Suggested Events for November 26th – December 2nd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“As a creative mama, Hilltown Families has opened up a whole world of wondrous adventures for our family. Keep up the great work…it is so very appreciated.” – Abbe Laine Schiowitz (Shutesbury, 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

Nov 25

CT Trolley Museum presents Winterfest 2016 and “The Tunnel of Lights” beginning Friday, November 25. Whether you ride a closed car or brave the cold to ride the open “electric sleigh,” they promise you a good time and one that you’ll remember for years. Join your motormen in singing traditional Christmas carols as the trolley makes its way through the “Tunnel of Lights.” When you return, head inside the Visitors Center which has been transformed into a Winter Wonderland complete with model trains, decorations galore and you can even buy a delicious cup of hot cocoa to sip as you enjoy the entertainment. Additionally, meet and pose for a picture with Santa and he will also have a gift for each child.

Nov 25

The New England Air Museum will hold its annual Santa Claus Visit & Behind the Scenes Tours special event on Friday, November 25, the day after Thanksgiving. Santa Claus will meet with kids in a Sikorsky helicopter between 11am-3pm. Photos are encouraged and Santa will distribute a special gift to each child. Families will also have the opportunity to create holiday cards for members of the U.S. military. Additional family fun activities include hands-on Build & Fly Challenges, Aircraft Quest Scavenger Hunts, and computerized Flight Simulators. The museum will also offer special “Behind the Scenes” tours of the Restoration Facility that day, giving visitors a rare opportunity to take a close-up look at current aircraft restoration projects.

Open House: Dec 7

Montessori Middle School Information Session. What’s different about a Montessori middle school? Would it be a good fit for my adolescent? Come learn the answers to these and other questions on Wednesday, December 7 from 4-5pm at the Montessori School of Northampton, 51 Bates Street, Northampton. Corey Hadden, Middle School Teacher, and Laura Frogameni, Director of Admissions, will discuss adolescent development and how the Montessori middle school curriculum supports the student aged 12-14 at this critical point in their development through challenging academics, a focus on exploring identity and purpose, and opportunities to contribute to the larger community. For more information: northamptonmontessori.org or 413-586-4538.

Dec 2

PJ Library and Shabbat Shabloom invite you to Shababa in Northampton, a musical celebration of Jewish life with puppets, play, and love! This joyful event will feature Karina Zilberman from the 92St Y in New York and is for children ages 0-5 and their grownups. Shababa in Northampton is free and open to everyone and will take place on Friday, December 2 from 9-10am in the auditorium at Lander Grinspoon Academy at 257 Prospect Street in Northampton, MA. Questions? Contact Amy Meltzer, Director of Family Engagement at 413-584-6622 or ameltzer@landergrinspoon.org.

Open House: Dec 3

Saturday, Dec. 3rd: The Center School Admissions Open House, 10am-2pm. The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire & Franklin counties. Please come explore the school on Saturday, Dec. 3rd for an Admissions Open House. Classrooms will be open and staff will be on hand with innovative projects planned for kids of all ages. Current parents and students will be in attendance to answer questions and share about the school. Light refreshments will be available for purchase. The Center School has been offering rigorous education for deep thinkers and creative spirits for 35 years and is currently accepting applications for all ages, for fall of 2017. centerschool.net

Dec 3

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity hosts the fifth annual Gingerbread Build on Saturday, December 3rd from 1-4pm at the Eastworks Building in Easthampton. Join them for a family-friendly afternoon filled with frosting and fun! Gingerbread and icing will be provided — bring any decorations you want to build your inspired creation to be entered into one of their whimsical prize categories! Fundraise online and register your team of up to four by making a minimum donation of $100. For more information or questions about registration, call 413-586-5430 or email mariah@pvhabitat.org. Thank you for helping to provide decent, affordable homes for qualified families in the Pioneer Valley.

Dec 3

Winter Fair at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School. As an alternative to traditional holiday buying, the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School will host a fair on Saturday, December 3 from 10am-3pm at 1 Industrial Parkway in Easthampton. Visitors will have the opportunity to make a variety of crafts including fairy houses, wreaths, gingerbread people, tote bags and more. Concurrently with craft-making will be the annual Scholastic Book Fair, special performances by the Student Chorus, a bake sale and a raffle. All proceeds from the event support the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School library and educational programs. For more information, contact Deirdre Arthen at 413-529–7178 or visit www.hilltowncharter.org.

Dec 5

Looking for a warm and welcoming school? Consider Lander-Grinspoon Academy (LGA) in Northampton. Join the entire LGA community on Monday, December 5 at 8:20am to sing, celebrating the end of Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, and see students perform. Can’t make the 8:20am start time? Feel free to show up at 8:45am for a school tour. LGA is committed to the intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual development of its students. Its emphasis on community, culture, social justice, encourages students of all ages to become independent thinkers, as well as caring and responsible citizens of the world. LGA is now accepting applications for grades K-6. For more information contact GLansky@LanderGrinspoon.org.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
November 26th – December 2nd, 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, November 26, 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. Eric Herman gets downright happy in this show featuring songs that celebrate feeling good about yourself and about life, and being positive and grateful. 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, November 26, 10am-2pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Local rivers can serve as sources of beauty, recreation, and education. Exploring rivers can teach you about local biology and natural history. You can help support this learning by participating in a clean up of the East Branch of the Westfield River. Bring gloves, shovels and clippers. Participants will meet at the Chesterfield Gorge parking area. Call 413 623-2070 to register. West Chesterfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, November 26, 10am-4pm
GLASSBLOWING
Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s that glassblowing was raised to the level of art. This weekend families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glass blower in the glass studio. This program is suitable for ages eight and up. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Road. Williamsburg, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 26, 10am-5pm
PLACEMAKING
November 26th, 2016 is Small Business Saturday! Do some of your holiday shopping at small businesses as a way of supporting your community. Small businesses allow citizens to connect directly with business owners in an exchange of goods and ideas which is not always possible at a large-scale chain business. Dance and More will be hosting an Ugly Sweater Party to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Customers wearing ugly sweaters will receive a 25% discount on their entire purchase that day. 56 Cottage Street. Easthampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, November 26, 1pm and 2:30pm
THEATER/PICTURE BOOKS
Families who love Eric Carle’s artwork have the chance to see some of them brought to life by Picture Book Theater! The group will be performing The Very Quiet Cricket and The Lamb and The Butterfly, at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Each family will receive a copy of Carle’s The Very Quiet Cricket during the show. Older kids and parents will be able to think about how the theater troupe interpreted and performed their adaptation of a heavily visual story. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, November 26, 3pm, 5pm and 7pm
LOCOMOTIVE
This holiday season you can ride the brand new Christmas themed train ride, The Tinseler. This one hour trip from Berkshire Scenic Railway will emulate Christmas in 1955 – the year the railway’s Budd Rail Diesel Car was built. Celebrate the holiday season with family fun and some historical learning. 10 Willow Creek Road. Lenox, MA. (Adult $; child under 4 FREE)

Saturday, November 26, 5pm-9pm
CHRISTMAS/LOCOMOTIVE
Kick off the holiday season with a ride at the Connecticut Trolley Museum! This winter, the museum will feature a “Tunnel of Lights,” Christmas themed ride. You can choose to ride in a closed car the “electric sleigh.” There will be traditional Christmas carols and a Winter Wonderland full of decorated model trains. Families can enjoy hot cocoa and kids can pose for a picture with Santa. Visit the Connecticut Trolley Museum website for more information. 860-627-6540. 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT. (<$; under two FREE)

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Sunday November 27, 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, November 27, 9:30am
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Get some exercise with your family as you explore the Chesterfield Gorge! You can participate in a 5k trail run at 9:30, or a free walk at 11am. The well-marked course travels along the East Branch of the Westfield River. Support the Hilltown Land Trust by participating in a raffle for prizes, and enjoy hot cocoa and a community potluck. Please bring a food item to share with the community. Runners must register on runreg.com. Walkers can just show up. For information call The Trustees at 413-628-4485 ext 4 or email hltoutreach@thetrustees.org. West Chesterfield, MA. (Advance $; Day of $$; Children 9 and under FREE)

Sunday, November 27, 10am-2pm
CRAFT FAIR
Buying locally made gifts not only supports a thriving creative community, but allows you to give your loved ones something unique! The Whately Library craft fair will include items such as
honey and beeswax candles, hand-carved wooden toys, locally fresh wreaths and decorations, wooden gift, upcycled cashmere accessories, porcelain pottery, maple products, and homemade fudge. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Sunday, November 27, 10am-4pm
GLASSBLOWING
Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s that glassblowing was raised to the level of art. This weekend families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glass blower in the glass studio. This program is suitable for ages eight and up. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Road. Williamsburg, MA. ($$)

Sunday, November 27, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
LOCOMOTIVE
This holiday season you can ride the brand new Christmas themed train ride, The Tinseler. This one hour trip from Berkshire Scenic Railway will emulate Christmas in 1955 – the year the railway’s Budd Rail Diesel Car was built. Celebrate the holiday season with family fun and some historical learning. 10 Willow Creek Road. Lenox, MA. (Adult $; child under 4 FREE)

Sunday, November 27, 5pm-9pm
CHRISTMAS/LOCOMOTIVE
Kick off the holiday season with a ride at the Connecticut Trolley Museum! This winter, the museum will feature a “Tunnel of Lights,” Christmas themed ride. You can choose to ride in a closed car the “electric sleigh.” There will be traditional Christmas carols and a Winter Wonderland full of decorated model trains. Families can enjoy hot cocoa and kids can pose for a picture with Santa. Visit the Connecticut Trolley Museum website for more information. 860-627-6540. 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT. (<$; under two FREE)

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday, November 29, 2pm-6pm
BIKE REPAIR
Learning to tune up and repair your own bike can save you time and money while teaching you about engineering and problem solving. Bring your bike or just your questions to Make It Springfield, and have your repairs taken care of by RadSpringfield. Stop in anytime during these drop in hours. All ages are welcome. There is a suggested donation up to twenty five dollars or more, depending on the repair. You can also bring by your old, unused bikes to donate. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (DONATION)

Monday, November 29, 5:30pm-7:30pm
STEM/PROGRAMMING
Video game creation is one of the most exciting fields in computer programming today. In this Holyoke Codes workshop, participants will learn about Unity, a highly popular and powerful game development platform. Ages eleven and up are invited to learn how to create both 2D and 3D games. No experience with Unity is required for this workshop. 413- 552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Monday, November 28, 5:45pm-7:30pm
PARENTING/COMMUNITY MEAL
Parents can benefit immensely from tips and advice when given in a supportive, discussion-friendly environment. Parents and kids of all kinds are invited to Dinner on Us at the Amherst Family Center. This Positive Parenting session will cover the topic: “How to Encourage Cooperation” Supervised children’s activities occur during the entire session. A roundtable discussion begins at 6:15. Registration is required. 413-545-0865. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Monday, November 28, 6:30pm-7:30pm

YOGA/INTERGENERATIONAL

Yoga practice has lots of benefits, from improving strength and flexibility, to decreasing pain and stress. Thus, the activity can be helpful for people of all ages. You and your family can try yoga together at the West Springfield Public Library’s Family Yoga class. Children must be at least five years old. Please register by calling or visiting the library. 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, November 28, 7pm-9pm
CLIMATE CHANGE/ACTIVISM
Want to get involved with local and national climate change issues? Join Climate Action Now MA. Their monthly meetings educate participants and plan active resistance to environmental issues affecting areas of Massachusetts. This meeting, attendees will discuss legislative actions such as carbon pollution pricing, as well as food justice and sustainable farming. The meeting will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 29, 10am-11am
LITERACY
Reading and comprehension of language are essential skills for functioning; these skills also open up a world of enjoyment through reading for pleasure. Parents can do a lot to encourage literacy in their children. Talking, singing, playing and reading with your child all build early reading skills. This program from the Collaborative for Educational Services will teach parents of children ages birth to five years fun activities to encourage literacy. Registration is required through the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information, call the Collaborative at 413-586-4900. This program will take place at the Easthampton Family Center. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, November 29, 3:30pm-4:30pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY
LEGOs are a great children’s toy, especially the simpler sets which encourage a child’s creativity. Playing with LEGOs can help children build their fine motor skills as well as their understanding of physical concepts. Entire families can play LEGOs together at the Meekins Library. All ages are welcome. Participants ages five and under must be accompanied by an adult. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, November 29, 5:15pm-7pm
SPANISH
Learning a second language is a fun and exciting challenge for the brain. Fluency in more than one language opens up career opportunities, as well as the ability to converse easily with a greater number of people, both at home and when traveling. Spanish is a highly useful language to know. You can learn to read, write, and speak in Spanish by attending weekly, drop in classes through Make It Springfield. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Tuesday, November 29, 6pm-8pm
PARENTING/NEUROSCIENCE
Parenting is a subject interwoven with psychology, biology, and neuroscience. The blue brain project is an initiative to create a digital reconstruction of the brain. You can learn about this project, neuroscience in general, and how neuroscience affects our understanding of parenting. This presentation is part of an ongoing series for caregivers by the Hilltown Community Health Center. Childcare will be provided. Call 413-667-2203 ext. 311 to register. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, November 29, 6:30pm-8pm
VETERINARY SCIENCE
It’s common knowledge that taking care of a pet is a responsibility. What kind of care do cats need? Present and future cat owners are invited to learn what the latest scientific research has to say about optimal cat care. Kery Ellis will lead this workshop, “How To Be The Best Cat Guardian Ever,” at River Valley Co Op. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, November 29, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/IMMIGRATION
Film screenings can put films in context, through presentation and discussion. This screening of the 2016 documentary Fuocommare (Fire at Sea) will be introduced by Anna Botta, Professor of Italian Studies and of Comparative Literature at Smith College. The film explores daily life on Lampedusa, an Italian island. This depiction provides insight into the more general topic of the European migrant crisis. The screening will take place at Smith College’s Graham Auditorium. Hillyer. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, November 29, 7pm-8:30pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/CHEMISTRY
Some make-your-own holiday gift ideas are educational as well as creative. Learn the science behind soap making at this workshop at the Westhampton Public Library. Participants will learn about cold process soap making, safety precautions, the use of fragrances and more. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wednesday, November 30, 5:30pm
STEM
Academic careers such as research jobs often require long hours and sacrifices. In this talk at Bay Path University, Dr. Belfort will discuss some of her major research discoveries (including the molecular genetics of mobile elements in microbes) as well as the personal challenge of balancing work and life. Dr. Belfort has conducted STEM research on three continents while raising three sons. Mills Theater. Carr Hall. 588 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, November 30, 5:45pm-7:15pm
MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS
What is meditation? Wikipedia defines meditation as, “a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.” Mindfulness is something you can practice at any time, in any place. Still, if you don’t know anything about how to meditate or practice mindfulness, you may want to find guidance and support. You can learn to cultivate a meditation practice by attending this session at Make It Springfield. Please bring your own pillow. All ages are welcome. 168 Worthington Street. Springfield, MA. (DONATION)

Wednesday, November 30, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/SILENT FILM
Images Cinema in Williamstown is a historic theater, converted a former Williams College fraternity house in 1916. The cinema will be exploring the 1910s and 1920s era of silent film through this showing of silent film accompanied by live music. Donal Sosin will provide accompaniment to the 1923 film, Safety Last, directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor. 50 Spring Street. 413-458-5612. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

Wednesday, November 30, 7:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ
Jazz is a musical genres with many sub genres. One element which separates jazz from many (but not all) other types of music is that it involves improvisation. “Big band jazz” refers to an era of jazz which took place primarily during the 1930s and 1940s, though big band style compositions are still written and performed today. The Smith College Jazz Ensemble brings you an evening of big band music ranging from classic to contemporary compositions. All ages are welcome. Earle Recital Hall. Sage Hall.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 10:30am-11:30am
PARENTING/CULTURAL STUDIES
Early childhood is the best time to introduce languages to your child. As part of their Puzzle of Parenting series, the Collaborative for Educational Services is providing a bilingual story, music, and games session for families. Participants will engage their children with both English and Spanish, and learn about Spanish and Latin American culture. This could be a great way to connect your child to their own heritage, or to introduce other cultures for a more global understanding. This program is intended for children ages birth to five years, and their caregivers. Register on the Collaborative for Educational Services website. For more information, call the Collaborative at 413-586-4900. This session will take place at the Palmer/Monson Family Network. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 1, 12:15pm
LITERATURE/HISTORY
Studying Shakespeare opens one up to earning about literature, etymology, history, theatre, poetry and more. This performance, “Shakescene I,” will dive into some of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories and sonnets, through performance. Actor Stephen Collins will will represent these works through an exciting show at the Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, December 1, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES
What do you know about contemporary Native American music? Native Americans are often victims of stereotyping, such that you may have be misinformed about Native American culture. In his book, Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music, author and musician Craig Harris draws on interviews with musicians, producers, and ethnographers to relay the cultural story of Native American musical traditions. He will be bringing his knowledge of Native infused rock, jazz, reggae, country music, blues, hip-hip, and electronic dance music to this presentation at the Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 1, 7:30pm
THEATER
The Ruby Prize winning play Merit explores the the experience of women of color in academia. The play depicts Mona, the only black student in a prestigious graduate fiction program in Vermont. The play is written by Lenelle Moïse, a Smith College graduate from the class of 2004 and the 2017 Lucille Geier Lakes Writer-in-Residence at Smith College. All are welcome to see this play performed by the Smith College Theater Department, directed by Lenelle Moïse. Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre at Smith College. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 1, 7:30pm
THEATER/MUSICAL
The 2011 musical Once is the winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. This inspiring play tells the story of a street musician who is about to give up on his dream when a young woman takes interest in his songs. This performance of Once will take place at the Fine Arts Center at UMass Amherst Concert Hall. 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday, December 2, 9am-10am
JEWISH CULTURE/MUSIC STUDIES
PJ Library and Shabbat Shabloom invite you to Shababa in Northampton, a musical celebration of Jewish life with puppets, play, and love! This joyful event will feature Karina Zilberman from the 92St Y in New York and is for children ages 0-5 and their grownups. Shababa in Northampton is free and open to everyone and will take place in the auditorium at Lander Grinspoon Academy. Questions? Contact Amy Meltzer, Director of Family Engagement at 413-584-6622 or ameltzer@landergrinspoon.org. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 2, 10am-11am
TECHNOLOGY
New technologies can be both exciting and frustrating. You can bring your mobile devices, including smart phones, tablets, eReaders, and even digital cameras, to Device Help Hour at the West Springfield Public Library for discussion and troubleshooting. 413-736-4561. 200 Park Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 2, 10am-12pm
PARENTING
A child’s self-esteem affects their behavior, their emotions, and their decision making. You can learn ways to boost your child’s self esteem at this parenting program, “Children’s Self-Esteem – How to Build It,” presented by Maryann Walsh. This presentation is part of an ongoing series for caregivers by the Hilltown Community Health Center. Childcare will be provided. Call 413-667-2203 ext. 311 to register. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 2, 10:15am
ART STUDIES
It can be difficult for parents with infants to get out of the house! The Clark Art Institute invites new parents and their infants to the permanent collection for a guided talk. This informal event welcomes parents of pre-toddlers. Strollers and front-style baby carriers are permitted. New Parents Gallery Talks continue on select Fridays through May. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 2, 11:30am-1:30pm
ICE SKATING
One benefit to homeschooling your children is that the schedule can sometimes allow greater flexibility for your child to explore their interests during school hours. The Mullins Center at UMass Amherst invites homeschooling families to skate at discounted prices. All children school age and younger are invited. Adults must be accompanied by children. Parents receive free admission and skate rental when accompanying children. Cash only. Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Friday, December 2, 12pm-5pm
ART STUDIES
“Open studio” days at Cottage Street Studios allow community members to meet local artists, see their work, and possibly purchase local art. Over a dozen artists will open their doors on December 2-4, and December 10. This is also a holiday gift buying option! Give your relatives a one-of-a-kind, hand made work of art this year. 413-658-8406. 1 Cottage Street. Easthampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Friday, December 2, 12:15pm
LOCAL HISTORY/RELIGIOUS HISTORY
A lot can be learned about culture and history through the lens of specific religious practices. Even within a particular religious denomination, traditional religious rituals change over time. This Amherst Historical Society lunchtime lecture will feature Peter Thomas, church historian. He will discuss Second Parish Congregational Church in Deerfield in the 19th Century, their philosophy and practices. 413-256-0678. Strong House, 67 Amity Street. Amherst. (FREE)

Friday, December 2, 5pm-9pm
CHRISTMAS/LOCOMOTIVE
Kick off the holiday season with a ride at the Connecticut Trolley Museum! This winter, the museum will feature a “Tunnel of Lights,” Christmas themed ride. You can choose to ride in a closed car the “electric sleigh.” There will be traditional Christmas carols and a Winter Wonderland full of decorated model trains. Families can enjoy hot cocoa and kids can pose for a picture with Santa. Visit the Connecticut Trolley Museum website for more information. 860-627-6540. 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT. (<$; under two FREE)

Friday, December 2, 6pm-8pm
DANCE/CULTURAL STUDIES
Circle Dance at the West Cummington Parish House draws upon the traditional dances of many different cultures. Sacred Circle Dance was founded by the members of Findhorn Community in Scotland. The dances have a range of pace and style, but no experience is necessary. Every dance will be explained and demonstrated, so this is a great opportunity to learn something new while getting exercise and meeting new people. Call 413 634-0132 for more information. 27 West Main Street. West Cummington, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, December 2, 6:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
The first weekend in December Williamstown kicks off their holiday celebration with the Williamstown Holiday Walk. Friday evening, you can bring your kids to enjoy family friendly music from award-winner and popular children’s music artist Mister G. at the Clark Art Institute. Mister G is a former teacher with a Masters of Education, and won the 2015 Latin Grammy award for Best Children’s Album! He will be performing original songs as well as holiday classics. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (Adult $$; Child <$)

Friday, December 2, 7:30pm-9:30pm
ASTRONOMY
An interest in studying astronomy can develop from an interest in mathematical calculation, or a simple appreciation for the beauty of the sky. Families can share their interest in astronomy with one another by attending a Stars Over Springfield night at the Springfield Museums. These programs are are best suited for families with children ages 8 and older, however younger children are also welcome. If it is cloudy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of telescope viewing. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Friday, December 2, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHAMBER MUSIC
Kick off your weekend with a night of string chamber music. The Jupiter String Quartet consists of violinists Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel and cellist Daniel McDonough. They have been playing music together for fourteen years and established themselves as an important group in the realm of chamber music. They perform with violist James Dunham. Tickets may be reserved by calling 413-542-2195. Buckley Recital Hall. Arms Music Center at Amherst College. Amherst, MA. ($$; Students with ID $)

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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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