Deerfield this weekend. There will also be a craft activity (from 12noon-4:30pm) where visitors can make their own apple pomander ornaments to take home.

Steampunk to Colonial Crafts. Family Films to Holiday Lights. Simplicity Parenting to Parent Cafe… 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!


HISTORY

Celebrate Thanksgiving 1830’s style at Old Sturbridge Village! This weekend, Nov. 24th-25th, there will be lots of special activities and demonstrations taking place throughout the village, offering visitors a chance to learn about early New Englanders’ Thanksgiving traditions. See demonstrations of tin-oven cooking, watch a shooting match, try your hand at colonial crafts, and learn about the many Thanksgivings celebrated throughout the year in early New England.

On Monday evening, Nov. 26th, the Wistariahurst Museum in Hoyloke presents, “Decoding the 12 Days of Christmas,” with Dr. Tom Bernard. The presentation will look at the historic roots of the lyrics of the classic Christmas carol, and will provide cultural context for each line, as well as basic history of the pilgrimages that took place during the Middle Ages. Best for older students.

SERVICE BASED LEARNING

Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night: Join Hilltown Families for an evening of volunteering together with your family during our first ever Family Community Service Night! On Friday, November 30th from 4:30-7:30pm in Northampton, families can come together for a fun evening visiting five different volunteer stations, each offering a simple, hands-on service project for all ages. Volunteering as a family helps children learn values like kindness, respect and friendliness, and on this evening you can volunteer with five different local non-profits in a single evening! Space is limited so reserve a spot for your family today!

MOVIE SCREENINGS

After all that eating on Thursday and shopping on Friday, why not relax and take in a movie with the kids on Saturday? The Lee Library screens recent blockbuster, Brave, in the morning, a movie about a fiery, feisty girl out to prove herself, and offers a refreshing change to the Disney female protagonist line-up. In the afternoon, Images Cinema in Williamstown screens the holiday classic, Home Alone! Find out what happens when an 8-year-old boy gets left at home while the rest of the family vacations for the holidays! And in the late afternoon and evening, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington is host their annual screening of the classic, The Wizard of Oz! It’s a classic film, and this is a rare opportunity to see it on the big screen.

If you want to take in something a little more intellectual, later in the week the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge offers a special screening of, Heirloom Meals: Savor the Holidays, a PBS production that focuses on the connections between food, family, and heritage. The production includes traditional recipes and stories of families’ handed-down ties to foods and takes place in the early evening on Friday, Nov. 30th. Great for older students with an interest in nutritional anthropology.

HOLIDAY HIGHLIGHTS

Throughout the holiday season, lights adorn trees, bushes, and buildings at Look Park in Florence! Visit the park’s Winter Wonderland Holiday Light Display to see a colorful light display – maybe even take a train ride through the park. Forest Park in Springfield is lit up for the holidays too! Springfield’s annual Bright Nights display features intricate, sparkly scenes throughout the park – there are elaborate displays, as well as decorative lights everywhere. Celebrate the holidays with a drive through the park to enjoy the festive displays.

Westfield lights up Monday night, Nov. 26th at the annual Lanternlight Parade and Greenlighting – marking the beginning of the city’s holiday celebrations.  Families can hear live music from Westfield High School students, and enjoy cookies and cocoa at a reception hosted by the Westfield Athenaeum Children’s Department.

The city of North Adams celebrates the first of the season’s Hometown Holidays events on Thursday evening, Nov. 29th, with a special community celebration featuring holiday crafts, face painting, carriage rides, ice art, live music, and more! Downtown businesses will be open, too, for early holiday shopping.

Light the Merry Maple with the Amherst Chamber of Commerce on Friday night, Nov. 30th in Amherst. The Amherst Regional Middle School chorus will perform, along with the UMass marching band, and there will be food, hayrides, and crafts, too. And in Pittsfield on Friday evening, families can begin their holiday season at the annual treelighting. The ceremony will feature the Taconic High School Chorus, a visit from Santa, and warm drinks for all.  The Berkshire Museum will be offering half-price admission during the tree lighting, too – visit to see this year’s Festival of Trees display!

ARTS & CRAFTS

The Westfield Athenaeum is hosting a free Steampunk workshop on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 24th, followed by an authentic Victorian Tea! Students in grades 6-12 can  learn about this pseudo-Victorian fashion and create their own Steampunk accessory. On Sunday afternoon, Nov. 25th, artist April Woodard-McNiff is offering a free 2-part printmaking workshop for kids at the Shutesbury Town Hall.

Later in the week on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 29th, the Monson Library hosts a free Knitting for Kids! Get your needles ready and learn very basic knitting skills. Kids can use what they learn to make scarves, head wraps, leg and arm warmers, potholders, and more – perhaps as a holiday gift!

PARENT WORKSHOPS

Greenfield Family Wellness is hosting a free workshop on Wednesday evening, Nov. 28th at the library at Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School in Shelburne Falls – and it’s coming just in time, since it’s about parenting during the holidays! “Simplicity Parenting for the Holidays,” will offer parents suggestions, strategies, and support for creating a plan for effective, simplifying parenting plans for the holiday season. On Thursday evening, Nov. 29th in North AdamsChildcare of the Berkshires’ Parent Cafe takes place. This monthly event includes a free catered dinner, and loosely structured time to talk with other parents about parenting strategies, and challenges faced while parenting.  And the Federation for Children with Special Needs is offering a free parent workshop in the rights of parents of children who are on IEP’s on Thursday evening, Nov. 29th. The seminar will be conducted in Spanish, and will take place at the Care Center in Holyoke.

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. All of our listed events are “suggested.” Please take a moment to confirm that these events are happening as scheduled, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.

SUPPORTING BOOK TITLES

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