Suggested Events for December 22nd – 28th, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

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

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.

Each week, Hilltown Families taps into your interests and values and gives you the chance to connect with others who want to explore them. By highlighting the learning opportunities that are embedded in the everyday events, activities, and spaces that make up our communities, sharing this information with families via our extensive online network, and supporting your participation in engaging and meaningful ways, together, we are building connections that shape and change lives and communities.

The beautiful fact is, we can’t do any of this without you. It all comes back to you and your engagement. During this season of gratitude and giving, we are inviting you not only to get out and have some fun while you learn, we’re inviting you to invest in the organization that helps make that possible. Hilltown Families is in the process of redesigning our website and planning new in-person programming for the Spring. We will bring you seasonally-based mindfulness events and workshops for learners of all ages and backgrounds at our founder, Sienna Wildfield’s, new space, Curly Willow on the Westfield River. But we need your help. Please support what you love by donating what you can to Hilltown Families. Consider making it a monthly contribution. For less than what you spend on a cup of coffee, you can make a big difference in the lives of families – just like yours – throughout Western MA! We thank you!

Our Saturday Morning Music Party Series is BACK!

On New Year’s Day (Jan 1st), Hilltown Families, the Flywheel Arts Collective, and the Easthampton Family Center 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 fruit, along with 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 the organizers, 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!

Plus, this year, we’ll be collecting donations of new toys and toiletries to donate to the YWCA of Western MA. This activity came out of one Hilltown Families grandma who wants to get her grandson into the habit of joyful giving at a young age. We think that more really is merrier and decided to open it up to the whole Hilltown Families community! Please join our family in expressing the value of generosity by developing a practice of giving as individuals, with our neighbors, to our communities. You bring the toys and toiletries and we’ll sort, package, and deliver them to the YWCA of Western MA, which, for over 150 years, has provided shelter, support services, and tools for self-sufficiency for women and girls in our community.

Bulletin Board

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Hilltown Sleddogs is a touring & racing outdoor adventure business right here in Western Massachusetts. Winter Vacation day sled dog camps, rides & lessons on dryland & snow are offered Fall, Winter & Spring! Summer Sled Dog Camps Overnight & Day, Dog Yard tours & hikes with a Husky are highlights of Summer. Private instruction is also offered with clients dogs to learn how to mush, skijor, bikejor, scooter &/or cani-cross. Hilltown Sleddogs is available for birthday parties with or without snow, school demonstrations & festivals. Contact 413-296-0187 or HilltownSleddogs@gmail.comSaturday, December 29, 2018, 10am-3pm, Ages 8-16, 1 Day Sled Dog Camp, $90. Register online, www.HilltownSleddogs.com. Holiday Gift Certificates available too!

Sign Up Now!

Central Rock Gym in Hadley is offering Climbing Vacation Programs during school breaks! Great for ages 7-13, our program focuses on climbing for all skill levels, and includes an emphasis on problem solving and team building initiatives. Throughout their week, children will have the opportunity to experiment with different types of climbing, and engage in exciting games and group activities. Email youth.crghadley@gmail.com for info or visit www.centralrockgym.com.

Add Your Venue!

Hilltown Families is now partnering with local businesses and organizations throughout Western MA to help parents connect with the right venue for their kid’s birthday party. The Best Birthday Party Venue Directory will debut on January 1st, 2019. We would like to invite your venue to join our stellar team of spaces that are partnering with us to reach new customers and make birthdays throughout Western MA more fun for everyone! A 1-Year membership in the Best Birthday Party Venue Directory is $150. We have a special discount advertising package for folks who would like to take the promotion of their space to the next level, too! To add your venue, email Hilltown Families’ Director, Courtney Supple-Benoit, at csupple@hilltownfamilies.org to get set up quickly and easily!

Add your class

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at sales@hilltownfamilies.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

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 22nd – 28th, 2018

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, December 22nd, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

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. Get into the holiday spirit with three-time Grammy nominee, Brady Rymer as he spins some of his seasonal favorites! It’s the perfect soundtrack for baking cookies, trimming the tree or an ugly sweater party! 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 22, 10am-2pm
SING ALONG/TEA
What’s better on a frigid winter day than a nice cup of tea and some biscuits? It’s time again for the popular annual Holiday Tea at the Pelham Library! This is a great opportunity to get together with friends from the community, meet new people, enjoy tea and treats, and live singing. This event is cosponsored by the Pelham Historical Society. Pelham Library. 2 South Valley Road, Pelham, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 22, 11-11:30am
STEM/EXPERIMENTS
You don’t need access to a high tech laboratory to conduct fascinating and exciting science experiments! Basic household items can be used to create amazing chemical reactions and shocking transformations. Kitchen Ka-Boom! at Berkshire Museum is a great opportunity for kids to learn science and engineering while doing some hands on, safe experiments in the kitchen. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Saturday, December 22, 2:15-4:15pm
ART STUDIES/FILM SCREENING
Theo van Gogh wrote of his brother Vincent, after the latter’s death: “That head of his has been occupied with contemporary society’s insoluble problems for so long, and he is still battling on with his good-heartedness and boundless energy. His efforts have not been in vain, but he will probably not live to see them come to fruition, for by the time people understand what he is saying in his paintings it will be too late. He is one of the most advanced painters and it is difficult to understand him, even for me who knows him so intimately. His ideas cover so much ground, examining what is humane and how one should look at the world, that one must first free oneself from anything remotely linked to convention to understand what he was trying to say, but I am sure he will be understood later on. It is just hard to say when.” Of course, Theo was right in predicting his brother’s fame. Van Gogh’s brilliant use of color and imaginative brush strokes have made him one of the most popular painters of the 20th and 21st centuries and many of his paintings are among the most expensive in the world. The new film At Eternity’s Gate features Willem Dafoe as the tortured artist, during the last dramatic years of his life. Impoverished and mad, van Gogh nevertheless painted some of his most iconic works during this period, before finally succumbing to his tragic fate. Images Cinema. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA ($)

Saturday, December 22, 5-7pm
PLACEMAKING
A local holiday favorite, the Festival of Trees presents a magical indoor forest of fancifully decorated trees. This year, each tree’s decor is inspired by a song. Spectacular enough as it is, the Festival of Trees becomes even more amazing when seen at night, after hours when the gallery lights are turned off! Don’t miss the Festival of Trees After Dark. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA ($)

Saturday, December 22, 6-9pm
PLACEMAKING
What better time to celebrate the gift of light than the second shortest day of the year! This Saturday, Florence will be transformed by countless luminaries and the entire downtown area will come alive with caroling, bonfires, hayrides, and lots of holiday cheer. Gather together to celebrate our wonderful community and the promise of the coming year. For more information, visit 17th Annual Florence Luminary. Downtown Florence. Florence, MA (FREE)

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Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

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 23, 4pm
PLACEMAKING
Look Park is getting into the holiday spirit! Throughout the holiday season, the park will be illuminated by the Winter Wonderland Light Display. And don’t forget to visit Santa’s trains while you’re there. Look Park. 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 23, 4:30-6pm
LOCAL HISTORY/PLACEMAKING
This year, the 38th annual Hatfield Luminarium will also feature a special exhibit on the history of lighting and illumination! Electric light has radically impacted our lives. Can you imagine relying solely on lamps and candles for light after dark? Especially in the long winter months when the sun sets so early, having enough light was seriously important. Be sure to check out the beautiful lights of the Luminarium and stick around for hot beverages and a live concert. Hatfield Public Library. Hatfield, MA (FREE)

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Monday, December 24th, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

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, December 24, 9:30-11am
PLAYGROUP/SINGALONG
 Parents and children are invited to come get together with other families and enjoy a morning of singing, games, playing, and learning! Snacks provided. This playgroup is hosted by the CFCE of the Mohawk Trail and Hawlemont. For more information, please visit Parent Child Playgroup. Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School. 75 Mechanic Street, Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

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: 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, December 25, 12-5pm
ART STUDIES/ECOLOGY
Of course it’s true that species extinction occurs naturally. Nevertheless, there is a consensus among scientists that we are currently experiencing a massive extinction event, caused by human activity. According to some predictions, climate change and other human activities has caused extinction rates to increase by 1000 percent. In response to this ongoing catastrophe and the looming threat of near term human extinction, a group of 100 academics signed a call to action on October 26, 2018. The open letter read thus: “[…] The science is clear, the facts are incontrovertible, and it is unconscionable to us that our children and grandchildren should have to bear the terrifying brunt of an unprecedented disaster of our own making. […] Our government is complicit in ignoring the precautionary principle, and in failing to acknowledge that infinite economic growth on a planet with finite resources is non-viable. […] When a government wilfully abrogates its responsibility to protect its citizens from harm and to secure the future for generations to come, it has failed in its most essential duty of stewardship. The “social contract” has been broken, and it is therefore not only our right, but our moral duty to bypass the government’s inaction and flagrant dereliction of duty, and to rebel to defend life itself. We therefore declare our support for Extinction Rebellion, launching on 31 October 2018.” Since then, subsequent letters of support have been signed by public figures such as Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, and Bill McKibben. In the past months, Extinction Rebellion’s nonviolent actions of civil disobedience have led to dozens of arrests and the movement is drawing increasing attention for the overwhelming numbers of activists pledging to be arrested and prepared to go to prison. Artist Dawn Howkinson Siebel’s portraits of endangered animals is the product of long hours of research and observation. Her paintings serve as “a record of the emotional memory of meeting her subject.” Her exhibit “Wild at Heart” will be up until December 31. A.P.E. Gallery. 126 Main Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

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Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

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

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

Wednesday, December 26, 6:30-8:30pm
ARTS AND CRAFTS/ZINES
As countercultural philosopher Alan Watts said in 1967: “Our educational system, in its entirety, does nothing to give us any kind of material competence. In other words, we don’t learn how to cook, how to make clothes, how to build houses […] or to do any of the absolutely fundamental things of life. The whole education that we get for our children in school is entirely in terms of abstractions. It trains you to be an insurance salesman or a bureaucrat, or some kind of cerebral character.” The DIY, or Do it Yourself movement, seeks to address this lack of practical skills in education by encouraging people to learn how to build, modify, and create without professional expertise. Zines are a perfect example of the DIY ethos. The Forbes Library Zine Club is the perfect place to get together with others and write, draw, and collaborate! Forbes Library. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, December 27th, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

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: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.

Thursday, December 27, 10-11am
STORYTIME/SINGALONG
Children ages 3 to 5 and their caregivers are invited to this playgroup for a morning of games, stories, and singing! This event is especially designed for children 3-5 but older siblings are allowed to join in, as well. For more information, please visit Preschool Play and Learn With Jenn. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Thursday, December 27, 10am-1pm
ARTS AND CRAFTS/FILM SCREENING
Fans of 2004’s The Incredibles had to wait more than a decade for a sequel but the critical response to The Incredibles 2 suggests that it was worth the wait. In this film, the superhero Parr family is challenged by a new enemy, while working to balance their own family life. Come enjoy an arts and crafts activity, followed by a free screening of The Incredibles 2! Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Thursday, December 27, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
This school vacation, superheroes are descending upon Springfield Museum. You never know what superhero you might bump into and there is a full schedule of superhero themed activities! Spiderman fans won’t want to miss a special demonstration about spiders and their amazing adaptations. Design a hero shield and learn about super animals. There is something for everyone. For a full list of events and activities, please visit Superhero Week. Springfield Museums. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA ($)

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Friday, December 28th, 2018

advertise with Hilltown Families

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, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.

Friday, December 28, 10am-12pm
MAKERSPACE/ARTS AND CRAFTS
 Come on down to Friday Playgroup at the Cummington Family Center, play with friends, and make new connections! This week, playgroup will also have a facilitator run makerspace, featuring recycled and repurposed materials, which is a great way to make your arts and crafts more eco-friendly. Cummington Family Center. 2 Main Street, Cummington, MA (FREE)

Friday, December 28, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
This school vacation, superheroes are descending upon Springfield Museum. You never know what superhero you might bump into and there is a full schedule of superhero themed activities! Spiderman fans won’t want to miss a special demonstration about spiders and their amazing adaptations. Design a hero shield and learn about super animals. There is something for everyone. For a full list of events and activities, please visit Superhero Week. Springfield Museums. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA ($)

Friday, December 28, 10:30am-1:30pm
NATURE STUDIES/HIKE
 The holiday season is a time for togetherness, warmth, and light. All too often in our modern society, however, the meaning of this special time is supplanted by commercialism and anxiety. Luckily, there is no better cure than spending time out in the non-human world. Take this opportunity to balance and re-focus with a lovely late morning hike on the Two Bridges Trail in the Bullitt Reservation! Moderate elevation. Warm beverages provided. Bring a lunch! Hilltown Land Trust. 332 Bullitt Road, Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, December 28, 11am
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
Museums are one of our greatest local resources! We are lucky enough to live in an area with so many great museums and Pittsfield’s Berkshire Museum is no exception. This special program for children ages 18 months to 3 years and their caregivers, will feature games, songs, stories, and more. Don’t forget to explore the aquarium and other galleries. Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Friday, December 28, 12-2pm
PLAYGROUP
Families with children up to age 5 are invited to come learn, play, and connect with other families in this supportive, multilingual environment! This group is a great opportunity to practice school-readiness skills. Light lunch provided. To register, please visit Play-to-Learn Group. The Bridge: Family Resource Center. 101 University Drive, Amherst, MA (FREE)

Friday, December 28, 6-8pm
LITERARY STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES
Juana Ines de la Cruz was a Spanish nun living in Mexico in the second half of the 17th century. In opposition to the conventions of the day, de la Cruz wrote poetry, taught herself philosophy and science, and composed music. Condemned by the Bishop of Puebla for consistently speaking out against the misogyny and patriarchal hypocrisy, de la Cruz developed a romantic relationship with the Countess Maria Luisa de Paredes, vicereine of Mexico and composed Sapphic poetry for her. De la Cruz also studied Nahuatl, the lingua franca of the Aztec empire. Come celebrate the life and work of this inspiring historical figure with the show Sublime Love: A Celebration of the Life of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, featuring selections from her music, art, and poetry. Saint James Place. 352 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA ($$)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Hadley, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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