Suggested Events for September 2nd-8th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity 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

Sat & Sun thru Labor Day

Hoosac Valley Train rides are for families, groups, and couples. Travel 10 miles on a one-hour scenic train trip through history. Staff are excited to share this rail experience with you. Their authentic Budd railcar is from 1955. Gift shop has memorabilia and rail-related products for adults and children. Group size 20+ are asked to make reservations one week in advance. Summer train rides are every Sat and Sun thru Labor Day at 11am, 1:30pm, and 3pm. Cost $8/10/12. Cabaret Trains are Saturday Aug 26, Sept 9 & 23. Cost $20. Purchase tickets online only to guarantee your seats or come 30 minutes before ride to purchase tickets at the counter. 80 persons per ride. See www.hoosacvalleytrainride.com or contact info@berkshirescenicrailroad.org.

Sep 10

Celebrate Grandparents Day at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA on Saturday, September 10th from 1:30-3pm. Children ages 4 and up are invited to bring along their grandparents, family members, or caregivers to celebrate this special day by sharing stories and making art together. In this workshop, participants will read stories inspired by grandparents and work together to make creative books that will become a keepsake for years to come. Held in their Art Studio, attendees can enjoy the Museum before or after the workshop. $12 per adult/child pair. Sign up at www.carlemuseum.org by September 4th.

It’s not too late to try a new educational path this fall. Check out Oak Meadow’s flexible, creative homeschooling curriculum for K-12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. K-4 curriculum is child-centered, experiential, nature-based. 5-8 encourages student autonomy and intellectual development. High school offers teens the freedom to pursue their passions and interests while taking challenging academic courses. Single courses also available. Start anytime! Now offering three layers of support options for home teachers. Visit oakmeadow.com to learn more.​

Begin Sep 5

Amherst Archery Academy offers multi-level, multi-generational archery classes for kids ages 7 and up. Your archer will use a quality Olympic-Style Recurve Bow to learn the National Training System which is used by our USA Olympic archers to develop consistent and focused arrow releases. Their friendly, professional coaches work with each archer-athlete to create a solid foundation of archery. Openings in all classes, Tuesday through Saturday, beginning September 5, 2017. 90-minute classes meet once a week for five weeks at their indoor range in Florence. All equipment provided. Para-athletes are welcome. Private lessons also available. All classes are taught by USA Archery certified coaches. www.amherstarchery.com

The Prindle School is a music school in the Pioneer Valley offering private music lessons, classes, and ensembles. Their faculty have a wealth of experience delivering exactly the right program of lessons for each individual client: young children as they begin their music journey, highly dedicated professional musicians, adult learners who hope to bring more joy into their lives, and everything in between. They offer lessons on all instruments and voice in two convenient locations: 123 Union Street, Suite 301 in downtown Easthampton; and 31 Campus Plaza Road in Hadley, just off of Route 9 near the Amherst town line. For more information or to register, call 844-929-1909, email info@theprindleschool.com, or visit www.theprindleschool.com.

Sep 11 -Dec 1

Join Pioneer Valley Ballet for their Fall Session, September 11-December 1. PVB is offering an 8-week community class for ages 4-6 and an 11 week pre-professional ballet training for all ages. Modern and contemporary ballet are other options. Adult ballet is offered Sundays 4:30-6pm. Visit online at www.pioneervalleyballet.org to register. Join PVB for their 40th season of Nutcracker performances on December 8-10. Community auditions are September 9 for ages 5-10. No dance experience necessary. Pioneer Valley Ballet is located in the Eastworks Building at 116 Pleasant Street in Easthampton, MA. 413-527-6363.

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating. Students graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE. Use promo code HTF201617 and receive $10 OFF your entire purchase of any instructional program!

Add your class

Hilltown Families has put together an After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs Directory of classes and programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners and our directory makes it easier to find these gems while connecting families with resources that support their interests and education. — Have a class or program you’d like to include in our directory? Click here to find out how to have it added. New and updated opportunities are added throughout the year.

Add your school

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

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 at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 2nd-8th, 2017

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 2, 2017

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. Wildlife Episode with Guest DJs, Casey & Kevin from The Whizpops. Kevin and Casey of The Whizpops have put together a fun educational show about wildlife and imagination seamlessly weaving songs about animals both real and make-believe. Join them on a musical journey through endangered species, mustaches, and even unicorns! 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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Saturday, September 2, 9am-12pm
GUIDED NATURE HIKE
Want company for your next hike? Join naturalist and avid hiker Dale Abrams for a moderately strenuous hike to the summit of Lenox Mountain. This hike follows the Trail of the Ledges and Overbrook Trail three miles round-trip through northern hardwood and hemlock forest. Participants will look for signs of wildlife and learn about native trees and shrubs. Registration is required. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (<$)

Saturday, September 2, 9am-8pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs give local farmers, including youth and students, the chance to show off their skills! The 200th Three County Fair will feature a baby animal barnyard, a poultry exhibit, horse pulls, tractor shows, sheep and oxen shows, in addition to entertainment such as live music, rides, magic shows and more. This intergenerational event has something for everyone and opportunities for learning daily through Monday, September 4. Visit the Three County Fair website for a full schedule. 54 Fair Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 2, 9am-9pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs are one of the longest-running local traditions, bringing people together for family fun, entertainment, and a celebration of the skills held by community members. This year, the Blandford Fair will take place for the 150th time! Explore the exhibit halls, the giant pumpkins, and the petting zoo; witness living history reenactments. Children can engage with local history by playing old fashioned games. The fair continues through Monday, September 4. Visit the website for a full schedule. 10 North Street. Blandford, MA. (<$)

Saturday, September 2, 9:30am-3pm
ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
The annual Otis Arts Festival brings the best local artists and craftspeople together in a form of collaborative consumption and placemaking. Connect with your local arts community and support local artists by perusing, purchasing, and engaging in discussions at the event. 413-269-4674. Farmington River Elementary School. Otis, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, September 2, 10am-5:30pm
PHYSICS/INTERGENERATIONAL
More than just a toy, Yo-Yos can teach kids about physics. In order to understand how a yo-yo works in the first place, it’s essential to understand potential and kinetic energy. Even young kids can learn what these terms mean just by holding and dropping a yo-yo, or witnessing someone doing so. The Northeast Regional Yo-Yo Contest at theAcademy of Music Theatre will feature the best of the best Yo-Yo tricks! 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 2, 11am, 1:30pm, and 3pm
HISTORY/AUTOMOTIVE
Hoosac Valley Train rides are for families, groups, and couples. Travel 10 miles on a one-hour scenic train trip through history. Staff are excited to share this rail experience with you. Their authentic Budd railcar is from 1955. There is gift shop has memorabilia and rail-related products for adults and children. Groups of more than twenty are asked to make reservations one week in advance. Purchase tickets online only to guarantee your seats or come 30 minutes before ride to purchase tickets at the counter. 80 persons per ride. Visit or contact info@berkshirescenicrailroad.org for more information. North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, September 2, 11:30am-12pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Species which travel to the North, must later return to the South. Warblers and other songbirds traverse vast distances in the Spring to reach their breeding grounds far North of their winter
abodes in Central and South America. In late summer and fall, the pattern reverses. You can learn what to look for to witness this migration of birds by venturing out for a day of birding
during the southbound exodus. Adults and families with children ages twelve and older are invited to participate in this program at Skinner State Park. Meet on the Summit House deck. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (Parking <$)

Saturday, September 2, 1pm-5pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/STEM
Raspberry Pi is a small, inexpensive computer that you can use to learn coding and robotics. These devices can inspire amazing projects. Holyoke Codes is throwing a Raspberry Jam, an event for knowledge and skill sharing, learning, and socializing centered around an interest in Raspberry Pi. All experience levels are and ages are welcome. Possible topics for discussion and experimentation include gaming with RetroPie, learning electronics with the Pi, launching a High Altitude Balloon into the stratosphere, AI with Alexa, and computer vision with OpenCV. 413-552-4900. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 2, 1:30pm
ART STUDIES/PAINTING
Painting demonstrations are great for art lovers who want to gain a better understanding of the creative process. Illustrator and painter Dan Howe will be offering a painting demonstration and discussion to illuminate the artistic process of famous artist Norman Rockwell. This program is included with admission to the Norman Rockwell Museum. Artists may be interested to try out the techniques they see demonstrated. This program is for adults. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$. Ages 6-18 <$.)

Saturday, September 2, 2pm-2:30pm
ENTOMOLOGY
Monarch butterflies make perhaps the most epic of all migratory journeys. Though their long trek can sometimes take up to four generations to complete, it spans an almost unbelievably large portion of North America. The distinctive black-and-orange butterflies lay their eggs along the way, and depend on the availability of milkweed-filled habitat throughout their journey. Unfortunately, this beautiful and fascinating species is threatened by pesticide use, diminishing habitat, and climate change. Come learn about the remarkable migration this species makes and discover how you can help prevent their demise, by attending a short program at Skinner State Park. Suitable for all ages. Meet on the Summit House deck. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (Parking <$)

Saturday, September 2, 2:30pm
LITERATURE/FILM STUDIES
2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, one of the world’s most beloved authors. Many of Austen’s works have been adapted for the screen. The Jones Library will be hosting a film series to celebrate Austen’s life and work. On September 2, the library will screen “Northanger Abbey”, based on the book which was published posthumously in 1818. The film is a gentle parody of Gothic fiction. It follows romance novel addict Catherine Morland as she is invited to a medieval country house that appeals to her most lurid fantasies. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 2, 4pm
CEMETERY STUDIES/LOCAL HISTORY
For almost 300 years, the headstones in the Stockbridge cemetery have left final messages using both words and symbols. Volunteers from the Stockbridge Library Procter Museum & Archives will explore these messages in the cemetery walk, “Final Words, Lasting Images: Headstone Meanings and Messages.” learn which words and images were chosen at different times; what they meant in their own time period; how and why they changed over time, and what those changes represent. 413-298-5501. Meet at the cemetery gate on Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, September 3, 2017

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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Sunday, September 3, 8am
SUSTAINABILITY/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
The annual Umass New2U Tag Sale supports sustainability by providing students and community members with everything from futons, televisions, clothing, decorations and more- all secondhand. This free event is open to the public and will take place at the UMass Amherst Student Union Ballroom. 280 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 3, 8:30am-9pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs give local farmers, including youth and students, the chance to show off their skills! The 200th Three County Fair will feature a baby animal barnyard, a poultry exhibit, horse pulls, tractor shows, sheep and oxen shows, in addition to entertainment such as live music, rides, magic shows and more. This intergenerational event has something for everyone and opportunities for learning daily through Monday, September 4. Visit the Three County Fair website for a full schedule. 54 Fair Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Sunday, September 3, 8:30am-11:30am
CANOE/ECOLOGY
Anyone with an interest in ecology and zoology may be interested in participating in a naturalist guided canoe trip through the ecologically rich Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area in Lenox. Participants will watch for swallows, herons, kingfishers, muskrats, and signs of beavers along the scenic and meandering Housatonic River and learn about why the waterway is the natural heart of the Berkshires. Registration is required. New Lenox Road. Lenox, MA. ($)

Sunday, September 3, 9am-9pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs are one of the longest-running local traditions, bringing people together for family fun, entertainment, and a celebration of the skills held by community members. This year, the Blandford Fair will take place for the 150th time! Explore the exhibit halls, the giant pumpkins, and the petting zoo; witness living history reenactments. Children can engage with local history by playing old fashioned games. The fair continues through Monday, September 4. Visit the website for a full schedule. 10 North Street. Blandford, MA. (<$)

Sunday, September 3, 9:30am-10:15am
MINDFULNESS/MEDITATION
You can practice meditation while sitting, standing, or walking, in all different environments. The “mountain mindfulness” program at Skinner State Park will help participants connect wo the natural world through silent meditation and contemplation. A park interpreter will guide you through the meditation and a mindful walk. Participants will focus on listening and breathing in the sights and sounds around them. Bring something to sit on or a yoga mat. Suitable for all ages. Meet on Summit House deck. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (Parking <$)

Sunday, September 3, 11am, 1:30pm, and 3pm
HISTORY/AUTOMOTIVE
Hoosac Valley Train rides are for families, groups, and couples. Travel 10 miles on a one-hour scenic train trip through history. Staff are excited to share this rail experience with you. Their authentic Budd railcar is from 1955. There is gift shop has memorabilia and rail-related products for adults and children. Groups of more than twenty are asked to make reservations one week in advance. Purchase tickets online only to guarantee your seats or come 30 minutes before ride to purchase tickets at the counter. 80 persons per ride. Visit or contact info@berkshirescenicrailroad.org for more information. North Adams, MA. ($)

Sunday, September 3, 1pm-3:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The Keep Homestead Museum is home to items collected by the Keep family who lived there for over 150 years. The collection includes furniture, silver and cut glass, collections of rocks, minerals and shells, quilts and other needlework done by the women of the family, along with the extensive button collection (the pride of the museum). There are also new printed and framed records, bought at Skinner Auction in August 2017. Community members Are invited to tour the museum and marvel at the bedroom that Charles and Pearl Keep moved into on their wedding day in 1893, that has the original wallpaper, carpet, furniture and the bill-of-sale for the furniture. 413-267-0017. Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 3, 2pm-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Video games? Television? View-Masters? No. Not yet. Take a step back in time to the late 1800s at the Westhampton Museum & Blacksmith Shop to see some really basic entertainment. Stereoscope viewers were all the rage and those fortunate enough to own them planned parties around showing their newly arrived images. The ruins of Athens and Scottish castles were very popular themes, but local images such as those taken of the aftermath of the 1874 Mill River Flood also quickly made their way to the western Mass. marketplace. After a few weeks, friends, cousins, and neighbors would swap collections for some variety. Come to the museum and see what you can see through their stereoscope viewer! 413-527-3209. 5 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, September 3, 3pm-5pm
STEM
Science should be fun! Many children look at the world with a scientific attitude, whether they know it or not, simply by asking questions and analyzing the world around them in order to learn. Smith College is offering an afternoon of scientific demonstrations and activities, including engineering with balloon powered cars, investigating rocks and minerals, building water wheels, and dissecting owl pellets. These activities are offered to the first sixty students, 3rd through 6th grade. Registration is required. 413-585-3253. Ford Hall Lobby. Smith College. Northampton MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 3, 3:30pm-4:30pm
MEDITATION/MINDFULNESS
Whether you want to try meditation for the first time, or you want to strengthen your practice, you can participate in a free mindfulness intro class at Amherst Mindfulness. Participants with learn through a combination of instruction, experience, and sharing. Instructor Michele Miller recently transitioned from her career of thirteen years as a real estate developer and property manager to pursue work as a mindfulness teacher. She completed the MBSR practicum at UMass Medical Center’s Center for Mindfulness, and is currently receiving mentorship from Diane Reibel through the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. 413-222-8067. 17 Kellogg Avenue. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday, September 4, 8am-4pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs are one of the longest-running local traditions, bringing people together for family fun, entertainment, and a celebration of the skills held by community members. This year, the Blandford Fair will take place for the 150th time! Explore the exhibit halls, the giant pumpkins, and the petting zoo; witness living history reenactments. Children can engage with local history by playing old fashioned games. Visit the website for a full schedule. 10 North Street. Blandford, MA. (<$)

Monday, September 4, 10am-6:30pm
PLACEMAKING/AGRICULTURE
Agricultural fairs give local farmers, including youth and students, the chance to show off their skills! The 200th Three County Fair will feature a baby animal barnyard, a poultry exhibit, horse pulls, tractor shows, sheep and oxen shows, in addition to entertainment such as live music, rides, magic shows and more. This intergenerational event has something for everyone. Visit the Three County Fair website for a full schedule. 54 Fair Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Monday, September 4, 1pm-1:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Species which travel to the North, must later return to the South. Warblers and other songbirds traverse vast distances in the Spring to reach their breeding grounds far North of their winter
abodes in Central and South America. In late summer and fall, the pattern reverses. You can learn what to look for to witness this migration of birds by venturing out for a day of birding
during the southbound exodus. Adults and families with children ages twelve and older are invited to participate in this program at Skinner State Park. Meet on the Summit House deck. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (Parking <$)

Monday, September 4, 3:30pm
LITERACY/IMMIGRATION STUDIES
Cristina Henríquez’s award-winning novel, The Book of Unknown Americans is a love story about a Panamanian boy and a Mexican girl. It is also an exploration of the immigrant experience in America. You can hear Henríquez discuss her work, which has been chosen at Smith College’s 2017 Summer Reading Selection, in a lecture in John M. Greene Hall. Smith College. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

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, September 5, 10am-10:45am
MUSIC STUDIES
Music ability is as much a basic life skill as walking and talking. We unconsciously utilize musical concepts to convey basic information like our tone when we communicate verbally. All children can enjoy singing or keeping a beat, and connect with the music of their culture. A “Music Together” class will be offered at the Westhampton Public Library to help nurture children’s natural enthusiasm for music and movement in an informal setting. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 5, 4pm
HISTORY
Join Ulysses Grant Dietz at the Ventfort Hall for a look at the meteoric rise of jewelry wearing in the period after the Civil War. This phenomenon was triggered by unprecedented wealth in an industrialized America. Dietz will explore the idea of the aspirational symbolism of jewelry, an aristocratic model for a nation without any established social hierarchy. He will also touch on the parallel jewelry worn by everyday Americans during the Gilded Age, which echoed the styles of the 1% social class, but on a more modest scale. Dietz has been a curator at the Newark Museum since 1980, where he oversaw the restoration and reinterpretation of the National Historic Landmark Ballantine House of 1885. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. ($$)

Tuesday, September 5, 5:30pm-7:30pm
HEALTH
For anyone caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, community support can go a long way. Caregivers Support Group is a new program for both professionals and family members who are assisting someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. The group is designed to provide participants with an opportunity to learn more about dementia and to understand their individual feelings about the life-changes associated with it. The program is free but reservations are required by calling 413-355-5905. 24 Tabor Crossing. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 5, 7pm-9pm
LITERATURE/FILM STUDIES
2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, one of the world’s most beloved authors. Many of Austen’s works have been adapted for the screen. The Jones Library will be hosting a film series to celebrate Austen’s life and work. On September 5, the library will screen the 2016 film “Love & Friendship” (rated PG) based on Jane Austen’s epistolary novel Lady Susan, which was written in approximately 1794 and published posthumously in 1871. The film follows the exploits of the wry and calculating Lady Susan as she pursues the wealthy and hapless Sir James for marriage originally intended for her daughter, eventually marrying him herself. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

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, September 6, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Fall is a great time to learn about ornithology by observing migratory birds. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary’s caretaker will lead adults on a weekly, guided bird walk past beaver wetlands and through woodlands looking for warblers, tanagers, orioles, and more. Bring binoculars; beginners are welcome. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 6, 5pm-6pm
LITERATURE/HISTORY
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was born into the tightly controlled society of Old New York at a time when women were discouraged from achieving anything beyond a proper marriage. Wharton broke through these strictures, writing over 40 books in 40 years, including authoritative works on architecture, gardens, interior design, and travel. Wharton was the first woman awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In addition to books she also wrote poetry and short stories. The “Wharton on Wednesdays” program at The Mount, focuses on Wharton’s best satirical short works, as they are read by professional actors. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (Members FREE. Non members <$)

Wednesday, September 6, 6pm
PHOTOGRAPHY
The First Wednesday Speaker Series at the Greenfield Public Library will host Derrick Zellman, who will speak about his experiences photographing members of the Boston Fire Department. His ongoing photographic series is entitled Facing the Fire. LeVanway Room. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 6, 6:30pm-8:30pm
ECOLOGY/BEAVERS
From afar, a beaver dam looks like a big pile of sticks, but a closer examination reveals careful construction and cool inner architecture! Through the creation of dams, beavers have had profound effects on plant, animal, and microbial communities across the country. Learn more about our country’s largest rodent and their relationship within our ecosystem by visiting the beaver ponds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. This program is suitable for ages three and up. Wear long pants, long sleeves, and a hat. Bring binoculars if you have them. Registration suggested but not required. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA. (<$)

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

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, September 7, 9:30am-12pm
WRITING/MEMOIR
Whether writing fiction, non fiction, or poetry, writers often draw upon their memories and experiences to create art. Memoir is a genre focused on telling a life story or event through the use of memory. Mary Clare Powell will lead an eight-week memoir-writing workshop at the Greenfield Public Library beginning September 7. The program will explore memoir in a variety of forms using exercises to help spark memories and encourage writers to experiment. Writers at all levels of experience are welcome. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 7, 12pm-2pm
LITERACY/JEWISH STUDIES
The Jewish Community of Amherst adult reading group provides the opportunity for lively discussion and deeper appreciation of books, through community. The yearly reading cycle begins September 7 as participants discuss And After the Fire by Lauren Belfer. This historical novel takes place partly in 1945 Germany, as American soldier Henry Sachs takes a music manuscript as a souvenir during the war. The novel also follows Henry’s niece, Susanna Kessler as she struggles with her heritage and identity in 2010 America. New participants are always welcome to join the book group. Call 413-253-2248 with questions. 742 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 7, 12:15pm-1pm
LOCAL HISTORY
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum is local history in the making! This past June 2017, fifteen years after the opening of the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, the Springfield Museums opened a full museum dedicated to the life and work of Theodor Geisel. You can learn about how an historic landmark building was restored and transformed for this purpose, by attending a lunchtime lecture by John Simpson, artist and project director; and Kay Simpson, President, Springfield Museums. The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, September 7, 2pm
ART STUDIES
In addition to learning about the life and work of Norman Rockwell, a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum can also connect participants with architecture, sculpture, and history. Interested adults are invited to participate in Historic Property Walks of the museum’s bucolic 36-acre campus. Free for Museum members, or included with Museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($. College students with ID <$)

Thursday September 7, 3pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture and a connection to place. These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art. The 169th annual Franklin County Fair kicks off September 7 with a parade. Throughout the weekend there will be cattle, oxen, poultry, rabbit, draft horse, and sheep as well as a kids’ entertainment tent, live music, a museum, and much more. 413-774-4282 . 89 Wisdom Way. Greenfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, September 7, 5:30pm-7:30pm
PHOTOGRAPHY/ECOLOGY
A new art exhibit at the Shaw Memorial Library will draw interesting connections between ecology and photography. Plainfield resident Pleun Bouricius, also known as AgathaO, has photographed the boggy, soggy world of the headwaters of the Swift River. She will be reading from her newly-published collection, The Bog. 413-634-5420. 304 Main Street. Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 7, 6pm
STEM/PROGRAMMING
Is your daughter interested in computer science and coding? She can participate in a new, twenty week long Girls Who Code Club at the Forest Park Branch of the Springfield City Library. Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. Students in the program will learn computer science through real-world projects in art and storytelling, robotics, video games, websites, apps and more. The Girls Who Code Club will be held from 10 AM- 12 PM on Saturdays at the Forest Park Branch Library beginning September 9th. Attend this parent information session at the library for more details. 413-263-6843. 380 Belmont Avenue. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, September 8, 2017

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, September 8, 8am-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/GUIDED NATURE WALK
Fall is a great time to learn about ornithology by observing migratory birds. At Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, bird watchers can find wood-warblers, orioles, thrushes and more as they observe wetlands, walk through meadows and woodlands. A guided bird walk at Canoe Meadows is offered weekly such that adults can observe changes in bird species over time. Bring binoculars; beginners are welcome. 413-637-0320. Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 8, 10am-8pm
AGRICULTURE/PLACEMAKING
Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts and home-grown produce unique to rural life. Through participation in these rich traditions we support the preservation of culture and a connection to place. These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art. The 169th annual Franklin County Fair will feature cattle, oxen, poultry, rabbit, draft horse, and sheep as well as a kids’ entertainment tent, live music, a museum, and much more. Visit the website for full details and a schedule. 413-774-4282 . 89 Wisdom Way. Greenfield, MA. (<$)

Friday, September 8, 10am-8pm
ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING
Arts Night Out
in Northampton will provide people of all ages with opportunities for connecting through an interest in visual and performing arts. This special Arts Night Out will coincide with the seventh annual Northampton Chalk Art Festival, turning the town itself into a canvas for artistic works. You can witness the creation of these sidewalk masterpieces from 10am to 4pm, or view the finished works during the monthly gallery walk from 5-8 pm. Downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 8, 11:30pm-12pm
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. They will also learn about the tramway’s various changes over the years. Meet at the summit house deck. 413-586-0350. 20 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA. (Parking <$)

Friday, September 8, 4pm-8pm
ART STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL
The second Friday of every month, the Smith College Museum of Art offers opportunities for hands-on, all ages art activities inspired by the works on view. On September 8, participants will uncover the art of Japanese lacquer in the museum’s Asian Art Gallery and then design their own miniature containers. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 8, 5pm
POETRY
How can poetry provide guidance, emotional solace, and create social change in times of turmoil and uncertainty? Poets Vijay Seshadri, Rosanna Warren, and Major Jackson will discuss the ways in which poetry has given them voice, in a lecture, “Words That Move: Poetry and the Active Citizen.” The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 8, 5pm-8pm

Arts Night Out events promote creative works and strengthen community connections. On the second Friday of every month, galleries are opened for Arts Night Out Northampton. Art may also be displayed in storefronts that are not galleries, building further connections between artists, community members, and local business owners. The event offers an opportunity to explore the diversity of local, visual and performing arts. Check the Arts Night Out Northampton website prior to the event for full details. Downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 8, 7pm-9pm
SHADOW PUPPETRY/INDONESIAN CULTURE
Learn about Indonesian culture through a live Wayang Kulit performance. Wayang Kulit is a kind of puppetry, originating from Bali and incorporating Hindu epics, complex music, leather carving, ritual, movement, and slap-stick comedy. When Wayang Kulit is used as a sacred Hindu ritual, there are specific guidelines for the techniques and melodies used in the music. Puppeteers Putu Rekayasa and Panji Wilimantara, theatre artist Sam Jay Gold, and ethnomusicologist Ian Coss will perform as “The Brothers Campur” in Pulaski Park. 240 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 8, 7:30pm
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. On September 8, the featured family presentation will cover the topic, “Reliving the Great American Eclipse,” and be presented by Alan Rifkin, president of the Springfield Stars Club. In addition to the presentation this event includes a visit to the planetarium and a tour of the rooftop observatory or stargazing through the rooftop telescope, depending on weather. Rain or shine. Tolman Auditorium. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Heath, Holyoke, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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