36 Community Highlights: Skillet Tossing to Cider Pressing. Medieval Faire to Food Swapping.

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 on Sunday, October 4. 2-4pm. 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)

Skillet Tossing to Cider Pressing. Gender Studies to Poetry Festival. Medieval Faire to Food Swapping…. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week: 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 on Sunday, October 4 at 9:30am. 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)


Fall FestivalsGuided HikesLanguage ArtsMusic StudiesContemporary ArtLocal HistoryGender StudiesHerbalismTheaterAstronomyDance StudiesMuseum AdventuresSTEMOrnithologyFilm StudiesCollaborative ConsumptionParenting Workshops

 


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Fall Festivals

Saturday, October 3. 10am-6pm — CIDER PRESS & 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/$)

Sunday, October 4. 10am-4pm — CONWAY FESTIVAL OF THE HILLS
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, 11:00am-3pm — HATFIELD FALL FESTIVAL
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, 1pm – FALL FOLIAGE 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, 1:00pm-5pm — HARVESTING HOPE FARM FESTIVAL
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-$20 per family. 413-584-3593 x203. 253 Prospect St., Northampton, MA. ($)

GUIDED HIKES

Saturday, October 3. 10am-2pm — FOREST & OLD-GROWTH TREES
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. ($)

Sunday, October 4. 9:30am — RAILROAD & LOCAL HISTORY
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, 1pm-3pm – FLORA, FAUNA & NATURAL HISTORY
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. (< $)

LANGUAGE ARTS

Saturday, October 3. 8am-10:30pm – POETRY FESTIVAL
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.

Every Monday 7pm – POETRY DISCUSSION GROUP
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. Best for older students & life-long learners. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Music Studies

Saturday, October 3. 11am-4pm — BAROQUE & RENAISSANCE
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. 3pm & 7pm —FOLK MUSIC
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. 7:00pm — CLASSICAL MUSIC
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)

Sunday, October 4. 3:00pm– CLASSICAL MUSIC
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)

Contemporary Art

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)

Local History

Saturday, October 3. 4pm – CEMETERY TOUR
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, 10am-3pm – CEMETERIES/EXHIBIT
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, 10:00am-5:00pm — MEDIEVAL FAIRE
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. 2:30pm-4pm — WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT
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. ($)

Gender Studies

Saturday, October 3. 2:00pm — 1800 FEMINISM
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)

Monday, October 5, 10am; Friday, October 9, 10am — PROFESSION: HISTORIANS & NATURALISTS
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)

Herbalism

Saturday, October 3. 10am-12pm — FORAGING
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, 2-4pm – HERBAL PREPARATIONS
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. ($$)

Sunday, October 4. 6:00pm-7:00pm — HOME REMEDIES
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)

Theater

Saturday, October 3. 6pm — THE FOREST OF MYSTERY
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. ($)

Astronomy

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)

Dance Studies

Saturday, October 3, 7-10pm — FOLK DANCING
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.($$)

Museum Adventures

Sunday, October 4. 10am-5pm — THE CLARK
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)

STEM

Sunday, October 4, 1pm-4pm —PHYSICS/ART
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)

Tuesday, October 6, 2pm-3:30pm — ARCHITECTURE
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)

Ornithology

Sunday, October 4. 1:30pm —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)

Film Studies

Sunday, October 4, 2pm – LITERATURE AS FILM
Amherst Cinema is screening the film adaptation of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1962; not rated). This film screening would be an excellent supplement for students currently reading the book 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. 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)

Collaborative Consumption

Sunday, October 4. 2:00pm-4:00pm —FOOD SWAP
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)

Parenting Workshops

Sunday, October 4, 4pm-5:30pm — MANAGING ANXIETY
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)

Wednesday, October 7, 11am-2pm — HEALTHCARE: ORGANIZING & FINANCING
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)

[Photo credit: (cc) Bertha Crowley]


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Buckland, Colrain, Cummington, Deerfield, Hadley, Longmeadow, Montgomery, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne, Sunderland, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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