26 Community Highlights: Papermaking to Toy History. Fall Festivals to Sheep Shearing.

Explore the gardens of Naumkeag in a whole new way this Halloween season. Meet wacky, magical characters as you tour the gardens with the Royal Frog Ballet on Saturday, October 10 from 11am-3pm at the Haunting Gardens of Naumkeag event. These family-friendly performers blend performance, visual art, music, and movement to create an exciting experience for all ages. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Pumpkins to Caterpillars. Papermaking to Toy History. Fall Festivals to Sheep Shearing… 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: Boardwalks through nature are a way to explore without damaging the wildlife and also provide accessibility to those who may not be able to traverse a rockier path. The new accessible boardwalk nature trail at the Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge in Hadley provides an easy walk with views of fields, forests, wetlands and the Fort River. Come check it out during a guided nature walk on Sunday, October 11 from 10am-12pm. This relaxed guided tour by a Hitchcock Center naturalist will provide an opportunity to catch a glimpse of autumn colors, migrating birds, micro-ecosystems and more. Feel free to bring binoculars and field guides. Registration required/limited space. 413-256-6006. 69 Moodybridge Road, Hadley, MA. (FREE)


Fall FestivalsIce HockeyFiber ArtsLocal HistoryNatural HistoryNature StudiesMuseum AdventuresPapermaking Children’s LiteratureAviationTheaterHalloween HighlightsZoologyEntomologyOrnithologyParent WorkshopsIndigenous Art


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Fall Festivals

ASHFIELD FALL FESTIVAL
Saturday & Sunday, October 10-11, 10am-5pm
The Ashfield Fall Festival will take place up and down Ashfield’s Main Street all weekend – rain or shine. The annual festival offers craft and art exhibits by more than 50 exhibitors, locally-grown and prepared foods, live music and dancing, face-painting and other children’s activities, and book and tag sales. Main Street. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

BERKSHIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN HARVEST FESTIVAL
Saturday & Sunday, October 10-11, 10am-5pm
The 81st Annual Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival is on October 10th and 11th from 10am-5pm! Celebrate fall with a hay jump, pumpkin toss, cider pressing, local food, a craft sale featuring local artisans, live music, gardening and food-related workshops and demonstrations, a tag sale, and much more. This is a fun fall activity jam-packed with activities for families in a beautiful setting. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. (>$)

FALL FARM FESTIVAL
Sunday, October 11, 2-6pm
Grassroots community agriculture increases community connection to food and the land on which it is grown. The goal of Just Roots is to increase knowledge about and demand for local food in Franklin County. Mark your calendars for the Just Roots annual Fall Farm Festival! Experience the magic of the fall with demonstrations, workshops, vendors, community potluck, and live music. 413-325-8969. Greenfield Community Farm, 34 Glenbrook Dr., Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Team Sports

ICE HOCKEY FOR GIRLS
Saturday, October 10, 2pm-4pm
The Amherst Hockey Association is holding a Girls Try Hockey for Free Day at the UMass Mullins Center Community Rink on October 10th. Girls (ages 4 and up) who are interested in skating and hockey can attend this event and learn from players on the UMass women’s hockey team! No prior skating or hockey experience necessary. Skate rentals and helmets will be available, but please bring your own gloves. Register in advance. 413-256-3410. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Fiber Arts

SHEEP SHEARING
Saturday, October 10, 9:30am-4pm
Winterberry Farm‘s annual Sheep Shearing and Fiber Day now takes places in the fall! Come by the farm on October 10th for shearing, spinning, weaving, needle felting, and a border collie herding demonstration. See fiber displays and buy gorgeous fibers for your own projects. There will also be farm animals to say hello to. Families can learn about shearing and fiber arts at this fun annual event! 413-624-3940. 340 Wilson Hill Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE)

SHAKER FIBER CRAFTS
Wednesdays, 11am & 2pm
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; $)

FIBER ARTS
Wednesdays, 6pm-8pm; Fridays, 1-3pm
Sheep & Shawl yarn and fiber arts shop in South Deerfield offers Knit/Crochet/Spin Circles every Wednesday night &  Friday afternoon. 413-397-3680. 265 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

History

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

HISTORY OF TOYS
Saturday, October 10, 2pm
Nan Wolverton, Director of the Center for Historic American Visual Culture, presents a talk entitled “Playing in the Past: Objects of Childhood in Early America” at Historic Northampton on October 10. Learn about the history of toys and entertainment for children and how these have changed over time in America, and how they impact the roles of children both in the past and today. Childhood artifacts from Historic Northampton and other New England collections will also be shown. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

NATURAL HISTORY
Sunday, October 11, 2pm
The earth beneath your feet has countless stories to tell. The composition of the soil, minerals in the hillsides, and oxbowed rivers each can teach us about the land where we make our homes if we know how to interpret their tales. Local naturalist Laurie Sanders knows how to translate these stories, and she shares her expertise to help us better understand the ways in which the interactions between people and nature have shaped present-day Northampton in Rediscovering Northampton: Local History Viewed through an Ecological Lens. This six-part lecture series takes place for six Sundays (through November 22) through Historic Northampton and features a different topic each week. This title of this week’s talk is An Ever Present Danger: Fire and the Creation of Northampton’s Water Supplies. Registration required. 413-584-6011. Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall, Smith College, Northampton, MA. (>$ SUGGESTED DONATION)

COLONIAL HISTORY
Sunday, October 11, 2-5pm
Travel back to colonial times with the Buckland Historical Society at their Colonial Day at the Wilder Homestead. Colonial Day replicates life in New England several hundred years ago, and engages visitors in everyday activities that are characteristic of the period. There will be demonstrations of open hearth cooking, basket making, weaving, spinning, quilting, folk painting, and cider pressing, as well as oxen and performances of Morris dance and music from the 1700s. How do these activities compare to those of today? Most people no longer weave their own baskets or spin their own yarn – why do you think that is? Colonial Day will get all ages actively engaged in learning about history and will help them see how much has changed in a few hundred years! 413-625-9763. 129 Route 112. Buckland, MA. (>$)

Nature Studies

GUIDED NATURE WALK
Sunday, October 11, 10am – 12pm
Boardwalks through nature are a way to explore without damaging the wildlife and also provide accessibility to those who may not be able to traverse a rockier path. The new accessible boardwalk nature trail at the Silvio O. Conte Wildlife Refuge in Hadley provides an easy walk with views of fields, forests, wetlands and the Fort River. This relaxed guided tour by a Hitchcock Center naturalist will provide an opportunity to catch a glimpse of autumn colors, migrating birds, micro-ecosystems and more. Feel free to bring binoculars and field guides. Registration required/limited space. 413-256-6006. 69 Moodybridge Road, Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Museum Adventures

PAPERMAKING/LOCAL HISTORY
Saturday, October 10, 10am-3pm
Families can head to the Berkshire Museum’s Spark!Lab on October 10th for “Pulp! A Day of Papermaking.” In addition to hands-on papermaking, museum visitors can learn about the history of paper in the Berkshires and hear stories of local people who were employed by the mills. This fun program blends science, crafts, and history to teach about papermaking and the importance of paper to the region. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Saturday, October 10, 1pm
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is offering an exclusive preview of Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi’s new chapter book, The Story of Diva and Flea, on October 10th. Mo and Tony will share their inspirations for the story and will do a book signing. Space is limited, so please call ahead for reservations. Sign up for book signing starting at 12noon on 10/10. Free with museum admission. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

COLONIAL HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS
Saturday-Monday, October 10-12, 10am-4pm
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. ($)

AVIATION
Sunday. October 11, 10am-4pm
Fall Open Cockpit Day at the New England Air Museum! Visitors will be permitted to climb into the cockpits of up to twelve aircraft. These include the Vietnam era “Huey” helicopter; the North American F-100 Super Sabre jet fighter; the Coast Guard HH-52 rescue helicopter; Lockheed F-104C Starfighter and many more. All ages can come to NEAM for a super educational and fun-filled day! 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Theater/Performance

THEATER/MUSICAL FANTASY
Saturday, October 10, 7pm; Sunday, October 11, 2pm
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. ($$)

SURREALIST PERFORMANCE
Saturday, October 10, 11am-3pm
Explore the gardens of Naumkeag in a whole new way this Halloween season. Meet wacky, magical characters as you tour the gardens with the Royal Frog Ballet at the Haunting Gardens of Naumkeag event. These family-friendly performers blend performance, visual art, music, and movement to create an exciting experience for all ages. 413-298-3239 x3016. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Halloween Highlights

PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
Saturday, October 10, 10am-3pm
Look Park’s annual Pumpkin Festival is on October 10! Come enjoy carnival games, a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, pumpkin painting, and more. A fun Halloween celebration for the whole family! 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA.

PUMPKIN CARVING
Monday, October 12, 2pm-4pm
Get in the Halloween spirit at a special pumpkin carving event at Chesterwood, free with one adult admission! 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

PUMPKIN WALK & PERFORMANCE
Thursday, October 15, 5-6:30pm
Experience landscape-based art and performance with both humor and drama while you traipse around fields and farmland when The Royal Frog Ballet presents the 8th Annual Surrealist Cabaret and Pumpkin Walk. The performance takes audience members traveling through a gorgeous farm landscape at autumnal sunset. Along the way they encounter a surreal collection of short performances, installation pieces, and roving characters created by artists working collaboratively in various media, exploring and celebrating themes of season and place. Please bring a flashlight and wear hiking appropriate footwear and layers for a chilly fall evening in farm country. May be a bit spooky for the youngest in the crowd. Reservations required. Directions sent after reserving tickets. Amherst, MA.($$)

Zoology

ENTOMOLOGY/CATERPILLARS
Tuesday October 13. 2:30-5:30pm
What kinds of camouflage to caterpillars have? Imagine being able to observe a variety of caterpillars up close and see warning coloration, spiky spines, horns and false eyes! The Hitchcock Center will host the Caterpillar Lab and their collection of butterfly and moth caterpillars, along with each larva’s specific host food plant and photos of the butterflies and moths that they will turn into. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant St., Amherst, MA. (<$)

ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY
Friday, October 16, 1-2:15pm
Learn about fascinating birds of prey at a live raptor program with wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi at UMass Amherst’s W.E.B. DuBois Library on October 16. All ages will enjoy learning about these amazing creatures. 154 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Parent Workshops

PARENTING PRESCHOOLERS
Wednesday, October 14, 5:30-7pm
Parents of children ages 3-5 can attend a “Parenting Preschoolers” workshop at Atkinson Family Practice beginning on October 14th and running for eight weeks. Evan Shopper, LICSW, will lead this workshop series, which focuses on the complexities of parenting preschoolers, including discipline, developmental stages, attachment, toileting, and much more. This is a great chance for parents to come together to explore, share, and learn about parenting preschoolers in a supportive environment. Childcare is provided. Register ASAP. 413-835-1593. 17 Research Drive. Amherst, MA.

CLOTH DIAPERING
Wednesday, October 14, 6:30-8pm
Learn the basics of cloth diapering at a workshop at River Valley Co-Op on October 14th. Angie Gregory of Simple Diaper and Linen will give demos and discuss the environmental and financial benefits of cloth diapers, and how they compare to disposable diapers. Pre-registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Indigenous Art

CULTURAL SURVIVAL BAZAAR
Saturday-Monday, October 10-13, 10am-5pm
Cultural Survival Bazaar: A Festival of Native Arts and Culture. Since 1982, Cultural Survival’s Bazaars have provided a market for thousands of artisans and cooperatives spanning six continents and over sixty countries. Families can enjoy craft-making demonstrations, live music, and one-on-one conversations with representatives of different Indigenous cultures. Amherst Common. Boltwood Ave. Amherst, MA (FREE)


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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