Suggested Events for October 28th – November 3rd, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“I am always amazed at how many opportunities there are in the Valley for family friendly cultural enrichment. I wouldn’t find out about most of them without Hilltown Families!” – Jacqueline Lee Jones (Holyoke, 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.

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!

Bulletin Board

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

Nov 4

It’s like a comic book convention for PBS KIDS! On Saturday, Nov. 4 from 10am-3pm at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, WGBY, along with a dozen local education-focused community and cultural partners, hosts WGBY Kids Fan Day, a family-friendly PBS KIDS fan fair with live music, interactive games, show-themed creativity stations, live animals, and more. Meet characters Arthur, Curious George, the Cat in the Hat for hugs and photos. Tickets cost $10/adult and $5/child. Free kid-sized ice cream with every ticket courtesy of Cold Stone Creamery. Proceeds benefit educational programming and PBS KIDS content in the region. Questions? Contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org. Event details and tickets at wgby.org/fanday.

Open House Nov 4

Smith College Campus School Open House. Prospective kindergarten through third grade students and their parents are invited to an open house on Saturday, November 4, from 9:30-11:30am, at the school on Prospect Street in Northampton, MA. Explore classrooms and try a variety of activities. Meet teachers, staff, and parents. For more information contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or visit www.smith.edu/sccs.

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.

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.

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

Add your class

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

Add your school

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

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested 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 28th – November 3rd, 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 28, 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. This week’s guest DJ, Heidi Swedberg, shares songs about noises, monsters and the Boogie Man, performs Halloween songs live with her ukulele, and shares the Flamenco spiced “Story of the Cat and the Chicken” (with ukulele flamenco by her partner Daniel Ward). A little spooky and a lotta silly! – www.sukeyjumpmusic.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 28 from 10-11:30am
HALLOWEEN/MUSIC STUDIES
Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra
presents Kids Monsters Ball for the 4th year in a row. 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/$20. olson23m@mtholyoke.edu Venue: Abbey Memorial Chapel, Mount Holyoke College, 50 College St, South Hadley.($)

Saturday, October 28
MUSIC STUDIES/MARCHING BANDS
Each fall, dozens of high school bands join the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band for a day of rehearsal and a thrilling halftime performance. Not only is this great fun for all participants, it offers high school musicians a glimpse of what it is like performing in front of a college audience. Join the Minuteman Band in a rehearsal of several specially designed pieces that will be performed at halftime for thousands of fans! 413-545-6060. UMass. McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Amherst, MA

Saturday, October 28, 10am-12noon
HALLOWEEN
Halloween party at the East Longmeadow Library. Come in costume to a frightfully fun Halloween Party and enjoy games, face painting, and great prizes! Baked goods available for a donation. Suitable for children 1 to 10 years of age. Library Community Room. 413-525-5400 x1515. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 28, from 10am-12noon
ART TECHNIQUE/LIFELONG LEARNING
The Alford-Egremont Cultural Council hosts award-winning pastel artist Gregory John Maichack who presents an hands-on workshop, “Pastel Paint the 45-Million-Dollar Flower,” for lifelong learners and self-directed teens ranging from beginners to experienced artists. In this 2-hour workshop participants have fun producing their own pastel painting of Georgia O’Keeffe’s elegant Jimson flower that sold for just short of $45 million. Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1 has been described as a vehicle for pure expression. Maichack will demonstrate again how beginners to accomplished artists can pastel paint easily using techniques of masters such as O’Keeffe. All participants will keep their pastel paintings. 413-532-3667. Fire House. 175 Egremont Plain Road. North Egremont, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 28, 10am-12noon
DENDROLOGY/NATURAL HISTORY
How big is a 250 year old tree? How would settlers of western Massachusetts have built their homes? Find answers to these questions by joining Timber Frame builder David Bowman at his home and workshop in the heart of the Hilltowns. Enjoy a workshop tour and woods walk to see specimen trees that date back to the pre-Revolutionary era and David Bowman’s timber frame mill. You will be joined by Brian Donahue, MA Woodlands Institute president and Associate Professor at Brandeis University, co-author of Wildlands & Woodlands: A Vision for the New England Landscape, and of A New England Food Vision, for a talk on the history of this property and forests in the region. Open to the public A family friendly event. Call to RSVP and get directions: 413-625-9151 ext. 114. Cummington, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 28, 10am-12noon
HEALTH & WELLNESS/AROMACHOLOGY
What do you call someone who studies the effects of smell on human performance? An Aromachologist! The Holyoke Public Library will be hosting a perfume making class with essential oils with a holistic nurse, Nora Zinan. Perfumes have been made for thousands of years for the purpose of adding pleasing scents to our persons and living environments. Essential oils were the main ingredient until the early 20th Century when chemists began making artificial scents. Essential oils are regaining popularity for their purity and healing properties. They can improve mood, pain, and other health problems, as well as romance! Come learn how to make your own personal scent, how to blend essential oils, and take it home with you. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut St. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 28, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/MYSTERY
Who stole the Celestial Evening painting from the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts? Can you solve the mystery and help find the painting? Be the detective and follow the clues to help save the day at the Springfield Museums‘ “A Mystery at the Museums.” Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, October 28, 10:30-11:30am
HALLOWEEN/LIBRARY ADVENTURES
Halloween Spooktacular at the Meekins Library! Come in costume and join Wendy the Wacky Witch for (not so spooky) stories, puppets, silly songs, treats, craft and more! Come in costume and parade through the library, too! 413-268-7472. Meekins Library. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)


Saturday, October 28, 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 28, 11am
STORY HOUR/INCLUSION
All children are invited to wear their sparkly, shimmery, glittery best and join local author and former Northampton poet laureate Lesléa Newman along with local drag queen entertainer Jenayah De Rosario for Drag Queen Story Hour & Sparkle Party! They will read picture books that celebrate everyone’s right to sparkle and shine including Lesléa Newman’s latest picture book, Sparkle Boy. After the reading, there will be a sparkly art activity, face painting, and book signing. For children of all ages and their families. 413-587-1010. Forbes Library. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 28, 11am-2:30pm
PIE BAKING CONTEST
Food and culinary arts provide a vehicle through which families can examine world cultures, history, science, math, and even creative arts – and as the holiday season approaches, opportunities to engage in such learning abound! During this time of year, seasonal opportunities to engage in baking-centric community-based learning intersect with ongoing opportunities to explore the culinary arts – making for a deliciously fascinating learning landscape. The Baker’s Pin is hosting a pie baking contest, giving folks the opportunity for experiential learning in their kitchen’s at home and community engagement by sharing with all. All children’s pies must be made by the children (under parent’s guidance only). They have a few rules and requirements here. 413-586-7978. The Baker’s Pin. 34 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA ($)

Saturday, October 28, 11am-12noon
STEM/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Kitchen Ka-Boom at the Berkshire Museum! Join in for some science fun and experiments. All experiments are kid-safe and can be recreated using items found in almost any kitchen. Reservations are requested. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Rte. 7. Pittsfield, MA ($)

Saturday, October 28, 1-3pm
HALLOWEEN/INTERGENERATIONAL
Family Halloween party at Artspace Community Arts Center! Enjoy fall snacks, dance to Halloween music, play board games, and get creative with some arts and crafts. Be sure to wear your costume if you want to enter their costume contest. Artspace Community Arts Center. 413-772-6811. 15 Mill St. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 28, 1-3pm
ART ADVENTURES
Search for secret doors in a seventeenth-century paneled room. Puzzle over a cuneiform inscription that praises a powerful Assyrian king. Marvel at a hanging sculpture spinning in a still gallery. Visitors to the Mead Art Museum do so much more than see objects—at the Mead, art is experienced, investigated, and explored. Set on Amherst College’s beautiful main quadrangle and flanked by a fascinating, stand-alone stone steeple, the Mead offers a world of resources for connecting art across countless cultures, mediums, and eras. Join them for Community Day at the Mead Art Museum! Amherst College. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 28, 1-3pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/FOOD SECURITY
Volunteering together teaches children positive values, like kindness, empathy and tolerance, and opens up channels of communication between parent and child. Engaging children in community service can increase their participation as future volunteers, helping to create more resilient and sustainable communities. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts host a family volunteer day/Halloween party. Come in costume and find out about the important work of this local non-profit while engaging in an intergenerational day of volunteer service. Please be sure that all costume are appropriate and do not portray any inappropriate or offensive messages, symbols, or graphics. Call to sign up: 413-247-9738. Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, October 28, 1-3pm
STEM/CODING
Bring your own carved Jack O’Lantern* and learn how to turn it into a spooky light show for Halloween at Holyoke Codes! You’ll write code to control RGB LEDs with an Arduino microprocessor. You’re welcome to bring your creation home to decorate your doorstep for the holiday. They will ask that you return the Arduino before the pumpkin turns to mush. (*You can come without a pumpkin and just learn how to design and build this cool circuit.) Ages 11+. Holyoke Codes. 100 Bigelow St. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday October 28, 4pm & 7:30pm
THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
The Drama Studio presents a live production of Sharman Macdonald’s After Juliet in their black box theater. After Juliet takes place in Verona soon after the drama in Shakespeare’s play and imagines the turmoil in the lives of the Capulets and Montagues after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Adult language. Recommended for ages 13 and over. 413-739-1983. Springfield, MA ($)

Saturday, October 28, 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 28, 5:45pm & 7pm
HALLOWEEN/PARANORMAL
Besides dressing up in costume, carving pumpkins and eating sweets, there are lots of ways to celebrate Halloween. Some celebrations may even be educational, as well as entertaining. “Ghost tours” can be combined with real historic learning. The Mount, once a home to writers such as Edith Wharton, as well as actors, wealthy families, hardworking servants, and teenage girls, will be providing 90-minute ghost tour. Tours starts at the Stable and ends at the Main House. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

Saturday, October 28. 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 28, 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 28, 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 (>$)

Saturday October 28, 7:30-11:30pm
PARENTS NIGHT OUT/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Mischief at the Mansion! A Halloween Gala to benefit Wistariahurst Museum. Join Historic Holyoke in raising funds to support the on-going programmatic and preservation work of the Museum, while you enjoy an eerie evening of fun and mischief in the mansion. Spend an evening reveling in mystical encounters. Enhance your costume with our on-site makeup artist. Experience delicious fall harvest treats. Cash bar. Enjoy a peek upstairs at the second floor of the mansion and a visit to a tarot card reader with our Second Floor Peek Pass. Costumes are encouraged. Great date night idea while supporting a local treasure! 413-322-5660. Wistariahurst Museum. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday, October 29, 10am-12noon
AMERICAN CEMETERY DESIGN AND THE BRIDGE STREET CEMETERY
As America evolved from a 17th century colony to a modern 21st century nation, attitudes towards death and burial changed, affecting the design of cemetery landscapes. The 356-year old Bridge Street Cemetery, Northampton’s oldest known place of interment, reflects many of these changes within its compact 19 acres between Bridge and North Streets. John Martha H. Lyon for a discussion about the history of American cemetery design, how it has evolved, and why. Following the talk, she will lead an interactive “treasure hunt” tour through the Bridge Street Cemetery landscape, identifying design changes, and encouraging participants to spot them too. Limited to 25 participants. To register, email lsanders@historicnorthampton.org Historic Northampton, 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA ($)

Sunday, October 29, 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 29, 12noon-4pm
HALLOWEEN
Halloween Fest 2017 begins at the Bangs Center! Trick-or-treating at Noon followed by a pumpkin roll and costume parade at 1pm (North Common Parking Lot). Then at 2:15pm after the parade, head back over to the Bangs Center for a carnival and haunted house until 4pm. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Sunday, October 29, 1:30-3pm
MUSIC/INTERGENERATIONAL
Suzuki violin and cello students of the Northampton Community Music Center present Spooky Suzuki Play-In at the Northampton Senior Center. Invite you family and friends to this fun and free musical event and remember to wear your costume! 67 Conz St. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, October 29, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY/PARANORMAL
Every state has its ghost stories, but no state other than Massachusetts has the Dover Demon or the Salem Witch Trials. From sea-side ghosts to UFOs over the Berkshires, Massachusetts has a rich history of paranormal legend, odd events, and strange denizens. Exploring the paranormal, Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe will present, “Mysterious Massachusetts.” In this program, take a look at some of the most famous of Massachusetts’ paranormal history. Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe is a library associate with the Springfield city library. She has been touring around New England lecturing on various aspects of pop culture for over 10 years. Open to the public, and refreshments will be served. Goshen Town Hall. 413-268-7120 Goshen, MA (FREE)

Sunday October 29, 3pm
THEATER/SHAKESPEARE
The Drama Studio presents a live production of Sharman Macdonald’s After Juliet in their black box theater. After Juliet takes place in Verona soon after the drama in Shakespeare’s play and imagines the turmoil in the lives of the Capulets and Montagues after the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Adult language. Recommended for ages 13 and over. 413-739-1983. Springfield, MA ($)

Sunday, October 29, 5pm
HALLOWEEN/STORYTELLING
“Put in the Mood for ghosts:” Storytelling with Tom Lee at The Mount. As darkness begins to encroach, master storyteller Tom Lee will spin suspenseful tales in The Mount’s drawing room. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA ($)

Sunday, October 29, 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 30, 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

PET FOSTERING SERVICE DOGS
Helping to provide much needed support for humans, service dogs are truly some of man’s best friends. Local families can engage in service-based learning by fostering future service dogs, giving them a loving home while helping to support their training. Information sessions are held weekly for interested local families! Read more in our post, Fostering Service Dogs: Service-Based Learning for Animal Lovers!

Monday, October 30, 7-10pm
FOOD SECURITY/SEEDS
The Hampshire College Farm and CSA is proud to present a screening of Seed: The Untold Story, followed by a discussion with Rowen White, Hampshire alum and Director of Sierrra Seeds, who is featured in the film. Come learn more about the severe but relatively-unknown crisis in seed diversity, its implications for the planet, and what people around the world are doing to try to solve the problem. Open to the public. Hampshire College, Franklin Patterson Hall (FPH), West Lecture Hall (2nd floor). Amherst, MA (FREE)

Monday, October 30, 8:30am-8:30pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
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 (DONATION/FREE)

Monday, October 30, 6pm
NEUROSCIENCE/SCIENCE CAFE
Why do I act different when I’m sick? How does our immune system communicate with our brain? Can studying our immune system help us better understand disorders like Autism? Is a healthy immune system important for brain development? Explore these questions this month at the SciTech Cafe! Jared Schwartzer, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education, and Neuroscience and Behavior at Mount Holyoke College, is a behavioral neuroscientist studying preclinical models of neurodevelopmental disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorders. He is particularly interested in understanding how genetic and environmental interactions alter the development of the brain to produce behavioral and cognitive deficits. SciTech Cafe events are open all those with curious minds regardless age and background. Union Station. Northampton, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, October 31, 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 31, 9:30-11:30am
HALLOWEEN PLAYGROUP/PreK PARADE
Northampton Parents Center (NPC) invites you to celebrate Halloween with a Halloween Party and Parade. A mini-parade will take place up the stairs and around the block. Everyone is welcome. Costumes are optional and your children are welcome to use the NPC’s dress up clothes. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of Main and State Streets in Northampton — entrance on State Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Tuesdays, October 31, 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 31, 2-6pm
HALLOWEEN SCAVENGER HUNTS
Town-Wide Halloween Scavenger Hunt supports a connection to place through adventure! Follow the clues to various destinations around Sunderland, where you will be rewarded with candy and prizes. Scavenger Hunt Materials will be available to pick up at the Sunderland Library on Halloween. Return to the Library having visited at least half of the destinations and you’ll receive a special prize. Sunderland Library. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, October 31, 4-6pm
TRICK OR TREAT
Downtown Trick or Treat in Northampton. Bring your little ghouls, ghosts and goblins downtown to trick or treat with us! We look forward to seeing your costumes and are happy to be part of this annual Northampton tradition. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, October 31, 5pm
HALLOWEEN READING
Annual Halloween Reading at The Mount. All are welcome for a reading of a Wharton ghost story. This haunting treat will be read by longtime friend of The Mount and Shakespeare & Company actress Ariel Bock. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA ($)

Tuesday, October 31, 5-8pm
RAG SHAG PARADE /COSTUME CONTEST
The annual Florence Rag Shag Parade and Costume Contest will be stepping off from Trinity Row Park on the corner of Main & South Main St. at 6pm. RT 9 (Main St) will be closed at this time for the parade to march to the Florence Civic & Business Center where kids can pick up a goody bag. Gathering at Trinity Row will start around 5pm. Costume judging at 5:30pm. Rain or shine. Trinity Row Park, Main and South Main Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 31, 5:30-7pm
TRICK OR TREAT
Rag shag parade begins at St. Ann’s at 5pm (arrive a few minutes early to line up!). Parade goes through town and ends up at LCC where goodies will be passed out. Don’t forget to “Trick or Treat the Streets” where Lenox merchants will be open and ready with treats for all! Lenox, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, October 31, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/HALLOWEEN
What organisms thrive in extreme conditions that are otherwise detrimental to most life on Earth? Dr. David Tooey, UMass Amherst, author of Weird Life: The Search For Life That Is Very, Very Different From Our Own, will lead a lively talk following a screening of The Thing at the Amherst Cinema. A box office bomb when it opened in 1982, The Thing is now regarded as one of horror master John Carpenter’s finest films, with incredible practical effects work by Rob Bottin and a score by Ennio Morricone. Let Halloween be your catalyst for connecting film and science interests through community-based educational opportunities. Best for older students and life-long learners. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity St. Amherst, MA. ($)

Tuesday, October 31, 8pm & 10pm
HALLOWEEN/PARANORMAL
Besides dressing up in costume, carving pumpkins and eating sweets, there are lots of ways to celebrate Halloween. Some celebrations may even be educational, as well as entertaining. “Ghost tours” can be combined with real historic learning. The Mount, once a home to writers such as Edith Wharton, as well as actors, wealthy families, hardworking servants, and teenage girls, will be providing 90-minute ghost tour. Tours starts at the Stable and ends at the Main House. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

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

Wednesday, November 1, 8:30am-8:30pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
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 (FREE/DONATION)

Wednesday, November 1, 6pm
DIVERSITY/CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
When we talk about diversity in books, we often talk about “windows and mirrors.” But what does that mean? Why is it important? And, if we can agree that diversity in children’s books is important, can we do more than pay it lip service? How can we use these books to help create a more accepting and welcoming community? In an extended presentation of her popular TEDx Talk, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin shares childhood anecdotes, personal publishing experiences and strategies to support diversity through children’s books. Forbes Library. Coolidge Museum. 20 West St. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, November 1, 6:15-10pm
DANCE STUDIES/TANGO
Tango Buenos Aires at the UMass Fine Arts Center. Tango Buenos Aires is known around the world for their fiery, uncompromising performances of the dramatic South American dance form known as tango. The Spirit of Argentina pays loving tribute to the dashing French-Argentine singer, composer, and actor Carlos Gardel—tango’s first superstar. You’ll discover his passion for futbol, boxing, and gauchos and get glimpses into his life in Paris, his appearance on Broadway, and his friendship with the young Astor Piazzola, another tango legend. Pre-show talk in the Concert Hall Lobby at 6:15 pm; Pre-show Tango Demonstration in the Concert Hall Lobby at 6:45 pm. 413-545-2511. UMass. Amherst, MA ($$)

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Thursday, November 2, 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, November 2, 12:15pm
SOCIAL CHANGE
Museums à la Carte lecture at the Springfield Museums, Pluck, Luck, & Sorrow: Anne Sullivan’s Massachusetts, 1870-1920, disability, poverty, economic independence, and advocacy with Laurie Block, Director, Disability History Museum, Project Director, Becoming Helen Keller. Annie Sullivan—most famous for her work with Helen Keller—was born to an impoverished, illiterate family in Feeding Hills. How did Sullivan get her education and her strong notions of dignity and independence? Sullivan’s journey—from the Perkins School for the Blind to Keller’s teacher and companion—helps illustrate the dramatic changes between 1870 and 1920 in Americans’ understanding of their responsibilities for the public good—aspects of which persist to the present. 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, November 2, 6:30pm
ZOOLOGY/BATS
How cool might it be to introduce yourself as a chiropterologist, someone who studies bats! Chiropterologist, and local biologist, Zara Dowling will introduce self-directed learners to the world of bats, including neighborhood species at the Westhampton Library. Learn about the threats they face and efforts to save them. Suggested for self-directed teens and life-long learners. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

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Friday, November 3, 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, November 3, 10:15am
ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The Clark Art Institute welcomes new parents and their infants into the galleries for a guided gallery talk. This informal program is designed to give parents a break from thinking about “all things baby” and is best suited for parents with pre-toddlers. Strollers and front-style baby carriers are permitted. The talk will be held in the permanent collection galleries in the Museum Building. Participants should meet at the admissions desk in the Clark Center. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Friday, November 3, 5-9pm
COOPERATIVE PLAY/INTERGENERATIONAL
Escape the Library! Escape Rooms are not just for kids! An escape room is a physical game in which players work together to solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete a set objective within a time limit. Sign up for an hour of fun at the Clapp Memorial Library’s Harry Potter-inspired Escape Room. They’ve arranged different time slots for different age groups: Grades 7-12 at 5pm; Grades 9-12 at 6pm; Adults at 7pm and 8pm. Registration is required. 413-323-0417. Clapp Memorial Library. 19 South Main Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, November 3, 7:30pm
ASTRONOMY
An interest in studying astronomy can develop from an interest in mathematical calculation, or a simple appreciation for the beauty of the sky. Families can share their interest in astronomy with one another by attending a Stars Over Springfield night at the Springfield Museums. On November 3, the Ed Faits, past president of the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center will present the featured family presentation: “Children’s Night: Explaining the Solar System.” In addition to the presentation this event includes a visit to the planetarium and a tour of the rooftop observatory or stargazing through the rooftop telescope, depending on weather. Rain or shine. Tolman Auditorium. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

Friday, November 3, 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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