Suggested Events for September 12th-18th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is my go-to place to look for upcoming family activities in my community (and the surrounding communities). I truly appreciate this site and all of the work that’s put into it!” – Renee Hill (Easthampton, 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.

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Bulletin Board

Begins Sept 9

Yoga for Kids and Teens at Eastworks in Easthampton with Karen Orlando begins Wed, Sept 9. Help kids develop healthy habits that will last throughout the school year. Improve concentration, sense of calmness & sleep. Develop body awareness & improve self-esteem. Enhance posture, flexibility & coordination. Teen and Mother/Daughter classes are a great way for home school and charter school students to meet their P.E. requirement in a fun, loving, and creative environment filled with opportunities for self-expression. The following classes are being offered for Fall Session 1: Family Yoga Fri 11:15am-12pm & Sun 10-10:45am; Teen Yoga Wed 3:30-4:20pm; Mother/Daughter Yoga on Wed. 6-7pm. Register online @ KarenOrlandoYoga.com (Drop ins welcome!)

Sept 13

On Sunday, September 13, from 2 to 4 pm, the Northampton Community Music Center will host its annual Open House & Instrument Petting Zoo. Come see, hear and try out different musical instruments, meet our teachers, take free demo classes, and enjoy a performance by NCMC’s ukulele choir. NCMC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1986 with 50 professional faculty members serving more than 800 students annually. NCMC also hosts more than 75 performances and events each year. Programs include instruction in 25 different instruments, choruses, instrumental ensembles, vocal performance classes, recording studio classes, summer programs and special workshops. Financial aid available. For information, call 413-585-0001 or visit www.ncmc.net.

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 , al 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)

Sept 13

Parent of a 12-18 year old? Interested in learning a different way to communicate with your child/teen about difficult subjects? Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a non-judgmental conversation style that uses open-ended questions to foster parent/child connection and encourage youth to make difficult positive changes. John Brelsford, PhD, LMHC has over 40 years of experience in the human service field and is a member of MINT (Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers) Join NPC on Sunday, September 13th from 3-6pm at Northampton Survival Center, 265 Prospect Street in Northampton, MA. Light refreshments will be provided. Register at www.northamptonprevents.org or email pmcneil@northampton-k12.us for more info.

Sept 14 & 15

Rosh Hashanah Programming free and open to the public at Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI) in Northampton. On Monday, September 14th, CBI will offer a Rosh Hashanah family program for children ages 2-5 and their caregivers from 10-11am. They will celebrate the beginning of the Jewish year through stories, song and apples and honey! Also, on Monday, September 14th, CBI offers a family service (with instruments) from 10:30am-12pm for ages 6-12 and their families. On Tuesday, September 15th, CBI will run a program for children (ages 2-5) and their caregivers. This will run from 10-11am at Abundance Farm (at CBI) to include a creation scavenger hunt. For more info visit cbinorthampton.org or contact rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org.

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.

Sep 17

The 4th Annual Celebrate Amherst Block Party happens Thursday, September 17th from 5-9pm! Organized by the Amherst Business Improvement District with support from major sponsor, TD Bank, the block party is the largest single-day event in downtown Amherst. This free event brings over 6,000 people into downtown to eat, shop, and have fun! North Pleasant Street is blocked off and becomes a playground for street performers, dance performances, delicious food from downtown restaurants, and three stages that feature a DJ and live music performances by local favorites, such as children’s musician Mister G and more! For more details and information, visit www.amherstdowntown.com or contact the BID office at info@amherstdowntown.com.

Sept 19

The Hilltowns History Fair & Conference is back! The Mohawk Trail Regional School on Rt. 112 in Shelburne Falls will be the site of a multi-faceted local history extravaganza on Sat., Sept. 19th. A lively outdoor FAIR is free and open to the public, from 10am-4pm (indoors if inclement weather) with Civil War reenactors, demonstrations of historic trades, children’s area, wagon rides, history-related vendors, and great food and music. A CONFERENCE, with nominal fee, will be held inside from 8:30am-3:30pm―keynote and 18 sessions relating to CT River Valley and hilltowns history. Visit www.marylyonfoundation.org or email booklady2@hotmail.com. Supported in part by MassHumanities, Pioneer Valley History Network and local cultural councils.

Sept 20

Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley presents “The Values We Want to Cultivate In Children and Ourselves” on Sunday, September 20, from 9:30am–4:30pm. Author and psychologist Dr. Chris Willard will explore the cultivation of such values as Generosity, Ethics, Letting Go, Wisdom, Effort, Tolerance, Truthfulness, Determination, Loving Kindness, and Equanimity. Parents, caregivers, educators, therapists, and social workers are all welcome. The suggested contribution is $25-$40 at registration, plus a voluntary donation to Dr. Willard. This talk takes place at Eastworks (116 Pleasant ​St., Ste 242) in Easthampton, MA. Learn more and register at www.insightpv.org/retreats. 413-527-0388.

Audi- tions

Pioneer Valley Ballet is holding auditions for its annual production of The Nutcracker. This opulent ballet performs at The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA on December 11, 12, and 13, 2015. Roles include Gingerbread, Candy Canes, Trees, and Party Kids. Children 5 – 11 years old are invited to audition. No dance experience needed. Children must be 5 year old by September 12. Advance registration required. Registration and information at www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

Give your precious girl the gift of empowerment. POWER GIRLS, at Valley Women’s Martial Arts in Easthampton, MA combines traditional karate with fun, laughter, creativity & friendship every week at its 1 Cottage Street studio. Class inspires students of all abilities & learning styles to grow in confidence, self-esteem, & social justice awareness. Self-protection skills strengthen mind-heart-body-voice in personal boundaries, calming down, speaking up, being an effective ally, handling a safety emergency & more. Certified, award-winning teachers with many years of local, national & international youth teaching experience. Ages 6-17. Tues/Wed/Thurs afternoons. Safer, stronger, confident, bold: POWER GIRLS! 413527-0101 www.vwma.org

Sep 27

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts will once again be holding their 5th Annual Will Bike 4 Food charity cycling event on Sunday, September 27th. You have the opportunity to support their community by riding as an individual or forming a team. Starting a team (4 or more) with your friends and family is an easy way to help feed our neighbors in need! With multiple courses to choose from—a 3.5, 10, 25, 50 or 100 mile loop—riders of all ages and levels can get involved. This year’s event will include a new location (Hatfield Lions Club Pavilion), new routes, and the biggest after-party yet with food, beverages, games and live music. To register, or to learn more about Will Bike 4 Food, visit their website at www.willbike4food.org.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 12th-18th, 2015

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Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, September 12th, 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. This week’s show features Frank Gallo from Rolie Polie Guacamole. The theme is healthy living, through eating good foods and getting lots of exercise. 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, September 12. 8am-9:30pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
A visit to a county fair can be a lot of fun, and it is also a way to show your support of the important work of organized agricultural societies. The Franklin County Agricultural Society provides education and opportunities for all members of the community, works in partnership with the community on its projects, and continually maintains and improves their land and programs for all to enjoy. The Franklin County Fair‘s Saturday offerings include a number of baking contests, livestock shows, a craft fair, circus acts, a kiddie tractor pull, a K9 dog demonstration, live music, and much, much more! 413-774-4282. Franklin County Fairgrounds, 89 Wisdom Way, Greenfield, MA. ($; FREE for children 8 and under)

Saturday, September 12. 9am-11:30am — SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Would you and your children like to make a big difference in the lives of your community members through simple, fun, engaging, and meaningful volunteer work? The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, in partnership with Hilltown Families, is hosting a Family Volunteer Day to increase community members’ awareness of and participation in Hunger Action Month. There will be volunteer opportunities for people of all ages, and a number of hands-on activities (e.g., making healthy snacks) will be offered as well. As they donate their time and energy, participants will be learning about food insecurity in our community and other ways they can make a positive difference in helping all people meet their basic nutritional needs. You can also learn more about the challenges of accessing healthy food in Western Massachusetts in our post about food deserts. Registration required. 413-247-9738. 97 North Hatfield Road, Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 9am-12pm — BIOLOGY/CONSERVATION/SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
As our climate changes, amphibians face serious challenges. Amphibians rely on both aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and they are especially sensitive to changes in humidity and precipitation. Salamanders are one of the local amphibians that really need our assistance. Donate part of your morning to help Mass Audubon staff survey salamander cover boards (small, protective shelters on the forest floor) at Graves Farm. This work is very important in the effort to monitor the health of our native salamander populations, and no special skills are necessary. A water bottle, bug spray, boots, gloves, and outdoor work clothes may come in handy. Children of all ages welcome with an adult companion. 413-584-3009. Adams Road, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 9am-3pm — VEHICLES & LOCAL HISTORY
Springfield holds an important place in our country’s transportation history. Learn all about it at the annual “History on the Move” car show, hosted by the Springfield Museums. There will be many vintage vehicles on display for visitors to observe and examine, including several models (one from 1903!) that were manufactured right in Springfield. Interested in seeing these cars on the move? Be sure to catch one of the driving demonstrations, scheduled to take place throughout the afternoon. 413-263-6800 x 459. Quadrangle green, 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 12. 9am-8pm — STEM/CODING
Want to learn CSS or HTML? Ready to turn your app idea into a real app? Perhaps you’ve been wanting to make 3D drawings using SketchUp or itching to learn about LEGO EV3 Robotics? Look no further than the NERD (New England Regional Developers) Summit, a 3-day learning camp focused on helping people build coding, web design, and related skills, and to welcome everyone into this interesting industry. Many sessions are intended for older students and adults; several sessions are good fits for younger children who have an adult accompanying them. Pre-register online for the sessions that interest you! 413-387-4540. UMass Hotel & Conference Center, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 10am — HISTORY WALK
Families can explore local connections to important moments in national history by participating in walking tours of Florence, offered by the Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee. Held monthly, tours weave stories together with exploration of local landmarks to make for a place-based exploration of history. The walks begin at the Sojourner Truth statue and will last about 1.5 hours. Park & Pine Streets, Florence, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 10am — U.S. GOVERNMENT/SOCIOLOGY/IMMIGRATION
There are several ways to become a U.S. citizen. These include: being born in the U.S., being born to parents who are U.S. citizens, and becoming naturalized. People who wish to become naturalized citizens must meet certain criteria and take tests on American history, civics, and English as a part of their naturalization process. Once all of the steps towards naturalization are complete, these new citizens participate in a formal ceremony at which they take their citizenship oath. This week, the Norman Rockwell Museum will host a United States Citizenship Naturalization Ceremony, and all are welcome to observe and celebrate this important event. What a perfect time to reflect on what it means to be a citizen of a particular country, and what role our citizenship plays in our identity. 413-298-4100. 9 MA-183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, September 12. 10am — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
It can be hard to imagine dinosaurs, over twice as tall as the average human, roaming across Massachusetts, but 190 million years ago, they were! Research indicates that our region’s hills and fields were part of a large, sub-tropical swamp, and it is in this soft ground that dinosaur prints were made and preserved. Granby gives a nod to its connection to dinosaurs in its annual “Dinosaur Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival,” organized by the Church of Christ. Gather with friends and neighbors to celebrate the town’s heritage and talent, do a fun run, shop the farmers’ market, listen to live music, and view antique vehicles. During the festival, the Granby Historical Association‘s Town House Museum (237 State Street) will be open to visitors and will feature an outdoor cooking demonstration. 413-530-0724. Town Common, Granby, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 10am-12pm & 1:30pm-3:30pm– TRADITIONAL CRAFTS
The burning of beeswax candles results in the production of negative ions, which helps purify your air (positively charged bits of dust, pollen, etc. are attracted to the negative ions, “captured” and fall out of air circulation where they may be trapped by your carpet, swept up, or vacuumed away). In addition to this fabulous quality, they burn slowly and produce little smoke and odor. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village for a beeswax candlemaking workshop in which you will learn wax techniques and create a candle to take home. The bees who are the source of the beeswax will be visited on site, too! This workshop is ideal for children age 12 and adults, although children ages 8-12 may attend if they do so with an adult. Registration required. 413-443-0188 x 0. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, September 12. 10am-5pm — ARTS FESTIVAL
Strolling along city blocks allows you to look at architecture, reflect on the neighborhood’s past and present, meet residents and listen to their stories, and get a bit of exercise, too. When the street is filled with over 100 artists, strolling musicians, and food vendors, there is even more to learn and enjoy! Spend part of your day at the 43rd annual Mattoon Street Arts Festival for an immersive arts experience. When you see art (or food) that interests you, be sure to stop and ask the artist/vendor about it to learn about the related processes, history, and culture. Free parking at TD Bank lot (Harrison Avenue & Dwight Street). 413-736-0629. Mattoon Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 11:30am-1pm – ARTS & CRAFTS/STEM
Chesterwood is hosting a free family-friendly art workshop, “Pinwheels and Floating Flowers”! This program includes hands-on art and craft sessions with talented artists and a scavenger hunt to explore the property. Use this event as a way to launch into deeper learning about kinetics and wind power, and their connections to basic physics as well as green energy technologies. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 12pm & 1pm — SCULPTURE & ARCHITECTURE
The Trustees of Reservations‘ Folly Guest House and surrounding land is an excellent showcase of mid-20th century sculpture. The Folly Guest House itself is a post-modernist structure that provides interesting contrast to the other guest house on the property, the American Modern Guest House. Tour the Folly and enjoy the beautiful grounds as you contemplate American architectural and sculptural inspiration and design! 413-458-3135. Field Farm, 554 Sloan Road, Williamstown, MA. (< $; FREE for members)

Saturday, September 12. 12-3pm — SKILLSHARE/SUSTAINABILITY
With increased availability of inexpensive imported and plastic goods over the last 50 years, the skills of thrift and resourcefulness have started to disappear. This Saturday, Reuse Showcase sponsored by Northampton’s Reuse Committee aims to help turn that trend around by highlighting creative use, repair, restoration and repurposing of second-hand items. In addition, repair demonstrations will be presented by area experts. Open to everyone. Glendale Road Transfer Station, 170 Glendale Road. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 12pm-5pm — LOCAL FOOD/CULINARY ARTS
The Kitchen Garden‘s Chilifest, Spetember 12-13, has something for everyone, whether you love spicy food or not! Make your time-honored family chili or hot sauce (or invent a new family recipe) and enter it into the chili cook-off! Listen to great local bands and enjoy food from local vendors! Folks can also learn how to make sriracha and spicy drinks, and children are invited to make tee shirts. This is also a great time to explore Mike’s Maze, which features an amazing design to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Navigating the maze requires using spatial and map-reading skills, tuning in to your sense for clues about your location, and collaborative communication skills as your group figures out its exit plan! 413-387-5163. 23 South Main Street, Sunderland, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 12. 12pm-5pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
The Sheffield Fair is a lovely, manageably-sized fair that is perfect for those who would like the agricultural fair experience without the hustle and bustle. There will be contests (apple pie, livestock showmanship, horticulture), a softball game (the Mt. Everett Eagles vs. the Sheffield Fire Department), live music, tasty food, hayrides, children’s games and entertainment, crafts, and more! The organizers of this fair have also created this site to include a setting and convenience features that offer comfortable access for people with physical disabilities. Sheffield Town Park, Frederic Lane, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 12. 2pm — FAMILY CONCERT
A family concert led by Sarah Pirtle of joyful participatory songs at the Bullitt Reservation. Recommended for all ages, but best for ages 4 – 17 and adults.  Bring a cloth chair to sit on. There’s seats in the gazebo, and picnic table, too. 332 Bullitt Road. Ashfield, MA (DONATIONS)

Saturday, September 12. 2pm — MOVIE
Fans of Studio Ghibli have come to expect beautiful animation and magical storytelling from its feature films (Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro), and its latest film, When Marnie Was There (PG, 2015), showing at Images Cinema is no exception. Anna is a foster child who feels removed from those around her and shies away from the world, until she meets a new friend, Marnie, one summer. Their friendship exemplifies what it means to celebrate differences and forge bonds no matter what factors and circumstances might otherwise be divisive. This is a great film to use as a conversation starter about how to treat people, how to appreciate the diversity of humankind, and the importance of sharing yourself and your time with those around you, as you never know who may need it most. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (< $)

Saturday, September 12. 4pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION & FIREWORKS
The Northampton Family Fourth Celebration is an annual event organized to bring the community together for fun and to support Northampton’s public schools. Participants can play carnival games, get their faces painted, play in a bouncy castle, watch a magic show, and more. Several local bands, including the Florence Community Band, will give lively performances, and at dusk there will be fireworks! This family-friendly event is also alcohol- and tobacco-free. After 4:30pm, only vehicles with handicap permits or Northampton Family Fourth Celebration parking passes will be permitted into the park. 413-584-5457. Look Park, 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA. (< $ for games; < $ for parking; FREE parking with shuttle from Smith Vocational High School)

Saturday, September 12. 7:30pm — THEATRE
Let a theatrical experience give you and your children the opportunity to understand a bygone era in a way you just can’t get from a book. Set in a 1940s-era general store in rural Massachusetts, Country Store: A Radio Play for the Stage celebrates the simple pleasures of life in a post-Depression, pre-war, small town America. Local actors and singers bring this radio play to life with radio jingles, popular songs of the era, and a strikingly spare stage. Presented by the 1794 Meetinghouse, a group of people dedicated to performing arts and to celebrating culture in north central Massachusetts. 413-335-3489. 26 South Main Street. New Salem, MA. ($; FREE for children 12 and under)

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Sunday, September 13th, 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, September 13. 6am-10am HIKING
Is your family usually ready to go at 6AM on a weekend? Many families may not be in the habit of doing outings at the crack of dawn, but some opportunities are worth making an exception for! Climb Monument Mountain with a Trustees of Reservations leader, and arrive at the top in time to watch the sunrise. Hot coffee and breakfast treats will be provided to supplement the most wonderful treat of all–watching the sun come up over the mountains on a still morning. This is the stuff of which family memories are made! Pre-registration required. 413-532-1631 x 10. Monument Mountain, Route 7, Great Barrington, MA. (< $; FREE for members)

Sunday, September 13. 8am-8pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
A visit to a county fair can be a lot of fun, and it is also a way to show your support of the important work of organized agricultural societies. The Franklin County Agricultural Society provides education and opportunities for all members of the community, works in partnership with the community on its projects, and continually maintains and improves their land and programs for all to enjoy. The Franklin County Fair‘s goes out with a bang on Sunday with livestock shows, the North Quabbin Carvers, a classic midway, a pie eating contest, dance demonstrations, racing pigs, and a demolition derby! 413-774-4282. Franklin County Fairgrounds, 89 Wisdom Way, Greenfield, MA. ($; FREE for children 8 and under)

Sunday, September 13. 9am-4pm — STEM/CODING
Want to learn CSS or HTML? Ready to turn your app idea into a real app? Perhaps you’ve been wanting to make 3D drawings using SketchUp or itching to learn about LEGO EV3 Robotics? Look no further than the NERD (New England Regional Developers) Summit, a 3-day learning camp focused on helping people build coding, web design, and related skills, and to welcome everyone into this interesting industry. Many sessions are intended for older students and adults; several sessions are good fits for younger children who have an adult accompanying them. Pre-register online for the sessions that interest you! 413-387-4540. UMass Hotel & Conference Center, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 13. 10am-12pm — LOCAL & NATURAL HISTORY
The Canal-side Rail Trail winds past countless sights of local interest. Walk along the wide, paved trail (great for strollers!) with a DCR Park Interpreter from the Great Falls Discovery Center to learn about the area’s industrial, cultural, and natural history through interesting anecdotes, facts, and your own observations. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 13. 10am-5pm — ARTS FESTIVAL
Strolling along city blocks allows you to look at architecture, reflect on the neighborhood’s past and present, meet residents and listen to their stories, and get a bit of exercise, too. When the street is filled with over 100 artists, strolling musicians, and food vendors, there is even more to learn and enjoy! Spend part of your day at the 43rd annual Mattoon Street Arts Festival for an immersive arts experience. When you see art (or food) that interests you, be sure to stop and ask the artist/vendor about it to learn about the related processes, history, and culture. Free parking at TD Bank lot (Harrison Avenue & Dwight Street). 413-736-0629. Mattoon Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 13. 10am-5pm – LOCAL CULTURE/CORN MAZE
Get lost in a corn maze, a classic New England tradition! There are a few in Western MA you can check out with your family, including Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm (23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA), Hicks Family Farm Corn Maze ( 1299 Route 2. Charlemont, MA), Meadow View Farm Corn Maze (120 College Highway. Southwick, MA), and Rolling Acres Farm Corn Maze (53 Pleasant Street. Southampton, MA ). Many of these mazes offer a fun and challenging outdoor adventure (of the best kind!) for families of all ages, along with other activities and farm fresh produce and perennials.

Saturday, September 13. 12pm-5pm — LOCAL FOOD/CULINARY ARTS
The Kitchen Garden‘s Chilifest, Spetember 12-13, has something for everyone, whether you love spicy food or not! Make your time-honored family chili or hot sauce (or invent a new family recipe) and enter it into the chili cook-off! Listen to great local bands and enjoy food from local vendors! Folks can also learn how to make roasted corn salsa and hot sauce, and children are invited to make tee shirts or help break into a piñata. This is also a great time to explore Mike’s Maze, which features an amazing design to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Navigating the maze requires using spatial and map-reading skills, tuning in to your senses for clues about your location, and using collaborative communication skills as your group figures out its exit plan! 413-387-5163. 23 South Main Street, Sunderland, MA. ($)

Sunday, September 13. 12:30pm — MOVIE
Fans of Studio Ghibli have come to expect beautiful animation and magical storytelling from its feature films (Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro), and its latest film, When Marnie Was There (PG, 2015), showing at Images Cinema is no exception. Anna is a foster child who feels removed from those around her and shies away from the world, until she meets a new friend, Marnie, one summer. Their friendship exemplifies what it means to celebrate differences and forge bonds no matter what factors and circumstances might otherwise be divisive. This is a great film to use as a conversation starter about how to treat people, how to appreciate the diversity of humankind, and the importance of sharing yourself and your time with those around you, as you never know who may need it most. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (< $)

Sunday, September 13. 1pm-2:30pm — HIKING
Undertaking a physical challenge, such as a new hike, with others helps strengthen bonds and provides unique opportunities for interesting conversations. Local historian Mike Whalen will lead a fun, family-oriented hike up Constitution Hill as a part of Lanesborough’s 250th anniversary celebration. On this lovely outing, co-sponsored by the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, there will be two hike options: one 45-minute hike and another that is 90 minutes to accommodate all ages and abilities. Stay after the hike to replenish your energy reserves with an ice cream sundae at Belanger Park! Parking is limited; please carpool if you can. Hikers will meet at the kiosk at the end of Bridge Street. 413-499-0596. Bridge Street, Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 13. 1pm-4pm — ANIMAL WELFARE
Do you have any special animals in your life? Pepper’s Place believes that all animals are special and deserve respect and a good quality of life. To this end, they take in animals who are unwanted, abused, and neglected, and help people learn about ways that animals and people can help and heal one another. Head out to the Fun with Furry and Feathered Friends event to meet and enjoy the company of the sanctuary’s animals, enjoy tasty vegan snacks, try your luck in the 50/50 raffle, and converse with all of the people who make this important place possible. 413-923-1029. 55 Loudville Road, Northampton, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Sunday, September 13. 2pm — THEATRE
Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, , examines gender, social class, and power in 1940’s New Orleans. The Majestic Theater begins its 19th season with this celebrated piece, which runs September 10-October 18. Due to mature themes, this play is appropriate for older teens and adults. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, September 13. 2pm — LOCAL LANDSCAPES & HISTORY
The earth beneath your feet has countless stories to tell. The composition of the soil, minerals in the hillsides, and oxbowed rivers each can teach us about the land where we make our homes if we know how to interpret their tales. Local naturalist Laurie Sanders knows how to translate these stories, and she shares her expertise to help us better understand the ways in which the interactions between people and nature have shaped present-day Northampton in Rediscovering Northampton: Local History Viewed through an Ecological Lens. This six-part lecture series takes place for the next six Sundays (through November 22) at Historic Northampton and features a different topic each week. This week’s talk, Understanding the Northampton Landscape, will focus on patterns in and features of local landscapes including downtown Northampton, Round Hill, and Florence. Registration required. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (< $ SUGGESTED DONATION)

Sunday, September 13. 2pm-3:30pm — TEA PARTY/MILLINERY/CHEMISTRY
This year marks the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Why not celebrate with a Mad Hatter tea party? Visitors are invited to wear their favorite hat or to create one when they arrive. This event provides a great opportunity to talk about different styles of hats and headwear worn in different eras and in other countries. There’s also the bit about how Carroll’s Mad Hatter got his name–a perfect way to talk about chemistry! Milliners (hat makers) used to use mercury in the hat-making process. This element can have strong, toxic neurological effects including emotional instability and memory impairment, and this “mercurial disease” was common among 19th century milliners. At Wistariahurst‘s tea party, there will be food, croquet, crafts, and special guests. In case of rain, the event will be held in the Music Room. Reservations recommended. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street, Holyoke, MA. ($)

Sunday, September 13. 2pm-4pm — LOCAL HISTORY
The Charles Gillet Cigar Factory, built in 1892, is the last surviving building of its kind in the valley. It is one of two museums operated by the Southwick Historical Society, and provides visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about a manufacturing process that was important in our region in another era. The Southwick Historical Society also runs the Joseph Moore House, a structure that was built in 1751 by Joseph Moore, who lost his life in the Revolutionary War. Visit both of these museums at an open house this summer or fall, and savor the interesting artifacts and ephemera they hold while touring with a docent! Open house dates: 7/26, 8/9, 8/23, 9/13, 9/27, 10/11, and 10/25. 413-569-0275. 86 College Highway, Southwick, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 13. 2pm-4pm — MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Would your child love to try out a cello, hold a trumpet, and get to examine other musical instruments up close? This kind of interaction with instruments can teach children a lot about music and sound, and can also inspire a desire to learn to play an instrument. Like learning a new language, learning to play an instrument is a powerful brain-booster! Visit the Northampton Community Music Center‘s annual Open House and Instrument Petting Zoo to hear different instruments being played, hold and try instruments, and enjoy a steel drum performance. 413-585-0001. 139 South Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 13. 3pm-6pm — PARENTING
Are you looking for a different communication strategy to use with your teenager? Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a technique that has been shown to foster improved relationships between parents and their children, and which encourages children to make difficult, but positive, changes in their lives. Join other interested adults in an MI training by counselor John Brelsford, hosted by the Northampton Prevention Coalition. Registration required. 413-587-1344 x 3021

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Monday, September 14th, 2015

Monday, September 14.
Explore art by local residents at the Forbes Library’s Hosmer Gallery. On display you will find watercolor landscapes by Joan Anderson, oil paintings by Jane Morrison, and photographs by Carmine Angeloni. Use the artists’ different media and subject matter as a springboard for conversations about light and color, emotion/mood, and the familiar/unfamiliar. These works will be on display through September 30, 2015. 413-587-1013. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 14. 10-11am — ROSH HASHANAH
Rosh Hashanah programming is taking place at Congregation B’nai Israel (CBI). CBI will offer a Rosh Hashanah family program for children ages 2-5 and their caregivers. They will celebrate the beginning of the Jewish year through stories, song and apples and honey! They will also offer a family service (with instruments) from 10:30am-12pm for ages 6-12 and their families. Open to the public. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Monday, September 14. 7pm — MOVIE
Fans of Studio Ghibli have come to expect beautiful animation and magical storytelling from its feature films (Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro), and its latest film, When Marnie Was There (PG, 2015), showing at Images Cinema is no exception. Anna is a foster child who feels removed from those around her and shies away from the world, until she meets a new friend, Marnie, one summer. Their friendship exemplifies what it means to celebrate differences and forge bonds no matter what factors and circumstances might otherwise be divisive. This is a great film to use as a conversation starter about how to treat people, how to appreciate the diversity of humankind, and the importance of sharing yourself and your time with those around you, as you never know who may need it most. Following this screening, Williams College professors Christian Thorne and Christopher Bolton will host a discussion about the film. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (< $)

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

  • 9:30am-11am – STORYTIME & MUSIC: Families with young children are invited to the Spear Memorial Library every Monday for a “Tales & Tunes” program with Katie Tolles, sponsored by the Community Network for Children. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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 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 15th, 2015

Tuesday, September 15. 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 raptors. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 15. 3pm-4:30pm — BOTANY/GARDENING
From 1928 to 1956, Fletcher Steele created stunning gardens and landscapes, now available for all to enjoy at Naumkeag, a Trustees of Reservations property. For a period of time, the gardens languished, but the Garden Restoration Project has brought them back to their original design and vibrancy. Get behind the scenes with an expert horticulturist to learn about what went into this landscape restoration project! The Chinese Garden is currently under restoration, too, and visitors will be able to take a special sneak peek at that undertaking. Reservations required. 413-298-3239 x 3016. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA. ($; FREE for members)

Tuesday, September 15. 6pm — POLITICAL SCIENCE
The 2016 presidential election is barreling down upon us. What major issues are being debated? Who are the candidates and how do they differ? Political analyst Mark Shields and The New York Times columnist David Brooks share their informed perspectives on the important components of the 2016 election at a special event hosted by the Springfield Public Forum. Whether you are feeling confused, invigorated, frustrated, or disengaged from the upcoming election, the information you gather at this event may be quite useful to you as your ideas about the election evolve. 413-732-2020. Springfield Symphony Hall, 34 Court Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 15. 7pm — PARENTING
Grieving is a part of life, and learning how to help our children navigate this complicated emotional terrain can be challenging. Adult caregivers and community members are invited to attend “Grief through Story: Initiating a Gentle Conversation about Death, Dying, & Grief Using Children’s Literature,” a workshop offered by The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens. Participants will learn how to use children’s literature as a tool in talking to children about these important and challenging topics. 413-259-3233. Jones Library, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, 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)
  • 10am-5pm – WOODWORKING:The Shakers are known for their beautiful and simple handcrafted utilitarian objects. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village any Tuesday to watch master woodworkers create oval boxes using traditional tools and techniques. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)
  • 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)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STEM & LITERACY PLAYGROUP: The Mason Library invites children ages 0-5 with their caregivers to its Brain Builders Play & Learn Playgroup every Tuesday. Activities will include reading, singing, playing, circle time, and engaging table-time activities that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) themes! 413-528-1720. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, 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 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)
  • 6:30pm – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Is the health of our Earth on your mind? Gather with others who are contemplating the same topic at the Environmental Awareness Discussion Group, which meets on the last Tuesday of the month at the Dickinson Memorial Library. Members of the group use both non-fiction and fiction books and films as launching off points for meaningful conversations about the environment. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Wednesday, September 16. 9:30am-5pm — REGIONAL HISTORY & CRAFTS
What better way for you and your children to learn about life in New England in the 1830s than to be immersed in an historical reenactment of that time, complete with a village of interesting and talented residents, and to participate in the tasks that filled people’s days back then? Visit Old Sturbridge Village for Home School Day, a special opportunity to explore the village and participate in many hands-on activities and demonstrations relating to the theme of “Artisan Crafts and Trades.” Blacksmithing, spinning, pottery, and basket weaving are among the skills that will be celebrated and explored at this event. Visitors may also spend time at the farm to learn how to make cider and to discover the connections between farm life and the seasons, stop in a house to learn how to cook on an open hearth, try traditional games, and visit the printing press to learn how to set and print type. Advance ticket purchase required. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA. (< $ plus additional fees for activities)

Wednesday, September 16. 7pm — THEATRE
Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, , examines gender, social class, and power in 1940’s New Orleans. The Majestic Theater begins its 19th season with this celebrated piece, which runs September 10-October 18. Due to mature themes, this play is appropriate for older teens and adults. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, September 16. 7pm-8:30pm — HISTORY/MUSIC/GENDER STUDIES
The Girls in the Band documents the stories of female musicians who were a part of the jazz and big band movements of the 1930s onward. These women endured countless challenges and setbacks, yet many persevered to share and develop their musical talents for decades to come, paving the way for today’s female jazz musicians. Gain an appreciation for their talents and struggles at a screening of this film at the Ramsdell Library. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, 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. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 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 & 2pm – FIBER ARTS:The Shakers are known for their beautiful and simple fiber crafts. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village any Wednesday to watch flax-processing and felted bead-making demonstrations by talented artisans who use traditional tools and techniques. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)
  • 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 17th, 2015

Thursday, September 17. 2:30pm-3:30pm — HISTORY
The Norman Rockwell Museum‘s 36 acre property is dotted with several buildings of historical significance, including Linwood House, an 1859 Berkshire Cottage, and Rockwell’s own Stockbridge Studio. Tour the museum’s acreage on foot and enjoy the lovely outdoor experience while learning about the fascinating history behind these notable structures. Intended for older teens and adults. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Thursday, September 17. 4pm-10pm — HISTORY & CULTURE
The Pioneer Valley is home to over a century of rich Latino heritage and history. In celebration of this, several organizations have partnered to create Herencia Latina, a nine-month project (September 2015-May 2016) exploring Latino history and culture in this region. As a part of its participation in this community project, Turners Falls RiverCulture is celebrating Latino History Day with traditional Central and South American music, food, and crafts, as well as a documentary film and discussion. Head over to Spinner Park (Avenue A and 4th Street) for lively musical performances, to 109 Avenue A to decorate paper mache masks representative of those used in a variety of traditional ceremonies, stop by 113 Avenue A for a delicious meal of rice and beans, and get to the Shea Theater by 7pm for a screening and discussion of Peril & Promise. Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 17. 5pm-7pm — BOTANY/GARDENING/CULTURE
The Chinese Garden at Naumkeag, a Trustees of Reservations property, is currently under restoration. Take a look at what goes into a restoration of this sort at the Asian Fusion Hard Hat Party, where you can appreciate a traditional Chinese garden, and enjoy Asian-inspired foods and music. Because this is an active restoration site, participants will all get to personalize their own hard hat, too. 413-298-3239 x 3016. 5 Prospect Hill Road, Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Thursday, September 17. 5pm-9pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
When the school year starts, things can get hectic, and making time to connect with our friends and neighbors sometimes takes a back seat to getting back into autumn routines. However, these hectic times of life are often those when we need our connections the most! Thankfully, there’s the 4th annual Celebrate Amherst Block Party, organized by Amherst’s Business Improvement District, where you and your family can eat, enjoy live music (including a DJ, Mister G, and the Gaslight Tinkers), watch street performers, and mingle with friends old and new. 413-345-2945. Downtown Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 17. 7pm — SOCIOLOGY & RACE
How can one’s skin color affect one’s perceptions, problem-solving techniques, and engagement in racial justice work? Listen to a talk by Debby Irving, author of Waking up White, community organizer, and racial justice educator, then engage with her and other attendees in a discussion on these timely and important issues. Debby creates a safe and welcoming atmosphere for her talks, in part by sharing sometimes cringe-worthy experiences from her own life, and works to help others see how their well-intentioned mindsets might actually perpetuate ill-conceived ideas about race. Hosted by Bay Path University. 413-565-1066. Mills Theatre, Carr Hall, Longmeadow Campus, Bay Path University, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 17. 7:30pm — FINE & PERFORMING ARTS
What does it mean to be creative? Where does one’s creativity originate, and what does the creative process look like for different artists exploring a variety of modes of expression? Discover answers–or more questions!– when you visit Artists in Conversation, an evening dedicated to exploring the creative process in poetry, dance, and painting, hosted by Gallery A3. Special guest artists Constance Hamilton, Tom Morton, and Alicia Morton will engage in conversation about their personal experiences with creativity. 413-256-4250. Amity Street, 1-D, 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)
  • 12:15pm – FINE ARTS: Visit the Springfield Museums‘ Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts for their popular Thursday Museums a la Carte lectures, featuring presentations on a variety of fine art-related topics! Visitors are welcome to bring a lunch; coffee and cookies will be provided. Intended for older students and adults. Call to confirm topic. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $)
  • 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 18th, 2015

Friday, September 18. 10:30am-11:30am — LITERACY & CRAFTING
Reading or listening to a story activates the imagination and can put you in a mindset for expansive creativity. Linking art and books can also help build a love of reading! Children and their caregivers are invited to the Eric Carle Museum‘s Open Book, Open Play mornings, in which they will have a storytime of picture books followed by creative explorations in the art studio. Themes that emerge in the stories will provide inspiration for the art activities that follow. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (< $)

Friday, September 18. 3pm-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Aggie fair season is close to winding down, so if you have not been to one this year, or can’t get enough of them, be sure to visit the Belchertown Fair, September 18-20. Enjoy time outside with your family, friends, and neighbors as you play at the midway, listen to live music, and visit the booths of local vendors. The organizers of the Fair kept kids in mind in scheduling special performances by Ed Popalarzik, master balloon twister and magician, and setting up great events like pumpkin decorating, farmer-for-a-day, vegetable race car making, a pedal tractor pull, and a frog jumping contest. You can make the most of this time-honored community event by learning more about the educational value of agricultural fairs before you go! No pets, please. 413-323-6654. Belchertown Common, Belchertown, MA. (FREE; < $ for midway rides)

Friday, September 18. 5pm — MUSIC FESTIVAL
The FreshGrass music festival, September 18-20, celebrates grassroots music in its many forms, and aims to create a new hub for the burgeoning bluegrass community. In addition to four stages of fabulous bluegrass and roots music, there will be workshops led by talented musicians, and skilled luthiers offering instrument construction demos and discussions (plus plenty of instruments to view up close, hold, or play). The children’s component of the festival, FreshKids, offers spaces for family music-making, art projects, snacks, and shade tents. Kids can also enjoy special performances intended for younger audiences and make their own instruments! MASS MoCA‘s Kidspace will also have its ArtBar outside for inspiring creativity. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. ($$$; FREE for children 6 and under)

Friday, September 18. 5pm-9pm — BOOK SALE
You never know where a book might take a reader, and what lasting effects it might have on him or her. Come explore a plethora of gently used books (and audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs) and discover new creative and intellectual adventures-to-be for the members of your family at the Holyoke Public Library‘s first Used Book Sale! All proceeds will benefit the library and support its programs. Purchases may be made by cash or check only. 413-420-8101. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 485 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 18. 6pm — PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Maintaining a zoo that is safe and healthy for a variety of species is challenging. Support the Zoo in Forest Park and its exotic residents by attending this year’s gala, “Party with the Animals.” The event includes dinner, both silent and live auctions, entertainment, and raffles. 413-733-2251. Barney Estate, 302 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA. ($$$)

Friday, September 18. 6:30pm — LITERATURE & HISTORY
Sheffield has the honor of being the home of many fiction writers and poets, as well as the setting for various literary works. Find out who these authors are, and which writings feature Sheffield, at the Authors and a Sense of Place lecture at Bartholomew’s Cobble, a Trustees of Reservations property. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (< $)

Friday, September 18. 6:30pm-8:30pm — CIRCUS ARTS
The Traveling Rhubarb Circus performs amazing theatrical and acrobatic shows that delight and wow audiences of all ages. This would be notable for any circus troupe, but when you learn that the Traveling Rhubarb Circus is run entirely by people under the age of 18, their accomplishments are especially impressive. This week they present their brand new performance, Timeless, a tale of toys who long for freedom from their bedtime. Advance ticket purchase recommended. 413-367-9923. 2 North Street, Montague, MA. (< $; FREE for children under 3)

Friday, September 18. 7:30pm — THEATRE
Let a theatrical experience give you and your children the opportunity to understand a bygone era in a way you just can’t get from a book. Set in a 1940s-era general store in rural Massachusetts, Country Store: A Radio Play for the Stage celebrates the simple pleasures of life in a post-Depression, pre-war, small town America. Local actors and singers bring this radio play to life with radio jingles, popular songs of the era, and a strikingly spare stage. Presented by the 1794 Meetinghouse, a group of people dedicated to performing arts and to celebrating culture in north central Massachusetts. 413-335-3489. 26 South Main Street, New Salem, MA. ($; FREE for children 12 and under)

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

9:30am-3:30pm – GIRLS’ EMPOWERMENT: Full Moon Girls: Nature mentoring. Fridays, October 2, 2015 – May 27, 2016. Ages 9-15. A spot is open for you! FullMoonGirlsInfo@gmail.com. 413-367-6191. Greenhill Center for Outdoor Activities. Conway, MA ($$)

  • 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)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME/ART/MUSIC Toddlers ages 2-5 with their caregivers are invited to the Ramsdell Library every Friday for the “Time for Tots” group. This hour of fun will include stories, songs, art, and movement. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, 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. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 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. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-263-6800 x 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $)
  • 8pm-9pm – ASTRONOMY: Autumn nights offer wonderful skywatching, and with the help of Williams College students and their Zeiss Skymaster planetarium projector, folks can really be treated to a wonderfully informative and awe-inspiring tour of the night sky and astronomical phenomen. This planetarium program will be held most Friday evenings through December 4, 2015. Reservations are recommended. 413-597-2188. Hopkins Observatory, 829 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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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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