Suggested Events for October 3rd-9th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Without Hilltown Families, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience the rich variety of family friendly events in Western Mass. There is so much to do but Hilltown Families breaks it down so I can choose things that would benefit my family.” – Lorna Lawrence (Wilbraham, 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

Hettie Belle Farm Local, organic and 100% grass-fed Meat and Poultry CSA! Meat & poultry grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. 100% antibiotic and added hormone free. Hettie Belle Farm raises all of their own animals on their family farm. It really does matter! Shares include – 100% grass-fed beef & lamb, pastured pork, chicken, turkey, goose & ducks fed only certified organic grain. Monthly distribution in Greenfield, Florence, and on-farm in Warwick, MA (November-March). Details at www.hettiebellefarm.com. SNAP benefits accepted. Monthly payment plan options. Do consider becoming a member family!

Oct 3

Join us at the Odyssey Bookshop for a Morning of Magic and Mischief with New York Times-bestselling authors Sarah Mlynowski and Lisa Papademetriou on Saturday, October 3rd at 11:00 AM! Both authors will talk about their new books and their favorite parts about writing about magical mishaps and will judge an entrance exam to the fancy Odyssey Magic Academy, where event attendees will be asked to undergo a series of activities to test their magical ability. Attendees will also enjoy some Luna Juice, play a game or two of Exquisite Corpse to create some funky combinations of creatures, and even make their own wish vials to bring a little magic home! Check out odysseybks.com for more info about the event and how to score some exclusive swag!

Oct 3

Mirage: A Circus Life. Saturday, October 3, 7:30pm, Academy of Music Theatre. A stunning display of circus arts turns the stage into a world of gravity-defying feats in Nimble Arts’ latest production. Eight artists use their diverse training and abilities to tell the story of a troupe of performers putting together a new show. Based around a unique, free-standing aerial rig that transforms between acts, the group’s aesthetic takes a poetic approach to more traditional vaudevillian circus arts. Mirage is perfect for the whole family or a date night out. $18 adults, $12 ages 16 and under, plus service fees. www.aomtheatre.com. Box office hours Tuesday-Friday, 3-6pm. 413-584-9032 x105.

Oct 4

Harvesting Hope Farm Festival happens on Sunday, October 4th from 1-5pm at Abundance Farm (253 Prospect St) in Northampton. All are welcome to participate in this family friendly festival for celebration, rejuvenation and action. Come enjoy creative and fun activities including the Topsy Turvy Bus (a mobile, vegetable powered eco-classroom), live music and square dancing, a meditation sukkah (tent), great local food, bicycle power, alpacas and more! Join Pioneer Valley faith, environmental and social justice communities as they gather to protect our pollinators, grow community orchards, and advocate for just wages. Suggested Donation of $1-$20 per family. For more information visit www.abundancefarm.org or email nilisimhai@gmail.com.

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.

Oct 4

The 54th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills, Sunday, October 4, 10am-4pm rain or shine. Enjoy live music, a skillet toss, craft fair, log splitting contest, art, local products, and of course, lots of yummy food, freshly pressed cider and fried dough and maple cream. Free activities for the kids, including a hay maze, hill slide, face painting, Mammal Rehab/Paw Prints, and a book signing by local children’s book authors. Sign up for the Covered Bridge Classic 10K Road Race and kids’ Fun-Run! Local exhibitors and demonstrations include Rising Sun Forge, Wilder Hill Gardens, Northwest Junior Racing Pigeon Club, and Natural Roots. Admission, parking, and almost all activities are free. Held at Conway Grammar School. www.festivalofthehills.com

Oct 10

Oak Meadow Open House is Saturday, October 10th from 11am-1pm, at 132 Main Street in Brattleboro, VT. Join Oak Meadow for this fun, annual event! Learn about their creative, experiential homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12. Speak with teachers and college and educational counselors, browse curriculum materials, network with other homeschooling families. Enjoy crafts, music, and refreshments for all ages. FREE and open to anyone who’s interested in learning more about homeschooling. Help Oak Meadow celebrate their 40th anniversary! For more information visit www.oakmeadow.com.

Oct 14

At River Valley Co-op on October 14, 6:30-8pm: The How-To’s of Cloth Diapering. Explore the basic how-to’s of cloth diapering through expert tips and demos. Learn about the cost benefits, environmental impacts, and all the myths and truths surrounding environmentally-friendly disposables, and leave with a handy resource guide. Simple Diaper & Linen is an eco-conscious diaper service based in Holyoke, and its founder Angie Gregory will share her knowledge & expertise about cloth diapering and fostering responsibility for the planet. All workshops are free & everyone is welcome. Pre-registration is required. Call 413-584-2665 to reserve a spot today. River Valley Co-op is located at 330 North King St., Northampton. www.rivervalleymarket.coop.

Oct 18

Run, Walk, or Shop to Save Local Farmland with Kestrel Land Trust! Don’t miss the 5K for Farmland & Farmers’ Market Festival on Sunday, October 18, at 11am on the West Street Common in Hadley. Family-friendly 5K race on a flat route through scenic farmland or a beautiful 2-mile riverside walk. Farmers’ Market Festival after the race with music by “The Rambling Kind,” local crafts and seasonal produce for sale, nature & animal exhibits, entertainment for kids, and FREE local beer by Valley Malt for registered participants age 21+. Register online and learn more by visiting www.kestreltrust.org. Receive a commemorative pint glass AND be entered into a raffle for great locally made prizes when you pre-register!

Yoga for Kids w/ Autism & Special Needs! Family Yoga! Teen Yoga! At Eastworks in Easthampton, beginning October 18th! Help kids develop healthy habits that will last throughout the school year. Improve concentration, sense of calmness & sleep. Develop body awareness & improve self-esteem. Enhance posture, flexibility & coordination. Teen classes are a great way for homeschool and charter school students to meet their P.E. requirement in a fun, loving, and creative environment filled with opportunities for self-expression. The following classes are being offered for Fall Session 2: Family Yoga Sun 10-10:45; Teen Yoga Wed 3:30-4:20; Yoga for Kids w/Autism Wed 6-6:45 (pre-reg. required). Register online: KarenOrlandoYoga.com. Drop-ins welcome!

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.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 3rd-9th, 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, October 3rd

Ongoing Saturday Events

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

Saturday, October 3. 8:00am-10:00pm — 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, October 3. 8am-10:30pm – POETRY
The Amherst Poetry Festival is October 1-4 throughout Amherst. There will be many poetry-related events, including readings, an Emily Dickinson poetry marathon, discussions, performances, children’s activities, and more. A full schedule and list of locations can be found on the Emily Dickinson Museum’s website. 413-542-8161. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, October 3, 9:00am-12pm —EQUIPMENT SWAP
Athletic equipment can be expensive, especially when only used for a short period of time. Browse gently used goods from many sports at the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools Athletic Equipment Swap. All ARPS families (K-12) are welcome to take what they need. All items free! Donations accepted until October 3rd. Please contact cwstlaurent@gmail.com for more information. Amherst-Pelham Regional High School Back Gym, 21 Mattoon St., Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3, 10am-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY
The Sheffield Historical Society‘s exhibition, “Few and Evil Were Our Days: The Cemeteries of Sheffield,” is on display at the Old Stone Store every Saturday and Sunday through October 18. Learn about local residents of the past who are buried in Sheffield’s over 18 cemeteries, the carvings on the headstones, and the history of the cemeteries themselves. Learning about the town’s cemeteries is a fascinating way to experience local history and discover Sheffield’s past. 413-229-2694. 137 Main St., Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3, 10am-5pm — FALL FESTIVAL
Experience the change of seasons by spending an autumn day outdoors, breathing the crisp air, tasting seasonal foods, and enjoying music, crafts, and more with family and friends at the Huntington Fall Festival! Learn about different art and craft skills by striking up a conversation with someone who is selling their wares, or test your taste buds to see if you can guess what local, seasonal ingredients went into a particular food item. So much to see and do! 413-667-5269. Town Common, Route 20 & 112, Huntington, MA. (< $)

Saturday, October 3, 3:00pm AND 7:00pm — MUSIC CONCERT/
FOLK MUSIC

Singalongs are always fun, but when they are built upon a foundation of music for community and social change? Even better! Attend a singalong concert celebrating the new Rise Again songbook, Rise Up Singing. The concert will feature Annie Patterson & Peter Blood, the creators of Rise Up Singing and Rise Again, teaching and leading songs out of their new book. They will be joined by Emma’s revolution, Kim & Reggie Harris, Charlie King, The Nields, Sarah Pirtle and Magpie- all of whom have songs in this new collection. This concert is a benefit for the new Carry It On Fund, which is raising funds to support organizations that are carrying forward the vision & work of Pete & Toshi Seeger. Family matinee at 3pm. 413-549-1744. Wesley United Methodist Church, 98 North Maple St., Hadley, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 3. 9:00am-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. & Litchfield County, CT. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3. 9:30am-5pm – HISTORY & LOCAL AGRICULTURE
Did you know that we are in the midst of one of the most prolific apple seasons in decades? Revel in all of this autumn’s apple-y glory before the fruits are past their prime by celebrating at Old Sturbridge Village’s Apple Days! Come by for regular Village activities, plus orchard tours, apple picking, cider-making, and more. Learn about history and the many uses for apples in colonial times through these fun and educational activities. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 3. 10am – FAMILY MOVIE
Celebrate Halloween at the October 3rd installment of the Family Film Series at Amherst Cinema. Come see Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005; rated G) on the big screen to get into the Halloween spirit! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (< $)

Saturday, October 3. 10:00am-12pm — PLANT STUDIES
Wildcrafting is the practice of foraging plants from their natural, or “wild” habitat, for food or medicinal purposes. Gain confidence in your foraging skills during The Haberdashery’s Fall Foraging workshop. This workshop will cover the basics of wildcrafting including: seasonal & lunar cycles, ethics, tools & equipment, gratitude, and ecology. Informative handouts and a light, wild food snack will be provided. Registration required. 413-527-1638. E. Flaherty Memorial Parking Lot (along the Rail Trail, behind the Paragon Building), Easthampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 3. 10am-2pm — HIKING
The Mohawk Trail State Forest offers over 6000 acres of beautiful Massachusetts wilderness terrain, including huge old-growth trees with interesting stories of their own. Explore the forest with naturalist Bob Leverett and learn about the trees that have lived in this spot for over 100 years. Two interpretive walks will be offered; one from 10am-noon, and the other from 10am-2pm, both co-sponsored by the Franklin Land Trust. Proceeds will help support the development of the recreational Mahican-Mohawk Trail which follows an historic trail path connecting the Connecticut and Hudson River valleys. 413-320-8894. Mohawk Trail State Forest Headquarters, Route 2/Cold River Road, Charlemont, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 3. 10am-12:30pm — HIKING
As part of the Housatonic Heritage Hike series, the Berkshire Natural Resources Council will lead a hike at Bob’s Way. Explore the trail’s exciting natural and human history on this moderate 2.5-mile hike. Call to register. 413-528-2810 x10. Route 23 East/Route 108 South. Monterey, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3. 10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS
Experience life in an early New England kitchen at Historic Deerfield‘s Open Hearth Cooking demonstrations! Learn about traditional fall harvest foods like pumpkins, apples, and corn. These cooking demonstrations allow visitors of all ages to see what life was like in the past and the types of chores and activities they would do had they lived several hundred years ago! Free with admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 3. 10am-5pm – CRAFT FAIR
Artisans of WMass will hold their 2nd Annual Fall Craft Show in the Yankee Candle Healthworks building. There will be 50 artisans from Massachusetts present, as well as demonstrations. The craft fair is a great place to meet and support local artists and artisans, and is also a good spot to get a head start on holiday shopping! 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3. 10am-6pm — HARVEST PARTY
Red Fire Farm is celebrating the end of another bountiful summer with its annual Cider Press and Harvest Party. Come make your own fresh cider with local apples, carve a pumpkin and take advantage of the last of this year’s pick-your-own fields. The Farm is selling cider-quality apples and providing all the tools people need to make their own cider, Enjoy these fall icons with live music and seasonal snacks. BYO containers for cider. Supplies and pressing opportunities are limited, so pre-registration is required. Apples must be reserved in advance. 7 Carver Street. Granby, MA (FREE/$)

Saturday, October 3rd. 11am. — READING
Morning of Magic and Mischief
with New York Times-bestselling authors Sarah Mlynowski and Lisa Papademetriou at the Odyssey Bookshop. Both authors will talk about their new books and their favorite parts about writing about magical mishaps and will judge an entrance exam to the fancy Odyssey Magic Academy, where event attendees will be asked to undergo a series of activities to test their magical ability. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, October 3. 11am-4pm — MUSIC & HISTORY
Musical performances can transport us to other times, and often incorporate stories that help us make sense of historical eras with which we’re unfamiliar. Celebrate the first Pioneer Valley Early Music Day with historically-informed popup performances throughout the valley! Music styles will include a rich variety of pieces representative of Baroque and Renaissance themes, featuring harp, viol, flute, guitar, and other instruments. These events are organized by Ensemble Musica Humana, and a full schedule of times and locations is available on their site. 413-461-6522. Locations vary, Pioneer Valley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3. 2-4pm — FAMILY MOVIE
Know a child who loves nature documentaries? Westfield Athenaeum presents Monkey Kingdom, which follows a newborn monkey and its mother as they struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who live in ancient ruins found deep in the storied jungles of South Asia. Popcorn and juice provided. No registration required. 413- 562-6158 x 5. Boys and Girls Library Activity Room, 6 Elm St., Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3. 3pm & 7pm — CONCERT
Singing to and with your children, extended family, neighbors, and friends evokes joy and creates connections. In addition, traditional and folk song lyrics are often full of history, cultural references, and relatable, universal themes. Sing along to some of your favorite folk songs at a concert to celebrate the release of Rise Again, a companion songbook to the time-honored Rise Up Singing. Musicians Annie Patterson, Peter Blood, The Nields, Magpie, and many others will be there to sing along with you! 413-256-8596. Wesley United Methodist Church, 98 North Maple Street, Hadley, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 3. 3:30pm — GALLERY TALK
Material artifacts contain all sorts of stories. Contemporary Art at Historic Northampton presents a gallery talk by Donnabelle Casis entitled, “twixt & tween: looking through the lens of popular culture past and present.” Casis’s twixt & tween exhibit was inspired by specific artifacts from the museum’s collection that explore the notion of identity through the lens of popular culture past and present. The overall theme of twixt & tween refers to the act of straddling different time periods. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3. 4pm – LOCAL HISTORY
Discover some interesting bits of local history at the Stockbridge Library’s final Cemetery Tour of the season – “Above and Below: The Cemetery and the Gravediggers.” Learn about the lives, work, and relationships of the gravediggers in the 1800s and 1900s, and see a part of the cemetery that is usually not available for exploring. These cemetery tours are a fun way to learn about the history of Stockbridge and some of its interesting history! 413-298-5501. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (>$)

Saturday, October 3. 2:00pm — HISTORY
What did feminism look like in the 1800’s? Historic Northampton explores one possibility with a talk by Granville Ganter called “Ahead of Her Time?: Anne Laura Clarke, Travelling Lecturer of the 1820s.” The presentation will discuss the little known career of a local Northampton teacher who re-invented herself as a public lecturer from 1822-1834. From Baltimore to Boston, Clarke spoke on western history and the history of clothing, using a slide projector and hand painted maps and charts. The talk will include examples of her slides and charts, and use quotes from her letters and lectures, most of which are held at Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3, 2:00pm – 4:00pm BOTANY
Winter is fast approaching – learn how to identify and preserve wild medicinal and culinary herbs for the season in a workshop at Full Kettle Farm, a one-acre herb farm. Join herbalist and holistic health coach Hannah Jacobson-Hardy for this hands-on workshop with demonstrations of making herbal preparations such as teas, tinctures, vinegars, syrups, elixirs, and oils. This workshop will be outdoors and will involve a fair amount of walking. Please dress for these conditions and plan accordingly for possible inclement weather. Registration required/limited space. 774-678-9644. 111 N Silver Ln., Sunderland, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 3. 4:00pm-6:30pm —BOATING
What do you know about the sport of rowing? Did you know that Northampton Community Rowing has a community program serving youth rowers from schools across the Pioneer Valley? After thirteen years in the Connecticut River Oxbow, Northampton Community Rowing (NCR) is spending its first season in a new location at the CT River Greenway Park.. NCR invites you to toast the completion of their new boat storage facility, review the year’s successes, celebrate their youth and masters teams, and outline goals for the coming year. Bring your curiosity! Volunteers will be on-hand to show-off the new facility and answer all your questions. Rain or shine. Light refreshments. Contact info@hampcrew.com with any questions. 80 Damon Rd., Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3. 6pm — THEATRE
Walk the Keep Homestead Museum‘s woodland trails at dusk as you participate in an outdoor theatrical experience like no other! In The Forest of Mystery, audience members watch a scene from the performance at one location, and then move on to another station to watch the next part of the story unfold. Runs October 2-3. Advance ticket purchase required. 413-668-7284. 35 Ely Road, Monson, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 3, 6pm-8pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Celebrate the kickoff of the 2015 Middlefield Days with a community dinner followed by a blazing bonfire! Reservations required for the dinner. Bonfire-goers are encouraged to bring their own chairs and marshmallows. 413-623-5467. Dinner: Congregational Church, Skyline Trail; Bonfire: Town Hall Field, Middlefield, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 3. 7:00pm — CLASSICAL MUSIC: TALK & CONCERT
In observance of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Mount Holyoke College music department faculty presents a concert of vocal and instrumental music linked to this tumultuous period. This program (one of two) includes two infrequently heard sonatas for two pianos (Igor Stravinsky) and trumpet and piano (Paul Hindemith); two sets of songs associated with the Holocaust by Samuel Dylan Rosner and Ilse Weber; and Dmitri Shostacovitch’s Piano Trio in E Minor. Pre-concert talk at 7:00pm in the Warbeke Room. Concert begins at 8:00pm in McCulloch Auditorium. Mount Holyoke College, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 3. 7-9pm — STARGAZING
Join the Appalachian Trail Conservancy staff and Williams College astrophysics student, Sarah Stevenson, in an evening of hands-on learning for all ages (but especially geared toward young learners and their families). Begin the evening with an indoor educational session before going out to the wide open spaces of the Kellogg Conservation Center to observe the night sky. Please bring warm clothing and a camp chair/blanket to sit on. Hot tea and hot chocolate and healthy snacks provided. PreRegister: 413-528-8002. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Kellogg Conservation Center. 62 Undermountain Road/Route 41. South Egremont, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 3, 7-10pm — DANCE
Did you know that 19 U.S. states have designated square dancing as their official state dance, including Massachusetts? Celebrate this knowledge by dancing the night away with Cliff Brodeur and the Square One Band at the Berkshire Museum. All are welcome from beginners to experienced dancers. Members of Square One have toured internationally, and appeared with artists such as Willie Nelson, Arlo Guthrie, Bonnie Raitt and John Denver. Refreshments available. Tickets available in advance. 413-443-7171. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA.($$)

Saturday, October 3, 7pm-11pm – HAUNTED CORN MAZE
Mike’s Maze has a ton of fun and spooky events lined up for Mike’s at Night this Halloween season. There’s a low-scare flashlight maze ($$), a scarier zombie paintball maze ($$$), and a very scary haunted maze ($$$). Experience the maze at night and have a blast getting lost amongst the corn and trying to find your way out. More info and age guidelines are available on the Mike’s Maze website. Mike’s at Night runs every Friday and Saturday night from September 25-October 31. 413-665-8331. 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA. ($$-$$$)

Saturday, October 3, 7:30pm – THEATER
The Theatre Guild of Hampden presents a production of Doubt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a Bronx Catholic school in the 1960s. The play was also made into a an Academy Award-nominated film. Theater fans can see this intense drama performed at the Greenhouse Theater this October. Tickets available in advance. 2 Somers Road. Hampden, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 3, 7:30pm-9pm – GHOST TOUR
Learn some spooky local history on a Valley Ghost Tour, which run every Wednesday-Sunday night through November 1 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace in Northampton and in Sweetser Park in Amherst. Explore the town and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Amherst & Northampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 3. 7:30pm — THEATER
Shakespeare & Company presents An Illiad, a modern-day retelling of Homer’s classic tale of gods and goddesses, undying love and endless battles, told through the eyes of a single narrator whose gripping monologue captures both the heroism and horror of war. Crafted around the stories of Achilles and Hector, this powerful piece vividly drives home the timelessness of mankind’s compulsion toward violence. 413-637-3353. 70 Kemble St., Lenox, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 3, 7:30pm — CIRCUS ARTS
There’s as much art as science behind what makes circus acts entertaining and trapeze performances enthralling. As performers move their bodies in unexpected ways, our understanding of the limits of our bodies expands. The ever-present force of gravity makes us hold our breath when people cross a tightrope or twirl from a suspended band of cloth. Experience the thrill of seeing bodies play with and against the physical forces that govern our Earth at “Mirage: A Circus Life,” a circus arts performance by Nimble Arts at the Academy of Music Theatre. Advance ticket purchase recommended. 413-584-9032 x 105. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 3, 8:00pm — JAZZ CONCERT
Henry Butler is a renowned jazz pianist from New Orleans. As we move into the cool of fall, warm up with the sounds of the Big Easy and with music, culture and hospitality at a performance with Henry Butler at MASS MoCA. New Orleans food and cocktails available in the venue. Hunter Center, MASS MoCA,1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. ($)

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Sunday, October 4th

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, October 4, 8:00am — RACE
What better way to promote land conservation, farm preservation and community trails than by a benefit run through farms and woods on the beautiful country roads of the Berkshires. Participate in Run for the Hills (5K, 10K and a 1K kids fun run), and all proceeds will benefit the Great Barrington Land Conservancy. Kilpatrick Athletic Center – Bard College at Simon’s Rock, 84 Alford Rd., Great Barrington, MA ($$)

Sunday, October 4. 8:00am-10:00pm — 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 $10 per vehicle. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA ($)

Sunday, October 4. 9am — CHARITY BIKE RIDE
Join Valley CDC for their 5th annual Pedal Poker Run. 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. Food, beverages & prizes. pedalpokerrun.com Look Park in Florence, MA (FUNDRAISER)

Sunday, October 4. 9:00am-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, October 4. 9:00am-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)

Sunday, October 4. 9:30am — HIKING
The Boston and Albany Railroad (The Western Railroad) was built in 1832 and connected Boston, Massachusetts to Albany, New York. The Keystone Arches were constructed in 1840 to carry the Western Railroad through on its run from the Connecticut River to the Hudson River. Friends of Keystone Arches will explain the historical significance of these monumental structures during a hike and discussion. Wear sturdy boots/footwear, bring drink/snacks. 3.5 hrs. – 5 miles. Registration required. dpiercedlp@aol.com or 413-354-7752. Meet 9:30am at Chester Railway Station, 10 Prospect St., Chester, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 4. 9:30am-5pm – HISTORY & LOCAL AGRICULTURE
Did you know that we are in the midst of one of the most prolific apple seasons in decades? Revel in all of this autumn’s apple-y glory before the fruits are past their prime by celebrating at Old Sturbridge Village’s Apple Days! Come by for regular Village activities, plus orchard tours, apple picking, cider-making, and more. Learn about history and the many uses for apples in colonial times through these fun and educational activities. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Sunday, October 4. 10am-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY
The Sheffield Historical Society‘s exhibition, “Few and Evil Were Our Days: The Cemeteries of Sheffield,” is on display at the Old Stone Store every Saturday and Sunday through October 18. Learn about local residents of the past who are buried in Sheffield’s over 18 cemeteries, the carvings on the headstones, and the history of the cemeteries themselves. Learning about the town’s cemeteries is a fascinating way to experience local history and discover Sheffield’s past. 413-229-2694. 137 Main Street. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 4. 10am-4pm — FALL FESTIVAL
The 54th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills takes place at the Conway Grammar School. Hilltown Families is a proud sponsor of their children’s activities! Enjoy live music, a skillet toss, craft fair, log splitting contest, art, local products, and of course, lots of yummy food, freshly pressed cider and fried dough and maple cream. Free activities for the kids, including a hay maze, hill slide, face painting, Mammal Rehab/Paw Prints, and a book signing by local children’s book authors. www.festivalofthehills.com Conway, MA (FREE ADMISSION)

Sunday, October 4, 10am-4pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Celebrate the wonderful town of Middlefield and the best of New England autumnal delights at the 2015 Middlefield Days! Sunday’s events and attractions include live music, a dunking booth, wagon rides, a harvest market, a pumpkin rolling contest, tug of war, and more! 413-623-8968. Town Center, Middlefield, MA. ($)

Sunday, October 4. 10am-5pm — MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Every first Sunday of the month, The Clark Art Institute offers free admission! The Clark Art Institute, located in north Berkshire County, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, October 4, 10am-4pm — FOOD WRITING
Many people have deep connections to food – growing it, cooking it, eating it, sharing it – and some write about the complexity of these connections. Writer Jane Roy Brown will host a day-long writing workshop inspired by these personal connections called “Women & Food – Writing About Our Complicated Relationship with Sustenance” at Bug Hill Farm in Ashfield. Farm fresh meal included, no writing experience required. For adults and mature writers. Registration required, sliding scale upon request. 413-628-3980. 502 Bug Hill Road, Ashfield, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, October 4, 10:00am-5:00pm — HISTORY
What better way to learn about the Middle Ages than to immerse yourself in the daily life of that period? Head to the 7th annual Medieval Faire, where you will see The Barony of Bergental, a branch of the Society of Creative Anachronism, one of the world’s largest medieval living history organizations, present Crestfallen Tourney – a spirited knightly competition engaged in by combatants wearing creatively decorated helmets. Madigrals, food, crafts, children’s activities and more. 413-637-3206. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum,104 Walker St., Lenox, Massachusetts ($$)

Sunday, October 4. 10am-5pm – POETRY
The Amherst Poetry Festival is October 1-4 throughout Amherst. There will be many poetry-related events, including readings, an Emily Dickinson poetry marathon, discussions, performances, children’s activities, and more. A full schedule and list of locations can be found on the Emily Dickinson Museum’s website. 413-542-8161. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, October 4, 10am-5pm — FALL FESTIVAL
Experience the change of seasons by spending an autumn day outdoors, breathing the crisp air, tasting seasonal foods, and enjoying music, crafts, and more with family and friends at the Huntington Fall Festival! Learn about different art and craft skills by striking up a conversation with someone who is selling their wares, or test your taste buds to see if you can guess what local, seasonal ingredients went into a particular food item. So much to see and do! 413-667-5269. Town Common, Route 20 & 112, Huntington, MA. (< $)

Sunday, October 4. 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), Austin Brothers Valley Farm Corn Maze (270 West Street. Belchertown, 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, October 4, 11am – LOCAL HISTORY
Older students and adults interested in local history can join the Swift River Valley Historical Society for a bus trip to what was once Prescott, Massachusetts. Learn about the town’s history and what happened to it once the Quabbin was constructed. 978-544-6882. 40 Elm Street. New Salem, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, October 4, 11:00am-3pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
History, craft, agriculture, food and produce, books, antiques, music, cider pressing demonstrations, children’s activities and more – the 15th Annual Hatfield Fall Festival has something for everyone! Takes place rain or shine. 413-247-5723. Main St., Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 4, 1:00pm PARADE
The community of North Adams has been celebrating the beauty of fall in the Berkshires for 60 years with an annual Fall Foliage Parade. This year’s theme is the history of the sixty-year long parade. The festival features a children’s fair for some family fun, crafts, a well-attended road race, and several performances. The parade will commence at the Ocean State Job Lots parking lot, and conclude on Ashland Street after passing though downtown via Main Street. 413-499-1600 x126. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 4, 1pm-3pm – HIKING
Join the Kestrel Land Trust and local natural history expert Pete Westover for a hike at North Hadley’s Mount Warner. Learn about the mountain’s wildlife, natural history, and geology, and check out some of the new trails that will be ready soon. Email office@kestreltrust.org to RSVP and for meeting location. 413-549-1097. North Hadley, MA. (< $)

Sunday, October 4, 1pm-4pm —STEAM
Thomas Schütte’s Crystal, an outdoor contemporary art installation specially designed for the Clark Art Institute, makes for a striking aesthetic experience and provides fabulous opportunities to examine the basic physics behind light’s movement. Visitors can create mirrored boxes, learn about crystals, witness the ways light reflects and refracts, and experience how these phenomena create fun perceptual idiosyncracies. Seasonal refreshments will be served as well. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 4, 1:00pm-5pm — FARM & COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Where can you learn how to protect our pollinators, grow community orchards and advocate for just wages, all while participating in a family friendly festival? Head to the Harvesting Hope Farm Festival at Abundance Farm in Northampton. Enjoy creative and fun activities including the Topsy Turvy Bus (a mobile, vegetable powered eco-classroom), live music and square dancing, a meditation sukkah (tent), great local food, bicycle power, alpacas and more! Suggested donation of $1-$20 per family. 413-584-3593 x203. 253 Prospect St., Northampton, MA. ($)

Sunday, October 4. 1:30pm —ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY
Did you know that the term “raptor” is derived from the Latin word rapere, meaning to seize or take by force? Learn more about these powerful birds of prey when the Keep Homestead Museum hosts Tom Ricardi of the the Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center. 413-267-5210. 35 Ely Rd., Monson, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 4, 2pm – THEATER: The Theatre Guild of Hampden presents a production of Doubt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a Bronx Catholic school in the 1960s. The play was also made into a an Academy Award-nominated film. Theater fans can see this intense drama performed at the Greenhouse Theater this October. Tickets available in advance. 2 Somers Road. Hampden, MA. ($$)

Sunday, October 4, 2pm – FILM/LITERATURE: Amherst Cinema is screening the film adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1962; not rated) on October 4th and 6th. This film screening would be an excellent supplement for students currently reading the book for school or on their own, and it is a good additional way to experience the story. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, October 4. 2pm & 7pm — THEATRE
Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, , examines gender, social class, and power in 1940’s New Orleans. The Majestic Theater begins its 19th season with this celebrated piece, which runs September 10-October 18. Due to mature themes, this play is appropriate for older teens and adults. 413-747-7797. 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, October 4. 2:00pm-4:00pm —FOOD & FARM
A food swap is a recurring event where members of a community share homemade, homegrown, or foraged foods with each other. Food swaps act as barter markets or gift economies: direct exchanges are made by bartering one’s goods for another’s, and no money is involved. Experience this alternative marketplace at Brookfield Farm in Amherst. Bring your jam, kimchee, seeds, tinctures, plants, baked goods, anything you’ve got too much of, anything you’re really proud of, and get to swapping! Please RSVP. Rain date October 18. Brookfield Farm, 24 Hulst Rd., Amherst, MA. (FREE, with items to swap)

Sunday, October 4. 2:30pm-4pm — HISTORY AND CULTURAL STUDIES
Interested in a glimpse of New England life during the late 18th and early 19th centuries? Trustees of Reservations invites you to listen to President Emerita of Historic New England, Jane Nylander, talk about the life of Sarah Snell Bryant, “Our Own Snug Fireside” and provide a look back into the childhood of William Cullen Bryant. 413-532-1163×10. William Cullen Bryant Homestead, 207 Bryant Rd, Cummington, MA. ($)

Sunday, October 4. 3:00pm– CLASSICAL MUSIC: TALK & CONCERT
In observance of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Mount Holyoke College music department faculty presents a concert of vocal and instrumental music linked to this tumultuous period. This program comprises Benjamin Britten’s Canticle III for tenor, horn and piano; sets of songs by Hanns Eisler and Vítězslava Kaprálová; sonatas for violin and piano (Serge Prokofiev) and violin and harpsichord (Walter Piston); and a group of popular songs of the era, including La Vie en Rose and God Bless America. Pre-concert talk at 3:00pm in the Warbeke Room. Concert begins at 4:00pm in McCulloch Auditorium. Mount Holyoke College, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 4. 3:00pm — SHORT FILM
As part of the Fast Forward Film Series, Historic Northampton presents two short films by Abraham Ravett: “Lunch with Fela” and “Tziporah.” Ravett’s films employ experimental and intuitive techniques, invoke personal experiences, and convey universal aspects of the human experience. Mr. Ravett will be present at the screening to answer questions and discuss his work. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 4, 4pm-5:30pm — PARENTING SKILLS
When you have an anxious child, even daily routines can become a challenge. Join pediatrician Jonathan Schwab and clinical psychologist Sharon Saline at “When Worrying Takes Over: Managing Anxiety in your Child or Teen,” a short presentation followed by a Q and A, to learn how to identify and address anxiety challenges. This event is hosted by Northampton Area Pediatrics. Reservations requested. 413-517-2226. 193 Locust Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 4. 6:00pm-7:00pm — CULINARY ARTS
Fall is in the air and we turn our thoughts to tasty home remedies to carry us through the cold winter ahead. Bascom Lodge hosts a presentation (with tastings!) about the restorative qualities of two such remedies: Fire Cider and Bone Broth. Presentation will be followed by a special prix fixe dinner with a menu sourced and designed by Red Apple Butchers. Reservations required for dinner. 413-743-1591. Bascom Lodge – Mt. Greylock, 30 Rockwell Rd., Lanesborough, MA. (Presentation is FREE)

Sunday, October 4. 7pm-9pm — NATURE STUDIES & MUSIC
The the recreational Mahican-Mohawk Trail, currently under development, follows an historic trail connecting the Connecticut and Hudson River valleys. Learn more about this trail’s history and the current vision for the completion of the recreational trail, then enjoy a nature-themed concert, “Musical Visions of Nature,” performed by a talented quintet, all co-sponsored by the Franklin Land Trust. Proceeds will help support the development of the Mahican-Mohawk Trail. 413-320-8894. Plainfield Congregational Church, 356 West Main Street, Plainfield, MA. ($)

Sunday, October 4, 7:30pm-9pm – GHOST TOUR
Learn some spooky local history on a Valley Ghost Tour, which run every Wednesday-Sunday night through November 1 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace in Northampton and in Sweetser Park in Amherst. Explore the town and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Amherst & Northampton, MA. ($$)

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Monday, October 5th

Monday, October 5, 10am — HISTORY & GENDER STUDIES
Park rangers are essential to the functioning of countless parks and play an essential role in making parks accessible and engaging for visitors. In 1964, the first two National Park Service women were admitted to the official ranger training program. Here they were allowed to become “ranger-historians” or “ranger-naturalists,” rather than full “rangers” like their male counterparts. Up until 1978, female park rangers were required “not to look like rangers,” and instead needed to wear then-traditional stewardess-type garb that lacked the official Service badge. Learn more about the experience of early female rangers and the challenges they faced at the First Women Rangers program at Mount Tom Reservation. Intended for ages 12 and up. Meet at the Stone House. 413-534-1186. 125 Reservation Road, Holyoke, MA. (< $ for parking)

Monday, October 5, 6:15pm – 8:45pm — CULINARY ARTS
Words such as “heirloom” and “heritage” are all the rage in the food world – but there is more behind them than just a current fad. The drive for pure foods and heirloom varieties has helped farmers preserve heritage crops, seeds and livestock that may have been lost to extinction if not protected. A Different Drummer’s Kitchen presents “Heirloom and Heritage Cooking,” a class that will showcase the rich flavors of heritage meats and heirloom variety vegetables. From the delicate tomato salad to the rich cornbread stuffing, you’ll taste the difference! 413-586-7978. 34 Bridge St., Northampton, 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)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers can join the Play N Learn playgroup each Monday morning, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Advance registration required. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, 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)
  • 10am-11am – LITERACY: Young children can have fun with books and reading at Wee Read at the Worthington Library every Monday. 413-238-5565. 1 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for ages walking to 5 years every Monday at the Williamstown Youth Center. 413-458-5925. 66 School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to Gym Fun, a playgroup that incorporates lots of movement. This group meets on Mondays and is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Town Hall, 21 State Line Rd., West Stockbridge, 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 meal 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, October 6th

Tuesday, October 6, 7:30am-9:30am — MARKETING & BUSINESS SKILLS
Adults and older students interested in creating or improving their business’ websites are invited to a Digital Marketing Trends and Strategies seminar presented by the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Participants will learn the basic vocabulary of online business presence, how to improve their websites, and how to increase their digital outreach and social media presence. Reservation required. 413-585-5207. Hadley Farms Meeting House, 41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 6. 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 bears. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 6, 2pm-3:30pm — STEM
What surprises are hidden under the waters of the Turners Falls canal? Natural objects? Man-made objects? Something you never could have imagined? Once a year, you have the opportunity to find out! Accompany a DCR Park Interpreter from the Great Falls Discovery Center for a walk along the canal-side rail trail to view the canal during its annual maintenance drainout, discover what there is to be seen, and, perhaps, figure out where it all came from. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 6, 5:30pm-7:30pm — COMPUTER SCIENCE
The web is built with HTML. Imagine where we’d be without it! Have you wondered how webpages are created or wanted to make your own? Deepen your appreciation for and understanding of HTML in a hands-on workshop with Holyoke Codes, in which you will learn how to build a web page (using HTML) and beautify it (using CSS). You can even learn how to add Javascript to make your page interactive! Suitable for ages 11 and up. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Tuesday, October 6. 6:30pm — AUDITION
Do you sing, dance, play an instrument, have a stand-up comedy routine, do magic, or have any other outstanding talent? Audition for Palmer Historical and Cultural Center’s 3rd Annual Talent Show! What a fun way to share your interests and abilities with your community! Fill out an application and bring it to the audition. If selected, performance dates will be November 6 (Opening Night) and November 14 (Finals Night). Harmony Hall at Palmer Historical and Cultural Center, 2072 Main Street Three Rivers, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, October 6, 7pm – FILM/LITERATURE
Amherst Cinema is screening the film adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1962; not rated) on October 4th and 6th. This film screening would be an excellent supplement for students currently reading the book for school or on their own, and it is a good additional way to experience the story. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

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)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Every Tuesday, Community Health Programs of Berkshire County hosts Toddler Steps, a playgroup for children ages 18 months- 3 years with their caregivers. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, 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)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – SCHOOL READINESS: There will be a school readiness program every Tuesday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to participate in the Explore & Play playgroup, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County, which meets Tuesday mornings. 413-644-0104. 1 North Main Road, Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PARENT GROUP: Nursing Families group every Tuesday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STEAM: Preschool-age children can learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math at the Dalton Free Public Library every Tuesday! There will be a story, a lesson, and a STEAM project. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, 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-11:30am – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: It Takes a Village Mother’s Circle runs every Tuesday at St. John’s Corner House. Come talk about motherhood with others in a supportive and caring environment. Expectant mothers welcome, and infants can attend, and there is childcare for older children. Follows the Mohawk Trail school schedule. 413-650-3640. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, 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 – STORYTIME: Storytime and music for ages 1-3 every Tuesday at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, 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 – 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 – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Tuesday at the Adams Youth Center. 413-664-4821. 20 East Street Adams, 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)
  • 11am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Facilitator MaryBeth leads Baby Steps, a playgroup that meets Tuesdays. This playgroup is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1pm – SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents and great-grandparents who are raising their grandchildren – “grandfamilies” – can attend a support group every second and fourth Tuesday in Turners Falls. Come to the group to learn about resources, meet other grandfamilies, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 294 Avenue A. Turners Falls, 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)
  • 1pm-2pm – BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: Are you or your partner facing breastfeeding challenges? Is nursing not what you thought it would be? Stop in to MaryBeth’s breastfeeding support group, which meets Tuesday afternoons, for advice, techniques, and emotional support. Babies and children welcome, of course! This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, 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)
  • 5:15pm-6:45pm – SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents and great-grandparents who are raising their grandchildren – “grandfamilies” – can attend a support group every first Tuesday (5:15pm-6:45pm) and third Wednesday (12:30pm-2pm) in Greenfield. Come to the group to learn about resources, meet other grandfamilies, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, 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, October 7th

Wednesday, October 7, 9:30am-10:30am —MUSIC CLASS
Most young children can benefit from greater exposure to and awareness of music. Bring a 2 or 3 year old you know to the Musical Awareness program at the Agawam Library – presented by Music Speaks, a Music Education Facility where kids and adults of all ability levels learn the instrument of their choice- guitar, bass guitar, drums, piano/keyboard and vocals. Children will enjoy singing, dancing, and playing instruments, helping them develop musical skills. For 2 and 3 year olds. Registration required. 413-789-1550, x3. Children’s Activity Room. 750 Cooper St., Agawam, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, October 7, 11am-2pm — PARENTING SKILLS
Parents and guardians have a lot of child-related papers to manage! From progress reports to IEPs to doctor reports and more, these important papers are important to keep track of but can get lost in the shuffle of our busy lives. Participate in the Let’s Get Organized workshop to build a customized binder to sort and store your child’s important documents. Financing health care and navigating the health care system in general are other responsibilities that may seem daunting to parents/guardians as well. The second workshop of the day, Making Sense of Healthcare Financing, will explain MassHealth/CommonHealth eligibility, how to access benefits and services, and how to figure out associated costs. Both workshops, offered by United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County, are open to parents/guardians of children ages 0-19. Registration required. 413-664-9340 x 20. 535 Curran Highway, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 7, 4:10pm — TAI CHI & DANCE
Have you heard music performed on an erhu or a zhongruan? Experience traditional Taiwanese and Chinese musical sounds and themes in modern compositions performed by Sheng Dong, a Taiwanese performance group in residence at Williams College this October. As a part of its residency, the group will lead a tai chi and dance workshop. Tickets are required for this free workshop; please make reservations in advance. It is possible that the ticketing plan may change for this event in the days ahead. Please contact Williams College for more information. 413-597-2425. ’62 Center’s Main Stage, Williams College, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 7. 7:00pm — READING
The natural world around us is a time-honored inspiration. Yet in the modern age, we’re often less connected to nature, even as human activities change the earth more and more. The Coolidge Museum hosts “Earth and Cosmos: Nature Writing,” where six writers and scientist-writers turn their imagination to earth, air and sky, contemplating nature’s continuing gifts to us and our growing responsibilities towards it. Authors include Dava Sobel, Jonathan Mingle, Michael Dover, Elizabeth Farnsworth, Katie Koerten, and Naila Moreira. 413-587-1014. Coolidge Museum 20 West St., Northampton, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, October 7, 7:30pm — PERFORMANCE
Rakugo is a 400-year-old tradition of Japanese comic storytelling. Come hear Rakugo with two acclaimed Japanese women performers for an evening filled with humor, charm and elegance at Bowker Auditorium on the UMass Amherst campus. Award-winning storyteller Motoko shares hilarious and poignant tales from Rakugo, a storytelling tradition that originated in the 17th century. With accompaniment by shamisen virtuoso Masayo Ishigure, a featured recording artist with Yitzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma on the Grammy Award-winning movie soundtrack for “Memoirs of a Geisha,” you’ll be transported to the enchanting world of popular entertainment in Old Japan. Audience members are invited to a pre-concert talk on the Japanese storytelling tradition at 6:30 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium. Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge, Hall, 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA ($$)

Wednesday, October 7, 7:30pm-9pm – GHOST TOUR
Learn some spooky local history on a Valley Ghost Tour, which run every Wednesday-Sunday night through November 1 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace in Northampton and in Sweetser Park in Amherst. Explore the town and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Amherst & Northampton, MA. ($$)

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

  • 9am-12pm – STEM & FARMING SKILLS: Red Gate Farm‘s homeschool day program meets each Wednesday through November 18, 2015. This fall’s program will incorporate many farming skills with a particular emphasis on construction and building, all with an authentic purpose. Please contact the farm before your first session. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road, Ashfield, MA. ($)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can play, learn, and discover at a weekly program every Wednesday at Kittredge Elementary School. 413-655-0146. Maple Street. Hinsdale, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Cummington Family Center is holding a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday through May 2016. Young kids can come play and make friends. Takes place in old Berkshire Trail Elementary School. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: You and your young children are welcome to join other kids and caregivers each Wednesday at the Lenox Community Center’s weekly playgroup, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 3-5 years old and their caregivers can join Kim each Wednesday for Play N Learn, a playgroup sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Advance registration required. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 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-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup every Wednesday at the Lanesborough Town Hall’s Community Room. For ages walking to 5 years. Run by The Family Center. Begins October 7. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, 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)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: There will be a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – STORYTIME: Enjoy a morning of stories at the New Marlborough Library’s weekly storytime, held each Wednesday. This storytime series is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road, New Marlborough, 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 – STORYTIME: There is a storytime for preschool-age kids every Wednesday at the Monson Free Library! Come for stories and fun. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime and crafts for ages 3-6 every Wednesday at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, 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)
  • 12:30pm-2pm – SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents and great-grandparents who are raising their grandchildren – “grandfamilies” – can attend a support group every first Tuesday (5:15pm-6:45pm) and third Wednesday (12:30pm-2pm) in Greenfield. Come to the group to learn about resources, meet other grandfamilies, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, 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.
  • 3:15pm – 4:15pm – AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
    When you see a piece of art, how deeply do you explore the artist behind the work, and the context in which is was created? Young people can practice asking these questions when they explore pieces of art & the artist that made it during a four-week “After School Art” program at the Bushnell Sage Library. Four sessions on Wednesdays: October 7, October 21, November 4, November 18. Artists explored will be Edward Hopper, Picasso and others. All participants are encouraged to sign up for all four classes. 413-229-7004. Bushnell-Sage Library, 48 Main St., Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – Story/Craft Hour: Join the Cushman Library during the school year for thematic picture book/craft activities, snacks and opportunity to meet other parents while the kids get crafty together. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-7:30pm – KNITTING: Knitting provides an excellent base for intergenerational skill sharing every Wednesday through Dec 23 at the Cushman LIbrary. Bring your current project or one you’ve been meaning to start! All levels of knitters are welcome at this Wednesday knitting circle. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 6pm-6:30pm – STORYTIME: Stories, songs, and movement for children ages 3 to 10 at the East Springfield Library. Runs through 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 experienced 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, October 8th

Thursday, October 8, 5:00pm — ARTIST TALK
Since the 1970s, Jim Shaw has created a vast body of work spanning diverse media and reference points. Shaw’s work mines the essentials of American cultural detritus, from comic books, pulp novels, and album covers, to vintage advertisements, movie posters, and noise rock. His Entertaining Doubts exhibit is currently on view at MASS MoCA, where the community can attend a discussion of his career, practice and the exhibit. Tickets required. MASS MoCA members free. Club B10, MASS MoCA,1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. ($)

Thursday, October 8, 5:00pm-7:30pm —DOCUMENTARY
Amherst Art Walk sponsors a viewing of Chuck Close Documentary, the last documentary made by the late director Marion Cajori, which expertly reveals Chuck Close’s singular process of portraiture. This viewing accompanies the Chuck Close exhibit at the UMass Fine Arts Center. $5 suggested donation. Unitarian Meeting House, 121 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA (FREE)

Thursday, October 8, 5:00pm-8:00pm — SCHOOLS FUNDRAISER
Strong literacy is essential to the success of young children. You can help raise funds for literacy materials for The Kelly School, a public school in Holyoke, all while tasting good food and participating in a silent auction during “Eat, Drink, and Be Holyoke.” This event, sponsored by the Holyoke Rotary Club, will raise funds to outfit the educators of Kindergarten through third grade with the technology and updated scholastic print needed to teach in today’s technology driven environment. Gateway City Arts, 92 Race St, Holyoke, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, October 8, 7pm — CONCERT
Have you heard music performed on an erhu or a zhongruan? Experience traditional Taiwanese and Chinese musical sounds and themes in modern compositions performed by Sheng Dong, a Taiwanese performance group in residence at Williams College this October. As a part of its residency, the group will perform for the community in their unique style, which has been described as “joyous, evocative, and enchanting.” It is possible that the ticketing plan may change for this event in the days ahead. Please contact Williams College for more information. 413-597-2425. Adams Memorial Theatre, Williams College, Williamstown, MA. (< $)

Thursday, October 8, 7:30pm-9pm – GHOST TOUR
Learn some spooky local history on a Valley Ghost Tour, which run every Wednesday-Sunday night through November 1 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace in Northampton and in Sweetser Park in Amherst. Explore the town and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Amherst & Northampton, MA. ($$)

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)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 18 months through 3 years and their caregivers may participate in the Toddler Steps playgroup which meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – STORYTIME: On Thursdays, young children and their caregivers can enjoy building early literacy skills at Richmond Reads, a weekly group sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Richmond Library, 1831 State Road, Richmond, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Thursday at Goshen Town Hall. Main Street. Goshen, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Storytime every Thursday at the Dalton Free Public Library. There will be stories, snacks, and a craft. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a support group for parents with infants every Thursday Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, 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.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP Add some playtime, socializing, and song to your morning at Sing N Play each Thursday. Open to young children and their caregivers, and sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Bushnell-Sage Library, 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 10:45am-11:45am – PARENTING SKILLS/SUPPORT: Would you like to meet other parents in the area and share your parenting triumphs and challenges? Would you enjoy learning sound parenting advice from a trusted source? Check out Sips & Tips, a parenting group that meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:45am-12pm – NUTRITION & CULINARY ARTS: Children ages 2.5-5 years and their caregivers are invited to Kids’ Kitchen, a fun cooking group that meets on Thursdays. Children who participate in meal preparation often show greater tolerance for a variety of foods and healthier eating habits than children who do not. The focus will be on learning basic food prep techniques and making healthy choices for everyday meals. Sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – PARENTING SUPPORT: Mothers, fathers, grandparents, and all others providing care for a child age 0-9 months are invited to Welcome Baby, a support group that meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Learn how to address the needs of infants and yourself, and address feeding concerns and other topics. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm & 5pm – INTERGENERATIONAL SKILL SHARING: Dottie’s Coffee Lounge hosts two knitting groups most Thursdays. The 3pm group is open to all levels, and is led by Kay, who spins her own wool. The 5pm group, led by Caitlin, focuses on teaching and practicing the fundamentals of knitting, but all levels and projects are welcome. 413-443-1792. 444 North Street, Pittsfield, 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)
  • 3pm-5pm – STEAM: Kids can attend a STEAM program at the Greenfield Public Library on the third Thursday of each month. A guest presenter will cover either science, technology, engineering, art, or math using a book. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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)
  • 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 – GAMES: There will be a family game night the third Thursday of each month at Montague Common Hall. Spend quality time playing games with family and friends. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA. (FREE/DONATION)
  • 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)
  • Time TBD — COMMUNITY BUILDING
    Are you a Montague resident who would like to connect with your neighbors to discuss creative ideas? Are you a thinker, feeler, maker or do-er? The Montague Common Hall is accepting proposals for a future monthly program, called Think Tank Thursdays, during which 1 or 2 local experts talk about their passion. If you are an expert, or an amateur expert in some fascinating, strange, or esoteric field, and want to tell people all about it and answer questions in a friendly, informal setting, get in touch! Contact: hannahMCH@doktorwise.com. 34 Main St., Montague, MA (FREE)

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Friday, October 9th

Friday, October 9, 10am — HISTORY & GENDER STUDIES
Park rangers are essential to the functioning of countless parks and play an essential role in making parks accessible and engaging for visitors. In 1964, the first two National Park Service women were admitted to the official ranger training program. Here they were allowed to become “ranger-historians” or “ranger-naturalists,” rather than full “rangers” like their male counterparts. Up until 1978, female park rangers were required “not to look like rangers,” and instead needed to wear then-traditional stewardess-type garb that lacked the official Service badge. Learn more about the experience of early female rangers and the challenges they faced at the First Women Rangers program at Mount Tom Reservation. Intended for ages 12 and up. Meet at the Stone House. 413-534-1186. 125 Reservation Road, Holyoke, MA. (< $ for parking)

Friday, October 9, 10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS
Experience life in an early New England kitchen at Historic Deerfield‘s Open Hearth Cooking demonstrations! Learn about traditional fall harvest foods like pumpkins, apples, and corn. These cooking demonstrations allow visitors of all ages to see what life was like in the past and the types of chores and activities they would do had they lived several hundred years ago! Free with admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Friday, October 9, 6pm-8pm – GHOSTS
The Atlantic Paranormal Society will present a Ghost Hunters program for teens and tweens at the Sunderland Public Library on October 9. Here you can learn how professional ghost hunters work, what types of paranormal activity they investigate, and their methods for investigation. Not sure if you believe in ghosts? See how you feel after this riveting presentation! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 9. 6:30pm-8:00pm — DANCE
You have likely watched a performance, but have you ever talked with the artist about the process behind making the piece? The School for Contemporary Dance and Thought invites you to a talk by artists about the artistic process as part of Arts Night Out. Studio Helix, 150 Main St. #4, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 9, 6:30pm-10:30pm – HAUNTED TOUR
13 Nights at Jiminy is a haunted tour of Jiminy Peak. Haunts begin at dark and run every few minutes with the last tour departing at 10:30 pm. 6-8 people in a group. These tours are scary and are recommended for kids age 10 and up. 413-738-5500. 37 Corey Road. Hancock, MA. ($$$)

Friday, October 9, 7pm – THEATER
Ja’Duke presents a production of Into the Woods this October at Frontier Regional High School. The play is a musical fantasy that is inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales and is just spooky enough to get you in the Halloween spirit! Tickets available in advance. 413-863-0001. 113 North Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($$)

Friday, October 9, 7pm-8:30pm – HISTORY
You may know about Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, but did you know that it’s rumored to be haunted? Come see for yourself on one of The Mount’s ghost tours. The tour will take you through the stables and the main house, where you will learn about and even witness the property’s haunted creaks and footsteps. Not recommended for children under 12. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 413-551-5100. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Friday, October 9, 7pm-9pm – HAUNTED CORN MAZE
Hicks Family Farm presents “Haunted Nights” on weekends in October! Visit their corn maze at night for a fun and spooky time. Best for ages 12 and up. 413-625-2623. 1255 Route 2. Charlemont, MA. ($)

Friday, October 9, 7pm-11pm – HAUNTED CORN MAZE
Mike’s Maze has a ton of fun and spooky events lined up for Mike’s at Night this Halloween season. There’s a low-scare flashlight maze ($$), a scarier zombie paintball maze ($$$), and a very scary haunted maze ($$$). Experience the maze at night and have a blast getting lost amongst the corn and trying to find your way out. More info and age guidelines are available on the Mike’s Maze website. Mike’s at Night runs every Friday and Saturday night from September 25-October 31. 413-665-8331. 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA. ($$-$$$)

Friday, October 9, 7:30pm – THEATER
The Theatre Guild of Hampden presents a production of Doubt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a Bronx Catholic school in the 1960s. The play was also made into a an Academy Award-nominated film. Theater fans can see this intense drama performed at the Greenhouse Theater this October. Tickets available in advance. 2 Somers Road. Hampden, MA. ($$)

Friday, October 9, 7:30pm-9pm – GHOST TOUR
Learn some spooky local history on a Valley Ghost Tour, which run every Wednesday-Sunday night through November 1 at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace in Northampton and in Sweetser Park in Amherst. Explore the town and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Amherst & Northampton, 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 ($$)

  • TBA – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Friday at Anne T. Dunphy School. 1 Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can play, learn, and discover at a weekly program every Friday at the Becket Washington School. 413-655-0146. 12 Maple Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Cummington Family Center is holding a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday through May 2016. Young kids can come play and make friends. Takes place in old Berkshire Trail Elementary School. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a weekly playgroup every Friday at Whole Children for children ages 5 and under. 413-585-8010. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Friday at the playground on Narragansett Avenue. 413-664-4821. Narragansett Avenue. Lanesborough, 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-11am – PRENATAL SUPPORT: Exercise and emotional support are both important components of a healthy pregnancy. Get some of both at a walk and talk group that allows pregnant women to gather, support each other, and learn together. Each session begins with a walk and ends with a sit-down talk about topics such as nutrition, health, and infant care. This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am — BABY & ME/PLAYGROUP Pittsfield CFCE hosts an interactive Baby & Me Playgroup for parents with babies ages 1 and under each Friday. Explore and connect with others, and learn from guest speakers. Pre-registration required. 413-441-0974. 480 West Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in time at the Haskins Center every Friday. Come play and make friends every week. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, 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 – PLAYGROUP: There will be a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, 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)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for preschool-age Hilltown children at the Chesterfield Community Center with free play, toys, songs, stories, crafts, and a free book. 413-296-9201. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Incorporate much-needed physical activity into your child’s day by participating in Skip & Dip, a high-energy playgroup sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. This group, which meets on Fridays, starts with an hour of playtime in the gym with assorted toys and equipment, followed by an hour of swimming in the pool. 413-644-0104. Berkshire South Regional Community Center, 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Wednesday at Edwards Library. 30 East Street. Southampton, 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 N Play group 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)
  • 11am-12pm – STORYTIME: Preschool Story Time on the first Friday of every month through the end of June at the Cushman Library. Stories, coloring, crafts, songs, activities, snacks, and more. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, 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)
  • 12:15pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about a number of unique facets of local history at the Amherst Historical Society & Museum‘s History Bites lunchtime lecture series. On selected Fridays through December 2015, all are invited to bring a lunch and listen to a program on a different topic. October 9 focuses on the New England pie tradition, October 23’s topic is Amherst’s Garden Club, November 6 highlights local landscapes and related art collections, November 20’s talk is about the economy of rural New England, and December 4’s topic is “A Story of the Street.” Simeon Strong House, 67 Amity Street, Amherst, 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)
  • 5pm-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The first Friday of each month, First Friday Greenfield takes place downtown. Stores and restaurants will be open late, and there will be music, activities, art shows, and more. Support local businesses and explore everything Greenfield has to offer at this fun monthly event. Downtown. Greenfield, MA.
  • 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 – TALENT SHOW: The first Friday of every month, the Valley Talent Showcase takes place at Gateway City Arts. Come watch local bands, musicians, dancers, and more perform on stage, or sign up to participate and gain experience performing onstage for an audience. This is a great chance to see some talented local groups perform or to get your name out there. 413-650-2670. 92-114 Race Street. Holyoke, 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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