Suggested Events for December 30th, 2017 – January 5th, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.

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.

In the Spirit of Giving & Gratitude

We here at Hilltown Families would like to extend to you, our community, another opportunity to engage with your interests and honor your values this season. For over a decade, Hilltown Families has been working towards creating resilient and sustainable communities by developing and strengthening a sense of place in our children and citizens through community-based education and engagement. As our Founder, Sienna Wildfield, explains in her TEDx Talk, feeling connected to where you live matters. We hope that you’ve come to see community-based education and the community-service learning opportunities that Hilltown Families curates for you each week as vital parts of helping grow active citizens who care about where they live. If you value the work that Hilltown Families does to support you in this effort and have the means to make a financial contribution this year, we would greatly appreciate your support. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization, which means your donation is tax-deductible. You can donate via this link or send a check to: Hilltown Families, PO Box 332, Williamsburg, MA 01096-0332. As always, thank you for being part of our community and participating in the strengthening of our people and places.

Hilltown Families’ Events

Jan 1

On New Year’s Day (Jan 1), Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! This year, we are starting off this family series on New Year’s Day, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages! It takes place at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall. This event is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun!

Bulletin Board

Dec 29

Spend your holiday vacation at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. CactusHead Puppets brings the story of The Pied Piper to life on Friday, Dec 29th at 11am & 1pm in a comedic, updated adaptation of the traditional folktale. Not only does the town find a musical solution to pest control, but the kids of Hamelin teach the grown-ups a lesson about generosity. In the end, the townspeople all come together in celebration. Join puppeteers John & Megan Regan as they present this classic tale, told with multiple puppetry styles, and plenty of dancing rats. Tickets are $6 (Members $5.50) and may be purchased in advance at Museum Admissions Desk or call 413-559-6336.

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!

Stoneleigh-Burnham School offers unique summer experiences for girls in riding, debate, dance, art and animation. Signature summer programs, hosted by expert faculty on a full-service campus, blend intensive skill development with summer camp fun and adventure. Camps emphasize the development of confidence, the acquisition of skills, and the discovery of new talents and abilities, and adhere to the same high standards set at Stoneleigh-Burnham during the academic year. Programs make use of the school’s outstanding facilities, and campers live in the dormitories with supervision from resident faculty and dorm parents. Registration is now open. Visit sbschool.org, email summerprograms@sbschool.org, or call 413-774-2711 x256.

Add your class

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

Add your school

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

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at sales@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 30, 2017 – January 5, 2018

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an EventCultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, December 30th, 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 is our post-holidays, pre-New Year’s Day show with HFVS producer, Sienna Wildfield. This perennial favorite episode shares music which reflects the season and songs of peace by great musicians, including Lui Collins, Timmy Abell, The Hullabaloos, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney, and many others. Also, Fawnie Byer reads “Peace Feather Story” from Peace in the World Smiling. 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, December 30, 1-4pm
LITERARY STUDIES/FAIRIES
Since 2003, when the Spiderwick Chronicles first burst onto the scene, it has delighted readers of all ages. Lovers of Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter will feel right at home in this world of fairies and magical creatures. This New York Times bestselling series has since expanded to more than half a dozen books and a movie adaptation. Now fans of this magical world will have the opportunity to meet and talk to authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Illustrator DiTerlizzi will also be doing a drawing demonstration! For more information please visit Norman Rockwell Museum. Stockbridge, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

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Sunday, December 31, 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, December 31, 10am-4pm
FIRST NIGHT
A contemporary New England tradition, First Night is celebrated throughout the region but began in Massachusetts with Boston hosting the first First Night in 1975. Today, towns all over New England celebrate the new year with community festivities including live music shows, gallery openings, art activities, performances and more. In Western Massachusetts, several towns host First Night celebrations as a way to connect community, support the local economy, and preserve the local history that makes this region unique and special. This special First Night event is especially for children and features a wide variety of exciting, fun activities, even including a New York City-style ball drop! For more information and a complete list of events, please visit Holyoke First Night Jr.. Holyoke, MA ($)

Sunday, December 31, 12pm
FIRST NIGHT
A contemporary New England tradition, First Night is celebrated throughout the region but began in Massachusetts with Boston hosting the first First Night in 1975. Today, towns all over New England celebrate the new year with community festivities including live music shows, gallery openings, art activities, performances and more. In Western Massachusetts, several towns host First Night celebrations as a way to connect community, support the local economy, and preserve the local history that makes this region unique and special. Northampton, in particular, organizes a large First Night celebration that includes a full schedule of events and activities. The beloved fireworks show begins at 6:15, followed by the iconic ball drop at midnight. For a complete list of events, visit First Night Northampton. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 31, 2-5pm
YOYOS/PHYSICS
The YoYo People have been performing their award-winning yoyo shows for years in 26 different countries! This exciting show combines comedy, astronomy, and amazing yoyo skills. Yoyos are an amazing example of physics in action: when a yoyo is thrown, it releases a force known as translational kinetic energy. When it unwinds this force is converted to rotational kinetic energy. Additionally the friction caused by the rope can counteract gravity, which makes the yoyo spin in place rather than retract. For more information about this fun and informative show, please visit The Yo-Yo Astronaut Show. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 31, 6-7:30pm
NATURALIST STUDIES/OWLS
There is nothing more bewitching than the haunting call of the owl on a frosty moonlit night. It is a sound that resonates in our dreams and beckons us toward the other world. Because of their uncanny nature, owls have often been considered supernatural monsters or symbols of the underworld. Come explore forests, fields, and wetlands and learn all about the nocturnal predators that live and hunt in those environments. After the walk, warm up with tea and hot cocoa! For more information and to register, please visit Mass Audubon. Spaces are limited! Lenox, MA ($)

Sunday, December 31, 6-10:30pm
FIRST NIGHT
A contemporary New England tradition, First Night is celebrated throughout the region but began in Massachusetts with Boston hosting the first First Night in 1975. Today, towns all over New England celebrate the new year with community festivities including live music shows, gallery openings, art activities, performances and more. In Western Massachusetts, several towns host First Night celebrations as a way to connect community, support the local economy, and preserve the local history that makes this region unique and special. Come celebrate First Night in Orange with hayrides, ice sculptures, fireworks, and musical performances! For more information please visit Starry Starry Night. Orange, MA (FREE)

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Monday, January 1, 2018

Monday, January 1, 10am
PLACEMAKING/HIKE
Start of the new year with an invigorating hike through beautiful scenic woods and hills. The Briar Hill Conservation Area features a short trail through a gorgeous young hardwood forest, which leads up to a stunning vista overlooking Williamsburg. This is a great way to appreciate the natural beauty and ecological diversity of our region and celebrate the coming year. For more information visit First Day 2018 Scenic Hike. Williamburg, MA (FREE)

Monday, January 1, 10am-12pm
PLACEMAKING/NEW YEAR’S DAY
Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! This year we are starting off this family series on New Year’s Day,January 1, with a morning music party. The morning begins with a complimentary breakfast of homemade pancakes, juice, and fresh fruit. There will be plenty to go around – and you’ll need it to fuel your moves for what some have called the “best ever dance party before noon!” DJ Youthelectronix will be on the ones and twos, spinning your favorite hits! Save on the babysitter and dance away the first morning of the new year! For more information visit Hilltown Families. Easthampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Monday, January 1, 1-3pm
PLACEMAKING/HIKE
For the past 27 years, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has celebrated the new year by organizing hikes in some of our state’s lovely conservation areas. This initiative has since grown nation-wide, so now you can join 55,000 other hikers around the country for this First Day Hike. This hike will follow the Canalside Rail Trail at Great Falls and offers a wonderful opportunity to appreciate this incredible state park. Afterwards, hikers can enjoy a cup of toasty hot cocoa. For more information visit First Day Hike. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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.

COMMUNITY-BASED RESOURCES
Though western Massachusetts isn’t known as a sports mecca, it’s filled with communitybased resources for exploring sports and the history behind them. As the birthplace of at least two major sports and home to teams and clubs engaging in a great many more, the area offers a variety of ways to learn about sports of all kind. Read more in our post, Exploring Athletics and Sports History Through Community-Based Resources.

ICE SKATING
People have been skating on ice for many hundreds of years, although this “early” skating was pragmatic rather than recreational. “Skate” is derived from the Dutch word “schaats,” which means leg bone, as the first skates were simply lengths of animal bone strapped to the bottom of boots. When wood, and then iron, blades were introduced as a replacement to bone, skaters gained more control and speed, and skating for sport and fun began to rise. Our local skating culture traces its roots to Scottish immigrants, who brought skates with them when they resettled in the U.S., and can be a great topic to explore on and off the ice while learning about world and New England culture and history. Find local skating resources in our post, 24 Ice Skating Rinks in Western Mass.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

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, January 3, 6pm
SUSTAINABILITY/KNITTING
There is something so comforting about the sound of knitting needles clacking gently together! Sitting together and knitting is a time honored community activity. This relaxing activity is a great way to express your creativity and become more self sufficient. It’s truly amazing how easy it can be to knit a hat or a scarf with just the most limited experience. This knitting group is open to both novices and skilled knitters. Work on an ongoing project, learn new techniques, or come and start from scratch. For more information please visit Huntington Public Library. Huntington, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

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.

VALUE-BASED ENGAGEMENT
Engaging in opportunities for collaborative consumption invites the acquisition of knowledge related to many themes through authentic use of community-based resources and community members. Emphasizing togetherness, opportunities for collaborative consumption are often intergenerational, allowing young community members to work alongside and learn from people of all ages, sharing skills, stories and knowledge. Additionally, collaborative consumption emphasizes cooperation, allowing families to learn how to work together and with others toward a shared goal of community resilience – the strength and cohesiveness to survive and thrive through challenges big and small. Read more about collaborative consumption in our post Collaborative Consumption: Learning How to be Resilient Supports Community-Based Education.

ICE SKATING
People have been skating on ice for many hundreds of years, although this “early” skating was pragmatic rather than recreational. “Skate” is derived from the Dutch word “schaats,” which means leg bone, as the first skates were simply lengths of animal bone strapped to the bottom of boots. When wood, and then iron, blades were introduced as a replacement to bone, skaters gained more control and speed, and skating for sport and fun began to rise. Our local skating culture traces its roots to Scottish immigrants, who brought skates with them when they resettled in the U.S., and can be a great topic to explore on and off the ice while learning about world and New England culture and history. Find local skating resources in our post, 24 Ice Skating Rinks in Western Mass.

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Friday, January 5, 2018

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, January 5, 7pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CONCERT
New studies report that listening to live music has numerous health benefits including lowering stress, providing pain relief, and increasing a sense of community engagement. For the past 14 years the Agawam Cultural Council has been bringing exciting live music to the area with its acclaimed Applause Series of Concerts. This show features the September Girls, a quintet performing hits from the 60s and 70s. For more information visit Agawam Applause Series. Agawam, MA (FREE)

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

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