24 Community Highlights: Spiders to Comics. Buttons to Symphony.

Do the lilting notes of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s ukulele rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” bring a smile to your face? You, too can strum this lovely song, and many more, with a bit of practice! Teens and adults are invited to participate in a series of free beginner ukulele classes at the Goodwin Memorial Library in Hadley on Wednesdays, Nov 4, 11 & Dec 2, from 7-8pm! You need not attend all classes to participate, and ukuleles will be provided if you do not have your own.

Spiders to Comics. Buttons to Symphony. Yiddish Literature to Day of the Dead… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

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

Featured community highlights this week:  Volunteering together as a family encourages quality time, increases communication, and provides opportunities for family members to be role models. In partnership with Hilltown Families, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts invites families to attend a series of monthly volunteer sessions where they will help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take action to help fight hunger. Join us on Saturday, October 31 from 9am-11:30am. This month’s theme is “Halloween” so let thekids come in costume! Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Learn more about these monthly service-based events at The Food Bank in this Hilltown Family posting. 413-247-9738 x135. 97 N Hatfield Rd, Hatfield, MA. (VOLUNTEERING)


Volunteering Archnology/SpidersMuseum AdventuresSymphony Music StudiesUkuleleHistory Paranormal Buttons Guided HikeCultural StudiesYiddish LiteratureDay of the DeadPhenology Art InstallationParenting SupportMaker LabComics


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Service-Based Learning

FOOD SECURITY
Saturday, October 31. 9am-11:30am
Volunteering together as a family encourages quality time, increases communication, and provides opportunities for family members to be role models. In partnership with Hilltown Families, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts invites families to attend a series of monthly volunteer sessions where they will help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take action to help fight hunger. This month’s theme is “Halloween.” Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Learn more about these monthly service-based events at The Food Bank in this Hilltown Family posting. 413-247-9738 x135. 97 N Hatfield Rd, Hatfield, MA. (VOLUNTEERING)

Arachnology

SPIDERS
Saturday, October 31, 10am-12noon
A favorite Halloween icon, spiders have so many benefits to our ecosystem and are critters worthy of our admiration rather than reservations! Kids (ages 4-12) can learn all about “creepy crawly” spiders at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Discover the amazing lives of spiders and their habits and habitats, search for spiders outside, and ask questions about the different types of spiders that also call western MA home. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Dendrology

TREE STUDIES/BARK
Saturday, October 31. 10am-2pm
Did you know you can identify trees from examining their bark? For nearly half the year bark actually provides the best clues to tree ID. The Hitchcock Center and Naturalists Nancy Goodman and Ted Watt invite you to Poet’s Seat Reservation in Greenfield as they key the trees using bark characters. Poet’s Seat is a dry ridge top with a variety of habitats. You’ll hike up the paved access road, with a mostly gentle uphill grade, heading to the tower and the top of the cliffs. For self-directed teens and life-long learners.  Bring binoculars, water, lunch and the book Bark by Michael Wojtech if you have a copy. There are no facilities at this spot. Registration required. 413-256-6006. Directions to meeting location will be provided upon registration. Greenfield, MA. ($$)

Museum Adventures

THE CLARK
Saturday, October 31, 10am-5pm
Spend Halloween at The Clark! The museum is holding a special Halloween event with gallery talks focused on ghosts and gore (11am, 12noon, 2pm, & 3pm), a performance by one of Williams College’s a’cappella groups (1pm), Halloween treats, and more. Kids are welcome to come in costume for this fun day, which is all about art and Halloween! 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)

THE CLARK
Sunday, November 1. 10am-5pm
Every first Sunday of the month, The Clark Art Institute offers free admission, a great way to use that extra hour of daylight this Sunday! The Clark Art Institute, located in north Berkshire County, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

EMILY DICKINSON MUSEUM
Sunday, November 1, 6:30pm & 8pm
The Emily Dickinson Museum and the TheatreTruck have come together to present The Aspect of the Place: A Halloween Happening at the Evergreens this Halloween weekend. Tour The Evergreens, the home of Emily’s brother Austin, which acts as a time capsule of 19th-century life and contains the Dickinson family’s furniture. While walking through the house, you can hear Victorian ghost stories and learn about the history of the home. Older students interested in storytelling and local history would enjoy this exciting and unique Halloween event. Tickets available in advance. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

HANCOCK SHAKER VILLAGE
Tuesday, November 3. 5pm
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; $)

Music Studies

SYMPHONY/BALL
Saturday, October 31, 3pm
Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra will host a Monster’s Ball Kids’ Edition! Takes place at the Abbey Memorial Chapel. Come costumed, dance to Strauss waltzes, polkas, and the cha-cha, and hear music from Star Trek, Dracula, and The Phantom of the Opera. Kids can also learn about orchestra instruments, and have fun while being exposed to the symphony! 50 College St. South Hadley, MA (>$)

CONCERT
Sunday, November 1, 3pm-5pm
Simon’s Rock trumpet teacher Allan Dean will perform light classics for trumpet and cornetto with Ron Barron on trombone, Ron Gorevic on violin, and Larry Wallach on piano. Older students interested in music will enjoy this performance, which takes place in the Kellogg Music Center. 413-644-4400. 84 Alford Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

UKULELE/MUSIC CLASS
Wednesday, November 4, 7pm-8pm
Do the lilting notes of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s ukulele rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” bring a smile to your face? You, too can strum this lovely song, and many more, with a bit of practice! Teens and adults are invited to participate in a series of beginner ukulele classes at the Goodwin Memorial Library, led by local uke superstar, Julie Calamine (formerly Stepanek!). Classes will be held November 4th, November 11th, and December 2nd. You need not attend all classes to participate, and ukuleles will be provided if you do not have your own. Advance sign-up requested. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle Street, Hadley, MA. (FREE)

History

PARANORMAL
Saturday, October 31, 7:30pm-9pm
Sunday, November 1, 7:30pm-9pm
Learn some spooky local history on a Valley Ghost Tour, starting 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. ($$)

BUTTONS
Sunday, November 1, 1pm
The Keep Homestead Museum is holding a Button Appraisal Day with Gretchen and George Gauthier on November 1st. Bring buttons from home that you think are valuable, or ones you just want to know more about, and learn their history and value. This is a great opportunity for collectors and those interested in history to learn about buttons and their fascinating histories! The Museum also has a button collection which can be viewed. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE/DONATION)

Guide Hike

NATURAL HISTORY
Sunday, November 1, 10am
Join Williamsburg Woodland Trails for a fall hike and picnic at Big View on November 1st. Enjoy a 2.5-mile hike, see an old stone town marker, a beaver dam, and eat lunch overlooking the Pioneer Valley. This is a great chance to get out and enjoy fall! Call with questions. 413-268-3372. Unquomonk Road. Williamsburg, MA.

Cultural Studies

YIDDISH/LITERATURE
Sunday, November 1, 2pm
The stories of Sholem Aleichem, best known for forming the basis of Fiddler on the Roof, are full of vibrant characters and rich descriptions of shtetl life. Two of the world’s most engaging Yiddish scholars–Ruth Wisse and David Roskies–will retell, discuss, and debate their favorite Aleichem stories on stage at the Yiddish Book Center. Advance ticket purchase recommended. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street, Amherst, MA. ($)

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS
Sunday, November 1, 6pm
In honor of the Mexican Day of the Dead, or Dia de Los Muertos, community members can meet at Brookside Cemetery. Dancers and musicians will lead a vigil through Easthampton and perform a reimagined folk dance. Learn about this Mexican holiday and folk tradition at this community-based event. Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA

Daylight Savings

SEASONAL CELEBRATION
Sunday, November 1, 4:45pm-6pm
Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends at 2am on November 1, 2015. Before bedtime on Saturday or first thing on Sunday, we all must set our clocks back one hour, thus getting back in sync with Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, and several other territories of the US who do not observe DST. Supporters of DST argue that the practice promotes energy savings and allows people to make better use of natural daylight. Opponents claim that DST can have negative health effects for some people. No matter what your opinion on the matter, the fact remains that you will have one “extra” hour in your weekend! How will you and your family use it? Perhaps a song-filled lantern walk led by Tinkergarten would be just the thing to welcome the early darkness that accompanies the end of DST! Participants should bring their own lanterns (learn how to make one with simple supplies) or a flashlight/headlamp. Tealights and lighters provided. All ages welcome! Pre-registration required. 805-751-8465. Groff Park, Mill Lane, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Art Installation

SCULPTURE WALK
Monday, November 2, 8am-5pm
The wonderful Art in the Orchard sculpture exhibit at Park Hill Orchardhas been extended until Thanksgiving! Enjoy a crisp autumn outing, strolling the orchard’s grounds and spending time with the 28 works of art that are on display. The self-guided trail is about a half mile long, and visitors can also walk through the meditative labyrinth to deepen their experience. Please note that the Farmstand and Pick-Your-Own options are not open on Mondays. 413-303-0335. 82 Park Hill Road,Easthampton, MA. (< $ SUGGESTED DONATION)

Parenting Support

PARENTS OF TRANSGENDER/GENDER NONCONFORMING
Monday, November 2. 6:30pm-7:30pm
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)

GRANDPARENTS RAISING GRANDKIDS
Tuesday, November 3rd. 5:15pm-6:45pm
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)

NAVIGATING SPECIAL ED
Wednesday, November 4, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Do you wish you had a way to keep track of your child’s IEPs, 504s, evaluations, progress reports, doctor reports, test results, and more? The Amherst Regional Public Schools SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) is offering a workshop focused on effective ways for parents to manage their children’s paperwork. Each participant will build a customized binder for his/her child and learn tips for developing community connections and coping with the sometimes stressful aspects of parenting. Reservations required. 413-687-4255. Amherst High School, Room 13, 21 Matoon Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

PARENTING
Thursday, November 5, 5pm-7pm
The Northampton Parent Cafe Series continues at the Bridge Street School. The theme of the series is, “Being a Great Parent is Part Natural & Part Learned.” Come share information and ideas to care for yourself as a parent while building strong relationships with your kids to raise children who thrive. Talk with other parents about the challenges of parenting and build the resilience needed to be a good parent. Childcare and dinner provided. Open to all parents with young children. RSVP. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

ANXIETY
Thursday, November 5, 6pm-7:30pm
Many children experience anxiety, yet it may not show itself in obvious ways. An anxious child may act out, show aggression, or retreat into an inner world. Learn how to recognize the signs of anxiety, how to address anxiety, and how to teach your child anxiety-management skills at “The Worry Monster,” a workshop for parents/guardians/caregivers, presented by the Collaborative for Educational Services. 413-586-4900. Amherst Family Center, 1200 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

STEAM

MAKER LAB
Friday, November 6, 3pm & 6pm
Maker labs, tinker spaces, and STEAM labs are cropping up all over! These are spaces that allow people to explore their ideas in an open-ended, creative manner using a variety of materials and tools. The Mini Maker Faire hosted by Barnes & Noble invites folks to watch demonstrations of 3D printing, robotics, coding, and programming, and to try these technologies out for themselves. If your child ends up having his or her interest piqued by this fun activity, you can seek out some of the other great maker space offerings happening in our local libraries. 413-584-2558. Mountain Farms, 335 Russell Street, Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Comics

COMICS
Thursday, November 5, 4pm-5pm
Kids in grades 3-5 can attend Comic Book Club at the Jones Library. Come discuss Little Robot by Ben Hatke and Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack. This is a great chance for kids to get together and discuss comic books, and even create one of their own. Register and pick up books in the Kids’ Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

[Photo credit: (cc) Tam Tam]


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

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