100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: September 14-27, 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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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!

Field Trips

Expand your classroom at the Springfield Museums. With 5 museums to mine for information and activities, the Springfield Museums does what few others can—combine art, history, science, and Dr. Seuss into fun-filled, engaging experiences that reinforce critical thinking & observation skills through inquiry-based learning. The Museums offer a broad range of school programs for all grades and interest levels, and all programs link directly to the MA State Curriculum Frameworks and help students prepare for standardized testing. Learn more at SpringfieldMuseums.org/groups/school. Fall Field Trip Discount: Visit between Oct 1 & Dec 31 for $1 off per student when booking 2+ programs. Contact 413-263-6800 x322 or fieldtrips@springfieldmuseums.org.

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.

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 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 19-22

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.

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.

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

Experience the very best with a YMCA in Greenfield Family Membership. When you and your family become members of the YMCA in Greenfield, you become part of Y family; full of caring members and dedicated, supportive staff. Your membership represents an investment in your family, as well as the mission of our Y; as they Y seeks to serve both members and the community, by enhancing the quality of life in Franklin County. Find your healthy – find your community – find yourself – at your YMCA in Greenfield. Free ChildWatch for ages 8 week-7 years. Free Game Room fun for children ages 6+. Fun Family events on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons at no extra cost. Free Dodgeball & Floor Hockey for ages 6-10. Discounts on summer camps, classes, and more! 413-773-3646. info@ymcaingreenfield.org. ymcaingreenfield.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 14-27, 2019

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

Saturday, Sept 21Sunday, Sept 22
Monday, Sept 23Tuesday, Sept 24Wednesday, Sept 25
Thursday, Sept 26Friday, Sept 27

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Events Happening in the Hilltown


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Saturday, September 14, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH EPISODE: This week is the Hilltown Family Variety Show 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! Every Saturday, listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show either on your FM dial at 103.3FM WXOJ (Northampton, MA) or right here on our website for a full hour of commercial-free, quality family programming! Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

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 we depend 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, Anytime – PODCAST/HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH: This week is the Hilltown Family Variety Show 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 13 years of archived shows! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

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, 10am-1pm – CREATIVE FREE-PLAY: The Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence (USNF) and Play Workshop will host a free pop up adventure playground open to the public on their front lawn. The Pop Up Adventure Playground is a play space for people of all ages to create and build. The front lawn of the Unitarian Society will be full of everyday materials, such as boxes and tubes, duct tape, fabric, and rope, offering infinite opportunities for building, creativity, and invention. Children are encouraged to experiment, take risks, and collaborate in a safe environment. The playground will be staffed by trained volunteers and rely on reused materials primarily donated by local businesses or gathered by community members. Parents and caregivers should plan to watch their children as they play and explore. Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence. 413-584-1390 x203. 220 Main Street. Northampton, 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.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

Saturday, September 21, 7am-5pm — EXERCISE/BIKE RIDING: Exploring your regional landscape and local community by bike presents new ways to experience all that the Pioneer Valley has to offer and allows you to notice things you hadn’t seen before – from landscapes to wildlife to villages. The Northampton Cycling Club presents their annual BikeFest, with a variety of rides ranging from less than 10 to over 100 miles, with all bikers returning to Look Park for an afternoon festival. Past events have included family activities, BMX bike show, kids bike races, music, and more. Pre-registration closes when sold out. Visit The Northampton Cycling Club for schedule and registration info. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, September 21, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/TRANSPORTATION EPISODE: This week is the Hilltown Family Variety Show Transportation Episode with Guest DJ, Camille Harris. Musician and comedian, Camille Harris, explores the word “transportation” and the various ways in which we move around the world each day. Songs and stories about cars, buses, trains, trolleys, planes, rockets, and subways are all featured in this fun educational episode. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Saturday, September 21, 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 21, Varies – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Western Massachusetts is home to a considerable number of museums, each one filled with a myriad of unique learning opportunities. Thanks to Smithsonian Magazine, museums all over the country, including a few in Western MA, can be visited free of charge during their annual Museum Day Live! every late September. Tickets for the special day are available on the publication’s website and each ticket grants admission for one person plus a guest. Only one ticket may be printed per household, and each may only be used at one participating location. Kids of all ages can satisfy their curiosity on many diverse subjects while utilizing their free ticket. Institutions participating in Museum Day Live! can help families learn about everything from natural history, fine art, language, local history, and much more. Families can even use the event as a way to target specific topics or interests that their children have. Try matching your visit to the topics that your children are studying in school this fall or themes that you’re learning about together at home. Entering an exhibit with learning goals in mind can help kids to focus on a common theme while taking in lots of information. If you choose a topic beforehand, try writing down all the knowledge that your family has about the subject on your way to the museum, and then generate some questions that you have. Work on answering these questions as you learn throughout your visit, then discuss what you learned on the way back. You might be surprised what you’ll find out! Tickets for this annual day are available on online at www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday. Participating museums this year include, Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College, Mead Art Museum, Springfield Museums, Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and Yiddish Book Center.

Saturday, September 21, TBA — 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.

Saturday, September 21, 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.

Saturday, September 21, 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 21, 10am-4pm – HOMESTEADING/HARVEST FESTIVAL: Celebrate farm life & homesteading at the Homestead Harvest Festival, a fun celebration of local agricultural traditions! Children’s farm and garden activities, live music, artisan vendors, special talks and presentations, pony rides, draft horse demonstrations, and more. Picnic on the grounds and soak in the beautiful views surrounding this 19th-century farmstead. Check out their tentative event schedule for the weekend. Activities include butter making, apple press, seed saving, cooking demos, food preservation, hayrides, artisan market and many others. William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 413- 634-2244. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA.

Saturday, September 21, 10am-5pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: Now that the weather is beginning to turn, that can only mean one thing: the apple harvest is right around the corner! For almost forty years, the Berkshire community has been welcoming the fall with a special festival, celebrating the apple harvest. The Lenox Apple Squeeze features musical performances, vendors, and fun for the whole family. Don’t miss this beloved local tradition. 4 Housatonic Street, Lenox, MA

Saturday, September 21, 10:30-11:30am – MINDFULNESS/FOREST BATHING: Connect with the natural world in a healing, calming, and replenishing way through a series of activities on a gentle, guided FREE “Shinrin-Yoku: Forest Breathing Guided Walk.” Look to the wisdom of the natural world for effective ways to relax and reinvigorate yourself. Shinrin Yoku is Japanese for “Forest Bathing,” a cornerstone of preventative health care and healing in Japanese medicine with a robust body of scientific literature on the health benefits. For ages 18 and older. Pre-register by calling 800-859-2960. Northfield Mountain. 99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63, Northfield, MA.

Saturday, September 21, 11am-4pm – AGRICULTURE/WILDLIFE: Join Apex Orchard for their annual Wildlife Weekend for PYO in their fruit orchard, educational displays, wildlife booths, scavenger hunt, local food, and one of the most spectacular views in upper Pioneer Valley! Activities include Jennifer Longsdorf from Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Jim Legacy from Mass Wildlife, and Tom Ricardi with his Birds of Prey. Apex Orchards. 413-625-2744. 225 Peckville Rd. Shelburne, MA.

Saturday, September 21, 11am-10pm – LOCAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Established in 1856, the Belchertown Fair is an annual 3-day celebration of New England agricultural heritage. The annual “Fair Day” parade kicks off the weekend on Saturday morning at 10am, then all weekend 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.

Saturday, September 21, 12noon-4pm – SKILLSHARING/SUSTAINABILITY: Community RePair, organized by the Northampton ReUse Committee. Participants are invited to bring a household item in need of repair. Local “Fixperts,” handy volunteers providing repair know-how, will attempt to fix it free of charge. Great opportunity to learn new skills by watching not only your own broken/ripped item being repaired, but other things too! If you are a successful tinkerer/repairperson/handyperson/maker and are interested in joining their team of volunteer “Fixperts,” call 413-587-1059. Smith Vocational High School. 80 Locust Street (Route 9), Northampton, MA.

Saturday, September 21, 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 21, 1-2pm – STORY HOUR/CZECH: Walls and Bridges, with Peter Sís at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture. In his acceptance speech upon winning the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award, Peter Sís describes books as “my home, my language, my country.” Join Sís as he shares stories of his Czech childhood behind the Iron Curtain and his love of picture books as “bridges taking you places.” Book signing to follow the program. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, September 21, 1:15-2:45pm & 3-4:30pm – GEOLOGY/GUIDED CRUISE: Geology comes alive through the clear and often humorous stories of Professor Emeritus of Greenfield Community College, Richard Little during “Fire and Ice; Richard Little Geology Cruise.” This relaxing cruise on the Connecticut River will be filled with tales of drifting continents, earthquakes, dinosaurs, glaciers, Lake Hitchcock, and the strange origin of deep riverbed holes; all are part of the creation of our idyllic Valley. Professor Little has published three editions of Dinosaurs, Dunes, and Drifting Continents: The Geology of the Connecticut Valley and created videos about the rise and fall of glacial Lake Hitchcock and the 500 million year history of the Connecticut Valley. Professor Little continues his passion for educating about geology through “Fantastic Landscape Tours” to significant geologic areas like the US National Parks and Iceland. Don’t miss this overview of the fantastic geology of the area by one of the region’s most exceptional geology educators. For ages 10 and older. Register by calling 800-859-2960. This cruise is scheduled to depart from the dock at Northfield Mountain Riverview Picnic area at the foot of Ferry Road in Northfield, MA.

Saturday, September 21, 2-4pm – ROBOTICS/TEENS: Holyoke Codes will visit the library to teach teens how to build their own sumo bot. Sumo bots are robots that compete in a sumo-wrestling type competition. Robots will attempt to push each other out of a ring. Teens will build the robots and program them for sumo wrestling success. This program will end with a friendly sumo bot tournament. Registration Required. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA.

Saturday, September 21, 7pm – FILM STUDIES/LOCAL FILMMAKERS: The annual Ashfield Film Festival has allowed folks of all ages to both create and watch original short films together. The best part, the short films are created by local residents and filmed in the area! Since 2007, the FilmFest has screened over 150 films, most of which were shot within Ashfield and by folks you may know! Entries demonstrate not only the cultural and historical diversity of Ashfield but a growing enthusiasm for the creative art of storytelling with film/video. Created as a means of building a creative community and commemorating Ashfield as the birthplace of early 20th-century film great Cecil Demille. The festival showcases everything from short pieces highlighting experienced filmmakers’ technical expertise to music videos made by local teens. Prepurchase tickets. Ashfield FilmFest. Ashfield Town Hall. 412 Main St. Ashfield, MA.


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

Sunday, September 22, Anytime – FAMILY PODCAST/TRANSPORTATION EPISODE: Hilltown Family Variety Show. This week is the Hilltown Family Variety Show Transportation Episode with Guest DJ, Camille Harris. Musician and comedian, Camille Harris, explores the word “transportation” and the various ways in which we move around the world each day. Songs and stories about cars, buses, trains, trolleys, planes, rockets, and subways are all featured in this fun educational episode. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Sunday, September 22, 6:45am & 6pm – AUTUMN EQUINOX/ASTRONOMY: Fall is here! The autumnal equinox, the first full day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, is a good time to learn about astronomical concepts such as the seasonal positions of the Earth, Sun and Moon. The public is invited to view sunrise and sunset from the standing stones of the UMass Amherst Sunwheel. A UMass Amherst astronomer will be present discussing the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, phases of the moon, building of the Sunwheel, and other calendar sites such as the Karnak Temple in Egypt, Stonehenge in the U.K, Chichen Itza in Mexico, and Chankillo in Peru. UMass Sunwheel. Rocky Hill Road, south of McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, September 22, 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.

Sunday, September 22, 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 22, 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 22, 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.

Sunday, September 22, 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 22, TBA — 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.

Sunday, September 22, 9:30-11:30am – AGRICULTURE/JEWISH CULTURE: Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year. The biblical name is Yom Teruah, which is sometimes translated as the “Feast of Trumpets.” You can celebrate Rosh Hashanah with a feast of apples! Families with young children are invited to pick their own apples at Park Hill Orchard. There will be live music, apple tastings, and shofar blowing. Picking your own apples connects children with where their food comes from, forging a stronger connection with place and making healthy food fun! Hosted by PJ Library Western Massachusetts at Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, September 22, 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 22, 10am-4pm – HOMESTEADING/HARVEST FESTIVAL: Celebrate farm life & homesteading at the Homestead Harvest Festival, a fun celebration of local agricultural traditions! Children’s farm and garden activities, live music, artisan vendors, special talks and presentations, pony rides, draft horse demonstrations, and more. Picnic on the grounds and soak in the beautiful views surrounding this 19th-century farmstead. Check out their tentative event schedule for the weekend. Activities include butter making, apple press, seed saving, cooking demos, food preservation, hayrides, artisan market and many others. William Cullen Bryant Homestead. 413- 634-2244. 207 Bryant Road, Cummington, MA.

Sunday, September 22, 10am-5pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: Now that the weather is beginning to turn, that can only mean one thing: the apple harvest is right around the corner! For almost forty years, the Berkshire community has been welcoming the fall with a special festival, celebrating the apple harvest. The Lenox Apple Squeeze features musical performances, vendors, and fun for the whole family. Don’t miss this beloved local tradition. 4 Housatonic Street, Lenox, MA.

Sunday, September 22, 10am-5pm – FERMENTATION/NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY: Like most things, sauerkraut originally came from ancient China. While the Chinese preservation technique was derived from the use of rice wine, Tatars were the first to use salt. It is thought that the dish first came to Europe with the Mongols in the 13th century. During the first World War, American sauerkraut manufacturers worried that consumers wouldn’t want to buy the product that had a German name, so they relabeled it “Liberty Cabbage,” evoking the absurd “Freedom Fries” debacle of the early 2000s. Fermentation is a great way to preserve food and add beneficial bacteria to promote increased gut health. More and more medical professionals are acknowledging the link between gut bacteria and a host of ailments and fermented foods are a great way to cultivate a healthy gut microbiome. Learn all about fermentation, preserving ancient traditions, and building a resilient culture at the annual Berkshire Fermentation Festival. This family-friendly event has presentations that range from chocolate chemistry to botanical beverages, a food swap of homemade fermented foods to lessons in nutrition, live music to a science corner. Hosted by Berkshire Ferments at Ski Butternut. 413-528-2000. 380 State Rd. Great Barrington, MA.

Sunday, September 22, 10am/12:30pm-5pm – SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/KAYAKING: Kayak-a-thon with All Out Adventures, an annual fundraiser where participants kayak from Sunderland to Northampton (12 miles) or Hatfield to Northampton (5 miles) via the Connecticut River. It’s an inclusive community event, involving people with and without disabilities who are passionate about inclusion and love outdoor adventures. Open to the community, kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards, participants commit to raising $150/person or $500 as part of a 4-member team — an excellent event for families, individuals, and civic groups. Participating paddler friends and family join in at the finishing landing place in Northampton, celebrating with music and refreshments. This fundraiser helps to raise funds needed to provide free or low-cost outdoor recreation programs each year for people with disabilities, seniors, and veterans. (Rain Date: September 29). All Out Adventures. 413-584-2052. 214 State St. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, September 22, 11am-4pm – AGRICULTURE/WILDLIFE: Join Apex Orchard for their annual Wildlife Weekend for PYO in their fruit orchard, educational displays, wildlife booths, scavenger hunt, local food, and one of the most spectacular views in upper Pioneer Valley! Sunday activities include a Wildlife Scavenger Hunt. Apex Orchards. 413-625-2744. 225 Peckville Rd. Shelburne, MA. Apex Orchards. 413-625-2744. 225 Peckville Rd. Shelburne, MA.

Sunday, September 22, 11am-5pm — BREAD FESTIVAL: According to the expert sourdough bakers at Hungry Ghost Bread, “a sourdough culture is a mixture of wild yeast and lactobacillus, a variety of bacteria, that lives in a mixture of flour and water” and “eating good quality bread helps restore the functioning of the digestive tract, resulting in proper assimilation and elimination.” Celebrate this community bakery with its annual Bread Festival, a celebration of all things bread featuring local vendors, live music, and demonstrations. Hungry Ghost Bread. 413-582-9009. 62 State Street. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, September 22, 11am-5pm – LOCAL HERITAGE/AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Established in 1856, the Belchertown Fair is an annual 3-day celebration of New England agricultural heritage. On Sunday, 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.

Sunday, September 22, 12noon-3pm – FARM FESTIVAL/APPLES: Apple Festival at Outlook Farm. Fall is a time for new change- back to school for kids, changing weather, and possibly some new clothes or supplies. The community tag and craft sale at Outlook Farm’s Apple Festival is one place to look for locally sourced items. All are welcome to come and bring their treasures to sell. Celebrate the autumn harvest with great food (pig roast & BBQ) and live music! Outlook Farm Barn & Eatery. 413-539-9388. Rte 66, 136 Main Rd. Westhampton, MA.

Sunday, September 22, 2-4pm – 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.

Sunday, September 22, 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 22, 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.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

Monday, September 23, 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.

Monday, September 23, 4:30pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/WORD GAMES: It is speculated that the highest possible scoring word in Scrabble has probably never been successfully played. If situated correctly, the word “OXYPHENBUTAZONE,” could theoretically score 1778 points! A far more realistic, and still highly effective word, is “ZA,” a recognized slang term for pizza, which can still get you 60 points or so. If you love Scrabble, joing the Scrabble Club for a monthly meet-up and game of Scrabble! Open to everyone, fun is the primary goal. Lily Library. 413-587-1500.19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA.

Monday, September 23, 6pm – STEM/INTERGENERATIONAL: Science Cafes are part of a grassroots movement to open science to everyone and to bring free presentations and engaging conversations into casual community settings. Here in Western MA, a working scientist shares their research with the public every month via SciTech Cafe. All ages are welcome. Allowing self-directed learners to participate in community events such as science cafes can help them to learn how to engage with an intergenerational community of learners while challenging them to learn more about in-depth science topics on their own. Each science cafe is lead by an expert in the field who share their expertise to science cafe participants. The opportunity to learn about a science topic from an expert scientist grants learners access to a pool of knowledge that is both deep and wide. Find out who is presenting this month at http://www.scitechcafe.org. Union Station. 413-341-3161. 125 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA.


TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

Tuesday, September 24, 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 24, 7-9pm – PERMACULTURE DESIGN: Join Grown in Westhampton for an evening with Jono Neiger, author of “The Permaculture Promise.” Jono, of the Regenerative Design Group, will provide an overview of this unique form of land stewardship which provides an abundance of food, cares for the environment, and even improves the land. He will discuss permaculture design and application for residential and farm settings. Best for self-directed and lifelong learners. Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 N Rd, Westhampton, MA.

Tuesday, September 24, 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.


WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

Wednesday, September 25, 10am-2pm – TEENS/FIBER ARTS: “Weaving Class for Homeschool Teens” at Historic Deerfield in the Hall Tavern. Self-directed teens will learn the basics of weaving and begin a sewing project with a piece of woven cloth; assist with winding warps and see a loom dressing demonstration; and explore weaving patterns and structures and then weave them on the Weaving Studio practice looms. The sewing project will use cloth woven in previous sessions so that they can take the project home to keep. Bring a lunch from home. 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 25, 6:30-8pm – NATURAL HISTORY/BEAVERS: Did you know that during the 17th century the Roman Catholic Church ruled that for the purposes of dietary laws, beavers should technically be considered as a species of fish? This ruling meant that the ordinary prohibition on meat consumption on Fridays did not extend to beaver meat. Beavers, the second largest rodent in the world, are probably best known for nature’s engineers with their amazing ability to alter their environment by constructing dams and lodges. These structures serve a number of important functions for beavers, including protection from predators and storing food for the winter. Spend an evening searching for beavers and learning all about these industrious critters at Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley. Participants will learn about their natural history and contribution to changing our local landscape after being reintroduced to the area in the mid-1900’s. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA.


THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26

Thursday, September 26, 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 26, 4:30-6pm – TECHNOLOGY/SOCIAL JUSTICE: Technology, Representation and Social Justice with Cat Dawson, hosted by Smith College Program for the Study of Women and Gender. As diversity and inclusion become ever-more relevant in more contexts, the interpretation of art through a social-historical lens is becoming more prevalent. Simultaneously, technological innovations are making it easier for cultural institutions to reach more extensive, more diverse audiences. In this talk, Dawson will explore how tech is making it easier to surface the richness of socio-historical analysis, and argue that this is especially relevant to those of us engaged in labors of scholarship and social justice due to the critical role that visuality and material culture play in the process of rupturing normative structures of meaning-making and power. Best for self-directed and lifelong learners. Smith College. 10 Elm St, Northampton, MA.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27

Friday, September 27, 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

Friday, September 27, 4:30-5:30pm – 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.

Friday, September 27, 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 27, 7:30-9pm – MUSIC STUDIES/ARABIC: Concert with Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble at Springfield College. Layaali is an ensemble committed to performing the traditional music of the Arab world and to preserving the rich legacy of Arabic culture through soulful vocals, hypnotic instrumental improvisations, electrifying percussion, and faithful renditions and recordings of masterworks. Concert is held in the Marsh Memorial Chapel and is a part of the William Simpson Fine Arts Series. Springfield College. 413-748-3000. 263 Alden St. Springfield, 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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