Suggested Events for September 19th-25th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I have loved having access to a very thoughtful and diverse list of cultural opportunities in my region. I also appreciate being able to spread the word about activities that I am invested in and/or organizing. This is what living in a vibrant community is all about! Thanks, Hilltown Families!” – Pamela Snow (Shelburne Falls, 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

Sept 19

Join author Tanya Lee Stone and illustrator Kathryn Brown at the Odyssey Bookshop for a little history and a lot of fun on Saturday, September 19th at 10:30am! Their book, The House that Jane Built, is the story of Jane Addams, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning community leader who transformed a poor neighborhood in Chicago by opening up her house as a community center. Kids of all ages can come be a hero-in-training, just like Jane Addams! They can customize a “Super Kid” logo with their initial, drink some power punch juice boxes to get their creative senses tingling, and finally build their own popsicle stick house for someone in need! Check out odysseybks.com for more info about the event and how to buy the book!

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.

Sep 26 & 27

The 17th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is September 26 & 27, 10am-5pm in Orange, MA.There’s something for everyone at this fabulous family destination. Over 100 booths are vibrant with local artists, farmers and fabulous food. Enjoy amazing music, performance, spoken word, and dance; chef demos & renewable energy education. Great for families! There are performances on a special family stage and throughout the fields, a pottery tent, climbing wall, hulahooping, horsedrawn hayrides, a farm animal area with great demos, and garlic games all weekend. Only $5 adults. Kids 12 & under free! www.garlicandarts.org for travel/parking info & program. Follow the festival on Facebook. The 17th most popular festival in the universe!

Sept 30

The Odyssey Bookshop hosts a Creature Crawl on Wednesday, September 30th at 6pm with fabulous author Holly Goldberg Sloan! Sloan, author of Counting by 7s and writer and director of Angels in the Outfield and Made in America—will present her new middle grade novel, Appleblossom the Possum! In addition to hearing the author talk about the book, attendees can make a mask based on animal characters from the story, scavenge for some dried fruit and nuts, and, like the possum babies in Sloan’s book, try their hand at acting out a short scene inspired by the novel, alone or with a friend! Check out odysseybks.com for more info about the event and how to buy the book!

Oct 4

Join Valley CDC for their 5th annual Pedal Poker Run on October 4th at Look Park in Florence, MA. There will be 3 levels of rides – a 10-mile family ride on the bike path, plus a 30- or a 52-mile Connecticut River Valley ride. Collect cards along the ride. The best poker hand will win a Berkshire Weekend package worth $500. Food provided by Bistro Bus. Beer provided by Berkshire Brewing Company. Registration starts at 9am. Prizes awarded at 2:30pm. For more information, go to pedalpokerrun.com or contact Julia at 413-586-5855 x170 or jz@valleycdc.com.

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

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
SEPTEMBER 19th-25th, 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, September 19, 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. Sunshine Collective guest DJs, and it’s all about GOOD ARTS & GOOD EATS! This husband-and-wife-team of music makers (Stephanie Richards & Brian Arbuckle) tumble through toe-tapping vintage jazz, modern artful pop, and retro novelties, while tying together two of life’s best treats. Listen in for a taste of the good stuff!! 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 19, 4:45am – 7:00am OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/HIKING
Watching the sun rise from a mountain top is an experience like no other. Notice the way the light moves across the landscape, notice the sounds of the insects and birds that change as the sunlight grows stronger. You can experience this with the Trustees of Reservations and a 45 minute sunrise hike! Extra time will be allowed for smaller hikers, so the group will leave the parking lot at 5:00am. Coffee and donuts available for those who arrive even earlier. Meet at the main mountain parking lot and bring your headlamp and/or flashlight – it might be dark before sunrise. Registration requested: 413-532-1660 x21. Peaked Mountain Reservation, 138 Butler Road, Monson, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 19. 6:15am-5:15pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/BIKE RIDING
Exploring by bike presents new ways to experience all that the valley has to offer and allows you to notice things you hadn’t seen before – from landscapes to wildlife to villages. The Northampton Cycling Club presents the 8th annual BikeFest, with a variety of rides ranging from 8 to 104 miles slated for the morning, with all bikers returning to Look Park for the afternoon festival beginning at 12:15pm. Bike decorating, face painting, BMX bike show, kid bike races, music and more. Children 10 years old or younger ride free with a registered parent. Both must be present at sign in. Pre-registration closes on 9/18 at 11:00pm or when sold out. Email bikefest@nohobikeclub.org with questions. Look Memorial Park, 300 N Main St, Florence, MA. ($$)

Saturday, September 19. 8am-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Do you know the location of the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard? Do you know the location of the 5th largest fair in the U.S.? The answer to both of these questions is the same: The Pioneer Valley! The “Big E,” or the Eastern States Exposition has been running since 1916 and represents all New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Filled with culture, history, animals, food, rides, performances and so much more. One of the biggest attractions is the “Avenue of States,” life-size replicas of the six original New England statehouses that contain samples of the culture, food and traditions of that state. The Big E runs September 18-October 4. Purchase tickets online or at the gate. 413-737-2443. Parking is $10 per vehicle. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA ($)

Saturday, September 19, 8:30am-6:30pm — LITERATURE & CONFERENCE/SHAKESPEARE
When you think of Shakespeare, do you think about the wide variety of productions and interpretations across the globe? Do you know the multitude of applications the work of Shakespeare has had to people’s own cultural contexts? An interdisciplinary conference organized by faculty and students from the Comparative Literature, English, and Languages, Literature & Cultures Departments, the ISC hosts presenters from over 20 countries in order to explore the different ways (and impact) of Shakespeare’s reverberations on a global scale. This conference should appeal to anyone interested in performance, translation, adaptation, poetry, post-colonialism, film studies, African American history, history of the book, and (of course) Shakespeare. Registration online or at the door. Integrated Science Building at UMass Amherst. 661 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA ($$)

Saturday, September 19. 9am-12pm — CRAFTING & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Don’t just recycle, upcycle! Upcycling is the process of transforming materials that would otherwise be recycled or thrown away into new materials or products, keeping those item out of the waste stream. In this class, offered by the Makers Mill, you will learn to transform plastic feed bags (from dog or cat food, horse feed, bird seed, cat litter, etc.) into an attractive tote bag. Previous sewing experience is helpful, but not necessary. Sewing machines will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own. Bags will be available or feel free to bring your own. 413-749-2073. Registration recommended. Makers Mill, 73 Main St., North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 19. 9am-2:30pm — BIOBLITZ/ECOLOGY
The Middle Branch of the Westfield River connects remarkable scenic, geological, historical, recreational and ecological features. The Wild and Scenic Westfield River Committee invites you to Watershed Blitz 2015, an exploration of the Middle Branch alongside specialists who will share their knowledge of all things wet and wild! Choose a group and learn about fish biology, tracking, geology, frogs and newts and more. Each team will walk a mile along a wild and scenic river segment, gathering data and sharing river wisdom. Registration recommended/limited space. 413-623-2070. Meet at 9am at the Littleville Fairgrounds, 15 Kinnebrook Rd, Chester, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 9am-3pm — 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)

Saturday, September 19. 9am-4:30pm —OUTDOOR ADVENTURES & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Participating in an interpretive walk allows you to feel more connected to the cultural, industrial and environmental history of the land and become involved in your surroundings. Housatonic Heritage Walks feature short walks, longer trail hikes, birding walks, tours of historical buildings and industrial sites, and a river canoe/kayak. Choose from a variety of walks in the upper Housatonic River Valley, all starting at different times throughout the day, and led by expert historians, naturalists and environmentalists. Registration required. 413-394-9773. Berkshire County, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 10am. — CINEMA/CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN FILM
It is difficult to imagine a children’s picture book that more poignantly celebrates both the imagination and angst of childhood than Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. In 2009 Director Spike Jonze adapted this classic story into film. A mixture of real actors, computer animation, and live puppeteering, Where The Wild Things Are follows the adventures of a young boy named Max (Max Records) as he enters the world of the Wild Things, a race of strange and enormous creatures who gradually turn the young boy into their king. Amherst Cinema invites you to a screening of this film as part of The Family Film Series. 28 Amity St., Amherst, MA ($)

Saturday, September 19. 10am — MUSIC STUDIES/BLUEGRASS
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)

Saturday, September 19. 10-11:15am — FOOD & BEVERAGE/COFFEE
The Berkshire Museum is hosting a lesson in the art and chemistry of brewing the perfect cup of coffee! As part of their Learner’s Lab, participants can explore the art and science of brewing a perfect cup with Julia Doyle, co-founder of Pittsfield’s own micro-roastery, Assembly Coffee Roasters. This hands-on workshop will feature demonstrations of the French Press, Chemex, pour-over, and AeroPress. 413-443-7171. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, September 19. 10am-4pm — FOOD CELEBRATION/HONEY
Have you ever considered how our fruits and vegetables are pollinated? What about the many contributions that beekeepers, and the bees, make to agriculture and the health of our environment? Warm Colors Apiary invites you to its Annual Honey Festival, when the eighty-acre apiary is open to the public to enjoy its beauty and explore its wildlife habitat. Talk with county beekeepers, walk the Busy Bee nature trail, sample this season’s honey, and Green River Ambrosia’s mead, and purchase a honey ice cream cone made by Flayvors of Cook Farm with Warm Colors’ wildflower honey! Rain or shine. 413-665-4513. 2 South Mill River Road, South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 10am-4pm — LOCAL HISTORY & COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Do you know your Hilltown history? You can discover more about traditional Hilltown trades and crafts, see Civil War reenactors, and celebrate the Hilltown past at the Hilltown History Fair, sponsored by the Mary Lyon Foundation. Entertainment and food will be available. Rain or Shine. 413-625-2555. Mohawk Trail Regional Middle and High School, 24 Ashfield Rd. (Rt. 112), Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 10am-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR & PARADE
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 Popielarczyk, 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. Saturday’s events include a parade, too! 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)

Saturday September 19. 10am-1:30pm — HIKING
Vistas, vistas! What a way to experience the beauty of the Berkshires. Guides from Berkshire Natural Resources Council will bring you on this North Yokun Ridge hike, part of the Housatonic Heritage Hike series You will begin at the beautiful Olivia’s Overlook and end with a view of Lenox from high above. Wear sturdy footwear & bring drink/lunch. 3.5 hours – 4 miles. Register at 413-499-0596. Olivia’s Overlook, Michael H. Walsh Trail, West Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 10:30am — BOOK READING, HISTORY & CRAFT
Literature can be a rewarding medium through which children can explore historical figures and events. The Odyssey Bookshop presents such an opportunity with The House that Jane Built, the story of Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, who transformed a poor neighborhood in Chicago by opening up her house as a community center. Author Tanya Lee Stone and illustrator Kathryn Brown want to know what kind of house you would build for someone in need. Come be a hero-in-training, just like Jane Addams! Customize a “Super Kid” logo with your name, drink some power punch juice boxes to get your creative senses tingling, and finally build your own popsicle stick house! To reserve a seat for this event, please email RSVP@odysseybks.com or 413-534-7307. 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 10:30am-12pm — STEM
Full STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math) Ahead! As part of the Full STEAM Ahead programs at the Berkshire Athanaeum, kids of all ages are invited to come meet Clifford the Big Red Dog. There will also be snacks, crafts and all sorts of activities to encourage every child’s curiosity, including different activity stations throughout the library that will promote STEAM activities. No registration required. Children under age 10 must be accompanied by an adult, age 18 or older, at all times. 413-499-9480 x 5. Wendell Ave., Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 11am — VEHICLES & STEM
How high can a truck launch off of a ramp? Does the size/mass of the truck affect this? What role does friction play in driving? Is it easier for a truck to drive through mud or on dry ground, or across chunky rocks, and why? Head to McCray’s Farm for their annual Truck Fest, where caregivers and kids can engage in these conversations as they watch the events, and make predictions then observe to see if their predictions were correct. 415-533-0775. McCray’s Farm, 55 Alvord Street, South Hadley, MA. ($$)

Saturday, September 19. 11am-12pm — NATURAL HISTORY & LOCAL LANDSCAPES
You may have spent time with children exploring rivers from their banks, or even by doing some river walking. However, exploring a river by boat offers kids an entirely new perspective of these bodies of water and the environment through which they flow. The Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Centerinvites you to a kids cruise on board the Quinnetukut II Riverboat. Travel beneath the French King Bridge, towering 140 feet above the boat. Watch the depth finder quickly climb as we go over “Deep Hole.” Cruise alongside rocky cliffs, and enjoy an outing on the beautiful Connecticut River. Registration required. 800-859-2960. Cruises depart from our Riverview picnic area dock. 100 Ferry Road, Northfield, MA ($)

Saturday, September 19. 11am-1pm — ANIMAL STUDIES
An important part of developing a connection to the natural world and the animals that inhabit it is getting up close with a variety of creatures that might otherwise feel foreign. The Community Network for Children will host Rae Griffiths of Teaching Creatures, an animal education program. Rae brings reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and small mammals and shares interesting facts about the animals’ lives. Part of Celebrate Shutesbury! 978-544-5157. Shutesbury Town Common, Shutesbury, MA (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 11am-4pm — CIVIL RIGHTS & COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/DISABILITIES
Did you know it has been 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law? The Stavros Center will mark the anniversary of this important civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability with a celebration of achievement, diversity and disability. Enjoy entertainment, games, crafts, a health fair and more. 1-800-804-1899. Amherst Town Common, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 11am-6pm — SPORTS
Sports can have deep connections to community and culture. Soccer is a sport that is played around the world and one that many people feel connected to both playing and watching. The Center for New Americans will hold the third annual Hamptons United Soccer Tournament, where eight teams representing all of the “Hamptons” (North, South, East, West) will compete for the championship cup. The event will include music, refreshments and soccer skills clinics for children. 413-587-0084. Northampton High School Athletic Fields, 380 Elm St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 12pm-4pm. — HISTORY & CULTURAL STUDIES
Take a tour back in time by visiting two historic Hilltown Homes and learning about their occupants’ lives and relationships to each other, a joint venture of the Trustees of Reservations and the Plainfield Historical Society. The William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington and The Shaw-Hudson House in Plainfield will be open to the public and both provide the opportunity to learn about the connection between the abolitionist and editor of the New York Evening Post, William Bryant, and Plainfield’s early 19th century doctor, Samuel Shaw. The homes are 6.6 miles apart and you may start at either one. 413-532-1631 x10. William Cullen Bryant Homestead, 207 Bryant Rd, Cummington, MA. or Plainfield Historical Society & Shaw Hudson House, 286 Main St, Plainfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 19. 12:30pm — READING/LOCAL HISTORY
The Guyettes farmed their Plainfield property from the 1930s through the turn of the century. In Tales of A Wayside Community, former neighbor and friend Frances Henry publishes three essays about them and their hard-working ways. The Williamsburg Agricultural Commission invites you to enjoy a sample of these stories. For self-directed teens and life-long learners. Refreshments will be served. 413-539-0820. Meekins Library, 2 Williams St., Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 1pm-3pm — SCIENCE STUDIES & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
Vermi-composting, or composting kitchen scraps using worms, is a great way to reduce your household waste while simultaneously learning more about how worms aid in the decomposition of organic material. You can do this all in a small corner of your kitchen with no smell. The Makers Mill will offer a workshop that gives an overview of vermi-composting, including a hands-on demonstration of how to build your own worm compost bin. 413-749-2073. RSVP requested. Makers Mill, 73 Main St., North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 19. 2pm — FASHION HISTORY
Have you ever wondered about how streets are named? Street names are often interesting clues into history. Lynne Z. Bassett, Historic Northampton’s former curator (1990- 1995), now a freelance costume and textiles curator, will discuss Gothic Street, Northampton’s Gothic Seminary for well-to-do young ladies and much more in her lecture “Gothic to Goth: Romantic Era Fashion & Its Legacy.” 413-584-6011. Historic Northampton, 46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 3pm & 6:30pm — 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)

Saturday, September 19. 2pm-4:45pm — CINEMA/CHILDREN’S LITERATURE IN FILM
Movies can have a powerful influence on young minds – they can unleash imagination, ignite creativity, and create worlds in which anything is possible. They can also align themselves with classic coming-of-age struggles that many young people experience. The Westfield Athenaeum presents a movie that is arguably among the finest at doing this: Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire. For students in grades 6-12. Registration required. 413-562-6158 x 5. Lang Auditorium, Westfield Athenaeum, 6 Elm St., Westfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 4pm —SOCIAL STUDIES/POLITICAL HISTORY
Puerto Rican culture and history is woven into the fabric of the city of Holyoke, where more than one-third of city residents share this heritage. The Holyoke Public Library hosts Nelson Antonio Denis as the speaker of the 16th Anniversary of El Grito de Lares Celebration. Denis will present his book War Against All Puerto Ricans, which shares the story of the powerful, tragic, and untold history of U.S. intervention into the politics of Puerto Rico. 413-420-8101. Holyoke Public Library, 250 Chestnut St., Holyoke MA (FREE)

Saturday, September 19. 6pm-10pm —ASTRONOMY
Trustees of Reservations presents Family Astronomy Night & Potluck at Notchview. Notchview is one of the best “dark sky” locations for a star-filled view! Telescopes and kid-friendly activities provided by members of Arunah Hill Natural Science Center. Potluck at 6PM, followed by games, bonfire, and craft activities. Dress for the weather and bring lawn chairs. Snacks, treats and drinks provided. Children and Trustees members: free. RSVP requested. 413-532-1631 x10. Rain cancels. Notchview, Rte 9, Windsor, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 19. 6pm — THEATER/FUNDRAISER
Murder and intrigue…what more could you want from one theatrical tale? Join the Cummington Mustangs 4-H Club for “An Unconventional Murder,” a fun night of live, who-done-it sleuthing! Email cummingtonmustangs@msn.com for tickets.Ticket price includes dinner. Florence VFW, 18 Meadow St, Florence, MA. ($$)

Saturday, September 19. 7:30pm — RADIO 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)

Saturday, September 19th. 8pm – 11:30pm — COMMUNITY DANCE/CONTRA DANCE
Experience the joy of contra dance, a social folk dance that resembles square dancing, hosted by Lenox Contra Dance. Bring a partner or find one at the dance! This week’s music is by Coincidence. A great opportunity to get to know children, adults, and elders in your community. Beginners are encouraged to attend! 413-528-4007. 65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. (< $)

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Sunday, September 20, 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 20. 8am-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Do you know the location of the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard? Do you know the location of the 5th largest fair in the U.S.? The answer to both of these questions is the same: The Pioneer Valley! The “Big E,” or the Eastern States Exposition has been running since 1916 and represents all New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Filled with culture, history, animals, food, rides, performances and so much more. One of the biggest attractions is the “Avenue of States,” life-size replicas of the six original New England statehouses that contain samples of the culture, food and traditions of that state. The Big E runs September 18-October 4. Purchase tickets online or at the gate. 413-737-2443. Parking is $10 per vehicle. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA ($)

Saturday, September 19, 8:30am-6:30pm — LITERATURE & CONFERENCE/SHAKERSPEARE
When you think of Shakespeare, do you think about the wide variety of productions and interpretations across the globe? Do you know the multitude of applications the work of Shakespeare has had to people’s own cultural contexts? An interdisciplinary conference organized by faculty and students from the Comparative Literature, English, and Languages, Literature & Cultures Departments, the ISC hosts presenters from over 20 countries in order to explore the different ways (and impact) of Shakespeare’s reverberations on a global scale. This conference should appeal to anyone interested in performance, translation, adaptation, poetry, post-colonialism, film studies, African American history, history of the book, and (of course) Shakespeare. Registration online or at the door. Integrated Science Building at UMass Amherst. 661 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA ($$)

Sunday, September 20. 9am-12pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURE & CANOEING
What better way to view the Berkshires foliage than on a guided canoe trip! Paddle the winding Housatonic to view the beauty of this meandering river as it passes through agricultural fields and floodplain forests. Watch for migrating hawks circling overhead. With your guide, learn about the river’s history and what is happening to restore some of its most precious habitats and species from its upper reaches in Pittsfield through Massachusetts and into Connecticut. Sponsored by Trustees of Reservations. Paddles, life preservers, and boats are provided. Registration required. 413-229-8600. Bartholomew’s Cobble, 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, September 20. 9am-4:30pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP/GUIDED WALKS
Participating in an interpretive walk allows you to feel more connected to the cultural, industrial and environmental history of the land and become involved in your surroundings. Housatonic Heritage Walks feature short walks, longer trail hikes, birding walks, tours of historical buildings and industrial sites, and a river canoe/kayak. Choose from a variety of walks in the upper Housatonic River Valley, all starting at different times throughout the day, and led by expert historians, naturalists and environmentalists. Registration required. 413-394-9773. Berkshire County, MA. & Litchfield County, CT. (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 9:30am-4:30pm — MEDITATION
Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley presents “The Values We Want to Cultivate In Children and Ourselves.” 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.  www.insightpv.org/retreats  Eastworks (116 Pleasant ​St., Ste 242)  413-527-0388. Easthampton, MA ($$)

Sunday, September 20. 10am — MUSIC STUDIES/BLUEGRASS
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)

Sunday, September 20. 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 20. 10am-4pm —HISTORY & CULTURAL STUDIES
Have you ever wondered about the history of an antique piece of furniture? How can you tell how old it is? Can you guess how it was used in the past and to whom might it have belonged? Do you have a particular item you are curious about? Bring it to The NCCHP Museum at the Drum Shop and meet with an appraiser from Knotty Pine Antiques to learn more details about the history of your antique. 413-357-6321. NCCHP Museum, 42 Water St., Granville, MA. (< $; FREE WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Sunday, September 20. 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.

Sunday, September 20. 11am — VEHICLES & STEM
How high can a truck launch off of a ramp? Does the size/mass of the truck affect this? What role does friction play in driving? Is it easier for a truck to drive through mud or on dry ground, or across chunky rocks, and why? Head to McCray’s Farm for their annual Truck Fest, where caregivers and kids can engage in these conversations as they watch the events, and make predictions then observe to see if their predictions were correct. 415-533-0775. McCray’s Farm, 55 Alvord Street, South Hadley, MA. ($$)

Sunday, September 20. 11am-5pm. — FOOD CELEBRATION/BREAD
According to the expert sourdough bakers at Hungry Ghost Bread, “a sourdough culture is a mixture of wild yeast and lactobacillus, a variety of bacteria, that lives in a mixture of flour and water” and “eating good quality bread helps restore the functioning of the digestive tract, resulting in proper assimilation and elimination.” Celebrate this community bakery with its 12th annual celebration of all things bread featuring local vendors, music, a puppet parade and wheat planting. 413-582-9009. 62 State St., Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 11am-5pm — 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 Popielarczyk, 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)

Sunday, September 20. 1pm — LOCAL HISTORY/INDUSTRY
The Upper Fall River Dam, built in 1886 in Gill, MA, was constructed by the Montague Paper Company to provide a clean source of water for paper making. Ed Gregory presents a slideshow of this infrequently seen, and very beautiful, part of our region, and shares the history of the dam and spillway’s creation and recent removal. This event is part of Turners Falls History Month, sponsored by the Great Falls Discovery Center and Turners Falls RiverCulture. 413-863-3221. Great Hall, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 1pm-3pm — CULINARY ARTS/MUSHROOMS
Fungi are rarely appreciated for all they do. They help recycle organic matter, provide essential nutrients to countless plant species, are the origins of key medicines like penicillin, and are sometimes edible, too! Learn how to cultivate edible mushrooms at the Haberdashery‘s mushroom workshop, led by Chris and Julia from Mycoterra Farm. Participants will learn about the mushroom life cycle and how to inoculate mushroom logs to create harvestable indoor crops. Everyone will take home an inoculated log to get them started on their home mushroom cultivation project! 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street, Easthampton, MA. ($$)

Sunday, September 20. 1pm – 3pm — NATURAL HISTORY & ART
Have you ever looked closely at a fern and appreciated how delicate and intricate it is? Bartholomew’s Cobble is known for its extraordinary diversity of fern species. Trustees of Reservations offers a fern identification and botanical drawing workshop. Hike with renowned ecologist and botanical artist Elizabeth Farnsworth to learn identification strategies for ferns, then learn how to apply these identification skills to make beautiful, detailed botanical drawings of ferns. Parking: Trustees members Free, Nonmembers $5/car. Register at 413.532.1631 x10. Bartholomew’s Cobble, 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, September 20. 1pm-3pm — RELIGIOUS STUDIES/ROSH HASHANAH
Learn about the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah at The Odyssey Bookshop. Leslea Newman will read from her picture book, Here Is the World, A Year of Jewish Holidays and My Name is Aviva. Share some sweet snacks, decorate days special to you on your own coloring book calendar, and hang some thoughts and hopes for the new year on a wish tree. (413) 534-7307. 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 1pm-4pm — LOCAL HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE
The Historical Society of Greenfield is hosting its first open house in several years. Visitors will be able to explore two floors of the Historical Society’s large, brick Victorian house, which is filled with many artifacts from the town’s past. 413-774-3663. 43 Church Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 1pm-4pm — LOCAL HISTORY
The Norwich Bridge Schoolhouse, a quaint, one-room school building from yesteryear, continues to be a place of learning as a museum filled with interesting books, documents, maps, clothing, tools, and other artifacts from the town of Huntington. The Huntington Historical Society invites visitors to stop by the museum’s open house to discover things they never knew about this town. Refreshments will be served. 413-667-3453. Corner of Worthington & Littleville Roads, Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 2pm — RADIO 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)

Sunday, September 20. 2pm-5pm — NATURE STUDIES & SCIENCE
Did you know that you can participate in scientific research? Citizen scientists are often employed when lots of data needs to be collected; butterfly counts in particular have long employed community members. The Hitchcock Center needs some citizen scientists to help with monarch tagging – this helps researchers learn more about Monarch migration patterns and can aid conservation efforts. All ages welcome. Registration appreciated. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 3pm — CINEMA & ART
Film and art collide in the Fast Forward Film Series, Artifacts of Fixation at Historic Northampton. This series explores discarded objects and transforms them into stimulating, moving image media in four different programs curated by Magda Bermudez. All four artists vividly project their material fixations into a virtual medium. 413-584-6011. Historic Northampton, 46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 3pm — MUSIC STUDIES/CLASSICAL MUSIC
Have you ever heard Mozart, Schubert and Chopin, played by a renowned pianist on a Steinway piano? If not, you will have that opportunity when The Pelham Library hosts solo pianist and local music Professor Emeritus, Nigel Coxe will perform a piano recital to benefit two of his favorite local cultural treasures, the Pelham Library, and Amherst Cinema. Bring along older children who have listened to classical piano music but may not have heard it played live, and see if they can identify the different composers they hear. Donations are welcome. 413-253-0657. Pelham Library, 2 S Valley Rd., Pelham, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 3pm — 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)

Sunday, September 20. 4pm — HISTORY & LITERATURE
Have you ever carefully paged through an antique book and imagined all those who have read its pages? What the author’s life was like? Do you have an old book that you are wondering about? The Lenox Librarywill host an antiquarian book “road show” to kick off its ninth season of Distinguished Lectures. Attendees are encouraged to bring a book that they would like to show Kenneth Gloss, book specialist for “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS and owner of Brattle Books in Boston. Mr. Gloss will speak on “What Makes Old Books Valuable?” and will informally appraise items from the audience. 413-637-2630. The Lenox Library, 18 Main St., Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 20. 4pm-7pm — MUSIC STUDIES/SCOTTISH MUSIC
Internationally known for traditional music, music in Scotland involves much more than the bagpipe! The Palmer Historical and Cultural Center presents an evening of traditional Scottish music, craic (humor), and sing-a-longs, with North Sea Gas, a traditional folk group from Edinburgh. Tickets required. 413-289-9295. Palmer Historical and Cultural Center, 2072 Main St., Three Rivers, MA. ($)

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday, September 21. 8am-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Do you know the location of the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard? Do you know the location of the 5th largest fair in the U.S.? The answer to both of these questions is the same: The Pioneer Valley! The “Big E,” or the Eastern States Exposition has been running since 1916 and represents all New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Filled with culture, history, animals, food, rides, performances and so much more. One of the biggest attractions is the “Avenue of States,” life-size replicas of the six original New England statehouses that contain samples of the culture, food and traditions of that state. The Big E runs September 18-October 4. Purchase tickets online or at the gate. 413-737-2443. Parking is $10 per vehicle. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA ($)

Monday, September 21. 9am-3pm — ART/AUTISM
The Good Purpose Gallery‘s mission is to help integrate young adults on the autism spectrum (and those with other learning differences) into the community and to enrich their lives through creativity and the arts. The Gallery is currently exhibiting Across the Spectrum, a collection of artwork created by College Internship Program’s (CIP) students, as well as by CIP founder, Michael McManmon. The wide array of art styles, media, and subject matter are sure to draw you in! This exhibit runs through October 6, 2015. 413-394-5045. 40 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 21. 6pm-8pm — COMMUNITY MEAL
Local agriculture is a vital part of local community, economy, and landscape. Berkshire Grown will celebrate the bounty of the Berkshires with their 17th annual Harvest Supper. This event will benefit Berkshire Grown programs and will feature food from Berkshire Grown member chefs and a silent auction. Reservations required. 413-528-0041.The Upper Lodge at Ski Butternut, Rte. 23, Great Barrington, 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 – STORYTIME: The Hatfield Public Library holds a storytime for kids 5 and under every Monday! Come to the library for stories and fun. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, 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)
  • 10:30am-11:30 am – STORYTIME: The Indian Orchard Library invites 3-5 year olds for stories, songs, movement, a craft, and playtime. Runs through Oct. 26, Adult must accompany children, siblings welcome. Registration required if you bring more than three children. 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street, Indian Orchard, 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)
  • 11:00am – 4:00pm – STEM: The Berkshire Museum’s Spark!Lab is open for drop in play. In Spark!Lab, everyone is an inventor! Spark!Lab is a hands-on, creative laboratory that engages children and families in the process of innovation: try the variety of activities, from creating a wheeled vehicle to experimenting with percussion to assembling safe electrical circuits. Visitors of all ages can work together to combine skills and ideas to create inventions with real-world applications. 413-443-7171. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)
  • 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)
  • 3:00pm-5pm – ART: Do you know a teen who loves to draw? The Hubbard Library offers “Sketchy Ato,” a drop-in session in which all genres are welcome – manga, comics, western, or anything else. Artists can share their work (if they want) with fellow art maniacs! For middle & high schoolers. Every two weeks. 413-583-3408. 24 Center St., Ludlow, MA.. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – LITERACY: You’re never too old for a good picture book! Join Sprinfield’s Central Library and enjoy a terrific picture book together, followed by a creative activity inspired by the story. ages 8-10, siblings welcome. Runs through November 16. Registration recommended/limited space. 413-263-6828 x201. Children’s Room, Central Library, 220 State Street, Springfield, MA.. (FREE)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – GYM GROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a Gym Group at the Haskins Center for ages walking to 8 years old. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:00pm-6:00pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Gathering around a table and sharing a meal is a foundation of community building. Greet your neighbors and make new friends over a delicious prepared by some of the finest chefs in the Berkshires at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Donations are gratefully accepted, as are non-perishable food items for local food banks. Please contribute if you can. Runs through December 21. (No Suppers on 11/23 or 12/28) No reservations required. 15 Crissey Rd., Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – KNITTING: All skill levels can attend a knitting group at the Westhampton Public Library every Monday evening. Come learn and share tips and tricks with knitters of all ages and levels. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, 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)
  • 6:30pm – MUSIC: The ukulele is a small stringed instrument, similar to a guitar, that originated in 19th Century Hawaii. The ukulele has enjoyed a revival in recent years that can be attributed to its accessibility, affordability and popularity. Julieann Stepanek wants to inspire budding ukulele players by teaching four monthly classes at Storrs Library. Once a month, through December 28th. Come to one session or all four! Registration required. 413-565-4181. Storrs Library, 693 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-8pm — BOOK CLUB: The Emily Williston Memorial Library invites you to Monday Night Book Club, which meets the fourth Monday of each month (except in May). For adults and/or young adults who are mature readers. 413-527-1031. Emily Williston Memorial Library, 9 Park St., Easthampton, MA (FREE)
  • 7pm – POETRY: Forbes Library holds a poetry discussion group every Monday in the Coolidge Museum. Come discuss the works of famous poets with community members of all backgrounds – lifelong poets and those who are new to reading poetry. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday, September 22. 8am-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Do you know the location of the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard? Do you know the location of the 5th largest fair in the U.S.? The answer to both of these questions is the same: The Pioneer Valley! The “Big E,” or the Eastern States Exposition has been running since 1916 and represents all New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Filled with culture, history, animals, food, rides, performances and so much more. One of the biggest attractions is the “Avenue of States,” life-size replicas of the six original New England statehouses that contain samples of the culture, food and traditions of that state. The Big E runs September 18-October 4. Purchase tickets online or at the gate. 413-737-2443. Parking is $10 per vehicle. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA ($)

Tuesday, September 22. 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 moose. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 22. 5pm-6:30pm — CIVIC ENGAGEMENT/COMMUNITY PLANNING
A key to sustainable and vital communities is the involvement of local people in the planning and design of city spaces. This public forum titled “Pleasant Futures: Designing the Pleasant St. Streetscape” is the fourth time that the community will come together to discuss the area between Hampton Ave to Hockanum Rd. Come for a conversation with the Northampton Office of Planning and Sustainability, City Council member Ryan O’Donnell and Nitsch Engineering. The meeting will end promptly at 6:30 in honor of Yom Kippur. Questions to Wayne Feiden WFeiden@NorthamptonMA.gov. Hearing Room, City Hall (use rear door), 210 Main St., Northampton, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, September 22. 6pm-7pm — BIOLOGY
Did you know that there are more bacterial cells on and in your body than there are human cells? It’s a good thing, too, because these bacteria play an essential role in our health! Explore the diversity of human and animal gut bacteria, and the dynamic relationship we have with our gut microbiomes in “Gut feeling: Fostering a diverse and healthy microbiome,” a Science Café talk by Dr. Jeffrey Blanchard at the Jones Library. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 22. 6pm-8pm — CULINARY ARTS/FERMENTED FOODS
Fermented food is an excellent way to maintain a healthy digestive system, including helping with the absorption of nutrients, improvement of immune system function, control of inflammation, mental/emotional well being and for prevention of food allergies and skin conditions.Just Roots will present the health benefits of fermented food and teach some traditional preparation techniques for a variety of fruits and vegetables. Registration required. 413-325-8969. Greenfield Community Farm, 34 Glenbrook Dr, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 22. 6:30pm-8pm — HISTORY & FOLK ART/CEMETERIES
New England’s historic cemeteries are filled with beautiful folk art tombstone carvings that are unique to our region. Some of the oldest examples include simple skulls, or “death’s heads,” some of which had wings, and many of which showed two or three rows of teeth! In the mid-18th century, Americans became more interested in discussing and representing the afterlife and family members’ memories of the deceased, not merely the physicality of death. This is when angels began appearing on tombstones, as did urn and willow motifs derived from ancient Greek and Roman cultures. Learn more about gravestone traditions, carvers, and motifs found in the Connecticut River Valley at “Art in the Face of Mortality,” a presentation at the Westfield Athenaeum. 413-568-7833 x 111. Lang Auditorium, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 22. 6pm-8:30pm — SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/SEWING & CONSERVATION
The BagShare Project seeks to reduce the use of plastic and paper grocery bags by creating reusable bags for borrowing (as opposed to purchase). The Easthampton Sewing Center invites you to make “The No Sew,” a shopping bag design to make two handled shopping bags from seed and feed bags we are collecting. If you have extra clothesline or rope or damaged rope hammocks please bring them along. Anyone can make these bags without a sewing machine. Registration required, contact Leni at leni@lenifriedprintmaking.com. Easthampton Sewing Center. Eastworks Building, 16 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA. (VOLUNTEERING)

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; $)
  • 10:15am-11:45am – CRAFTING: What better way to prepare for a cozy New England winter than to complete those knitting projects? Knitting alongside others also builds community and increases skills. The Storrs Library in Longmeadow offers a Novel Knitters drop-in program for adults where you can bring your own projects and supplies or participate in ongoing community projects. All levels of expertise are welcome. 413- 565-4182. Storrs Library, 693 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, 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)
  • 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)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Toddlers aged 12-36 months and their caregivers are welcome at the bilingual toddler storytime at the Forest Park Library. stories, songs, fingerplays, and playtime. Registration required if you bring more than three children. Runs through December 8. Registration required/limited space. Adult must be present. 413-263-6843. 380 Belmont Ave., Springfield, 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)
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a playgroup at Adams Youth Center for infants to 5 year olds. 413-664-4821. 20 East St., Adams, 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)
  • 4:30pm – AFTERSCHOOL & YO-YO: Not many toys can boast over 2,500 years of use worldwide, but the yo-yo has enjoyed consistent use in hundreds of cultures for nearly three millenia. The popular Northampton education-based store A to Z hosts Yo-Yo School three times a week inside their store, and their teachers are true masters. Open to all ages, although older elementary children often have the motor skills and coordination needed for it to be a bit easier to learn. Read more about Yo-Yo school on Hilltown Families. Call 413-586-1611. 57 King St., Northampton, 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 23, 2015

Wednesday, September 23. 8am-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Do you know the location of the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard? Do you know the location of the 5th largest fair in the U.S.? The answer to both of these questions is the same: The Pioneer Valley! The “Big E,” or the Eastern States Exposition has been running since 1916 and represents all New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Filled with culture, history, animals, food, rides, performances and so much more. One of the biggest attractions is the “Avenue of States,” life-size replicas of the six original New England statehouses that contain samples of the culture, food and traditions of that state. The Big E runs September 18-October 4. Purchase tickets online or at the gate. 413-737-2443. Parking is $10 per vehicle. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA ($)

Wednesday, September 23. 10am-4pm — HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS/TEXTILE ARTS
Historic Deerfield invites homeschoolers to celebrate the fall harvest with seasonal open-hearth cooking, wool carding, loom weaving, and other fun demonstrations and activities that run throughout the day. Such hands-on learning not only aids in the retention of new information, it encourages the development of fine motor skills and transferrable skills such as measuring and estimating. Pre-registration encouraged. 413-775-7217. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. ($; FREE for children under 6, members, and Deerfield residents)

Wednesday, September 23. 1pm-2:30pm — TECHNOLOGY SKILLS/FILM MAKING
Are you a budding filmmaker? Learning filmmaking skills can be of use for both professional and personal projects, as well as help you think in new ways about communicating a message or story to different audiences. The Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center will offer a video-editing class on Windows Movie Maker, an easy-to-use video editing application included in recent versions of Microsoft Windows. Learn how to import and edit video footage, integrate audio, and apply effects, transitions and titles. Registration required. 413-685-1052. MIddlefield Town Hall, 188 Skyline Trail, Middlefield, MA. (FREE for Hilltown Residents)

Wednesday September 23. 2:30pm – TEEN LOUNGE
Teens can mix up their after school routines by participating in new activities where they can meet different people and try out new skills. Toward this end, the Southwick Public Library offers a monthly Teen Lounge throughout the school year offering Wii, snacks and a variety of engaging activities. At this kick off meeting, take part in cupcake decorating! See the online calendar for future lounge dates. 413-569-1221. Southwick Library, 95 Feeding Hills Rd., Southwick, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 23. 5pm — CINEMA & COMMUNITY BUILDING
The Springfield Central Cultural District, MassDevelopment, and City Mosaic have partnered to present “Springfield Under the Stars” with The Princess Bride as the featured movie of this event. Placemaking, which inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community, is a focal point of this series, and for this night will involve turning a blank wall in the park into something beautiful. Come be a part of this revitalization effort! Bring your own blankets. Movie begins at 6:30. Refreshments available. 413-781-1591. Stearns Square Park, Worthington and Bridge Streets, Springfield, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, September 23. 5:30pm — HEALTHCARE/WORKSHOP
Do you help care for a family member, friend, or other community member with special healthcare needs? Full-time and part-time caregivers of children or adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities, or senior relatives, are invited to participate in the Powerful Tools for Caregivers workshop, offered by United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County. Each session will focus on evidence-based tools and strategies to better equip caregivers for the unique challenges they face. The series runs every Wednesday, September 23-November 4, 2015. 413-664-9345. 208 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 23. 6pm-7:30pm — COMMUNITY SUPPORT/CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Does your child have a diagnosed or undiagnosed special need? The Community Network for Children is offering a “Family Cafe Night for Families of Children with Special Needs. This parent facilitated group is open to all parents/guardians living in the Union #28 School district, (Erving, Leverett, New Salem, Shutesbury and Wendell) who would like support in managing day to day with their young children. The series will run seven Wednesdays throughout the school year at different school-based locations. This event is at Erving Elementary School. Pre-registration is required if childcare is needed. 978-544-5157. Erving Elementary School, 28 Northfield Road, Erving, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 23. 6:30-8pm — CREATIVE WRITING
Writing can be a powerful tool of self-discovery and for finding one’s voice. Author, blogger, mother and artist Suzi Banks Baum will offer Powder Keg Sessions, writing workshops for mature, older students and adults, at the Ramsdell Public Library. 413-528-2403. Ramsdell Public Library, 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 23. 6:30pm-8pm — WRITING
If you were to write a memoir, what stories would you include? Are there life events that helped you discover who you are, what is important to you, or that helped you make an important decision? Share conversation with Thatcher Freund, journalist and memoir writer, on the topic of the significance of stories in our lives at “Why Your Story Matters,” a talk at the Westfield Athenaeum. Freund will examine how our stories play roles in our own lives and the culture in which we live, and share his views on why we must preserve these tales. 413-568-7833 x 111. Lang Auditorium, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 23. 7:30pm — DANCE & CULTURAL STUDIES
To mark the dance troupe’s 40th anniversary, Cloud Gate Dance Theater of Taiwan presents RICE at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center. Choreographer Lin Hwai-min is heralded as one of the original dance multiculturalists, drawing his inspiration from traditional Asian culture and aesthetics. Set to the music of Hakka folk songs – the oldest among the existing Chinese dialect, operatic arias and sounds from the fields, and against a video backdrop that depicts the life cycle of a rice paddy. Audience members are invited to stay for a post-performance talk with the Company’s Artistic Director in Rand Theater. Amherst, MA. ($$)

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)
  • 10:00am-11:00am – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc.is offering a toddler playgroup at Haskins Center for ages 1 to 2.5 years. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, 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; $)
  • 11:00am-11:30am – STORYTIME Toddlers and their caregivers can come to the Forbes Library for Toddler Time, which includes stories, bubbles and songs with friends every Wednesday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, 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)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – GYM GROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a Gym Group at Haskins Center for ages walking to 5 years old. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, 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.
  • 5:30pm-6:30 pm – LITERACY: How might books be like video games? Head to Sprinfield’s Central Library for Book and Build. Hear a book (or a chapter) then work together to three-dimensionally recreate the scene. Ages 8-12. Runs through November 18. Children’s Program Room. 413-263-6828 x201. Children’s Room, Central Library, 220 State Street Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:00pm-6:30pm – STORYTIME: Stories, songs, and movement for children ages 3 to 10 at the East Springfield Library. Runs September 9 – November 18. No registration required. Adult must accompany children, siblings welcome. 413-263-6840. 21 Osborne Terrace Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 6pm-8pm — CRAFTING: Sheep & Shawl yarn and fiber arts shop in South Deerfield offers Knit/Crochet/Spin Circles every Wednesday night. 413-397-3680. 265 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm – FILM STUDIES: New Asia Cinema and Arab Cinema Panorama screen a film as part of their “Fantastic Animals” series every Wednesday at the Flavin Theater School of Management at UMass. Each film deals with the connections between humans and animals around the world. See the Fine Arts Center website for a full schedule and list of films. Runs through December 9, 2015. 413-577-2486. Amherst, 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 24, 2015

Thursday, September 24. 8am-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Do you know the location of the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard? Do you know the location of the 5th largest fair in the U.S.? The answer to both of these questions is the same: The Pioneer Valley! The “Big E,” or the Eastern States Exposition has been running since 1916 and represents all New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Filled with culture, history, animals, food, rides, performances and so much more. One of the biggest attractions is the “Avenue of States,” life-size replicas of the six original New England statehouses that contain samples of the culture, food and traditions of that state. The Big E runs September 18-October 4. Purchase tickets online or at the gate. 413-737-2443. Parking is $10 per vehicle. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA ($)

Thursday, September 24. 1pm-4pm — MAKERS SPACE
Would you like your homeschooler to participate in more “maker” activities? Incorporating arts and crafts enriches the learning experience and helps students make sense of new ideas. Stop by Makers’ Mill‘s Open House to learn how to make a screen print and contribute to a community weaving project. You can also explore all of the equipment and materials they have, and consider ways to incorporate maker projects with your curriculum themes. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 24. 2pm — HISTORY & ARCHITECTURE
What did Northampton look like throughout its history? What buildings are no longer standing? As part of the “Cookies with a Curator” series, The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum in Forbes Library presents Lost Northampton – view photographs and learn about buildings and homes that were part of Northampton’s history. This is an opportunity to talk to children about historical preservation and architectural evolution – ask them to imagine what buildings might no longer be standing fifty years from now, and why. 413-587-1014. Coolidge Museum, Forbes Library, 20 West St, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 24. 2:30pm — ART & HISTORY
The Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell, an iconic was a 20th-century American painter and illustrator. The museum is offering a Historic Property Walk – where you will explore the Norman Rockwell Museum’s bucolic 36 acre site and learn about the historic buildings on its property, including Linwood House, an 1859 Berkshire Cottage, and Norman Rockwell’s own Stockbridge Studio. 413-298-4100. 9 Rte. 183, Stockbridge, MA (FREE with Museum admission)

Thursday, September 24. 4pm-7pm — CITIZEN SCIENTIST/BUTTERFLIES
Did you know that you can participate in scientific research? Citizen scientists are often employed when lots of data needs to be collected; butterfly counts in particular have long employed community members. The Hitchcock Center needs some citizen scientists to help with monarch tagging – this helps researchers learn more about Monarch migration patterns and can aid conservation efforts. All ages welcome. Registration appreciated. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street Amherst, MA (VOLUNTEERING)

Thursday, September 24. 5:30pm — CULTURAL STUDIES
Cultural attitudes toward and associated support and services for aging populations in are complicated and fraught – both in the U.S and in other nations. In conjunction with its latest exhibition, Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs, The Norman Rockwell Museum presents “Aging in America: Attitudes and Access,” the latest in its Four Freedoms Forum series. The public forum will explore the dynamic increase of life expectancy in the U.S. and other developed nations, and the challenges and increased needs it places on access to differentiated care. 413-298-4100. 9 Rte. 183, Stockbridge, MA (FREE with Museum admission)

Thursday, September 24. 7pm — SOCIOLOGY & AGRICULTURE
If you purchase and/or consume local produce, you have benefitted from the hard work of migrant workers who help sustain our local agricultural base. Learn more about these community members and the policies that shape their lives and our local economies at Manuel Matos’ presentation of his findings on the links between land and agriculture policies in Latin America and the U.S. as they relate to Latin American migration. Have you had the opportunity to converse with many agricultural workers? Matos conducted extensive interviews with farmers and other agricultural workers in Franklin County as source material for this presentation, and their voices, ideas, and opinions make a valuable and essential contribution to our collective understanding of our region’s community, culture, and economy. Sponsored by the Great Falls Discovery Center as part of Turners Falls History Month. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE) [CANCELLED]

Thursday, September 24. 7pm-9pm — PERFORMANCE ART
DownStreet Art brings art and cultural activities to North Adams to encourage community members to gather and engage with each other and the arts. This month, Bridgman/Packer Dance’s TRUCK will be performed. This innovative piece incorporates video overlays and is set within a portable space–an 17-foot moving truck! This duo creates art that is not complete until it is experienced by an audience; come be a part of the creative process with them! Advance ticket reservations strongly recommended. 413-663-5253. Main Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday September 24. 6pm-7:30pm — CHILDREN & GRIEVING
Children’s literature can be a powerful and effective tool for talking to children about the difficult topic of death and dying. The Holyoke Public Library hosts a workshop, “Grief Through Story,” geared towards adult caregivers and community members interested in learning how to initiate a gentle conversation about death, dying, and grief with youth. Participants will be able to join in a guided conversation about grief and will discover resources in various mediums that can be utilized to facilitate these important conversations. For family, friends, and loved ones in the life of a grieving young person, as well as anyone interested in grief work with children. 413-420-8101. Holyoke Public Library, 250 Chestnut St., Holyoke 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-12:30pm – PLAY GROUP: Children birth – 5 years old are welcome to attend a neighborhood playgroup at Sixteen Acres Library. Enjoy stories, fingerplays, a craft and playtime. Adult must accompany and consistently supervise children, siblings welcome. 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street, Springfield MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – JOB SKILLS: Do you need help finding a job? Do you need assistance in creating or revising a resume and/or with interview skills? The Amherst Survival Center provides support during weekly sessions. And you can also join for lunch between 12pm and 1pm! You can ride the #33 bus right to the door. The Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Rd., North Amherst, 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. 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)
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm – PLAYGROUP: Too old for tummy time? Too young for toddler time? Drop into this fun social time for babies at Forbes Library! 413-587-1011. Community Room, Forbes Library, 20 West Street. Northampton, 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)
  • 4:30pm – AFTERSCHOOL & YO-YO: Not many toys can boast over 2,500 years of use worldwide, but the yo-yo has enjoyed consistent use in hundreds of cultures for nearly three millenia. The popular Northampton education-based store A to Z hosts Yo-Yo School three times a week inside their store, and their teachers are true masters. Open to all ages, although older elementary children often have the motor skills and coordination needed for it to be a bit easier to learn. Read more about Yo-Yo school on Hilltown Families. Call 413-586-1611. 57 King St., Northampton, 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)
  • 6:00pm-7pm – LEGOS: The Family Resource Center is offering a LEGO group for ages 4-12 the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. 413-664-4821. North Adams Library, 4th Floor. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (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)
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm – TRIVIA: Display your trivia knowledge the first Thursday of each month at the Jones Library‘s trivia night! There will be two rounds of 15 questions and you can either come with a team or form one at the library (teams must be smaller than 5). There will also be prizes and refreshments. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (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 25, 2015

Friday, September 25. (TBA) — COMMUNITY SERVICE/WATERWAYS
Healthy waterways are an essential part of a healthy community. You might be surprised to learn the wide variety of trash polluting our local Connecticut River system – in past years volunteers have used human power and sometimes heavy equipment to pull out everything from recyclables, fishing equipment and food waste to tires, televisions and refrigerators. The Connecticut River Watershed Council invites you to help with this year’s annual trash cleanup, when thousands of volunteers of all ages and abilities head out to places of their choice all along the four-state watershed (NH, VT, MA., CT) to clean the Connecticut River and its tributaries on foot or by boat. You can join an existing group or start one of your own. Learn more about the Source to Sea cleanup from this Hilltown Families post. Also on Saturday, September 26. Call 860-704-0057 to learn how to participate. Locations vary, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 25. 8am-10pm — AGRICULTURAL FAIR
Do you know the location of the largest agricultural event on the eastern seaboard? Do you know the location of the 5th largest fair in the U.S.? The answer to both of these questions is the same: The Pioneer Valley! The “Big E,” or the Eastern States Exposition has been running since 1916 and represents all New England states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Filled with culture, history, animals, food, rides, performances and so much more. One of the biggest attractions is the “Avenue of States,” life-size replicas of the six original New England statehouses that contain samples of the culture, food and traditions of that state. The Big E runs September 18-October 4. Purchase tickets online or at the gate. 413-737-2443. Parking is $10 per vehicle. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA ($)

Friday, September 25. 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 25. 4pm-6pm — PASTRY ARTS/BREAD BAKING
When we “break bread” with others, we share more than a meal with them. We share stories, ideas, questions, songs, and support. The same wonderful community-building emerges when we make bread together. The Pioneer Valley Bread House views communal bread-making as a simple yet profound bonding experience. Participants in this Community Bread-Baking & Story Swap will bake and share sweet and yeast-based breads together. (Gluten-free breads are possible too, upon request.) As the group waits for doughs to rise and loaves to bake, there is time and space to share conversation, engage your creativity, and build meaningful connections with one another. 83 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 25. 5:30pm-7:30pm — MUSEUM & CULTURE/PHOTOGRAPHY
The American West has long held a fascination for artists and media-makers. Now, you have the opportunity to experience the magnificent, intriguing, and ever-changing American West in compelling photographs and fascinating objects when American West, a dual exhibition, opens at the Berkshire Museum with a preview party. The travelling exhibition National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West features stunning photography from the last 125 years. Go West, organized by the Museum’s staff, includes objects, artwork, and interactive stations pertaining to the grand adventure of the American West. The pair of exhibitions will be on view Saturday, September 26, 2015 through Sunday, January 3, 2016. 413-443-7171. 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA ($)

Friday, September 25. 7:30pm —COMEDY
Looking for some laughter along with your entertainment? The Spectrum Playhouse in Lee hosts sketch comedy show, “Saturday Night Liv,” hosted by performer Liv Cummins. The show is a mix of sketch comedy, music, and novelty acts which bring to mind the old Carol Burnett Show, with a bit of Ed Sullivan in the mix. It’s a ‘something for everyone’ approach that has enabled the show to please audiences who don’t normally go out to the theater or clubs. 413-394-5023. Spectrum Playhouse, 20 Franklin St., Lee, MA. ($$)

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)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The East Forest Park Library offers infants (birth) – 3 year olds for stories, songs, a craft, and playtime. Runs Oct. 16 – Nov. 20. Adult must accompany children, siblings welcome. No registration required. 413-263-6836. 122 Island Pond Rd., Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – STORYTIME: The Sunderland Public Library’s Head of Youth Services, Kelly Daniels Baker, invites children ages 3-5 and their families to a preschool storytime. Includes stories, songs, finger plays, and crafts. Sunderland Public Library, 20 School St., Sunderland, 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. ($)
  • 11:00-12:50pm – ICE SKATING: Want to teach a child how to ice skate but find it difficult to navigate the ice when it is so crowded? The Mullins Center on the UMass Amherst Campus offers a “just for families” skate (no college students) every Friday throughout the school year. You can borrow ice skates or bring your own. Skate rental is free with paid admission. Parents and caregivers skate free when accompanying children. Call to confirm: 413-545-2791, Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave., University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Amherst, MA (<$)
  • 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)
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm — CRAFTING: Sheep & Shawl yarn and fiber arts shop in South Deerfield, MA offers Knit/Crochet/Spin Circles every Friday afternoon. 413-397-3680. 265 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield, 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 phenomena. 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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