100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: September 7-20, 2019

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With 9,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.5+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational events and community building opportunities happening this weekend and next week in Western MA!

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Class Directory

Western Massachusetts is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and lifelong learners! Hilltown Families Class Directory features classes, lessons, enrichment programs, and membership opportunities across the region and throughout the year. Our Class Directory makes it easier to find these gems while connecting families with resources that support their interests and education, including theater, music, dance, art, and much more. — Have a class, private lesson, or program you’d like to include in our directory? More Information. | Reserve a spot. | Submit your listing.

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Auditions Sep 13 – 15

Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater (ALSCT) announces auditions for Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical! Auditions will take place September 13-15 at the Bangs Community Center in Amherst, MA. For an audition appointment, call LSSE at 413-259-3065. This Tony Award-winning musical, based on the novel by the “brilliantly batty” Roald Dahl, will be presented with lavish sets and costumes, a full live orchestra, and enthusiastic audiences to fill the 600-seat UMass Bowker Auditorium for 9 performances in January 2020. Actors, singers, and dancers ages 7-107 are encouraged to audition! For more info about auditions, including character descriptions and audition music and readings, visit www.alsct.org/auditions or contact producer@alsct.org.

Play School

The Bloom Family Center is a unique childcare and early education environment in Northampton, MA. Their inclusive Play School program provides working parents flexible drop-in childcare for all ages. Bloom’s approach includes low child to caregiver ratios and a gentle play-to-learn model that reflects Montessori, Waldorf, and attachment parenting styles, integrating a natural learning curriculum designed to encourage and support skill-building, cooperation, and empathy across all age tiers. To schedule a tour or claim a free day pass, call 413-341-2184 or email familycenter@thebloomcommunity.org. For more information, visit online at www.thebloomcommunity.org. All September 2019 signups get 30% off their first month’s membership fees!

Fall Sales

Shop local and smart! Stock up and save at River Valley Co-op this Fall at their amazing sale events. Get huge deals on full case discounts and more. September 4 -17, Stock Up & Save with Co-Op Basics: 10% off over 300 everyday items and savings on cases. September 18-October 1, Squirrel Away Savings: Great deals on items perfect for the pantry or freezer. Stock up and enjoy them for months to come! For information on these amazing sales and more, visit River Valley Co-op online at www.rivervalley.coop or call 413-584-2665. Or better yet, stop by! Open from 8am-10pm. River Valley Co-op is located at 330 North King St. in Northampton.

Sep 7 & 8

September brings a great line up at events at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Mister G, the bilingual rock star, will get you dancing and share and sign his new book, Señorita Mariposa, on Saturday, September 7 at 11am. Reservations are recommended. On Sunday, September 8 at 1pm join their book party with Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli who will showcase their new early reader series, Hi Jack! Young readers will love Barnett’s snappy text, while aspiring artists will enjoy Pizzoli’s ‘How to Draw’ segments at the end of each book. Book signing to follow. Plus, enjoy artmaking, scavenger hunts, storytimes and three galleries of exceptional picturebook art. For more information, please visit www.carlemuseum.org.

Sep 14

The Hitchcock Center for the Environment invites the community to Pollinator Celebration Day on Saturday, Sept 14, 10am-2pm in Amherst. Family activities include face painting, a pollinator scavenger hunt, and a monarch migration obstacle course. See live butterflies from Magic Wings. Learn how to tag monarchs, as a citizen scientist. Make pennants and streamers, or bring your own pollinator costume for marching in the pollinator parade! Learn from Western Mass Pollinator Network how to make gardens friendly to pollinators and take home milkweed seeds! Bring a picnic, buy a Crooked Stick pop, and stay for the whole event. Rain or shine. For schedule & tickets, visit www.hitchcockcenter.org or call 413-256-6006. Sponsored by Shumway Services.

Sep 14 & 15

The Pioneer Valley’s hottest farm festival is back! Kitchen Garden Farm’s annual Chilifest is a celebration of hot peppers and all things spicy on Saturday, September 14th & Sunday, September 15th from 12noon-5pm at Mike’s Maze in Sunderland, MA. Enjoy great live music, local brews, and spicy food all weekend long! Try some of the world’s hottest peppers grown right here in Sunderland. Taste and vote in the Chili Cook-Off Saturday and Hot Sauce Competition Suhttps://live.staticflickr.com/65535/48624620286_4653d3cfc4_m.jpgnday, and check out the new Hot Sauce Alley featuring local hot sauce makers. Plus, chef demos, DIY pickles and button making, chili crowns and pepper pops, and fun for all ages. Tickets and the full schedule of events at kitchengardenfarm.com/chilifest.

Sep 19

The 8th Annual Celebrate Amherst Block Party returns to downtown Amherst on Thursday, September 19 from 5-9pm. This free, fun street party features something for young & old. Two stages of music, acrobats on the high wire, demonstrations, and fun activities presented by downtown businesses & community groups, including the Poetry Vending Machine at the Emily Dickinson Museum table. Shoot hoops with athletes from UMass and Amherst College Basketball Teams. Marvel at the incredible acrobats in the air and on the ground. Sample delicious food from downtown restaurants & cafes set up along the street. The Amherst Block Party is a great event for the whole family to enjoy while welcoming in the fall. For more info, visit www.amherstdowntown.com.

Sep 28

The second annual Arcadia Folk Festival returns on September 28th with Dar Williams, Anaïs Mitchell, Martin Sexton, and many more! This outdoor fall musical event will bring the community together around music in the heart of the Pioneer Valley to celebrate 75 years of Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Little Roots and The Mammals will perform music for the entire family. There will be nature activities, nature arts and craft projects, and a nature walk just for kids. The festival will also feature the best in local food vendors and Makers Market craft vendors making work inspired by nature or environmentally friendly / up-cycled art. Kids 10 and under are free! Tickets: www.arcadiafolkfest.com.

Start – ing Sep 17

Nerissa Nields Local Chorus. Northampton, MA ♦ Nerissa Nields runs a Local Chorus for ages 5-13, a performance group in 3-part harmony. Rehearsals are Tuesdays from 4-4:45pm at The Montessori School of Northampton starting September 17, 2019, and running for 15 weeks through MLK day (no meetings on school holidays). Cost: $225. For older kids who want a challenge, Nerissa offers Focus Chorus, a four-part harmony group for ages 11-16. Meetings are Tuesday evenings from 7:15-8:15pm in Little Blue Studio in Northampton. Cost is $265 for 15 weeks, starting September 17, 2019. nerissanields.com

CyclePottery Wheel Throwing and Handbuilding Classes. Florence, MA ♦ Kids, Teens, and Adults! Join new friends and neighbors this Fall for Wheel Throwing and Hand Building classes at CyclePottery, beginning the second week in September. Fall/Winter session starts in late October. All levels of instruction are offered. Holiday & Vacation Workshops, Weekend Workshops, Private Lessons, Birthday Parties, Friends’ Night Out, and Cycle Sampler Classes are all offered throughout the year and upon request. For more information, visit their website or on Instagram: @CyclePottery. For questions and inquiries, send an email to cyclepottery01062@gmail.com. 413-333-8893. www.cyclepottery.com.

Barrington Stage Company. Pittsfield, MA. ♦ The Barrington Stage Company Education Department mission is to awaken the minds, imaginations, and creative power of children, teenagers, and young adults by providing opportunities to experience the joy of live theatre as performers, writers, technicians, and audience members. KidsAct! & TeensAct! are summer camps for ages 7–14 to create new musical plays. KidsAct! Jr. is in the fall and spring for ages 4–6. Auditions for Youth Theatre are in January, which extends the professionalism of an Equity production to local youth, 13-19, with performances in summer. The renowned Playwright Mentoring Project starts in October, for local young people, 13–19, to create plays based on their lives. More info: barringtonstageco.org/education-bsc

Celtic Heels & Devine Dance in Greenfield, MA. Celtic Heels offers more than just a dance class. Their goal is to foster a love of both dance and life. They offer empowerment, optimism, and confidence in their growing dancers. They are a performance school with a focus on teamwork where each student is allowed to progress at their own comfort level while being challenged along the way. Their class offerings in Irish Dance, Ballet, and Tap set a solid foundation for rhythm, balance, extension, and strength that can be applicable in many other activities. Classes offered on Tuesdays & Thursdays in Greenfield. Information and registration: 413-475-3353; celticheels@gmail.com; www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

Nonotuck Community School is accepting applications for children 15 mos. to 5 years for a September start date in their 12-month program. Open from 7:30am-5:30pm and located in Northampton, Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces an art studio, yoga instruction, Kaboom! Imagination Play equipment, gardening & more. The curriculum is play-based and impaired by progressive early childhood education theory. A parent cooperative, Nonotuck emphasizes community, emotional intelligence, and resilience, and provides ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development throughout the school day. Contact info@nonotuck.org, 413-586-5996, or online at www.nonotuck.org.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 7-20, 2019

Saturday, Sept 7Sunday, Sept 8
Monday, Sept 9Tuesday, Sept 10Wednesday, Sept 11
Thursday, Sept 12Friday, Sept 13

Saturday, Sept 14Sunday, Sept 15
Monday, Sept 16Tuesday, Sept 17Wednesday, Sept 18
Thursday, Sept 19Friday, Sept 20

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

Events Happening in the Hilltown


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

Saturday, September 7, 6-10am – FAMILY RADIO/COMMERCIAL-FREE: Every Saturday, Valley Free Radio offers four hours of commercial-free, quality family program from 6-10am. Tune in on your FM dial to 103.3FM WXOJ (Northampton, MA), or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. From 9-10am is the Hilltown Family Variety Show Pirate Episode with Guest DJ, Tom Mason of the Blue Buccaneers. Captain Tom Mason of the Blue Buccaneers takes the helm as our guest DJ for an hour of songs about pirates and the sea. Listen to songs from islands the pirates visited, dance to both the peg-leg jig and the peg-leg tango, and sing along to sea shanties old and new. Captain Tom also gives a brief lesson in how to talk like a pirate, as well as a few words about fine dining on the deep sea. Click here select from over 12 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons! Turn off the T.V. and turn on local community radio!

Saturday, September 7, All Day – LOCAL HERITAGE/GUIDED TOURS: The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area hosts annual autumn Heritage Walks in September. Well over 50 free, guided interpretive tours are offered throughout Berkshire County. The public is invited to participate in these family-oriented, interpretive walks, offered in partnership with our region’s historic, cultural, and outdoor recreation organizations and the National Park Service. The Heritage Walks are the ideal opportunity to experience and learn about our region’s rich and varied local heritage. Local historians, naturalists, and environmentalists will lead participants on explorations through historic estate gardens and town districts, behind-the-scenes cultural site tours, nature walks, trail hikes, and tours of many of the industrial-site ruins that were once thriving local industries. Examples of opportunities include Native-American and African-American history walks, a canoe paddling trip on the Housatonic River, and a bike tour on scenic country roads. Visit www.HousatonicHeritage.org for a detailed itinerary. Berkshire County, MA.

Saturday, September 7, 9:30-11am – PUPPETRY: Join puppeteer and puppet maker Eric Weiss for a unique puppetry class, Foam & Rod Puppets for Kids. This class focuses on how to build a simple Foam and Rod puppet, creating a character, and the elements needed to do so. Students will learn about the use of foam in puppetry and how dynamic it can make your puppet. Students will then proceed to create their character and build their own puppets. Lastly, participants will manipulate their creations, bringing them to life, and learning to move them and give them emotions. Call to preregister. Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, September 7, 10am-12noon – COMPUTER SCIENCE/CODING: Learn to Code with Scratch. Using Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the incredible worldwide Scratch online community. All levels of Scratch experience are welcome to attend this free class. Ages: 8+. Holyoke Codes. Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 100 Bigelow St, Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, September 7, 10am-5pm – ARTS FESTIVAL/PLACEMAKING: Slowing down and strolling along our city blocks allows us to take a closer look at the local architecture. By slowing down, we can reflect on a neighborhood’s history, meet neighbors and local residents, listen to and share stories, and develop a better sense of where we are in the context of our urban communities. When a street is filled with over 100 artists, strolling musicians, and food vendors, there is even more to learn and enjoy! Spend part of your weekend at the annual Mattoon Street Arts Festival, the longest-running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley. A beautiful Victorian street, the historic Mattoon Street will be filled with artisan-made crafts, fine art, and food. When you see art (or food) that interests you, be sure to stop and ask the artist/vendor about it to learn about the related processes, history, and culture. Free parking at TD Bank lot (Harrison Avenue & Dwight Street). Mattoon Street Arts Festival. 413-736-0629. Mattoon Street. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, September 7, 8am-10pm – LOCAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts, and home-grown produce unique to rural life. Through participation in these rich traditions, we support the preservation of culture and a connection to place. These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art. The annual Franklin County Fair will feature cattle, oxen, poultry, rabbit, draft horse, and sheep as well as a kids’ entertainment tent, live music, a museum, midway, and much more. Visit the website for a full schedule. Franklin County Fair. 413-774-4282. 89 Wisdom Way. Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, September 7, 11am – FAMILY CONCERT/BILINGUAL: September brings a great line up at events at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Mister G, the bilingual rock star, will get you dancing and share and sign his new book, Señorita Mariposa. Reservations are recommended. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, September 7, 11am-4pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The annual Sheffield Fair is a lovely, manageably-sized fair that is perfect for those who would like the agricultural fair experience without the hustle and bustle. There will be interactive animal showings, children’s games, family activities, demonstrations, live music, and much more! The organizers of this fair have also created this site to include a setting and convenience features that offer easy access for people with physical disabilities and free to everyone. Sheffield Fair. Sheffield Town Park. Frederic Lane, Sheffield, MA.

Saturday, September 7, 11am-6pm – RELIGIOUS STUDIES/PAGANISM: Western MA Pagan Pride Day. Calling Wiccans, Asatru, druids, witches, Rodnovers, Romuva, Goddess worshippers, and all other pagans and interested community members! The word “pagan” is derived from the Latin word “paganus,” meaning “rustic” or “pertaining to the countryside.” During the days of early Christianity, within the Roman Empire, the term came to be used as a derogatory, pejorative term for non-Christians. Beginning in the nineteenth century, however, the term began to be used in a new context, by scholars, individuals, and communities who were inspired by the pre-Christian traditions of Europe, North Africa, and the Near East. This movement was influenced by the work of folklorists such as the brothers Grimm, who revived traditional stories, and the rediscovery of Old Gaelic and Old Norse literature. Modern paganism became even more established during the second half of the twentieth century, when counter cultural movements like feminism became integrated with pagan beliefs. The seminal American author Starhawk, for instance, was a key figure in developing an explicitly feminist spirituality, in the form of the Goddess movement. While Paganism has no single set of beliefs, texts, or structures, there are some commonalities. Typically, Paganism refers to the traditional spiritual systems and beliefs of pre-Christian Europe and surrounding areas. Paganism, almost without exception, can be characterized as earth-based spirituality and can even be seen as an outgrowth or parallel development to the environmental movement. There is also considerable differences between pagan communities that draw inspiration from past traditions to create an explicitly ‘modern’ spirituality and those that seek to actually recreate or revive indigenous religions, based on existing texts and customs. Come meet fellow pagans or just come to learn more about this wonderful community, at the annual Western MA Pagan Pride Day! Florence Civic Center. 90 Park Street, Florence, MA (FREE)

Saturday, September 7, 12noon-11pm – CULTURAL STUDIES/GREEK FESTIVAL: Greek “Glendis” are celebrations, often highlighting Greek culture through traditional Greek food, music, and dance. Every year, St. George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral hosts a Glendi for thousands of visitors from far and near, providing the best in traditional Greek foods, pastries, music, dancing, and more. All are welcome to this family-friendly festival celebrating Greek-American life and a fun way for the community to share local Greek culture. Greek Cultural Center at the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. 413-737-1496. 22 St George Road. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, September 7, 2-4pm (Social), 5pm (Dinner) – COMMUNITY MEAL/LOBSTER: Throughout history, community has been built through the sharing of food. Shared throughout the world as a universal human need, food provides a common thread through which all people can be woven together. Community meals offer much to families regarding learning opportunities, supporting intergenerational engagement, storytelling, and establishing a shared history. An additional benefit of community meals is that the theme of food serves as a common interest for all those involved, providing a foundation upon which for further connections to be built. During the late summer, community harvest meals are great intergenerational opportunities to sit down with neighbors of all ages, making connections and nurturing relationships across the generations. Participating in a community meal does more than filling your belly… it strengthens the social fabric of the community by developing a sense of place in our children! One such opportunity that pulls from our coastal communities includes the Easthampton Rotary Annual Lobster Bake! Call to reserve tickets: 413-222-9091. Rotary Club of Easthampton. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, September 7, 6-10pm – PLACEMAKING/COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: Come together in community to celebrate in the park through music, food, and art for the Millpond.Live series. Millside Park. 413-529-1400. 2 Ferry St. Easthampton, MA.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

Sunday, September 8, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the Hilltown Family Variety Show Pirate Episode with Guest DJ, Tom Mason of the Blue Buccaneers. Captain Tom Mason of the Blue Buccaneers takes the helm as our guest DJ for an hour of songs about pirates and the sea. Listen to songs from islands the pirates visited, dance to both the peg-leg jig and the peg-leg tango, and sing along to sea shanties old and new. Captain Tom also gives a brief lesson in how to talk like a pirate, as well as a few words about fine dining on the deep sea. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Click here select from over 12 years of archived shows!

Sunday, September 8, All Day – LOCAL HERITAGE/GUIDED TOURS: The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area hosts annual autumn Heritage Walks in September. Well over 50 free, guided interpretive tours are offered throughout Berkshire County. The public is invited to participate in these family-oriented, interpretive walks, offered in partnership with our region’s historic, cultural, and outdoor recreation organizations and the National Park Service. The Heritage Walks are the ideal opportunity to experience and learn about our region’s rich and varied local heritage. Local historians, naturalists, and environmentalists will lead participants on explorations through historic estate gardens and town districts, behind-the-scenes cultural site tours, nature walks, trail hikes, and tours of many of the industrial-site ruins that were once thriving local industries. Examples of opportunities include Native-American and African-American history walks, a canoe paddling trip on the Housatonic River, and a bike tour on scenic country roads. Visit www.HousatonicHeritage.org for a detailed itinerary. Berkshire County, MA.

Sunday, September 8, All Day – LOCAL AGRICULTURE/APPLES: Apples, one of the earliest (and most delicious) signs of fall, have been an essential part of New England agriculture for centuries. McIntosh apples are undeniably the most iconic of New England’s apples, and make up over two thirds of the regions apple crop! Macs and countless other delicious and fascinating varieties of apples are grown at orchards across western Massachusetts, and families can enjoy this year’s fantastic apple crop by visiting an orchard to pick or purchase a bushel. Participate in the tradition of apple-picking and support local agriculture! Check out local orchards and farms in Western MA for Pick Your Own Apples, including Park Hill Orchard (Easthampton), Outlook Farm (Westhampton), Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery (Ashfield), Quonquont Farm (Whately), Clarkdale Fruit Farms (Deerfield), and Bashista Orchards (Southampton).

Sunday, September 8, 8am-9pm – LOCAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Agricultural fairs help to preserve our local history by showcasing the skills, crafts, and home-grown produce unique to rural life. Through participation in these rich traditions, we support the preservation of culture and a connection to place. These generations-old traditions of agriculture, self-sufficiency, and resiliency in rural communities afford families opportunities to participate in intergenerational community-based traditions while offering a myriad of entertainment and skill-sharing experiences inspired by a shared interest in traditional crafts, history, land, and art. The annual Franklin County Fair will feature cattle, oxen, poultry, rabbit, draft horse, and sheep as well as a kids’ entertainment tent, live music, a museum, midway, and much more. Visit the website for a full schedule. Franklin County Fair. 413-774-4282. 89 Wisdom Way. Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, September 8, TBA: RURAL HERITAGE/CORN MAZE: Corn mazes are classic New England traditions that transform cornfields into community building experiences. Before we had corn mazes, corn has been a staple in the diet of countless cultures for thousands of years. Today, corn is the largest produced crop in the world, and can even be a source of adventure as played out in corn mazes. There are a few in Western MA you can check out with your family starting in September, including Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm in Sunderland Hicks Family Farm Corn Maze in Charlemont, and Meadow View Farm Corn Maze in Southwick. Many of these mazes offer a fun and challenging outdoor adventure for families of all ages, along with other activities and farm-fresh produce and perennials. Let the adventure get your kids curious about corn and it’s variety history and many uses. Educators can use this teacher-friendly guide to the evolution of maize to help get kids interested in learning more!

Sunday, September 8, 10am-5pm – ARTS FESTIVAL/PLACEMAKING: Slowing down and strolling along our city blocks allows us to take a closer look at the local architecture. By slowing down, we can reflect on a neighborhood’s history, meet neighbors and local residents, listen to and share stories, and develop a better sense of where we are in the context of our urban communities. When a street is filled with over 100 artists, strolling musicians, and food vendors, there is even more to learn and enjoy! Spend part of your weekend at the annual Mattoon Street Arts Festival, the longest-running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley. A beautiful Victorian street, the historic Mattoon Street will be filled with artisan-made crafts, fine art, and food. When you see art (or food) that interests you, be sure to stop and ask the artist/vendor about it to learn about the related processes, history, and culture. Free parking at TD Bank lot (Harrison Avenue & Dwight Street). Mattoon Street Arts Festival. 413-736-0629. Mattoon Street. Springfield, MA.

Sunday, September 8, 10am-5pm – LIVING HISTORY/SHAKERS: The Hancock Shaker Village was first established in 1791, the third of the nineteen Shaker communities created in New England and elsewhere in the United States by the founder of the religious ‘Mother’ Ann Lee. Lee, a Mancunian by birth, had visions as a young women in her native England. Fleeing persecution for their unorthodox beliefs, including the renunciation of procreation, Lee and her followers settled in Albany, New York. Until the mid nineteenth century, the Shaker movement continued to grow and the community peaked at around five thousand members. The Shakers promoted celibacy, complete gender equality, radical self sufficiency, and communal living. Come experience Shaker history at the living history museum, Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Sunday, September 8, 12noon – MUSIC STUDIES/SYMPHONY: Kids’ Corner at Tanglewood is designed to provide a child-friendly experience for families attending BSO Rehearsals or concerts on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons at Tanglewood. Located in a grassy area near the Tanglewood Visitors Center, it offers children’s activities that connect to music in a casual, drop-in atmosphere. Children accompanied by adults may take part in musical and crafts activities supervised by BSO staff. Tickets to the Sunday concert or Saturday-morning rehearsal are required. Tanglewood. 413-637-5180. 297 West St. Lenox, MA.

Sunday, September 8, 12noon-7pm – CULTURAL STUDIES/GREEK FESTIVAL: Greek “Glendis” are celebrations, often highlighting Greek culture through traditional Greek food, music, and dance. Every year, St. George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral hosts a Glendi for thousands of visitors from far and near, providing the best in traditional Greek foods, pastries, music, dancing, and more. All are welcome to this family-friendly festival celebrating Greek-American life and a fun way for the community to share local Greek culture. Greek Cultural Center at the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. 413-737-1496. 22 St George Road. Springfield, MA.

Sunday, September 8, 1pm – PICTURE BOOK ARTS: Join a book party with Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli who will showcase their new early reader series, Hi Jack! Young readers will love Barnett’s snappy text, while aspiring artists will enjoy Pizzoli’s ‘How to Draw’ segments at the end of each book. Book signing to follow. Plus, enjoy artmaking, scavenger hunts, storytimes and three galleries of exceptional picturebook art. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Sunday, September 8, 1-1:30pm & 3-3:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE: Western Massachusetts was a popular destination for 19th century Americans with many of the outdoor places and summits still available for today’s hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to explore. In the 19th-century, outdoor recreation became a popular leisure activity. Summit houses, such as the one atop Mount Holyoke in Hadley, were constructed to accommodate tourists traveling to see their landscape with mountain views. An interest in the wild landscape and sweeping view of countryside inspired many Americans to explore the natural landscape and value spending time outside. Take a guided tour of the restored, 1861 version of what has since become known as the Summit House at J.A. Skinner State Park. Compare and contrast the view today to the view in the late 1800’s. What has changed? What has remained the same? How do views from summits help us connect to the places we live and visit? Guided tours of the Summit House are suitable for all ages. Joseph Allen Skinner State Park. 413-596-0350. 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, MA.

Sunday, September 8, 1-3pm – ENTOMOLOGY/BUTTERFLIES: The color and size of the monarch butterfly makes it truly majestic. It’s arduous migration to Mexico has inspired many stories, including Barbara Kingsolver’s 2012 novel Flight Behavior. Come celebrate these beautiful and important creatures and enjoy one of the Pioneer Valley’s most precious treasures at the Annual Monarch Butterfly Release at the Three Sisters Sanctuary. If you have never been to the Three Sisters Sanctuary, you are really in for a treat. It is no exaggeration to say there is nowhere like it on earth. This event is a great opportunity to learn all about monarch butterflies and the roles they play in the ecosystem. Three Sisters Sanctuary. 413-268-3677. 188 Cape Street. Goshen, MA.

Sunday, September 8, 2-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Video games? Television? View-Masters? No. Not yet. Take a step back in time to the late 1800s at the Westhampton Museum & Blacksmith Shop to see some really basic entertainment. Stereoscope viewers were all the rage and those fortunate enough to own them planned parties around showing their newly arrived images. The ruins of Athens and Scottish castles were very popular themes, but local images such as those taken of the aftermath of the 1874 Mill River Flood also quickly made their way to the western MA. marketplace. After a few weeks, friends, cousins, and neighbors would swap collections for some variety. Come to the museum and see what you can see through their stereoscope viewer! Westhampton Museum & Blacksmith Shop. 413-527-3209. 5 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA.

Sunday, September 8, 3-5pm – PUPPET SHOW/AGRICULTURE: Bread and Puppet will be performing at Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton is home of “Art in the Orchard,” a biennal orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulutre,” the orchard features the work of dozens of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

Monday, September 9, Sunrise-Sunset – SELF-GUIDED WALK/POETRY: Follow the footsteps of earlier Americans and stay active and healthy during the summer by walking. Many of the local woods and trails in Western Massachusetts were common destinations for 19th-century hikers and fueled the creative genius of many writers. Engage with local history and experience the landscape from a literary perspective by reading some of these writers’ works while on the trail or before you embark on your next outdoor adventure. For example: imagine reading William Cullen Bryant’s The Rivulet, with the poet’s description of the prattling water, as you stand by the same rivulet yourself and hear the same sound (featured in the March/April Season of Learning Ahead)! In a way, the poem acts as a time machine, bridging together the woods of Bryant’s life in the Hilltowns with the same forest you can hike today. Take a self-guided landscape tour and strengthen a sense of place through poetry and the countryside. William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 413- 634-2244. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA.

Monday, September 9, 9am-8pm – SELF-GUIDED HIKE/GEOLOGY: In the 19th-century, outdoor recreation became a popular leisure activity. Summit houses, such as the one atop Mount Holyoke at Skinner State Park, were constructed to accommodate tourists traveling to see mountain views. An interest in the wild landscape and sweeping view of countryside inspired many Americans to explore the natural landscape and value spending time outside. Many writers and artists looked to nature as a creative muse for poetry and painting. Walking through the woods became a pleasurable and meaningful pastime. Contemporary self-guided geology walks are another way to explore this local treasure, with map in hand! Skinner State Park. 413-586-0350. 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, MA. (Parking Fee)

Monday, September 9, 1-4pm – LIVING HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: First settled in the early 18th century, the Connecticut River Valley is rich in colonial history. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum gives guests a look into the evolution of the region over 250 years, through the history of one family. Learn about how momentous historical events such as the Revolutionary War, the abolition of slavery, and the women’s rights movement impacted the lives of ordinary people in our region. Spend the afternoon visiting this local treasure! Guided tours available Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum. 413-584-4699.130 River Drive, Hadley, MA.

Monday, September 9, 7-9pm – ROBOTS/ASTRONOMY: Nerd Nite NOHO presents two talks tonight. First Talk: “Where the Rubber Meets the Code: Designing Stretchy Sensors and Soft Robots.” Second Talk: “The Brightest Galaxies, Through a Lens Darkly” The Deuce (World War II Club). 413-586-3315. 50 Conz St., Northampton, MA.

Monday, September 9, 6:30-8pm – PARENT SUPPORT/ADHD: Northampton Area Pediatrics host a monthly Valley ADHD Parent Support Group. Join other area parents and caregivers to: Receive ADHD information and support; Be heard without being judged; Hear how others cope with similar issues and challenges; Learn about local resources for families; Hear from area specialists on pertinent topics; Learn new strategies to try at home; Leave feeling empowered and hopeful. Light refreshments will be available. ValleyADHDfamilies@gmail.com. Northampton Area Pediatrics. 413-584-8700193. Locust St., Northampton, MA.

Monday, September 9, 10-11am – HEALTH/QI GONG: Qi Gong literally translates to “life energy cultivation.” This unique practice resembles tai chi, in its mixture of relaxed, slow moving poses, breath work. Qi Gong can be seen as a form of meditation, self healing, even self defense. Originating in ancient Chinese daoist exercises, Qi Gong is now practiced by millions in China and around the world and is the subject of numerous medical research trials, investigating the impact of Qi Gong on pain, hypertension, even cancer. Practitioners of all levels are invited to attend this weekly community practice of Qi Gong. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA.


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

Tuesday, September 10, Dawn-Dusk – SCULPTURE/AGRICULTURE: Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton is home of “Art in the Orchard,” a biennal orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family from dawn to dusk any day of the week. Bringing “Culture into Horticulutre,” the orchard features the work of dozens of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, September 10, Anytime – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/BOTANICAL ILLUSTRATION: Taking a class with an artist that specializes in botanical illustration provides the scientific and artistic instruction needed to learn how to create botanical drawings. Botanical illustrations are not just limited to painting flowers, but also include sketching trees and other plant specimens. Not only is botanical illustration a creative outlet, but also a scientific one that lets you explore a plant species at an observational and focused level! The American Society of Botanical Illustrators provides different resources and tools to help students locate classes in their area or informational books on doing an individual study of botanical illustration. Gardens and wayside growing flowers offer an opportunity to engage with the landscape through art, literature, and community. Whether it’s botanical watercolors, illustrations, photography, or a relaxed visit to your local public garden, flowers blooming in a community support interests and connect residents to their public parks and the patterns of the seasons.

Tuesday, September 10, 10am-5pm – ART STUDIES/VAN GOGH: Van Gogh for All at the Springfield Museums’ D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Van Gogh for All immerses visitors in the works of the world’s most famous painter. Designed to engage 21st-century audiences in the 19th-century art of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), this experientially-rich exhibition uses modern technology and participatory learning to introduce audiences of all ages to Van Gogh’s genius, his personal struggles, and his creative process. Visitors can literally jump right into Van Gogh’s artwork to discover the unusual perspective of Van Gogh’s bedroom, get behind the shutters of Van Gogh’s yellow house, or become part of one of Van Gogh’s famous landscapes. The exhibit offers multiple photo ops and opportunities to create your own art—with stations for drawing a still life or a portrait. Many of the elements in the exhibition are interactive, offering the visitor the opportunity to manipulate the artist’s work in new ways, including through a 12-foot-wide, electronic version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA

Tuesday, September 10, 10-11:30am – INTERPRETIVE WALK/LOCAL HISTORY: Morning Canal Walk at Holyoke Heritage State Park. Join the Park Interpreter for a walk around the block, stopping at points of historical significance. Discussions include how Holyoke has evolved from a major manufacturing city to a thriving cultural center. Each walk in the series will touch upon a specific historical or contemporary topic. Wear appropriate footwear and bring water. Heavy rain cancels. Suitable for individuals and families with children, ages 8 and older (siblings welcome). Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA.

Tuesday, September 10, 6pm – ENTOMOLOGY/ BEEKEEPING: Join local beekeepers for a season-appropriate discussion and demonstration using the Berkshire Botanical Garden apiary. Focus on sustainable beekeeping techniques: raising and sourcing bees locally, managing pests and diseases ecologically, and creating beneficial habitats for honeybees and native pollinators alike. New to beekeeping? Learn how to get started with your first hives. Are you a seasoned beekeeper? Your experience and knowledge will be invaluable to others in the group! 413-357-4657. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Tuesday, September 10, 7pm – CIVICS: Brush up on your civics savviness with “Many-Levered Machines: Government Systems and How to Influence Them,” a program on civics and democracy. Amherst’s former State Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose will explain the basics of local, state, and national government systems, expand on the complex set of institutions that form public policy, and lead an interactive exercise to help participants think about where advocates can tap in to make a difference. Appropriate for those with little to no experience with government systems, as well as those with great understandings of institutions but with a desire to become more effective activists. Jones Library. 413-259-3223. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

Wednesday, September 11, Sunrise-Sunset – ENTOMOLOGY/SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING: Can Woolley Bears (Pyrrharctia isabella) offer us an indication as to the severity of the coming winter? Common North American folklore says that a wide brown band calls for a mild winter and a narrow one calls for a severe winter. While there is no scientific evidence for this prediction, looking for these little guys and examining them closely with your kids opens up channels for learning while connecting to the seasons.

Wednesday, September 11, Sunrise-Sunset – HISTORY WALK/SELF-DIRECTED: Have you ever walked, biked, or driven through downtown Holyoke and wondered about the history of the city’s numerous old buildings? Each empty mill, towering church, and brick rowhouse tells a story of the city’s past. An exploration of Holyoke’s history reveals a vibrant, diverse, and complicated history. Visitors to Holyoke can now learn about the city’s history themselves – from home or while exploring the city’s streets thanks to the Wistariahurst Museum. The Museum hosts a large online community resource to its repertoire- the Holyoke History Walk, available on the museum’s website, offering a comparative look at the city and many of its streets and buildings as they once were (up to 125 years ago). The program uses Google Maps and provides a map – created by piecing together numerous maps from the museum’s archives – of Holyoke past, layered above a map of Holyoke present. Scattered across the map are over 100 of the city’s landmarks – churches, civic buildings, prominent businesses, and views across the canal, from hilltops, and down various streets in the busiest parts of town. The old photos are shown next to a current image of the location. In some cases, the buildings are unrecognizable; in others, entire blocks are boarded up; meanwhile, some others remain relatively unchanged. Families can use the interactive tour to learn all about local history and can apply what they learn about the city to bring context and more in-depth understanding to American history and changes in industries, technology, and the American way of life. Holyoke, MA.

Wednesday, September 11, 9am-4:30pm – GEOLOGY/LOCAL HISTORY: The Natural Bridge State Park in North Adams is the only natural white marble arch in North America! The rock which forms the bridge is estimated 550 million year old bedrock marble. The arch itself was created by thousands of years of glacial melt water. Come experience the awe-inspiring majesty of this incredible local treasure with a short walking discussion of the geological forces that created this unique site. For more information visit Natural Bridge State Park. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA.

Wednesday, September 11, 10am-1pm – ART STUDIES/FIGURE DRAWING: Wednesday Drawing Group. Lifelong learners interested in figure drawing can learn about and practice together every Wednesday. Each Wednesday morning session begins with a nude model assuming a series of short poses that increase in length from 2-30 minutes. There are no requirements other than a desire to draw, so bring paper and pencil, watercolors, crayons… whatever medium you choose. Beginners and experts and all in between are welcome. No critique or instructions, just drawing. Tables, chairs, and easels provided. Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-336-8937. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, September 11, 10am–5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEM: Thomas & Friends™: Explore the Rails! at the Springfield Science Museum! Featuring the favorite engines and destinations from Thomas & Friends, the STEM-focused exhibit seeks to engage children (2-7yo) and families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences. The exhibit incorporates foundational STEM practices that encourage thinking mathematically, making comparisons, experimenting to solve problems using a variety of methods and tools, thinking creatively and reflecting on actions and results. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12

Thursday, September 12, 10am – ANIMAL HUSBANDRY/CHICKENS: In honor of National Chicken Month, join the Thursday Morning Club at the Greenfield Public Library for The Natural History of the Chicken. The humble chicken finally gets the big-screen tribute it so richly deserves in this documentary, which offers an inside look at America’s $40 billion a year poultry industry, while also casting a gently humorous eye on domesticated chickens and the people who care for them. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Thursday, September 12, 5-8pm – LAWN CONCERT: Naumkeag at Night! Bring your family and friends for an evening of live music by sunset in the gardens at Naumkeag. Pack a picnic and skip the dishes. Enjoy these last days of summer with your community and family in the Berkshires! Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Thursday, September 12, 7-8:30pm – GARDENING: Edible Perennial Gardening and Landscaping with Naturalist John Root. In this presentation, find out how to establish and maintain a variety of perennials, including trees, shrubs, vines, canes, and herbaceous plants, for harvests of fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Participants learn how to establish and care for these plants using organic methods of cultivation. Nutritional and medicinal benefits of the plants are discussed as well. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Thursday, September 12, 7:30-9:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Astronomers and physicists work with some of the most intriguing ideas in the universe, literally! One of the most intriguing concepts in theoretical physics is the idea of a clock that could keep time even after the universe has ceased to exist. Yes, you read that correctly. A team of researchers at California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have begun work constructing an eternal clock, based off a model proposed by physicists at MIT. This clock, made from a crystal existing in four dimensions, which is to say time and space, would be composed of charged atoms. The repulsive force between like-charged particles could, theoretically, be calculated at a low enough quantum energy state that its momentum would never become subject to the laws of entropy, the force that gradually erodes all energy in the universe. Thus, a clock constructed from these particles would be able to record time forever. What would it even look like to record time forever? By definition “forever” never ends. The idea of a clock that literally never stops is frankly enough to make ones head explode. Well if you’re excited about astronomy but are looking for something a little less mind-bending, stop by the Orchard Hill Observatory, located at the highest point on the UMass campus, where they host a 16-inch telescope. The Observatory is used to teach observational astronomy and is open to the public every Thursday night. If you’re not sure whether or not the observatory is closed due to clouds, call 413-547-4166 and listen to the recorded message. Click here for directions. UMass. Amherst, MA.

Thursday, September 12, 8:30pm – OUTDOOR MOVIE/PLACEMAKING: Movies Under the Stars at Look Park! Pack a blanket, grab the kids and enjoy a beloved family movie classic outdoors, E.T. the Extra-terrestrial. Entrance to Pines Theater for movies is free. Parking fee applies. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

Friday, September 13, 10am-8pm — INSTALLATION ART/CHALK FESTIVAL: Many children have used sidewalk chalk to create drawings, make hopscotch boards, or write notes and signs. When fine artists take to the sidewalks with their own ideas, the materials and setting are still very relatable for–and interesting to– kids, even if the products are quite different. The artists of this year’s Northampton Chalk Art Festival invite everyone to observe as they create new masterpieces on the sidewalks downtown. Watching these artists at work provides opportunities to learn about different techniques, perspective, proportion, and expressing ideas through art. Drawings will be created during the day on Friday and awards for the top creations will be announced in the early evening. The city’s monthly gallery walk coincides with the Chalk Festival for those who would like to explore additional works of art. Organized by the Northampton Center for the Arts. Downtown, Northampton, MA.

Friday, September 13, 5pm – PARADE/MARDI GRAS: Hear that? Mardi Gras is coming to New England! If you’ve never been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, now’s your chance to get a taste of what it’s like! Complete with colossal floats, imaginative costumes, and dazzling lights, The Big E brings you the Mardi Gras Parade, day and night. Ride on one of eight unique custom-made floats designed and constructed by the Kern Companies of New Orleans. Big E fairgoers line the parade route daily to see these brilliantly crafted floats and to try their luck at catching a handful of bright beads that you will throw. Grande parade happens Friday-Sunday at 5pm. Evening parade happens Monday-Thursday at 7:30pm. Eastern States Exposition. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA.

Friday, September 13, 4-5:30pm – FOLK TRADITION/HAT DESIGN: When the temperatures dip, and you need a winter cap to warm your head, think how nice it would be to have a hat you’ve designed and created yourself! The traditional art of knitting and designing apparel like hats is a are folk traditions worthy of discovering and learning how to create on your own. “Designing a Hat” with Suzanne Ress is an opportunity to learn to design your hat before the cold weather arrives! Sheep & Shawl. 413-397-3680. 265 Greenfield Rd, South Deerfield, MA.

Friday, September 13, 4-7pm – ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Free Second Fridays at the Smith College Museum of Art gives visitors a special opportunity to explore the collections and engage with art on a deeper level. Create your own work of art, with hands on activities for all ages based on specific works in the museum and go on a special guided conversation tour. Light refreshments. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

Friday, September 13, 4:30-5:30pm – YO-YO/PHYSICS: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. For changes or questions, visit www.A2ZScience.com or contact Contact@A2ZScience.com, or call 413-586-1611. Northampton, MA.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Saturday, September 14, 6-10am – FAMILY RADIO/COMMERCIAL-FREE: Every Saturday, Valley Free Radio offers four hours of commercial-free, quality family program from 6-10am. Tune in on your FM dial to 103.3FM WXOJ (Northampton, MA), or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. From 9-10am is the HFVS Hispanic Heritage Month Episode. What does it mean to be bilingual? Can songs help us learn a new language? Andrés and Christina from 123 Andrés are guest DJs for this episode, and they are tell us about the languages they speak and we get to hear some of the songs that helped them learn! Click here select from over 12 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons! Turn off the T.V. and turn on local community radio!

Saturday, September 14, All Day – LOCAL HERITAGE/GUIDED TOURS: The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area hosts annual autumn Heritage Walks in September. Well over 50 free, guided interpretive tours are offered throughout Berkshire County. The public is invited to participate in these family-oriented, interpretive walks, offered in partnership with our region’s historic, cultural, and outdoor recreation organizations and the National Park Service. The Heritage Walks are the ideal opportunity to experience and learn about our region’s rich and varied local heritage. Local historians, naturalists, and environmentalists will lead participants on explorations through historic estate gardens and town districts, behind-the-scenes cultural site tours, nature walks, trail hikes, and tours of many of the industrial-site ruins that were once thriving local industries. Examples of opportunities include Native-American and African-American history walks, a canoe paddling trip on the Housatonic River, and a bike tour on scenic country roads. Visit www.HousatonicHeritage.org for a detailed itinerary. Berkshire County, MA.

Saturday, September 14, All Day – LOCAL AGRICULTURE/APPLES: Apples, one of the earliest (and most delicious) signs of fall, have been an essential part of New England agriculture for centuries. McIntosh apples are undeniably the most iconic of New England’s apples, and make up over two thirds of the regions apple crop! Macs and countless other delicious and fascinating varieties of apples are grown at orchards across western Massachusetts, and families can enjoy this year’s fantastic apple crop by visiting an orchard to pick or purchase a bushel. Participate in the tradition of apple-picking and support local agriculture! Check out local orchards and farms in Western MA for Pick Your Own Apples, including Park Hill Orchard (Easthampton), Outlook Farm (Westhampton), Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery (Ashfield), Quonquont Farm (Whately), Clarkdale Fruit Farms (Deerfield), and Bashista Orchards (Southampton).

Saturday, September 14, 9:30am-4pm – COLONIAL HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Experience life in an early New England kitchen at Historic Deerfield‘s Open Hearth Cooking demonstrations! Learn about traditional fall harvest foods like pumpkins, apples, and corn. These cooking demonstrations allow visitors of all ages to see what life was like in the past and the types of chores and activities they would do had they lived several hundred years ago! Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, September 14, 10am-12noon – ORNITHOLOGY/MIGRATION: As the summer season shifts to autumn, a great migration gets underway as birds large and small take to the skies for warmer climates. Join Dave King, U.S. Forest Service Wildlife Biologist, and Dan Ziomek, host of the long-running show “Bird Songs” on 93.9 The River, for this year’s Hawk Watch from the summit of Mount Holyoke. Dave and Dan will provide an introduction to the hawks and other raptors in our region and talk about how to identify them. You’ll learn about the ecology of hawks from nesting to migration, as well as conservation efforts that support hawks and other bird species, including the American kestrel. Mt. Holyoke Summit House. Skinner State Park. 413-586-0350. 10 Skinner State Park Road, Hadley, MA.

Saturday, September 14, 10-2pm – ENTOMOLOGY/MONARCH BUTTERFLIES: Much like bees, butterflies play an essential role in our local (and global!) ecosystems. As pollinators, butterflies help to ensure that plants exchange genetic material, something wedepend on to enjoy many of our favorite foods! However, changes in the way that humans live and how we interact with our surroundings have caused butterfly populations to decline (especially the iconic monarch). Learning about butterflies and their role in our ecosystem is essential to understanding and appreciating our surroundings; luckily, opportunities for learning about this beautiful Lepidoptera abound! Join the Hitchcock Center for their annual Pollinator Celebration Day. Discover the world of pollinators, including the Monarch, through family events and activities, citizen science, crafts, and a parade. Pack a picnic and enjoy the grounds with your family. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, September 14, 10am-4pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/DINOSAURS: It can be hard to imagine dinosaurs, over twice as tall as the average human, roaming across Massachusetts, but 190 million years ago, they were! Research indicates that our region’s hills and fields were part of a large, sub-tropical swamp, and it is in this soft ground that dinosaur prints were made and preserved. Granby gives a nod to its connection to dinosaurs in its annual Dino Fest, an arts, crafts, and music festival. Gather with friends and neighbors to celebrate the town’s heritage and talent, participate in a fun run, shop the farmers’ market, listen to live music, and join in a community dance party. Dino Fest is hosted by Church of Christ Congregational, UCC. 413-530-0724. Town Common, Granby, MA.

Saturday, September 14, Self-Directed –CITIZEN SCIENCE/BUTTERFLIES: Monarch butterflies make perhaps the most epic of all migratory journeys! In this post, we feature an amazing video using Google Earth to track their journey and share ways families can protect them as citizen scientists: Monarch Butterflies: Migratory Patterns & Citizen Scientists Opportunities. Want to organize a Monarch Butterfly tagging effort? Monarch Watch has instructions and kits with tags for tracking.

Saturday, September 14, 12noon-4:30pm – FASHION HISTORY/SILK: “Silken Inspirations: The Hands-on History of Silk” at the Historic Deerfield in the History Workshop Building. Learn about the fascinating process of making silk fiber into thread. Visitors can see live silkworms, real cocoons, and enjoy the unique opportunity of painting on silk. Silk painting is a take-home project fun for all ages. (Special Note: Visitors are encouraged to visit the Flynt Center of Early New England Life where they will find other examples of silk in the current lobby show: Inspired Design: Asian Decorative Arts and Their Adaptations and in The Helen Geier Flynt Textile Museum Gallery: Celebrating the Fiber Arts). Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, September 14, 12noon-5pm – HARVEST/CHILI FESTIVAL: The Pioneer Valley’s hottest farm festival is back! Kitchen Garden Farm’s annual Chilifest is a celebration of hot peppers and all things spicy at Mike’s Maze. Enjoy great live music, local brews and spicy food all weekend long! Try some of the world’s hottest peppers grown right here in Western MA. Taste and vote in the Chili Cook-Off Saturday and Hot Sauce Competition Sunday, and check out the new Hot Sauce Alley featuring local hot sauce makers. Plus, chef demos, DIY pickles and screen printing, chili crowns and pepper pops, and fun for all ages. Warner Farm. 413-665-8331. 23 S Main St, Sunderland, MA.

Saturday, September 14, 12noon – Sunday, September 15, 12noon – BIOLOGY/CITIZEN SCIENCE: Calling all amateur biologists: It’s time for the annual Berkshire Bioblitz! During this 24 hour period, teams of participants accompanied by an expert scientist will explore Springside Park, the largest municipal park in Pittsfield, MA, and see how many species they can find from a list. This is a great way to learn about local biology and get hands-on experience assisting with real scientific research. You’ll be amazed how much wildlife there is right under your nose. All ages welcome. Springside Park Conservancy. 413-499-7505. 58 Oak Hill Road. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, September 14, 6-10pm – PLACEMAKING/COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: Come together in community to celebrate in the park through music, food, and art for the Millpond.Live series. Millside Park. 413-529-1400. 2 Ferry St. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, September 14, 7pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/TRAIN RIDE: Hoosac Valley Train rides are great for a special date night. Travel 10 miles on a one-hour scenic train trip through history. Staff are excited to share this rail experience with you. This evening is one of their select Cabaret Train Rides with live cabaret singers Ron and Samantha. BYO beverages & snacks. Purchase tickets online only to guarantee your seats or come 30 minutes before ride to purchase tickets at the counter. 413-663-4189. Adams Welcome Center. 3 Hoosac St, Adams, MA.

Saturday, September 14, 7:30-9pm – RELIGIOUS STUDIES/MUSIC STUDIES: Referred to by Mahatma Gandhi as his “spiritual dictionary,” the Bhagavad Gita is a 700 verse Hindu scripture, which presents an ethical and metaphysical dialogue between Arjuna, prince of the Pandavas, and Krishna, the god of compassion, who serves as Arjuna’s charioteer in a terrible war that divided families and communities. As Arjuna sets foot upon the battlefield, he realizes that all the enemies who stand before him are his own kinsmen, friends and relatives. Arjuna refuses to fight any longer and turns to Krishna for guidance. The conversation that follows comprises one of the richest and most profound spiritual and philosophical documents in history. The Bhagavad Gita became on of the key scriptures of the 15th century Bhakti movement in India, which can be in part understood as a move towards a more personal relationship with the divine, rather than an experience that is inherently mediated through ritual. In this way, the Bhakti movement can be likened to the Protestant revolution in Europe. Part of the Bhakti tradition that remains to this day is the custom of kirtan. This call-and-response form of devotional music recites myths and legends, prayers, and names of the gods. Set to music, often played on a harmonium and tabla drums, kirtan creates a musical, spiritual experience that is unlike any other. Come learn all about this amazing tradition at Summer Kirtan at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness. 413-418-4001. 55 North St. Pittsfield, MA.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Sunday, September 15, 7-8am – RADIO SHOW: Commercial-free family radio. Encore of the HFVS Hispanic Heritage Month Episode. What does it mean to be bilingual? Can songs help us learn a new language? Andrés and Christina from 123 Andrés are guest DJs for this episode, and they are tell us about the languages they speak and we get to hear some of the songs that helped them learn! Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Click here select from over 12 years of archived shows!

Sunday, September 15, Dawn-Dusk – SCULPTURE/AGRICULTURE: Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton is home of “Art in the Orchard,” a biennal orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family from dawn to dusk any day of the week. Bringing “Culture into Horticulutre,” the orchard features the work of dozens of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, September 15, All Day – LOCAL HERITAGE/GUIDED TOURS: The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area hosts annual autumn Heritage Walks in September. Well over 50 free, guided interpretive tours are offered throughout Berkshire County. The public is invited to participate in these family-oriented, interpretive walks, offered in partnership with our region’s historic, cultural, and outdoor recreation organizations and the National Park Service. The Heritage Walks are the ideal opportunity to experience and learn about our region’s rich and varied local heritage. Local historians, naturalists, and environmentalists will lead participants on explorations through historic estate gardens and town districts, behind-the-scenes cultural site tours, nature walks, trail hikes, and tours of many of the industrial-site ruins that were once thriving local industries. Examples of opportunities include Native-American and African-American history walks, a canoe paddling trip on the Housatonic River, and a bike tour on scenic country roads. Visit www.HousatonicHeritage.org for a detailed itinerary. Berkshire County, MA.

Sunday, September 15, TBA: RURAL HERITAGE/CORN MAZE: Corn mazes are classic New England traditions that transform cornfields into community building experiences. Before we had corn mazes, corn has been a staple in the diet of countless cultures for thousands of years. Today, corn is the largest produced crop in the world, and can even be a source of adventure as played out in corn mazes. There are a few in Western MA you can check out with your family starting in September, including Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm in Sunderland Hicks Family Farm Corn Maze in Charlemont, and Meadow View Farm Corn Maze in Southwick. Many of these mazes offer a fun and challenging outdoor adventure for families of all ages, along with other activities and farm-fresh produce and perennials. Let the adventure get your kids curious about corn and it’s variety history and many uses. Educators can use this teacher-friendly guide to the evolution of maize to help get kids interested in learning more!

Sunday, September 15, 9am-12noon – GUIDED PADDLE/SENSE OF PLACE: Canoers with some experience are invited to take a leisurely paddle along the Mill River with staff from the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Participants may see the river’s resident beavers and a number of bird species, too! Wear sunscreen, a hat, and water shoes if you have them. Registration required. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, September 15, 9:30am-4:30pm – FASHION HISTORY/WOMEN’S DRESS: “Extreme Fashion: Early and Late 19th-Century Women’s Dress at Historic Deerfield.” Eye-catching 19th-century women’s fashion from the Historic Deerfield collection will be featured in two museum houses this fall, Stebbins House and Frary House. Neoclassical dresses from the early 19th-century will be on view in the 1799 Asa Stebbins House, while the Colonial Revival Frary House showcases 1890s fashions. Seen against period architecture and decorative arts, Extreme Fashion explores themes of gender, aesthetics, technology, and culture in 19th-century America. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, September 15, 11am – COMMUNITY PRIDE/PUERTO RICAN PARADE: Springfield Puerto Rican Parade. The mission of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade is to celebrate and raise awareness of Puerto Rican culture and honor the contributions of our community. This year’s parade will depart from the intersection of Main Street and Wason Ave and will march through the city’s North End into downtown, ending at Boland Way. Join in with your family setting up your chair or standing anywhere on Main Street’s sidewalks from Wason Ave to Boland Way. Folks may also join the celebration at the Main stage located at 1550 Main Street’s Plaza. Springfield Puerto Rican Parade. 413-351-0557. Springfield, MA.

Sunday, September 15, 12-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/PLACEMAKING: There is still time to enjoy warm and sun of summer, before the dark, rainy days of autumn are upon us. And nothing says “summer” like a chicken barbecue! Come join the whole community at the annual Florence Public Chicken Barbecue Community meals bring us together and help create that sense of belonging that is so vital. Florence Civic and Business Association. 90 Park Street, Florence, MA.

Sunday, September 15, 12noon-5pm – HARVEST/CHILI FESTIVAL: The Pioneer Valley’s hottest farm festival is back! Kitchen Garden Farm’s annual Chilifest is a celebration of hot peppers and all things spicy at Mike’s Maze. Enjoy great live music, local brews and spicy food all weekend long! Try some of the world’s hottest peppers grown right here in Western MA. Taste and vote in the Chili Cook-Off Saturday and Hot Sauce Competition Sunday, and check out the new Hot Sauce Alley featuring local hot sauce makers. Plus, chef demos, DIY pickles and screen printing, chili crowns and pepper pops, and fun for all ages. Warner Farm. 413-665-8331. 23 S Main St, Sunderland, MA.

Sunday, September 15, 2-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Video games? Television? View-Masters? No. Not yet. Take a step back in time to the late 1800s at the Westhampton Museum & Blacksmith Shop to see some really basic entertainment. Stereoscope viewers were all the rage and those fortunate enough to own them planned parties around showing their newly arrived images. The ruins of Athens and Scottish castles were very popular themes, but local images such as those taken of the aftermath of the 1874 Mill River Flood also quickly made their way to the western MA. marketplace. After a few weeks, friends, cousins, and neighbors would swap collections for some variety. Come to the museum and see what you can see through their stereoscope viewer! Westhampton Museum & Blacksmith Shop. 413-527-3209. 5 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA.

Sunday, September 15, 4-5:30pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP/SAFETY: Childhood Safety: Tips on Car Seats and Boosters, Prevention of Drowning, What You Should Know about Choking Accidents and Gun Safety, with pediatrician, Catherine Bartlett, M.D. Childcare will be provided for this workshop. Please RSVP for both the workshop and childcare by calling 413-517-2226. Parenting workshops are open to the community and free of charge. Northampton Area Pediatrics. 193 Locust St., Northampton, MA.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Monday, September 16, 10-11am – HEALTH/QI GONG: Qi Gong literally translates to “life energy cultivation.” This unique practice resembles tai chi, in its mixture of relaxed, slow moving poses, breath work. Qi Gong can be seen as a form of meditation, self healing, even self defense. Originating in ancient Chinese daoist exercises, Qi Gong is now practiced by millions in China and around the world and is the subject of numerous medical research trials, investigating the impact of Qi Gong on pain, hypertension, even cancer. Practitioners of all levels are invited to attend this weekly community practice of Qi Gong. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA.

Monday, September 16, 11am – STORYTIME/INFANT: Read books, sing songs, play with puppets and toys, and meet other babies and caregivers at the library. The first 20 minutes are storytime, followed by 40 minutes of free play with toys. For ages 0-18 months. Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Monday, September 16, 1-4pm – LIVING HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: First settled in the early 18th century, the Connecticut River Valley is rich in colonial history. The Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum gives guests a look into the evolution of the region over 250 years, through the history of one family. Learn about how momentous historical events such as the Revolutionary War, the abolition of slavery, and the women’s rights movement impacted the lives of ordinary people in our region. Spend the afternoon visiting this local treasure! Guided tours available Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum. 413-584-4699.130 River Drive, Hadley, MA.

Monday, September 16, 5-6:30pm – ART STUDIES: The Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting Peer Art Group for Teens & Young Adults, a safe space for young people to come together to create art and talk with their peers. This group meets in the Young Adult Dept. of the library. Snacks and art supplies provided. Register required. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA.

Monday, September 16, 7:30pm – PARADE/MARDI GRAS: Hear that? Mardi Gras is coming to New England! If you’ve never been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, now’s your chance to get a taste of what it’s like! Complete with colossal floats, imaginative costumes, and dazzling lights, The Big E brings you the Mardi Gras Parade, day and night. Ride on one of eight unique custom-made floats designed and constructed by the Kern Companies of New Orleans. Big E fairgoers line the parade route daily to see these brilliantly crafted floats and to try their luck at catching a handful of bright beads that you will throw. Grande parade happens Friday-Sunday at 5pm. Evening parade happens Monday-Thursday at 7:30pm. Eastern States Exposition. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA.


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17

Tuesday, September 17, 10-11:30am – INTERPRETIVE WALK/LOCAL HISTORY: Morning Canal Walk at Holyoke Heritage State Park. Join the Park Interpreter for a walk around the block, stopping at points of historical significance. Discussions include how Holyoke has evolved from a major manufacturing city to a thriving cultural center. Each walk in the series will touch upon a specific historical or contemporary topic. Wear appropriate footwear and bring water. Heavy rain cancels. Suitable for individuals and families with children, ages 8 and older (siblings welcome). Holyoke Heritage State Park. 413-534-1723. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA.

Tuesday, September 17, 10-10:45am – STORYTIME/CREATIVE FREE PLAY: New England lore holds that the character of Mother Goose was actually based on a 17th century Bostonian woman, who became famous for singing songs and telling stories to children in her neighborhood. Unfortunately there is no evidence that this is true and the first occurrence of the name “Mother Goose,” appears in a volume of collected fairy tales from 1780, entitled Mother Goose’s Melody. Join Kay Lyons for her popular “Mother Goose on the Loose” series of lap-sit story hours for children under 3. This event will also feature games, puppets, and other toys for children to play with. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Tuesday, September 17, 4:15-5pm – ROSH HASHANAH/PLACEMAKING: A symbol of Rosh Hashanah is a shofar, a musical instrument made from a ram’s horn. The shofar is sounded in a synagogue, but you can blow the shofar from anywhere, including the alley behind Thornes Marketplace at the Great Shofar Blast, hosted by Herrell’s Ice Cream & Sweet Bakery. Learn how to blow a Shofar and enjoy ushering the Jewish New Year in with a huge blast from many Shofarim. Bring your own shofar or borrow one for the event: Kid-Friendly and the more, the merrier. Participants will receive a coupon for a small cone or cup at Herrell’s Ice Cream. Alley behind Herrell’s Ice Cream/Thornes Marketplace. Northampton, MA.

Tuesday, September 17, 4:30-5:30pm – YO-YO/PHYSICS: Learn the art of modern yoyo at the A2Z Science & Learning Store in downtown Northampton! Professional yoyo players teach FREE classes 3 days a week in the back of the store. Start by learning the basics with classic tricks like “Rock the Baby” or “Around the World” and then get ready to take it to the next level with modern yo-yos that feature ball bearings for long spin time and truly next level string tricks that will amaze! Great for ages 7 and up. No advanced sign up is required. (Great for parent and child to do together!) YoYo School happens every Tues, Fri, & Sat, 4:30-5:30pm. For changes or questions, visit www.A2ZScience.com or contact Contact@A2ZScience.com, or call 413-586-1611. Northampton, MA.

Tuesday, September 17, 8pm – POP CULTURE/COMEDY: The hilarious Peabody Award-winning TV comedy is coming to Northampton with an all-new Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour! Mystery Science Theater 3000 has earned its place in history as one of the Top 100 TV Shows of all time and is currently a hit show on Netflix. Now you can sit in the same theater with your favorite characters and experience this comedy phenomenon in a universally acclaimed LIVE event. Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Wednesday, September 18, Dawn-Dusk – SCULPTURE/AGRICULTURE: Park Hill Orchard in Easthampton is home of “Art in the Orchard,” a biennial orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family from dawn to dusk any day of the week. Bringing “Culture into Horticulutre,” the orchard features the work of dozens of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Wednesday, September 18, 10am-2pm – TEENS/COLONIAL COOKING: Hearth Cooking Class at Historic Deerfield for self-directed teens. Teens will learn the basics of open-hearth cooking, including reading an 18th-century recipe, using math skills to convert the recipe to 21st-century measurements, and measure, mix and bake a dessert to enjoy with lunch. Included in the class is an exploration of the kitchens in the Sheldon House and working in the Cooks’ Garden. Bring a lunch from home. The baked dessert will use ingredients such as milk, eggs, and wheat. Class is appropriate for teens aged 13-18. Class size is limited, and pre-registration is required by calling the Education Program Coordinator. Historic Deerfield. 413-775-7217. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Wednesday, September 18, 7:30-9:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Astronomers and physicists work with some of the most intriguing ideas in the universe, literally! One of the most intriguing concepts in theoretical physics is the idea of a clock that could keep time even after the universe has ceased to exist. Yes, you read that correctly. A team of researchers at California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have begun work constructing an eternal clock, based off a model proposed by physicists at MIT. This clock, made from a crystal existing in four dimensions, which is to say time and space, would be composed of charged atoms. The repulsive force between like-charged particles could, theoretically, be calculated at a low enough quantum energy state that its momentum would never become subject to the laws of entropy, the force that gradually erodes all energy in the universe. Thus, a clock constructed from these particles would be able to record time forever. What would it even look like to record time forever? By definition “forever” never ends. The idea of a clock that literally never stops is frankly enough to make ones head explode. Well if you’re excited about astronomy but are looking for something a little less mind-bending, stop by the Orchard Hill Observatory, located at the highest point on the UMass campus, where they host a 16-inch telescope. The Observatory is used to teach observational astronomy and is open to the public every Thursday night. If you’re not sure whether or not the observatory is closed due to clouds, call 413-547-4166 and listen to the recorded message. Click here for directions. UMass. Amherst, MA.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Thursday, September 19, 10am-5pm – ART STUDIES/VAN GOGH: Van Gogh for All at the Springfield Museums D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. Van Gogh for All immerses visitors in the works of the world’s most famous painter. Designed to engage 21st-century audiences in the 19th-century art of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), this experientially-rich exhibition uses modern technology and participatory learning to introduce audiences of all ages to Van Gogh’s genius, his personal struggles, and his creative process. Visitors can literally jump right into Van Gogh’s artwork to discover the unusual perspective of Van Gogh’s bedroom, get behind the shutters of Van Gogh’s yellow house, or become part of one of Van Gogh’s famous landscapes. The exhibit offers multiple photo ops and opportunities to create your own art—with stations for drawing a still life or a portrait. Many of the elements in the exhibition are interactive, offering the visitor the opportunity to manipulate the artist’s work in new ways, including through a 12-foot-wide, electronic version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA

Thursday, September 19, TBA – LANGUAGE ARTS/POETRY: Discover the fun of poetry during the 7th Annual Amherst Poetry Festival! The Festival features family-friendly readings and workshops around Amherst from September 19-22. Workshops include “Drawing Poems and Writing Pictures: A Workshop for Children and Adults” and “Calling All Poets!” a workshop for writers of all ages who wish to spend an afternoon writing poetry in Emily Dickinson’s garden. Advance registration for some of these events is strongly suggested. Visit their website for more information and to register for these and other events: www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org. Emily Dickinson Museum. 413-542-8161. 280 Main St, Amherst, MA.

Thursday, September 19, 4-6pm – ENTOMOLOGY/CITIZEN SCIENCE: Monarch Tagging. Learn how to tag Monarch Butterflies, keep track of them, and contribute to a growing body of data that helps us understand monarch migration with Jennifer Unkles, Monarch tagger since 1997. Fun for all ages. Registration appreciated. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA.

Thursday, September 19, 5-7pm – INDUSTRIAL HISTORY/GUIDED WALK: Enjoy a free guided walk back in time along the popular canal-side bike path in Turners Falls during “Power Town History Stroll” to discover the rich and colorful industrial history along this scenic paved path. Historical maps and photographs will help bring the sights and sounds of the regions industrial heritage alive. Wear comfortable walking shoes and meet at the entrance of the Great Falls Discovery Center. Total walking distance is no more than two miles on flat terrain. Wheelchair accessible. For ages 16 and older. Pre-register by calling 800-859-2960. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Thursday, September 19, 5-9pm – PLACEMAKING/BLOCK PARTY: The 8th Annual Celebrate Amherst Block Party returns to downtown Amherst. This free, fun street party features something for young & old. Two stages of music, acrobats on the high wire, demonstrations, and fun activities presented by downtown businesses & community groups, including the Poetry Vending Machine at the Emily Dickinson Museum table. Shoot hoops with athletes from UMass and Amherst College Basketball Teams. Marvel at the incredible acrobats in the air and on the ground. Sample delicious food from downtown restaurants & cafes set up along the street. The Amherst Block Party is a great event for the whole family to enjoy while welcoming in the fall. For more info, visit www.amherstdowntown.com. Downtown Amherst, MA.

Thursday, September 19, 7-10pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CAJUN MUSIC: Cajun Night is Back at Luthier’s Co-op with The Bunkhouse Boys, traveling to us from the Catskills. They will play a set from 7-8:30pm followed by an open Cajun jam 8:30 -10pm. Bring your button accordions, guitars, fiddles, bass, singing voices, and feet for two-stepping. Come to listen, dance, hang, eat, drink beer (21+) and/or play music. Luthier’s Co-op. 413-527-6627. 108 Cottage St, Easthampton, MA.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20

Friday, September 20, 3-10pm – LOCAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Established in 1856, the Belchertown Fair is an annual 3-day celebration of New England agricultural heritage. Friday evening families can enjoy a multitude of activities, including: farm animals, petting zoo, pulling area, live entertainment, a midway, and an exhibit hall showcasing displays from farmers, crafters, photographers, and special interest groups. Belchertown Fair. 2 Park St. Belchertown, MA.

Friday, September 20, TBA – LANGUAGE ARTS/POETRY: Discover the fun of poetry during the 7th Annual Amherst Poetry Festival! The Festival features family-friendly readings and workshops around Amherst from September 19-22. Workshops include “Drawing Poems and Writing Pictures: A Workshop for Children and Adults” and “Calling All Poets!” a workshop for writers of all ages who wish to spend an afternoon writing poetry in Emily Dickinson’s garden. Advance registration for some of these events is strongly suggested. Visit their website for more information and to register for these and other events: www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org. Emily Dickinson Museum. 413-542-8161. 280 Main St, Amherst, MA.

Friday, September 20, 5pm — MUSIC STUDIES/GRASSROOTS: The annual FreshGrass three-day, family-friendly, music festival, celebrates grassroots music in its many forms, and aims to create a new hub for the burgeoning bluegrass community. In addition to multiple stages of fabulous bluegrass and roots music, there will be workshops led by talented musicians, and skilled luthiers offering instrument construction demos and discussions (plus plenty of instruments to view up close, hold, or play). MASS MoCA. 413-662-2111.1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA.

Friday, September 20, 7pm – FILM STUDIES/AFRICAN: Screening of the multi-award-winning movie Sembene!, a look at the life and career of Ousman Sembene, the first African person to direct feature films. Everyone interested in filmmaking, Senegal, documentary films, or Africa, in general, is invited to the screening, profiling this African freedom fighter who used stories as his weapon. The film is co-directed and narrated by Mount Holyoke College professor Samba Gadjigo. Professor Gadjigo will be present at the post-film discussion to answer questions about his adventures with the father of African filmmaking. Prepurchase tickets. Ashfield FilmFest. Ashfield Town Hall. 412 Main St. Ashfield, MA.


Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Bernardston, Chester, Heath, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, South Hadley, Amherst, Hatfield, Russell, Shutesbury, and Springfield Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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