Holiday Events for Families in Western MA: 2014

Find out about family holiday events in Western MA!
We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to
check back each week!

Friday, November 28th — Thursday, December 4th, 2014
Friday, December 5th — Thursday, December 11th, 2014
Friday, December 12th — Thursday, December 18th, 2014
Friday, December 19th — Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Berkshire CountyFranklin CountyHampden CountyHampshire County

Tree LightingSantaHoliday StrollsMYO GiftsCaroling/Choral MusicHanukkahChristmasKwanzaaWinter Solstice

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Friday, November 28th — Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Friday, November 28, 10am-5pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Springfield Museums’ annual event to welcome the holiday season is here! “Holiday Wonderland and Lighting of the Quadrangle” begins at 10am, with special exhibitions, performances, and hands-on art activities. Then, at 5pm, the Museums and the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden light up to welcome Santa Claus to town. There will be live music and carols, hot chocolate, snacks, and horse-drawn wagon rides. The Lighting of the Quadrangle (5pm-7pm) is free and open to the public, while the Holiday Wonderland (10am-5pm) is free with museum admission ($$). 1-800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA.

Friday, November 28, 10am-5pm – AVIATION/HOLIDAYS: The New England Air Museum is holding their annual Santa visit and behind-the-scenes event the day after Thanksgiving. Come to the museum to meet Santa and pose for photos with him in front of some historic aircraft. Visitors can also tour the museum behind-the-scenes – check out the research library collection, restoration projects, and tons of vintage aircraft. Great for all ages, especially those interested in aviation! 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Friday, November 28, 4pm-9pm – HOLIDAY WALK: The annual Moonlight Magic will be kicking off the holiday season in the village of Shelburne Falls! See the Lighting of the Village, meet Santa, hear local vocalists and instrumental groups, purchase from street vendors, go on trolley rides, and more. A great post Thanksgiving holiday tradition! Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Friday, November 28, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 29, 9am – SANTA: Don’t miss Yankee Candle’s holiday celebration for kids of all ages! Santa’s elves will entertain and then Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by helicopter at Yankee Candle Village (10am)! There will also be carolers, sleigh rides, holiday cheer, and much more! The event is free but some activities may have fees. 877-636-7707. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 29th at 9:30am – HOLIDAY PARADE: The Florence Holiday Parade steps off at Trinity Row and marches down towards the Civic Center!  Bring family and friends and come usher in the holidays with this fun parade.  Meet Santa and enjoy a festive morning. Downtown.  Florence, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 2pm & 7pm – CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Celebrate Christmas early at the Colonial Theatre! Berkshire Theatre Group presents Mary Verdi, a local singer-songwriter who annually performs for the holidays in the Berkshires. Families can sing along to old favorites, and the show will also feature Rev Tor, the Dalton Ballet Troupe, a local children’s choir, Berkshire Music School violinists, and Santa Claus. Families will love this special night of nostalgia and holiday music! Best for kids with audience skills. 413-997-4444. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 29, 2:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE/CHRISTMAS: Come see an animated movie (rated PG) based on Charles Dickens’ famous holiday novel at the Jones Library. Families can enjoy the movie together and get into the Christmas spirit! 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 29, 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Berkshire Bach Players are holding a Handel’s Messiah Sing-In at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington. All are welcome to come usher in the holidays and sign in this informal chorus. You are welcome to bring your own score or borrow one at the Church. This event would be best for older students interested in classical music. 413-528-9277. 251 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS WELCOME)

Saturday, November 29, 4:30pm-8pm – TREE LIGHTING: Kick off the holiday season in Holyoke at the city’s tree lighting ceremony! Come to City Hall for carriage rides, holiday songs, crafts, hot chocolate and cookies, and more. Santa will arrive by Polar Express in Heritage State Park (5pm) and the tree will be lit at City Hall shortly afterward. This is a fun way to welcome the holiday season to Holyoke! 413-322-5510. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 29, 5:30pm – PARADE/TREE LIGHTING: Westfield’s Dickens Days Lanternlight Parade and Tree Lighting take place in Downtown Westfield! The festive parade features music, community groups, puppets, Santa Claus, and more. Follow the parade down Elm Street to Park Square, where the mayor will light the city’s 20-foot tree. There will be cocoa, caroling, and a chance to meet Santa. Families are welcome to create their own puppets at the South Middle School cafeteria (West Silver Street) from 11am-1pm, and then show their puppets off in the parade! Celebrate the holidays and engage with your community on this special day. 413-562-2277. Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Sunday, November 30, 10am – CHRISTMAS PARADE: Get excited for Christmas at Yankee Candle’s Santa’s Holiday Parade. Enjoy sleigh rides, train rides, carolers, and and ice carving demonstration at this fun event. 877-636-7707. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, November 30, 10:30am-2:30pm – FAMILY MEAL/SANTA: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, November 30, 12noon-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Sunday, November 30, 5pm-9pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Monday, December 1, 9:30am-8pm – HOLIDAY GIFTS: Help a homeless child have a more joyous holiday season at the Giving Tree at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Come pick a tag off the tree and purchase a new gift for a homeless child from the Family Place Shelter in Holyoke. This is a great way to brighten someone’s holiday season. The Giving Tree will be in the library through December 17. 413-525-5400 x4. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (>$-$$)

Tuesday, December 2, 5:30-7:30pm – KWANZAA: The Malcolm X Cultural Center will host the Annual Kwanzaa Celebration.  This event is one of several signature cultural celebratory events for the campus community and the general public. At the UMass Amherst, Kwanzaa is co-supported by local African Diaspora Alum, faculty, staff and student organizations who lend their talents, scholarship and creative voices as a means of acknowledging current contributions by Africans, African Americans, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro Latinos to the global community. Takes place at the Student Union Ballroom and dinner is provided. 413-886-2375. 280 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, December 3, 10am-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Wednesday, December 3, 7pm – PERFORMANCE: Give thanks and celebrate the joys of the season at Bay Path University Performing Arts Department’s Winterfest! This annual tradition celebrates peace and features music, dance, poetry, song, and inspirational messages from spiritual leaders in the community. Best for older students and adults interested the performing arts. Takes place in Mills Theatre, Carr Hall on the Bay Path campus. 413-565-1307. 588 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 4, 5:45pm – CHRISTMAS CAROLS: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the 27th Annual Caroling on the Green event in the Elm Street Gazebo. Community members are welcome to attend and sing along! 413-263-3284. Elm Street. West Springfield, MA.

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Friday, December 5th — Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Friday, December 5, 4pm-6:30pm – TREE LIGHTING: Kick off the holiday season with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce as they light the Merry Maple tonight! There will be hayrides, crafts, a performance by the Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus, the Minuteman Marching Band parade, an appearance by Santa Claus, and more. This is an exciting annual event and a great way to spend time with family and friends of all ages! 413-253-0700. Downtown. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 5, 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.” This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 5, 5pm – CHRISTMAS STORIES: The Stockbridge Library, Museum, and Archives presents an evening of Christmas tales at the Taggart House on December 5. Come hear classic Christmas stories and get excited for the holidays. 413-298-5501. 18 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, December 5, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 5, 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: The town of Lenox will light their Christmas tree in Lilac Park on December 5! Come with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and meet with Santa. There will be cookies and hot chocolate at the Community Center. Route 7A. Lenox, MA.

Friday, December 5, 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Pittsfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is tonight at Park Square!  There will be performances by the Berkshire Hills Chorus and the Taconic High School Chorus before and after the ceremony, an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, free hot chocolate, and more.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to the Christian Center’s food pantry.  Downtown.  Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, December 5, 7pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Kick off the holiday season at Easthampton’s Holiday Stroll 2014! Leave from Maple Street School and stroll down Cottage Street to light two trees, then sing your way up Union and Main Street to Pulaski Park, where Santa will arrive to light the park and meet with children. There will be hot chocolate and cookies as well. Get excited for the holiday season at this fun community event! 413-527-9414. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 8:30am & 10:30am – BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Join the Westfield State University community for breakfast with Santa in Scanlon Banquet Hall. Admission to the meal includes breakfast, face painting, a gift for each child, and entertainment by the Melha clowns. A great way for families to spend time together with other community members. Tickets available here. 413-572-5218. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 9:30am & 11am – BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Come have breakfast with Santa at the Garden House at Look Park! The whole family will love this delicious breakfast buffet and enjoy having the opportunity to hang out with Santa. Reservations requested. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-12noon – SANTA: Get your photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Heritage Woods Assisted Living. There will be treats and activities for kids, and this is a good way for community members young and old to meet one another and spend time together spreading holiday cheer. 413-786-9704. 462 Main Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-12noon – SANTA: Join Atkins Farms Country Market for horse drawn wagon rides with Santa on December 6. Bring a camera and take photos with Santa, and decorate gingerbread cookies (10am-1pm; >$) in the bakery. Wagon rides are free with non-perishable food donation to Amherst Survival Center. 413-253-9528. Bay Road & Route 116. South Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-11:30am – HOLIDAY CARDS/ARTS & CRAFTS: Make your own holiday cards this season at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Ages 3 and up can visit the Art Studio to make six special cards, complete with envelopes. This is a great chance to get creative and give family and friends handmade cards that they will cherish. Space is limited; call to sign up. Cost is per pair/trio. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-2pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: The Center School’s annual Crafty Rumpus and Yggdrasil takes place today! Nature art and crafting projects plus an interactive, enchanted indoor forest! There will be food, a drumming circle, and a bonfire too. 413-773-1700. 71 Montague City Road (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-3pm – WINTER FAIR: The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is hosting a family book and craft fair at their new location in Easthampton. Kids and their parents will have the opportunity to do make their own crafts to gift for the holidays, and to look for books to gift or put on their wish list at the Scholastic book fair. This event offers an opportunity to make unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts for the holidays, while spending time with community members, family, and friends. 413-529-7178. 1 Industrial Parkway. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 10am-5pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: Shop local and handmade this holiday season at the Alchemy Initiative‘s Handmade Holiday Festival at Berkshire Community College’s Paterson Field House. Here you can find gifts for everyone on your list – the fair includes children’s goods, home goods, jewelry, accessories, fiber arts, ceramics, farm and food products, wellness products, fine art, photography, and paper goods. This annual fair is a great way to support local artists, artisans, and businesses this holiday season. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET)

Saturday, December 6, 11am & 1pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Celebrate the holidays with Mister G at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Mister G will perform songs from all his albums, which include a variety of genres – bluegrass, bossa nova, funk, folk, and more. Kids of all ages will love this fun concert! 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-11:30am – HOLIDAY STORYTIME: As part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, the Stockbridge Library is hosting a children’s holiday storytime at their train station location. Kids can come hear favorite holiday stories! 413-298-5501. 2 Depot Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-4pm – YULETIDE: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowton Village’s Yuletide! This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment. There will be traditional music, storytelling, craft demonstrations, ice sculpting, a Sweet Shoppe, kids’ crafts, Santa, and more. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-4pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Explore some of Stockbridge’s historic homes and properties as part of Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas on this Holiday House Tour. The self-guided tour will take you to Undermountain Mansion, Ventfort Hall Mansion, the Ripley House, Elm Court Estate, October Mountain Farm, and Cherry Cottage. Discover local history and learn about the Stockbridge of the past on this tour. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Chamber of Commerce or on the day of at the Red Lion Inn. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 1pm-4pm – LEGOS: Have fun with LEGOs at “Santa’s Workshop” at the Center Church on December 6. Kids can come play games and get creative using LEGOs to build sleighs, presents, and trees for the holiday season. Go to the Bricks 4 Kidz website for more information and to register. 413-345-8035. 1 Church Street. South Hadley, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 3pm-5pm – CHRISTMAS COOKIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun decorating cookies with Santa at the Norman Rockwell Museum on December 6. Santa will be at the museum to help visitors decorate cookies, and there will also be holiday music and gallery talks about Norman Rockwell’s holiday art. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 3pm-5:30pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Williamstown’s 31st Annual Holiday Walk includes fun activities for the whole family! The Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, where Williamstown’s cutest dogs stroll down Spring Street in their holiday best. You can then go see Santa, a holiday bake-off at The Log, do some cookie decorating, see the tree lighting, and more. There will also be live music throughout the day, a toy drive, caroling, and more. A full schedule and list of events can be found here. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 3:30pm-5pm – CHRISTMAS CAROLS: Enjoy Christmas carols and holiday cheer at Williamsburg’s Caroling on the Green, outside Florence Savings Bank. Come for carols, cocoa, and horse-drawn wagon rides. A great way to celebrate the holidays with your community! Main Street. Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols. In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story. Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries. 413-597-4277. Route 2. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.” This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 6pm – SANTA/COMMUNITY MEAL: Enjoy dinner with Santa at St. Mary’s School on December 6! There will be delicious food, face painting, elves, carolers, pictures with Santa, and more. Call for tickets. 413-243-1079. Orchard Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 6pm-7pm – CAROLING: Participate in the Caroling Luminaria Walk as part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festivities. Meet in front of the Red Lion Inn with your flashlight or candle, sing carols, and walk to the First Congregational Church with luminarias. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: Celebrate the holidays at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge at the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Holiday Concert. There will be performances by the Berkshire Lyric Chorus, the Blafield Children’s Chorus, and others. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents Home for the Follidays, a festive family concert featuring performances by Jeans ‘n Classics Vocalists and the Springfield Symphony Chorus. They will perform traditional and classic holiday music, including carols, fun Christmas songs, Hanukkah songs, winter-themed songs, and more. There will also be a silent auction. Tickets available in advance. 413-773-2291. 34 Court Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – THEATER: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play! The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more. This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas! Runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 28. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 7, 10am-11:30am – HANUKKAH CRAFTS: Kids ages 3-5 can do some hands-on crafts at Lander-Grinspoon Academy. Make Hanukkah decorations for your home or to gift to others at this fun event, which allows gets to get creative. 413-586-7550. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 10am-3pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: Shop local and handmade this holiday season at the Alchemy Initiative‘s Handmade Holiday Festival at Berkshire Community College’s Paterson Field House. Here you can find gifts for everyone on your list – the fair includes children’s goods, home goods, jewelry, accessories, fiber arts, ceramics, farm and food products, wellness products, fine art, photography, and paper goods. This annual fair is a great way to support local artists, artisans, and businesses this holiday season. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET)

Sunday, December 7, 10:30am-2:30pm – FAMILY MEAL/SANTA: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 11am-4pm – YULETIDE: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowton Village’s Yuletide! This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment. There will be traditional music, storytelling, craft demonstrations, ice sculpting, a Sweet Shoppe, kids’ crafts, Santa, and more. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 12noon-2pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Recreation is December 7. Stroll down Main Street and see it as it was when Norman Rockwell painted his famous painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.” Antique cars will be parked along the street, and there will be music, carols, Christmas food, Roger the Jester, kids’ activities, and visits with Santa. This holiday event allows you to get an idea of what Stockbridge was like in the past, while celebrating the present-day town and the upcoming holidays. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 7, 12noon-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Sunday, December 7, 1pm-3pm – HANUKKAH/DIY: Build your own menorah for Hanukkah this year at Home Depot in West Springfield with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. This is a great chance for kids to do a hands-on project, and there will also be Home Depot aprons for participants, music, and fresh donuts. Make a menorah to use at your own Hanukkah ceremony or to gift to others at this fun and educational hands-on event. 413-567-8665. 179 Daggett Drive. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 1pm-3:30pm – HISTORY: See the Keep Homestead Museum decorated for the holidays and learn about life in the past, especially during the holiday season. Tour the house and see items collected by the Keep family, including furniture, silver and cut glass, rock collections, quilts, a button collection, and more. This is a great chance for families to learn about life in the past in western Massachusetts. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

Sunday, December 7, 2pm-3:30pm – HOLIDAY TEA: Get in the holiday spirit at the Wistariahurst Museum’s Holiday Tea. Sip tea in Belle’s Music Room and enjoy the sounds of grand piano music, played by David Stukus. Come with family and friends to enjoy this traditional holiday tea, and see the mansion in its festive holiday decor. There will be tea, sweets, and choral music as well. The shop will also be open to find some unique holiday gifts. Space is limited; make reservations by December 1. 413-332-5660. 328 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 2:30pm – HOLIDAY TEA/BALLET: Sugar Plum Fairy Tea at The Clarion Hotel in Northampton. Dust off your shoes and shine your tiara! You and your child will delight in dainty treats, delicate sweets, and a visit from The Sugar Plum Fairy. PVB ballet dancers will share their ballet skills, read a story with you, and present a short performance. This event is a fundraiser for Pioneer Valley Ballet. As a non-profit, PVB relies on the generosity of their community and special events to support their valuable programming like The Nutcracker. Join them at The Clarion Hotel for a very special wintry tea party. Reservations Required: $25 per person, seating at 2:30. www.pioneervalleyballet.tix.com Northampton, MA ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols. In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story. Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries. 413-597-4277. Route 2. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 4pm & 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: Two Christmas Vespers concerts—a beloved Mount Holyoke College tradition—will be presented in Abbey Chapel. The event will begin, as it has for decades, with a traditional Gregorian chant as the College’s Glee Club processes through the chapel by candlelight. The program will include many different seasonal choral works. Mount Holyoke Vespers dates back to the late 1800s, and has long been a popular event in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. 413-538-2809. Mount Holyoke College. 50 College Street South. South Hadley, MA

Sunday, December 7, 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.” This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 5pm-9pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Santa will arrive by fire engine to help with Lenox Dale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Memorial Park on December 7! Kids will have a chance to meet Santa and pose for photos at the Fire Station (Elm Street), where gifts and refreshments will be distributed. This fun community holiday event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company. 413-637-5542. Walker Street & Crystal Street. Lenox Dale, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 7pm – CHRISTMAS MUSIC: As part of Westfield’s Dickens Days, the Fanfare Brass Choir will lead a Christmas Sing-a-Long at the Episcopal Church of Atonement. Come by to hear and sing along to classic Christmas songs! 413-562-2277. 35 Court Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 10, 10am-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Wednesday, December 10, 3:30pm-4:30pm – HOLIDAY CRAFTS: Kids can stop by the Forbes Library children’s department to make a cool gift for the holidays. Make some unique greeting cards or ornaments that you can gift to others this holiday season. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 10, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Wednesday, December 10, 6pm-8pm – YULETIDE/HISTORY: Celebrate Yuletide by Lantern Light at Storrowton Village. Go on a self-guided tour of the Village, which will be decorate for the holidays in a traditional way. Learn about what the holiday season was like in New England in the past at this unique event. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (>$)

Thursday, December 11, 7:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Come see Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the Mullins Center on December 11! This performance features costumed artists who perform amazing feats, like gingerbread men flipping in the air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires, snowmen balancing, reindeer soaring, and much more. This is a fun holiday circus performance for the whole family. Tickets available in advance. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. ($$$)

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Friday, December 12th — Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Friday, December 12, 4pm & 6:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet at the Wistariahurst Museum. This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance. Please purchase tickets in advance. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Friday, December 12, 4pm & 7:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then. Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its annual performance of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre this December. This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music. It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$-$$$)

Friday, December 12, 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.” This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 12, 5pm-10pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The annual It’s a Wonderful Night happens in downtown Turners Falls on December 12. Join in for a holiday event featuring festive storefront windows, live music, art exhibitions, performances, restaurant specials, opportunities to buy local gifts, and more. Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, December 12, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 12, 7:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE/PERFORMANCE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration consists of delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light this winter. The show is in its 30th year, and this year, it is about a small English village in medieval times. Young villagers steal from the rich and give to the poor so everyone can have a plentiful Christmas. All ages can enjoy the Welcome Yule’s signature carols, festivities, the passing of the yule log, stick dancing, a mummers play, and the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. The performance takes place at the Shea Theater. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Friday, December 12, 7:30pm – THEATER: Westfield Theatre Group presents a production of A Christmas Carol this December at the Westfield Woman’s Club. Come see this Charles Dickens classic and get into the holiday spirit. Reservations available. 413-572-6838. 28 Court Street. Westfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 9am & 11am – BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Join the Pulaski Club of Easthampton for Breakfast with Santa at the Pulaski Club. There will be pancakes and toppings for breakfast, and appearances by Santa, the Grinch, elves, Frosty the Snowman, and others. There are seatings at 9am and 11am and each child will receive a small gift from Santa. This event is a fundraiser for the Easthampton Toy Program. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 413-527-9847. 79 Maple Street. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 9:30am-4:30pm – HISTORY: Celebrate the holidays with Historic Deerfield this December. See an open hearth cooking demonstration about sugar and spice, make gifts for the holidays, decorate gingerbread cookies, and go on a horse-drawn wagon ride. There will also be a demonstration of letterpress printing by Carl Darrow, who owns a press in Conway. Historic Deerfield’s Heritage Holiday activities are a great way to experience what the holiday season was like in the past in New England. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-12noon – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION/FUNDRAISER: Have fun with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Easthampton Family Center‘s annual holiday event, “Milk and Cookies with Santa.” Enjoy a holiday sing along, craft activities, stories with Mrs. Claus, photos with Santa, milk and cookies, and more. Each child who attends will also receive a free book! Takes place in the Old Town Hall. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-12noon – HIKING/SANTA: Spend this morning on a special half-mile hike with Santa at Bartholomew’s Cobble! Kids can learn about nature and the wonders of winter while spending time friends, parents, and Santa. Adults free; cost for children includes a present. Please RSVP. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-2pm – HOLIDAY FESTIVAL: Pittsfield’s Upstreet Holiday Festival takes place December 13 and 20 in the Palace Park parking lot. There will be activities for all, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, train rides from Roaming Railroad, live music, crafts, face painting, cookie decorating, a holiday photo booth, and food for sale. This is a fun way to celebrate the holidays as a community! 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 10am-3pm – MYO GIFTS: The Montague Common Hall is holding a Make and Take Crafting Event on December 13. Teachers will lead kids in making gifts for the holidays, like magnets, beeswax candles, spin art, juggling balls, snow globes, shrinky dink ornaments, and more. This is a great chance for kids to make unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends this holiday season. Food will also be available for purchase. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-4:30pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The 9th Annual Special Day in Northfield takes place December 13 and features tons of fun events for the whole family. This old fashioned holiday celebration features horse-drawn hay rides, live music, MYO crafts, shopping on Main Street, time with Santa, food for sale, traditional Christmas stories, a children’s theater performance, and much more. Fun for all ages! Main Street. Northfield, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 10:30am – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: The Carnegie Library is hosting a gingerbread party for all ages. Come make gingerbread houses and have fun with family and friends at this hands-on holiday program. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 13, 11am, 1pm, & 2pm – CHRISTMAS/HISTORY: Learn about the Christmas traditions of Emily Dickinson’s family at the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Dickensian Christmas with the Dickinsons event. Explore the Homestead and the Evergreens and see traditional decorations, hear seasonal music, and see new objects on exhibit. At the end of the tour, hear Tony Abbott read from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Visitors will also receive a holiday token for attending this special tour. Reservations are recommended. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 11:30am, 2pm, & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet at the Wistariahurst Museum. This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance. Please purchase tickets in advance. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 12noon – SANTA/CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES: The Deerfield Recreation Department is holding a Santa’s Workshop event at Deerfield Elementary School. There will be craft activities (12noon-3pm), Santa will arrive by firetruck (12:30pm), a Mad Science Holidaze show (1pm-2pm), and a chance to make holiday cards for veterans. Please bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Food Bank. There will also be food available. 413-665-1400 x107. 21 Pleasant Street. South Deerfield, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 13, 12noon-2pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: Kids can come to Whole Foods Market in Hadley to decorate gingerbread houses! Have fun and get creative with this festive holiday project. 413-586-9932. 327 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 13, 1pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then. Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its annual performance of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre this December. This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music. It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$-$$$)

Saturday, December 13, 2pm & 7pm: CELTIC NUTCRACKER: This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to either the matinee performance at 2pm or the evening performance at 7pm on Saturday, December 13th at Bowker Auditorium, UMass, in Amherst. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music by the Celtic Music Academy of MA this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves The Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $11-$20 and are available at www.ACelticNutcracker.com Amherst, MA ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 1pm-2pm – THE GRINCH: The East Longmeadow Public Library is holding their third annual Grinch Gala today! Have holiday snacks, play games, hear Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas read aloud, and then enjoy a screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. All ages. Please register. 413-525-5400 x1511. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 1:30pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: All ages can come decorate magnificent gingerbread houses at Stanton Hall. Come make buildings of Huntington, Massachusetts, the United States, or the world at this fun, hands-on event. 413-667-0085. Huntington, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 2pm – CHRISTMAS STORYTIME: Merry Grinch-mas! Come to Odyssey Books for a special storytime with the Grinch himself! Hear Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and get giveaways, pins, stickers, snacks, and more. You can even get your picture taken with the Grinch! Grinch-mas is a new holiday meant to inspire and encourage readers to “grow your heart three sizes” through family reading and giving from the heart. You can also play good deed bingo at this event and help Random House donate books to children in need. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 13, 2pm – SANTA: Greet Santa in West Springfield’s Mittineague Park on December 13! Santa will arrive on the 13th and then he will be at Santa’s House in the park every evening until Christmas. Come see him arrive or visit him weeknights from 5:30pm-7:30pm or on weekends from 2:30pm-4pm or 5:30pm-7:30pm. 413-263-3284. Route 20. West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 2pm & 7:30pm – THEATER: Westfield Theatre Group presents a production of A Christmas Carol this December at the Westfield Woman’s Club. Come see this Charles Dickens classic and get into the holiday spirit. Reservations available. 413-572-6838. 28 Court Street. Westfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 2:30pm-3:30pm – CHRISTMAS/HISTORY: Learn about the classic holiday song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and its possible hidden meaning at the Jones Library on December 13. Dr. Thomas Bernard will present “The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Mystery and Meaning,” which will address the possible symbolism and coded story within the song. Older students and adults can learn the history of the song at this program. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 13, 3:30pm – MUSIC: Dickens Days presents WinterFest at Westfield State University’s Dever Stage. The Westfield State Chorus, Big Band, and Ensembles will perform, along with the Young Singers of Greater Westfield, the Greater Westfield Choral Association, and the Do Re Mi Singers. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Westfield Volunteers in Public Schools. 413-572-8323. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 13, 4pm – PERFORMANCE: Local composer David Anderegg will present his folk opera, “The Beasts,” on December 13 at Old Parish Church in Sheffield. Based on the European tradition that animals can speak on Christmas Eve, this story includes a parrot, a goldfish, a wolf, a puppy, their owner Joseph and his girlfriend, and an angel. The choral work is performed by Quintessential, and proceeds benefit the Berkshire Humane Society, the Sheffield Food Program, and Breaking Bread Kitchen in Great Barrington. 125 South Main Street. Sheffield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 4pm-8pm – DINNER WITH SANTA: Amazing Moms of Westside is hosting a holiday dinner with Santa. There will be holiday music, food, photos with Santa, and a raffle. Some proceeds go to Shriners Children’s Hospital. Email amazingmomsofwestside@yahoo.com for tickets. 63 Park Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 13, 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.” This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 7pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform their Annual Family Holiday Concert at Deerfield Academy’s Hess Center for the Arts. There will be performances by the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Deerfield Choral Society, and the Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra. They will perform holiday classics that everyone will enjoy! Tickets available in advance. 7 Boyden Lane. Deerfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 7:30pm – THEATER: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play! The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more. This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas! Runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 28. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

Saturday, December 13, 7:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE/PERFORMANCE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration consists of delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light this winter. The show is in its 30th year, and this year, it is about a small English village in medieval times. Young villagers steal from the rich and give to the poor so everyone can have a plentiful Christmas. All ages can enjoy the Welcome Yule’s signature carols, festivities, the passing of the yule log, stick dancing, a mummers play, and the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. The performance takes place at the Shea Theater. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Sunday, December 14, 9:30am-4:30pm – HISTORY: Celebrate the holidays with Historic Deerfield this December. See an open hearth cooking demonstration about sugar and spice, make gifts for the holidays, decorate gingerbread cookies, and go on a horse-drawn wagon ride. Historic Deerfield’s Heritage Holiday activities are a great way to experience what the holiday season was like in the past in New England. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 14, 10:30am-2:30pm – FAMILY MEAL/SANTA: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 14, 11am-12:30pm – HANUKKAH: Kids ages 6-11 can have some Hanukkah fun at Kids in Action at Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. Kids can wrap presents, make doughnuts, and participate in a Hanukkah scavenger hunt. Email Rabbi Cohen at info@lya.org to RSVP. 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA.

Sunday, December 14, 12noon-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Sunday, December 14, 1pm – HANUKKAH CELEBRATION: Families can celebrate Hanukkah at the Yiddish Book Center at “The Magic Dreidel: A Hanukkah Celebration with the Grumbling Gryphons.” This traveling theater group will present the story of Hanukkah with music, masks, storytelling, and audience participation at 2pm. This is a great way for kids to learn about the story of Hanukkah in a fun and engaging way. At 1pm, author Martha Seif Simpson will read from her picture book, The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 14, 1pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then. Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its annual performance of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre this December. This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music. It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 14, 1pm-3pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: Celebrate the holidays and exercise your creativity at the Lenox Library’s 10th Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Silent Auction. This year’s theme is “Nutcracker Sweet Home” and there will be entries by chefs, groups, and individuals of all ages. Judges will award prizes in several categories, and each house will be auctioned off to benefit the library after the competition. To learn more about the competition and how to enter, please contact the library. If you plan on entering, please register by December 8. 413-637-2630. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm – THEATER: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play! The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more. This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas! Runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 28. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm – WINTER SOLSTICE/PERFORMANCE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration consists of delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light this winter. The show is in its 30th year, and this year, it is about a small English village in medieval times. Young villagers steal from the rich and give to the poor so everyone can have a plentiful Christmas. All ages can enjoy the Welcome Yule’s signature carols, festivities, the passing of the yule log, stick dancing, a mummers play, and the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. The performance takes place at the Shea Theater. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm – CHRISTMAS MOVIE: Amherst Cinema is screening The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992; rated G) this December. This fun movie is a retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. All ages will love the muppets’ entertaining take on this Christmas story! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm-3pm – CHRISTMAS: Look Park’s Tea and Trains event gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy tea in a Victorian Christmas setting. Enjoy tea and pastries in the Garden House, which is decorated for the holiday season, filled with snow villages and model trains. This is a fun holiday event that gives you a glimpse of Christmas in Victorian times. Call to make a reservation. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet at the Wistariahurst Museum. This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance. Please purchase tickets in advance. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 14, 3pm – SANTA: Come meet Santagingerbread houses at Stanton Hall! Hang out with family, friends, and community members, and do fun holiday crafts, while waiting for Santa to arrive by firetruck. 413-667-0085. Huntington, MA.

Sunday, December 14, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 14, 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.” This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 14, 5pm-9pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 14, 6pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the holidays at the Easthampton Holiday Whobalation at the rotary center. There will be music, hot chocolate, singing, and more, so come have some fun like the Whos in Whoville! Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate to the Community Center. Easthampton, MA.

Monday, December 15, 2pm-3pm – CHRISTMAS: Look Park’s Tea and Trains event gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy tea in a Victorian Christmas setting. Enjoy tea and pastries in the Garden House, which is decorated for the holiday season, filled with snow villages and model trains. This is a fun holiday event that gives you a glimpse of Christmas in Victorian times. Call to make a reservation. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($)

Monday, December 15, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Tuesday, December 16, 9:30am – HOLIDAYS: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack. This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit. Please register in advance. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 16, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Tuesday, December 16, 5pm – HANUKKAH: Kick off this year’s Hanukkah celebration at the Springfield Jewish Community Center’s First Light Community-wide Celebration! There will be family-friendly activities like games, crafts, and music, followed by the lighting of the largest menorah in western Massachusetts at 6:15pm! This is a great way to celebrate Hanukkah with the community. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 16, 7pm – CHRISTMAS MOVIE: Amherst Cinema is screening The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992; rated G) this December. This fun movie is a retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. All ages will love the muppets’ entertaining take on this Christmas story! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Tuesday, December 16, 7pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Enjoy a Christmas comedy show at Eastworks – Surly Santa, starring Seth Lepore of The Seth Show. This satirical show features special guests and each show is different and based on audience suggestions. See here for more info. 116 Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA. (>$)

Tuesday, December 16, 7pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, December 17, 10am-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Wednesday, December 17, 3:30pm-4:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids of all ages can make their own holiday ornaments at the Lenox Library on December 17. This is a fun chance for kids to make something that can decorate their home! 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 17, 4pm – HOLIDAY STORYTIME: Join the Monson Free Library for their 18th Annual Holiday Story Hour with Senator Brewer. Come hear holiday stories and wish the Senator well in his retirement. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.

Wednesday, December 17, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Wednesday, December 17, 5:30pm – HANUKKAH DINNER: The Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy PTO is hosting a Chanukah Dinner for families. There will be a pasta and meat sauce dinner (with vegan option), a Bubble Trouble performance by Jeff Boyer, and a student Chanukah performance. Come celebrate Hanukkah with community members at this fun event! Call for reservations. 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Wednesday, December 17, 6pm – HOLIDAYS: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack. This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit. Please register in advance. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 17, 7pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, December 17, 7pm – HANUKKAH/SPORTS: Celebrate Hanukkah with the Springfield Jewish Community Center at their Hanukkah Hoops event! All ages can come play basketball at this fun event. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

Thursday, December 18, 12:15pm – CHRISTMAS/HISTORY: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “Victorian Christmas Traditions,” with Anne Barrett. Barrett will teach about some Christmas traditions from 1895 by dressing up “Victoria Yule” and telling you all about the gifts she and her family will be exchanging, her meal plans, and the history of Christmas trees and cards. Discover how many of our current Christmas traditions are rooted in the Victorian era at this fun and festive program. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (>$)

Thursday, December 18, 1:30pm – HANUKKAH CELEBRATION: Celebrate Hanukkah with the Springfield Jewish Community Center and guests who are age 90 and older at the Bobbie Levin Nifty 90s Celebration! Special guests aged 90 and up will be present, along with previous honorees, who will receive gifts and citations from Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. There will be refreshments and music. This is an opportunity for community members of all ages to meet one another. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

Thursday, December 18, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Thursday, December 18, 6pm – HOLIDAYS: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack. This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit. Please register in advance. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 18, 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, December 18, 7:30pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Thursday, December 18, 8pm – THEATER/CHRISTMAS: Old Deerfield Productions presents A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music Theatre this holiday season. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story come to life with comedy, drama, music, and dance. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

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Friday, December 19th — Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Friday, December 19, 9:30am – HOLIDAYS: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack. This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit. Please register in advance. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 19, 10am – HANUKKAH: Young kids can celebrate Hanukkah with the Springfield Jewish Community Center at their Early Learning Center Shabbat/Hanukkah Celebration. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

Friday, December 19, 3:45pm – CAROLING/COMMUNITY MEAL: Sing Christmas carols with community members in Worthington this holiday season! The Worthington Recreation Committee is sponsoring a town-wide caroling event on the 19th. The caroling bus leaves the RH Conwell School at 3:45, and then returns at 6pm for a community potluck supper. You can also request a carol for yourself or someone else. 413-238-5577. 147 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA.

Friday, December 19, 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.” This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 19, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 19, 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Friday, December 19, 7pm & 8:15pm – STORYTELLING/CHRISTMAS: Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk will tell Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol, at the Spectrum Playhouse on December 19. The show is complete with musical accompaniment. All proceeds benefit the Lee High Drama Department. Tickets available in advance. 413-329-6346. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 19, 8pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 19, 8pm – THEATER/CHRISTMAS: Old Deerfield Productions presents A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music Theatre this holiday season. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story come to life with comedy, drama, music, and dance. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20 from 10am-12:30pm – CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: Sláinte is holding a “Cookies and Milk with Santa” event for kids!  There will be face painting, balloon sculptures, letters to Santa, Christmas carols, and an opportunity for kids to meet Santa himself.  Kids will love this fun Christmas celebration!  Please bring one unwrapped gift for the Rotary for Children’s Toy Drive.  413-534-4000.  80 Jarvis Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 20, 10am-2pm – HOLIDAY FESTIVAL: Pittsfield’s Upstreet Holiday Festival takes place December 13 and 20 in the Palace Park parking lot. There will be activities for all, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, train rides from Roaming Railroad, live music, crafts, face painting, cookie decorating, a holiday photo booth, and food for sale. This is a fun way to celebrate the holidays as a community! 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, December 20, 1pm & 4pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Santa Show” at Northampton High School. This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family! 413-210-1898. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm – FILM/CHRISTMAS: Enjoy a screening of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) at Amherst Cinema this holiday season. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm & 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm & 8pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm & 8pm – THEATER/CHRISTMAS: Old Deerfield Productions presents A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music Theatre this holiday season. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story come to life with comedy, drama, music, and dance. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20, 3pm-5pm – GIFT EXCHANGE/HOLIDAY PARTY: The Jones Library Teen Advisory Board is holding a White Elephant Gift Exchange and Holiday Party on December 20. Bring a wrapped gift (that cost $5 or less) and exchange presents and have holiday fun with friends! There will be refreshments. 413-259-3091. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, December 20, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20, 7:30pm – CHRISTMAS CONCERT: The Berkshire Lyric Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus come together on December 20 for “Called by Angels,” a Christmas concert at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The concert features classic Christmas songs and is a great holiday event for the whole family. 413-499-0258. 67 East Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 21 at 9am – HANUKKAH/COMMUNITY MEAL: B’Nai Torah is holding their annual Katz Family Chanukah Breakfast!  There will be food, entertainment, a featuring guest entertainer, Mark Binder.  Spend time with family and friends at this fun community meal.  413-567-0036.  2 Eunice Drive.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 21, 10:30am-2:30pm – FAMILY MEAL/SANTA: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 21, 11am-2pm – HANUKKAH: Join Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy for their Chanukah Wonderland event! Families can have fun with crafts, games, face painting, and other Hanukkah activities. There will also be a performance by ventriloquist Dana Perkins, and food will be sold. Celebrate Hanukkah with friends, family, and community members at this fun event! 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA.

Sunday, December 21, 12noon-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Sunday, December 21, 1pm & 4pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Santa Show” at Northampton High School. This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family! 413-210-1898. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 21, 2pm – THEATER/CHRISTMAS: Old Deerfield Productions presents A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music Theatre this holiday season. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story come to life with comedy, drama, music, and dance. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 21, 2pm & 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, December 21, 2pm & 7pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 21, 4pm-9pm – COLONIAL CHRISTMAS: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.” This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest, Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more. This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 21, 4:30pm – HANUKKAH: Celebrate Hanukkah this year at the Fire on Ice event at Longmeadow Shops – arrive at 4:30pm to see a giant menorah carved out of ice! And then stick around to see it lit (5pm). There will also be live music, dreidels, food, a raffle, and more. 413-567-8665. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 21, 5-7pm – CHANUKAH CELEBRATIONCongregation B’nai Israel welcomes the public to a joyous Chanukah celebration filled with music, storytelling, communal candle lighting and latkes. 413-584-3593 x203. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. >$

Sunday, December 21, 5pm-9pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through January 4. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 21, 6pm-8:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Celebrate the shortest day of the year at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary! This annual winter solstice celebration features music, a bonfire, hot drinks, and fun for all ages. Please bring a nonperishable food item for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 21, 7pm – FILM/CHRISTMAS: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is screening It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). This classic Christmas film will delight all ages and get everyone in the Christmas spirit! 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 22, 4pm – HANUKKAH: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the annual Chanukah Celebration today in the Majestic Theater Lobby Cafe. Celebrate Hanukkah with community members at this special event. 413-263-3284. Elm Street. West Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 22, 4pm – HANUKKAH/DIY: Preschoolers and their families can make their own Hanukkah candles with the Springfield Jewish Community Center! This is a fun hands-on project that will be useful during the Hanukkah holiday. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 22, 7pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Monday, December 22, 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Tuesday, December 23, 2pm – FILM/CHRISTMAS: Enjoy a screening of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) at Amherst Cinema this holiday season. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Wednesday, December 24, 10am-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

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Berkshire County

FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. The Festival of Trees is an annual fundraiser for the Museum’s educational programs, and it is open every day through Sunday, January 4. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA ($)

Saturday, November 29, 2pm & 7pm – CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Celebrate Christmas early at the Colonial Theatre! Berkshire Theatre Group presents Mary Verdi, a local singer-songwriter who annually performs for the holidays in the Berkshires. Families can sing along to old favorites, and the show will also feature Rev Tor, the Dalton Ballet Troupe, a local children’s choir, Berkshire Music School violinists, and Santa Claus. Families will love this special night of nostalgia and holiday music! Best for kids with audience skills. 413-997-4444. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 29, 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Berkshire Bach Players are holding a Handel’s Messiah Sing-In at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington. All are welcome to come usher in the holidays and sign in this informal chorus. You are welcome to bring your own score or borrow one at the Church. This event would be best for older students interested in classical music. 413-528-9277. 251 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS WELCOME)

Friday, December 5, 5pm – CHRISTMAS STORIES: The Stockbridge Library, Museum, and Archives presents an evening of Christmas tales at the Taggart House on December 5. Come hear classic Christmas stories and get excited for the holidays. 413-298-5501. 18 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, December 5, 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: The town of Lenox will light their Christmas tree in Lilac Park on December 5! Come with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and meet with Santa. There will be cookies and hot chocolate at the Community Center. Route 7A. Lenox, MA.

Friday, December 5, 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Pittsfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is tonight at Park Square!  There will be performances by the Berkshire Hills Chorus and the Taconic High School Chorus before and after the ceremony, an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, free hot chocolate, and more.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to the Christian Center’s food pantry.  Downtown.  Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 10am-5pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: Shop local and handmade this holiday season at the Alchemy Initiative‘s Handmade Holiday Festival at Berkshire Community College’s Paterson Field House. Here you can find gifts for everyone on your list – the fair includes children’s goods, home goods, jewelry, accessories, fiber arts, ceramics, farm and food products, wellness products, fine art, photography, and paper goods. This annual fair is a great way to support local artists, artisans, and businesses this holiday season. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-11:30am – HOLIDAY STORYTIME: As part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, the Stockbridge Library is hosting a children’s holiday storytime at their train station location. Kids can come hear favorite holiday stories! 413-298-5501. 2 Depot Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-4pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Explore some of Stockbridge’s historic homes and properties as part of Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas on this Holiday House Tour. The self-guided tour will take you to Undermountain Mansion, Ventfort Hall Mansion, the Ripley House, Elm Court Estate, October Mountain Farm, and Cherry Cottage. Discover local history and learn about the Stockbridge of the past on this tour. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Chamber of Commerce or on the day of at the Red Lion Inn. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 3pm-5pm – CHRISTMAS COOKIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Have fun decorating cookies with Santa at the Norman Rockwell Museum on December 6. Santa will be at the museum to help visitors decorate cookies, and there will also be holiday music and gallery talks about Norman Rockwell’s holiday art. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 3pm-5:30pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Williamstown’s 31st Annual Holiday Walk includes fun activities for the whole family! The Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, where Williamstown’s cutest dogs stroll down Spring Street in their holiday best. You can then go see Santa, a holiday bake-off at The Log, do some cookie decorating, see the tree lighting, and more. There will also be live music throughout the day, a toy drive, caroling, and more. A full schedule and list of events can be found here. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols. In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story. Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries. 413-597-4277. Route 2. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 6pm – SANTA/COMMUNITY MEAL: Enjoy dinner with Santa at St. Mary’s School on December 6! There will be delicious food, face painting, elves, carolers, pictures with Santa, and more. Call for tickets. 413-243-1079. Orchard Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 6pm-7pm – CAROLING: Participate in the Caroling Luminaria Walk as part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festivities. Meet in front of the Red Lion Inn with your flashlight or candle, sing carols, and walk to the First Congregational Church with luminarias. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: Celebrate the holidays at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge at the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Holiday Concert. There will be performances by the Berkshire Lyric Chorus, the Blafield Children’s Chorus, and others. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – THEATER: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play! The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more. This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas! Runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 28. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 7, 10am-3pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: Shop local and handmade this holiday season at the Alchemy Initiative‘s Handmade Holiday Festival at Berkshire Community College’s Paterson Field House. Here you can find gifts for everyone on your list – the fair includes children’s goods, home goods, jewelry, accessories, fiber arts, ceramics, farm and food products, wellness products, fine art, photography, and paper goods. This annual fair is a great way to support local artists, artisans, and businesses this holiday season. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET)

Sunday, December 7, 12noon-2pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Recreation is December 7. Stroll down Main Street and see it as it was when Norman Rockwell painted his famous painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.” Antique cars will be parked along the street, and there will be music, carols, Christmas food, Roger the Jester, kids’ activities, and visits with Santa. This holiday event allows you to get an idea of what Stockbridge was like in the past, while celebrating the present-day town and the upcoming holidays. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 7, 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols. In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story. Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries. 413-597-4277. Route 2. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Santa will arrive by fire engine to help with Lenox Dale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Memorial Park on December 7! Kids will have a chance to meet Santa and pose for photos at the Fire Station (Elm Street), where gifts and refreshments will be distributed. This fun community holiday event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company. 413-637-5542. Walker Street & Crystal Street. Lenox Dale, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 10am-12noon – HIKING/SANTA: Spend this morning on a special half-mile hike with Santa at Bartholomew’s Cobble! Kids can learn about nature and the wonders of winter while spending time friends, parents, and Santa. Adults free; cost for children includes a present. Please RSVP. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-2pm – HOLIDAY FESTIVAL: Pittsfield’s Upstreet Holiday Festival takes place December 13 and 20 in the Palace Park parking lot. There will be activities for all, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, train rides from Roaming Railroad, live music, crafts, face painting, cookie decorating, a holiday photo booth, and food for sale. This is a fun way to celebrate the holidays as a community! 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.

Sunday, December 14, 1pm-3pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: Celebrate the holidays and exercise your creativity at the Lenox Library’s 10th Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Silent Auction. This year’s theme is “Nutcracker Sweet Home” and there will be entries by chefs, groups, and individuals of all ages. Judges will award prizes in several categories, and each house will be auctioned off to benefit the library after the competition. To learn more about the competition and how to enter, please contact the library. If you plan on entering, please register by December 8. 413-637-2630. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Friday, December 19, 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Friday, December 19, 7pm & 8:15pm – STORYTELLING/CHRISTMAS: Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk will tell Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol, at the Spectrum Playhouse on December 19. The show is complete with musical accompaniment. All proceeds benefit the Lee High Drama Department. Tickets available in advance. 413-329-6346. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20, 10am-2pm – HOLIDAY FESTIVAL: Pittsfield’s Upstreet Holiday Festival takes place December 13 and 20 in the Palace Park parking lot. There will be activities for all, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, train rides from Roaming Railroad, live music, crafts, face painting, cookie decorating, a holiday photo booth, and food for sale. This is a fun way to celebrate the holidays as a community! 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, December 20, 2pm & 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, December 20, 7:30pm – CHRISTMAS CONCERT: The Berkshire Lyric Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus come together on December 20 for “Called by Angels,” a Christmas concert at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The concert features classic Christmas songs and is a great holiday event for the whole family. 413-499-0258. 67 East Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 21, 2pm & 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, December 21, 7pm – FILM/CHRISTMAS: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is screening It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). This classic Christmas film will delight all ages and get everyone in the Christmas spirit! 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 22, 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, December 27, 5:30pm-7pm – FASHION STUDIES: Discover how the writings of Charles Dickens inspired the artwork of Norman Rockwell at “Victorian Holiday: Fashion in the Dickensian Era” at the Norman Rockwell Museum. View Rockwell’s holiday paintings and learn about Dickensian fashions from Linda Meyer of Lynda’s Antique Clothing Loft in Adams, MA. Older students interested in art, literature, and fashion will enjoy seeing how the three are related at this program, which is free with museum admission or $ for just the program. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

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Franklin County

Friday, November 28, 4pm-9pm – HOLIDAY WALK: The annual Moonlight Magic will be kicking off the holiday season in the village of Shelburne Falls! See the Lighting of the Village, meet Santa, hear local vocalists and instrumental groups, purchase from street vendors, go on trolley rides, and more. A great post Thanksgiving holiday tradition! Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Saturday, November 29, 9am – SANTA: Don’t miss Yankee Candle’s holiday celebration for kids of all ages! Santa’s elves will entertain and then Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by helicopter at Yankee Candle Village (10am)! There will also be carolers, sleigh rides, holiday cheer, and much more! The event is free but some activities may have fees. 877-636-7707. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, November 30, 10am – CHRISTMAS PARADE: Get excited for Christmas at Yankee Candle’s Santa’s Holiday Parade. Enjoy sleigh rides, train rides, carolers, and and ice carving demonstration at this fun event. 877-636-7707. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 10am-2pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: The Center School’s annual Crafty Rumpus and Yggdrasil takes place today! Nature art and crafting projects plus an interactive, enchanted indoor forest! There will be food, a drumming circle, and a bonfire too. 413-773-1700. 71 Montague City Road (FREE)

Friday, December 12, 5pm-10pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The annual It’s a Wonderful Night happens in downtown Turners Falls on December 12. Join in for a holiday event featuring festive storefront windows, live music, art exhibitions, performances, restaurant specials, opportunities to buy local gifts, and more. Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, December 12, 7:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE/PERFORMANCE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration consists of delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light this winter. The show is in its 30th year, and this year, it is about a small English village in medieval times. Young villagers steal from the rich and give to the poor so everyone can have a plentiful Christmas. All ages can enjoy the Welcome Yule’s signature carols, festivities, the passing of the yule log, stick dancing, a mummers play, and the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. The performance takes place at the Shea Theater. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Saturday, December 13, 9:30am-4:30pm – HISTORY: Celebrate the holidays with Historic Deerfield this December. See an open hearth cooking demonstration about sugar and spice, make gifts for the holidays, decorate gingerbread cookies, and go on a horse-drawn wagon ride. There will also be a demonstration of letterpress printing by Carl Darrow, who owns a press in Conway. Historic Deerfield’s Heritage Holiday activities are a great way to experience what the holiday season was like in the past in New England. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-3pm – MYO GIFTS: The Montague Common Hall is holding a Make and Take Crafting Event on December 13. Teachers will lead kids in making gifts for the holidays, like magnets, beeswax candles, spin art, juggling balls, snow globes, shrinky dink ornaments, and more. This is a great chance for kids to make unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends this holiday season. Food will also be available for purchase. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, December 13, 10:30am – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: The Carnegie Library is hosting a gingerbread party for all ages. Come make gingerbread houses and have fun with family and friends at this hands-on holiday program. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 7:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE/PERFORMANCE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration consists of delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light this winter. The show is in its 30th year, and this year, it is about a small English village in medieval times. Young villagers steal from the rich and give to the poor so everyone can have a plentiful Christmas. All ages can enjoy the Welcome Yule’s signature carols, festivities, the passing of the yule log, stick dancing, a mummers play, and the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. The performance takes place at the Shea Theater. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-4:30pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The 9th Annual Special Day in Northfield takes place December 13 and features tons of fun events for the whole family. This old fashioned holiday celebration features horse-drawn hay rides, live music, MYO crafts, shopping on Main Street, time with Santa, food for sale, traditional Christmas stories, a children’s theater performance, and much more. Fun for all ages! Main Street. Northfield, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 12noon – SANTA/CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES: The Deerfield Recreation Department is holding a Santa’s Workshop event at Deerfield Elementary School. There will be craft activities (12noon-3pm), Santa will arrive by firetruck (12:30pm), a Mad Science Holidaze show (1pm-2pm), and a chance to make holiday cards for veterans. Please bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Food Bank. There will also be food available. 413-665-1400 x107. 21 Pleasant Street. South Deerfield, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 13, 2pm – WINTER SOLSTICE/PERFORMANCE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration consists of delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light this winter. The show is in its 30th year, and this year, it is about a small English village in medieval times. Young villagers steal from the rich and give to the poor so everyone can have a plentiful Christmas. All ages can enjoy the Welcome Yule’s signature carols, festivities, the passing of the yule log, stick dancing, a mummers play, and the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. The performance takes place at the Shea Theater. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Saturday, December 13, 7pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform their Annual Family Holiday Concert at Deerfield Academy’s Hess Center for the Arts. There will be performances by the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Deerfield Choral Society, and the Pioneer Valley Symphony Youth Orchestra. They will perform holiday classics that everyone will enjoy! Tickets available in advance. 7 Boyden Lane. Deerfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 14, 9:30am-4:30pm – HISTORY: Celebrate the holidays with Historic Deerfield this December. See an open hearth cooking demonstration about sugar and spice, make gifts for the holidays, decorate gingerbread cookies, and go on a horse-drawn wagon ride. Historic Deerfield’s Heritage Holiday activities are a great way to experience what the holiday season was like in the past in New England. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

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Hampden County

HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun! Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display. More information and a schedule available here. Runs through the New Year. Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. $$

Friday, November 28, 10am-5pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Springfield Museums’ annual event to welcome the holiday season is here! “Holiday Wonderland and Lighting of the Quadrangle” begins at 10am, with special exhibitions, performances, and hands-on art activities. Then, at 5pm, the Museums and the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden light up to welcome Santa Claus to town. There will be live music and carols, hot chocolate, snacks, and horse-drawn wagon rides. The Lighting of the Quadrangle (5pm-7pm) is free and open to the public, while the Holiday Wonderland (10am-5pm) is free with museum admission ($$). 1-800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 4:30pm-8pm – TREE LIGHTING: Kick off the holiday season in Holyoke at the city’s tree lighting ceremony! Come to City Hall for carriage rides, holiday songs, crafts, hot chocolate and cookies, and more. Santa will arrive by Polar Express in Heritage State Park (5pm) and the tree will be lit at City Hall shortly afterward. This is a fun way to welcome the holiday season to Holyoke! 413-322-5510. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 5:30pm – PARADE/TREE LIGHTING: Westfield’s Dickens Days Lanternlight Parade and Tree Lighting take place in Downtown Westfield! The festive parade features music, community groups, puppets, Santa Claus, and more. Follow the parade down Elm Street to Park Square, where the mayor will light the city’s 20-foot tree. There will be cocoa, caroling, and a chance to meet Santa. Families are welcome to create their own puppets at the South Middle School cafeteria (West Silver Street) from 11am-1pm, and then show their puppets off in the parade! Celebrate the holidays and engage with your community on this special day. 413-562-2277. Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Monday, December 1, 9:30am-8pm – HOLIDAY GIFTS: Help a homeless child have a more joyous holiday season at the Giving Tree at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Come pick a tag off the tree and purchase a new gift for a homeless child from the Family Place Shelter in Holyoke. This is a great way to brighten someone’s holiday season. The Giving Tree will be in the library through December 17. 413-525-5400 x4. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (>$-$$)

Wednesday, December 3, 7pm – PERFORMANCE: Give thanks and celebrate the joys of the season at Bay Path University Performing Arts Department’s Winterfest! This annual tradition celebrates peace and features music, dance, poetry, song, and inspirational messages from spiritual leaders in the community. Best for older students and adults interested the performing arts. Takes place in Mills Theatre, Carr Hall on the Bay Path campus. 413-565-1307. 588 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 4, 5:45pm – CHRISTMAS CAROLS: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the 27th Annual Caroling on the Green event in the Elm Street Gazebo. Community members are welcome to attend and sing along! 413-263-3284. Elm Street. West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 8:30am & 10:30am – BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Join the Westfield State University community for breakfast with Santa in Scanlon Banquet Hall. Admission to the meal includes breakfast, face painting, a gift for each child, and entertainment by the Melha clowns. A great way for families to spend time together with other community members. Tickets available here. 413-572-5218. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-12noon – SANTA: Get your photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Heritage Woods Assisted Living. There will be treats and activities for kids, and this is a good way for community members young and old to meet one another and spend time together spreading holiday cheer. 413-786-9704. 462 Main Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-4pm; Sunday, December 7, 11am-4pm – YULETIDE: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowton Village’s Yuletide! This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment. There will be traditional music, storytelling, craft demonstrations, ice sculpting, a Sweet Shoppe, kids’ crafts, Santa, and more. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents Home for the Follidays, a festive family concert featuring performances by Jeans ‘n Classics Vocalists and the Springfield Symphony Chorus. They will perform traditional and classic holiday music, including carols, fun Christmas songs, Hanukkah songs, winter-themed songs, and more. There will also be a silent auction. Tickets available in advance. 413-773-2291. 34 Court Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 1pm-3pm – HANUKKAH/DIY: Build your own menorah for Hanukkah this year at Home Depot in West Springfield with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. This is a great chance for kids to do a hands-on project, and there will also be Home Depot aprons for participants, music, and fresh donuts. Make a menorah to use at your own Hanukkah ceremony or to gift to others at this fun and educational hands-on event. 413-567-8665. 179 Daggett Drive. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 7, 1pm-3:30pm – HISTORY: See the Keep Homestead Museum decorated for the holidays and learn about life in the past, especially during the holiday season. Tour the house and see items collected by the Keep family, including furniture, silver and cut glass, rock collections, quilts, a button collection, and more. This is a great chance for families to learn about life in the past in western Massachusetts. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

Sunday, December 7, 2pm-3:30pm – HOLIDAY TEA: Get in the holiday spirit at the Wistariahurst Museum’s Holiday Tea. Sip tea in Belle’s Music Room and enjoy the sounds of grand piano music, played by David Stukus. Come with family and friends to enjoy this traditional holiday tea, and see the mansion in its festive holiday decor. There will be tea, sweets, and choral music as well. The shop will also be open to find some unique holiday gifts. Space is limited; make reservations by December 1. 413-332-5660. 328 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 7pm – CHRISTMAS MUSIC: As part of Westfield’s Dickens Days, the Fanfare Brass Choir will lead a Christmas Sing-a-Long at the Episcopal Church of Atonement. Come by to hear and sing along to classic Christmas songs! 413-562-2277. 35 Court Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 10, 6pm-8pm – YULETIDE/HISTORY: Celebrate Yuletide by Lantern Light at Storrowton Village. Go on a self-guided tour of the Village, which will be decorate for the holidays in a traditional way. Learn about what the holiday season was like in New England in the past at this unique event. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (>$)

Friday, December 12, 4pm & 6:30pm; Saturday, December 13, 11:30am, 2pm, & 4:30pm; Sunday, December 14, 2pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet at the Wistariahurst Museum. This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance. Please purchase tickets in advance. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

Friday, December 12, 7:30pm – THEATER: Westfield Theatre Group presents a production of A Christmas Carol this December at the Westfield Woman’s Club. Come see this Charles Dickens classic and get into the holiday spirit. Reservations available. 413-572-6838. 28 Court Street. Westfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 1pm-2pm – THE GRINCH: The East Longmeadow Public Library is holding their third annual Grinch Gala today! Have holiday snacks, play games, hear Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas read aloud, and then enjoy a screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. All ages. Please register. 413-525-5400 x1511. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 2pm – SANTA: Greet Santa in West Springfield’s Mittineague Park on December 13! Santa will arrive on the 13th and then he will be at Santa’s House in the park every evening until Christmas. Come see him arrive or visit him weeknights from 5:30pm-7:30pm or on weekends from 2:30pm-4pm or 5:30pm-7:30pm. 413-263-3284. Route 20. West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 2pm & 7:30pm – THEATER: Westfield Theatre Group presents a production of A Christmas Carol this December at the Westfield Woman’s Club. Come see this Charles Dickens classic and get into the holiday spirit. Reservations available. 413-572-6838. 28 Court Street. Westfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 4pm-8pm – DINNER WITH SANTA: Amazing Moms of Westside is hosting a holiday dinner with Santa. There will be holiday music, food, photos with Santa, and a raffle. Some proceeds go to Shriners Children’s Hospital. Email amazingmomsofwestside@yahoo.com for tickets. 63 Park Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 14, 11am-12:30pm – HANUKKAH: Kids ages 6-11 can have some Hanukkah fun at Kids in Action at Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. Kids can wrap presents, make doughnuts, and participate in a Hanukkah scavenger hunt. Email Rabbi Cohen at info@lya.org to RSVP. 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA.

Tuesday, December 16, 9:30am – HOLIDAYS: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack. This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit. Please register in advance. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 16, 3pm – HANUKKAH: Help light the largest menorah in Springfield with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy in Court Square at this community Hanukkah celebration!  There will also be Hanukkah songs, latkes, and hot cocoa.  413-567-8665.  Court Square, Downtown.  Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 16, 5pm – HANUKKAH: Kick off this year’s Hanukkah celebration at the Springfield Jewish Community Center’s First Light Community-wide Celebration! There will be family-friendly activities like games, crafts, and music, followed by the lighting of the largest menorah in western Massachusetts at 6:15pm! This is a great way to celebrate Hanukkah with the community. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 16 at 6pm – HANUKKAH: Celebrate Hanukkah in the Westfield Athenaeum Courtyard (Court Street) with the mayor as he lights the menorah, and then attend a community Hanukkah party at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum (29 South Broad Street)!  This is a fun way to celebrate Hanukkah with family and community members.  413-562-2277.  Westfield, MA.

Wednesday, December 17, 5:30pm – HANUKKAH DINNER: The Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy PTO is hosting a Chanukah Dinner for families. There will be a pasta and meat sauce dinner (with vegan option), a Bubble Trouble performance by Jeff Boyer, and a student Chanukah performance. Come celebrate Hanukkah with community members at this fun event! Call for reservations. 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Wednesday, December 17, 7pm – HANUKKAH/SPORTS: Celebrate Hanukkah with the Springfield Jewish Community Center at their Hanukkah Hoops event! All ages can come play basketball at this fun event. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

Thursday, December 18, 1:30pm – HANUKKAH CELEBRATION: Celebrate Hanukkah with the Springfield Jewish Community Center and guests who are age 90 and older at the Bobbie Levin Nifty 90s Celebration! Special guests aged 90 and up will be present, along with previous honorees, who will receive gifts and citations from Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. There will be refreshments and music. This is an opportunity for community members of all ages to meet one another. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

Friday, December 19, 10am – HANUKKAH: Young kids can celebrate Hanukkah with the Springfield Jewish Community Center at their Early Learning Center Shabbat/Hanukkah Celebration. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

Friday, December 19, 8pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm & 8pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20 from 10am-12:30pm – CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION: Sláinte is holding a “Cookies and Milk with Santa” event for kids!  There will be face painting, balloon sculptures, letters to Santa, Christmas carols, and an opportunity for kids to meet Santa himself.  Kids will love this fun Christmas celebration!  Please bring one unwrapped gift for the Rotary for Children’s Toy Drive.  413-534-4000.  80 Jarvis Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 21 at 9am – HANUKKAH/COMMUNITY MEAL: B’Nai Torah is holding their annual Katz Family Chanukah Breakfast!  There will be food, entertainment, a featuring guest entertainer, Mark Binder.  Spend time with family and friends at this fun community meal.  413-567-0036.  2 Eunice Drive.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 21, 11am-2pm – HANUKKAH: Join Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy for their Chanukah Wonderland event! Families can have fun with crafts, games, face painting, and other Hanukkah activities. There will also be a performance by ventriloquist Dana Perkins, and food will be sold. Celebrate Hanukkah with friends, family, and community members at this fun event! 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA.

Sunday, December 21, 2pm & 7pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 21, 4:30pm – HANUKKAH: Celebrate Hanukkah this year at the Fire on Ice event at Longmeadow Shops – arrive at 4:30pm to see a giant menorah carved out of ice! And then stick around to see it lit (5pm). There will also be live music, dreidels, food, a raffle, and more. 413-567-8665. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 22, 4pm – HANUKKAH: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the annual Chanukah Celebration today in the Majestic Theater Lobby Cafe. Celebrate Hanukkah with community members at this special event. 413-263-3284. Elm Street. West Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 22, 4pm – HANUKKAH/DIY: Preschoolers and their families can make their own Hanukkah candles with the Springfield Jewish Community Center! This is a fun hands-on project that will be useful during the Hanukkah holiday. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 22, 7pm – HOLIDAYS/THEATER: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year! The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers. The whole family will enjoy this holiday production. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

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Hampshire County

Saturday, November 29, 2:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE/CHRISTMAS: Come see an animated movie (rated PG) based on Charles Dickens’ famous holiday novel at the Jones Library. Families can enjoy the movie together and get into the Christmas spirit! 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 29th at 9:30am – HOLIDAY PARADE: The Florence Holiday Parade steps off at Trinity Row and marches down towards the Civic Center!  Bring family and friends and come usher in the holidays with this fun parade.  Meet Santa and enjoy a festive morning. Downtown.  Florence, MA.

Sunday, November 30, 10:30am-2:30pm – FAMILY MEAL/SANTA: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Tuesday, December 2, 5:30-7:30pm – KWANZAA: The Malcolm X Cultural Center will host the Annual Kwanzaa Celebration.  This event is one of several signature cultural celebratory events for the campus community and the general public. At the UMass Amherst, Kwanzaa is co-supported by local African Diaspora Alum, faculty, staff and student organizations who lend their talents, scholarship and creative voices as a means of acknowledging current contributions by Africans, African Americans, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro Latinos to the global community. Takes place at the Student Union Ballroom and dinner is provided. 413-886-2375. 280 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Friday, December 5, 4pm-6:30pm – TREE LIGHTING: Kick off the holiday season with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce as they light the Merry Maple tonight! There will be hayrides, crafts, a performance by the Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus, the Minuteman Marching Band parade, an appearance by Santa Claus, and more. This is an exciting annual event and a great way to spend time with family and friends of all ages! 413-253-0700. Downtown. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 5, 7pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Kick off the holiday season at Easthampton’s Holiday Stroll 2014! Leave from Maple Street School and stroll down Cottage Street to light two trees, then sing your way up Union and Main Street to Pulaski Park, where Santa will arrive to light the park and meet with children. There will be hot chocolate and cookies as well. Get excited for the holiday season at this fun community event! 413-527-9414. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 9:30am & 11am – BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Come have breakfast with Santa at the Garden House at Look Park! The whole family will love this delicious breakfast buffet and enjoy having the opportunity to hang out with Santa. Reservations requested. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-12noon – SANTA: Join Atkins Farms Country Market for horse drawn wagon rides with Santa on December 6. Bring a camera and take photos with Santa, and decorate gingerbread cookies (10am-1pm; >$) in the bakery. Wagon rides are free with non-perishable food donation to Amherst Survival Center. 413-253-9528. Bay Road & Route 116. South Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-11:30am – HOLIDAY CARDS/ARTS & CRAFTS: Make your own holiday cards this season at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Ages 3 and up can visit the Art Studio to make six special cards, complete with envelopes. This is a great chance to get creative and give family and friends handmade cards that they will cherish. Space is limited; call to sign up. Cost is per pair/trio. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-3pm – WINTER FAIR: The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is hosting a family book and craft fair at their new location in Easthampton. Kids and their parents will have the opportunity to do make their own crafts to gift for the holidays, and to look for books to gift or put on their wish list at the Scholastic book fair. This event offers an opportunity to make unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts for the holidays, while spending time with community members, family, and friends. 413-529-7178. 1 Industrial Parkway. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 11am & 1pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Celebrate the holidays with Mister G at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Mister G will perform songs from all his albums, which include a variety of genres – bluegrass, bossa nova, funk, folk, and more. Kids of all ages will love this fun concert! 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 1pm-4pm – LEGOS: Have fun with LEGOs at “Santa’s Workshop” at the Center Church on December 6. Kids can come play games and get creative using LEGOs to build sleighs, presents, and trees for the holiday season. Go to the Bricks 4 Kidz website for more information and to register. 413-345-8035. 1 Church Street. South Hadley, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 3:30pm-5pm – CHRISTMAS CAROLS: Enjoy Christmas carols and holiday cheer at Williamsburg’s Caroling on the Green, outside Florence Savings Bank. Come for carols, cocoa, and horse-drawn wagon rides. A great way to celebrate the holidays with your community! Main Street. Williamsburg, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 10am-11:30am – HANUKKAH CRAFTS: Kids ages 3-5 can do some hands-on crafts at Lander-Grinspoon Academy. Make Hanukkah decorations for your home or to gift to others at this fun event, which allows gets to get creative. 413-586-7550. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 10:30am-2:30pm – FAMILY MEAL/SANTA: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 2:30pm – HOLIDAY TEA/BALLET: Sugar Plum Fairy Tea at The Clarion Hotel in Northampton. Dust off your shoes and shine your tiara! You and your child will delight in dainty treats, delicate sweets, and a visit from The Sugar Plum Fairy. PVB ballet dancers will share their ballet skills, read a story with you, and present a short performance. This event is a fundraiser for Pioneer Valley Ballet. As a non-profit, PVB relies on the generosity of their community and special events to support their valuable programming like The Nutcracker. Join them at The Clarion Hotel for a very special wintry tea party. Reservations Required: $25 per person, seating at 2:30. www.pioneervalleyballet.tix.com Northampton, MA ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 4pm & 7:30pm – CHORAL MUSIC: Two Christmas Vespers concerts—a beloved Mount Holyoke College tradition—will be presented in Abbey Chapel. The event will begin, as it has for decades, with a traditional Gregorian chant as the College’s Glee Club processes through the chapel by candlelight. The program will include many different seasonal choral works. Mount Holyoke Vespers dates back to the late 1800s, and has long been a popular event in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. 413-538-2809. Mount Holyoke College. 50 College Street South. South Hadley, MA

Wednesday, December 10, 3:30pm-4:30pm – HOLIDAY CRAFTS: Kids can stop by the Forbes Library children’s department to make a cool gift for the holidays. Make some unique greeting cards or ornaments that you can gift to others this holiday season. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 10, 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Thursday, December 11, 7:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Come see Cirque Dreams Holidaze at the Mullins Center on December 11! This performance features costumed artists who perform amazing feats, like gingerbread men flipping in the air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires, snowmen balancing, reindeer soaring, and much more. This is a fun holiday circus performance for the whole family. Tickets available in advance. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. ($$$)

Friday, December 12, 4pm & 7:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then. Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its annual performance of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre this December. This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music. It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$-$$$)

Saturday, December 13, 9am & 11am – BREAKFAST WITH SANTA: Join the Pulaski Club of Easthampton for Breakfast with Santa at the Pulaski Club. There will be pancakes and toppings for breakfast, and appearances by Santa, the Grinch, elves, Frosty the Snowman, and others. There are seatings at 9am and 11am and each child will receive a small gift from Santa. This event is a fundraiser for the Easthampton Toy Program. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 413-527-9847. 79 Maple Street. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-12noon – HOLIDAY MUSIC: Come to Forbes Library for the 2nd Holiday Sing-Along and Open Jam. Bring an instrument or your voice and come play/sing holiday music with community members of all ages. Donations will be accepted for Doctors Without Borders. 413-587-1010. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-12noon – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION/FUNDRAISER: Have fun with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Easthampton Family Center‘s annual holiday event, “Milk and Cookies with Santa.” Enjoy a holiday sing along, craft activities, stories with Mrs. Claus, photos with Santa, milk and cookies, and more. Each child who attends will also receive a free book! Takes place in the Old Town Hall. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 13, 11am, 1pm, & 2pm – CHRISTMAS/HISTORY: Learn about the Christmas traditions of Emily Dickinson’s family at the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Dickensian Christmas with the Dickinsons event. Explore the Homestead and the Evergreens and see traditional decorations, hear seasonal music, and see new objects on exhibit. At the end of the tour, hear Tony Abbott read from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Visitors will also receive a holiday token for attending this special tour. Reservations are recommended. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 12noon-2pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: Kids can come to Whole Foods Market in Hadley to decorate gingerbread houses! Have fun and get creative with this festive holiday project. 413-586-9932. 327 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 13, 1pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then. Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its annual performance of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre this December. This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music. It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$-$$$)

Saturday, December 13, 1:30pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: All ages can come decorate magnificent gingerbread houses at Stanton Hall. Come make buildings of Huntington, Massachusetts, the United States, or the world at this fun, hands-on event. 413-667-0085. Huntington, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 2pm – CHRISTMAS STORYTIME: Merry Grinch-mas! Come to Odyssey Books for a special storytime with the Grinch himself! Hear Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and get giveaways, pins, stickers, snacks, and more. You can even get your picture taken with the Grinch! Grinch-mas is a new holiday meant to inspire and encourage readers to “grow your heart three sizes” through family reading and giving from the heart. You can also play good deed bingo at this event and help Random House donate books to children in need. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 13, 2pm & 7pm: CELTIC NUTCRACKER: This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to either the matinee performance at 2pm or the evening performance at 7pm on Saturday, December 13th at Bowker Auditorium, UMass, in Amherst. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music by the Celtic Music Academy of MA this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves The Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $11-$20 and are available at www.ACelticNutcracker.com Amherst, MA ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 4:15pm – TREE LIGHTING: Kick off the holiday season in Northampton at the Holiday Tree Lighting in Pulaski Park. Mrs. Claus will lead the singing, and Santa will arrive on a Northampton Fire Truck. There will also be choral music, cookies, and hot chocolate. Main Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 14, 10:30am-2:30pm – FAMILY MEAL/SANTA: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 14, 1pm – HANUKKAH CELEBRATION: Families can celebrate Hanukkah at the Yiddish Book Center at “The Magic Dreidel: A Hanukkah Celebration with the Grumbling Gryphons.” This traveling theater group will present the story of Hanukkah with music, masks, storytelling, and audience participation at 2pm. This is a great way for kids to learn about the story of Hanukkah in a fun and engaging way. At 1pm, author Martha Seif Simpson will read from her picture book, The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 14, 1pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then. Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its annual performance of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre this December. This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music. It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm-3pm – CHRISTMAS: Look Park’s Tea and Trains event gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy tea in a Victorian Christmas setting. Enjoy tea and pastries in the Garden House, which is decorated for the holiday season, filled with snow villages and model trains. This is a fun holiday event that gives you a glimpse of Christmas in Victorian times. Call to make a reservation. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm – HANUKKAH PERFORMANCE: Families can celebrate Hanukkah at the Yiddish Book Center at “The Magic Dreidel: A Hanukkah Celebration with the Grumbling Gryphons.” This traveling theater group will present the story of Hanukkah with music, masks, storytelling, and audience participation. This is a great way for kids to learn about the story of Hanukkah in a fun and engaging way. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm – CHRISTMAS MOVIE: Amherst Cinema is screening The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992; rated G) this December. This fun movie is a retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. All ages will love the muppets’ entertaining take on this Christmas story! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 14, 3pm – SANTA: Come meet Santagingerbread houses at Stanton Hall! Hang out with family, friends, and community members, and do fun holiday crafts, while waiting for Santa to arrive by firetruck. 413-667-0085. Huntington, MA.

Sunday, December 14, 6pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the holidays at the Easthampton Holiday Whobalation at the rotary center. There will be music, hot chocolate, singing, and more, so come have some fun like the Whos in Whoville! Please bring an unwrapped toy to donate to the Community Center. Easthampton, MA.

Monday, December 15, 2pm-3pm – CHRISTMAS: Look Park’s Tea and Trains event gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy tea in a Victorian Christmas setting. Enjoy tea and pastries in the Garden House, which is decorated for the holiday season, filled with snow villages and model trains. This is a fun holiday event that gives you a glimpse of Christmas in Victorian times. Call to make a reservation. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($)

Tuesday, December 16, 7pm – CHRISTMAS MOVIE: Amherst Cinema is screening The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992; rated G) this December. This fun movie is a retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. All ages will love the muppets’ entertaining take on this Christmas story! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Friday, December 19, 3:45pm – CAROLING/COMMUNITY MEAL: Sing Christmas carols with community members in Worthington this holiday season! The Worthington Recreation Committee is sponsoring a town-wide caroling event on the 19th. The caroling bus leaves the RH Conwell School at 3:45, and then returns at 6pm for a community potluck supper. You can also request a carol for yourself or someone else. 413-238-5577. 147 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA.

Friday, December 19, 8pm – THEATER/CHRISTMAS: Old Deerfield Productions presents A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music Theatre this holiday season. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story come to life with comedy, drama, music, and dance. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20, 1pm & 4pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Santa Show” at Northampton High School. This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family! 413-210-1898. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm – FILM/CHRISTMAS: Enjoy a screening of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) at Amherst Cinema this holiday season. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm & 8pm – THEATER/CHRISTMAS: Old Deerfield Productions presents A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music Theatre this holiday season. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story come to life with comedy, drama, music, and dance. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20, 3pm-5pm – GIFT EXCHANGE/HOLIDAY PARTY: The Jones Library Teen Advisory Board is holding a White Elephant Gift Exchange and Holiday Party on December 20. Bring a wrapped gift (that cost $5 or less) and exchange presents and have holiday fun with friends! There will be refreshments. 413-259-3091. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 21, 1pm & 4pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Santa Show” at Northampton High School. This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family! 413-210-1898. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 21, 10:30am-2:30pm – FAMILY MEAL/SANTA: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 21, 5-7pm – CHANUKAH CELEBRATIONCongregation B’nai Israel welcomes the public to a joyous Chanukah celebration filled with music, storytelling, communal candle lighting and latkes. 413-584-3593 x203. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. >$

Sunday, December 21, 6pm-8:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Celebrate the shortest day of the year at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary! This annual winter solstice celebration features music, a bonfire, hot drinks, and fun for all ages. Please bring a nonperishable food item for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 23, 2pm – FILM/CHRISTMAS: Enjoy a screening of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) at Amherst Cinema this holiday season. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

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Tree Lighting

Friday, November 28, 5pm-7pm: The Springfield Museums’ annual event to welcome the holiday season is here! “Holiday Wonderland and Lighting of the Quadrangle” begins at 10am. The Lighting of the Quadrangle (5pm-7pm) is free and open to the public, while the Holiday Wonderland (10am-5pm) is free with museum admission ($$). 1-800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 4:30pm-8pm: Kick off the holiday season in Holyoke at the city’s tree lighting ceremony! Come to City Hall for carriage rides, holiday songs, crafts, hot chocolate and cookies, and more. Santa will arrive by Polar Express in Heritage State Park (5pm) and the tree will be lit at City Hall shortly afterward. This is a fun way to welcome the holiday season to Holyoke! 413-322-5510. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, November 29, 5:30pm: Westfield’s Dickens Days Lanternlight Parade and Tree Lighting take place in Downtown Westfield! The festive parade features music, community groups, puppets, Santa Claus, and more. Follow the parade down Elm Street to Park Square, where the mayor will light the city’s 20-foot tree. There will be cocoa, caroling, and a chance to meet Santa. Families are welcome to create their own puppets at the South Middle School cafeteria (West Silver Street) from 11am-1pm, and then show their puppets off in the parade! Celebrate the holidays and engage with your community on this special day. 413-562-2277. Elm Street. Westfield, MA.

Friday, December 5, 4pm-6:30pm: Kick off the holiday season with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce as they light the Merry Maple tonight! There will be hayrides, crafts, a performance by the Amherst Regional Middle School Chorus, the Minuteman Marching Band parade, an appearance by Santa Claus, and more. This is an exciting annual event and a great way to spend time with family and friends of all ages! 413-253-0700. Downtown. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 5, 6pm: Pittsfield’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is tonight at Park Square!  There will be performances by the Berkshire Hills Chorus and the Taconic High School Chorus before and after the ceremony, an appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus, free hot chocolate, and more.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to the Christian Center’s food pantry.  Downtown.  Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, December 5, 6pm: The town of Lenox will light their Christmas tree in Lilac Park on December 5! Come with friends and family to celebrate the holidays and meet with Santa. There will be cookies and hot chocolate at the Community Center. Route 7A. Lenox, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 3pm-5:30pm: Williamstown’s 31st Annual Holiday Walk includes fun activities for the whole family! The Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, where Williamstown’s cutest dogs stroll down Spring Street in their holiday best. You can then go see Santa, a holiday bake-off at The Log, do some cookie decorating, see the tree lighting, and more. There will also be live music throughout the day, a toy drive, caroling, and more. A full schedule and list of events can be found here. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 6pm: Santa will arrive by fire engine to help with Lenox Dale’s Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Memorial Park on December 7! Kids will have a chance to meet Santa and pose for photos at the Fire Station (Elm Street), where gifts and refreshments will be distributed. This fun community holiday event is sponsored by the Lenox Dale Fire Company. 413-637-5542. Walker Street & Crystal Street. Lenox Dale, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 2pm: Greet Santa in West Springfield’s Mittineague Park on December 13! Santa will arrive on the 13th and then he will be at Santa’s House in the park every evening until Christmas. Come see him arrive or visit him weeknights from 5:30pm-7:30pm or on weekends from 2:30pm-4pm or 5:30pm-7:30pm. 413-263-3284. Route 20. West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 4:15pm: Kick off the holiday season in Northampton at the Holiday Tree Lighting in Pulaski Park. Mrs. Claus will lead the singing, and Santa will arrive on a Northampton Fire Truck. There will also be choral music, cookies, and hot chocolate. Main Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

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Santa

Saturday, November 29, 9am: Don’t miss Yankee Candle’s holiday celebration for kids of all ages! Santa’s elves will entertain and then Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by helicopter at Yankee Candle Village (10am)! There will also be carolers, sleigh rides, holiday cheer, and much more! The event is free but some activities may have fees. 877-636-7707. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, November 28, 10am-5pm: The New England Air Museum is holding their annual Santa visit and behind-the-scenes event the day after Thanksgiving. Come to the museum to meet Santa and pose for photos with him in front of some historic aircraft. Visitors can also tour the museum behind-the-scenes – check out the research library collection, restoration projects, and tons of vintage aircraft. Great for all ages, especially those interested in aviation! 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Sunday, November 30, Sunday, December 7, Sunday, December 14, Sunday, December 21, 10:30am-2:30pm: Have an extra special Sunday brunch at the Lord Jeffery Inn this holiday season… Santa will be joining you! Come for delicious brunch foods, time with family, and a chance to meet Santa. Call for more information. 413-256-8200. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 8:30am & 10:30am: Join the Westfield State University community for breakfast with Santa in Scanlon Banquet Hall. Admission to the meal includes breakfast, face painting, a gift for each child, and entertainment by the Melha clowns. A great way for families to spend time together with other community members. Tickets available here. 413-572-5218. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 9:30am & 11am: Come have breakfast with Santa at the Garden House at Look Park! The whole family will love this delicious breakfast buffet and enjoy having the opportunity to hang out with Santa. Reservations requested. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-12noon: Join Atkins Farms Country Market for horse drawn wagon rides with Santa on December 6. Bring a camera and take photos with Santa, and decorate gingerbread cookies (10am-1pm; >$) in the bakery. Wagon rides are free with non-perishable food donation to Amherst Survival Center. 413-253-9528. Bay Road & Route 116. South Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 6, 10am-12noon: Get your photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Heritage Woods Assisted Living. There will be treats and activities for kids, and this is a good way for community members young and old to meet one another and spend time together spreading holiday cheer. 413-786-9704. 462 Main Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 6pm: Enjoy dinner with Santa at St. Mary’s School on December 6! There will be delicious food, face painting, elves, carolers, pictures with Santa, and more. Call for tickets. 413-243-1079. Orchard Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, December 10, 4pm-8pm: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day until Christmas Eve. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 13, 9am & 11am: Join the Pulaski Club of Easthampton for Breakfast with Santa at the Pulaski Club. There will be pancakes and toppings for breakfast, and appearances by Santa, the Grinch, elves, Frosty the Snowman, and others. There are seatings at 9am and 11am and each child will receive a small gift from Santa. This event is a fundraiser for the Easthampton Toy Program. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 413-527-9847. 79 Maple Street. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-12noon: Have fun with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Easthampton Family Center‘s annual holiday event, “Milk and Cookies with Santa.” Enjoy a holiday sing along, craft activities, stories with Mrs. Claus, photos with Santa, milk and cookies, and more. Each child who attends will also receive a free book! Takes place in the Old Town Hall. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (>$)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-12noon: Spend this morning on a special half-mile hike with Santa at Bartholomew’s Cobble! Kids can learn about nature and the wonders of winter while spending time friends, parents, and Santa. Adults free; cost for children includes a present. Please RSVP. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 13, 4pm-8pm: Amazing Moms of Westside is hosting a holiday dinner with Santa. There will be holiday music, food, photos with Santa, and a raffle. Some proceeds go to Shriners Children’s Hospital. Email amazingmomsofwestside@yahoo.com for tickets. 63 Park Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 14, 3pm: Come meet Santagingerbread houses at Stanton Hall! Hang out with family, friends, and community members, and do fun holiday crafts, while waiting for Santa to arrive by firetruck. 413-667-0085. Huntington, MA.

Saturday, December 20 from 10am-12:30pm: Sláinte is holding a “Cookies and Milk with Santa” event for kids!  There will be face painting, balloon sculptures, letters to Santa, Christmas carols, and an opportunity for kids to meet Santa himself.  Kids will love this fun Christmas celebration!  Please bring one unwrapped gift for the Rotary for Children’s Toy Drive.  413-534-4000.  80 Jarvis Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  >$

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Holiday Strolls

Friday, November 28, 4pm-9pm: The annual Moonlight Magic will be kicking off the holiday season in the village of Shelburne Falls! See the Lighting of the Village, meet Santa, hear local vocalists and instrumental groups, purchase from street vendors, go on trolley rides, and more. A great post Thanksgiving holiday tradition! Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Friday, December 5, 7pm: Kick off the holiday season at Easthampton’s Holiday Stroll 2014! Leave from Maple Street School and stroll down Cottage Street to light two trees, then sing your way up Union and Main Street to Pulaski Park, where Santa will arrive to light the park and meet with children. There will be hot chocolate and cookies as well. Get excited for the holiday season at this fun community event! 413-527-9414. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 11am-4pm: Explore some of Stockbridge’s historic homes and properties as part of Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas on this Holiday House Tour. The self-guided tour will take you to Undermountain Mansion, Ventfort Hall Mansion, the Ripley House, Elm Court Estate, October Mountain Farm, and Cherry Cottage. Discover local history and learn about the Stockbridge of the past on this tour. Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Chamber of Commerce or on the day of at the Red Lion Inn. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 3pm-5:30pm: Williamstown’s 31st Annual Holiday Walk includes fun activities for the whole family! The Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, where Williamstown’s cutest dogs stroll down Spring Street in their holiday best. You can then go see Santa, a holiday bake-off at The Log, do some cookie decorating, see the tree lighting, and more. There will also be live music throughout the day, a toy drive, caroling, and more. A full schedule and list of events can be found here. Spring Street. Williamstown, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 12noon-2pm: The Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Recreation is December 7. Stroll down Main Street and see it as it was when Norman Rockwell painted his famous painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.” Antique cars will be parked along the street, and there will be music, carols, Christmas food, Roger the Jester, kids’ activities, and visits with Santa. This holiday event allows you to get an idea of what Stockbridge was like in the past, while celebrating the present-day town and the upcoming holidays. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (>$)

Friday, December 12, 5pm-10pm: The annual It’s a Wonderful Night happens in downtown Turners Falls on December 12. Join in for a holiday event featuring festive storefront windows, live music, art exhibitions, performances, restaurant specials, opportunities to buy local gifts, and more. Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, December 13 & 20, 10am-2pm: Pittsfield’s Upstreet Holiday Festival takes place December 13 and 20 in the Palace Park parking lot. There will be activities for all, including a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, train rides from Roaming Railroad, live music, crafts, face painting, cookie decorating, a holiday photo booth, and food for sale. This is a fun way to celebrate the holidays as a community! 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, December 13, 10am-4:30pm: The 9th Annual Special Day in Northfield takes place December 13 and features tons of fun events for the whole family. This old fashioned holiday celebration features horse-drawn hay rides, live music, MYO crafts, shopping on Main Street, time with Santa, food for sale, traditional Christmas stories, a children’s theater performance, and much more. Fun for all ages! Main Street. Northfield, MA.

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MYO Gifts, Cards & Crafts

Saturday, December 6, 10am-3pm: The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is hosting a family book and craft fair at their new location in Easthampton. Kids and their parents will have the opportunity to do make their own crafts to gift for the holidays, and to look for books to gift or put on their wish list at the Scholastic book fair. This event offers an opportunity to make unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts for the holidays, while spending time with community members, family, and friends. 413-529-7178. 1 Industrial Parkway. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 10am-11:30am: Make your own holiday cards this season at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Ages 3 and up can visit the Art Studio to make six special cards, complete with envelopes. This is a great chance to get creative and give family and friends handmade cards that they will cherish. Space is limited; call to sign up. Cost is per pair/trio. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 7, 10am-11:30am: Kids ages 3-5 can do some hands-on crafts at Lander-Grinspoon Academy. Make Hanukkah decorations for your home or to gift to others at this fun event, which allows gets to get creative. 413-586-7550. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, December 10, 3:30pm-4:30pm: Kids can stop by the Forbes Library children’s department to make a cool gift for the holidays. Make some unique greeting cards or ornaments that you can gift to others this holiday season. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 13, 10am-3pm: The Montague Common Hall is holding a Make and Take Crafting Event on December 13. Teachers will lead kids in making gifts for the holidays, like magnets, beeswax candles, spin art, juggling balls, snow globes, shrinky dink ornaments, and more. This is a great chance for kids to make unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends this holiday season. Food will also be available for purchase. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, December 13, 12noon-2pm: Kids can come to Whole Foods Market in Hadley to decorate gingerbread houses! Have fun and get creative with this festive holiday project. 413-586-9932. 327 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 13, 1:30pm: All ages can come decorate magnificent gingerbread houses at Stanton Hall. Come make buildings of Huntington, Massachusetts, the United States, or the world at this fun, hands-on event. 413-667-0085. Huntington, MA.

Wednesday, December 17, 3:30pm-4:30pm: Kids of all ages can make their own holiday ornaments at the Lenox Library on December 17. This is a fun chance for kids to make something that can decorate their home! 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

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Caroling/Choral Music

Saturday, November 29, 4pm: The Berkshire Bach Players are holding a Handel’s Messiah Sing-In at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington. All are welcome to come usher in the holidays and sign in this informal chorus. You are welcome to bring your own score or borrow one at the Church. This event would be best for older students interested in classical music. 413-528-9277. 251 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS WELCOME)

Thursday, December 4, 5:45pm: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the 27th Annual Caroling on the Green event in the Elm Street Gazebo. Community members are welcome to attend and sing along! 413-263-3284. Elm Street. West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 3:30pm-5pm: Enjoy Christmas carols and holiday cheer at Williamsburg’s Caroling on the Green, outside Florence Savings Bank. Come for carols, cocoa, and horse-drawn wagon rides. A great way to celebrate the holidays with your community! Main Street. Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 4pm : The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols. In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story. Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries. 413-597-4277. Route 2. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 6pm-7pm: Participate in the Caroling Luminaria Walk as part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festivities. Meet in front of the Red Lion Inn with your flashlight or candle, sing carols, and walk to the First Congregational Church with luminarias. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm: Celebrate the holidays at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge at the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Holiday Concert. There will be performances by the Berkshire Lyric Chorus, the Blafield Children’s Chorus, and others. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents Home for the Follidays, a festive family concert featuring performances by Jeans ‘n Classics Vocalists and the Springfield Symphony Chorus. They will perform traditional and classic holiday music, including carols, fun Christmas songs, Hanukkah songs, winter-themed songs, and more. There will also be a silent auction. Tickets available in advance. 413-773-2291. 34 Court Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 2pm-3:30pm: Get in the holiday spirit at the Wistariahurst Museum’s Holiday Tea. Sip tea in Belle’s Music Room and enjoy the sounds of grand piano music, played by David Stukus. Come with family and friends to enjoy this traditional holiday tea, and see the mansion in its festive holiday decor. There will be tea, sweets, and choral music as well. The shop will also be open to find some unique holiday gifts. Space is limited; make reservations by December 1. 413-332-5660. 328 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 7, 4pm & 7:30pm: Two Christmas Vespers concerts—a beloved Mount Holyoke College tradition—will be presented in Abbey Chapel. The event will begin, as it has for decades, with a traditional Gregorian chant as the College’s Glee Club processes through the chapel by candlelight. The program will include many different seasonal choral works. Mount Holyoke Vespers dates back to the late 1800s, and has long been a popular event in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. 413-538-2809. Mount Holyoke College. 50 College Street South. South Hadley, MA

Sunday, December 7, 4pm: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel. Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols. In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story. Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries. 413-597-4277. Route 2. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 19, 3:45pm: Sing Christmas carols with community members in Worthington this holiday season! The Worthington Recreation Committee is sponsoring a town-wide caroling event on the 19th. The caroling bus leaves the RH Conwell School at 3:45, and then returns at 6pm for a community potluck supper. You can also request a carol for yourself or someone else. 413-238-5577. 147 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA.

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Hanukkah

Sunday, December 7, 10am-11:30am: Kids ages 3-5 can do some hands-on crafts at Lander-Grinspoon Academy. Make Hanukkah decorations for your home or to gift to others at this fun event, which allows gets to get creative. 413-586-7550. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 7, 1pm-3pm: Build your own menorah for Hanukkah this year at Home Depot in West Springfield with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. This is a great chance for kids to do a hands-on project, and there will also be Home Depot aprons for participants, music, and fresh donuts. Make a menorah to use at your own Hanukkah ceremony or to gift to others at this fun and educational hands-on event. 413-567-8665. 179 Daggett Drive. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 14, 11am-12:30pm: Kids ages 6-11 can have some Hanukkah fun at Kids in Action at Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy. Kids can wrap presents, make doughnuts, and participate in a Hanukkah scavenger hunt. Email Rabbi Cohen at info@lya.org to RSVP. 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA.

Sunday, December 14, 1pm: Families can celebrate Hanukkah at the Yiddish Book Center at “The Magic Dreidel: A Hanukkah Celebration with the Grumbling Gryphons.” This traveling theater group will present the story of Hanukkah with music, masks, storytelling, and audience participation at 2pm. This is a great way for kids to learn about the story of Hanukkah in a fun and engaging way. At 1pm, author Martha Seif Simpson will read from her picture book, The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm: Families can celebrate Hanukkah at the Yiddish Book Center at “The Magic Dreidel: A Hanukkah Celebration with the Grumbling Gryphons.” This traveling theater group will present the story of Hanukkah with music, masks, storytelling, and audience participation. This is a great way for kids to learn about the story of Hanukkah in a fun and engaging way. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Tuesday, December 16, 3pm: Help light the largest menorah in Springfield with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy in Court Square at this community Hanukkah celebration!  There will also be Hanukkah songs, latkes, and hot cocoa.  413-567-8665.  Court Square, Downtown.  Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 16, 5pm: Kick off this year’s Hanukkah celebration at the Springfield Jewish Community Center’s First Light Community-wide Celebration! There will be family-friendly activities like games, crafts, and music, followed by the lighting of the largest menorah in western Massachusetts at 6:15pm! This is a great way to celebrate Hanukkah with the community. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 16 at 6pm: Celebrate Hanukkah in the Westfield Athenaeum Courtyard (Court Street) with the mayor as he lights the menorah, and then attend a community Hanukkah party at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum (29 South Broad Street)!  This is a fun way to celebrate Hanukkah with family and community members.  413-562-2277.  Westfield, MA.

Wednesday, December 17, 5:30pm: The Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy PTO is hosting a Chanukah Dinner for families. There will be a pasta and meat sauce dinner (with vegan option), a Bubble Trouble performance by Jeff Boyer, and a student Chanukah performance. Come celebrate Hanukkah with community members at this fun event! Call for reservations. 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Wednesday, December 17, 7pm: Celebrate Hanukkah with the Springfield Jewish Community Center at their Hanukkah Hoops event! All ages can come play basketball at this fun event. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

Thursday, December 18, 1:30pm: Celebrate Hanukkah with the Springfield Jewish Community Center and guests who are age 90 and older at the Bobbie Levin Nifty 90s Celebration! Special guests aged 90 and up will be present, along with previous honorees, who will receive gifts and citations from Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. There will be refreshments and music. This is an opportunity for community members of all ages to meet one another. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

Friday, December 19, 10am: Young kids can celebrate Hanukkah with the Springfield Jewish Community Center at their Early Learning Center Shabbat/Hanukkah Celebration. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

Sunday, December 21 at 9am: B’Nai Torah is holding their annual Katz Family Chanukah Breakfast!  There will be food, entertainment, a featuring guest entertainer, Mark Binder.  Spend time with family and friends at this fun community meal.  413-567-0036.  2 Eunice Drive.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 21, 11am-2pm: Join Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy for their Chanukah Wonderland event! Families can have fun with crafts, games, face painting, and other Hanukkah activities. There will also be a performance by ventriloquist Dana Perkins, and food will be sold. Celebrate Hanukkah with friends, family, and community members at this fun event! 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA.

Sunday, December 21, 4:30pm: Celebrate Hanukkah this year at the Fire on Ice event at Longmeadow Shops – arrive at 4:30pm to see a giant menorah carved out of ice! And then stick around to see it lit (5pm). There will also be live music, dreidels, food, a raffle, and more. 413-567-8665. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 21, 5-7pm: Congregation B’nai Israel welcomes the public to a joyous Chanukah celebration filled with music, storytelling, communal candle lighting and latkes. 413-584-3593 x203. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. >$

Monday, December 22, 4pm: The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department presents the annual Chanukah Celebration today in the Majestic Theater Lobby Cafe. Celebrate Hanukkah with community members at this special event. 413-263-3284. Elm Street. West Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 22, 4pm: Preschoolers and their families can make their own Hanukkah candles with the Springfield Jewish Community Center! This is a fun hands-on project that will be useful during the Hanukkah holiday. 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA.

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Christmas

Friday, December 5, 5pm: The Stockbridge Library, Museum, and Archives presents an evening of Christmas tales at the Taggart House on December 5. Come hear classic Christmas stories and get excited for the holidays. 413-298-5501. 18 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 6, 11am-4pm; Sunday, December 7, 11am-4pm; Wednesday, December 10, 6pm-8pm: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowton Village’s Yuletide! This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment. There will be traditional music, storytelling, craft demonstrations, ice sculpting, a Sweet Shoppe, kids’ crafts, Santa, and more. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 11am-11:30am: As part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, the Stockbridge Library is hosting a children’s holiday storytime at their train station location. Kids can come hear favorite holiday stories! 413-298-5501. 2 Depot Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 6, 7:30pm: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play! The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more. This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas! Runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 28. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 14, 2pm; Tuesday, December 16, 7pm: Amherst Cinema is screening The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992; rated G) this December. This fun movie is a retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. All ages will love the Muppets’ entertaining take on this Christmas story! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 6, 3pm-5pm: Have fun decorating cookies with Santa at the Norman Rockwell Museum on December 6. Santa will be at the museum to help visitors decorate cookies, and there will also be holiday music and gallery talks about Norman Rockwell’s holiday art. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 12, 7:30pm: Westfield Theatre Group presents a production of A Christmas Carol this December at the Westfield Woman’s Club. Come see this Charles Dickens classic and get into the holiday spirit. Reservations available. 413-572-6838. 28 Court Street. Westfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 11am, 1pm, & 2pm: Learn about the Christmas traditions of Emily Dickinson’s family at the Emily Dickinson Museum’s Dickensian Christmas with the Dickinsons event. Explore the Homestead and the Evergreens and see traditional decorations, hear seasonal music, and see new objects on exhibit. At the end of the tour, hear Tony Abbott read from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Visitors will also receive a holiday token for attending this special tour. Reservations are recommended. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 13, 2pm – CHRISTMAS STORYTIME: Merry Grinch-mas! Come to Odyssey Books for a special storytime with the Grinch himself! Hear Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and get giveaways, pins, stickers, snacks, and more. You can even get your picture taken with the Grinch! Grinch-mas is a new holiday meant to inspire and encourage readers to “grow your heart three sizes” through family reading and giving from the heart. You can also play good deed bingo at this event and help Random House donate books to children in need. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 19, 7pm: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Friday, December 19, 7pm & 8:15pm: Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk will tell Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A Christmas Carol, at the Spectrum Playhouse on December 19. The show is complete with musical accompaniment. All proceeds benefit the Lee High Drama Department. Tickets available in advance. 413-329-6346. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 19, 8pm: Old Deerfield Productions presents A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music Theatre this holiday season. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story come to life with comedy, drama, music, and dance. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20, 1pm & 4pm: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Santa Show” at Northampton High School. This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family! 413-210-1898. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm: Enjoy a screening of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) at Amherst Cinema this holiday season. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm & 7pm: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, December 20, 2pm & 8pm: Old Deerfield Productions presents A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music Theatre this holiday season. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story come to life with comedy, drama, music, and dance. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 20, 7:30pm: The Berkshire Lyric Chorus and the Blafield Children’s Chorus come together on December 20 for “Called by Angels,” a Christmas concert at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The concert features classic Christmas songs and is a great holiday event for the whole family. 413-499-0258. 67 East Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 21, 1pm & 4pm: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Santa Show” at Northampton High School. This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family! 413-210-1898. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 21, 2pm: Old Deerfield Productions presents A Christmas Carol at the Academy of Music Theatre this holiday season. Family members of all ages will enjoy seeing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story come to life with comedy, drama, music, and dance. Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 21, 2pm & 7pm: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, December 21, 7pm: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is screening It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). This classic Christmas film will delight all ages and get everyone in the Christmas spirit! 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 22, 7pm: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at the Colonial Theatre. All ages will enjoy seeing Dickens’ classic Christmas tale come to life onstage! 413-997-4444. 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Tuesday, December 23, 2pm: Enjoy a screening of Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film, It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) at Amherst Cinema this holiday season. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

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Kwanzaa

Tuesday, December 2, 5:30-7:30pm: The Malcolm X Cultural Center will host the Annual Kwanzaa Celebration.  This event is one of several signature cultural celebratory events for the campus community and the general public. At the UMass Amherst, Kwanzaa is co-supported by local African Diaspora Alum, faculty, staff and student organizations who lend their talents, scholarship and creative voices as a means of acknowledging current contributions by Africans, African Americans, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro Latinos to the global community. Takes place at the Student Union Ballroom and dinner is provided. 413-886-2375. 280 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA (FREE)

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Winter Solstice

Friday, December 12-Sunday December 14: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration consists of delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light this winter. The show is in its 30th year, and this year, it is about a small English village in medieval times. Young villagers steal from the rich and give to the poor so everyone can have a plentiful Christmas. All ages can enjoy the Welcome Yule’s signature carols, festivities, the passing of the yule log, stick dancing, a mummers play, and the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance. The performance takes place at the Shea Theater. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Saturday, December 20, 6:30pm: 33rd Annual Winter Solstice Storytelling and Songfest at the Roundhouse.  Storytellers include beloved regulars: Sonny Crawford, Jay Goldspinner, Yosl (joe) Kurland, Rona Leventhal, Rob Peck, John Porcino, Bob Reiser, Rebekka Tippens, Tim Van Egmond and Rochelle Wildfong. Five guest performers will join them: Puppeteer, Anna Sobel, musician, Brian Bender, Teller from the East, Jackson Gillman, Chris Yerlig (Hoopoe the Clown) & acclaimed Cellist, Rebecca Hartka.  Bring with you a canned good for the Franklin Survival Center, & a goodie to share at their intermission banquet.  Reservations are highly recommended.  Call 413-624-5140. Colrain, MA ($) 

Sunday, December 21st, 7am & 3:30pm: WINTER SOLSTICE: The public is invited to witness the passing of the seasons by joining Dr. Judith Young of the UMass Dept. of Astronomy to watch the Sun rise & set over the tall standing stones in the UMass Sunwheel. For those interested in learning about the sky, the Sunwheel gatherings at sunrise and sunset will include presentations which describe the significance of the solstices & equinoxes, the cause of the seasons and phases of the Moon, the story of building the Sunwheel, and other calendar sites around the world such as Stonehenge & Callanish in the UK and Chichen Itza in Mexico. Additionally, there will be an explanation of the Moon’s 18.6-year cycle, also called the Major Lunar Standstill. Come gather in community and connect with the sky — bring your questions, your curiosity, and be prepared for freezing temperatures including waterproof footwear. The gatherings typically last 1 hour, and are held in all weather except rain and blizzards. Rocky Hill Road. Amherst, MA (DONATION)

Sunday, December 21, 12noon – HIKING/SOLSTICE: Explore the high elevation boreal forests of Windsor at Tamarack Hollow and Notchview with Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center on a Winter Solstice Hike. On this hike, you will learn how to identify evergreen trees and plants. Snowshoes available to rent (>$). Email aimee@gaiaroots.com or call to register. 413-743-4543. Route 9. Windsor, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 21, 3pm-5pm – SOLSTICE CELEBRATION: Celebrate the winter solstice with Sirius Community at their Sacred Circle Dance. Come dressed in white and learn dances from many traditions with Linda Blake. Open to all. 413-259-1251. 72 Baker Road. Shutesbury, MA. (DONATION >$)

Sunday, December 21, 6pm-8:30pm:  Sunday, December 21 is the shortest day of the year, but it is also a day on which to celebrate the longer days to come. Join Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary for their annual winter solstice celebration on Sunday, December 21 from 6pm-8:30pm. There are many different traditions from all around the world to celebrate the solstice, including this one at Arcadia! Each year, community members of all ages gather at the sanctuary for music, a bonfire, hot drinks, and fun activities. Celebrate the solstice and community at this fun annual event! The event is free, but please bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

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