Suggested Events for September 17th-23rd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has made it oh so easy to in a few minutes find fun outings and events for our family. It’s also a wealth of information about this wonderful place that we live in. Thanks for making it so accessible.” – Amy Cullen (Williamsburg, 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after-school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.

Featured Fall Classes in Western MA

What are your child’s interests? What are your interests? This fall there are a number of after-school, homeschool, evening, and weekend classes to choose from to supplement and support the interests of your family! Check out our growing list of classes, programs, open houses and even auditions for this fall in our dedicated post, 2016 Fall Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA, and find the perfect activity for your child, teen, and even lifelong learners! — Have a class you’d like to add to this list? Click here to find out how to have your class, lessons, program, auditions, and open house included.

Bulletin Board

Free Classes Sep 19-30

The Celtic Heels School of Dance is opening a new location in Florence this September and invite you to come try their classes for FREE between September 19-30. Classes are offered for ages 3-adult in Irish Dance, Irish/Tap, Irish/Ballet and Barre Fitness. They will also be holding their monthly Kids Magic Carpet Ride Yoga classes starting in October. Come experience the innovative style of Celtic Heels for yourself. Information regarding class times can be found at their website www.CelticHeelsDance.com or by emailing celticheels@gmail.com. Studio locations in Florence & Greenfield.

Sep 19 & Sep 21

Want more opportunities for healthy eating and active living? If you live in Blandford, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Russell or Worthington, join your neighbors on Monday Sept. 19 and Wednesday Sept. 21 to think outside the box about finding solutions for a healthier Hilltown region. Hosted by Healthy Hampshire, Hilltown CDC and the Hilltown Community Health Center. Share You Input: Monday, Sept. 19, 6:30-8:30, Gateway High School OR Cummington Community House. Hear Expert Recommendations: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6:30-8:30, Gateway High School. Dinner and childcare provided! For more information: cmarquis@collaborative.org, 413-588-5562 or visit http://tinyurl.com/HealthierHilltowns.

Sep 23

The Hartsbrook School is pleased to welcome Kim John Payne, family counselor & internationally acclaimed author of Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. In defense of the extraordinary power of less, Kim John Payne helps to reclaim the space & freedom we all need. This simplifying path allows kids’ individuality to shine & their attention to flourish. The Simplicity Parenting approach is based on over 30 years’ experience of successfully supporting busy families. For those who want to balance their children’s lives but don’t know where to start, Simplicity Parenting offers both inspiration & a blueprint for change. Fri, Sept 23 at 7pm. $15. 193 Bay Rd, Hadley. 413-586-1908

Sep 24 & 25

The 18th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is the weekend of September 24 & 25 from 10am-5pm in Orange, MA. There’s something for everyone at this annual cultural celebration! Over 100 booths are vibrant with local artists, farmers, and fabulous food. Enjoy amazing music, performance, spoken word, and dance on three stages; chef demos and renewable energy education including the new Portal to the Future. Great for families with performances throughout the fields, a pottery tent, hula-hooping, horse-drawn hayrides, and garlic games all weekend. Only $5/adults; Kids 12 & under are free! More info at www.garlicandarts.org, including directions/parking & program updates. Follow on Facebook for updates on the festival that stinks!

Oct 2

The 55th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills is on Sunday, October 2 from 10am-4pm, rain or shine. Enjoy live music, the famed “skillet toss,” craft fair, parade, log splitting contest, art, blacksmithing, weaving, local products, and of course, yummy food, freshly pressed cider and fried dough with maple cream! For the kids, a hay maze, hill slide, children’s book signing, and lots of free activities. Sign up for the Covered Bridge Classic or Kids Fun Run! The festival is located in historic Conway center, Route 116, 8 minutes from Route 91 in Deerfield. Admission, parking, and almost all activities are free. See www.festivalofthehills.com for details.

Preschool Openings: Sept 2016. Clarke’s Integrated Preschool Program in Northampton offers a high-quality, affordable preschool program. Preschoolers engage in activities that facilitate all aspects of development. In our enriched learning environment, children come to know themselves and the world around them through classroom and extended experiences. Both children with typical hearing and children with hearing loss attend five days per week. To learn more or schedule a visit, please contact 413-582-1144. clarkeschools.org/prek

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, 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.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 17-23, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, September 17, 2016

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. This week, Andrés and Christina from 123 Andrés share the things that inspire them. Friends, travel, and dreams fill this episode, along with music from different artists… including a zombie! 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 9 years!

Saturday, September 17
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/GUIDED NATURE WALKS
This September and October, Housatonic Heritage will be offering several opportunities to learn about local history, natural history, infrastructure, architecture, ecology, and more! Paddling trips, self-guided tours, and craft projects will allow people of all ages to connect with their community through a greater sense of place. Visit the Housatonic Heritage website for more information. Registration is required. Email berkshires@massaudubon.org or call 413-637-0320. Lenox and Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 9am-11am
COMMUNITY MEAL
Local resources such as the Amherst Survival Center keep communities thriving by providing food, workshops, and essential products to families in need. The Survival Center connects people through a spirit of giving, through the practice of community members volunteering time or donating goods. You can come together with friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate this local resource at the Community Appreciation Breakfast. Breakfast will include pancakes, eggs, sausage, smoothies and more. Yuri “Prince of Color” will perform and there will also be face painting. Donations of non-perishable food items are welcomed and appreciated. All are welcome. 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 9am-12pm
ECOLOGY/HISTORY
The landscape of the Berkshires has undergone massive changes, largely due to human activity. Come to this program, “From Iron Ore to Orioles,” to learn about how 18th and 19th century charcoal, lime, glass, and iron industries impacting the land. Educators will explain the impact these industries had on forests and wildlife. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 9am-12pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Kayaking and canoeing are hobbies which combine fitness with ecological learning. Paddle trips allow you to see familiar spaces from a new vantage point- on the river! Beginners, and families with children six and older, are invited to a 5 mile, guided, Housatonic River paddle trip through Stockbridge. Visit the Housatonic Heritage website for more information. Call 413-394-9796 to register. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 9am-12pm
GUIDED NATURE WALK/LOCAL HISTORY
Old mills are historic buildings built into the natural and economic structure of communities. You can learn about an early mill operation that once powered a thriving woolen mill, on this walk along the East Branch of the Housatonic River. Dennis Regan, from the Housatonic Valley Association, will run this program. Wear sturdy footwear and bring a drink and snack for this approximately 3 hour, 3 mile hike. Call 413-394-9796 to register. Meet at the Old Mill Trail along the Housatonic River at the junction of Old Dalton Road. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 9:30am-12:30pm
DENDROLOGY/GEOLOGY
What do rocks and trees have to do with each other? Find out on a three mile hike of Mount Holyoke. You will learn how rocks affect trees, and how you can tell by looking at the trees what kind of rocks you might find near them. This program is appropriate for ages twelve and up. Please bring water, bug spray, and sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Meet at the Notch Visitor Center of Mount Holyoke Range State Park.. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 9am-2pm
ECOLOGY/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Rivers are everywhere, and the best way to learn about local rivers is to visit them, walk along the edge, and dive in whenever possible. At the 3rd Annual Watershed Blitz you will have the opportunity to learn from river specialists, naturalists, and other river steward as you explore segments of the Westfield river. For event details, register with Meredyth Babcock, 413-623-2070. West Branch Westfield River. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 10am-11am
LOCAL HISTORY/THEATER
The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield is an historic and world-class structure. This theatre, movie house, and National Historic Treasure was built in 1903, later restored and reopened in 2006. Learn more about a gilded age building and the role it has played in the culture of Pittsfield on this one hour tour. Call 413-448-8084 ext.31 to register. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 10am-12pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Let your imagination run wild at the Berkshire Museum’s Imagination Playground™, an innovative design in play equipment that encourages creativity, communication, and collaboration in play. Unstructured, child-directed play has proven to help kids develop physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. Imagination Playground™ provides a changing array of elements that allow children to turn their playground into a space constantly built and rebuilt by their imagination. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7). Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adults; <$ Children under 18; Members and children under 3 FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 10am-1pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE
You can learn a great deal about natural history and ecology through careful observation of bodies of water. You can participate in a hike which will begin at Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center and continue through Notchview Reservation and Windsor Jambs State Forest. Along the way, participants will learn about ecology through observation of the drowned lands watershed, streams and beaver pond. Call 413-522-1505 to register. Windsor, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 10am-2pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Do you like hiking? Exploring a new trail is easier and more fun with the help of a guide. You are invited to check out trails in East Leverett under the guidance of presenter Nancy Goodman. Participants will walk along the Doolittle Brook between Shutesbury and Teawaddle Hill Roads. Register and pay on the Greenfield Community College website. Call 413-775-1661 for details. Leverett, MA. (<$)

Saturday, September 17, 10am-4pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Hawks are migrating birds. In autumn, thousands can be seen traveling overhead in our region, especially from good viewing sites such as mountains. You are invited to celebrate the annual hawk migration at Mount Tom, one of the best hawk watching and monitoring areas in New England. The celebration will also include shows with birds of prey. Attendees will learn about rehabilitation efforts for hawks and eagles from North America and beyond. Children’s activities will include games, face masks, and coloring. Mt Tom State Reservation Visitor Center and Playground. 125 Reservation Road. Holyoke MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Smithsonian Week at the Springfield Museums kicks off with a day of free admission! There will also be special programs including the History on the Move Car Show with vintage automobiles, music, and family activities. Learn about local history through the lens of automobiles in the Wood Museum of Springfield History. From 11am-1pm there will be guest speakers from the Smithsonian and the National Air and Space Museum, as well as a member of the Mars Rover Team. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/ZOOLOGY
Do your kids love animals? You can help nurture your child’s love of animals into a love of scientific learning. Youth ages three to six are invited to animal focused “Kidleidoscope” programs at Great Falls Discovery Center. Siblings and friends are welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will learn about bears, who share our home in the Connecticut River. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 10:30am-12pm
LOCAL HISTORY/FIBER ARTS
What does the city of Holyoke have in common with weaving? Holyoke was originally intended to be a textile manufacturing city. Families with children ages 7 and older (siblings welcome) are invited to Holyoke Heritage State Park to learn about that history and the basics of how cloth is woven. Participants will be able to engage in hands-on learning, weaving their own colorful cloths. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 11am
ENTOMOLOGY/BEEKEEPING
Beekeeping is an educational hobby which can also be a vital part of a sustainable living lifestyle. This is the last session of a summer-long beekeeping workshop sponsored by Just Roots and led by Daniel Berry. The information in this workshop is not entirely cumulative. Even if you have not attended previous sessions you are welcome to attend. This workshop has a pay-what-you-can policy, with the goal of achieving a $10 donation on average, per person, at each workshop. Bee suits will be provided. Register at the Just Roots website. 413-325-8969. Just Roots Farm. 34 Glenbrook Drive, Greenfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, September 17, 11am
NATURE STUDIES/FOLIAGE
New England is a beautiful place to spend autumn, as the leaves change colors. But why exactly do they change colors? This Young Scientists’ Club meeting at the Gaylord Memorial Library will begin with a reading of the book Why Do Leaves Change Colors, followed by hands on learning about trees and climate. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 11am, 12pm and 1pm
LIVING HISTORY/THEATER
Join Enchanted Circle Theater and The Trustees at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead for a unique living history experience! A Fiery and Still Voice: William Cullen Bryant at Home is a site-based history play where past and present converge to bring the Homestead to life! This is a play about love, passion and social justice. The audience will travel through several rooms in the house as well as outdoors. Tickets are limited, so be sure to reserve in advance. 413-532-1631. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 17, 11am-4pm
PLACEMAKING
Celebrate the beginning of the 2016 school year by gathering together with other families. The Jackson Street School PTO is hosting a carnival, open to all, with tons of games and activities. Games will include Plinko, Ball Drop, String Pull, Bean Bag Toss, and more. There will be food available for purchase and all proceeds will benefit the Jackson Street School PTO to fund field trips, visiting artists, supplies, and enrichment throughout the year. 120 Jackson Street. Northampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, September 17, 11am-10pm
FILM STUDIES
Local film festivals connect viewers with the filmmakers and emerging trends in cinematography. Smith College’s “Outfest on the Road” festival will feature award-winning documentaries, feature length films, and short film programs. On September 17, you can screen documentaries and shorts, and attend a panel discussion. Programs take place at the at the Academy of Music Theatre and Smith College. Check the Academy of Music Theater website for a full schedule. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 12pm-5pm
LOCAL FOOD CULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Want to vote on the best local chili? Go to Chilifest at Mike’s Maze to enjoy varieties of spicy local food, and live music. You can also enjoy the 8-acre corn maze! The 2016 maze design, “See America,” celebrates 100 years of the National Park Service. This event can connect you to cooks, farmers, and local families. 413-665-8331. 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA (Adults $; Children <$)

Saturday, September 17, 12:30pm-3:30pm
LITERACY/WRITING
Western Massachusetts is home to authors of many genres, including novelists, nonfiction writers, poets, and children’s book authors. The Springfield City Library will be bringing many of them together, at the Cental Library location, for its annual Author Fair. Call 13-263-6828 ext 221 for more information. Visit the library website for a full list of the authors who will be in attendance. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 1pm-2pm
LOCAL HISTORY/GUIDED HIKE
The 1930s were a time of significant building for wilderness parks, when the government created many spaces for public recreation. You can learn about this national trend on a local level, by participating in a guided hike at Mt. Greylock. Meet on the summit in front of Bascom Lodge where Jude Stull, from the Massachusetts Department. of Conservation and Recreation and Peter Dudek, from Bascom Lodge, will discuss the natural habitat and historic structures. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 1pm-2pm
LITERACY
Children’s books are more than just a resource for teaching kids how to read and to love learning. These books often contain positive lessons and themes to help children grow into kind, considerate people. The Greenfield Public Library and the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice invite you to celebrate International Peace Day with children’s books. Presenters will read aloud from both fiction and nonfiction concerning a range of subjects: world peace, empathy, friendship, tolerance, community, and our place in the natural environment. LeVanway Meeting Room. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 1pm-2pm
NATURE STUDIES/HYDROLOGY
Did you know that an interest in the Connecticut River could lead you to learning about biology, law, engineering, and hydrology? The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s Executive Director, Andrew Fisk will be exploring these topics at Great Falls Discovery Center. He will talk about ways to improve the river and watershed. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 1pm-6pm
ENTOMOLOGY/CATERPILLARS
Families are invited to the Hitchcock Center for an afternoon of learning about caterpillars. Come to the Caterpillar Lab from 1pm-4pm to see a collection of butterfly and moth caterpillars and learn about their life cycles. Then, at 4pm, you can become a citizen scientist by helping to tag monarchs before they head south. Attend one or both programs. 413-256-6006. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY
The village of Roberts Meadow, founded in 1770 in the northwest corner of Northampton, was once a vibrant community of farms, small businesses, a one-room schoolhouse and a dozen or more homes. Only two of the homes remain, the others marked only by old cellar holes, dug wells, and stone walls. Join John Clapp at Historic Northampton for a talk about his forthcoming book The Lost Village of Roberts Meadow, focusing on the rise and fall of its wool and leather industries. John was raised and later worked on his family’s farm, which dates to 1828. He has also been a self-employed builder and contractor. Since retiring in 2013, he has run the Starlight Llama solar-powered bed and breakfast, dividing his free time between hiking and writing. The Lost Village of Roberts Meadow is his second book. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 2pm-2:45pm
LITERACY/POETRY
Do you or your children enjoy writing poetry? By sharing your interest in writing with your child, you will each benefit from mutual inspiration. This writing workshop for children and adults at the Emily Dickinson Museum will provide writing prompts related to Emily Dickinson and her poetry. This program will take place in the garden at the museum. 413-542-2947. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (Adults $; 17 and under FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 3pm-3:30pm
ZOOLOGY
What can you learn from the bones of an animal? Find out at the “Speaking with Skulls” program where you will examine the skulls of species which thrive in our local habitat. This program is approximately 20 minutes long and appropriate for all ages. Meet at the Notch Visitor Center of Mount Holyoke Range State Park.. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 3pm-5pm
MUSIC STUDIES
What is it like to be a professional musician? You can get a glimpse into the artistic life by attending this discussion, “Conversation with Pianists Boris Berman and Henry Kramer,” at Smith College. This informal and wide-ranging conversation will cover topics related to the life of a pianist. Earle Recital Hall, Sage Hall. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 3pm-5pm
FIBER ARTS/NEEDLE FELTING
Fiber arts are an ancient tradition, and a relaxing hobby for those who enjoy working with their hands. By learning how to needle felt now, you will be able to use this skill for gifting or decorating in the winter holiday season. Needle felting sisters Jennifer and Melissa from Going Gnome will be at the Bushnell-Sage Library teaching participants how to make a Snowy Owl. Registration is required. Class size is limited. Call 413-229-7004. 48 S Main Street. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 4pm
LITERACY/WRITING
Author talks allow writers to connect directly to their audiences. Readers can ask questions about the writing process, or the content of the book itself. Dave Fromm is author of The Duration, a new novel set in the Berkshires. He will be discussing this book in a presentation at the Stockbridge Library. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 7pm
POETRY/PLACEMAKING
Learning about the historic figures who once resided in a town can enlighten citizens and instill in them a greater connection to place. For those who live in and around Amherst, Massachusetts, learning about the history of Amherst through a lense of historic poetry can do exactly that. The Amherst Poetry Fest and Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon continues on September 17th with poetry workshops offered at Amherst Regional High School, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and UMass Amherst during the day. Then, from 7-8:30pm, a poetry reading featuring the participants from that day’s workshops will take place on the Emily Dickinson Museum grounds. Visit the Emily Dickinson Museum website for a full schedule of events to take place September 15th-17th. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 17, 7:30pm
THEATER
The Northampton Playwrights Lab Presents their second annual festival of readings of new plays performed by local professional actors. Play By Play 2016 will feature new plays and performance pieces by playwrights Meryl Cohn, Mojie Crigler, Harley Erdman, Leanna James Blackwell, Tanyss Rhea Martula, and Eric Henry Sander. This festival offers audiences the chance to see contemporary theatrical work written, produced, and performed by local artists. On September 17, you can see WHERE’S ANNIE? by Eric Henry Sanders. An early arrival is recommended. Seating is limited and there are no reservations. All performances will be held at the A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($10 SUGGESTED DONATION)

Saturday, September 17, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES
Multi-instrumentalist musician and composer Tyshawn Sorey is celebrated in part for his ability to blend composition and improvisation. He will be performing highly complex music alongside pianist Cory Smythe and bassist Chris Tordini, at Amherst College. This performance is part of the Music at Amherst Parallels Series 2016. Purchase tickets at the Amherst College website. 413- 542-2000. Amherst, MA. ($)

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of 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 9 years of archived shows.

Sunday, September 18
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/GUIDED NATURE WALKS
This September and October, Housatonic Heritage will be offering several opportunities to learn about local history, natural history, infrastructure, architecture, ecology, and more! Paddling trips, self-guided tours, and craft projects will allow people of all ages to connect with their community through a greater sense of place. Visit the Housatonic Heritage website for more information. Registration is required. Email berkshires@massaudubon.org or call 413-637-0320. Lenox and Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 6am-10pm
POETRY/PLACEMAKING
Learning about the historic figures who once resided in a town can enlighten citizens and instill in them a greater connection to place. For those who live in and around Amherst, Massachusetts, learning about the history of Amherst through a lense of historic poetry can do exactly that. At the Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon, volunteers will read all 1,789 of Dickinson’s poems through a community-wide volunteer effort. Poetry workshops will also take place. Check the Emily Dickinson Museum website for details. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 9:30-11:30am
NATURAL HISTORY/PADDLING
The practice of racing dragon boats, which are traditionally wooden boats powered by rowing, originated in China more than 2500 years ago. You can learn about this ancient cultural history while you take in the natural history of the Connecticut River at this interactive Historic Northampton event. Betsy Powell, founder of Paradise City Dragon Boat, will begin the outing with a paddling lesson. Naturalist Laurie Sanders will share information about the environmental and human history of the area. All equipment provided. No prior paddling experience necessary. Contact lsanders@historicnorthampton.org to register and obtain directions. Hadley, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, September 18, 10am
ORNITHOLOGY/OWLS
Do your kids enjoy watching or identifying birds? You and your children can learn about the owl species that inhabit our region, then play detective and figure out what an owl ate! This program is broken into two 20 minute segments. Feel free to come for either or both. This program is appropriate for ages eight and up. Meet at the Notch Visitor Center of Mount Holyoke Range State Park.. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 10am
JEWISH CULTURE/APPLE PICKING
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year. The biblical name is Yom Teruah, which is sometimes translated as the “Feast of Trumpets.” You can celebrate Rosh Hashanah with a feast of apples! Families with young children are invited to pick their own apples at Park Hill Orchard. Picking your own apples connects children with where their food comes from, forging a stronger connection with place and making healthy food fun! Email amy@abundancefarm.org with questions. Park Hill Orchard. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA. (FREE except cost of apples)

Sunday, September 18, 11am-12pm
FILM STUDIES
Local film festivals connect viewers with the filmmakers and emerging trends in cinematography. Smith College’s “Outfest on the Road” festival will feature award-winning documentaries, feature length films, and short film programs. The festival concludes on September 18 with a screening of MAJOR!, a film about Black transgender activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy. Check the Academy of Music Theatrewebsite for a full schedule. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 11am-1pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Hawks are migrating birds. In autumn, thousands can be seen traveling overhead in our region, especially from good viewing sites such as mountains. U.S. Forest Service Biologist Dave Kingwill be teaching people about migration of hawks, eagles, falcons, vultures and other birds from tue spectacular viewpoint of Mount Holyoke Range. Bring binoculars and learn how to identify different raptor species. Space is limited and registration is required by emailing office@kestreltrust.org. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 11am-5pm
FOOD FESTIVAL/BREAD
Lammas Day, the festival of the wheat harvest, celebrates the August harvest with fresh loaves of bread. CISA’s 13th annual Wonder Not Bread Festival is a celebration of Lammas Day hosted by Hungry Ghost Bread. There will be vendors and performers. CISA will also unveil their new Persephone mural by artist Emma Kholmann. Email somehungryghost@yahoo.com to RSVP or ask questions. 62 State Street. Northampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Sunday, September 18, 12pm-3pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/PLACEMAKING
Enjoy a community meal with your neighbors courtesy of the Florence Civic Association. The meal options will include chicken, potato, corn on the cob, salad, ice cream and brownie for dessert. Community meals encourage neighbors to meet and socialize, and strengthen a sense of place. Florence Civic Center. 90 Park Street. Florence, MA. ($)

Sunday, September 18, 1pm-2pm
STORY WALK
You and your family can celebrate fall with a StoryWalk all about apples! Dawn Marvin Ward will lead this StoryWalk of Apples A-z at New Salem Preserves. Dress appropriately (closed toe, comfortable shoes; long pants) for adventure in the fields. StoryWalks offer a unique reading experience combined with exercise, fresh air, and socializing. Apply and bring sun/insect repellent for seasonal bugs. Contact the Community Network for Children office to register 978-544-5157. 67 South Main Street. New Salem, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 2pm
LAWN CONCERT/PLACEMAKING
Placemaking is a practice and a philosophy. It is an approach to both the creation and use of public spaces, aiming to promote the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Lawn concerts are one type of event which supports placemaking, by drawing people together and strengthening a connection to neighbors via community spaces. The North Adams Music Series will be running through October 16, with free live music every Sunday. Check the Levitt Foundation website for a schedule of musicians. On September 18th, rock trio Brooklyn-based folk collective M Shanghai will perform. Colgrove Park. 151 Kemp Avenue. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 2pm
FILM STUDIES
Leonard Nimoy, best known for playing Spock on Star Trek, was born in Massachusetts to Jewish immigrant parents. The 2016 film, For the Love of Spock, explores the life of Leonard Nimoy and his role of Spock. You can screen this film at the Yiddish Book Center. Learn about both Jewish culture and an important figure with ties to Massachusetts. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE).

Sunday, September 18, 2pm-4pm
GUIDED NATURE WALK/ZOOLOGY
Spending time outdoors can connect us with our senses as we watch and listen to animals, and take in the smells and sensations of being in nature. Animals, too, use their senses to find food and survive. Kids ages six and up, and their caregivers, are invited to a guided hike to learn about local animals and their survival techniques. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This hike is about 2 ½ miles long, and covers easy terrain. Please bring water, bug spray, and sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Meet at the Notch Visitor Center of Mount Holyoke Range State Park.. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 2pm-4pm
AUTOMOTIVE
Car and transportation shows teach people about automotive technology. The presence of vintage cars provides insight into technological history. In commemoration of Eastern States Exposition’s centennial, you can attend a car show at Eastern States Exposition with collector cars from the 1900s to present. There will be commentary and interviews with car experts. Check the Eastern States Exposition website for full pricing details. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (Fair admission: $ – $$)

Sunday, September 18, 2pm-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY/FOOD HISTORY
The Bisbee Mill Museum is a three-story 19th-century reconstructed grist mill, with a blacksmith shop, woodworking shop, and a small museum area. The museum houses hundreds of historic artifacts, from a circa-1835 horse drawn hearse to old woodworking tools. Come to the museum on August 21st or September 18th and witness demonstrations, such as corn grinding demonstrations, with historic tools. 66 East Street. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 3pm
POETRY
Poetry readings bring you the very best of local contemporary writing. The jubilat/Jones Reading Series is an 18 year old tradition of collaboration between the Jones Library and the poetry magazine, jubilat. This year, in conjunction with the Amherst Poetry Festival you can hear poetry read by Rosmarie Waldrop and Lynn Xu. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 3pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHAMBER MUSIC
It’s September, and that means a return of free musical performances at Smith College which are open to the public. Pianist Boris Berman Berman, head of the Piano Department at the Yale School of Music, will perform both books of Claude Debussy’s enchanting and ground-breaking Preludes. Add some breathtaking music to your Sunday afternoon. Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 3:30pm
STORYTELLING
In the English language, we often use weaving metaphors to describe storytelling. Storytellers spin a yarn, weave a tale, or thread ideas together. Stories, like fabric, can keep us feeling warm and safe. Storytelling is a useful skill for imparting lessons and family histories. The town of Easthampton will be keeping the art of storytelling alive with a community storytelling session. Stories should be around 5 minutes or less and are told without reading. Adults, and children who listen like adults, are welcome. There will be an optional practice session on September 17 at 11:15-12:45. Park Hill Orchard. 82 Park Hill Road. To be a storyteller call 413-203-5247. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 18, 3:30pm-5pm
YOGA/MINDFULNESS
Yoga practices often coincide with mindfulness meditation, making the hobby a holistic wellness practice focused on both mind and body. You are invited to Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center for a guided hike, followed by yoga and meditation. The exercise and time spend in nature during the hike will likely strengthen and deepen your yoga practice. Some yoga mats will be available; however, it is best to bring your own. Bring water and wear loose, comfortable clothing. In case of rain, classes will be held indoors. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. ($)

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

The Celtic Heels School of Dance is opening a new location in Florence this September and invite you to come try their classes for FREE between September 19-30.

Monday, September 19, 10am-11am
GUIDED HIKE/NATURAL HISTORY
A love of the outdoors can inspire an interest in local history, as naturalists learn about history through the changing landscape of forests, parks, mountains, and trails. People ages twelve and up are invited to a guided hike to learn how forests in Massachusetts changed since European colonization, and how they continue to change. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Notch Visitor Center of Mount Holyoke Range State Park.. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 19, 11am-12pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE/DENDROLOGY
New England is a beautiful place to spend autumn, as the leaves change colors. But why exactly do they change colors? You can learn about all of the changes trees are undergoing as they prepare for winter on a 1.5 mile hike at Skinner State Park. Ages 10 and up. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet on the summit house deck. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 19, 12:30pm-2pm
CULINARY ARTS
Cookbook Club at the Storrs Library gives people the chance to share their cooking, and discuss their experiences. To join in on the culinary learning, stop by the library and pick up a copy of this month’s cookbook selection, Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi. Choose a recipe to prepare, and bring it to the meeting for a book discussion and a meal. Registration is required and space is limited. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 19, 2pm
ART STUDIES
The Clark Art Institute invites persons with dimentia and their caregivers to a free gallery talk! Groups are welcome as well as pairs. The Clark, which is both an art museum and a center for research and education, is closed on Mondays, providing a safe and private atmosphere for this tour. Specially trained docents will guide participants in an open-ended conversation about art. Through this program, docents seek to encourage self-expression and a positive social experience for people with dementia and the people who love and care for them. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 19, 5:30-7:30pm
STEM/PROGRAMMING
Knowledge of computer programming opens up all kinds of doors- from web building, to video game creation, to the creation of mobile apps. At this Holyoke Codes event, participants will learn to build mobile apps with Swift. Swift is an intuitive programming language for macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS. This program is best suited for ages twelve and up. 413- 552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 21, 6:30pm
HEALTH/WELLNESS
Want more opportunities for healthy eating and active living? If you live in Blandford, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Russell or Worthington, join your neighbors on Monday Sept. 19 and Wednesday Sept. 21 to think outside the box about finding solutions for a healthier Hilltown region. Hosted by Healthy Hampshire, Hilltown CDC and the Hilltown Community Health Center. Share You Input: Monday, Sept. 19, 6:30-8:30, Gateway High School OR Cummington Community House. Hear Expert Recommendations: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6:30-8:30, Gateway High School. Dinner and childcare provided! For more information: cmarquis@collaborative.org, 413-588-5562 or visit http://tinyurl.com/HealthierHilltowns.

Monday, September 19, 6:30pm
MEDITATION
More and more people are beginning to appreciate the vast healing benefits meditation can have on mental and physical well being. Even short meditations can help sharpen focus throughout the day. You can learn basic meditation techniques at a three-session meditation workshop led by Longmeadow resident Amy Appell. Her sessions at the Storrs Library will cover topics such as relaxation, decision making, and inner peace. Sessions two and three will take place on October 17 and November 14. Register on the Storrs library website or by calling 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Tuesday, September 20, 9am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
You don’t have to venture far into the woods to learn about birds. Birds are everywhere! Individuals and families with children ages 6 and older are invited to Holyoke Heritage State Park for a guided walk wherein attendees will look for, and identify, various birds. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet in front of the visitors’ center. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 20, 9:30am-12pm
GEOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Throughout Mount Holyoke there is geological evidence about the natural history of the Pioneer Valley. Nature enthusiasts ages twelve and up are invited on a guided hike to observe these pieces of history and learn how the shape of the Pioneer Valley came to be what it is today. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This hike is approximately 2.5 miles over moderate to steep terrain. Bring water, bug spray, and sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Meet at the summit house deck at Skinner State Park. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 20, 1pm-1:30pm
ZOOLOGY
What can you learn from the bones of an animal? Find out at the “Speaking with Skulls” program where you will examine the skulls of species which thrive in our local habitat. This program is appropriate for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the summit house picnic area next to the kiosk. Skinner State Park. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 20, 2pm-3pm
GUIDED NATURE WALK
Walking in the woods is a relaxing and mind-clearing exercise. With a guide, you can add education to this healthy activity. People of all ages are invited to Wild Woods Walk at Mount Holyoke Range State Park.. A park interpreter will teach you about the plants and animals that call the park home. You will learn how to recognize some of them by sight and sound. Meet at the Notch Visitor Center. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 20, 3pm-4pm
LIFELONG LEARNING
Public libraries can be great resources for job searching, resume writing, and career readiness skills. This Sunderland Public Library job seeking workshop for adults will give participants interviewing tips. For more lifelong learning and career readiness resources, check out our post, Lifelong Learning Resources in Western MA. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 20, 3pm-4:30pm
GUIDED NATURE WALK
Spending time outdoors can connect us with our senses as we watch and listen to animals, and take in the smells and sensations of being in nature. Animals, too, use their senses to find food and to survive. Kids ages six and up, and their caregivers, are invited to a guided hike to learn about local animals and their survival techniques. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This hike is about 1 ½ miles long, and covers easy terrain. Please bring water, bug spray, and sunscreen, and wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Meet in the halfway area at Skinner State Park. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 20, 6:30pm-7:30pm
LITERACY/WRITING
As part of a series of events showcasing local authors, the Sixteen Acres Branch of the Springfield City Library will host Patricia Martin, author of The Other Couch: Discovering Women’s Wisdom in Therapy, for a book discussion and signing. Martin herself is a therapist. She is knowledgeable on topics such as abusive relationships, cheating spouses, addicted children, death of loved ones, transgender issues, and more. Refreshments will follow the book signing. Those interested in psychology and writing should find this a great opportunity to attend and ask questions. 413-263-6828. 1187 Parker Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 20, 6:30pm-8pm
WELLNESS
A good night of sleep is essential for learning, emotional regulation, and creative problem solving. But people of all ages have trouble sleeping sometimes, and it can be a chronic issue. Lynne Ann Paterson will be running this workshop, Natural Strategies for Satisfying Sleep, at River Valley Co Op. Learn tips on falling asleep more easily. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

The Celtic Heels School of Dance is opening a new location in Florence this September and invite you to come try their classes for FREE between September 19-30.

Wednesday, September 21, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Do you love to watch birds? Can you name some of the species that are frequently found visiting backyard birdfeeders? Would you like to know more, or to simply enjoy some time connecting to nature? Bird watching is a wonderful way to get outdoors early in the morning while the world is especially peaceful. Jonathan Pierce, caretaker of the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, will run this weekly bird walk for adults. Learn new bird species as you explore the sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 21, 12:30pm
ART STUDIES
Art history can teach us about enduring cultural symbols. In Western nude art, a spring, pond, tree, or mountain, is often envisioned as a young woman not yet tied down by marriage or family. These types of paintings draw connections between human culture and the natural world. Learn more by attending this lunchtime lecture at the Clark Art Institute lead by Williams College art professor Guy Hedreen. Free with museum admission. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($; Members, children 18 and younger)

Wednesday, September 21, 1pm-2:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Photographs are primary source historical documents, providing insight into past landscapes, architecture, fashion, and much more. “Through the Lens- Longmeadow 100 Years Ago” is an in-progress, interactive photo/map project about Longmeadow in the early 20th century. You can help make it a reality! The Longmeadow Historical Society is seeking participants to contribute to the project. If you have an iPad or laptop, please bring it to this session at the Storrs Library. Bringing a device is not required. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 21, 5pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHAMBER MUSIC
It’s September, and that means a return of free lectures, discussions, and performances at the five colleges. Arne Duncan’s lecture, “What I’ve Learned From Children,” will discuss his career as U.S. Secretary of Education. Duncan is a managing partner at the Palo Alto–based education group Emerson Collective. This lecture is part of the 2016-17 Presidential Colloquium Series. Smith College Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 21, 5:15pm-6:15pm
YOGA/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The Norman Rockwell Museum
is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life. The museum offers the opportunity to learn about art history as well as biographical information on Rockwell himself. On Wednesdays through September 28th, adults can visit the museum and take a yoga class with the price of admission. Kripalu certified yoga instructor Kathi Hatch will teach this class which is appropriate for all skill levels. The program is free for Museum members, or included with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 MA-183. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 FREE)

Wednesday, September 21, 5:30pm-7pm
ZOOLOGY/ECOLOGY
Beavers have a remarkable impact on their habitat, as other animals are attracted to the ponds beavers create. Beavers help keep drinking water safe and increase biodiversity. Come to Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to learn more about their habits and the history of beavers in North America. Beavers have spent 7 million years in this region, and many reintroduction efforts have taken place to improve declining beaver populations.This event is suitable for children three to twelve years old and their caregivers. Dress for the outdoors. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, September 21, 6:30pm
HEALTH/WELLNESS
Want more opportunities for healthy eating and active living? If you live in Blandford, Chester, Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Russell or Worthington, join your neighbors on Monday Sept. 19 and Wednesday Sept. 21 to think outside the box about finding solutions for a healthier Hilltown region. Hosted by Healthy Hampshire, Hilltown CDC and the Hilltown Community Health Center. Share You Input: Monday, Sept. 19, 6:30-8:30, Gateway High School OR Cummington Community House. Hear Expert Recommendations: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6:30-8:30, Gateway High School. Dinner and childcare provided! For more information: cmarquis@collaborative.org, 413-588-5562 or visit http://tinyurl.com/HealthierHilltowns.

Wednesday, September 21, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/LGBTQ
Narratives are an educational tool which elicit empathy and understanding. The 2015 documentary From This Day Forward tells the story of a family as they handle a father’s transition as a transgender person. Screening this film at Amherst Cinema could help individuals and families understand transgender perspectives through a personal narrative. 413- 253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Thursday, September 22, 6:45 am and 6pm
ASTRONOMY
Fall is here! The autumnal equinox, the first full day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, is a good time to learn about astronomical concepts such as the seasonal positions of the Earth, Sun and Moon. You are invited to view sunrise and sunset from the standing stones of the UMass Amherst Sunwheel. A UMass Amherst astronomer will be present discussing the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, phases of the moon, building of the Sunwheel, and other calendar sites such as the Karnak Temple in Egypt, Stonehenge in the U.K, Chichen Itza in Mexico, and Chankillo in Peru.The UMass Sunwheel is located south of McGuirk Alumni Stadium, just off Rocky Hill Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 22, 8:45am-3pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/CITIZEN SCIENCE
Do you enjoy spending time outdoors, and like learning about water ecology? Adults and self-directed teens are invited to assist with freshwater mussel research. You will learn about how the drought affects local animals, plants, and the overall brook. Connecticut River Watershed Council leaders will demonstrate freshwater mussel identification and survey techniques. Contact Andy Fisk at afisk@ctriver.org to register and obtain directions. Volunteers have the options of snorkeling and/or wading during the surveys. If planning to snorkel please bring a wet-suit. Snorkeling is recommended only for those that are strong swimmers and comfortable in the water. Bring water shoes, waders, a towel, a lunch, sunblock, and insect repellent. Otis, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Thursday, September 22, 12:15pm-1pm
ART STUDIES/ART HISTORY
Letter writing is a fascinating and mostly “lost” art in the digital, modern realm. Written correspondence provides primary source documentation which is useful in biographical research. Mary Savig, Curator of Manuscripts at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, will be giving a lecture on letters at the Springfield Museums. Her lecture will focus on the expressive nature of handwriting, something that is lost in digital messages. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, September 22, 5pm-7pm
LOCAL HISTORY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Once a year the Turners Falls canal is drained so that it can be maintained for hydroelectric power generation. This is a good time to learn about the canal. You can participate in a guided walk with local historian Ed Gregory, DCR’s Janel Nockleby, and Northfield Mountain’s Kim Noyes, and learn about the industrial history along the Canalside Rail Trail. Wear walking shoes and meet at the entrance of the Great Falls Discovery Center for a two mile walk on flat terrain. Call 800-859-2960 to register. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 22, 5:30pm-7pm
YOGA
Yantra yoga is a yoga practice that is over a thousand years old. It originated in Tibet and has made its way West, impacting yoga practices across the globe. Martina Kacurova will be teaching a Yantra yoga class every Thursday through November 3rd. Beginners are welcome to this course from the Shang Shung Institue of America. 413-369-4928. Classes take place at the Upstairs Studio. 25 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Thursday, September 22, 6pm
STEM/MAKERSPACE
3D printers are an exciting and relatively new resource for engineering and manufacturing. Arthur and Peter Evans will be providing individual and group instruction on how to print 3D objects in this makerspace workshop at the Westhampton Public Library. Beginners are welcome. The workshop will also will include robotics. Recommended for ages 7-17, but open to all. To register, call the library at 413-527-5386 with your name, age, and telephone or email . 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 22, 7pm
LITERACY
Poetry is a highly open-ended artistic medium. Poets can write in strict formats such as sonnets, or they can forego meter altogether. There is even a form of poetry called “prose poetry” which utilizes prose and sometimes narrative elements. Attending author talks is one way to become familiar with the frequently shifting trends and many forms of modern poetry. Jennifer Barber is the author of three books of poetry: Rigging the Wind, Given Away, and her new, Works on Paper. She will be reading from her work at Blodgett House, at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. 413-644-4400. 84 Alford Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 22, 7:30pm
THEATER
The Northampton Playwrights Lab Presents their second annual festival of readings of new plays performed by local professional actors. Play By Play 2016 will feature new plays and performance pieces by playwrights Meryl Cohn, Mojie Crigler, Harley Erdman, Leanna James Blackwell, Tanyss Rhea Martula, and Eric Henry Sander. This festival offers audiences the chance to see contemporary theatrical work written, produced, and performed by local artists. On September 22, you can see NAKED WITH FRUIT by Meryl Cohn. An early arrival is recommended. Seating is limited and there are no reservations. All performances will be held at the A.P.E. Gallery, 126 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($10 SUGGESTED DONATION)

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups

Friday, September 23, all day
LITERACY
Getting the whole family involved in reading together can make for a more fun learning experience for the kids. Children age 6 to 10 and their caregivers, parents, grandparents, or foster parents are invited to participate in a reading discussion series at the Meekins Library. The six 90-minute sessions will take place each Saturday at 1 PM from October 15 through November 19. Sessions will include storytelling, singing, reading aloud from picture books, and an introduction to library services. People who would like to take part are asked to sign up by September 23, by calling the Library at 413-268-7472 or stopping by the circulation desk. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
You can bird watch year-round, but Spring and Fall are the best times to learn about migrating birds. Participants will learn to identify newly arrived wood-warblers during this guided nature walk. Wood-warblers are small, but many of them are bright and colorful, making them relatively easy to spot. Learn about local ecology while enjoying a walk around the Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. Come each week to observe changes in bird species. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 8:45am-3pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/CITIZEN SCIENCE
Do you enjoy spending time outdoors, and like learning about water ecology? Adults and self-directed teens are invited to assist with freshwater mussel research. You will learn about how the drought affects local animals, plants, and the overall brook. Connecticut River Watershed Council leaders will demonstrate freshwater mussel identification and survey techniques. Contact Andy Fisk at afisk@ctriver.org to register and obtain directions. Volunteers have the options of snorkeling and/or wading during the surveys. If planning to snorkel please bring a wet-suit. Snorkeling is recommended only for those that are strong swimmers and comfortable in the water. Bring water shoes, waders, a towel, a lunch, sunblock, and insect repellent. Otis, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Friday, September 23, 9am-4pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Fans of public libraries know the joy of sharing knowledge in the form of free, borrowed books. Sometimes, though, it can be nice to own a book. You may want to lend it to friends, annotate it, or read it again years later. You can purchase books, and other items, while still supporting your public library. Come to the North Adams Public Library Book Sale and search through paper and hardback books, books on CD, DVDs, children’s books, and religious books, all moderately priced. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Friday, September 23, 10am-11am
NATURE STUDIES
Your children between the ages of three to six can learn about biology, ecology, and animal studies through interactive programs at weekly “Kidleidoscope” programs at Mount Holyoke Range State Park. Through a story, an art project, and activity, kids will learn about local plants and animals. Meet at the Notch Visitor Center. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURAL HISTORY/LOCAL HISTORY
Get out in nature while learning about the industrial history of your community! Individuals and families with children ages 8 and older (siblings welcome) are invited to tour Holyoke’s upper and second level canals. In this walk you will learn about the canals’ history, how they were built, how they were harnessed to power paper and textile mills, and how they are used today. Meet at the Visitor Center at Holyoke Heritage State Park. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 12:15pm
LOCAL HISTORY/LIBRARY SCIENCE
Learning about the history of your town can strengthen your connection to place, as you situate local history within a wider national context. The Amherst Historical Society and Museum’s History Bites Lunchtime Lecture Series teach attendees about the historically impactful events which have taken place in Amherst and surrounding towns. On September 23, Bonnie Isman will deliver the lecture, “Amherst College and the Birth of the Dewey Decimal System.” Simeon Strong House. 67 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 1pm-4pm
ART STUDIES
You can learn about art history through the perspectives of several experts at the symposium: “Whose Nudes? Painting, Collecting, Displaying the Body in Early Modern Europe.” Open to the public, this series of talks at the Clark Art Institute is perfect for lifelong learners who want to become more knowledgeable on the topic of early modern European paintings. This program is free with the cost of museum admission and is held in conjunction with the Clark’s exhibition, Splendor, Myth and Vision: Nudes from the Prado. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($; Members, 18 and younger, students with valid ID FREE)

Friday, September 23, 1:30pm-7:30pm
ART STUDIES/CONTEMPORARY
Visual art exhibitions connect people to their community through the work of local artists, and teach community members about the work of contemporary visual artists. You can see work from multiple artists at the Good Purpose Gallery opening of a new exhibition. This exhibition will feature the work of artists from the Richmond West Stockbridge Artists Guild. See contemporary work done in various mediums including fiber art, photographs, watercolors, oil and acrylic paintings, encaustics, collages, mixed media, stained glass, ceramics and sculpture. 413-394-5045. 40 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 2pm-3pm
GUIDED NATURE WALK
Walking in the woods is a relaxing and mind-clearing exercise. With a guide, you can add education to this healthy activity. People of all ages are invited to Wild Woods Walk at Mount Holyoke Range State Park.. A park interpreter will teach you about the plants and animals that call the park home. You will learn how to recognize some of them by sight and sound. Meet at the Notch Visitor Center. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 2pm-3:30pm
COMEDY/HISTORY
Much has been said about the philosophy behind comedy and what makes something funny. Carol Burnett famously stated, “comedy is tragedy plus time.” But what we consider funny, and the kind of humor which appears in media, differs over time and across cultures. You can learn about the history of comedy at the Berkshire Museum series, “A Serious Look at 20th Century Comedy.” Fridays through October 28 (no session October 7), learn about the impact of silent film, radio, and early television through video clips, photos, illustrations and discussion. Drop-ins welcome, no registration required. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Route 7. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

Friday, September 23, 3pm
ART STUDIES
For amateurs and professionals alike, art can be a form of healing. A new exhibition, “An Artist’s Life: Healing Through Art,” will explore this concept through the work of Colrain artist Robin Lynn Brooks. Brooks uses multiple artistic mediums including painting, pastel, concrete, sculpture and more. This exhibition will open at The Geissler Gallery in Stoneleigh-Burnham School, and is open to the public. 413-774- 2711. 574 Bernardston Road. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 3pm-3:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Aerial tramways, which transport people up mountains, were an exciting and possibly frightening invention when they were new. Riding one for the first time can be somewhat intimidating, especially for those who are unfamiliar with how they work. People ages twelve and up, and their caregivers, are invited to Skinner State Park to learn about the history of the tramway and the mix of feelings of 19th century visitors had when riding it. Meet at the summit house. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 3pm-7:30pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
The Belchertown Fair will celebrate its 159th year with traditional activities such as a giant pumpkin contest, exhibit halls, photo booths and live music! There will be plenty of entertainment for people of all ages. Each day, kids can drop by the Farmer For A Day activity area and learn about agriculture in hands on ways. Check the Belchertown Fair website for a full schedule of activities on September 23, 24, and 25. Park Street and Main Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE admission)

Friday, September 23, 4pm-6pm
INTERGENERATIONAL MUSIC
Singing releases both endorphins and oxytocin, leaving the singer more relaxed. Oxytocin also causes a feeling of bonding with others. Combine singing with a sense of community and you are bound to experience a strong sense of belonging. The Sunderland Public Library is hosting a community sing, for all ages and abilities. Participants will sing
Oldies, new music, seasonal songs, folk, pop, traditional, and personal requests. 413- 665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 6pm-9pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/FUNDRAISER
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, or CISA, is a 20-year-old non profit organization working to support farms and farmers and in doing so, community. You can support CISA and enjoy a dinner of locally sourced food, at their “Taste The View” fundraiser and auction. Purchase tickets on the CISA website. The dinner will take place atQuonquont Farm. 413-665-7100. 9 North Street. Whately, MA. ($$$)

Friday, September 23, 7pm
PARENTING
The Hartsbrook School is pleased to welcome Kim John Payne, family counselor & internationally acclaimed author of Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. In defense of the extraordinary power of less, Kim John Payne helps to reclaim the space & freedom we all need. This simplifying path allows kids’ individuality to shine & their attention to flourish. The Simplicity Parenting approach is based on over 30 years’ experience of successfully supporting busy families. For those who want to balance their children’s lives but don’t know where to start, Simplicity Parenting offers both inspiration & a blueprint for change. 413-586-1908. 193 Bay Rd, Hadley, MA ($)

Friday, September 23, 7pm
THEATER/PLACEMAKING
Local, original theater performances can connect community members with each other and with local spaces. Double Edge Theater’s show, The Springfield Spectacular, is a large-scale outdoor performance showcasing youth performers from Springfield Conservatory of the Arts Public School. The performance in Forest Park will incorporate music, and explore many aspects of Latin American culture. 413-787-6440. 200 Trafton Road. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 23, 8pm
FAMILY FILM/PLACEMAKING
Movies in the park are an iconic and memorable part of the summer. You and your family can see the 2016 animated film, Zootopia (rated PG), outdoors in Beacon Field. The storyline of this entertaining kids’ movie also serves as a metaphor for prejudice in our society. Older kids and adults may benefit from discussing the film’s themes. Families can also make a day of it by attending a Zootopia themed event at the swim area prior to the screening. 413-772-1553. 101 Sanderson Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Colrain, Cummington, Deerfield, Goshen, Hadley, Heath, New Salem, Plainfield, Shelburne, Southampton, Sunderland, Westhampton and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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1 Comment

  1. homeshuling said,

    September 17, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Sunday, Sept 18 apple picking has been postponed until Sept 25 because of weather —

    Like


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