100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: October 5-18, 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 over 9,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ 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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Bulletin Board

Open House Oct 5

Come to Oak Meadow’s Open House Party on October 5 from 11am-1pm in Brattleboro, VT! Learn about their flexible, progressive homeschooling curriculum and distance learning school for grades K to 12. Speak with teachers, browse curriculum materials, and network with other families. Crafts and activities for students of all ages. Free and open to anyone interested in learning more about independent learning. For more info, visit oakmeadow.com/open-house.

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.

Oct 16 – Dec 18

Sense of Place: Life Reflections Through the Seasons” an autumn writing workshop series with Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield. Understanding how we are a part of our changing landscape year after year as we move through the seasons strengthens our sense of place. Our experiences of autumn in New England as a child, teenager, young adult, parent, and grandparent are very different. Connecting our stages of life experiences through the seasons give us a better understanding of who we are in relation to where we are in the world. This intergenerational 8-week series will be held every Wed at 6pm at the Senior Center Café in Williamsburg. Classes begin Oct 16 and run through the end of the year. RSVP: 413-268-8407. Cost: $10/class.

Oct 20

Lightwire Theater: DINO-LIGHT. Sunday, October 20, 2pm, UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall in Amherst, MA. A famous scientist with magic powers brings a friendly dinosaur to life. When the dinosaur wanders away from home, he discovers a wonderful world full of creatures that light up the darkness and help him find the true meaning of love. Hailed by Rolling Stone as “absolutely incredible, this glow-in-the-dark adventure has been praised for its cutting-edge blend of puppetry, technology, and dance by audiences all over the world. Family Fest in the lobby starting at 1pm. $15-$35; Youth 17 & Under: $10-$15. Family Pack: $75 (2 adults, 2 youth). @ 1 hour. Appropriate for all ages. More at fineartscenter.com/dinolight or call 800-999-UMAS

Oct 12

Saturday, October 12th 10am to 4pm, come enjoy a family friendly fun-filled fall day at Look Park Pumpkin Festival. Bounce houses, carnival games, pumpkin painting and a great juggling and variety show by Steve Corning! Wristbands for unlimited carnival games and a pumpkin to paint: $10. Individual Tickets: $.50 cents each. Visit www.lookpark.org or call 413-584-5457 for details.

Oct 12 & 27

Amherst Leisure Services 50th Annual Halloween Fest happens on Sunday, October 27th starting at 12noon with downtown trick-or-treating. In addition to providing a family-friendly program and showcasing downtown Amherst, all proceeds raised will be used for youth program scholarships. Halloween Fest 2019 includes traditional Downtown Trick-or-Treat, a Halloween Parade, Live Entertainment, Anniversary Scavenger Hunt and Pharaoh’s Haunted Tomb! Halloween Window Painting happens on Saturday, October 12th from 9am-1pm. Bring the fall festivities to life by painting one of the generously donated windows of a Downtown Amherst business. Register today! $5 per person.

Oct 13

Join OnTrend Crafts for their Fall Craft Fair on Sunday, October 13 at the beautiful Hadley Farms Meeting House in Hadley, MA. They’ll have 60 the region’s top crafters and makers selling their high-quality handmade goods. You’ll find jewelry, paper goods, wood crafts, housewares, ceramics, knitted apparel, and much more. Free admission; 10am to 4pm. For more information, visit ontrendcrafts.com or email Jennifer at jennifer@ontrendcrafts.com.

Oct 19

The Common School will hold its annual Children’s Carnival, open to the wider Pioneer Valley community, on Saturday, October 19, from 10am-2pm, on the school’s campus at 521 South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA. Open to the community, the Children’s Carnival will offer old-fashioned activities, games, and entertainment, including a bounce house and live music. Admission to the carnival is free. Games and activities have a small fee. Breakfast, hearty lunches, and treats such as cotton candy, homemade baked goods, and smoothies will be available for purchase. This event will happen, rain or shine! For more information, call 413-256-8989 or go to www.commonschool.org.

Accepting applications for fall 2020. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 225 students in kindergarten through grade 9. At Bement, the innovative educational approach and rigorous curriculum prepare students well for competitive secondary schools and to tackle the challenges of life. Students work hard, learn to overcome obstacles, persevere with joy and optimism, develop a strong sense of self, and find ways to help others. Children and adults at Bement work together to create a community where all members cultivate mutual respect and understanding within the school and the world. For info on how to arrange a campus visit, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

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 Western Massachusetts 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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 5-18, 2019

Saturday, Oct 5Sunday, Oct 6
Monday, Oct 7Tuesday, Oct 8Wednesday, Oct 9
Thursday, Oct 10Friday, Oct 11

Saturday, Oct 12Sunday, Oct 13
Monday, Oct 14Tuesday, Oct 15Wednesday, Oct 16
Thursday, Oct 17Friday, Oct 18

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Events Happening in the Hilltown


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5

Saturday, October 5, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/HISTORY OF ROCK: In this episode, join Hilltown Family Variety Show Intro to the History of Rock Episode with Guest DJs, Ari and Ezra from The Oot n’ Oots. Ari and Ezra from The Oot n’ Oots play songs and tell stories to highlight the evolution of rock music from the 1950s to the 1970s, covering major trends and introducing listeners of all ages to a distinctly American musical tradition. 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, October 5, All Day – NATURALIST FESTIVAL: The Naturalists’ Club Celebrates 50 Years of Exploration with a Grand Festival. Thwart disparaging news of forest fires and climate change with a dose of inspiring environmental efforts right here at home. The Naturalists’ Club is celebrating 50 years of protecting, exploring, and learning about nature with a festival highlighting great things people are doing on behalf of the outdoors with two big days filled with hikes, conservation projects, displays, and experiential learning activities from regional outdoor organizations, music and food. Families, kids, seniors are all invited to take part in the activities every day rain or shine. The Naturalists’ Club. Noble View Outdoor Center, 413-297-0778. Russell, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 10am-2pm – ANTHROPOLOGY/SOCIAL COHESION: Founded in 2001 in Denmark to promote human rights and social cohesion, the human library project seeks to create greater understanding between people and provide a safe space where we can learn more about each other and work through stereotypes and discrimination present in our community in order to ultimately to forge new connections between people. Living Books, a community-building event hosted by the Forbes Library, is modeled after this project. Living Books is made up not of actual books but of human books – human beings whose unique life experiences make up volumes and volumes of information, stored amongst a network of brain cells and synapses instead of a stack of bound pages. Check out a “living book” and have a 20-minute conversation in a safe and respectful environment that fosters empathy and understanding. If you have questions about the event, email: livingbooks@forbeslibrary.org. Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, October 5. 10am-3pm UPCYCLING/SKILLSHARING: BagShare Bags & Containers Workshop. Learn how to make sturdy reusable bags from feed/seed and brew bags. Fold bags/learn three different popular designs for your use or teaching a workshop. Sturdy, useful bags hold up to 50 lbs. Re-made from locally collected bag and other materials. Great “green” school project. Register by September 30. Email leni@titaniumarts.com or call 413-634-5591. Bagshare Project. Leni Fried’s Art Studio. 494 Stage Road. Cummington, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 10am-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/TINSMITHING: Visitors to Historic Deerfield will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close at this Historic Trade demonstration, including Tinsmithing with Bill McMillen. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 10am-5pm – PLACEMAKING/LOCAL CULTURE: Fantastical Fall Festival, a celebration of culture and heritage in Chicopee. This event is free and family-friendly, featuring local artists of various cultures that represent Chicopee, and many activities for families, and children. Some of the Festival activities will include: Elected officials storytelling tent, puppet making coordinated by local artisans, the Chicopee Boys and Girls Club will be hosting games for family fun, Jugglers will be teaching the art of juggling, Oops Art will be doing public art projects featuring block printmaking with symbols from various cultures. There will be a Makers tent- featuring local craftspeople, musicians and dancers from different cultures that make up Chicopee along with local food trucks. Sherman Park. 21 Vivian St, Chicopee, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 10am-6pm – LOCAL FOOD/POTATO FESTIVAL: In his 2008 book, Potato: The Propitious Esculent, John Reader suggests that the potato was responsible for changing world history. Originally cultivated in the area of Peru and Bolivia around 10,000 years ago, potatoes were introduced to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century. In its early years, the crop was not especially popular in Europe but eventually became such an important staple that according to conservative estimates, the potato was responsible for a quarter of the population growth in Europe between 1700 and 1900. In 1845, a plant blight spread throughout Ireland and Scotland, resulting in the failure of potato crops, which largely drove the Great Irish Famine. The popularity and cultural importance of the potato continues to grow worldwide. It is the fourth largest vegetable crop in the world after wheat, rice, and corn. Potato plays a vital role in world cuisines from Peru to India to Korea. The popularity of the vegetable continues to be strongest in eastern Europe, which is the highest per capita consumer of potatoes by an enormous margin. Despite the relative popularity of potatoes in the United States, the country is not even in the top ten per capita consumer. Come celebrate the amazing potato at the Annual Potato Festival, where visitors can try a variety of potato dishes and kids can meet Mr Potato Head! Smiarowski Farmstand and Creamery. 320 River Road. Sunderland, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 11am-1pm – HOMESCHOOL/OPEN HOUSE: Come to Oak Meadow’s Open House Party! Learn about their flexible, progressive homeschooling curriculum and distance learning school for grades K to 12. Speak with teachers, browse curriculum materials, and network with other families. Crafts and activities for students of all ages. Free and open to anyone interested in learning more about independent learning. For more info, visit oakmeadow.com/open-house. Oak Meadow. 802-251-7250. 132 Main St., Brattleboro, VT.

Saturday, October 5, 12noon-4:30pm – FALL HARVEST/APPLES:”All About Apples and Cider” at Historic Deerfield in the History Workshop Building. Apples were part of everyday life in colonial New England. English settlers grew apples in family orchards and squeezed the apples to make cider. Explore the varieties of heirloom apples grown locally. See Historic Deerfield ‘s small cider press and try to squeeze some cider out of the heirloom apples that grow right here in Old Deerfield. Make an apple-inspired project to take home.Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 1-3:30pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/BROOM MAKING: Want to learn traditional broom making? Attend a 2.5 hour workshop and learn this craft. You will learn the basics and weave one broom that will be cut into three brooms. Participants will learn the process of broom making and weave their own shaker combo broom. They will be able to make one broom through binding broom corn and then weaving broom stalks. That skill will be repeated three times and then the broom will be cut into three parts. There will be a cake tester, pot scrubber, and a hand broom. Cake testers were used to check the done-ness of a cake by removing one broom straw from the broom and inserting it into the cake. A pot scrubber is used on pots or cast iron to scrub away cooked on food. The hand broom is used to sweep away small messes. No experience necessary. Preregister. Fabric of Life. 80 Bassett Road, Shelburne MA.

Saturday, October 5, 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

Saturday, October 5, 1-2:30pm – ZOOLOGY/BATS: Bat Day! Amanda Melinchuk, Bat Research Monitor with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, shares her expertise and talk about the myths and misconceptions surrounding bats, why bats are important, the bats in Massachusetts, threats to bats such as White-nose Syndrome, what you can do to help bats, and information on bat houses. Followed by Q & A. Best for self-directed and lifelong learners. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 3-4pm – COMMUNICATIONS/SIGN LANGUAGE: Signing Basics is coming to Forbes Library! This free 6-week class will be taught in ASL. Sign language interpreting not provided. Through fun activities, group, partner work, and the Sign Language Study Guide, participants will learn: The ASL Manual Alphabet; Numbers 1-20; Days of the Week; Basic Colors; ASL Negations and Affirmations; ASL Sentence Structure; and How to ask questions in ASL. Also, participants will learn frequently signed phrases in ASL, including how to sign greetings and exchange pleasantries. These classes are free to attend. Participants may purchase an optional coursebook the night of the class. Registration is required. Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 3pm & 7:30pm – TONY AWARD NOMINEE/DRAMA: This play was written by Donald Margulies, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, and tells the story of Sarah Goodwin, a famed war photographer. In Sarah’s work, she has mastered the ability to stop time, to freeze horrific scenes within a frame. And, in doing so, she has exacted some control over the chaotic events around her and made an impact on the world. Until she is injured and sent home. Back in NYC, in her ‘normal’ life with her partner James, Sarah attempts to master a similar control. As she heals, she tries to foster a need to stay comfortably in place. But the pain and drama of forging an everyday life can bring their own struggle, their own war. Particularly, when an internal drive and the wider world are calling. Time Stands Still does a brilliant job of encompassing universal issues and personal problems with compassionate insight. Performances will be held in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 5-6:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/AFRO CUBAN: Ed Fast and Conga Bop – Afro Cuban Jazz and Dance Music. Ed Fast may very well be one of Hartford’s most interesting men and musicians. Fast has released two incredible albums, toured as a sideman on Broadway shows, and turned down a job with Aretha Franklin to go on an adventure in Africa and jam with local musicians in Tanzania. Ed Fast and Conga Bop combine the harmony and sensibilities of hard-bop with the rhythms of the Caribbean to produce an original and vibrant sound that is Latin and jazz. Drummer / Vibist / Composer Ed Fast leads this octet through an exciting array of his own soulful originals as well as Latin jazz classics by legendary artists such as Cal Tjader, Tito Puente and Hilton Ruiz. Ed Fast and Conga Bop have shared the stage with Latin Jazz luminaries Arturo Sandoval, Dave Valentin, Andy Gonzalez, and Bill Fitch. Pulaski Park. 413-587-4900. 240 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, October 5, 7pm – POLLINATORS/APICOLOGY: BEE-ing More Friendly Towards Pollinators. Apicology is a branch of entomology concerning the scientific study of bees. Join Dr. Kim Skyrm, Chief Apiary Inspector and Apiary Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) for an interactive presentation discussing ways to bee more friendly to pollinators when managing your yard and surrounding landscapes. Participants will be introduced to the common managed and wild bee pollinators found in Massachusetts by examining their biology, life history, and floral preferences. Best management practices for managing habitats will be discussed. Participants will be asked to use this newfound knowledge to view the landscape through the lenses of a bee pollinator by considering best management practices as a way to mitigate unintended negative impacts on populations. This program will also feature an overview of honey bee health, including data on local and national populations.Best for self-directed teens and lifelong learners. Williamsburg Grange. 413-340-1313. 10 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6

Sunday, October 6, Anytime – FAMILY PODCAST/ROCK HISTORY: Hilltown Family Variety Show. In this episode, join Hilltown Family Variety Show Intro to the History of Rock Episode with Guest DJs, Ari and Ezra from The Oot n’ Oots. Ari and Ezra from The Oot n’ Oots play songs and tell stories to highlight the evolution of rock music from the 1950s to the 1970s, covering major trends and introducing listeners of all ages to a distinctly American musical tradition. 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, October 6, 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, October 6, All Day – NATURALIST FESTIVAL: The Naturalists’ Club Celebrates 50 Years of Exploration with a Grand Festival. Thwart disparaging news of forest fires and climate change with a dose of inspiring environmental efforts right here at home. The Naturalists’ Club is celebrating 50 years of protecting, exploring, and learning about nature with a festival highlighting great things people are doing on behalf of the outdoors with two big days filled with hikes, conservation projects, displays, and experiential learning activities from regional outdoor organizations, music and food. Families, kids, seniors are all invited to take part in the activities every day rain or shine. The Naturalists’ Club. Noble View Outdoor Center, 413-297-0778. Russell, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 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, 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, October 6, 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, October 6, 10am-3pm: UPCYCLING/SKILLSHARING: Make Containers from Seed/Feed and Brew Bags. Form these bags into tubular shapes using grommets, chair backs, boxes, buckets, and maple syrup tubing. Make laundry baskets, harvest containers, recycling containers. Invent new designs. Experiment. Register by September 30. Email leni@titaniumarts.com or call 413-634-5591. Bagshare Project. Leni Fried’s Art Studio. 494 Stage Road. Cummington, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 10am-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/LETTERPRESS PRINTING: Visitors to Historic Deerfield will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close at this Historic Trade demonstration, including Letterpress Printing with Carl Darrow. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL/LOCAL HERITAGE: During the autumnal months, communities celebrate the change of season with festivals that bridge agricultural and cultural traditions. These festivities celebrate not only the harvest season but also the cultural traditions that define Western Massachusetts’ unique identity. Inspired by the town’s 1915 celebration, “Pageant of Patriotism in honor of Independence Day,” Conway Festival of the Hills took form in 1967 as an annual event, celebrating local talent and culture. Every year, families come to witness a Conway tradition: the skillet toss! Along with the skillet toss, there are many activities to behold: a log splitting contest, live music, handmade crafts, parade, pancake breakfast, community dinner, and their most popular event, a book signing with local authors. Fall festivals are a community space that acts as an intergenerational gathering place for folks to come together in the spirit of the season and share in the harvest and local traditions. Engage your community and attend this year’s Festival of the Hills. You’ll be contributing to the preservation of this region’s unique character, culture, and history. Conway Festival of the Hills. 1 Main Street. Conway, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 10am-6pm – LOCAL FOOD/POTATO FESTIVAL: In his 2008 book, Potato: The Propitious Esculent, John Reader suggests that the potato was responsible for changing world history. Originally cultivated in the area of Peru and Bolivia around 10,000 years ago, potatoes were introduced to Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century. In its early years, the crop was not especially popular in Europe but eventually became such an important staple that according to conservative estimates, the potato was responsible for a quarter of the population growth in Europe between 1700 and 1900. In 1845, a plant blight spread throughout Ireland and Scotland, resulting in the failure of potato crops, which largely drove the Great Irish Famine. The popularity and cultural importance of the potato continues to grow worldwide. It is the fourth largest vegetable crop in the world after wheat, rice, and corn. Potato plays a vital role in world cuisines from Peru to India to Korea. The popularity of the vegetable continues to be strongest in eastern Europe, which is the highest per capita consumer of potatoes by an enormous margin. Despite the relative popularity of potatoes in the United States, the country is not even in the top ten per capita consumer. Come celebrate the amazing potato at the Annual Potato Festival, where visitors can try a variety of potato dishes and kids can meet Mr Potato Head! Smiarowski Farmstand and Creamery. 320 River Road. Sunderland, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 11am-1:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/PUDDING: The Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival is a Hawley tradition that happens every five years. The day features a pudding contest, in honor of the first-ever recorded event in Hawley, which was a pudding contest in 1780. The modern-day pudding contest rewards the most delicious pudding. There will be a pudding parade, music, and announcement of the contest winners. Community members are welcome to participate in the contest ($ entry fee to benefit Sons and Daughters of Hawley) or just come for the festivities! This unique community celebration is great for the whole family. Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival. Hawley Meeting House. 413-339-4747. East Hawley Road. Hawley, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 11am-4pm – ARTS AND CRAFTS/SCARECROW WORKSHOP: On the Japanese island of Shikoku there is a strange little village called Nagoro, which attracts thousands of visitors every year. The village has only 35 inhabitants but over 350 scarecrows, many of which are shockingly lifelike. For years, villager Tsukimi Ayano has been making lifelike scarecrows of deceased villagers and placing them around the village in realistic poses. At a bus stop, for instance, one may see a group of huddled figures seated on a bench. In the abandoned schoolhouse, a roomful of children. Additionally, many of the scarecrows are wearing the actual clothes of the people they are meant to represent! Make your own scarecrow at Atkins Market and who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to make an entire village full of them. Atkins Farms Country Market. 413-253-9528. 1150 West St. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 1pm – PARADE/PLACEMAKING: The Northern Berkshire annual Fall Foliage Parade is a celebration of changing seasons, fall harvest, and community. Attending the parade is a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of New England and the Berkshires. All past grand marshals are welcome to join in the parade. The parade will commence at the Ocean State Job Lots parking lot, and conclude on Ashland Street after passing through downtown via Main Street. Fall Foliage Festival. North Adams, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 1pm: – CHILDREN’S PARADE:Come celebrate community and the coming fall with the North Adams Annual Children’s Parade. This event is part of North Adams’ weeklong Fall Foliage Festival, featuring a wide variety of events and activities. All children from the Northern Berkshires are invited to dress up and join a themed parade! And don’t forget to check out all exciting Fall Foliage Festival events. Main Street, North Adams, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 1-3pm – CULINARY ARTS/VEGETARIAN COOKING: Vegetarian Cooking From The Heart with Leslie Cerier. How can we use more fresh local produce year-round to create healthy and delicious meals? New England has a bounty of local farms providing the freshest ingredients that naturally support our bodies as we transition from season to season. But navigating the options and turning those ingredients into tasty meals can be a real challenge. Learn from a real pro with over 30 years of experience doing just that and the playful art of mix and match with our local harvest. Create wonderful, delicious meals for health and pleasure. Tasty samples offered! Yoga Center Amherst. 413-256-0604. 17 Kellogg Ave, Amherst, MA.

Sunday, October 6, 2-4pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/POETRY: Straw Dog Writers Guild and Belding Memorial Library hosts, Writers Read/Hilltowns. Bring Your Poetry! Bring Your Prose! Find Your Public! Uplift Our Souls! Here’s how it works: The featured writer reads recent work and describes the journey to publication, followed by Q & A. Then the floor opens to other writers, who can read for five minutes each; we also draw two names for 10-minute readings. If you want to read, put your name in the hat before 2:15pm. Belding Memorial Library. 413-628-4414. 344 Main St, Ashfield, MA

Sunday, October 6, 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, October 6, 3pm – TONY AWARD NOMINEE/DRAMA: This play was written by Donald Margulies, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, and tells the story of Sarah Goodwin, a famed war photographer. In Sarah’s work, she has mastered the ability to stop time, to freeze horrific scenes within a frame. And, in doing so, she has exacted some control over the chaotic events around her and made an impact on the world. Until she is injured and sent home. Back in NYC, in her ‘normal’ life with her partner James, Sarah attempts to master a similar control. As she heals, she tries to foster a need to stay comfortably in place. But the pain and drama of forging an everyday life can bring their own struggle, their own war. Particularly, when an internal drive and the wider world are calling. Time Stands Still does a brilliant job of encompassing universal issues and personal problems with compassionate insight. Performances will be held in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA


MONDAY, OCTOBER 7

Monday, October 7, 10am-5 pm – 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.

Monday, October 7, 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, October 7, 6:30-8pm – PARENTING 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


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 8

Tuesday, October 8, 10-11am – MUSIC STUDIES/PIANO LESSONS: Beginning Piano Class for lifelong learners. Have you always secretly wished you could play the piano? It’s never too late! In this series of five sessions, learn the basics of playing scales, chords, and simple familiar selections on the keyboard. Call to register. Hosted by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College at the Berkshire Music School. 413-442-1411. 30 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA

Tuesday, October 8, 4-5pm – STEM/FIBER OPTICS: Explore optics, lasers, and light with the UMass Science Outreach Club. Join them at the library for cool and colorful demonstrations about optics and light. Learn how fiber optics can transfer light across great distances; see how a laser can get trapped in a waterfall, and experiment with mirrors to reflect light. Later this month, see optical science in action at the Dino-light performance at the Umass Fine Arts Center (Oct 20)! Jones Library. 413-259-3223. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA.

Tuesday October 8, 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, October 8, 7:30pm – LIVING HISTORY/PARANORMAL: “Peddlar’s Pack of Spooky Tales from Hill and Valley” will be the program of the Williamsburg Historical Society Annual Meeting (all are welcome!). Dennis Picard, retired director of the Storrowton Village Museum at the Big E and a seasoned professional storyteller, will spin authentic 18th- and 19th-century yarns with a supernatural theme. His stories and folklore will include legends of murder and mayhem from the region, such as the Witch of Hadley and the mysterious disappearance of the Belchertown Peddler. This living history program is at 7:30pm, preceded by a social hour/potluck dinner from 6-7pm and a short business meeting at 7:10pm. Best for children with audience skills, self-directed teens, and lifelong learners. Williamsburg Congregational Church. 4 N Main St, Williamsburg, MA.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9

Wednesday, October 9, All Day – CULINARY ARTS/PUMPKIN PIE: There are so many different uses for pumpkins! One of America’s oldest native crops, modern day uses include carving as ornaments for Halloween, prepared as pies, and highlighted as the main attraction in agricultural fairs (largest pumpkin contests) and fall festivals (pumpkin roll & pumpkin games). Needless to say, pumpkins are an integrated part of our fall traditions in Western MA. Self-directed and lifelong learners can find out how pumpkin can support an interest in pastry arts and Colonial History through seasonal pies in our post, How Pumpkin Pies Support Interests & Education.

Wednesday, October 9, All Day – 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, October 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.

Wednesday, October 9, 10am-4pm – PICTURE BOOK ART/EXHIBIT: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art celebrates the golden anniversary of William Steig’s seminal book Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Steig’s famous fable tells of Sylvester Duncan, a donkey who discovers a magic pebble and accidentally turns himself into a rock. With humor and pathos, Steig illustrates an emotional tale of discovery, loss, and reunion. Above all, it is a story about the love of family. William Steig’s Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary is on view through December 1 in The Carle’s Central Gallery. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Wednesday, October 9, 3:30-4:15pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/WRITING CLUB: Are you an aspiring writer? Join the Forbes Library in their Children’s Department for their monthly Writing Club. They’ll warm up with a few writing prompts, have some snacks, and get writing! If you feel comfortable sharing your work, we’ll have time for that at the end of the meeting. Feel free to bring writing projects you’re currently working on! For writers ages 8 and up. Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, October 9, 7-8:30pm – CULINARY ARTS/ WINE & CHEESE: Wine and Cheese Workshop. Employees of the Wine and Cheese Department at River Valley Co-Op will host a tasting event for lifelong learners to discover the art of pairing cheeses from around the world with their wine counterparts. Selections will include Manchego cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain, Cabot Cooperative cloth-bound cheddar aged by Jasper Hill Farm, and a Stilton Blue Cheese, among others. Discover which wines go best with these delectable cheeses! Open to all ages 21+. Pre-registration required. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 N King St, Northampton, MA.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10

Thursday, October 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.

Thursday, October 10, All Day – 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.

Thursday, October 10, All Day – 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.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11

Friday, October 11, 10:30-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES/SQUIRRELS: Kidleidoscope Story Hour. Come learn about our wildlife neighbors who share our home in the Connecticut River Watershed. The program includes a story, interactive games, and a craft to introduce young children to wildlife along the river. For ages 3-6, accompanied by an adult. Siblings and friends welcome. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, October 11, 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, October 11, 4:30: SURREALISM/EXPERIENTIAL THEATER: Folklorists have argued that the medieval British custom of the Lord of Misrule dates back to ancient Rome, where the Saturnalia, or Winter Solstice, involved choosing a man to rule as king for thirty days. At the end of the thirty days, on the Solstice eve, the man would be sacrificed upon an altar to Saturn, the Roman god of renewal, wealth, and fertility. Anthropologist James Frazer demonstrated that these rituals, which persisted throughout Europe until the so-called Enlightenment in the 16th and 17th centuries, symbolically celebrated the passing of the seasons, the transition from darkness into light, and from death into life. The trope of the sacrificial king globally appears in folklore and is generally linked to agriculture and the concept of the sacrifice of the individual for the good of the community. While more recent customs around the Lord of Misrule seem not to have included the element of ritual death, the figure eventually evolved into mummery shows, in which community members dressed in costumes, took on the roles of gods and heroes, and enacted myths and legends. Many of these shows continue to revolve around a murder, in this case symbolic, to mark the passage of the seasons and other transitions. Evoking the mummery show aesthetics and earth-based spiritual philosophy, the Royal Frog Ballet’s Surrealist Cabaret leads audiences on an enchanted dream journey through the field and wood, conjuring images of death and rebirth, land and spirit. This is an absolutely one of a kind show, and it is not to be missed. You will remember this experience for the rest of your life. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Friday, October 11, 5-8pm – PERFORMANCE ART: October Arts Fest, an open mic/open floor fundraiser during Arts Night Out at the Center for the Arts. Bring your poetry, short plays, monologues, music, dance, and comedy to perform (5 min or less). This event is free and open to the public. Wine and snacks will be served. To sign up for the open mic or to donate artwork or services to the raffle, email ncfa@nohoarts.org. Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA.

Friday, October 11, 6pm – ART STUDIES/FIGURE DRAWING: Are you a lifelong learner looking to sharpen your skills as an artist? Figure drawing gets right down to the fundamentals of art. Figure Drawing Fridays has a nice little studio close to downtown Northampton and opens every Friday night at 6 (drawing at 6:30) for three hours of arty fun in an open and light atmosphere. There will be music playing, people chatting and of course, sketching and painting (no oils please). BYOB and bring your own media. Model and easels provided. RSVP is requested if you want an easel as space is limited. There is NO INSTRUCTOR (except for special nights) at this event although plenty of friendly peer review. Northampton, MA.

Friday, October 11, 7:30pm – TONY AWARD NOMINEE/DRAMA: This play was written by Donald Margulies, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, and tells the story of Sarah Goodwin, a famed war photographer. In Sarah’s work, she has mastered the ability to stop time, to freeze horrific scenes within a frame. And, in doing so, she has exacted some control over the chaotic events around her and made an impact on the world. Until she is injured and sent home. Back in NYC, in her ‘normal’ life with her partner James, Sarah attempts to master a similar control. As she heals, she tries to foster a need to stay comfortably in place. But the pain and drama of forging an everyday life can bring their own struggle, their own war. Particularly, when an internal drive and the wider world are calling. Time Stands Still does a brilliant job of encompassing universal issues and personal problems with compassionate insight. Performances will be held in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA

Friday, October 11, 7:30-9pm – MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ & GOSPEL: An evening of Jazz/Gospel with a Trio of World Class Musicians. These world-class musicians will be joined by the Edwards Church Choir and will perform an evening of spectacular music. Best for children with audience skills, self-directed teens, and lifelong learners. Edwards Church of Northampton. 413-584-5500. 297 Main St, Northampton, MA.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12

Saturday, October 13, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/INSPIRATION: In this episode, join Hilltown Family Variety Show Inspiration Episode with Guest DJ, Jamie Broza. Jamie will get your kids curious about inspiration. What is it? Where does it come from? What inspires us to make music? In this episode of the HFVS, Jamie Broza takes us through a diverse array of fantastic songs and singers that have inspired him to make music, and hopefully will inspire some of our listeners to start writing their own songs! 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, October 12, TBA – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Easthampton Parks & Recreation Department hosts their Annual Harvest Fest. Pumpkin carving contest: bring your best carved pumpkin to win a trophy and prize! Also featuring live music, food trucks, inflatible slide and games for kids and adults, face painting, craft/artist vendors and horse drawn wagon rides. Nonotuck Park. 1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 9am-1pm – HALLOWEEN/ PLACEMAKING: Halloween Window Painting. Bring the fall festivities to life by painting one of the generously donated windows of a Downtown Amherst business. Register today! $5 per person. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 10am-12:30pm – LOCAL FOOD/VEGETARIAN: The Vegetarian Food Tour of Northampton. Explore the culture of the city and the rich history of small farms and seasonal produce in the region. With local produce available year-round, Northampton’s shops and restaurants are full of imaginative vegetarian dishes. Taste seasonal soups, tarts, and savory pies, as well as locally made kombucha, specialty teas, and chai. With a superb selection of vegetarian restaurants, natural food stores, and artisanal food producers, Northampton is a mecca for vegetarians and lovers of farm-fresh produce. Pioneer Valley Food Tours. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 10am-1pm – 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.

Saturday, October 12, 10am-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/COOPERING: Visitors to Historic Deerfield will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close at this Historic Trade demonstration, including Coopering with Neil Muckenhoupt. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL/PLACEMAKING: During the autumnal months, communities celebrate the change of season with festivals that bridge agricultural and cultural traditions. These festivities not only celebrate the harvest season but also the cultural traditions that define Western Massachusetts’ unique identity. Since 1969, the Ashfield Fall Festival takes place on Ashfield’s charming main street and throughout the town every Columbus Day weekend, celebrating town culture, artisans, and Ashfield businesses. The annual giant pumpkin and tallest sunflower contests are something to be seen, along with an intergenerational round of pumpkin games! On the town common, carnival games initiated and facilitated by Ashfield youth take place, giving them an opportunity to develop their creative, social, and business skills in a real world application while contributing to their local culture. Admission is free to this two-day event, happening rain or shine. Main Street. Ashfield, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 10am-5pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Harvest festivals celebrate the bounty of fall. Combined with tag sales, they can be opportunities for collaborative consumption as well as placemaking. The annual Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival is one of the Berkshire’s most iconic fall celebrations which spreads across their 20-acre Garden campus. The Festival, brimming with activities for kids, is a great introduction to this amazing community-based educational resource for families with young children. Adults love it too! Great food, live entertainment, regional artisan vendors, farmers’ market, tag & plant sales, and educational opportunities throughout this two-day event. All proceeds from the Festival will benefit the Garden’s education program. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 10am-5pm – ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Van Gogh for All Family Day. Join the Springfield Museums as they celebrate the final days of the special exhibit “Van Gogh for All” with a fall festival inspired by the artist’s most well-known paintings! Explore the life and work of one of the world’s great artists through modern technology and participatory learning. Projects include hayrides, artist demonstrations, and painting activities. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 10am-6pm – ARTS AND CRAFTS/FESTIVAL: Come celebrate autumn, community, and the arts at the Annual Paradise City Arts Festival. This beloved local event brings together 250 artists and craftspeople from around the country for a three day festival, featuring delicious food, workshops and demonstrations, and lots of fun activities for kids! This is a great time to enjoy the stunning fall foliage and give thanks for our community’s passion and commitment to the arts. Find inspiration, talk with artisans about their craft, learn new techniques, and leave with a handmade treasure from an artisan to give or keep. Three County Fairgrounds. 54 Old Ferry Road, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 10:30am-12noon – NATURE-BASED LEARNING/STORY & ART: “Art Naturally: Discover Nature Through Story and Art,” a water-themed program featuring stories and art, soaking up the natural world as we go. The storybook pages from A Drop of Water by Gordon Morrison are on display. Make a small nature-weaving using plants and grasses like those living near our ponds, streams, marshes, and swamps. For ages 6 and up, accompanied by an adult. Teens and adults are welcome too! Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 10:30am-1pm – FIBER ARTS/FELTING: Learn to make felted Pumpkins & Jack-o’-Lanterns with Andrea Allees, just in time for Halloween! All materials will be provided. This intergenerational workshop is open to kids & teens ages 10 & up and is limited to 10 participants, so please sign up in advance. Pelham Library. 413-253-0657. 2 S Valley Rd, Pelham, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 12noon-4pm – LOCAL FOOD/MILK: Do your kids know how the milk for their ice cream, cereal, cheese, and butter are derived and where it comes from? Introduce them to the source of this creaminess by learning about contemporary methods of milk production and the traditional skill of milking a cow at Cook Farm during the Flayvors Fall Festival. The Cook family originally took ownership of their Hadley farm in 1909. Five generations later, the Cook family continues to care for the herds of Jersey and award winning Holstein cows. Since Cook farm opened their ice cream and dairy store in 1998, it has become an important part of the community. This annual afternoon of family fun will include many family activities, live music, milking demonstrations, wagon rides, and great food! Flayvors of Cook Farm. 129 S Maple St. Hadley, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 12noon-4:30pm – FALL HARVEST/APPLES:”All About Apples and Cider” at Historic Deerfield in the History Workshop Building. Apples were part of everyday life in colonial New England. English settlers grew apples in family orchards and squeezed the apples to make cider. Explore the varieties of heirloom apples grown locally. See Historic Deerfield ‘s small cider press and try to squeeze some cider out of the heirloom apples that grow right here in Old Deerfield. Make an apple-inspired project to take home.Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 1-3pm – CULINARY ARTS/BUTCHERY: Pork Fabrication Class, an interactive, butcher-led demonstration. Participants will break one side of a locally raised pig, have questions answered, identify and discuss the attributes of each cut of meat, and receive pointers on how to best prepare them. In addition to instruction on seam butchery technique and whole muscle utilization, each student will take home a generous supply of mixed pork cuts. Must preregister to reserve limited space. Best for lifelong learners. Sutter Meats. 413-727-3409. 65 King St, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 3pm & 7:30pm – TONY AWARD NOMINEE/DRAMA: This play was written by Donald Margulies, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, and tells the story of Sarah Goodwin, a famed war photographer. In Sarah’s work, she has mastered the ability to stop time, to freeze horrific scenes within a frame. And, in doing so, she has exacted some control over the chaotic events around her and made an impact on the world. Until she is injured and sent home. Back in NYC, in her ‘normal’ life with her partner James, Sarah attempts to master a similar control. As she heals, she tries to foster a need to stay comfortably in place. But the pain and drama of forging an everyday life can bring their own struggle, their own war. Particularly, when an internal drive and the wider world are calling. Time Stands Still does a brilliant job of encompassing universal issues and personal problems with compassionate insight. Performances will be held in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA.

Saturday, October 12, 4:30: SURREALISM/EXPERIENTIAL THEATER: Folklorists have argued that the medieval British custom of the Lord of Misrule dates back to ancient Rome, where the Saturnalia, or Winter Solstice, involved choosing a man to rule as king for thirty days. At the end of the thirty days, on the Solstice eve, the man would be sacrificed upon an altar to Saturn, the Roman god of renewal, wealth, and fertility. Anthropologist James Frazer demonstrated that these rituals, which persisted throughout Europe until the so-called Enlightenment in the 16th and 17th centuries, symbolically celebrated the passing of the seasons, the transition from darkness into light, and from death into life. The trope of the sacrificial king globally appears in folklore and is generally linked to agriculture and the concept of the sacrifice of the individual for the good of the community. While more recent customs around the Lord of Misrule seem not to have included the element of ritual death, the figure eventually evolved into mummery shows, in which community members dressed in costumes, took on the roles of gods and heroes, and enacted myths and legends. Many of these shows continue to revolve around a murder, in this case symbolic, to mark the passage of the seasons and other transitions. Evoking the mummery show aesthetics and earth-based spiritual philosophy, the Royal Frog Ballet’s Surrealist Cabaret leads audiences on an enchanted dream journey through the field and wood, conjuring images of death and rebirth, land and spirit. This is an absolutely one of a kind show, and it is not to be missed. You will remember this experience for the rest of your life. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13

Sunday, October 13, Anytime – FAMILY PODCAST/INSPIRATION: Hilltown Family Variety Show. In this episode, join Hilltown Family Variety Show Inspiration Episode with Guest DJ, Jamie Broza. Jamie will get your kids curious about inspiration. What is it? Where does it come from? What inspires us to make music? In this episode of the HFVS, Jamie Broza takes us through a diverse array of fantastic songs and singers that have inspired him to make music, and hopefully will inspire some of our listeners to start writing their own songs! 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, October 13, 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, October 13, 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, 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, October 13, 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, October 13, 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, October 13, 10am-4pm- CRAFT FAIR/LOCALLY MADE: Join OnTrend Crafts for their Fall Craft Fair. They’ll have 60 the region’s top crafters and makers selling their high-quality handmade goods. You’ll find jewelry, paper goods, wood crafts, housewares, ceramics, knitted apparel, and much more. Free admission. For more information, visit ontrendcrafts.com or email Jennifer at jennifer@ontrendcrafts.com. Hadley Farms Meeting House. Hadley, MA.

Sunday, October 13, 10am-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/MEDICINE & BLACKSMITHING: Visitors to Historic Deerfield will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close at these Historic Trade demonstrations, including Early 19th Century Medical Practice with Jack Richman and Blacksmithing with Rick Martin. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, October 13, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL/PLACEMAKING: During the autumnal months, communities celebrate the change of season with festivals that bridge agricultural and cultural traditions. These festivities not only celebrate the harvest season but also the cultural traditions that define Western Massachusetts’ unique identity. Since 1969, the Ashfield Fall Festival takes place on Ashfield’s charming main street and throughout the town every Columbus Day weekend, celebrating town culture, artisans, and Ashfield businesses. The annual giant pumpkin and tallest sunflower contests are something to be seen, along with an intergenerational round of pumpkin games! On the town common, carnival games initiated and facilitated by Ashfield youth take place, giving them an opportunity to develop their creative, social, and business skills in a real world application while contributing to their local culture. Admission is free to this two-day event, happening rain or shine. Main Street. Ashfield, MA.

Sunday, October 13, 10am – 5pm – ARTS AND CRAFTS/FESTIVAL: Come celebrate autumn, community, and the arts at the Annual Paradise City Arts Festival. This beloved local event brings together 250 artists and craftspeople from around the country for a three day festival, featuring delicious food, workshops and demonstrations, and lots of fun activities for kids! This is a great time to enjoy the stunning fall foliage and give thanks for our community’s passion and commitment to the arts. Find inspiration, talk with artisans about their craft, learn new techniques, and leave with a handmade treasure from an artisan to give or keep. Three County Fairgrounds. 54 Old Ferry Road, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, October 13, 10am – 5pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Harvest festivals celebrate the bounty of fall. Combined with tag sales, they can be opportunities for collaborative consumption as well as placemaking. The annual Berkshire Botanical Garden Harvest Festival is one of the Berkshire’s most iconic fall celebrations which spreads across their 20-acre Garden campus. The Festival, brimming with activities for kids, is a great introduction to this amazing community-based educational resource for families with young children. Adults love it too! Great food, live entertainment, regional artisan vendors, farmers’ market, tag & plant sales, and educational opportunities throughout this two-day event. All proceeds from the Festival will benefit the Garden’s education program. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Sunday, October 13, 11am-4pm – ARTS AND CRAFTS/SCARECROW WORKSHOP: On the Japanese island of Shikoku there is a strange little village called Nagoro, which attracts thousands of visitors every year. The village has only 35 inhabitants but over 350 scarecrows, many of which are shockingly lifelike. For years, villager Tsukimi Ayano has been making lifelike scarecrows of deceased villagers and placing them around the village in realistic poses. At a bus stop, for instance, one may see a group of huddled figures seated on a bench. In the abandoned schoolhouse, a roomful of children. Additionally, many of the scarecrows are wearing the actual clothes of the people they are meant to represent! Make your own scarecrow at Atkins Market and who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to make an entire village full of them. Atkins Farms Country Market. 413-253-9528. 1150 West St. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, October 13, 11am-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

Sunday, October 13, 1pm-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/CORN GRINDING: The Bisbee Mill Museum is a three-story 19th-century reconstructed grist mill, with a blacksmith shop, woodworking shop, and a small museum area. The museum houses hundreds of historical artifacts, from a circa-1835 horse-drawn hearse to old woodworking tools. Come to the museum and witness demonstrations, such as corn grinding demonstrations, with historical tools. Bisbee Mill Museum. 66 East Street. Chesterfield, MA.

Sunday, October 13 , 12-2pm – LOCAL HARVEST/APPLES: Valley Apple and Harvest Tour. Enjoy the exceptional color and flavor of autumn in New England on this seasonal walking food tour of downtown Northampton. Taste local specialties, recipes, and beverages produced with ingredients from local farms at the height of the fall harvest. Pioneer Valley Food Tours. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, October 13, 2-4pm – SOCIAL MIGRATION: Understanding who we are and where we are underscores the value of a “sense of place.” Gathering with those who have migrated to a region while celebrating the natural diversity of our region strenthens the social fabric of our communities. Awareness and celebration deepen our human relationships and our connection to place through seasonal patterns. The Annual Migrations Festival celebrates this diversity of the upper Connecticut River Valley and the Americas through music, art, and food. Come enjoy music by the youth of Musica Franklin, traditional Central and South American music by Juan-Carlos Carpio, light refreshments and art from Central America. Free and open to everyone. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Sunday, October 13, 2-5pm — FOLK TRADITIONS: Travel back to colonial times with the Buckland Historical Society at their Colonial Day at the Wilder Homestead. Colonial Day replicates life in New England several hundred years ago, and engages visitors in everyday activities that are characteristic of the period. There will be demonstrations of open hearth cooking, basket making, weaving, spinning, quilting, folk painting, and cider pressing, as well as oxen and performances of Morris dance and music from the 1700s. How do these activities compare to those of today? Most people no longer weave their own baskets or spin their own yarn – why do you think that is? Colonial Day will get all ages actively engaged in learning about history and will help them see how much has changed in a few hundred years! Buckland Historical Society. 413-625-9763. 129 Route 112. Buckland, MA.

Sunday, October 13, 3pm – THEATER STUDIES/DRAMA: This play was written by Donald Margulies, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, and tells the story of Sarah Goodwin, a famed war photographer. In Sarah’s work, she has mastered the ability to stop time, to freeze horrific scenes within a frame. And, in doing so, she has exacted some control over the chaotic events around her and made an impact on the world. Until she is injured and sent home. Back in NYC, in her ‘normal’ life with her partner James, Sarah attempts to master a similar control. As she heals, she tries to foster a need to stay comfortably in place. But the pain and drama of forging an everyday life can bring their own struggle, their own war. Particularly, when an internal drive and the wider world are calling. Time Stands Still does a brilliant job of encompassing universal issues and personal problems with compassionate insight. Performances will be held in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare & Company. 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA

Sunday, October 13, 4:30 – SURREALISM/EXPERIENTIAL THEATER: Folklorists have argued that the medieval British custom of the Lord of Misrule dates back to ancient Rome, where the Saturnalia, or Winter Solstice, involved choosing a man to rule as king for thirty days. At the end of the thirty days, on the Solstice eve, the man would be sacrificed upon an altar to Saturn, the Roman god of renewal, wealth, and fertility. Anthropologist James Frazer demonstrated that these rituals, which persisted throughout Europe until the so-called Enlightenment in the 16th and 17th centuries, symbolically celebrated the passing of the seasons, the transition from darkness into light, and from death into life. The trope of the sacrificial king globally appears in folklore and is generally linked to agriculture and the concept of the sacrifice of the individual for the good of the community. While more recent customs around the Lord of Misrule seem not to have included the element of ritual death, the figure eventually evolved into mummery shows, in which community members dressed in costumes, took on the roles of gods and heroes, and enacted myths and legends. Many of these shows continue to revolve around a murder, in this case symbolic, to mark the passage of the seasons and other transitions. Evoking the mummery show aesthetics and earth-based spiritual philosophy, the Royal Frog Ballet’s Surrealist Cabaret leads audiences on an enchanted dream journey through the field and wood, conjuring images of death and rebirth, land and spirit. This is an absolutely one of a kind show, and it is not to be missed. You will remember this experience for the rest of your life. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.


MONDAY, OCTOBER 14

Monday, October 14, 10am – 4pm – ARTS AND CRAFTS/FESTIVAL: Come celebrate autumn, community, and the arts at the Annual Paradise City Arts Festival. This beloved local event brings together 250 artists and craftspeople from around the country for a three day festival, featuring delicious food, workshops and demonstrations, and lots of fun activities for kids! This is a great time to enjoy the stunning fall foliage and give thanks for our community’s passion and commitment to the arts. Find inspiration, talk with artisans about their craft, learn new techniques, and leave with a handmade treasure from an artisan to give or keep. Three County Fairgrounds. 54 Old Ferry Road, Northampton, MA.

Monday, October 14, 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.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 15

Tuesday, October 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.

Tuesday October 15, 10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Durfee Conservatory, located on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus and established in 1867, has a rich history. Tucked away in a hustling and bustling campus of over 25,000 students, this greenhouse complex is a sanctuary of calm and serenity. Greenhouses include Bonsai-Camellia, Epiphyte/Vine, Tropical, and Succulents. Durfee Conservatory. 413-545-5234. 210 Stockbridge Road. Amherst, MA.

Tuesday October 15, All Day – SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING/HERBARIUMS: Wondering what an herbarium is? Herbariums are collections of preserved plants and are fun ways for families to preserve summer memories while supporting an interest in botany and local habitats. Learn more about whys you can engage in this activity with your family in our post, Pressing Plants and Flowers Supports Nature-Based Learning through the Generations. — Want to dive deeper? In the video, What in the World is an Herbarium, tour the New York Botanical Garden for a glimpse into one of the world’s largest herbaria, a collection that contains millions of specimens.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16

Wednesday, October 16, 6pm – INTERGENERATIONAL/WRITING WORKSHOP SERIES: “Sense of Place: Life Reflections Through the Seasons” an autumn writing workshop series with Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield. Understanding how we are a part of our changing landscape year after year as we move through the seasons strengthens our sense of place. Our experiences of autumn in New England as a child, teenager, young adult, parent, and grandparent are very different. Connecting our stages of life experiences through the seasons give us a better understanding of who we are in relation to where we are in the world. This intergenerational 8-week series will be held every Wed at 6pm at the Senior Center Café in Williamsburg. Classes begin Oct 16 and run through the end of the year. RSVP: 413-268-8407. Cost: $10/class. Williamsburg, MA.

Wednesday, October 16, 6pm – HISTORY/APPLES: A Brief History of Apples: From 1620 to Now. Russell Steven Powell, executive director of the New England Apple Association, will present a brief history of apple growing in New England featuring several varieties, old and new, followed by questions, and sampling of the apples. Hatfield Public Library. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street, Hatfield, MA.

Wednesday, October 16, 6-7:30pm – AROMATHERAPY/PERFUME: In this Perfume-Making with Essential Oils class, Nora Zinan will talk about the historical use of essential oils for both health and perfume-making. Participants will learn the properties of the oils and their blending companions, and then blend the oils that are most appealing to them, making their own personal perfume. Registration required. Call the library or come in to sign up. Emily Williston Memorial Library. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17

Thursday, October 17, 2-4pm – CRAFTS/AUTUMN: Maker Lab: Leaf Crafts. Gather leaves to make your beautiful cards. Or try your hand at making a bouquet of roses from leaves! Drop-in. All ages.. Hatfield Public Library. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street, Hatfield, MA.

Thursday, October 17, 6-8pm – TELESCOPE TECHNIQUES/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION: Star Gazing with Library Telescope. Learn how to use the library’s telescope with an expert stargazer from Aldrich Astronomical Society. The telescope is available to borrow after the program. All ages are welcome. Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 N Rd, Westhampton, MA.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18

Friday, October 18, 10:30-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES/BATS: Kidleidoscope Story Hour. Come learn about our wildlife neighbors who share our home in8the Connecticut River Watershed. The program includes a story, interactive games, and a craft to introduce young children to wildlife along the river. For ages 3-6, accompanied by an adult. Siblings and friends welcome. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, October 18, 4:30 – SURREALISM/EXPERIENTIAL THEATER: Folklorists have argued that the medieval British custom of the Lord of Misrule dates back to ancient Rome, where the Saturnalia, or Winter Solstice, involved choosing a man to rule as king for thirty days. At the end of the thirty days, on the Solstice eve, the man would be sacrificed upon an altar to Saturn, the Roman god of renewal, wealth, and fertility. Anthropologist James Frazer demonstrated that these rituals, which persisted throughout Europe until the so-called Enlightenment in the 16th and 17th centuries, symbolically celebrated the passing of the seasons, the transition from darkness into light, and from death into life. The trope of the sacrificial king globally appears in folklore and is generally linked to agriculture and the concept of the sacrifice of the individual for the good of the community. While more recent customs around the Lord of Misrule seem not to have included the element of ritual death, the figure eventually evolved into mummery shows, in which community members dressed in costumes, took on the roles of gods and heroes, and enacted myths and legends. Many of these shows continue to revolve around a murder, in this case symbolic, to mark the passage of the seasons and other transitions. Evoking the mummery show aesthetics and earth-based spiritual philosophy, the Royal Frog Ballet’s Surrealist Cabaret leads audiences on an enchanted dream journey through the field and wood, conjuring images of death and rebirth, land and spirit. This is an absolutely one of a kind show, and it is not to be missed. You will remember this experience for the rest of your life. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, 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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