Suggested Events for October 7th – 13th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I love getting the Hilltown Families emails so I can give my parents ideas of where to take my son. The eNewsletter provides me with ideas both for fun and educational activities in which they can take my son to. Grandma, Grandpa and grandson have enjoyed the local museums, parks, libraries, several of which I did not know existed if not for the eNewsletter. In today’s society a lot of grandparents take care of their grandchildren. This eNewsletter is a great resource for ideas, both indoor and outdoor activities. The weekend activities, as well, are great ideas for my husband, son and I to attend.” – Victoria Valenti (Shelburne Falls, MA)

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.

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.

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Bulletin Board

Oct 6 – 29

Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold their popular Pumpkin Patch event starting Oct 6th and will run the rest of the month every Fri, Sat, & Sun including Monday, Oct 9th for Columbus Day. Pumpkin Patch is a family fun filled adventure where you ride on a trolley car out to the pumpkin patch field and each person can pick out a free pumpkin. Additionally, when you return back to the Museum you can decorate the pumpkins, get your face painted & enjoy the outside play area with spooktacular Halloween activities. Don’t forget you can take as many Trolley rides as you would like. Visit www.ct-trolley.org for hours of operation. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, $10 for youth (ages 4-12) and $3 for children (under age 3).

Oct 7

The Great Greenfield DinoFest, presented by Piti Theatre and PVMA on Sat. Oct. 7 is a celebratory day of performances, food, activities for children, a panel discussion, chalk art, dino films with live music and more starting at 9:30am outside the Second Congregational Church on the Town Common. The festival is inspired by the life of Dexter Marsh who discovered dinosaur tracks before the word dinosaur had been invented in 1835 while laying sidewalk outside Town Hall. Highlights include Piti’s musical “Dexter and the Dinosaurs” at 11am and DinoFilms Through the ages, 7pm. Free. Piti’s next family event is the acclaimed solo physical comedy + children’s workshop “Sammy and the Grand Buffet” at the Shea Theater, Nov. 18 at 3 pm. www.ptco.org

Oct 7

The New England Air Museum will hold an Open Cockpit Day on Saturday, October 7, from 10am to 4pm. Special activities include climbing aboard in historic aircraft; flight simulators; hands-on Build & Fly Challenges. A variety of aircraft will be open for visitors including the WWII era Republic P-47D “Thunderbolt,” the Vietnam War era Bell UH-1B “Huey” helicopter, as well, as supersonic jet fighters including the North American F-100 “Super Sabre” and the Lockheed F-104C “Starfighter.” See the new view of our collections from our mezzanines in two exhibit hangars. Food and beverage will be available, and all activities are included with museum admission. Rubber-soled shoes recommended. www.neam.org.

Oct 7

This Saturday, October 7 get inspired at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Meet artists from the exhibition Collecting Inspiration: Contemporary Illustrators and Their Heroes. Find out who inspires Sophie Blackall, Sandra Boynton, Bryan Collier, Tony DiTerlizzi, Laurie Keller, Loren Long, LeUyen Pham, Jerry Pinkney, Robin Preiss Glasser, and Mo Willems! There will be storytimes, panel discussions led by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi, a drawing demonstration by Sandra Boynton, and book signings with all the artists. See the exhibition and get inspired! Free with Museum admission. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for schedule. Can’t make it to the event? Reserve signed books online, call 413-559-6333, or shop@carlemuseum.org.

Oct 8

Magic is afoot! The Center Dance Studio invites community members of all ages to audition for A 21st Century Nutcracker, an exciting spin on a timeless classic. Auditions will be held on Sunday, October 8th at The Center Dance in Amherst (321 Main Street). Visit The Center’s Nutcracker page for details. For more information, email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com or call 413-230-1944. Let’s play with tradition! www.thecenterdance.com.

Oct 8

Sukkot Harvest Festival at Abundance Farm! Sunday, October 8th from 11am-3pm at 253 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA. Come celebrate the harvest with a bonfire, apple cider pressing, cob oven baking, live music, harvest games, nature-based arts and crafts, food and drinks, tea making, and seed saving activities. Rain or shine! Suggested donation: $5. More info at https://www.facebook.com/events/114208499277011.

Oct 14

The Montessori School of Northampton’s annual Children’s Fair and Open House will take place on Saturday, October 14, from 11am-3pm, at the school’s north campus at 51 Bates Street in Northampton. The fair will feature a bounce house, obstacle course, pumpkin painting, spin art, face painting, a dance party with DJ Quin, hula hooping, Taekwondo demonstration, drumming with Tony Vacca, and more. Admission is free; there is a nominal charge for activities. Food will be available. Tours of the school, which enrolls students from 18 months through 14 years, will also be available. For more information, visit northamptonmontessori.org or call 413-586-4538.

Oct 14

Amherst Montessori School invites families to an Open House on Saturday, October 14 from 9-11am and a Harvest Festival immediately following. Meet teachers and administrators, tour AMS’ beautiful school in south Amherst, and learn about their child-led Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. Amherst Montessori is a warm, safe, and supportive community that nurtures a lifelong love of learning. Learn more and register online at amherstmontessori.org.

Oct 14

Help The Common School kick-off its 50th anniversary at its largest Children’s Carnival ever! The Children’s Carnival is open to the public, with no admission fee and will feature several free activities and treats, including: a magic show by Flippo the Juggling Clown a performance by Senegalese dancer, Abdou Sarr; music by the EZ Band, the School’s student rock band; and a giant 50th anniversary cake. Breakfast, hearty lunches, and treats, such as cotton candy, homemade baked goods, and smoothies, will also be available for purchase. This year’s Carnival takes place on Saturday, October 14, from 10am-2pm, on the School’s campus at 521 South Pleasant Street in Amherst. For more information go to www.commonschool.org.

Oct 14

Shop local, shop small! OnTrend Crafts is hosting its Fall Craft Fair on Saturday, October 14 on the historic Hadley Town Commons. More than 60 of the region’s top indie crafters will be in Hadley selling their high-quality handmade goods. Shoppers will find handcrafted jewelry, paper goods, wood crafts, housewares, ceramics, knitted apparel, and much more. Come support our talented local artisans! Free admission; rain or shine. For more information, visit ontrendcrafts.com or email Jennifer at jennifer@ontrendcrafts.com.

Oct 15

Save Farms, Eat Food, & Have Fun with Kestrel Land Trust! Don’t miss the 5K for Farmland & Farmers’ Market Festival on Sunday, October 15, at 11am. on the West St. Common, Hadley. Family-friendly 5K race on a flat route through scenic farmland or a beautiful 2-mile riverside walk. Farmers’ Market Festival after the race with music by “Banish Misfortune,” local crafts and seasonal produce for sale, plus nature & animal exhibits, and entertainment for kids with Trevor the Games Man. For adults, free local beer by Valley Malt for registered participants. Receive a commemorative pint glass and be entered into a drawing for lots of great local prizes when you pre-register! Register online and learn more at 5kforfarmland.org.

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 Eventsand 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
October 7th – 13th, 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, October 7, 2017

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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. Chicago duo Wendy and DB are back guest DJing HFVS! In this episode, Wendy and DB will take you on an aquatic adventure, as they dive deeply into the rivers, lakes, and oceans of our planet and explore some of the creatures that live there. 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, October 7, 9:30-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRD MIGRATION
With its relatively rare east-to-west orientation and vantage point overlooking the Pioneer Valley below, the Mount Holyoke Range features several spots that are ideal for viewing the fall migration of hawks and other raptors heading south. The deck of the Summit House is one such vantage point. Learn why the range is such a popular thoroughfare for raptors and how to identify the raptors you are seeing. If you have them, please bring a pair of binoculars. A scope will be available for shared use. For adults and families with children ages 12 and older. Meet on the Summit House deck. In case of rain, call to confirm: 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Saturday, October 7, 9:30am-8pm
PALEONTOLOGY/PERFORMANCE
The Great Greenfield DinoFest, presented by Piti Theatre and PVMA on Sat. Oct. 7 is a celebratory day of performances, food, activities for children, a panel discussion, chalk art, dino films with live music and more starting at 9:30am outside the Second Congregational Church on the Town Common. The festival is inspired by the life of Dexter Marsh who discovered dinosaur tracks before the word dinosaur had been invented in 1835 while laying sidewalk outside Town Hall. Highlights include Piti’s musical “Dexter and the Dinosaurs” at 11am and DinoFilms Through the ages, 7pm. Free. Piti’s next family event is the acclaimed solo physical comedy + children’s workshop “Sammy and the Grand Buffet” at the Shea Theater, Nov. 18 at 3 pm. www.ptco.org

Saturday, October 7, 9:30am-10am
GEOLOGY
What do people mean when they refer to “geologic time?” The geologic time scale is a system of dating used by geologists, paleontologists, and other Earth scientists. This system conceptualizes time in relation to geological events in the Earth’s history. Adults and families with children ages ten and older are invited to travel through geologic time as it relates to the local landscape, in the program “Making the Connecticut River Valley,” at Mount Holyoke Range State Park. See our home transform between ocean, mountains, lava, and ice. The talk will end with trail recommendations for exploring the geology on your own. Meet at the picnic table behind the kiosk. In case of rain, meet in Visitors Center. 413-253-2883. 1500 West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 7, 9:30am-8pm
CHILDREN’S LITERATURE/ART
This Saturday, October 7 get inspired at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Meet artists from the exhibition Collecting Inspiration: Contemporary Illustrators and Their Heroes. Find out who inspires Sophie Blackall, Sandra Boynton, Bryan Collier, Tony DiTerlizzi, Laurie Keller, Loren Long, LeUyen Pham, Jerry Pinkney, Robin Preiss Glasser, and Mo Willems! There will be storytimes, panel discussions led by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi, a drawing demonstration by Sandra Boynton, and book signings with all the artists. See the exhibition and get inspired! Free with Museum admission. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for schedule. Can’t make it to the event? Reserve signed books online, call 413-559-6333, or shop@carlemuseum.org.

Saturday, October 7, 10-11am
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY
J. A. Skinner State Park’s Summit House deck is one of several great places in the valley to view hawks, falcons, eagles, osprey, harriers, and vultures as they migrate south to the winter homes. Join a Park Interpreter as we keep a sharp eye out for passing raptors and do our best to figure out who is who! If you have them, please bring a pair of binoculars. A scope will be available for shared use. Meet on the Summit House deck. For adults and families with children ages 6 and older. In case of rain, call to confirm. 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Saturday, October 7, 10-11:30am
ADVOCACY/PUBLIC SPEAKING
Public speaking expert Cathy McNally is offering a workshop to women activists and advocates who would like to become more effective and confident public speakers. The workshop will focus on how to make your message persuasive, inspiring and memorable, whether it’s a brief phone call or a speech at a rally. Best for older teens and life-long learners. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Jones Library. For more info, contact cathy@mcnallycommunications.com. Space is limited, so McNally recommends contacting her to reserve a space. Jones Library. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 7, 10am-12noon
FALL HARVEST/PUMPKINS
Pumpkin-Palooza happens at the Gaylord Memorial library. Celebrate the fall harvest while benefitting this local library. There will be a petting zoo, live music, games, pumpkin decorating, book and bake sale. Library celebrations connect youth and adults to the important community-building and literacy supporting efforts of these valued resources. So many reasons to spend Saturday morning at the library! Gaylord Memorial Library 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 7, 10am-3pm
FALL FESTIVAL/PUMPKINS
A day filled with all things play and pumpkins at Look Memorial Park’s Pumpkin Fest! 300 N Main Street. Florence, MA (>$ Park Entrance)

Saturday, October 7, 10:30am-4pm
HALLOWEEN/TRANSPORTATION HISTORY
Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold their popular Pumpkin Patch every Fri., Sat., and Sun. in October. Pumpkin Patch is a family fun filled adventure where you ride on a trolley car out to the pumpkin patch field and each person can pick out a free pumpkin. Additionally, when you return back to the Museum you can decorate the pumpkins, get your face painted & enjoy the outside play area with spooktacular Halloween activities. Don’t forget you can take as many Trolley rides as you would like. Visit www.ct-trolley.org for hours of operation. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, $10 for youth (ages 4-12) and $3 for children (under age 3). 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT ($)

Saturday, October 7, 10am-5pm
FALL FESTIVAL/LOCAL CULTURE
Since 1969, the Annual Ashfield Fall Festival takes place on Ashfield’s charming main street and throughout the town every Columbus Day weekend, celebrating town culture, artisans, and Ashfield businesses. The annual giant pumpkin and tallest sunflower contests are something to be seen, along with an intergenerational round of pumpkin games! On the town common, carnival games initiated and facilitated by Ashfield youth take place, giving them an opportunity to develop their creative, social, and business skills in a real world application while contributing to their local culture. Admission is free to this two-day event, happening rain or shine. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 7th, 10am-5pm
PLACEMAKING/HARVEST FESTIVAL
Harvest festivals mark the seasons and tune us to our sense of place. The 83rd annual Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival celebrates local agriculture and the culture of the Berkshires. A tag sale and and silent auction allow the community to engage in sustainable practices, while the farmers’ market and plant sale support skillsharing and collaborative consumption of knowledge share by local farmers and gardeners. Interested in service-based learning? The festival has opportunities to volunteer, connecting older teens and life-long learners with a community of gardeners that support conservation and nature-based learning. All proceeds from the festival will benefit the Garden’s education program. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. (<$; Children under 12 and members FREE)

AGRICULTURAL HISTORY/CREATIVE-FREE PLAY
Saturday, October 7, 11am-4pm
Known around the world as mommets, hodmedods, spaventapasseri, vogelscheuche, fugleskremsel, and kakashi, scarecrows have been used to protect crops for over 3,000 years! Studies of this traditional autumn icon can reveal not only the international roots of the straw-stuffed beings, but can lead to creative-free play, intergenerational creative collaboration, and exploration of folk farming techniques used locally and around the world. Find out more in our post, Scarecrow Studies Illuminate Cultural History and Creative-Free Play. With a new found interest and understanding of the history of scarecrows, take your family to Atkins Farms for one of their Scarecrow Workshops. Build your own life-size and lovable scarecrow. Everything is included, just bring your imagination. Happens every weekend through October 22. 413-253-9528. 1150 West St. Amherst, MA ($$)

Saturday, October 7, 12:30-1:30pm
ART STUDIES/LANDSCAPES
For centuries, the breathtaking views from Mount Holyoke have inspired many an artist, scholar, and poet. Visitors have come from near and far to revel in the beauty of the Summit House and the picturesque valley below. Join a Park Interpreter and create or recreate artwork of your own design—inspired by the various artists before us or simply by the landscape itself. This is for adults and children of all ages, and no skill level is required. Supplies for drawing, coloring, and writing will be provided. Meet on the Summit House deck. Suitable for all ages. In case of rain, call to confirm: 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Saturday, October 7, 2-2:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/HOSPITALITY
The first “prospect” or Summit House was a small “refreshment” hut built in a little over a day in the summer of 1821. Learn about the evolution of the Summit House over the past 200 years from a pair of “dueling saloons,” to a small hotel, to a grander hotel, to state park status, and through to today’s museum. For all ages. Meet on Summit House deck. In case of rain, call to confirm. 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Saturday October 7, 2pm & 3pm
THEATER/HISTORY
Multi-Arts presents, Meeting Mabel Loomis Todd. Amherst: 1880’s. Come one, come all, to a time-travelling adventure through Amherst! Join Winnie, the new girl in town, as she is accidentally sent back to the 1800’s. Her journey takes a turn when she meets the remarkable Mabel Loomis Todd, and learns just how much of an impact one woman can have on her town. The play takes place at the Strong House, a relic of Amherst History preserved with Mabel’s help, and a testament to how she shaped the Amherst we know today. Strong House. 67 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (DONATION)

Saturday, October 7, 5-9pm
HISTORY/HAY RIDE
Ghosts & Gravestones: An Evening of Historical Tours at Leyden’s South Cemetery, presented by the Leyden Historical Commission. Tours leave Leyden Town Hall every half hour by hay wagon starting at 5pm and ending at 9pm. During the ride, you will hear ghost stories while enjoying the scenic hills of Leyden. You will arrive at Leyden’s South Cemetery, and there you will cross through the veil of living to meet spirits from Leyden’s past. You will hear stories of their lives: from prosperous farmers, to sculptor’s apprentice, to Stephen Dorrill, who will tell the story of his father, William Dorrill. William Dorrill (the “Leyden Messiah”) founded a free love, extreme vegetarian religious sect known as the Dorrillites in the 1790s. After the tour, you will return to Leyden’s Town Hall to enjoy refreshments, have a chance to win raffle prizes, and watch a film. This event is entertaining and historical, but not scary. Children are welcome and can participate in creating their own primitive folk art puppets and bags. Enjoy a beautiful fall night in small town New England, and help the Leyden Historical Commission raise money to preserve and display their historical artifacts so that you may enjoy the history of Leyden all year round. Please wear sturdy shoes, and bring your own flashlight. www.LeydenHistory.org. 413-774-2694. Leyden Town Hall. 16 W. Leyden Road. Leyden, MA (>$)

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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, October 8, 9:30-10:15am
NATURE-BASED/MINDFULNESS
What better way to connect to the natural world than silent meditation and contemplation while soaking in the beauty of the view from the Summit. Join a park interpreter in a meditation and mindful walk, listening and breathing in the sights and sounds around us. Bring something to sit on or a yoga mat. Suitable for all ages. Meet on Summit House deck. 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Sunday, October 8, Call for time.
DANCE STUDIES/AUDITIONS
Magic is afoot! The Center Dance Studio invites community members of all ages to audition for A 21st Century Nutcracker, an exciting spin on a timeless classic. Auditions will be held at The Center Dance. Visit The Center’s Nutcracker page for details. For more information, email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com or call 413-230-1944. 321 Main Street. Amherst, MA

Sunday, October 8, 10-11:30am
LOCAL ARCHITECTURE/PHOTOGRAPHY
Bricks and Mortar: Old Mill Beauty at Holyoke Heritage State Park. Bring your cameras, smart phones, and/or binoculars for an easy 1.8 mile walking tour focused on textile and paper mill design. Discover and photograph the many decorative features with grace some of Holyoke/s oldest mills. For lifelong and self-directed learners (children ages 8 and older). Rain cancels. 413-534-1723. Visitor Center. Holyoke Heritage State Park. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA

Sunday, October 9, 10am-12:30am
CARNIVOROUS PLANTS/BOGS
Did you know there is a bog in the Hilltowns… home to carnivorous plants?! Hawley Bog stands at an elevation of 1,800 feet, similar to some of the cold bogs of Canada. In an upcoming Mass Audubon program, families can learn about local natural history by visiting this peatland and participating in a guided walk with local naturalist, Nancy Childs. Come see the bog before the weather gets colder, and learn about three types of Massachusetts carnivorous plants: sundew, pitcher plant, and bladderwort. Autumn is also the time to see cottongrass, a glacial relic! Call 413-584-3009 to register. Directions can be found on the Mass Audubon website. Hawley, MA. (Members <$; Non members $)

Sunday, October 8, 10:30-11am
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRD MIGRATION
With its relatively rare east-to-west orientation and vantage point overlooking the Pioneer Valley below, the Mount Holyoke Range features several spots that are ideal for viewing the fall migration of hawks and other raptors heading south. The deck of the Summit House is one such vantage point. Learn why the range is such a popular thoroughfare for raptors and how to identify the raptors you are seeing. If you have them, please bring a pair of binoculars. A scope will be available for shared use. For adults and families with children ages 12 and older. Meet on the Summit House deck. In case of rain, call to confirm: 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Sunday, October 8, 10:30am-4pm
HALLOWEEN/TRANSPORTATION HISTORY
Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold their popular Pumpkin Patch every Fri., Sat., and Sun. in October. Pumpkin Patch is a family fun filled adventure where you ride on a trolley car out to the pumpkin patch field and each person can pick out a free pumpkin. Additionally, when you return back to the Museum you can decorate the pumpkins, get your face painted & enjoy the outside play area with spooktacular Halloween activities. Don’t forget you can take as many Trolley rides as you would like. Visit www.ct-trolley.org for hours of operation. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, $10 for youth (ages 4-12) and $3 for children (under age 3). 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT ($)

Sunday, October 8, 10am-5pm
PLACEMAKING/HARVEST FESTIVAL
Harvest festivals mark the seasons and tune us to our sense of place. The 83rd annual Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival celebrates local agriculture and the culture of the Berkshires. A tag sale and and silent auction allow the community to engage in sustainable practices, while the farmers’ market and plant sale support skillsharing and collaborative consumption of knowledge share by local farmers and gardeners. Interested in service-based learning? The festival has opportunities to volunteer, connecting older teens and life-long learners with a community of gardeners that support conservation and nature-based learning. All proceeds from the festival will benefit the Garden’s education program. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. (<$; Children under 12 and members FREE)

Sunday, October 8, 10am-5pm
FALL FESTIVAL/LOCAL CULTURE
Since 1969, the Annual Ashfield Fall Festival takes place on Ashfield’s charming main street and throughout the town every Columbus Day weekend, celebrating town culture, artisans, and Ashfield businesses. The annual giant pumpkin and tallest sunflower contests are something to be seen, along with an intergenerational round of pumpkin games! On the town common, carnival games initiated and facilitated by Ashfield youth take place, giving them an opportunity to develop their creative, social, and business skills in a real world application while contributing to their local culture. Admission is free to this two-day event, happening rain or shine. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Sunday, October 8, 11am-12:30pm
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY
J. A. Skinner State Park’s Summit House deck is one of several great places in the valley to view hawks, falcons, eagles, osprey, harriers, and vultures as they migrate south to the winter homes. Join a Park Interpreter as we keep a sharp eye out for passing raptors and do our best to figure out who is who! If you have them, please bring a pair of binoculars. A scope will be available for shared use. Meet on the Summit House deck. For adults and families with children ages 6 and older. In case of rain, call to confirm. 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Sunday, October 8, 12noon-6pm
SUKKOT HARVEST FESTIVAL
Sukkot Harvest Festival at Abundance Farm! Sunday, October 8th from 11am-3pm at 253 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA. Come celebrate the harvest with a bonfire, apple cider pressing, cob oven baking, live music, harvest games, nature-based arts and crafts, food and drinks, tea making, and seed saving activities. Rain or shine! Suggested donation: $5. More info at https://www.facebook.com/events/114208499277011. Northampton, MA (>$)

Sunday, October 8, 12noon-6pm
FALL FESTIVAL/LOCAL CULTURE
Help build a new, local tradition by attending the Just Roots Farm Fall Festival! People of all ages can come to carve pumpkins, hear live music, and celebrate fall! Just Roots is the organization behind the Greenfield Community Farm, a vital resource for learning about and growing food. 413-325-8969. 34 Glenbrook Drive. Greenfield, MA

Sunday, October 8, 1-1:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/HOSPITALITY
The first “prospect” or Summit House was a small “refreshment” hut built in a little over a day in the summer of 1821. Learn about the evolution of the Summit House over the past 200 years from a pair of “dueling saloons,” to a small hotel, to a grander hotel, to state park status, and through to today’s museum. For all ages. Meet on Summit House deck. In case of rain, call to confirm. 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Sunday, October 8, 2-5pm
COLONIAL HISTORY
Historical societies help to preserve our collective memory and strengthen communities by educating community members on local history. You can learn about 16th century life with a visit to the 1775 Wilder Homestead. Participants will learn about history through activities and demonstrations of Colonial era tasks such as open hearth cooking, weaving, spinning, chair caning, spinning, quilting, folk painting, and cider pressing. There will also be music of the 1700s and Morris Dancers. Contact the Buckland Historical Society for more information: 413-625-9763. 32 Upper Street. Buckland, MA. (<$)

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Monday, October 9, 2017

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, October 9, 9:30-10am
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRD MIGRATION
With its relatively rare east-to-west orientation and vantage point overlooking the Pioneer Valley below, the Mount Holyoke Range features several spots that are ideal for viewing the fall migration of hawks and other raptors heading south. The deck of the Summit House is one such vantage point. Learn why the range is such a popular thoroughfare for raptors and how to identify the raptors you are seeing. If you have them, please bring a pair of binoculars. A scope will be available for shared use. For adults and families with children ages 12 and older. Meet on the Summit House deck. In case of rain, call to confirm: 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Monday, October 9, 10am-7pm
SUKKOT/JEWISH CULTURE
Sukkot, known in English as the Feast of Tabernacles, is an ancient agricultural festival that celebrates the completion of the Fall harvest. This Jewish holiday is commemorated by building temporary shelters known as a sukkah. Traditional Jews eat all of their meals and even sleep in the sukkah for the duration of the week long holiday. In celebration, Western Mass Sukkahfest will be happening in the fields at the Springfield JCC. Sukkahfest will include a variety of sukkot activities that are geared for people of all ages. The two day festival is packed with an engaging program, including live music, kosher food, entertainment, adult education, crafts, and kids activities. Come meet your neighbors, learn about this annual tradition, and celebrate the end of the harvest. All are welcome, rain or shine! No RSVP necessary. 413-567-7840 Springfield JCC. 1160 Dickinson Street. Springfield, MA (FREE)


Monday, October 9, 10:30am-4pm
HALLOWEEN/TRANSPORTATION HISTORY
Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold their popular Pumpkin Patch every Fri., Sat., and Sun. in October. Pumpkin Patch is a family fun filled adventure where you ride on a trolley car out to the pumpkin patch field and each person can pick out a free pumpkin. Additionally, when you return back to the Museum you can decorate the pumpkins, get your face painted & enjoy the outside play area with spooktacular Halloween activities. Don’t forget you can take as many Trolley rides as you would like. Visit www.ct-trolley.org for hours of operation. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, $10 for youth (ages 4-12) and $3 for children (under age 3). 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT ($)

Sunday, October 1, 11am-12:30pm
Monday, October 9, 10-11am
ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY
J. A. Skinner State Park’s Summit House deck is one of several great places in the valley to view hawks, falcons, eagles, osprey, harriers, and vultures as they migrate south to the winter homes. Join a Park Interpreter as we keep a sharp eye out for passing raptors and do our best to figure out who is who! If you have them, please bring a pair of binoculars. A scope will be available for shared use. Meet on the Summit House deck. For adults and families with children ages 6 and older. In case of rain, call to confirm. 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Monday, October 9, 11:30am-12noon
LOCAL HISTORY/HOSPITALITY
The first “prospect” or Summit House was a small “refreshment” hut built in a little over a day in the summer of 1821. Learn about the evolution of the Summit House over the past 200 years from a pair of “dueling saloons,” to a small hotel, to a grander hotel, to state park status, and through to today’s museum. For all ages. Meet on Summit House deck. In case of rain, call to confirm. 413-585-0350. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. Rt. 47, 10 Skinner State Park Road. Hadley, MA (FREE/Parking fees apply.)

Monday, October 9, 5:30pm-6:30pm
YOGA/INTERGENERATIONAL
Want to take a yoga class with your child? Children ages ten and up are welcome to yoga classes in Stanley Park! A certified instructor will lead participants of all levels through foundational yoga poses and breathing exercises. Yoga In The Park will take place weekly through October 16. Bring your own mat and any props as needed, wear comfortable and stretchy clothes. You may sign up by emailing gdelmastro@stanleypark.org or call 413-568-9312 ext. 112 or register at the park at your first class where registration forms will be available. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (<$)

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Tuesday, October 10, 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.

Tuesdays, October 10, 1-2pm
STEAM/PreK
Did you ever think that some things are too hard to do at home with your kids? We will give you fun, easy and not too messy ways to practice STEAM at home with your child/children. Join us for an hour of great fun! This is an opportunity to inspire your kids to engineer, create, design, explore and build! 413-623-5483. Becket Athenaeum. 3367 Main St. Becket, MA (FREE)

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

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, October 11, 6-7:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Do you know about Northampton’s village of Roberts Meadow? “It’s a familiar story here in western Massachusetts; a once-thriving neighborhood is dismantled in order to supply drinking water for the benefit of many. It happened in Northampton, piece by piece; first one dam, then another, then a re-routing of the little brook, the taking of homes and farms, the creation of a watershed, etc. By no means as dramatic or far-reaching as the Quabbin Reservoir project that dis-incorporated and flooded four entire towns, this outlying neighborhood situated in Northampton’s northwesterly corner, nonetheless, was similarly dismantled and claimed for the “greater good.” …Northampton’s village of Roberts Meadow has all but vanished.” The Meekins Library will host a talk with John Irving Clapp about his book, The Lost Village of Roberts Meadow: Northampton’s Forgotten Settlement. Best for self-directed teens interested in local history and life-long learners. 413-268-7472. Meekins Library. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, October 12, 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, October 12, 12:15pm
WORLD STUDIES/MEDITERRANEAN ISLANDS
Museums à la Carte lectures, Cyprus & Malta: Coveted Islands, Complicated Histories with freelance lecturer, global traveler, and photographer, Amy S. Dane happens at the Springfield Museums. Mediterranean islands big and small have been inhabited, attacked, occupied, and shaped by their occupiers over centuries. With Amy Dane’s guidance, visit some ancient tombs and temples, Byzantine and Baroque churches, scenic views, and natural wonders and draw your own conclusions as to what the future may bring to these islands. Best for self-directed teens and life-long learners. Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, October 26, 3:15-4:30pm
STEM/LEGO CLUB
Create, learn, dream and build and spark your imagination with an abundance of Keva planks and Lego bricks, including Duplo’s and Megablocks! All ages are welcome. Ages 5 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 413-268-7472. Meekins Library. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

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Friday, October 13, 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, October 13, 10:30am-4pm
HALLOWEEN/TRANSPORTATION HISTORY
Connecticut Trolley Museum will hold their popular Pumpkin Patch every Fri., Sat., and Sun. in October. Pumpkin Patch is a family fun filled adventure where you ride on a trolley car out to the pumpkin patch field and each person can pick out a free pumpkin. Additionally, when you return back to the Museum you can decorate the pumpkins, get your face painted & enjoy the outside play area with spooktacular Halloween activities. Don’t forget you can take as many Trolley rides as you would like. Visit www.ct-trolley.org for hours of operation. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, $10 for youth (ages 4-12) and $3 for children (under age 3). 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT ($)

Friday, October 13, 4-8pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Hands-on! Art making for all ages, inspired by works on view at the Smith College Museum of Art: Masked with Mystery. Get ready for Halloween with beautiful paper masks inspired by the animals that appear in Honore Sharrer’s art. 413-585-2760. Smith College Museum of Art. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Friday, October 13, 4:45pm
OUTDOOR THEATER/SURREALISM
Experience landscape-based art and performance with both humor and drama while you traipse around fields and farmland when The Royal Frog Ballet presents their annual Surrealist Cabaret, this year at Park Hill Orchard. The performance takes audience members traveling through a gorgeous farm landscape at autumnal sunset. Along the way they encounter a surreal collection of short performances, installation pieces, and roving characters created by artists working collaboratively in various media, exploring and celebrating themes of season and place. Please bring a flashlight and wear hiking appropriate footwear and layers for a chilly fall evening in farm country. Reservations required. Park Hill Orchard. Easthampton, MA. ($)

Friday, October 13, 5-8pm
HALLOWEEN/PLACEMAKING
Fall and Halloween celebrations don’t have to be scary. You and your family can enjoy a guided walk of the Pumpkin Trail at Naumkeag, and learn about various woodland creatures who reside there. Costumes are encouraged and reservations are recommended. Guided walks will take place every 15 minutes and the event will occur rain or shine. Flashlights are encouraged. The trail is not stroller friendly and does have uneven footing. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (Adult $; Child <$; child under 3 FREE)

Friday, October 13, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/DRUMMING
West African drum and dance combines percussive instruments with choreographed movement. This is a highly collaborative art form. The annual Berkshire Drum and Dance Festival will bring together over 75 drumming artists to captivate audiences. The 2017 theme is “Honoring Women in Drum and Dance.” Proceeds from this event benefit the Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center. Doors open at 6pm for the world marketplace, silent auction, nature info displays and at 6:30pm there will be a showing of the Tamarack Hollow video in the theater. Berkshire Community College Boland Theater in the Koussevitsky Arts Center. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Friday, October 13, 8pm
ASTRONOMY
While some people lament the shorter days of fall and winter, longer nights provide more chances to learn about astronomy through observations of the night sky! The Old Hopkins Observatory and planetarium at Williams College are rich resources for learning about astronomy, as well as the history of the topic. The Hopkins Observatory, built in 1836-38 by the first professor of astronomy at Williams College, Albert Hopkins, is the oldest extant observatory in the United States. Astronomy students at the College will host this free show, open to the public. Attendees will learn about topics such as retrograde motions of the planets, phases of the moon, the varying temperatures/colors of stars, locations of neighboring galaxies, and more. Audiences will be treated to shows from the high-precision Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3/B opto-mechanical planetarium projector. 413-597-2188. Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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JOIN OUR TEAM! Hilltown Families is currently recruiting our newest Interpretive Writer and Development & Sales Officer. Click on the banner above to see the full job descriptions, as well as a slew of other available volunteer and intern positions. We look forward to hearing from our community!


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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