Suggested Events for August 29th-September 5th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I moved to the area this past summer and Hilltown Families has been a wonderful resource for me as a newcomer. It has pointed my family towards some great activities and local eateries (Cummington Fair, Bread Euphoria, etc.). More importantly it has given me, as a newcomer, a broader sense of how active this community is and what people here care about. So thank you for that!” – Jenni H. (Sunderland, MA)

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

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

Bulletin Board

Aug 30

Meet Mo Willems and Elephant and Piggie! Join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA (125 West Bay Road), for a fun day with author and artist Mo Willems on Sunday, August 30th beginning at 10am. Meet Mo and get books signed. See new Elephant and Piggie films by Weston Woods! Make art inspired by Mo’s work and get a pigeon tattoo! As a special treat, Herrell’s ice cream will be serving ice cream flavors in honor of Elephant and Piggie! Note: Scheduled films followed by a Mo Willems Q&A are sold out, but films will be repeated throughout the day. See www.carlemuseum.org for more information. 413-658-1105.

Sept 3

The Center Dance Studio, an innovative dance studio in Amherst, is holding an Open House on Thursday, September 3rd from 4:15-6pm. Come by to see their new location on Main Street! Stop in to learn about their classes and philosophic approach where children spin stories from movement using classical and modern dance techniques. Sister duo Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special teaching approach that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main Street. Amherst, MA. 413-687-7953.

Sept 5 & 6

Labor Day Family Campout! Have you ever wished that you could take your family camping? Come and spend an adventure-filled weekend camping with the Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) at Notchview in Windsor, Sept 5 & 6! Ideal for both experienced campers & first-timers. Families have a choice of activities to choose from, including hikes to a search for owls, star gazing with a local expert, and stories & songs by the campfire. TTOR will provide a campout dinner, s’mores around the fire on Saturday night, and breakfast Sunday morning. Bring your adventuresome spirit & camping essentials (list provided). Member: $30/adult, $20/child. Nonmember: $40/adult, $30/child. Pre-registration required by 9/1: 413-532-1631×10 or email westregion@ttor.org

Begins Sept 8

Kathryn Kothe Roszko of CyclePottery in Florence will be starting a new session of after-school kids‘, ages 8+, beginner-intermediate wheel throwing on Sept 8th for 6 weeks, Tues 4-5:30 & Wed 1:30-3. Starting the same week, Bonnie Cooper of bcooperclay will join Kathryn to teach handbuilding & wheel throwing to teens/adults on Wed from 5:30-8. Bonnie will also be teach handbuilding on Tues from 5:30-8. Bonnie has 20 years experience teaching ceramics and exhibiting nationwide. Open studios for former students and non-beginners will begin on Sun from 12-3. Both classes have a max of 4-6 students. Please visit www.CyclePottery.com and CyclePottery on Facebook for more information. Contact Kathryn at 413-219-9594 or kathryn@cyclepottery.com

Begins Sept 8

Sign up for Theater Improvisation with Heidi Haas! Improv increases spontaneity, creativity and self-confidence. Classes focus on tuning into one’s scene partners, creating bold characters and developing skits with each other. Classes are offered for 5th-8th graders on Wednesdays from 3-5pm and for K-4th graders on Thursdays from 3:30-5pm in Florence, MA. The first 10 week session begins in Sept. Heidi has been teaching theater to children since 1996 and is also a clinical social worker with a specialty in child/family concerns. Check out her website at www.heidihaasimprov.com to register call: Heidi Haas 584-5562 or email Heidi_Haas@comcast.net

Begins Sept 12

Acting Classes for Children! Starlight’s Youth Theatre invites 2nd-7th graders to sign up for Fall acting classes under the direction of the amazing Cyn Strycharz. Young actors will create scenes, work on stage movement and character development plus a performance including scenes from Dr Seuss’ stories and Phantom Tollbooth. Storybook Theater: 2nd-3rd grade 9am presentation on Nov 14th. Actor’s Tool Box: 4th-5th grade 10am, show on Nov 14th. Lights Up: 6th-7th grade 11:15am show Dec 6th. Classes start Saturday, September 12 and are held at Mapleridge Community Center (Route 116) near the Amherst/Sunderland town line. Questions? Email starlights.yt@gmail.com. Class size is limited. Reserve your spot www.starlights-youth-theatre.com

Begins in Sept

Founded by two Pioneer Valley parents when they lived in Brooklyn, NY, Tinkergarten® has come to Western MA! Tinkergarten provides educational classes for kids ages 18 mos to 8 yrs in the healthiest classroom of all—the outdoors. The program aims to revive the most influential part of childhood — time to tinker in nature. The curriculum is designed to help kids become well-balanced people who can problem-solve, lead, and create. Angela Russo, talented Tinkergarten leader and local mom, is offering Fall classes and free trials in Amherst and Northampton. Learn more about the program and Angela’s classes at http://tkgtn.com/g0ce1. Want to give it a try? Use code hilltownfam15 to save 15% before 9/1. Have questions? Call 805-751-8465.

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

Sept 12

Join us on Saturday, Sept 12, all day, for a meaningful time volunteering with your family and your community! Free and open to everyone!

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Family Volunteer Days are held once a month and are open to everyone. Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place on Saturday, Sept 12 , all day, Take Action Against Hunger (National Hunger Action Month). Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, after school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
August 29th-September 4th, 2015

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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from over 8 years!

Saturday, August 29. 7am-9:30pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Aggie Fair season marches on with the Cummington Fair, which runs August 27-30. This fair began back in 1883, when the Hillside Agricultural Society began to place strong focus on “the attainment and diffusion of scientific and practical knowledge in the cultivation of the soil.” The modern day fair offers many connections to those first events, and also includes components relevant to current times. Saturday’s theme is “Old Fashion Fair Day,” featuring many animal shows, a youth tractor pull, a roast beef dinner, live entertainment, and an evening square dance. Learn more from these Hilltown Families posts about youth participation at agricultural fairs and their multidisciplinary learning opportunities! 413-634-5091. Cummington Fairgrounds, 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA. ($; FREE for children under 10)

Saturday, August 29. 9am-12pm — MYCOLOGY & FORAGING
Foraging for mushrooms may sound like an interesting pursuit, but it requires training. Many edible mushrooms have near-identical impersonators which are highly toxic. One of the best ways to become a safe mushroom forager is by learning from an expert, ideally out in nature where mushrooms can be observed. The Westhampton Library is hosting “Grown in Westhampton”, a mushroom walk with expert Tyler Seavey. Participants are invited to bring any wild mushrooms they would like to identify. Appropriate for older students and adults who can appreciate the serious nature of proper mushroom collection, as well as the associated risks. Rain date: Sunday, August 30. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 29. 10am — FILM STUDIES
The beautiful animated film, Ernest & Celestine (PG, 2012), is the feature for this week’s Family Film Series at Amherst Cinema. This film, recipient of and nominee for many awards, tells the story of an unlikely friendship between a bear and a mouse. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (< $)

Saturday, August 29. 10am-2pm — VOLUNTEERING
Diapers are essential…and expensive. Choosing between diapers and other basic needs, or reusing soiled diapers to make them last longer put families, and especially young children, at risk. The Hampshire County Diaper Drive is collecting disposable diapers, baby wipes, and training pants to distribute to families in need through various community organizations including the Survival Centers in Amherst and Northampton from now through September 16th. You can participate by donating one of the items listed, and/or by offering your time to help collect donations at a local Stop & Shop on August 29. Volunteers are asked to take a 1-2 hour shift and no one will need to work alone. 413-584-3962. 228 King Street, Northampton, MA and 440 Russell Street, Hadley, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, August 29. 10am-2pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Getting ready to go back to school can be both exciting and stressful for children. Help your child generate (or maintain) positive feelings about the start of a new school year in a back to school celebration at Blunt Park, hosted by the Springfield Parent & Community Engagement Division. There will be a barbeque, entertainment, and representatives and resources from many community organizations. The first 6,000 students will receive a backpack filled with school supplies! Volunteers are needed to help make this event a success, so please consider donating your time to this worthwhile endeavor. 413-787-7908. 2460 Roosevelt Avenue, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 29. 10:30am-12pm — NATIVE FAUNA & NATURALIST SKILLS
Basic naturalist skills are fun to develop and will serve a person for a lifetime! Learning to use a hand lens helps develop fine motor skills and increases one’s ability to observe, and subsequently, describe objects. Discovering how a field guide is organized and how it is used helps one establish a stronger understanding of systems of classification and allows for lots of practice with comparing and contrasting. Project Native‘s Bug & Butterfly Safaris invite children to develop and practice these skills as they traverse fields in search of eggs, caterpillars, and butterflies to relocate into the Butterfly House. All ages welcome; all children should be accompanied by an adult. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water, insect repellent, and sunscreen. Rain cancels. 413-274-3433. 342 North Plain Road, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 29. 11am-1:30pm — STEAM
Traditional lava lamps utilize convection currents (not unlike those that occur beneath the Earth’s crust) to create their mesmerizing effect of rising and sinking orbs. In the “Bubbling Lava Lamp” STEAMcraft program at the Meekins Library, participants will create a different sort of lava lamp that uses other processes (and kid-safe, “kitchen science” materials) to move the “lava.” What a fun way to see scientific principles at work! Appropriate for children ages 5 and up with parental supervision. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 29. 11am-2pm — CULTURE & HISTORY
The Nipmuc are one of North America’s First Nations, and for thirty thousand years, they lived in a region that included parts of southern NH, central MA, northeastern CT, and northern RI. Today the Otis Cultural Council presents a Native American Culture Exhibition which will be enriched by the participation of members of the Historical Nipmuc Tribe. Activities include songs, dances, stories, and dream catcher art. 413-269-0100. Mountain View Campground, 1858 North Main Road, Otis, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 29. 1pm – 2pm — STEM
Explore the differences between static and current electricity using a variety of conductors, insulators, magnets, and a Van de Graaff generator (those big towers which, when you put your hand on them to get “charged”, cause your hair to stick out in wild and crazy ways)! Hosted by the Springfield Science Museum at the Zoo in Forest Park. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA. (< $)

Saturday, August 29. 1:30pm-2:30pm — LITERACY & BOOK SIGNING
Visitors to the Berkshire Museum may have “met” Old Bill, the moose that was a local legend long ago, and who now “resides” in the museum. Old Bill is the subject of Walter Eaton’s essay, Odyssey of Old Bill–The Famous Berkshire Moose, for which Arlo Guthrie wrote a 75th anniversary poem. This poem has now become a picture book, which Mr. Guthrie will be signing at the museum. Stay on after the signing to explore the museum’s interactive exhibits, too! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($; FREE for children under 3)

Saturday, August 29. 5pm-7pm — ICE CREAM SOCIAL
Mmmm…cold, creamy ice cream on a warm summer evening! Learn about the history of ice cream from the Herrells of Herrell’s ice cream fame, then enjoy an ice cream cone served from the new mobile ice cream trailer, Herrell’s on the Mooove! Be sure to bring along a blanket, as the Florence Community Band will perform a concert to further enhance your ice cream eating experience. The event takes place on the grounds of Historic Northampton.
413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 29. 5pm-8pm — PARTICIPATORY ART & FILM
What does it mean to be part of an ecological community? What is it like to contribute to the evolution of a participatory piece of art? Explore these questions at the opening of the Flotsam Weirs 2 installation at the Meekins Library. The installment features film projections and a process piece to which visitors are welcome to add their own “story” using natural materials. 413-320-2736. 2 Williams Street, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 29. 6pm-8:30pm — KAYAKING
Each month’s full moon has a special name (or names) which connects it to the seasons. August’s full moon (also a supermoon this year!) is known as the Full Red Moon, the Green Corn Moon, and the Sturgeon Moon. No matter the name, a paddle by moonlight is a summery experience you won’t want to miss. Northfield Mountain Recreation & Environmental Center invites you to explore the moonlit Connecticut River and Barton Cove on its Full Sturgeon Moon Paddle. Bring snacks, water, and a flashlight, and your own kayak if you have one. Intended for ages 16 and up; beginning and experienced paddlers welcome. Registration required. 413-863-9300. 82 French King Highway, Gill, MA. ($$; FREE with own kayak)

Saturday, August 29. 7pm — THEATRE
The lives of immigrants who arrived and settled in Pittsfield from 1840-1940 are showcased in rich detail in I Am Pittsfield: The Immigrant Century, a play being performed at Melville’s Arrowhead Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings through August 29th. This realistic interpretation, based on written and oral histories, contains themes of ethnic hostility, poverty, and prejudice, and as such is appropriate for mature teens and adults. Reservations strongly recommended. 413-442-1973. The Red Barn Theater, Melville’s Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, August 29. 7pm — LOCAL HISTORY
The supermoon — a full moon when the Moon is closest to Earth along its orbital path — is a sight to behold! What better night to go on a stroll through a graveyard? A number of interesting historic figures are buried at Worthington’s North Cemetery. Thanks to the Worthington Historical Society, these individuals will be theatrically “brought back to life” to tell you about themselves and the times in which they lived. This type of “first person” historical accounting leaves quite an impact! Suitable for teens and adults. Bring a flashlight and insect repellent. 413-238-0491. North Cemetery, Cold Street, Worthington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, August 29. 8pm-12:30am — PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Celebrate the work of Jacob’s Pillow‘s executive and artistic director, Ella Baff, as she closes out her final season! This finale event will include performances from the Martha Graham Dance Company and MADBOOTS DANCE, as well as an afterparty with food and drink, a DJ, and opportunities to mix and mingle with members of the dance companies. 413-243-0745. 358 George Carter Road, Becket, MA. ($$-$$$)

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Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Ongoing Sunday Events

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

Sunday, August 30. 7am-7pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Aggie Fair season marches on with the Cummington Fair, which runs August 27-30. This fair began back in 1883, when the Hillside Agricultural Society began to place strong focus on “the attainment and diffusion of scientific and practical knowledge in the cultivation of the soil.” The modern day fair offers many connections to those first events, and also includes components relevant to current times. Sunday features livestock judging, kids’ activities, a truck and tractor pull, a parade, and a turkey dinner. Learn more from these Hilltown Families posts about youth participation at agricultural fairs and their multidisciplinary learning opportunities! 413-634-5091. Cummington Fairgrounds, 97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA. ($; FREE for children under 10)

Sunday, August 30. 9am-12pm — UPCYCLING
Upcycling is the process of reusing old, damaged, or garbage/recycling-bound materials to create something new! This creative, Earth-friendly craft diverts items from the waste stream. Makers’ Mill is hosting a workshop at which participants can create an upcycled plastic tote. Folks will start out with empty, plastic animal food bags, and will be guided through the entire process to create a cool, useful tote. Sewing machines and other necessary supplies will be provided, although you are welcome to bring your own plastic bags if you wish. Previous sewing experience is helpful but not necessary. Intended for older students and adults. Younger students may participate with an adult caregiver. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street, North Adams, MA. ($)

Sunday, August 30. 9am-3pm — VEHICLES & STEM
What is it about big trucks, hot rods, motorcycles, and other vehicles that captures the interest and imagination of so many children and adults? Some folks are drawn to the mechanics of different types of engines, others to aesthetic and aerodynamic designs, and still others to the history behind each model. You and your family can explore any number of these themes at this year’s Motorama, when several streets in North Adams will be filled with vehicles to observe! Rain date: Saturday, September 5. 413-664-6180. Main, Holden, and Eagle Streets, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 30. 10am — MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Meet Mo Willems and Elephant and Piggie! Join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for a fun day with author and artist Mo Willems. Meet Mo and get books signed. See new Elephant and Piggie films by Weston Woods! Make art inspired by Mo’s work and get a pigeon tattoo! As a special treat, Herrell’s ice cream will be serving ice cream flavors in honor of Elephant and Piggie!  413-658-1105. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (FREE with Museum Admission)

Sunday, August 30. 4pm — THEATRE & ART HISTORY
Witness the final years of Vincent van Gogh’s life, as reimagined through the letters he wrote to his brother, Theo, in the Ensemble for the Romantic Century‘s theatrical concert, Van Gogh’s Ear. This performance will complement the van Gogh exhibition that visitors to the Clark have been enjoying this summer (on view through September 13). Advance ticket purchase strongly advised. 413-528-1216 x 3102. Stone House Ballroom, 250 Division Street, Great Barrington, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, August 30. 4pm-6pm — NATURE STUDIES
Butterflies, bees, and other pollinating insects stay very active through late summer. The Langevin family of Conway and the Friends of the South River invite you to enjoy a nature walk through the Langevin meadows for a close-up look at some of the area’s most interesting and important arthropods. In 2012, this property was registered as an official monarch waystation, meaning that it can host a large population of migrating monarch butterflies with its milkweed-dense vegetation! Please wear comfortable shoes and long pants, and take your usual tick precautions. Severe weather will result in rescheduling. 413-369-4697. 302 Riley Road, Conway, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, August 30. 5:30pm-7:30pm — OUTDOOR CONCERT
Chesterwood presents Chesterfest, a series of concerts celebrating Americana music, on Sunday evenings through August 30. Grounds open at 5pm; beverages and barbeque food will be available for purchase. Rain or shine (concerts and seating are under a giant tent). 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge, MA. ($; children under 17 FREE)

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Monday, August, 31st

Monday, August 31. 1:30pm — CULTURAL & FILM STUDIES
Watching a film allows the viewer to consider a range of perspectives and experiences he or she may not have been exposed to before. This can be an important component of developing empathy as well as a sense of community on a global scale. Older students and adults interested in exploring themes of identity and community may be interested in A Borrowed Identity (NR, 2015), based on the autobiographical writings of Arab-Israeli author/journalist Sayed Kashua, which asks audiences to consider what it means to belong, what it means to be an outsider, and what happens when one’s identity presents challenges to one’s pursuits. 413-443-7171 x 320. Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (< $)

Monday, August 31. 7:30pm — COMMUNITY MOVIE
Residents of Northampton have created their first Crowdsourced Cinema project, a fun and ambitious Northampton Community Television undertaking! People filmed their own versions of scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark (PG, 1981), and these have been assembled into a remake of this classic film. Bring a blanket to sit on the lawn of the Forbes Library and be ready for an entertaining evening of locally-made cinema! 413-587-3550. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 10am – KNITTING: The Sunderland Public Library has a knitting group on most Mondays year-round. The group is open to knitters of all levels and ages. Great intergenerational activity to do with young homeschoolers. Runs most Mondays. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE for “Fun on the Farm” every Monday through August 31st at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. 413-499-4809. 780 Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Come to Books and Babies at the East Longmeadow Public Library every Monday. Kids ages 2 and under can hear stories, see fingerplays, and have fun together. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Storrs Library offers a drop-in playgroup for kids ages 3 and under every Monday morning, ongoing. Come hear a story, sing songs, and enjoy free play. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can come to tummy time at the Forbes Library every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – PARENTING SUPPORT: Are you helping raise your grandchildren, nieces & nephews, or other family members? Join others who are doing so at a parenting support group every third Monday of the month at the Williamsburg Senior Center. Childcare available if you call in advance. 413-563-1981. 141 Main Street, Haydenville, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm — LITERATURE:The Mount hosts its popular literature-related lecture series each Monday through the end of August. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)
  • 5pm-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Community supper every Monday at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Donations accepted, as well as food item donations for local food banks. Ongoing (no suppers on 9/1, 11/24 or 12/29). 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-7pm – STORYTIME: Kids can unwind at the end of the day at the Montague Center Library‘s ongoing weekly evening storytime. Kids are welcome to come to the storytime in their pajamas. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-7:30pm – PARENTING: Parents of transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning children are invited to participate in a new support group that meets on the first Monday of every month (excepting Labor Day). 413-695-7686. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, September 1st

REGISTRATION DEADLINE:
Labor Day Family Campout with the Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) at Notchview in Windsor, Sept 5 & 6! Ideal for both experienced campers & first-timers. Families have a choice of activities to choose from, including hikes to a search for owls, star gazing with a local expert, and stories & songs by the campfire. TTOR will provide a campout dinner, s’mores around the fire on Saturday night, and breakfast Sunday morning. Pre-registration required by today, September 1st. Call 413-532-1631×10 or email westregion@ttor.org. Windsor, MA ($)

Tuesday, September 1. 7:30am-9am — COMMUNITY BREAKFAST
Often we read or hear about elected officials, business owners, and other community figures without ever having the opportunity to meet them and gain a better understanding of their lives and community roles. Sit down to a comfortable community breakfast with area legislators, mayors, business owners, select board representatives, and members of the academic communities at the 49th annual Community Breakfast, hosted by UMass and the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. Free parking will be available in the Campus Center Garage. 413-577-1101. UMass Student Union Ballroom, 41 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA. (< $)

Tuesday, September 1. 10:30am – 11:30am — NATIVE FAUNA
Children who come to understand and value nature often carry that perspective into adulthood. Give the children in your life a strong, early connection to the world around them through activities like Kidleidoscope Tuesdays at the Great Falls Discovery Center! Children ages 3-6 and their caregivers are invited to visit for a story, game, and craft related to the natural world. Today’s topic will be bats. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 1. 12pm-6pm — PHOTOGRAPHY & LOCAL LANDSCAPES
Viewing photographs can inspire one to ask questions (Where was this taken? What is the subject? How does this make me feel? What is the photographer hoping to convey?), make discoveries, and create art of one’s own. When the subject of the art is the land that you call home, the effects can be even more profound. View the Berkshire region through the eyes and artistic sensibility of Geoffrey Coelho, whose photographs of landscapes, architecture, street scenes, and still lifes will be exhibited at the Otis Library and Museum for the month of September. 413-269-0109. 48 North Main Road, Otis, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 1. 4pm-6pm — ARCHITECTURE & WOMEN’S STUDIES
Renown architect Frank Lloyd Wright employed female architects well before women were widely accepted in the field. Many of these women later went on to launch impressive careers of their own. At Ventfort Hall‘s “A Girl Is a Fellow Here” Tea & Talk, architect and philanthropist Beverly Willis will introduce two films about the female architects who worked with Wright, addressing the social, cultural, and professional forces that influenced their lives. The films and discussion will be followed by a Victorian tea on the grounds. Reservations recommended. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, September 1. 5pm-6:30pm — BACK TO SCHOOL CELEBRATION
Some children are feeling ready to get back into the classroom and to their school-year routines. Others may be more reluctant, wishing for more summer adventures or perhaps anxious about the start of the new school year. Parents/guardians may be experiencing a range of emotions about the end of summer, too. A back-to-school celebration helps get everyone energized about the fun and learning that await! The Town of Amherst and the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools invite students and their families to join teachers and school staff on the Common for a First Day Celebration of games, art, and live entertainment. Trolley service will be available to transport attendees from the Amherst Regional High School parking lot to the Common, beginning at 4:45pm. 413-362-1825. Amherst Town Common, South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 1. 6pm — JOURNALISM & CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Do you read The Recorder? Does it provide news and stories you find relevant and interesting? What features do you particularly enjoy, and which would you like to see amended? Get involved in shaping the local journalism scene, as George Forcier, new editor of The Recorder, visits the Whately Library to solicit input from Franklin County residents and other readers of the paper. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 8:45am-10:15am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Swift River School every Tuesday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-5157. 201 Wendell Road, New Salem, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12:30pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help improve the Trustees of Reservations trails at Notchview with the property’s Trail Team. A variety of opportunities are available, from light work to heavy maintenance and construction. Runs second and fourth Tuesdays through October 2015. 413-532-1631 x 19. Route 9, Windsor, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for young kids ages birth-preK at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Deb Wood features fun toys and more! Every Tuesday. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Join the Greenfield Public Library for a weekly storytime year-round! This event includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for kids age five and under. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library will have a baby and toddler play time every Tuesday at 11am. They also offer a playgroup for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month which begins at 10am. Kids can come play with toys, do a craft, read a book, and make new friends at this fun playgroup, year-round. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – LITERACY: Kids ages 2-5 can attend a literacy group at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield. Come with a parent or caregiver and practice reading skills! Runs every Tuesday. 413-568-5242. 28 West Silver Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers can attend a fun storytime at the Chicopee Public Library the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Come for songs, finger plays, movement, stories, activities, and crafts. 413-594-1800 x107. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11am – MUSIC: The Hubbard Library is offering a music program for preschoolers every Tuesday. Come for singing, clapping, and dancing. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Children ages 3-6 and their parents are invited to the Great Falls Discovery Center’s Kidleidoscope event! Kidleidoscope focuses on teaching young children about the natural world using the theme “we share our home.” Activities include stories, interactive games, and crafts. Runs every Tuesday through October 6. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library is holding a baby and toddler playtime every Tuesday. Come to the library and meet other kids and parents. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:30pm-2pm – TECHOLOGY SUPPORT: The Storrs Library’s Tech Tuesday ongoing, drop-in sessions allow folks to receive coaching in various skills with which they’ve been needing support. Learn how to use your new computer, send email, operate an e-reader, and more. Bring your phone, e-reader, or other relevant device. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm-6:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Northampton’s Tuesday Market runs through the summer and fall. Tuesday Market features delicious local fruits, vegetables, bread, syrup, fish, honey, and much more! Come each Tuesday for food, community, and entertainment. Takes place between Thornes Market and the parking garage. Downtown. Northampton, MA.
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema offers weekly matinees every Tuesday, especially for people with babies! This is a great chance to get out and see a movie without having to worry about finding a sitter. Check their website to see what’s playing each week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. >$
  • 3pm-5pm – GAMES: Kids can play Magic the Gathering every Tuesday at Comics N’ More. A great chance for kids to make new friends with similar interests and learn how to play this fun card game! 413-529-0800. 31 Union Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: The Family Resource Center is offering a LEGO group for ages 4-8 the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. 413-664-4821. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: The Meekins Library has a new LEGO club which meets in the Hawks Hayden Room every Tuesday. Designed with kids ages 5-11 in mind, but everyone is welcome! 413-268-7488. 2 Williams Street, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-8pm – FILM STUDIES: The Red Gate Farm Film Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month to watch and discuss films in the farm’s program building. A homemade dinner is served, with an optional small donation to cover food costs. All ages welcome, but parents should know that PG and PG-13 movies are shown. Anyone in 3rd grade or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and participants under 17 must have a signed parental/guardian consent form in order to attend. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road, Ashfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – LITERACY/GAMES: Meet up with other community members at the Monson Library each Tuesday for a game of Scrabble! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – PARENTING & CLIMATE CHANGE: Mothers Out Front is a group of “mothers and others” who are concerned about climate change and passionate about creating a cleaner energy future for future generations. Learn more about the group’s work and meet other parents with whom to share your stories, hopes, and fears at their monthly climate support gatherings, held every 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP via the MOF site. Sunderland, MA (Tuesdays) and Florence, MA (Thursdays). (FREE)

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Wednesday, September 2nd

Wednesday, September 2. 6pm-8pm — COMMUNITY ART SHOW
Twenty artists from the Pioneer Valley will display their works amid the tools, seeds, appliances, bikes, and other inventory at the Highland Hardware Store‘s unique art show. The store’s wares make an interesting context for experiencing the art, and visitors will be invited to engage with the art in fun and accessible ways. This show runs through October 17, 2015, with a special opening reception September 2. The hardware store’s owner, Harry Craven, has also shared his extensive collection of Holyoke-related antique objects and photographs for a concurrent exhibit at the Taber Gallery, which makes a nice complement to the hardware store art show! 413-533-4883. 917 Hampden Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 10am – STORYTIME: Parents and their preschoolers can come to the Westhampton Public Library for coffee and storytime every Wednesday. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Westhampton Public Library on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA.
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday and Wednesday at 10am for stories with Nathan! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – 11:30am – MUSIC AND LITERACY: Young children and their caregivers can visit the Wendell Free Library on Wednesdays through June 30, 2016 for Tunes and Tales with Sylvia Wetherby, organized by the Community Network for Children. This group may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-3559. 7 Wendell Depot Road, Wendell, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Erving Elementary school every Wednesday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 413-423-3326. 28 Northfield Road, Erving, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Meekins Library librarian, Rochelle Wildfong, will host a story time in the children’s department every Wednesday, all year round. Fingerplays, songs, picture books, and circle games for pre-schoolers and their caregivers. After story hour, take the kids sledding behind the school, then head down to Bread Euphoria for a warm something to eat & drink! A delightful way to spend a Wednesday morning in the Hilltowns with your preK kids! 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Edwards Library on the first and third Wednesday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for ages 3-8 at the Mason Square Branch Library. Come every Wednesday for stories, songs, and crafts. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11am – STEM: The Berkshire Museum is offering a Parent/Child STEM Session the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Come explore science, technology, engineering, and math through books, hands-on activities, and play. Registration is required. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12pm – STORYTIME: The Community Network for Children offers a story hour every Wednesday at the Leverett Library. Children ages 5 and under can come for music, movement, books, and hands-on activities. Runs through June 30, 2016. May not run on holidays or in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-5157. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – STORYTIME: Preschool storyhour every Wednesday at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Ruthanne Paulson includes stories, music, movement, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 12pm-1:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Every Wednesday there will be a support group for pregnant and postpartum mothers of children ages 0-5 at Square One’s Family Square, facilitated by MotherWoman. This group is a great place to talk about motherhood in a safe and confidential space. Childcare provided. 413-858-3122. 1095 Main Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 12pm – GARDENING: Visit the River Valley Market on Wednesdays through September 30, 2015 for “Picnic Presentations”, an outdoor talk series focusing on home and yard improvement. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Wednesday at Midwifery Care of Holyoke. Expectant mothers and moms of babies under age 1 can come discuss all aspects of motherhood. 413-534-2700. 230 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Parents, caregivers, and grandparents are invited to attend a Parents Supporting Parents Support Group every Wednesday at the Salasin Center. 413-775-0010. 474 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Preschool-aged kids can attend Kidleidoscope every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. This weekly program features forest-themed educational activities. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5:30pm – MAKER SPACE: Every Wednesday, Amherst Media hosts a drop-in group for makers of all ages and experience levels. Whether you’re working on computer programming, tech projects, knitting, other projects, or are just curious, stop by and check it out! 413-259-3300. 246 College Street. Amherst, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime for kids ages 3-6 at the East Longmeadow Library. Runs every Wednesday evening. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm-9pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group the fourth Wednesday of each month in Conference Room D at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. This is a bereavement group for infant and pregnancy loss. Please contact emptyarmsbereavement@gmail.com for more information. 413-387-0703. 30 Locust Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 7pm-9pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group the second Wednesday of each month in the Owl and Raven Community Space. The group is for mothers and partners who have experience the loss of a baby through miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Please email lexi.walters@gmail.com for more information. 413-387-0703. 2 Conz Street, Unit 42. Northampton, MA.
  • 7pm-9pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The Creacion Latin Big Band has open practice sessions every first and third Wednesdays. Enjoy salsa, cha cha, mambo, and more, and enjoy food and drink from the beer garden, too. Audience members are invited to dance to their hearts’ content! 413-650-2670. Gateway City Arts, 92-114 Race Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for teens and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, September 3rd

Thursday, September 3. 4:15pm-6pm — OPEN HOUSE/DANCE
Regular physical activity is essential for physical and mental well-being, and the creative expression one practices in the performing arts plays a role in developing self-esteem and empathy. If your child is interested in dance, or you would simply like him or her to give it a try, the Center Dance Studio‘s open house is a great place to start. Instructors Ashley and Caddy Carlisle have created a “holistic dance program” where reading, writing, and dance unite. Visitors will be able to talk to the Carlisles about their instructional philosophies and participate in a lesson and interactive dance activities. 413-687-7953. 321 Main Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 3. 5pm-8pm — OUTDOOR CONCERT
Beautiful scenery, a sunset view, and a fabulous jazz and blues concert await you at Naumkeag at Night. Bring your blanket and a picnic dinner to this Trustees of Reservations property and soak in the summery sights and sounds! 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE for members, $ for nonmembers)

Thursday, September 3. 5pm-8pm — ART WALK
Enjoy the richness of local culture through an art walk! This week’s Art Walk in Amherst coincides with Hope and Feathers Framing‘s fifth anniversary as well as the opening reception of Five by Five, a new exhibition by Pioneer Valley artists. Local band And the Kids will perform and Mission Cantina’s Taco Tina food truck will be serving tacos! So much local goodness in one spot! 413-835-0197. 319 Main Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR THURSDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12pm – VOLUNTEERING: Help monitor and care for the trails at Bartholomew’s Cobble, a Trustees of Reservations property. Runs Thursdays through November 26, 2015. Contact conservation ranger Rene Wendell for more details. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup every Thursday in Goshen Town Hall. There will be storytime, crafts, projects, and more. 42 Main Street. Goshen, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:15am – STORYTIME: Storytime for toddlers (ages 2-5) every Thursday at the Ramsdell Library. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Join the Emily Williston Memorial Library for storytime every Thursday! There will be snacks, stories, and crafts. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: The Jones Library will offer a preschool storytime every Thursday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Hatfield Public Library holds a storytime for kids 5 and under every Thursday! Come to the library for stories and fun. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:30pm-2:30pm – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every third Thursday at Scantic Valley YMCA. Mothers of babies 12 months and under can come talk about motherhood at this monthly program. 413-583-3527. 45 Post Office Park. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm-2:30pm – STORYTIME/BILINGUAL: Little ones can come to the Brightwood Library every Thursday for a bilingual story club (English and Spanish). Come sing, dance, play, hear stories in English and Spanish, and meet new friends. 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm-4pm – KNITTING: Knitting provides an excellent base for intergenerational skill sharing every Thursday. Bring your current project or one you’ve been meaning to start! All levels of knitters are welcome at this Thursday knitting circle, hosted at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge. 413-443-1792. 444 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 2:30pm-4:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Hatfield Public Library holds a weekly Crafting Club for ages 5 and up every Thursday! Come to the library and get creative at this fun program. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:45pm – MINECRAFT: Tweens and teens can attend Minecraft Club at the Indian Orchard Branch Library every Thursday. Come make new friends and trade Minecraft tips and tricks! 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Indian Orchard, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-5pm – CHESS: Every second and fourth Thursday, kids are invited to the Mason Library for chess. There will be no instruction provided, so this event is best for kids who already have an understanding of the game. This is a great place to come play with peers, make new friends, and improve your chess skills in a relaxed and supportive environment. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – STORYTIME: The Hubbard Library is offering a storytime for students ages 5-8. Every Thursday. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-8pm – GAMES/LEGOS: Families can have fun every Thursday at Gaylord Memorial Library‘s game and LEGO night! Stop by for board games, puzzles, LEGOs, and more. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/MOVIE: The Amherst Survival Center serves a free community meal every Thursday and screens a film for the community to enjoy together. Bring your family and come enjoy an evening with your community while learning about the work of the ASC! 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-6:30pm – LEGO: Kids ages 6 and up can have fun and get creative with LEGOs at the Mason Square Branch Library‘s LEGO Club every Thursday. Call to sign up. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-8pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Stunning scenery, sunsets, and great music await you at the Naumkeag at Night concert series which runs Thursdays through September 17, 2015. Sponsored by the Trustees of Reservations. Bring a picnic dinner and a blanket! 413-339-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA. ($)
  • 5:30pm – SKILLSHARE/CRAFT GROUP: The Haberdashery holds a Chat ‘n Do every Thursday at 5:30pm. Bring a project you are working on and chat with others, hash out ideas, ask advice, offer tips, and more. This is a good opportunity for intergenerational skill sharing! 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – PARENTING & CLIMATE CHANGE: Mothers Out Front is a group of “mothers and others” who are concerned about climate change and passionate about creating a cleaner energy future for future generations. Learn more about the group’s work and meet other parents with whom to share your stories, hopes, and fears at their monthly climate support gatherings, held every 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP via the MOF site. Sunderland, MA (Tuesdays) and Florence, MA (Thursdays). (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm – KNITTING: Spruce up your knitting skills and spend time with community members of all ages at the Dickinson Memorial Library‘s knitting group every Thursday evening. All skill levels are welcome. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – TRIVIA: Is your mind brimming with all sorts of facts and figures? On the first Thursday of every month, the Jones Library will host a trivia night where you can put this knowledge to a fun use! Individuals may form teams ahead of time or meet up with others at the event and create teams on the spot (no more than 5 members per team). Prizes and refreshments will be shared. Intended for older students and adults. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (< $; SUGGESTED DONATION)
  • 7pm-7:30pm – STORYTIME: The Hubbard Library will have a “Tuck Me In” storytime for ages 3-7 the first Thursday of each month. Kids can come to the library in pajamas and enjoy this bedtime-themed storytime. Registration is required. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, September 4th

Friday, September 4. 11am – MUSIC
Join the Sunderland Public Library for ukulele fun with Julie Stepanek. There will be music and movement for all! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 4. 3pm-9pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
One way to mark the changing of the seasons is to tune in to the types of produce and routines that predominate at local farms. At the Blandford Fair‘s opening night, get a hint of autumn as you examine the giant pumpkin display. Visitors can also look at local art, have fun at the midway, sit down to a meatloaf supper with other fair-goers, and witness 4-wheel drive truck pulls. Learn more from these Hilltown Families posts about youth participation at agricultural fairs and their multidisciplinary learning opportunities! 413-848-2888. 10 North Street, Blandford, MA. (< $ admission; < $ parking; FREE for children under 6)

Friday, September 4. 3:30pm — ART HISTORY
Familiarly known as Whistler’s Mother, Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 is currently on view at the Clark Art Institute, on a rare loan from the Museé d’Orsay! Attend a lecture by curator Kevin Murphy to learn about the artist’s fine brushwork and distinctive use of line, then view a selection of Whistler’s paintings on site to bring a greater depth to your understanding and appreciation of his artistic techniques. Intended for older students and adults. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE with museum admission; FREE for children under 18)

Friday, September 4. 4pm-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
There is something to be said for experiencing something new, and the Three County Fair offers a plethora of opportunities to do so during its run from September 4-7. On Friday, you can see unique antique tractors, watch a championship horse pull, appreciate the talents of the Axe Women of Maine, and root for your favorite swine in a pig race. Not your typical Friday night fare! New experiences like this invite language development (new vocabulary), cultural appreciation, historical perspective-taking, and the simple delight of discovery and surprise. 413-584-2237. Three County Fairgrounds, 41 Fair Street, Northampton, MA. (< $; FREE for children under 11)

Friday, September 4. 5pm-8pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
If you are planning on spending money on dinner, a gift, or a necessity, it’s great to keep your dollars local and support the health of your community! Towards this end, the Greenfield Business Association hosts “First Friday” celebrations every month from May through December. Meet up with friends and neighbors downtown to enjoy food, live music, special sales, and give-aways. This month’s theme is “Midway Madness.” 413-774-2791. downtown Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR FRIDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Shutesbury Elementary School every Friday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour every Friday at 10am & 2pm. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a free baby group for babies and caretakers at the Williamstown Youth Center the first Friday of every month. 413-663-6593. School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the Community Action Family Center. Expectant mothers and moms of infants can attend this group to discuss adjustment to motherhood. Childcare provided; babies in arms welcome. 413-387-0703. 220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the MotherWoman Office. Expectant mothers and moms of infants through preschoolers can attend this group to discuss all aspects of motherhood. Childcare provided for ages 4 and under. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Every Friday is Bounce and Rhyme Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Kids 2 ½ and younger can come enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: The Chicopee Public Library holds a weekly Music and Movement program for kids ages 5 and under every Friday. Come have fun moving, singing, and dancing. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Families can attend the “Family Frolic Storytime” every Friday at Gaylord Memorial Library! Enjoy stories, musical plays, and crafts. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – MUSIC & PLAYGROUP: Children ages 2-5 with their caregivers are invited to the Mason Library‘s Sing-A-Song Playgroup every Friday. Please register in advance for one 4-week session. New sessions begin each month. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – MUSEUM-BASED PLAY: Visit the Berkshire Museum for WeeMuse Adventures, a weekly program every Friday that will feature songs, stories, scavenger hunts, playtime, and more. Intended audience is children 18 months – 3 years with a caregiver; siblings welcome. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Parents/caregivers and their babies, ages 0-15 months, can come to “Welcome Baby” every Friday at the Storrs Library. This program, run by Pathways for Parents, is all about the importance of reading, music, and interactive play. Call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – MINECRAFT: The Storrs Library has a Minecraft Club for kids in grades 3 and up every Friday. Call to sign up. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-8pm – GAMES: Game night happens at A2Z Science and Learning Store. Stop by on a Friday night to meet up with others and try out new games. Suitable for older children and teens. Ongoing. 413-586-1611. 57 King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Parents/caregivers can drop off kids ages 3-12 at Berkshire South Regional Community Center while you enjoy date night every Friday! Kids will enjoy swimming, activities, pizza, and stories. Cost includes pizza dinner. Reservations required at least 48 hours in advance. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. ($)
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Have you ever learned about an eclipse, comet, meteor shower, or other celestial event after it happened? Don’t miss out on another one! The “Stars over Springfield” observatory series invites the public to learn about and enjoy the night sky with the help of the Springfield Science Museum‘s large rooftop telescope on the first Friday of every month. There will be a short talk on an astronomy-related topic, followed by opportunities to view celestial objects of interest. These programs are best suited for families with children ages 8 and up, although younger children are also welcome. In case of clouds or rain, a planetarium show will replace the outdoor viewing. 413-263-6800 x 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Goshen, Heath, Holyoke, Leyden, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Warwick, Williamsburg and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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