Suggested Events for October 17th-23rd, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I am grateful to receive the Hilltown Families newsletter each week. I enjoy looking for activities that I can take my 4 y.o. son to each week. It helps me to feel more connected to my community and in abundance for all this area has to offer.” – Nina Foley (Northampton, 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

Open House: Oct 17

Please join The Hartsbrook School for their fall open house on Saturday, October 17th, 10am-12pm. Teachers and parents will show you the classrooms, present students’ work and answer your questions. The Hartsbrook curriculum works in harmony with the developmental stages of children, with attention to the intellectual, artistic and emotional needs of each student. Learning in this way is more joyful for students, and it produces children who are confident, creative and adaptable, all skills necessary for the modern world. High school, elementary and early childhood buildings will be open for you to explore. Sip some cider, make a craft and visit their farm animals while you are there! 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. 413-584-3198 www.hartsbrook.org

Open House: Oct 17

The Montessori School of Northampton’s annual Children’s Fall Fair and Open House will be held on Saturday, October 17, from 11am-3pm. This family-friendly event features games and activities, arts and crafts, delicious food and, premiering this year, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks book fair! Admission is free; there is a small fee for activities. During the fair, the school will be open for families to meet staff, visit classrooms and learn about the current programs from toddler through 6th grade as well as the new middle school opening in September 2016. The Montessori School of Northampton is located at 51 Bates Street in Northampton, MA. For more information, call 413-586-4538 or visit northamptonmontessori.org.

Oct 17

Family Fiesta Day happens October 17 from 10am-5pm at the Springfield Museums! Celebrate Hispanic culture with a full day of family shows, exhibits, drop-in art activities, and more! Performances include The Tale of Juan Bobo by CactusHead Puppets and Latino folk music by MarKamusic. Also check out exhibits of photographs by William Hughes and stringed instruments by Will Cumpiano, part of Herencia Latina 2015-16, organized by the Pioneer Valley History Network and the Springfield Public Library. 21 Edwards Street. 800-625-7738. For information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Oct 17

The OnTrend Fall Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, October 17 on the Hadley Town Commons on Route 9 in Hadley. The fair will showcase 60 of the region’s most talented indie crafters. Shoppers will find high-quality handmade jewelry, paper goods, body care products, home goods, ceramics, and much more. Come support our amazing local artisans – shop local, shop small! Rain or shine; free to attend. For more information, visit ontrendcrafts.com or email Jennifer at jennifer@ontrendcrafts.com.

Open House Oct 18

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, October 18, with presentations beginning at 1pm. Meet students, teachers, and current parents and get a feel for their creative and rigorous academic program and warm community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, competitive athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

Oct 20

At River Valley Co-op on October 20, 6:30-8pm: Connected Kids: Making Conscious Technology Choices with Your Children. Parents are faced with an overwhelming and endless series of choices to make regarding their children’s use of technology. How much is okay and for how long? How can we approach this ever-changing landscape in a way that best supports our children and importance of family life? Explore these questions and evaluate needs. Look at mindful approaches that weave what is age appropriate with what matters most to you & your family. All workshops are free. Everyone is welcome. Pre-registration required. Call 413-584-2665 to reserve spot. River Valley Co-op is located at 330 North King St., Northampton. www.rivervalleymarket.coop.

Open House: Oct 24

Amherst Montessori School will host an Open House for parents on Saturday, October 24 from 10am-12pm. Meet teachers and administrators, tour their beautiful new school in South Amherst, and learn about the Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. AMS programs feature thoughtfully-prepared classrooms to support the child’s development, and a curriculum that integrates music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE, Spanish, and more. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

Oct 29

At River Valley Co-op on October 29th, 6:30-8pm: Creative Cooking with Land & Sea Vegetables. Join Leslie Cerier, The Organic Gourmet, for a fun cooking demo and learn how to pair our local vegetables, herbs and spices with nutritious, wild and organic certified sea vegetables: nori, arame, dulse, and kelp. Leslie will demonstrate and offer cooking tips for how to make delicious marinated salads, vegetarian sushi, quick soups, condiments, and more.Tasty samples offered. All workshops are free and everyone is welcome. Pre-registration is required. Call 413-584-2665 to reserve your spot today. River Valley Co-op is located at 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. www.rivervalleymarket.coop.

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!

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Family Volunteer Days are held once a month and are open to everyone. Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place on Saturday, October 31 from 9-11am for Halloween fun in Hatfield while supporting food security in the region! Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER) – Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden

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 17th-23rd, 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 17th, 2015

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. 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 17. 9:00am-12pm — NATURE STUDIES & HIKE
What forces have acted upon the earth throughout time to create the valley in which we live? The Hitchcock Center and Naturalist Ted Watt invite you to a geology hike up Mount Holyoke in Skinner State Park. Meet at the entrance gate and the hike will entail walking the auto road part way and then taking the New England National Scenic Trail to the summit of the mountain. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and dress for the weather; some steep sections of trail families welcome; recommended for young people fourth grade and up. Heavy rain cancels. Registration required, children are free. J. A. Skinner State Park, 10 Skinner State Park Rd., Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 17, 9:30am-5pm – BIKE RIDE/BBQ
The West Cummington Congregational Church and Davenport Child Care are hosting a bike ride and family BBQ at the Four Seasons Club (next to Chesterfield Gorge) which will feature live music, BBQ pork, raffles, face painting, an adult and kid’s bike ride and much more. Proceeds will support the church kid’s program and the children of Davenport Child Care. 413-296-4785. Chesterfield Gorge/Four Seasons Club. River Road (off of Ireland Street). West Chesterfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, October 17, 9:30am-5pm – HISTORY
Dig In: A Field-to-Table Festival” is Old Sturbridge Village’s harvest season celebration for the whole family. Celebrate fall and the harvest while learning about food and farming, seeing demonstrations, sampling foods, helping with the harvest, and more. Visitors can watch costumed interpreters do colonial harvest tasks, like grinding corn with a “quern,” churning butter, shelling corns and beans, and more. “Dig In” is a fun way for all ages to learn about the harvest and how agriculture has changed since colonial times. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 17, 10am – FAMILY MOVIE
Families can spend a Saturday morning at the movies at Amherst Cinema‘s screening of Coraline (2009; rated PG). Going to the movies as a family is a fun way to start the day! 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, October 17, 10am – STORYTIME
Kids ages 3 and up and their families can come to the West Springfield Public Library for a Saturday storytime. Learn about Johnny Appleseed with stories, music, a craft, and a snack. Please pre-register. 413-736-4561 x3. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 10am-11am – STORYWALK
CNC will be posting a Story Walk at the Swift River Fall Fest around the school track. Come check out the new Story Walk “Looking for a Moose” by Author Phyllis Root. 201 Wendell Road. New Salem, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 10am-11am – STORYWALK/STEM
There will be a fall-themed StoryWalk for young children and their families at the Buckland Public Library on October 17th. On the walk, read Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland, illustrated by Elly Mackay, and learn about the changing of the seasons. Kids will have a chance to sort leaves by shape and color, collect fallen leaves, and make leaf rubbings. 413-625-9412. 30 Upper Street. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 10am-12noon – SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE
The Hartsbrook School, a Waldorf school in the Pioneer Valley, is opening its doors to prospective students and current families for their annual fall open house. Meet teachers, learn about the school’s curriculum, tour the school, and meet current families. This is a good opportunity to learn about the school and if it would be a good fit for your child. 413-586-1908. 193 Bay Road. Hadley, MA.

Saturday, October 17, 10am-12noon – STEM
Families can visit the new UMass teaching and research labs in the Integrated Science and Life Science Laboratories buildings. This hands-on program will give kids the opportunity to see and touch critters, science experiments, and forensic science equipment. Attendees can also learn what UMass science graduates go on to do after school. Register in advance. 661 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 10am-12:30pm – ARCHAEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY
Go on an archaeological tour of Deerfield Village and a guided tour of the Old Burying Ground with Claire Carlson, Education Program Coordinator at Historic Deerfield, for Deerfield’s Archaeology Day. These tours will engage visitors in local history, life in the past, and how the times have changed in New England. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 10am-2pm – CHILDREN’S CELEBRATION
The Common School‘s annual Children’s Carnival is on October 17th! Families with children of all ages are invited to join in for games, prizes, activities, entertainment, a bounce house, food, the famous cake walk, and more! 413-256-8989. 521 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, October 17, 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)

Saturday, October 17 at 10am-4pm – CRAFT FAIR
Shop local and handmade at the OnTrend Fall Craft Fair the Hadley Town Commons, showcasing 60 of the region’s most talented indie crafters. Come support our amazing local artisans and get a jump start on your holiday shopping by shoping local, & handmade! Rain or shine; free to attend. Route 9. Hadley, MA (FREE/MARKET)

Saturday, October 17 at 10am-4pm – CULINARY ARTS:
Berkshire Fermentation Festival. There will be cultured food vendors sampling and selling their products, workshops, DIY demos, lectures, music and more. Connecting local fermentation educators and businesses with food enthusiasts in a day of education and empowerment! Participate in workshops and lectures, meet local fermenters, check out what our fermentation vendors have to offer, and participate in the social ferment. Great Barrington Fairgrounds. 775 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 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 17, 10am-5pm – SPORTS/HOMECOMING CELEBRATION:
Westfield State University’s annual homecoming celebration is on October 17th. There will be reunion activities for alumni, but sporting events are open to the public and include men’s soccer, women’s volleyball, and food. See Westfield State’s homecoming webpage for more info. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 17, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL:
The 26th Annual Harvest Festival takes place on the Sturbridge Town Common the weekend of October 17 and 18! There will be tons to do for the whole family, including fun live music, local artisans and crafters, food vendors, harvest food, a scarecrow contest, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more. Fall festivals are an excellent way to celebrate the changing of the seasons in New England! Main Street. Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday, October 17, 10am-5pm – OPEN STUDIOS:
The Eclipse Mill in North Adams is holding an Open Studios event on October 17th and 18th. Come meet artists, see their work, and get a head start on holiday shopping. Studio visitors can see paintings, pottery, fine art tapestries, collage, sculpture, photography, and more. This is a great chance to discover local artists and artisans and to ask them about what they do. 243 Union Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 11am – FAMILY CONCERT:
The Northampton Community Music Center presents a performance by Nick Deysher and In the Nick of Time at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art as part of their Family Concert Series. Kids will love this fun concert. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 17, 10:30am – ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE/FILM & THEATER
Talk My Fair Ladies: Female Robots and Androids in Movies, Television, Photography and Art. Julie Wosk, professor and author of the new book My Fair Ladies, takes us on an amazing tour of artificial women—robots, dolls, mannequins—throughout history at the Berkshire Museum. From The Twilight Zone to The Stepford Wives to today’s robot females in television and film, these females reveal men’s fantasies about creating the perfect artificial woman who mysteriously comes to life. Included with regular Museum admission. 413-443-7171. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, October 17, 11am-3pm — FALL FESTIVAL
Enjoy an obstacle course, bounce house, games, crafts, face painting, a diversity-themed book fair, a graphic novel workshop, and much more at the Montessori School of Northampton‘s Children’s Fall Fair & Open House. Visitors interested in learning more about the school and the Montessori approach to learning may take a tour of the school and speak with school employees about their educational program. This is a rain or shine event! 51 Bates Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 11am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL:
North Hadley Sugar Shack’s 17th Annual Harvest Moon Pumpkin Festival and Tractor Parade takes place October 17th and features fun activities the whole family can enjoy. There will be face painting, pumpkin decorating, food, balloon sculptures, a birds of prey program by Tom Ricardi, a tractor parade, wagon rides, and more. Celebrate fall in the Valley at this fun festival! 413-585-8820. 181 River Drive. Hadley, MA.

Saturday, October 17, 11am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL:
The annual Easthampton Harvest Festival features fall fun, food, and activities for the whole family! This year there will also be a craft fair. Come by and celebrate pumpkins, fall, and Halloween at this exciting community festival at Nonotuck Park. 413-529-1440. 1 Daley Field Road. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, October 17. 12:00pm-3:30pm — PLANT STUDIES & CULINARY ARTS
Are you curious about how herbal bitters and cordials can improve your health? Would you like to learn how to make these delicious concoctions? In this class, Just Roots will provide recipes and demo preparation techniques so that you can learn to make your own medicinal beverages. Registration required. 413-325-8969. Greenfield Community Farm, 34 Glenbrook Dr, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 1pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The Springfield Museums are hosting a Family Fiesta Day. Celebrate Hispanic culture with a full day of family shows, exhibits, drop-in art activities, and more! Performances include The Tale of Juan Bobo by CactusHead Puppets and Latino folk music by MarKamusic. Also check out exhibits of photographs by William Hughes and stringed instruments by Will Cumpiano, part of Herencia Latina 2015-16, organized by the Pioneer Valley History Network and the Springfield Public Library. Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 17. 1pm-3pm — CULINARY ARTS
What do you get when you take fresh food and allow bacteria to feed on its sugars and starches? Fabulous, tasty, fermented food like sauerkraut and kimchi, which are chock full of fermentation by-products like enzymes, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. These by-products can have positive health effects for those who consume them, and the fermentation process also helps preserve the food. Win-win! Learn how to make your own fermented foods at the Haberdashery‘s Fermenting Vegetables workshop. All participants will take home a jar of the item created in class. Those interested in learning more about fermenting can also check out the Cultured Dairy and Probiotic Beverages classes that the Haberdashery is offering later this fall. 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street, Easthampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 17, 1pm-3pm – DOG SHOW:
The Dickinson Memorial Library‘s 6th Annual Dog Show is on October 17th! Kids (or adults) can bring their dog and enter them to win a prize in a category like most comical, best look-alikes, best dressed, daintiest, best trick, best smile, and others. This fun, friendly dog show is a great chance for kids to get experience handling their dog in a show, and is a great place to meet other dog-loving community members! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (>$)

Saturday, October 17, 1:30pm-2:30pm – LITERACY:
The Westfield Athenaeum is hosting a Read to Rover event for kids ages 3-9. Young readers can practice reading stories aloud to specially-trained dogs, who offer non-judgmental, non-threatening attention. This is a wonderful opportunity for kids to improve their reading skills and their confidence in reading aloud. Please register in advance. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17. 2-3pm — SPORTS HISTORY/BASEBALL
Larry Moore, Educational Consultant – Museum and Outreach Educator for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, will present his program, “Tools of the Trade” – the changes in technology of Baseball Equipment, on the lawn at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. Families can come see 75 baseball artifacts, from balls and bats to uniforms, which will be showcased and shared with the attendees who will be able to swing bats, toss balls, don historically accurate uniforms and literally “get into the game.” 413-442-1793. 780 Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (>$)

Saturday, October 17. 2:00pm. KIDS’ CONCERT
It is always nice when parents and children can enjoy music together! Randy Kaplan, a songwriter known for his “not-JUST-for-kids” music, will bring songs from his latest album, Jam on Rye, to Mass MOCA . Reservations required. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (<$)

Saturday, October 17, 2pm-4pm — MEDICINAL HERBS & LABYRINTH WALK
Learn about the history and healing powers of labyrinth walking at Park Hill Orchard! Older students and lifelong learners are invited to participate in this event, which will also include instruction about medicinal herbs. 413-303-0335. 82 Park Hill Road, Easthampton, MA. (< $ SUGGESTED DONATION)

Saturday, October 17, 2pm-4pm – QUIDDITCH:
Harry Potter fans ages 6-13 can play some real-life Quidditch on the Great Lawn of the Greenfield Public Library! Come play the muggle version of this Hogwarts sport and take classes with Professor McGonagall. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 3pm-4:30pm – PARENTING SUPPORT:
Need a bit of time to recharge? The Westfield Athenaeum is holding a “Parents’ Time Out” at the library. Drop your child off at the library and enjoy some kid-free time. Kids up to 10 years will be entertained at the library songs, stories, crafts, and lunch, while you enjoy a fun lunch of your own. Pre-registration is required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 3:30pm – SPORTS/HOMECOMING CELEBRATION:
Sports fans can attend the UMass Amherst homecoming football game against Kent State at McGuirk Stadium on October 17th. The marching band will also perform an exciting halftime show. Stadium Drive. Amherst, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, October 17, 4pm- SCARECROW CONTEST:
All ages can participate in the Randall’s Farm & Greenhouse Scarecrow Contest! Get together with family, friends, or your club/group/organization and build a traditional (head, 2 arms, 2 legs) scarecrow to be dropped off at the Farm by 4pm on October 17. Entries automatically receive a gift certificate to the farm and are entered into the contest – scarecrows will be judged on October 18 from 9am-7pm and the winners will be announced on October 21. Participating in the scarecrow contest is a great chance for families to work together on a creative project that all ages can contribute to. 413-589-7071. 631 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17, 4:30pm & 6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL:
The Chester Railway Station‘s 7th Annual Hobo Harvest Dinner is on October 17th. There will be seatings at 4:30pm and 6pm, with delicious home-cooked foods like “trackside beef stew,” corn pudding, rolls, pie, and more. This annual community meal is a great opportunity to spend time with community members while supporting the Railway Station. Call ASAP to make reservations. 413-354-7878. 10 Prospect Street. Chester, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 17. 5:00pm-6:30pm — OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE
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.($$)

Saturday, October 17, 5:30pm-8:30pm – HAUNTED TRAIN RIDE:
Look Park’s train becomes haunted this Halloween season! Kids 5 and up can enjoy this fun and spooky haunted train ride around the park. Cancelled in case of rain. Runs 10/16-10/18, 10/23-10/25, and 10/30. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Saturday, October 17, 6pm-8pm – SPOOKY SAFARI:
The Zoo in Forest Park hosts an evening of trick or treating for families in a fun and safe environment. Come in costume and stop around the zoo for sweet treats, games, raffles, prizes, and more. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

Saturday, October 17, 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. ($$$)

Saturday, October 17, DUSK – ASTRONOMY:
Want to learn about astronomy first-hand? Join the Trustees of Reservations and the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center for an evening of stargazing and searching for moons, planets, galaxies, and more at Notchview! Please call to pre-register. 413-532-1631 x10. Route 9. Windsor, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 17. 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. ($)

Saturday, October 17, 7pm-10pm – HAUNTED HAYRIDE:
Looking for some scary fun this Halloween? The Purgatory Road Haunted Hayride features scary clowns and more. Not recommended for children under 12. All proceeds benefit Teen Suicide Prevention Programming. Tickets available in advance at the Dalton CRA. 190 Cleveland Road. Dalton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, October 17, 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 17, 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 17. 8pm – 11:30pm — COMMUNITY DANCE
Experience the joy of contra dance, a social folk dance that resembles square dancing, hosted by Lenox Contra Dance. Bring a partner or find one at the dance! This week’s music is by Pizzazz. A great opportunity to get to know children, adults, and elders in your community. Beginners are encouraged to attend! 413-528-4007. 65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. (< $)

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Sunday, October 18th, 2015

Ongoing Sunday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 8 years of archived shows.

Sunday, October 18. 9:30am-5pm – HISTORY:
Dig In: A Field-to-Table Festival” is Old Sturbridge Village’s harvest season celebration for the whole family. Celebrate fall and the harvest while learning about food and farming, seeing demonstrations, sampling foods, helping with the harvest, and more. Visitors can watch costumed interpreters do colonial harvest tasks, like grinding corn with a “quern,” churning butter, shelling corns and beans, and more. “Dig In” is a fun way for all ages to learn about the harvest and how agriculture has changed since colonial times. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Sunday, October 18. 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP
Family Playtime at the Erving Elementary School for families with young children. Outside on the playground if weather permits or inside in the gymnasium. 413-423-3326. 28 Northfield Road, Erving, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 18, 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 18, 10am-5pm – OPEN STUDIOS:
The Eclipse Mill in North Adams is holding an Open Studios event on October 17th and 18th. Come meet artists, see their work, and get a head start on holiday shopping. Studio visitors can see paintings, pottery, fine art tapestries, collage, sculpture, photography, and more. This is a great chance to discover local artists and artisans and to ask them about what they do. 243 Union Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 18, 10:15am-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL:
Come to Westhampton Town Center for the annual Fall Festival! There will be tons of great activities, including a 5k race/walk to benefit the library, and the famous Great Pumpkin Roll takes place at 4:15pm. There will also be food, music, and activities for all to enjoy. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 18, 10:15am-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL/5K:
Run, Walk, or Shop to Save Local Farmland with Kestrel Land Trust! Don’t miss the 5K for Farmland & Farmers’ Market Festival on the West Street Common. 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! Hadley, MA (FUNDRAISER)

Sunday, October 18, 11am – LOCAL HISTORY:
Older students and adults interested in local history can join the Swift River Valley Historical Society for a walk from Gate 40 to the Indian Kitchen and plane crash site. The Historical Society’s guided walks are an excellent way to learn about the Quabbin’s rich history. 978-544-6882. Route 32A. Petersham, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Sunday, October 18, 12noon-4pm – FOOD FESTIVAL:
The annual Berkshire Food Festival takes place on October 18th! Come downtown and enjoy food from local restaurants, beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards, live music, and more. This event is a great way to learn about many of the exciting restaurants and breweries in Berkshire County. 413-663-6567 x15. Main Street. North Adams, MA.

Sunday, October 18, 1-3pm – OPEN HOUSE
The Academy at Charlemont will host an Open House for interested families. Meet students, teachers, and current parents and get a feel for their creative and rigorous academic program and warm community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, competitive athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. Academy students love school. 1359 Route 2, Charlemont, MA (FREE)

Sunday, October 18. 1-4pm. — HISTORY/FOOD PRODUCTION
How was grain milled in the 1800s? The Bisbee Mill Museum will be running for the last time this season for curious folks to see a fully operational grist mill in action (2-3:30pm). Come curious, ask questions, and learn about the history of this mill and historic production of food in the Hilltowns. With three floors of agricultural and industrial exhibits, as well as antique engine-powered 1800s grist mill, the Mill gives its visitors hours of learning and entertainment possibilities. 66 East Street. Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

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

Sunday, October 18, 2pm-4pm – ART OPENING:
The UMass Fine Arts Center’s Hampden Gallery‘s new exhibition, HEAD, opens on October 18 and runs through November 12, with an opening reception on October 18. Curated by D. Dominick Lombardi, the exhibit focuses on the symbol of the head in art throughout time and in contemporary art. Older students interested in art history and art studies would enjoy this interesting exhibit, which is free and open to the public. 413-545-0680. 131 Southwest Circle. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 18, 4pm-5:30pm — PARENTING SKILLS
What is ADHD? What does it look like? What are the differences between ADHD and ADD? How can you best support a child with ADHD? Join pediatrician Jonathan Schwab and clinical psychologist Sharon Saline at “ABC’s of ADHD: Preschool and School Age Years,” a short presentation followed by a Q and A, for in-depth information on this topic. This event is hosted by Northampton Area Pediatrics. Reservations requested. 413-517-2226. 193 Locust Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 18, 4pm-5:30pm — CULTURAL STUDIES/ANTHROPOLOGY/HISTORY
What is lost when a language ceases to be spoken? Explore this question during a screening and discussion of Rising Voices/Hothaninpi at the Academy of Music. The documentary focuses on language loss and revitalization efforts on Lakota reservations in North and South Dakota, and includes portions of short films created by Lakota filmmakers. 413-584-9032 x 105. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 18. 4:00pm-6pm —MUSIC
Have you ever listened to music and felt that it transcended just sound and affected your other senses as well? “The Sound of Water” asks you to think about what water feels and sounds like, as you listen to new music for oboe and small ensemble by local composter Batya Annie Sobel. 631-521-4496. Community Room, South Hadley Library. 2 Canal St., South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 18. 5:00pm-6:30pm — OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE
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.($$)

Sunday, October 18, 5:30pm-8:30pm – HAUNTED TRAIN RIDE:
Look Park’s train becomes haunted this Halloween season! Kids 5 and up can enjoy this fun and spooky haunted train ride around the park. Cancelled in case of rain. Runs 10/16-10/18, 10/23-10/25, and 10/30. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Sunday, October 18, 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. ($$)

Sunday, October 18, 8:30pm-9:30pm – ASTRONOMY:
Students and lifelong learners who are interested in astronomy can attend public stargazing on the roof of Smith College’s McConnell Rooftop Observatory. Come use the telescopes to see stars, planets, galaxies, and nebulae. 413-585-3935. College Lane. Northampton, MA.

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Monday, October 19th, 2015

Monday, October 19, 5:30-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP:
Active Parenting of Children Ages 1-4 Years. Mondays, October 19, 26 and November 9. This series will cover positive discipline methods, developmental stages, how to prevent tantrums, routines to make life easier and ways to take care of yourself so that you can better take care of your family. Parenting classes are an ideal place to meet other parents, share and discuss ideas and come away with a new perspective on parenting. Call 413-664-4821 to register. Child care and transportation available upon request. Haskins Center. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA (FREE)

Monday, October 19, 7pm – LOCAL HISTORY/MYSTERY:
Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe will present “Mysterious Massachusetts” at the Agawam Public Library on October 19th. Hear some of our state’s most famous weird stories, including the Dover Demon, the Salem Witch Trials, ghosts on the coast, Berkshire UFO sightings, and more. Older students can have fun learning about the state’s most famous paranormal incidents. 413-789-1550. 750 Cooper Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)

Monday, October 19, 8pm – MUSIC STUDIES:
The Mt. Holyoke College Music Department presents an exciting performance by Grammy-winning vocal project Roomful of Teeth. The group will perform new music for 8 solo voices and incorporates vocal styles like yodeling, belting, and throat singing. Students with audience skills and an interest in music would enjoy this exciting live performance! Takes place in McCulloch Auditorium. 413-538-2306. Lower Lake Road. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

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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 20th, 2015

Tuesday, October 20, 12noon-1:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS:
All ages can stop by the Monson Free Library for a fun crafternoon! School is a half day, so stop by the library to have fun and get creative. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 20, 12:20pm-12:50pm – ART STUDIES:
There will be a gallery talk at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum on October 20 – Professor of Philosophy Thomas E. Wartenberg will present, “Investigating Fourth Range: Thoughts on Illustration as Philosophy.” 413-538-2000. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 20, 4pm-5pm — STEM
Learning about electronics is a lot of fun when you get to create your own circuits and assemble functional electronic devices. Kids ages 8 and up are invited to join the littleBits ™ building club at the Jones Library to explore circuitry with user-friendly, color-coded pieces, and the help of a knowledgeable guide. Pre-registration requested. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 20, 4pm-6pm – EDUCATOR PROGRAM:
The Emily Dickinson Museum’s first Teacher Tuesday program is on October 20th. All educators can attend this free program, where you can explore the museum, do hands-on projects, and get some inspiration for future projects to do with students. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 20, 5:30pm-7:30pm – STEM/COMPUTERS:
Students ages 10 and up who are interested in computers, technology, coding, and programming can attend a Mobile App Development workshop run by Holyoke Codes. Get creative and come up with an app idea, then make it using App Inventor for Android! This visual app development tool from MIT allows users to create their own app and then use it and share it with others. Takes place at Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. Register in advance. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE/DONATION)

Tuesday, October 20. 6:30pm – 7:30pm — STORYTIME
Family storytime for children aged 3-9 years at Sixteen Acres Library. Stories, songs and a craft.No registration required. Adult must accompany children, siblings welcome. 413-263-6858. Community Room, Sixteen Acres Library, 1187 Parker Street, Springfield MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 20, 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP
Parents/caregivers can attend a workshop on kids and technology at River Valley Market with Susan McNamara. “Connected Kids: Making Conscious Technology Choices with Your Children” focuses on helping parents support their children and instill values while determining how much technology is appropriate. In a world where technology and electronics are seemingly everywhere, this workshop can help parents find a balance that works for them and their children. Pre-registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 20, 7:30pm – DANCE STUDIES:
Doug Varone and Dancers will perform ReComposed and Lux at the UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall on October 20th. Older students interested in dance can learn from this exciting performance, which is followed by a talk with the company. Tickets available in advance. 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, MA. ($$)

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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 21st, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 10am-12noon – HIKING:
Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a hike at Hollow Fields. Enjoy the beautiful fields and views of Yokun Ridge on this moderate three-mile hike. 413-499-0596. Perry’s Peak Road. Richmond, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 21. 6:00pm-7:30pm — COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Does your child have a diagnosed or undiagnosed special need? The Community Network for Children is offering a “Family Cafe Night for Families of Children with Special Needs. This parent facilitated group is open to all parents/guardians living in the Union #28 School district, (Erving, Leverett, New Salem, Shutesbury and Wendell) who would like support in managing day to day with their young children. The series will run seven Wednesdays throughout the school year at different school-based locations. This event is at Irving Elementary School. Pre-registration is required if childcare is needed. 978-544-5157. Leverett Elementary School. Leverett, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/TRANSPORATION:
The New Haven and Northampton Canal. Canal historian Carl Walter will present a public lecture on the canal with special emphasis on the terminus of the canal, now the site of the new boathouse for Northampton Community Rowing. This presentation will explain why the canal was built, where it was located, how it was constructed, and its importance to the canal towns with emphasis on the terminus of the canal on the Connecticut River in Northampton. Forbes Library, Calvin Coolidge Room. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30pm-8pm – HISTORY/HALLOWEEN:
Learn about New England’s haunted history at the Westfield Athenaeum. Barry Dietz will present this program about New England’s past. Best for older students interested in history and who enjoy ghost stories. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 21, 6:30pm-8:30pm – FORESTRY/CONSERVATION:
Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is hosting a Woods Forum on October 21st. Conservation organizations including UMass Extension Services, Kestrel Land Trust, Mass Audubon, and others will be present to discuss Chapter 61, conservation restrictions, timber harvesting, and other topics related to the management of local woodlands. There will be a presentation and discussion that would be beneficial to those who own forested land or to lifelong learners and older teens interested in forestry and conservation. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 21, 7pm – HALLOWEEN/PARANORMAL:
Jeff Belanger, host of the PBS series New England Legends, presents a “Supernatural Evening” at the Berkshire Athenaeum on October 21. Hear strange New England tales at this fascinating talk. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 21, 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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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. 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 22nd, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 4pm-5pm — STEM
Do you know a kid who loves to tinker? Tinkering is a great way to encourage creativity, explore invention, and learn STEM content and skills. Tinkerers ages 8 and up are invited to check out the new Makerspace at the Jones Library. There will be 3D printers and other cool supplies to try! Pre-registration requested. 413-256-4096. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 22. 5pm – LOCAL EDUCATION/CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Parents, teachers, administrators and public school supporters have formed a new organization, School Local Northampton, with the goal of enticing more families to enroll their children in the Northampton Public School district. The group will launch its campaign with a celebration of the public schools at City Hall with family-friendly performances by famed Northampton musician and public school parent Nerissa Nields, Northampton High School a cappella group The Northamptones, the NHS band, as well as children’s games and activities. All community members are welcome. The celebration will begin with a rally on the front steps of City Hall at 5pm with remarks from community leaders, continuing until 7:30pm with performance festivities in the parking lot behind City Hall. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Thursday, October 22, 5pm-8pm – CULINARY ARTS/CHEESE:
Making Cheese and Yogurt: with Ron and Sandra Hess, a hand’s on workshop on how to make cheese and yogurt. The class will include making Colby and Mozzarella cheeses, and also how to make yogurt. Ron and Sandra are offering this class at their home. Please bring an apron. To Register: Call 413-685-1052. Russell, MA (FREE for Hilltown residents)

Thursday, October 22, 5pm-8pm – HAUNTED HOUSE:
Spectrum Playhouse’s annual haunted house features a monster maze, haunted graveyardzombies, ghosts, and more in a carefully crafted haunted house. Best for ages 10 and up, but younger children can attend and the actors can tone down the scare factor. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. (>$)

Thursday, October 22, 5:30pm-7pm – PUMPKIN CARVING:
Help the Hitchcock Center get ready for their Enchanted Forest event, which takes place October 23 and 24, by helping to carve pumpkins. This is a fun family-oriented community service event! 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Thursday, October 22, 5:30pm-7pm – PARENT-CHILD WORKSHOP:
The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a First Steps to Reading workshop for parents/caregivers and their children (age 5 and under). Attend this workshop to help your child grow into reading through talking, playing, sharing books, and singing together. The workshop takes place at the Monson Free Library and runs on October 22 and 29, and November 5 and 12. Light supper provided. Call to register. 413-586-4900 x5568. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 22, 5:30pm-8:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/FUNDRAISER:
Family Outreach of Amherst’s annual Warm Up the Night fundraiser event is on October 22nd at the Lord Jeffery Inn. Many local restaurants and vendors will have food for guests to eat, there will be a pig roast, and music by The Winterpills, Roger Salloom, and J Mascis. All proceeds benefit Family Outreach of Amherst’s work to keep Amherst families from becoming homeless. 413-548-1272. 30 Boltwood Avenue. Amherst, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, October 22, 6pm-9pm – GOVERNMENT:
Older students interested in government, diplomacy, and international relations can attend a talk by R. Nicholas Burns, Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, at Old Sturbridge Village on October 22nd. “International Relations: Power and Competition” focuses on Professor Burns’ experiences working in the field. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Thursday, October 22, 6:30pm-7:30pm – STORYTIME:
The Community Network for Children is hosting a special storytime at the Leverett Library on October 22nd. Author/illustrator David Hyde Costello will read his book “Here They Come” and will draw characters from the book and talk about the story. There will also be a craft, a snack, and a free book for each child. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 22, 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. ($$$)

Thursday, October 22, 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. ($$)

Thursday, October 22, 7:30pm-8:30pm – PJ STORY HOUR:
David Hyde Costello, Author and Illustrator, will be sharing his children’s book “Here They Come!” at the Leverett Library for a PJ story hour. Come for a story (with a special guest), a small snack and free book! Thank you to the Leverett and Erving Local Cultural Council Grant programs for helping to make this happen. 978-544-5157. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)

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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)
  • 5pm-7:30pm – LAWN CONCERT: Stunning scenery, sunsets, and great music await you at the Naumkeag at Night concert series which runs Thursdays through October 29, 2015. Sponsored by The Trustees of Reservations. Bring a picnic dinner and a blanket! 413-339-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($)
  • 5:30pm – SKILLSHARE/CRAFT GROUP: The Haberdashery holds a Chat ‘n Do every Thursday at 5:30pm. Bring a project you are working on and chat with others, hash out ideas, ask advice, offer tips, and more. This is a good opportunity for intergenerational skill sharing! 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – PARENTING & CLIMATE CHANGE: Mothers Out Front is a group of “mothers and others” who are concerned about climate change and passionate about creating a cleaner energy future for future generations. Learn more about the group’s work and meet other parents with whom to share your stories, hopes, and fears at their monthly climate support gatherings, held every 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP via the MOF site. Sunderland, MA (Tuesdays) and Florence, MA (Thursdays). (FREE)
  • 6:00pm-7pm – LEGOS: The Family Resource Center is offering a LEGO group for ages 4-12 the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. 413-664-4821. North Adams Library, 4th Floor. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm – KNITTING: Spruce up your knitting skills and spend time with community members of all ages at the Dickinson Memorial Library‘s knitting group every Thursday evening. All skill levels are welcome. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – 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 23rd, 2015

Friday, October 23, 10-11am — BABY & ME/PLAYGROUP
Pittsfield CFCE hosts an interactive Baby & Me Playgroup for parents with babies ages 1 and under. Explore and connect with others. Guest speakers. Pre-registration required. 413-441-0974. 480 West Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, October 23, 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 23, 10am-5pm – ART STUDIES:
Williams College Museum of Art’s new exhibition, The Anxiety of Influence: European and American Art, 1689-1913, opens on October 23rd. The exhibit features work from WCMA’s collection that highlights the political, cultural, and economic tensions of the times, and features works from Britain, France, Holland, Italy, and Spain, juxtaposed with ones from the Americas. Viewing this exhibition would be an excellent opportunity for those interested in history and art. 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 23. 10am-5pm — HISTORY
Hancock Shaker Village will be open only to homeschoolers and their families for this special day of demonstrations, songs, hands-on activities, and more. Visitors will learn about the Shakers’ use of water and solar power, visit the farm’s animals, and view woodworkers and blacksmiths crafting their wares, all while being able to enjoy the grounds at a leisurely pace. 413-443-0188 x 100. Routes 20 & 41, Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Friday, October 23. 10:30am-11:30am — LITERACY & CRAFTING
Reading or listening to a story activates the imagination and can put you in a mindset for expansive creativity. Linking art and books can also help build a love of reading! Children and their caregivers are invited to the Eric Carle Museum‘s Open Book, Open Play mornings, in which they will have a storytime of picture books followed by creative explorations in the art studio. Themes that emerge in the stories will provide inspiration for the art activities that follow. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (< $)

Friday, October 23, 3:30pm-4:30pm – STEM:
Kids ages 9 can come to the West Springfield Public Library for “Science Rocks,” a fun hands-on science program. Learn about and make potato lights! Please pre-register. 413-736-4561 x3. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 23, 4pm – ANIMAL STUDIES:
Learn all about bats at a special program at the Bushnell-Sage Library! Jerry Schneider will teach us about the importance of bats to the environment with a slideshow, and then attendees can decorate t-shirts (bring one from home or buy one at program for <$). This is a fun chance for all ages to learn about these amazing creatures! 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 23, 4pm-6pm – CULINARY ARTS:
The is holding a bread-baking event for all at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center. Families and community members can come together to engage in the creative, hands-on process of bread baking. This event focuses on sweet and yeasted breads, but gluten free bread can be made as well! 83 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

Friday, October 23. 5:00pm-6:30pm — OUTDOOR PERFORMANCE
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. Specific directions sent after making reservations. Hampshire College Farm, Amherst, MA.($$)

Friday, October 23, 5pm-8pm – HAUNTED HOUSE:
Spectrum Playhouse’s annual haunted house features a monster maze, haunted graveyardzombies, ghosts, and more in a carefully crafted haunted house. Best for ages 10 and up, but younger children can attend and the actors can tone down the scare factor. 413-394-5023. 20 Franklin Street. Lee, MA. (>$)

Friday, October 23. 5:00pm-8pm — NATURE WALK & SEASONAL
Walk along pumpkin lit forest trails at The Hitchcock Center’s Enchanted Forest: A Non-scary Halloween Event, where you will meet local critters who will share stories about themselves. Learn to separate fact from fiction about these creatures through engaging skits along the way. All ages. Registration required, and you must sign up for a walk time. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant St., Amherst, MA. ($)

Friday, October 23, 5:30pm – CRAFTS/BOOK TALK:
Kids can attend a LEGO-inspired craft and book talk at the Hatfield Public Library. Come make cool pencil holders and hear a book talk. Open to all ages. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 23, 5:30pm-8pm – NATURE STUDIES/HALLOWEEN STORIES:
Families can explore Naumkeag’s Pumpkin Trail this October. Come in costume and meet nocturnal woodland creatures and learn about their lives through storytelling. This is a fun non-scary Halloween activity for families, as well as a great chance to explore the grounds of Naumkeag and learn about local critters. Reservations encouraged. 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Friday, October 23, 5:30pm-8:30pm – HAUNTED TRAIN RIDE:
Look Park’s train becomes haunted this Halloween season! Kids 5 and up can enjoy this fun and spooky haunted train ride around the park. Cancelled in case of rain. Runs 10/16-10/18, 10/23-10/25, and 10/30. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (>$)

Friday, October 23, 5:45pm-7:15pm & 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 23, 6pm – HALLOWEEN MOVIE:
Teens and tweens can come to the Sunderland Public Library for a fun Halloween movie the last three Fridays in October. On 10/16, see Hocus Pocus (1993; rated PG); on 10/23 see Casper (1995; rated PG); and on 10/30 see Gremlins (1984; rated PG). Celebrate Halloween with these classic flicks! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 23, 6pm-8pm – SPOOKY SAFARI:
The Zoo in Forest Park hosts an evening of trick or treating for families in a fun and safe environment. Come in costume and stop around the zoo for sweet treats, games, raffles, prizes, and more. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

Friday, October 23, 6pm-8pm – PARANORMAL ACTIVITY:
Paranormal investigating team S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of New England will be at the Greenfield Public Library on October 23 to share stories of their investigations with video and audio footage and a question-and-answer session. Older students interested in ghosts and paranormal activity will love this presentation, which delves into New England’s rich history and the ghosts that come along with it! 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 23, 6:15pm-8pm – GAMES:
Families can attend an evening of Lotería, or Mexican bingo, at the Mason Library on October 23rd. Similar to American bingo, Lotería uses playing cards instead of numbers and bingo balls. Winners will receive children’s prizes and gift certificates to local Latino restaurants. There will also be a dessert potluck. This is a fun opportunity for a family game night! 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 23, 6:30pm-8pm – CEMETERY TOUR:
The Longmeadow Historical Society is hosting “Ghosts in the Graveyard,” a cemetery tour with a focus on Longmeadow’s history. Bring a flashlight and the kids and learn about local history as you tour the Longmeadow Cemetery while members of the LHS share stories of historical figures who have lived in the area and have been laid to rest. 413-567-3600. Williams Street. Longmeadow, MA.

Friday, October 23, 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 23, 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 23, 7pm-10pm – HAUNTED HAYRIDE:
Looking for some scary fun this Halloween? The Purgatory Road Haunted Hayride features scary clowns and more. Not recommended for children under 12. All proceeds benefit Teen Suicide Prevention Programming. Tickets available in advance at the Dalton CRA. 190 Cleveland Road. Dalton, MA. ($$)

Friday, October 23, 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 23, 7:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES:
The Mt. Holyoke College Music Department presents an exciting jazz performance – “Ring a Ding Ding.” The Jazz Ensemble will commemorate the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra and will perform music by Basie, Goodman, Gershwin, and others. Older students with audience skills and interest in jazz music would enjoy the performance. Takes place in Chapin Auditorium. 413-538-2306. 50 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 23, 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. ($$)

Friday, October 23, 8pm – MUSIC STUDIES/PIANO:
Celebrated American pianist Simone Dinnerstein will join the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra in concert in Chapin Hall at Williams College. The concert will be the first event in Chapin Hall since extensive renovations began last spring. 413-597-4277. Williams College. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

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

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

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Shutesbury Elementary School every Friday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 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: Playgroup/storytime every Friday at Anne T. Dunphy School. 1 Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, 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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