Suggested Events for October 21st – 27th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“What would we do without all the valuable information and sense of community that Hilltown Families promotes?!” – Tina Cornell (West Chesterfield, 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 20

Parent Lecture: “The Conscious Use of Technology, and Media Mindfulness.” How can technology be part of a healthy, balanced life? How can we use technology as a tool, not a distraction? When, and how, do we teach our children to use technology responsibly? Lecture and discussion led by Chip Weems, PhD (Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at UMass and high school science teacher at The Hartsbrook School) and Susan McNamara, MA and (author of Connection At Any Cost: How Technology is Failing Our Children). Join the conversation. 6:30-9 pm, Friday, October 20th at The Hartsbrook School, 193 Bay Road, Hadley. www.hartsbrook.org RSVP’s appreciated. 413-586-1908.

Oct 21

Looking for a thoughtful approach to education? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Give your child the foundation for life-long learning and enjoy an engaged, vibrant parent community. Learn more at their fall open house, 10am-12noon on Saturday, October 21st. Speak with current teachers, parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All ages are welcome! 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org

Oct 21

All aboard to all paranormal enthusiasts! Berkshire Scenic Railway’s Spirit Train will be departing North Adams for a lantern-lit walk through Southview Cemetery with psychic medium Julie MacDonald on Saturday, Oct 21. Julie will teach passengers how to tap into the spirit world during this special evening event and will be open to interpret any messages coming through from the “other side.” To enjoy the experience, passengers must be fully ambulatory and be able to climb up and down stairs. Guests are also reminded to dress for the weather. Train leaves promptly at 5:30pm from 98 Crowley Ave in North Adams and will return in approximately 2 hours. Online reservations are encouraged and tickets can be purchased at www.hoosacvalleytrainride.com.

Oct 28

Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra presents Kids Monsters Ball for the 4th year in a row on Saturday, October 28 from 10-11:30am. All ages are invited to come costumed and ready to listen and dance to fun music! Enjoy musical selections that will take you out of this world on this Halloween weekend. There will be an “instrument petting zoo,” where orchestra members circulate among the audience, introducing their instruments. Move around, meet the musicians, and even experience the instruments up close. Tickets sold at the door: $3/child, $5/adults. Adults with groups of 4 or more children are free. Group Offers: 4 child/$10; 10 child/$20. Venue: Abbey Memorial Chapel, Mount Holyoke College, 50 College St, South Hadley. olson23m@mtholyoke.edu

At JOY ART SPACE students experience the joy of creating art while developing new skills and finding their unique artistic voice! JOY ART SPACE offers private art lessons and small group classes for children, teens, and adults in painting, drawing, sculpture, fashion design, and more. Students learn art techniques in a warm, supportive environment. Classes for all experience levels, beginner to advanced. Art teacher Lily Joy Friedling has taught privately and in schools for 10 years, and has an M.A. in Art Education from Columbia University. Located right in downtown Amherst on N. Pleasant Street. Visit www.joyartspace.com or contact lily.joyartspace@gmail.com 413-345-2747 to learn more.

Accepting applications for fall 2018. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. At Bement, the innovative educational approach and rigorous curriculum prepare students well for competitive secondary schools and to tackle the challenges of life. Students work hard, learn to overcome obstacles, persevere with joy and optimism, develop a strong sense of self, and find ways to help others. Children and adults at Bement work together to create a community where all members cultivate mutual respect and understanding within the school and the world. For info on how to arrange a campus visit, call 413-774-4209. www.bement.org.

Is your child struggling at school? You have options! Join Oak Meadow for a Virtual Open House (sign up here) to learn about their creative, adaptable homeschooling curriculum for K-12, or enrollment in their teacher-supported distance learning school. K-4 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. Enrollment in single courses as well as full enrollment are available in our distance school. You can start anytime. Feel free to send questions to info@oakmeadow.com.

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 21st – 27th, 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 21, 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. Explore the joys of autumn with guest DJ Lucy Kalantari. With music spanning decades from the 1930s to the present she includes the voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Earth, Wind & Fire, The White Stripes, Joanie Leeds, Mister G, and many more. Everyone has something to say about autumn. — www.LucyKalantari.com. 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 21, 10am-12noon
OPEN HOUSE/WALDORF EDUCATION
Looking for a thoughtful approach to education? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Give your child the foundation for life-long learning and enjoy an engaged, vibrant parent community. Learn more at their fall open house, 10am-12noon on Saturday, October 21st. Speak with current teachers, parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All ages are welcome! 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org

Saturday, October 21, 10am-12noon
CREATIVE-FREE PLAY/ARCHITECTURE
It’s Pop-Up Play Day at the Berkshire Museum. Supports creative-free play, children can build and rebuild with the large blocks and colorful architectural building components. Pop-Up Play Day is included in regular museum admission. Pittsfield. ($)

Saturday, October 21, 10am-1pm
DENDROLOGY
 Have you ever looked at a tree in winter and wondered what it might be? For more than half the year, bark provides the best clue to tree identification. Join naturalist Nancy Goodman and take a close look at trees and other botanical wonders at Northfield Mountain. Participants will be keying out some of the trees to see what can be learn. Become familiar with the characteristic bark of different trees in different habitats and at different stages of growth, as well as identification from leaves and other clues. Bring binoculars, water, lunch, sturdy walking shoes, and the book Bark by Michael Wojtech, if you have a copy. This program is co-sponsored with the Athol Bird and Nature Club and will take place at Northfield’s scenic Riverview Picnic area along the Connecticut River (intersection of Pine Meadow and Ferry Road, Northfield.) This location has an especially rich variety of tree species. Meet in the Riverview parking area at 10am or at the Northfield Mountain Visitors Center at 9:45am for a short walk to Riverview. Appropriate life-long learners and self-directed teens. Please call to pre-register at 1-800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63, Northfield, MA

Saturday, October 21, 10:30am-12:30pm
COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Join Community Action Family Center for their 2nd Family Fun Day. Touch a truck, make a costume, jump in the bounce house and celebrate the diversity and resilience of Franklin County Families. 393 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 21, 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 21, 10:45am.
CREATIVE-FREE PLAY/GINGERBREAD HOUSES
Kids can scare up some fun with a Halloween gingerbread house at the Granby Library. Your young designers will have a scary good time creating a Halloween haunted house, customizing their house with sweets. Bring a jar of pre-made frosting (white or green –the library will have food coloring, green or orange) or homemade gingerbread icing and the library will provide the rest. Pre-register, space is limited. Ages 4 and up. 413-467-3320. Granby, MA (FREE)

AGRICULTURAL HISTORY/CREATIVE-FREE PLAY
Saturday, October 21, 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 ($$)

October 21, 12-3pm
CULTURAL HERITAGE/FILM
The Forbes Library is participating in Home Movie Day, a worldwide celebration of amateur films and filmmaking. Connect with the past of your neighbors and community members while celebrating our cultural heritage and sense of place. 413-587-1011. Forbes Library. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

HALLOWEEN/PLACEMAKING
Saturday, October 21, 2-9pm
Called “pompions” by the first European colonists, pumpkins were a food essential to winter survival – and they were grown in many more varieties than they typically are today. The custom of carving pumpkins into Jack O’Lanterns was introduced to American culture by Irish immigrants, influencing our cultural landscape to this day. Traditionally carved from root vegetables, including turnips and potatoes, new hybrids of pumpkins are grown specifically for carving. Annual October events that bring communities together through the lens of food (pumpkins) and culture (Halloween) includes the 8th annual Great Falls Festival (formerly known as Pumpkinfest)! This all ages event will feature live local music and dance all day long, as well as a pumpkin judging contest. This fun placemaking event brings alive a downtown district for a seasonal celebration (go in costume!). Before the event, carve a pumpkin or five and donate it (then see if you can find it during the night of). Put this one on your bucket list! 413-485-8627. Avenue A (free shuttle from Turners Falls High School and Sheffield School). Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 21, 2:30pm
DOCUMENTARY/POETRY
The U.S. premiere of a new Sylvia Plath documentary by French filmmaker and director Gesa Matthies takes place at Smith College. Read more about Gesa Mathies and “The Lady in the Book.” Through Plath’s words, as read by Smith students, the film portrays the early yearning for the greatness of this icon of American poetry, as well as the resonance her autobiographical prose has for young women who are searching to define themselves and their futures amidst and against today’s strictures and expectations. Weinstein Auditorium. Wright Hall. 5 Chapin Drive. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 21, 4-6pm
HISTORY/CEMETERY STUDIES
History lives in Forestdale Cemetery: A Walk Amidst the Gravestones. Monuments, markers, crypts, and crosses are but a few of the sights you will see on this insightful walk through Forestdale Cemetery with City Historian Penni Martorell. Find out the history of some of Holyoke’s founding families, and learn some of the facts of death and dying in the 19th century. Reservations are required. Forestdale Cemetery. Holyoke, MA ($)

Saturday, October 21, 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. ($)

Saturday, October 21, 5-8pm
HALLOWEEN FARM
 Halloween is a unique holiday in our culture, in the sense that it is highly focused on children. Although you can celebrate Halloween throughout your life, trick-or-treating and the consumption of sugary treats are primarily children’s activities. Families are invited to a not-so-spooky Halloween Party for young kids at Red Gate Farm. All are welcome, though the target age group is about 2-12. Enjoy haunted hay rides, pumpkin carving, cider pressing, and costumes. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Ashfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, October 21, 5:30pm
TRAIN RIDE/PARANORMAL
All aboard to all paranormal enthusiasts! Berkshire Scenic Railway’s Spirit Train will be departing North Adams for a lantern-lit walk through Southview Cemetery with psychic medium Julie MacDonald Julie will teach passengers how to tap into the spirit world during this special evening event and will be open to interpret any messages coming through from the “other side.” To enjoy the experience, passengers must be fully ambulatory and be able to climb up and down stairs. Guests are also reminded to dress for the weather. Train leaves promptly at 5:30pm and will return in approximately 2 hours. Online reservations are encouraged and tickets can be purchased at www.hoosacvalleytrainride.com. 98 Crowley Ave. North Adams, MA ($)

Saturday, October 21, 5:30-8pm
HALLOWEEN/FARM ADVENTURES
 Halloween is a unique holiday in our culture, in the sense that it is highly focused on children. Although you can celebrate Halloween throughout your life, trick-or-treating and the consumption of sugary treats are primarily children’s activities. Families are invited to a not-so-spooky Halloween Party for young kids at Red Gate Farm. All are welcome, though the target age group is about 2-12. Enjoy haunted hay rides, pumpkin carving, cider pressing, and costumes. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Ashfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, October 21, 5:30-8:30pm
HALLOWEEN/TRAIN RIDE
Look Park’s annual Haunted Train and Light Displays offers a night ride through the spookily decorated Look Park train tracks. Throughout the ride patrons are spooked by ghouls and goblins, amidst the trees, and creatures chasing the train as it goes by. As well as, Halloween Witches, who greet the young riders with treat bags filled with goodies. For children 5 and up. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA (>$)

Saturday, October 21, 6pm
EQUALITY/FILM SCREENING
“Girl Rising” will be screened at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Girl Rising spotlights the unforgettable stories of nine girls living in the developing world, striving beyond circumstance and overcoming nearly insurmountable odds to achieve their dreams. The film sparked a global movement for girls’ equality. On hand to talk about the Film, its subject matter, and the organization will be Girl Rising CEO, Christina Lowery and event sponsor, Marah Koprowski. 413-528-7400. 84 Alford Road. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 21, 6-7pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Flashlight Scavenger Hunt at the Berkshire Museum! Explore the Museum’s galleries with only a flashlight in a spooky, after-hours adventure. Go down the rabbit hole and explore the new Morgan Bulkeley show and resident mummy, Pahat, from a darker perspective. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Rte. 7. Pittsfield, MA (>$)

Saturday, October 21, , 6:30-9pm
HALLOWEEN/HAUNTED HOUSE
Naumkeag’s Haunted House returns with more scares, bigger haunts and new surprises that are not for the faint of heart! This year, we’re moving things into the mansion itself in addition to a new, frightening path through our historic gardens. Don’t miss the Southern Berkshire’s only Haunted House! Recommended ages 12 and up. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (Adult $; Child <$; child under 3 FREE)

Saturday, October 21, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/FOLK MUSIC SING-A-LONG
A sing-a-long concert in the tradition of Pete Seeger, celebrating community, family, and resistance. Join folk favorites The Nields (with special guests Local Chorus) for this kid-friendly evening to benefit the Rosenberg Fund for Children. Hosted by Congregation B’Nai Israel. 253 Prospect St. Northampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, October 21, 7:30pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/BIG CATS
Academy of Music Theatre Presentation National Geographic photographer Steve Winter’s “On the Trail of Big Cats Tour.” This show has engaged sold-out audiences across North America and educated attendees about how to help save the world’s big cats. From trekking India’s Himalayas in search of rare snow leopards; to stalking the elusive jaguar through Latin American jungles; to chronicling the nocturnal activities of the “American lion” or cougar, there is nowhere Winter won’t go to come face-to-face with his subjects. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, October 21, 7:30pm
PLAY/SENSE OF PLACE
A performance of REFUGEE. Written and directed by Milan Dragicevich; Music by Tim Eriksen. REFUGEE examines the lives of two Serbian sisters displaced at the El Shatt refugee camp in the Sinai desert during World War II—and five decades later, their grandchildren, dispersed across two continents. The story is loosely based on the historical sojourn of Dragina Kalanj (playwright’s mother), who came to El Shatt as a teenage girl, the beginning of an epic odyssey that thwarted a return to her native land—and family—until 25 years later. The play explores the memory of family, the search for identity and acceptance in a new land, as well as the multiple meanings of refugee and how that experience shapes one’s destiny—and creates generational aftershocks. REFUGEE also introduces audiences to a forgotten chapter of World War II, the El Shatt experience in Egypt, as well as to a “forgotten” or little-understood region of contemporary America: the people and culture of Southern Appalachia. REFUGEE is a play with music, composed and performed by Grammy-nominated musician, Tim Eriksen. Shea Theater. Turners Falls, MA ($$)

Saturday, October 21, 7:30pm
THEATER
Can a woman of insatiable appetites just up and audition for sainthood? Playwright and OBIE-winning actor Heidi Schreck conjures a collision of contemporary and medieval imaginations in CREATURE by Heidi Schreck, directed by Isabelle Brown (’19): a very funny, a little bit scary new play about faith and its messengers. Smith College. Theatre 14, Mendenhall CPA, 122 Green St. Northampton, MA (>$)

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Sunday, October 22, 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 22, 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 $3 for children (under age 3). 58 North Road. East Windsor, CT ($)

AGRICULTURAL HISTORY/CREATIVE-FREE PLAY
Saturday, October 21, 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 ($$)

Sunday, October 22, 12noon-4pm
FOOD FESTIVAL/PUMPKIN
 Outlook Farm hosts their annual Pumpkin Festival. Pig roast, BBQ, hayrides, tag sale. Call for details. 413-529-9388. Route 66. Westhampton, MA

Sunday, October 22, 1pm
HIKING
 Join Williamsburg Woodland Trails and Hilltown Land Trust for a hike at HLT’s Breckenridge property. Hike through the woods and along the West Branch of the Mill River out to a covered bridge and back. The hike will be approximately 2.5 miles long and is of easy to moderate difficulty. Meet at the Breckenridge property trailhead on Rt. 9 near the Williamsburg/Goshen town line. For directions to the trailhead, visit the Breckenridge property page. This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by sending an email to hltoutreach@thetrustees.org or call 413-628-4485 ext 4. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

Sunday, October 22, 1-3pm
AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY
Americans have long regarded the freedom of travel a central tenet of citizenship. Yet, in the United States, Freedom of movement has historically been a right reserved for whites. Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor’s book, “Colored Travelers: Mobility & the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War,” show that African Americans fought obstructions to their mobility over 100 years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. These were “colored travelers,” activist who relied on steamships, stagecoaches, and railroads to expand their networks and to fight slavery and racism. Hosted by The David Ruggles Center for History and Education. Florence Community Center 140 Pine Street, Florence, MA

Sunday, October 22 at 1-4pm
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/SKILLSHARING
Do you want to learn more about fixing things? Or do you have a broken item that you would like someone else to fix? Then join the Hitchcock Center for their event, Repair Public: An Experiment in Community Fixery. “Repair Public is an exercise in community resourcefulness. The basic idea is to encourage people to learn how and/or where to fix broken items instead of tossing them into a landfill and buying replacements. The participants and facilitators are local community members just like you. You bring a broken item that you want help repairing as well as a willingness to try to fix it. There will be repair facilitators on-hand to help you figure out how to fix your treasure, each with one or more areas of specialty. We’ll have various tools available for use, as well as some basic supplies like screws, tape, glue, wire nuts, needles, threads, and probably appliance cord with some plug-ends.” Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West St. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Sunday, October 22, 2pm
PLAY/SENSE OF PLACE
A performance of REFUGEE. Written and directed by Milan Dragicevich; Music by Tim Eriksen. REFUGEE examines the lives of two Serbian sisters displaced at the El Shatt refugee camp in the Sinai desert during World War II—and five decades later, their grandchildren, dispersed across two continents. The story is loosely based on the historical sojourn of Dragina Kalanj (playwright’s mother), who came to El Shatt as a teenage girl, the beginning of an epic odyssey that thwarted a return to her native land—and family—until 25 years later. The play explores the memory of family, the search for identity and acceptance in a new land, as well as the multiple meanings of refugee and how that experience shapes one’s destiny—and creates generational aftershocks. REFUGEE also introduces audiences to a forgotten chapter of World War II, the El Shatt experience in Egypt, as well as to a “forgotten” or little-understood region of contemporary America: the people and culture of Southern Appalachia. REFUGEE is a play with music, composed and performed by Grammy-nominated musician, Tim Eriksen. Shea Theater. Turners Falls, MA ($$)

Sunday, October 22, 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. ($)

Sunday, October 22, 5:30-8:30pm
HALLOWEEN/TRAIN RIDE
Look Park’s annual Haunted Train and Light Displays offers a night ride through the spookily decorated Look Park train tracks. Throughout the ride patrons are spooked by ghouls and goblins, amidst the trees, and creatures chasing the train as it goes by. As well as, Halloween Witches, who greet the young riders with treat bags filled with goodies. For children 5 and up. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA (>$)

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Monday, October 23, 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 23, 8:30am-8:30pm
WINTER COAT DRIVE/LOCAL VALUES
Do you have winter coats your kids have outgrown? Donate them at the library! The Holyoke Public Library is hosting a coat drive! Drop off new or gently used children’s and adult’s coats to the circulation desk. A winter coat drive can involve all members of your family in making a difference in our communities. Through family discussion, kids can learn about the need for warm winter wear while offering a solution they can participate in by donating winter coats they have outgrown. Family members can consider asking friends, classmates, and neighbors to donate their outgrown winter coats too, allowing for leadership experience in this community service project. Want to integrate participation into a lesson plan? One Warm Coat offers a lesson plan here. 250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA.

Monday, October 23, 7pm
COSMOLOGY/EINSTEIN
Nerd Nite Noho comes to the Academy of Music stage. Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in more than 90 cities across the globe during which folks give fun-yet-informative presentations. Presenters Gary Felder and Brokk Toggerson will cover themes related to the work of Albert Einstein, including “The Big Bang and Beyond” and “The Black Holes of Scientific Knowledge.” Academy of Music Theater. 413-584-9032 ext.105. Northampton, MA ($)

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Tuesday, October 24, 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, October 24, 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)

Tuesday, October 24, 3:30-4:45pm
LITERACY/READING WITH DOGS
 
Dogs have been service animals to humans, primarily to assist blind individuals, as far back as the 16th century! Today, service dogs and therapy dogs are used to assist individuals with a wide range of disabilities, including anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. Families can learn more about the companionship of therapy dogs, ask questions, and meet some working therapy dogs at the Reading Buddies with a Bright Spot Therapy Dog at the Westhampton Public Library. The Bright Spot Reading Buddy Program is designed to help readers on all levels. All students benefit from reading aloud to practice their fluency and further strengthen their confidence in reading. The canine reading buddy provides a gentle, non-threatening, comforting listener. Register for a 20 minute session. 413-527-5386 westhampton@cwmars.org. Westhampton Public Library. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

Monday, October 23, 5pm
MEDIEVAL ART/LECTURE
“Rocky Relics and Sacred Impressions in the Holy Land.” Smith Professor of Art Brigitte Buettner will give a lecture at Smith College on the role of precious stones in medieval art, symbolic practices, and in the production of scientific knowledge. Hillyer 109. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, October 24, 6pm
LIBRARY ADVENTURES/HALLOWEEN
An evening of Tricks & Treats at the Greenfield Public Library. Play spooky board games like Ultimate Werewolf, try the Ouija board, or play classic games. In the dungeon/basement read your favorite ghost story for the open mike. Cider, popcorn and candy apples and fun! For ages 12 and up. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, October 24, 7pm
PERFORMANCE/LIBRARY ADVENTURES
Nutshell Playhouse presents “Top Bananas.” Join the Adams Free Library and the Nutshell Playhouse for a fun-filled performance of visual and musical delights, featuring a puppet that morphs, a snake that sings, a saw that plays music, tap-dancing, new and old songs and an abundance of silly shenanigans. “Top Bananas” is performed by Berkshire County actors Stefanie Weber, Maizy Scarpa and Mark Hohlstein with live music by Don Jordan. This is fun for the whole family. 413-743-8345. Adams Free Library. 92 Park St. Adams, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, October 24, 7:30pm
LIVE RADIO
The Shad Ladder Radio Hour Presents: SHAD AT THE SHEA. Join the Shad Ladder Radio Hour at the Shea Theater for their October show: Spirited Away! Musical guest: Wild Bill and the Flying Sparks! Locally-sourced, live-recorded community radio, from their cast and crew to your listening ear. Shea Theater. Turners Falls, MA ($)

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Wednesday, October 25, 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.

FALL TRADITIONS
There are a myriad uses for pumpkins! One of America’s oldest native crops, modern day uses include carving as ornaments for Halloween, prepared as pies, and highlighted as a main attraction in agricultural fairs (i.e., largest pumpkin contests) and fall festivals (i.e., pumpkin roll & pumpkin games). Needless to say, pumpkins are an integral part of our fall traditions in Western Massachusetts. Read more in the October section of our Sept/Oct edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts.

Wednesday, October 25, 5pm
RUSSIAN HISTORY/LECTURE
Russian History Lecture “Shaping a Usable Past: The 1917 Centennial in Contemporary Russian Political Discourse” will be offered at Smith College by Historian Michael S. Gorham. Gorham will discuss how the centennial commemoration of the Russian Revolution has found expression in current Russian political discourse, spanning both traditional journalism and new media outlets. Open to the public. Smith College. Seelye 201. Two Seelye Drive. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, October 25, 6:30pm
PARANORMAL/LOCAL HISTORY
What was that strange noise? Where did that creepy shadow come from? Why is my dog barking at the corner? We all stop to consider the “ghostly” world of the paranormal in October, but what about the rest of the year? If you live or work in a “haunted” location, everyday can feel like Halloween! In a presentation at the Westfield Athenaeum by Rob Goff Sr. and his Paranormal team, participants will explore some of the local activity happening right in their own backyards. Goff will be highlighting and showcasing some of the best evidence captured during local paranormal investigations that he and his team have conducted in the last 9 years together, including such sites as the Josiah Day House, the former Knights of Columbus Lodge, and the Taphouse Grille (formerly Vincent’s Steak House), all located in West Springfield, and the Thomas Smith House in Feeding Hills. Westfield Athenaeum. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, October 25, 7pm
LITERATURE/AUTHOR TALK
Author Talk by Israeli novelist Dorit Rabinyan, a leading voice in contemporary Hebrew fiction. Rabinyan was at the center of a political uproar in Israel when the Ministry of Education banned her 2014 novel All the Rivers from the national high school curriculum. She will speak at Smith about the controversy, and how literature matters even more in an ideological age. Smith College. Graham Auditorium. Hillyer. 20 Elm Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, October 26, 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 26, 12:15pm
ARCHAEOLOGY
Museums à la Carte lecture at the Springfield Museums, Mirror at the Gate: Greek Buddhist and Christian Art and Archaeology with Joseph A.P. Wilson, PhD, Fairfield University. Early Greek-Buddhist art and artifacts of Central Asia appear remarkably similar to early Christian art and artifacts of the Middle East. This presentation will examine material connections between these neighboring regions during Late Antiquity when political turmoil of the late Roman Empire spurred migration between these ancient cultures deeply influencing the artistic traditions of both. 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, 3-4pm
CULTURE STUDIES/PUPPETRY
 The Hatfield Library will be hosting a Shadow Puppet workshop for kids. Found in many cultures, shadow puppetry has a rich history in India. While at the library, ask questions about the history of shadow puppets, research online images from traditional Indonesian shadow puppets, locate regions on a world map where shadow puppets were/are a part of their culture, and discover the art of storytelling through the magic of shadows. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA (FREE)

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)

Thursday, October 26, 7:30pm
THEATER
Can a woman of insatiable appetites just up and audition for sainthood? Playwright and OBIE-winning actor Heidi Schreck conjures a collision of contemporary and medieval imaginations in CREATURE by Heidi Schreck, directed by Isabelle Brown (’19): a very funny, a little bit scary new play about faith and its messengers. Smith College. Theatre 14, Mendenhall CPA, 122 Green St. Northampton, MA (>$)

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Friday, October 27, 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 27, 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 27, 5:30-8:30pm
HALLOWEEN/TRAIN RIDE
Look Park’s annual Haunted Train and Light Displays offers a night ride through the spookily decorated Look Park train tracks. Throughout the ride patrons are spooked by ghouls and goblins, amidst the trees, and creatures chasing the train as it goes by. As well as, Halloween Witches, who greet the young riders with treat bags filled with goodies. For children 5 and up. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA (>$)

Friday, October 27, 6-7:30pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/BAT
Join the Hitchcock Center for the Environment for an enchanted autumn evening of a pumpkin lit walk and a family program, “Pumpkins and Bats Oh My.” Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street. Amherst, MA ($)

Friday, October 27, 6-10pm
HALLOWEEN/JACK-O-LANTERNS
Pumpkin carving is an all ages activity which allows for the whole family to flex their creativity and learn about the seasons. Younger kids can decorate their pumpkins with markers rather than by carving. If you want to show off your pumpkin carving skills, you can participate in the 7th annual Pumpkin Walk-About. Drop off your Jack O’ Lantern at the Stockbridge Library between 5-6pm. You can celebrate Halloween with a parade and party, including spooky stories. Check out the pumpkins carved by your neighbors and local business members. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 27, 6-9pm
PLACEMAKING/HALLOWEEN
Placemaking can happen when we combine downtown districts with community centers and holiday seasons. ROOTS Teen Center hosts a Haunted Harvest Festival in downtown North Adams. Activities will be located in different storefronts throughout Eagle Street and the general downtown. 43 Eagle Street. North Adams, MA (FREE)

Friday, October 27, 6-10pm
PUMPKIN WALK
 
Washington’s annual John F.X. Keator Memorial Pumpkin Walk takes place October 27 in Washington Town Park. There will be trick-or-treating, hayrides, refreshments, and a bonfire. Celebrate Halloween at this annual town tradition! Route 8. Washington, MA.

Friday, October 27, 6:30-9pm
HALLOWEEN/HAUNTED HOUSE
Naumkeag’s Haunted House returns with more scares, bigger haunts and new surprises that are not for the faint of heart! This year, we’re moving things into the mansion itself in addition to a new, frightening path through our historic gardens. Don’t miss the Southern Berkshire’s only Haunted House! Recommended ages 12 and up. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill. Stockbridge, MA. (Adult $; Child <$; child under 3 FREE)

Friday, October 27, 7pm
HALLOWEEN PARADE
Halloween is not just about dressing in a fun costume and getting candy. The holiday gives kids a chance to safely explore their neighborhoods and downtown, with parents, and meet neighbors. Halloween parades similarly get people out into town. Pittsfield Parks and Recreation will be hosting this costumed parade on Tyler Street. Watch the procession of spooky, silly, and creative costumes and dress as your favorite character. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 27, 7:30pm
THEATER
Can a woman of insatiable appetites just up and audition for sainthood? Playwright and OBIE-winning actor Heidi Schreck conjures a collision of contemporary and medieval imaginations in CREATURE by Heidi Schreck, directed by Isabelle Brown (’19): a very funny, a little bit scary new play about faith and its messengers. Smith College. Theatre 14, Mendenhall CPA, 122 Green St. Northampton, MA (>$)

Friday, October 27, 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)

Friday, October 27, 9:45pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/ZOMBIE MOVIE
Do zombie movies have a moral message? George Romero thinks so (interesting read here). Consider his points and then head to the Amherst Cinema for a screening of his classic film, Night of the Living Dead. “Shot outside of Pittsburgh at a fraction of the cost of a Hollywood feature by a band of filmmakers determined to make their mark, Romero’s masterpiece is one of the great stories of independent cinema: an ultra low-budget midnight hit turned box-office smash that became one of the most influential films of all time. This is a new 4K restoration, scanned from the original camera negative and supervised by Romero himself.” 413-253-2547. Amherst Cinema. 28 Amity St. Amherst, MA ($)

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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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