Suggested Events for December 3rd – 9th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Suggest Event

“Hilltown Families has been our family go-to place to know what’s going on in the community and find the fun… Most recently we had a chance to start listening to the radio show for children. We played the Hanukah show over and over and [they] BOTH loved it. As did I. Thank you so much!” – Liz Friedman (Northampton, MA)

“Hilltown Families has been our family go-to place to know what’s going on in the community and find the fun… Most recently we had a chance to start listening to the radio show for children. We played the Hanukah show over and over and [they] BOTH loved it. As did I. Thank you so much!” – Liz Friedman (Northampton, MA)

If 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.

Bulletin Board

Dec 4 & 17

Save the Date! This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to this one showing event on Sunday, December 4th at 3pm at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, and Saturday, December 17th at 7pm at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $8-$18. Information can be found at www.ACelticNutcracker.com

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.

 Local Organic Christmas Trees! Justamere Tree Farm in Worthington, MA, has cut your own and pre-cut Christmas trees available Friday, Saturday, & Sunday after Thanksgiving, and weekends in December. Come by the farm between the hours of 9am-4pm to select your very own locally grown Christmas Tree. Their gift shop, in the post and beam barn, will feature their very own artisanal maple products for sale. Also, handcrafted wreaths and swags made on the farm are available. Experience a wonderful destination and a beautiful drive into the Hilltowns, creating a new tradition with your family. Visit them at www.justameretreefarm.com/trees for more information & directions or email them at welch@justameretreefarm.com.

Dec 9-11

Welcome Yule celebrates the return of light with an annual family show of music, dance, song and story to drive the dark away. The show is set in the mythical village with villagers and animals singing of the coming of winter and rebirth of spring as Fox and Rooster chase through the countryside. Songs of animals join the wassails, carols, puppets, horn dance, mummers play, and the passing of the yule log. Friday & Saturday Dec. 9 and 10, 7:30pm & Sunday Dec. 11, 2pm. Shea Theater, Turners Falls. Tickets $12 adults, $10 seniors and children 5-16 years. Tickets at Jones Library in Amherst, Broadside Books in Northampton, World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield, online, or at the door. For more information and reservations, visit welcomeyule.org.

Dec 11

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Admissions Open House for interested families on Sunday, December 11, with presentations beginning at 1pm. Meet students, teachers, and current parents, and get a feel for their creative and rigorous academic program and warm community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

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.

Dec 9-11

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, and then travel to the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Featuring guest artists from Carolina Ballet, Festival Ballet, Mari Meade Dance Collective. Live on stage December 9 – 11 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.ticketlfy.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 3rd – December 9th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an EventCultural 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, December 3rd, 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. 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. This week, we’ve gathered nine holiday episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show from over the years to share with your family as we celebrate the season. Enjoy these hour long, commercial-free podcasts that celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, the New Year and the spirit of peace and giving. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 3, 10am-12-pm
SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE
The Center School is a preschool through 8th grade progressive school, serving Hampshire & Franklin counties. 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. www.centerschool.net Greenfield, MA. (FREE).

Saturday, December 3, 8:30am and 10:30am
COMMUNITY MEAL/CHRISTMAS
Westfield State University’s 33rd annual Breakfast With Santa event combines a community meal with entertainment, giving, and pictures with Santa! Proceeds from the event will support various charities including local senior citizen home visits, the New England Pediatric Trauma Institute and the Paul Newman “Hole in the Wall Gang” organization, which sponsors terminally ill children for summer camp. Admission includes face painting and a gift for each child. Entertainment will be provided by the Melha clowns from Shriners Hospital. Connect with your community while engaging in cultural traditions, and supporting local charities! The event will be held in Scanlon Banquet Hall. 413-572-5300. 577 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, December 3, 9am-7pm
PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY STROLL
The 32nd Annual Williamstown Holiday Walk offers families opportunities to learn, engage in crafts, get some exercise, socialize, shop, listen to local music, and more. The community tag sale offers an alternative, collaborative gift buying opportunity. There will be carols and community meals, with the event culminating in the evening tree lighting ceremony. Visit the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce website for a full schedule of events. Downtown. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 3, 10am-12pm
PLACEMAKING/WAGON RIDES
Introduce your children to Santa in person this year! Santa will be arriving at Atkins Farms Country Market by wagon and wagon rides with Santa will be available! Children ages eight and under ride free with an adult. Adults are also invited to donate a non-perishable food item or unwrapped toy to receive a free ride. These donations will go to the Amherst Survival Center Food Pantry and Brightside for Families and Children Toy Drive. 413-253-9528. 1150 West Street. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, December 3, 10am-1pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/HOLIDAY SWAP
 The 10th annual Hill Town Hob Nob will be held at the Village Church.  Come hob nob with your neighbors at this community holiday gift re-exchange. It can even help you clean out your closets and save money. Come with gift quality items that you already have but do not need, are not using, or just plain don’t want. Books, toys, games, music, art gadgets, clothing, etc. are welcome. They don’t have to perfect or in a box, you just have to know that they could make a great gift for someone else. They will be displayed for others to choose as a gift that they would like to give for the holidays. And of course, while you are there, pick out anything that you might like to give as a gift. All items are given and taken freely. Please feel welcome to bring a small plate of goodies to share if you like. Hot cider and good company will be served.  If you have any questions or want to leave items for re-giving in advance email thestormcrows@yahoo.com to make arrangements. Main St. Cummington, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 3, 10am-3pm
CHRISTMAS/COLLECTIVE CONSUMPTION
As an alternative to traditional holiday buying, the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School will host a Winter Fair 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. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 3, 10am-4pm
CHRISTMAS
Teach your children about giving this holiday season by contributing to a toy drive. The 5th annual Christmas Tree and Wreath Festival at Palmer Historical and Cultural Center will provide this opportunity. Bring an unwrapped toy for the Lions Club of Palmer Toy Drive and you will receive one raffle ticket. The festival, taking place December 3-4 and 10-11, will feature musical entertainment, activities for kids and of course, trees and wreaths for raffle. On December 4, be sure to see Santa at the Three Rivers Common from 4-6 pm after visiting the festival. 413-289-9295. 2072 Main Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 3, 10:30am-12pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CAROLS
Christmas music lovers are invited to the Berkshire Athenaeum for a free performance of holiday and winter themed music performed by the Berkshire Music School. Singing along is encouraged! No registration required. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 3, 1-4pm
PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY/COMMUNITY SERVICE
Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity hosts the fifth annual Gingerbread Build  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. Help to provide decent, affordable homes for qualified families in the Pioneer Valley. Easthampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 3, 11am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY
“Yuletide” at Storrowton Village Museum offers families a chance to celebrate the winter season and holidays with activities, entertainment and shopping in the historic Village. Gather inspiration from the village’s decorations. There will be lectures and live music. Demonstrations will provide the opportunity to learn about blacksmithing, ice sculpting, and 19th century crafts. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (<$; children under six FREE)

Saturday, December 3, 11am-6pm
PLACEMAKING/TREE LIGHTING
The Holyoke tree lighting ceremony will include a full day of events for families. Parents of young children who want to meet Santa should arrive early for pictures at City Hall, from 11am-1pm. Then hay rides will take place, followed by the arrival of Santa by train at 3pm and the tree lighting at 6pm. Visit the Holyoke town website for more details. 536 Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 3, 1pm-4pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Creative crafts, sweet treats, and generosity are three important components of the holiday season. This fundraiser for Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity will have all three! All ages are welcome to the Gingerbread Build at Eastworks. Gingerbread and icing will be provided. You are also welcome to bring any of your own decorations. Please register online prior to the event. For more information or questions about registration, call 413-586-5430 or email amy@pvhabitat.org. 116 Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, December 3, 1pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm
HOLIDAY
 Add a dose of history to your holiday celebrating! The historic William Cullen Bryant Homestead will be decorated for an old-fashioned hilltown Christmas celebration, complete with carolers in the parlor, a lighting of the Christmas tree, holiday treats, and an artisan gift shop. Christmas themed celebrations will take place December 3 and 4, and December 10 and 11. For information call The Trustees at 413-628-4485 x3 or email acaluori@thetrustees.org.. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (Members <$; Non members $; Children FREE)

Saturday, December 3, 1:30pm-2:30pm
ART STUDIES/HOLIDAY
Do you look forward to the enchanting appearance of your town covered in snow? You might enjoy exploring the exhibition, Norman Rockwell’s Spirit of the Holidays, at the Norman Rockwell Museum. In conjunction with this exhibition, the museum is hosting holiday themed family programming which will include painting demonstrations, a musical performance by Mary Jo Maichak, a Christmas train display, and festive treats! All programs are free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Saturday, December 3, 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, December 3, 4pm
PLACEMAKING/TREE LIGHTING
Kick off the holiday season with your family at the Whately Library’s 2nd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. There will be music, hot chocolate, candy canes and homemade baked goods. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 3, 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)

Saturday, December 3, 7:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHRISTMAS
 Do you enjoy hymns and Christmas music? Come be a part of the Hilltown Choral Society’s Christmas Concert as the group celebrates their 60th year! The Choral Society will be singing under the direction of Jeffrey Hunt, at the First Congregational Church of Williamsburg. You have two chances to see them, on December 3 and December 4. 413-268-7557. 4 North Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (DONATION)

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Sunday, December 4th, 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 December 4, 3pm
This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker blends the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. The event takes place at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Information can be found at www.ACelticNutcracker.com. Great Barrington. ($)

Sunday, December 4, 8am-11:30am
COMMUNITY MEAL
Bring your kids to breakfast with Santa! Breakfast will include pancakes, eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, coffee, juice and more. Join Santa and other families at the Berkshire Lodge of Masons. 63 Center Street. Adams, MA. (<$)

Sunday, December 4, 10am-3pm
CHRISTMAS
Teach your children about giving this holiday season by contributing to a toy drive. The 5th annual Christmas Tree and Wreath Festival at Palmer Historical and Cultural Center will provide this opportunity. Bring an unwrapped toy for the Lions Club of Palmer Toy Drive and you will receive one raffle ticket. The festival, taking place December 3-4 and 10-11, will feature musical entertainment, activities for kids and of course, trees and wreaths for raffle. On December 4, be sure to see Santa at the Three Rivers Common from 4-6 pm after visiting the festival. 413-289-9295. 2072 Main Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 4, 11am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY
“Yuletide” at Storrowton Village Museum offers families a chance to celebrate the winter season and holidays with activities, entertainment and shopping in the historic Village. Gather inspiration from the village’s decorations. There will be lectures and live music. Demonstrations will provide the opportunity to learn about blacksmithing, ice sculpting, and 19th century crafts. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (<$; children under six FREE)

Sunday, December 4, 1pm-4pm
HOLIDAY
 Add a dose of history to your holiday celebrating! The historic William Cullen Bryant Homestead will be decorated for an old-fashioned hilltown Christmas celebration, complete with carolers in the parlor, a lighting of the Christmas tree, holiday treats, and an artisan gift shop. Christmas themed celebrations will take place December 3 and 4, and December 10 and 11. For information call The Trustees at 413-628-4485 x3 or email acaluori@thetrustees.org.. 207 Bryant Road. Cummington, MA. (Members <$; Non members $; Children FREE)

Saturday, December 4, 1:30pm-2:30pm
ART STUDIES/HOLIDAY
Do you look forward to the enchanting appearance of your town covered in snow? You might enjoy exploring the exhibition, Norman Rockwell’s Spirit of the Holidays, at the Norman Rockwell Museum. In conjunction with this exhibition, the museum is hosting holiday themed family programming which will include the opportunity to create your own holiday gifts in the form of stockings and ornaments. All programs are free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$. Under 5 and museum members FREE)

Sunday, December 4, 4pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CHRISTMAS
 Do you enjoy hymns and Christmas music? Come be a part of the Hilltown Choral Society’s Christmas Concert as the group celebrates their 60th year! The Choral Society will be singing under the direction of Jeffrey Hunt, at the First Congregational Church of Williamsburg. You have two chances to see them, on December 3 and December 4. 413-268-7557. 4 North Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (DONATION)

Sunday, December 4, 4pm and 7:30pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CAROLING
The holiday season is never complete without singing! This year, the annual Amherst College celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Christmas Vespers. Families are invited to participate in lessons and carols, culminating in traditional carols and the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah to be performed with the congregation, the community, and various choral groups from Amherst College. The event will take place in Johnson Chapel. 413-542-5000. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 4, 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)

Sunday, December 4, 6pm
PLACEMAKING/TREE LIGHTING
Bring your kids to see Santa in Lenox Dale! Santa will arrive by fire engine at Veterans Memorial Park at the intersection of Walker and Crystal Streets for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Following the lighting, Santa will greet children at the Fire Station on Elm Street where gifts and refreshments will be distributed. Take a photo of your child with Santa and see your friends and neighbors. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 4, 6pm-9pm
PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY
Want to give back to your community this year? Visit Millside Park for the 4th Annual Easthampton Holiday Whobalation! Participants are asked to bring a new, unwrapped to to be donated. Toys will be distributed to low income families in the Pioneer Valley by the Easthampton Community Center. There will be live music, caroling, and free hot chocolate. 2 Ferry Street. Easthampton, MA. (DONATION)

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Monday, December 5th, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, December 5, 8:20am or 8:45am
SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE
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. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.

Tuesday, December 6, 7pm-8:30pm
CRAFTS/WREATH MAKING
Wreaths, decorative rings of leaves, twigs, flowers or other natural elements, are used in various ceremonial events across the globe. Wreaths have historically been used as crowns, as memorial items, and as festive holiday decorations. You can participate in this tradition, this winter season, by creating your own wreath. Wreath making workshops will take place December 6, 9, and 11. All materials are included and experts will walk you through the process of creating a wreath to last until Valentine’s Day. Registration is required. Location will be given upon registration. Call 413-369-6016 and specify which evening you would like to attend. Montague, MA. ($$)

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.

Wednesday, December 7, 4-5pm
SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE
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: www.northamptonmontessori.org or 413-586-4538. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 7, 5pm-6pm
HOLIDAY/GINGERBREAD HOUSE
Gingerbread house decorating is a fun activity for people of all ages. This gingerbread house event is just for teens! Bring your teen to the Sunderland Public Library for this creative craft. Graham crackers and candy will be provided. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 7, 5pm-7pm
HOLIDAY/GINGERBREAD HOUSE
Gingerbread houses combine two festive, kid-friendly things: candy and crafts! Bring your kids to Atkins Farms County Market to decorate a miniature or small gingerbread house. All supplies will be included in the price. A limit of two children can work on a single gingerbread house. Space is limited. No registration is necessary. First come, first served. 413-253-9528. 1150 West Street. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

Wednesday, December 7, 7pm
PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY
Seeing local homes decorated with lights and wreaths is, for some, a beloved aspect of the holiday season. The West Springfield Park and Recreation Department invited residents on a Free Family Bright Nights Bus Tour to explore these beautiful lit-up homes together. Residents can obtain their bus voucher at the Parks and Recreation Department office. Visit the Parks and Recreation website for more information. Parental supervision is required for children under 18. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, December 8th, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.

Thursday, December 8, 5pm-8pm
ASTRONOMY/PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
There are tons of ways to connect with your community this holiday season, and not all of them involve gifts! This “Culture and Cocktails” event at the Springfield Museums will feature holiday themed entertainment including culinary treats and festive cocktails. There will be planetarium shows and lights of the Quadrangle Green. Winter months are the perfect time to learn about astronomy, as the longer nights make for more stargazing opportunities. Ages 21 and up. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (Non members $; Members <$)

Thursday, December 8, 6:30pm-8:30pm
HOLIDAY/CHORAL CONCERT
There is a rich, musical community in the pioneer valley including choral groups of all ages and ability levels. You can hear eight local choral groups perform at the 14th annual holiday choral festival at Helen Hills Hills Chapel on Smith college campus. The event brings choirs from schools as well as the larger community. Proceeds to benefit the Northampton Community Music Center’s scholarship fund. 123 Elms Street. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

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Friday, December 9th, 2016

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.

Friday, December 9, 3pm-9pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY/CHRISTMAS
Celebrate Christmas this year with food, community, music, and historical learning at Old Sturbridge Village. Christmas By Candlelight will include lots of New England holiday traditions such as festive foods, sleigh rides, a bonfire, storytelling, and strolls around the decorated Village Common. Kids can participate in a holiday craft workshop and everyone can gather for the tree lighting. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. (Adults $$; ages 4-12 $; 3 and under FREE)

Friday, December 9, 3-9pm
HOLIDAY STROLL
RiverCulture presents “It’s A Wonderful Night in Turners Falls.” Holiday activities for the whole family are planned throughout downtown: art exhibitions, live music, restaurant specials, performances and unique gift buying opportunities. Learn how to build a bird feeder, create a holiday card for an elder in your community, join your neighbors for the annual lighting of the town evergreen, and shop local for the holidays! 413-835-1390. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

Friday, December 9, 4pm and 7:30pm
THEATER/BALLET
Does your family enjoy theater? Celebrate the holiday season by attending a performance of the classic and enchanting tale, The Nutcracker.Pioneer Valley Ballet will be putting on their annual performance of The Nutcracker for a total of six shows between December 9 and December 11. Performances take place at the Academy of Music Theatre, and tickets can be purchased in advance through their website. 413-584-9032 ext. 105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 9, 5pm-7pm
HOLIDAY/GINGERBREAD HOUSE
Gingerbread houses combine two festive, kid-friendly things: candy and crafts! Bring your kids to Atkins Farms County Market to decorate a miniature or small gingerbread house. All supplies will be included in the price. A limit of two children can work on a single gingerbread house. Space is limited. No registration is necessary. First come, first served. 413-253-9528. 1150 West Street. Amherst, MA. ($ – $$)

Friday, December 9, 5pm-8pm
HOLIDAY/PLACEMAKING
Don’t let the cold keep you inside! Explore downtown Northampton with friends and neighbors for the Holiday Stroll. Downtown streets will be closed to vehicular traffic from the Academy of Music down to Strong Avenue (Local burger) to make way for visitors. Programming will include live music, face painting, hot chocolate, food, crafts, a fire pit, and sleigh rides! Main Street. Northampton, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Friday, December 9, 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 9, 7 PM
CHRISTMAS/MUSIC/THEATER
Welcome Yule celebrates the return of light with an annual family show of music, dance, song and story to drive the dark away. The show is set in the mythical village with villagers and animals singing of the coming of winter and rebirth of spring as Fox and Rooster chase through the countryside. Songs of animals join the wassails, carols, puppets, horn dance, mummers play, and the passing of the yule log. Friday & Saturday Dec. 9 and 10, 7:30pm & Sunday Dec. 11, 2pm. Shea Theater, Turners Falls. Tickets $12 adults, $10 seniors and children 5-16 years. Tickets at Jones Library in Amherst, Broadside Books in Northampton, World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield, online, or at the door. For more information and reservations, visit www.welcomeyule.org. Turners Falls, MA. ($)

Friday, December 9, 7pm
THEATER/HISTORY
A big part of the holiday traditions centers around the stories we tell- from traditional religious tales, to classic movies, to books and plays. This rendition of A Christmas Carol will be performed as a 1930s live radio broadcast, by six actors with standing microphones voicing multiple characters – 31 in all. Learn about the early days of sound production and broadcasting through this family-friendly performance at The Arts Block. 413-774-0150. 289 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (<$; children 9 and under FREE)

Friday, December 9, 7pm-8:30pm
CRAFTS/WREATH MAKING
Wreaths, decorative rings of leaves, twigs, flowers or other natural elements, are used in various ceremonial events across the globe. Wreaths have historically been used as crowns, as memorial items, and as festive holiday decorations. You can participate in this tradition, this winter season, by creating your own wreath. Wreath making workshops will take place December 6, 9, and 11. All materials are included and experts will walk you through the process of creating a wreath to last until Valentine’s Day. Registration is required. Location will be given upon registration. Call 413-369-6016 and specify which evening you would like to attend. Montague, MA. ($$)

Friday, December 9
HOLIDAY/THEATER/DANCE
Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, and then travel to the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Featuring guest artists from Carolina Ballet, Festival Ballet, Mari Meade Dance Collective. Live on stage December 9 – 11 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Get tickets today at www.aomtheatre.ticketlfy.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit www.pioneervalleyballet.org. Northampton, MA. ($$)

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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.Save

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