100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: October 19-November 1, 2019

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Oct 19 & 26

All aboard, paranormal enthusiasts! Berkshire Scenic Railway’s Spirit Trains will be departing North Adams for a lantern-lit walk through Southview Cemetery with psychic medium Julie MacDonald on October 19th & 26th. The 2-hour train ride leaves promptly at 5:30pm from the platform near the Adams Visitor Center. Passengers are advised to dress weather appropriately; reservations required! Tickets can be purchased online at www.berkshiretrains.org. Be sure to check out the many other seasonal train rides offered throughout the year! Board a one-hour, round-trip excursion in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western MA and learn about the rich railroad history of the region and see the Berkshires from a unique new vantage point.

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 26

On Saturday, October 26, the New England Air Museum will host a Haunted Hangars Trick or Treat event from 10am-3pm. Ghosts, Witches, Princesses, and Superheroes are invited to tour the museum and collect a treat when they sit in the pilot’s seat of our “spooky themed” historic aircraft. A costume contest will be held where the winning Trick or Treater will receive a free family membership to the museum. Both children and adults are welcome for this kid-friendly, un-scary event. Visitors will also have the chance to climb aboard historic aircraft, plus receive Halloween treats. Other activities include flight simulators and the opportunity to construct your own flying machine during the Build and Fly activity. More information at www.NEAM.org.

Nov 1

Join Friends of Children on Friday, November 1, 6-9pm for FOCUS On The Arts, an event celebrating the arts and supporting Friends of Children’s FOCUS program, bringing essential resources to young adults in MA who have aged out of foster care. This event takes place in the Northampton Center For The Arts space. Enjoy live music, delicious catered food, cash bar, and more! Bid on the work of local & regional artists, fun experiences, and other exciting items in their silent & live auctions, including: Artwork by artists Laura Radwell, Patricia Parker, Valerie Bunnell & Peter Max; Improv Party by Heidi Haas; Cocktails & Conversation in the library of cookbook editor Lisa Ekus. Tickets at friendsofchildreninc.org.

Oct 18 – 20 & Oct 25 – 27

Ghouls and Goblins beware! The Look Park Haunted Train has returned for more rides of lightly frightful fun! The fun starts at 5pm and the frights stop at 9pm. The first hour is the calm and the monsters do not chase after the train, best suited for kids who may be most likely to be scared. As the night progresses the creatures begin to run after the train and pop out of the dark! Best for ages 5 and up but all ages are welcome! There is no fee to enter the park, just pay for tickets for your ride. Ages 12 and up $5. Ages 2-11: $4. 2 and under: Free. Friday to Sunday October 18-20 and 25-27. For more information visit: www.lookpark.org or call 413-584-5457.

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.

Open House: Oct 20 & Dec 8

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host two Admissions Open House events for interested families on Sunday, October 20, and Sunday, December 8, with presentations starting at 1pm. Meet students, teachers, and current parents, and get a feel for their creative and rigorous academic programs and warm and inclusive community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. The Academy offers generous financial aid and daily round trip bus service from Greenfield, Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns. Imagine loving school every day. Details at www.charlemont.org.

Oct 20

Sukkot Harvest Festival at Abundance Farm! Sunday, October 20th from 10am-2pm at 253 Prospect Street, Northampton. Celebrate the harvest with a puppet show by Page to Stage, apple cider pressing, pizza baking in a cob oven, nature crafts, the Holyoke Hummus Truck, and live klezmer music. Rain or shine! Suggested donation: $5.00. See their Facebook Event for more information or email info@abundancefarm.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 19-November 1, 2019

Saturday, Oct 19Sunday, Oct 20
Monday, Oct 21Tuesday, Oct 22Wednesday, Oct 23
Thursday, Oct 24Friday, Oct 25

Saturday, Oct 26Sunday, Oct 27
Monday, Oct 28Tuesday, Oct 29Wednesday, Oct 30
Thursday, Oct 31Friday, Nov 1

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The events below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm date, time, place, age appropriateness, registration requirements, and costs before attending.

Events Happening in the Hilltown


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19

Saturday, October 19, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/RELATIONSHIPS: HFVS Connection Episode with Guest DJ, Kare Strong. In this episode, join Hilltown Family Variety Show Guest DJ, Kare Strong for loving, fun and poetic songs about special ways of being in relationship, with each other, with animals and with the earth. Along the way you’ll meet amazing animals, grandparents, children and more. 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 19, 10am-12noon – HOROLOGY/HISTORY: Hour in the Tower at Holyoke City Hall a once in a lifetime Holyoke adventure. Climb the stairs and reach the top of the Holyoke City Hall Clock Tower. Get up close and see the newly repaired clock as well as the 2.5-ton bell which were installed in 1875. If you are brave, you can climb a bit higher and take pictures of Holyoke and beyond. Attendees must be 17 or older. Holyoke City Hall. 536 Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 10am-2pm – CHILDREN’S CARNIVAL: The Common School will hold its annual Children’s Carnival, open to the wider Pioneer Valley community on the school’s campus at 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. 521 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 10am-2pm – FUNDRAISER/MINI-GOLF: Experience Look Park’s Mini-golf course like never before at the Puttin’ Pumpkins, mini-golf to benefit Northampton Parents Center. (Rain date Sunday, October 20.) Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 10am-2pm – NATURE STUDIES/BIODIVERSITY: Nature Festival at Laughing Brook. Celebrate the wonders of nature with walks, stories, live animals, crafts, and games. Autumn’s crisp air and changing leaves make it a fantastic time to enjoy a hike along the sanctuary’s trails. Search for signs of wildlife, listen for birds, and watch chipmunks and squirrels gathering nuts in preparation for winter. Wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi will provide a live bird of prey demonstration, and there will be stories written by Thornton Burgess, the naturalist, and author who lived at Laughing Brook. Laughing Brook. 413-584-3009. Main St. Hampden, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 10am-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/DRESSMAKING & SHOEMAKING: Visitors to Historic Deerfield will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close at these Historic Trade demonstrations, including Dressmaking with Linda Oakley and Shoemaking with Peter Oakley. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 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 19, 12-6pm: HARVEST FESTIVAL: The celebration of the fall harvest has been one of the most important cultural occasions in communities all over the world. Particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, the fall harvest was doubly significant because it supplied the necessary rations for surviving the long cold winters. The folkloric figure of the Corn Mother demonstrates the incredible cultural significance of the fall harvest in Northern Europe. Made from the last sheaf of wheat to be harvested in the autumn, the Corn Mother, or Corn Maiden sits inside the house all winter long and is then plowed into the first furrow the following spring. This custom reminded traditional people of the cycles of life and death, decay, and restoration. As the family protected the Corn Mother throughout the winter, so too would She protect the community with a bountiful harvest in the following season. This Saturday, Simple Gifts Farm will be hosting the North Amherst Harvest Festival, a celebration of the bounty and blessings of the earth and harvest. Simple Gifts Farm. 413-230-3262. 1089 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 12noon-6pm – TOWN FESTIVAL/PLACEMAKING: Westfield on Weekends Annual PumpkinFest. Pumpkins for the kids to carve/decorate and activities, including Trunk or Treat, live performances, Big Rig showcase with enormous trucks, Harvest Marketplace, and Artwalk. Park Square. Westfield, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 2pm – HALLOWEEN: Dr. Junglestein’s Halloween Spooktacular Madness Show! Are you ready some ghoul times? This 45-minute program combines Halloween fun with Jungle Jim’s unique brand of balloon magic. Performance includes the Thriller Dance Challenge, Mummy Balloon Wrap Extravaganza, Ghostbusters Training, and the giant 6-foot balloon! Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 2-9pm – HALLOWEEN/PLACEMAKING: Called “pompions” by the first European colonists, pumpkins were a food essential to winter survival – and they were grown in many more varieties than they typically are today. The custom of carving pumpkins into Jack O’Lanterns was introduced to American culture by Irish immigrants, influencing our cultural landscape to this day. Traditionally carved from root vegetables, including turnips and potatoes, new hybrids of pumpkins are grown specifically for carving. Annual October events that bring communities together through the lens of food (pumpkins) and culture (Halloween) includes the annual Great Falls Festival (formerly known as Pumpkinfest)! This all ages event will feature live local music and dance all day long, as well as a pumpkin judging contest. This fun placemaking event brings alive a downtown district for a seasonal celebration (go in costume!). Before the event, carve a pumpkin or five and donate it (then see if you can find it during the night of). Put this one on your bucket list! 413-485-8627. Avenue A (free shuttle from Turners Falls High School and Sheffield School). Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm – LOCAL HISTORY/CEMETERY: As summer turns to fall and winter is right around the bend, this is a perfect occasion to ruminate on mortality and the passage of time. In Percy Bysshe Shelley’s 1818 poem “Ozymandias,” the poet writes of a traveler who comes upon the fragments of an ancient monument, deep in the desert. Upon the ruins are inscribed these words: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings; / Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Shelley invites his reader to observe that ultimately, no matter what we have achieved in life, we end up the same. Put another way: “time is the great leveler.” Join the Wistariahurst Museums for History Lives in Forestdale Cemetery: A Walk Amidst the Gravestones, a guided walk through a local cemetery discovering all about the lives of some of Holyoke’s most illustrious families. Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 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.

Saturday, October 19, 5-9pm – HALLOWEEN/TRAIN RIDE: Look Park in Florence is a destination for parents whose children love trains. Get in the Halloween spirit by taking a haunted train ride! The park is home to a Steamer Train, offering a one-mile ride around the Park and Zoo. The train runs regularly, and rides last about 10 minutes. This program is weather dependent. (The ride is designed for children five and up. The first hour has the calmest rides, and the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies do not chase after the train. This time is best suited for kids who may be most likely to be scared. As the night progresses and it gets dark, the creatures begin to run after the train and pop out of the dark!) Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 5:30-7:30pm- PARANORMAL/TRAIN RIDE: All aboard, paranormal enthusiasts! Berkshire Scenic Railway’s Spirit Trains will be departing North Adams for a lantern-lit walk through Southview Cemetery with psychic medium Julie MacDonald on October 19th & 26th. The 2-hour train ride leaves promptly at 5:30pm from the platform near the Adams Visitor Center. Passengers are advised to dress weather appropriately; reservations required! Tickets can be purchased online at www.berkshiretrains.org. Be sure to check out the many other seasonal train rides offered throughout the year! Board a one-hour, round-trip excursion in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western MA and learn about the rich railroad history of the region and see the Berkshires from a unique new vantage point. Adams Visitor Center. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 5:30pm & 7pm – MUSIC STUDIES/DRUMMING: West African drum and dance combine percussive instruments. The annual Berkshire Drum and Dance Festival brings together these drumming artists to captivate audiences with a themed weekend that includes concerts and classes for all ages. All-ages class begins at 5:30pm and a concert at 7pm. A benefit for Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center, held at the Windsor Town Hall. 1927 Route 9. Windsor, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 6-8pm – CORN MAZE: Flashlight Night in The Corn Maze. BYO flashlight to the maze. The Apple Place. 540 Somers Road/ Route 83, East Longmeadow, MA.

Saturday, October 19, 7-10pm – DATE NIGHT/LIVING HISTORY: Old Town Hall Ball. Step back in time and experience the future at Old Town Hall Ball, a celebration of 150 years of Easthampton in the ballroom of Eastworks. This epic building turns 150 years old, and guests are invited to an evening with music performances, dancing, and historical installations. Get gussied-up in the era of your choice, past, present, or future, show off your time machine elegance, and dance to timeless music. Clink your glasses with the ghosts of the past that built Old Town Hall and toast to the next 150 years. Guests will enjoy an evening of passed hors d’oeuvres, special Old Town Hall prizes, and a night to remember. Eastworks.116 Pleasant St. Easthampton, MA.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20

Sunday, October 20, Anytime – FAMILY PODCAST/RELATIONSHIPS: HFVS Connection Episode with Guest DJ, Kare Strong. In this episode, join Hilltown Family Variety Show Guest DJ, Kare Strong for loving, fun and poetic songs about special ways of being in relationship, with each other, with animals and with the earth. Along the way you’ll meet amazing animals, grandparents, children and more. 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 20, 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 20, 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 20, 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 20, 10am-1pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL/SUKKOT: Sukkot Harvest Festival at Abundance Farm! Celebrate the harvest with a puppet show by Page to Stage, apple cider pressing, pizza baking in a cob oven, nature crafts, the Holyoke Hummus Truck, and live klezmer music. Rain or shine! Suggested donation: $5.00. See their Facebook Event for more information or email info@abundancefarm.org. Abundance Farm. 413-584-3593. 253 Prospect St. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, October 20, 10am-2pm – DENDROLOGY/PLACEMAKING: The Great Tree Bicycle Tour: A Community Bicycle Tour of Northampton’s Extraordinary Trees. An 8-mile, self-guided, community bike tour of Northampton’s most extraordinary trees. This is a self-guided tour, allowing participants to ride at their own pace and to take their time at the ten stops. Organizers will provide a brochure with map and tour details. Tour begins anytime between 10am and 11 am. The tour builds upon the “TreeSpeak” model of the Smith College Botanic Garden. Each tree will have an associated QR code that, when accessed on the tour map/brochure by a smartphone, will take the participant to an audio recording about that particular tree. Recordings include fascinating history, botanical facts, and some broader lessons about tree threats and care. The 8-mile tour will begin at Pulaski Park in downtown Northampton and end at Maine’s Field in Florence with lunch, music, and family-friendly activities. Tour begins at Pulaski Park in downtown Northampton. Ends at Maine’s Field in Florence.

Sunday, October 20, 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 20, 10am-4pm – LITERARY STUDIES/LANGUAGE ARTS: The incredibly rich tradition of Yiddish literature was in danger of vanishing without a trace in the 1980s when Yiddish Book Center founder and president Aaron Lansky first began to collect books written in Yiddish. Lanksy realized that the younger generations of European Jewish families couldn’t read the language anymore and were getting rid of them. So Lansky organized a program to salvage as many Yiddish books as he possibly could. At the time, scholars estimated there were no more than 70,000 existing Yiddish books. To date, the Yiddish Book Center has collected more than one million volumes. The Yiddish Book Center is a true cultural treasure, and this Sunday is the perfect opportunity to explore, with a community open house event, featuring tours, lectures, concerts, and much more! Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, October 20, 10am-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/BLACKSMITHING: The incredible cultural significance of blacksmithing and metalworking in communities all around the world is evidenced by the prevalence of the blacksmithing god in world mythology. In ancient Vedic mythology, he is known as Tvastar, a solar deity and “the Heavenly Builder.” Interestingly, Tvastar is also associated with fertility. In Greek and Roman mythology, the blacksmith Hephaestus, or Vulcan, is the lamed god of craftsmen, metalworking, and fire. Disfigured and ugly, Hephaestus is ironically married to Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty. In the Anglo-Saxon and Norse folkloric traditions, Weyland Smith is a peculiar figure, captured and crippled by a greedy king, who demands that Weyland forge items of great beauty for him. Weyland escapes and wreaks a terrible revenge against the king and his family. As we can see from just these three examples, there are interesting similarities between depictions of the blacksmith god throughout the world, for instance the presence of a crippling injury and the duality of beauty and ugliness, creation and destruction. Often, due to his association with fire, the blacksmith god is considered a type of culture hero, a figure credited with the development of human culture. Considering the vital importance of blacksmithing in traditional societies, who would have depended on metalworkers to produce the vast majority of tools and other equipment, it’s no surprise that the blacksmith god plays such a key role. If you feel yourself drawn to blacksmithing, you won’t want to miss this historic blacksmithing demonstration. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, October 20, 10am-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate the season at the annual Westhampton Fall Festival. Fun activities, delicious food, New England traditions, and educational opportunities abound at the festival, which takes place in the center of town. The day begins with an interfaith service, held at the Westhampton Congregational Church. Along with providing an opportunity for worship for families, the service serves as an opportunity to learn more about the practices of members of other religions. Following the service, families can participate in a 5k walk or run through the hills of Westhampton. Throughout the day, families can celebrate and learn in a variety of ways. There will be farm animals to visit, cider pressing to watch, a hay bale maze to navigate, scarecrow building to help with, a giant pumpkin contest to enter, and delicious foods to enjoy, like pies and cider donuts. Along with these seasonal activities are valuable opportunities for fun and meaningful learning. Later in the day, families can participate in the Great Pumpkin Roll, which involves rolling a great many pumpkins down a very steep hill. Families can participate in the event by purchasing pumpkins. Will your pumpkin roll furthest? Think about physics while choosing! Following the Great Pumpkin Roll will be their community supper. Westhampton Town Center. Westhampton, MA.

Sunday, October 20, 10:30am-12noon & 1-2:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/DRUMMING: West African drum and dance combine percussive instruments. The annual Berkshire Drum and Dance Festival brings together these drumming artists to captivate audiences with a themed weekend that includes concerts and classes for all ages. Teen/adult drum classes are at 10:30-12 & 1-2:30. A benefit for Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center, held at the Windsor Town Hall. 1927 Route 9. Windsor, MA.

Sunday, October 20, 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, 20 12:30pm – CULTURE STUDIES/POLISH: Have you ever wondered how parks get their names? Take Pulaski Park in Northampton. Did you know it’s named after General Casimir Pulaski, an American Revolution hero, and Father of the American Cavalry? Every year the Polish Heritage Committee of Northampton celebrates General Casimir and Polish heritage with their annual Pulaski Day Parade. Join in as a volunteer or march in Polish costume or colors. The Parade begins at 12:30pm, followed by programs at Pulaski Park. Pulaski Park. 413-587-4900. 240 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, October 20, 1pm – EDUCATION/OPEN HOUSE: The Academy at Charlemont will host two Admissions Open House events for interested families on Sunday, October 20, and Sunday, December 8, with presentations starting at 1pm. Meet students, teachers, and current parents, and get a feel for their creative and rigorous academic programs and warm and inclusive community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. The Academy offers generous financial aid and daily round trip bus service from Greenfield, Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns. Imagine loving school every day. Details at www.charlemont.org. 1359 Route 2. Charlemont, MA.

Sunday, October, 20 2pm – PERFORMANCE ART/GLOW-IN-THE-DARK: Lightwire Theater: DINO-LIGHT. 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. 800-999-UMAS. UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. UMass. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, October 20, 3-5pm – DANCE STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL: The October Amherst Family Dance! The Amherst Family Dance is fun for all ages – infants through grandparents. Live music from Cedar Stanistreet (fiddle) and Arthur Davis (piano) and Caller Andy Davis. All dances taught by the caller. Bring your own snacks & water bottle. The Common School. 413-256-8989. 521 S Pleasant St. Amherst, MA..

Sunday, October 20, 3-5pm – IMMIGRATION/SOCIAL JUSTICE: Immigrant Stories of Challenge and Success in U.S. Culture. In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to learn about some of the challenges immigrants face integrating into US culture. For some workshop participants, this may be the first time they hear directly about what life is like for immigrants who come to this country. Come with questions, and be ready to share, and to engage in deep listening. The workshop will also cover ways for people to be active and involved in immigration issues and support. A free class, but registration is required. Hosted by Sojourner Truth School for Social Change at The Churches at Island Pond (Bethesda Lutheran Church). 455 Island Pond Road. Springfield, MA.

Sunday, October 20, 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 20, 5-9pm – HALLOWEEN/TRAIN RIDE: Look Park in Florence is a destination for parents whose children love trains. Get in the Halloween spirit by taking a haunted train ride! The park is home to a Steamer Train, offering a one-mile ride around the Park and Zoo. The train runs regularly, and rides last about 10 minutes. This program is weather dependent. (The ride is designed for children five and up. The first hour has the calmest rides, and the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies do not chase after the train. This time is best suited for kids who may be most likely to be scared. As the night progresses and it gets dark, the creatures begin to run after the train and pop out of the dark!) Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.


MONDAY, OCTOBER 21

Monday, October 21, 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, October 21, 12:30-2pm – NATURAL HISTORY/DINOSAURS: Following Lightwire Theater’s production of Dino-Light at 10am at UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, a special education day for Dino-Light attendees will take place at the Amherst College Beneski Museum of Natural History. Student docents will be on hand to guide homeschool visitors on tours and answer questions. Located just off College Street with free parking in close by lots, the Beneski Museum is one of New England’s largest natural history museums. It has three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display. For information about the museum visits and parking, please email Fred Venne at avenne@amherst.edu. So see the Dino-Light performance at the Fine Arts Center, have lunch on campus or at one of the many establishments in downtown Amherst, and then enjoy your special Beneski Museum visit between 12:30 and 2 p.m. For information or tickets to the Monday, October 21, Dino-Light performance at UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall at 10 a.m. please call the Global Arts office at 413-545-2116 or to learn more about Dino-Light. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22

Tuesday, October 22, 6:30pm & 7:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/NIGHT TOUR: Darkened Hallways: A Nighttime Tour of Wistariahurst Museum. Wistariahurst’s nighttime candlelit tours of the historic mansion offer a special chance to explore the house at night! Creep through the darkened hallways and rooms of the spooky Skinner Mansion. Explore the home by candlelight and feel the energy of those who lived here and those who worked here. Learn about the Skinner family, how the house came to Holyoke, and how silk, wisteria, and antique musical instruments transformed the building. Listen to stories of happenings in this house sure to make you shudder. This evening tour is a rare opportunity for a guided tour at night. Reservation is strongly encouraged. Inquire about age appropriateness for younger children. Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA.

Tuesday, October 22, 6:30-8pm – HEALTH CARE/DIGESTION: Real Solutions to Heal your Gut. Are you finding your food sensitivities annoying to deal with, especially with foods you want to eat? Are you struggling to figure out what to eat or what to cook? Do you end up regretting what you ate? Address the healing of the gut lining, cooling down inflammation, and understanding your food reactions. In this talk, you will learn about herbs and foods to heal your gut lining; what to do when you have a gut flare-up; and how the 9 step Gut Healing protocol could be right for you to address your digestive issues. Dr. Nitya Jessica Eisenheim, ND is a Naturopathic physician who has had the opportunity to treat hundreds of patients in all stages of Lyme disease. Pre-registration required. Best for self-directed teens and lifelong learners. River Valley Co-Op. 413-584-2665. 330 N King St, Northampton, MA.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23

Wednesday, October 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.

Wednesday, October 23, 5:30-6:30pm – GEOMETRY/ORIGAMI: Origami class at the library. Takes place on the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of every month. All materials are included. Call to register. Holyoke Public Library. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA.

Wednesday, October 23, 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 23, 6:30pm & 7:30pm –MUSEUM ADVENTURES/NIGHT TOUR: Darkened Hallways: A Nighttime Tour of Wistariahurst Museum. Wistariahurst’s nighttime candlelit tours of the historic mansion offer a special chance to explore the house at night! Creep through the darkened hallways and rooms of the spooky Skinner Mansion. Explore the home by candlelight and feel the energy of those who lived here and those who worked here. Learn about the Skinner family, how the house came to Holyoke, and how silk, wisteria, and antique musical instruments transformed the building. Listen to stories of happenings in this house sure to make you shudder. This evening tour is a rare opportunity for a guided tour at night. Reservation is strongly encouraged. Inquire about age appropriateness for younger children. Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24

Thursday, October 24, 6pm – TRIVIA/FUNDRAISER: Did you know that Joshua Abraham Norton, a homeless, failed businessman, declared himself to be Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico in San Francisco in 1859? Emperor Norton I marched through the streets of San Francisco wearing his imperial regalia, which included a hat made out of a beaver, inspecting the city’s infrastructure, and making disparaging comments on the appearance of local police officers. He also printed and circulated his own currency, which was accepted at select businesses. Frustrated by the corruption and incompetence of the US government, the Emperor abolished the Congress and ordered the US military to disperse it by force. These orders were not followed. He likewise issued pronouncements abolishing both the Democratic and Republican parties and forbidding any conflict between different religions. Perhaps most notably, the Emperor called for the creation of an international governing body, predating the establishment of the League of Nations by some sixty years. Norton was beloved by the people of San Francisco. When he was arrested for vagrancy, the police were forced to release him following massive public outcry. And when the Emperor was laid to rest in 1880, a public fund was established to pay for his funeral, even though he had no more than a few dollars to his name. More than 10,000 people attended his funeral. If you love obscure bits of information, you won’t want to miss the Annual Trivia Bee! Watch youth and adult teams battle it out and test your knowledge in the audience round. Donations benefit the Amherst Education Foundation. Amherst Regional Middle School Auditorium. 17 Chestnut Street. Amherst, MA.

Thursday, October 24, 7-8:30pm – SHAKER HISTORY/OCCULT: Spiritualism, the belief that the spirits of the dead continue to exist and can communicate with the living, was a unique religious movement, which reached its peak in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, when it claimed more than eight million followers in the United States and parts of Europe. In the United States, spiritualism was closely associated with the causes of women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. This was especially true among the Quaker communities. To this day, there are many denominational spiritualist churches in the United States and elsewhere. Come learn all about the link between spiritualism and the Shakers during an evening “haunted tour.” Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.


FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25

Friday, October 25, 5-9pm – HALLOWEEN/TRAIN RIDE: Look Park in Florence is a destination for parents whose children love trains. Get in the Halloween spirit by taking a haunted train ride! The park is home to a Steamer Train, offering a one-mile ride around the Park and Zoo. The train runs regularly, and rides last about 10 minutes. This program is weather dependent. (The ride is designed for children five and up. The first hour has the calmest rides, and the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies do not chase after the train. This time is best suited for kids who may be most likely to be scared. As the night progresses and it gets dark, the creatures begin to run after the train and pop out of the dark!) Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Friday, October 25, 7-7:30pm – HALLOWEEN/ANNUAL PARADE: Everyone loves a parade! Come on out for the annual Pittsfield Halloween Parade. Celebrate the spookiest time of the year and the Pittsfield community, with local schools and community groups participating. These annual celebrations that utilized third spaces like Main Streets and town commons are the types of events that bring us together and create shared traditions, which contribute to our sense of place. Hosted by Pittsfield Parks Recreation. Tyler Street, Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, October 25, 7-8:30pm –LOCAL HISTORY/STONE WALLS: Stone Walls of New England. Stone walls, fascinating in their own right, provide clues to past land uses. This presentation will go over who built stone walls, why they were built, and how they were used. There will be a discussion on how to recognize the many different kinds of stone walls and their different functions in the lives of New Englanders. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26

Saturday, October 26, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO: HFVS Sweets & Treats Episode with Guest DJ Again Again. In this episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, Anne and Jen from Again Again take you on a sweet musical journey exploring how sugar and treats make their way into song. Keep your ears open for some tidbits on fruits and veggies, just to keep the hour balanced. 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 26, TBA: HALLOWEEN/ZOO: The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center hosts their annual Spooky Safari at The Zoo. Traditional Halloween activities adapted to the zoo/safari-like setting take place, including a candy trail, games, costume contest, and encounters with the zoo animals. The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center. 413-733-2251. 293 Sumner Ave. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 10-11:30am – MUSIC STUDIES/ORCHESTRA: Kids Monsters Ball. One of the best ways to peak children’s interest in classical music is simply through exposure. By combining symphony performances and concerts with an exploration of musical instruments, community-based educational resources, and close listening to recorded classical music, families can support children in gaining a deepened awareness of what defines classical music. College student musicians from Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra will offer a live educational concert with Halloween-themed classical music designed specifically to cater to young audiences. Audience members are invited to dress in costumes to dance along to this sensory-friendly concert and to explore instruments in their “musical petting zoo.” Listen to the classical music episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show on the way there and back to get also help support an interest in music studies! Mary Woolley Hall, Chapin Auditorium. Mount Holyoke College. South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 10am-12noon – BIOLOGY/ARACHNOLOGY: Spiders are Amazing. Spiders are a diverse group of arachnids displaying beautiful patterns and colors as well as unique survival strategies. While all spiders have toxins, most of these defensive compounds have little effect on people. Come gain an appreciation for these eight-legged neighbors of ours. We will enjoy some spider games, search for different spiders outdoors, and make a spider craft for Halloween. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 10am-12noon – ANIMAL STUDIES/BATS: Halloween Bats. When you think of Halloween, do you think of bats? In Massachusetts, we have seven different species. Learn how to identify the various types of bats, how they “see” in the dark, what they eat, and the important roles they play in the ecosystem. Participate in a bat scavenger hunt and make a bat craft. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 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 26, 10am-3pm – AVIATION/HALLOWEEN: New England Air Museum will host a Haunted Hangars Trick or Treat event. Ghosts, Witches, Princesses, and Superheroes are invited to tour the museum and collect a treat when they sit in the pilot’s seat of our “spooky themed” historic aircraft. A costume contest will be held where the winning Trick or Treater will receive a free family membership to the museum. Both children and adults are welcome for this kid-friendly, un-scary event. Visitors will also have the chance to climb aboard historic aircraft, plus receive Halloween treats. Other activities include flight simulators and the opportunity to construct your own flying machine during the Build and Fly activity. More information at www.NEAM.org. New England Air Museum. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT.

Saturday, October 26,10am-3pm – HALLOWEEN/SHAKER: Celebrate Halloween at Hancock Shaker Village. Trick-or-treat in costume as witches, ghosts, and goblins roam the Village. Learn how Shakers celebrated Halloween, get spooked with ghost stories and fortune-telling, bob for doughnuts, and hop on a “flying” Shaker broom. Meet Valerian the Garden Witch. All ages are welcome for this annual tradition. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 10am-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/GRAVESTONE CARVING: Visitors to Historic Deerfield will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close at this Historic Trade demonstration, including Gravestone Carving with Karin Sprague. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 10am-5pm – HALLOWEEN/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Sweet & Spooky Family Day. Celebrate Halloween at the Springfield Museums. Wear your costume and be among the first to experience the special exhibit “Sweet: A Tasty Journey.” Trick or treating, Halloween music, and loads of learning! Trick or Treat through the galleries of all five museums on their campus. (What kind of candy would you eat in the Seymour Planetarium? Starburst of course!) Check out the highlights in each collection as you get a sweet treat to accompany each selected object. Then get up close to weird and wild animals that call the Springfield Science Museum home. Animals may include a ball python, milk snake, bearded dragons, turtles, hissing cockroaches, and a tarantula. Use the light from the sun, a splash of water, and Nature Print paper to create a ghostly image. Join DJ Earl Grayson as he spins the greatest Halloween hits! Stop and dance or sing-a-long to a haunting tune. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 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 26, 12noon-4:30pm – ARCHAEOLOGY/POTTERY: “Fun with Broken Dishes: Massachusetts Archaeology Month Family Program” in the History Workshop Building. Visit the History Workshop for this Massachusetts Archaeology Month Program and have fun puzzling pieces of broken pottery back together. Work together to put cups, plates, mugs, and bowls back together with tape. Learn how archaeologists use this process in the lab to learn more about the time period and the people they are studying. Archaeologists call this “mending” – Historic Deerfield calls it fun! Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 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 26, 5-9pm – HALLOWEEN/TRAIN RIDE: Look Park in Florence is a destination for parents whose children love trains. Get in the Halloween spirit by taking a haunted train ride! The park is home to a Steamer Train, offering a one-mile ride around the Park and Zoo. The train runs regularly, and rides last about 10 minutes. This program is weather dependent. (The ride is designed for children five and up. The first hour has the calmest rides, and the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies do not chase after the train. This time is best suited for kids who may be most likely to be scared. As the night progresses and it gets dark, the creatures begin to run after the train and pop out of the dark!) Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 5:30-7:30pm- PARANORMAL/TRAIN RIDE: All aboard, paranormal enthusiasts! Berkshire Scenic Railway’s Spirit Trains will be departing North Adams for a lantern-lit walk through Southview Cemetery with psychic medium Julie MacDonald. The 2-hour train ride leaves promptly at 5:30pm from the platform near the Adams Visitor Center. Passengers are advised to dress weather appropriately; reservations required! Tickets can be purchased online at www.berkshiretrains.org. Be sure to check out the many other seasonal train rides offered throughout the year! Board a one-hour, round-trip excursion in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Western MA and learn about the rich railroad history of the region and see the Berkshires from a unique new vantage point. Adams Visitor Center. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 5:30-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN/FARM ADVENTURES: Halloween on the Farm at Red Gate Farm. This Halloween party is the perfect event for youngsters who want to dress up, have fun, and not get too scared: from donuts on a string to decorating pumpkins to farm animals to hayrides there is something for everyone. Red Gate Farm. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road, Ashfield, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 7:30-9:30pm – ORNITHOLOGY/OWLS: Owl Banding Demonstration. Small enough to sit in your hand, the elusive Northern Saw-whet Owl is known to migrate between summer and winter habitats. Meet two local naturalists who have banded these forest owls as part of a national network of scientists and other practitioners working to better understand owls’ migration and other habits. Using an owl-call audio, they will seek to capture night-migrating saw-whet owls as they pass over the Mt. Holyoke Range on their way south. While participants watch, any owls caught will be carefully weighed, measured, tagged, and released back to the wild. Between visits by owls, enjoy warm beverages and light snacks, and hear what’s been discovered about this mysterious little predator. Participants will be carpooling a short distance. Preregister for this free event. Kestrel Land Trust. 413-549-1097. 284 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 7:30-10pm – CONTRA DANCE/DANCE STUDIES: According to 19th century folklore, Fiddler’s Green is the afterlife to which sailors go if they have served for at least 50 years at sea. It is a place where joy abounds and the fiddling never ceases. As novelist Frederick Marryat wrote in 1856: “At Fiddler’s Green, where seamen true / When here they’ve done their duty / The bowl of grog shall still renew / And pledge to love and beauty.” Well, they don’t have an endless bowl of grog, but Fiddlers Green Contra Dance is a casual, fun, joyful community folk dance where everyone is welcome. Musicians are encouraged to join in and this event is perfect for beginners and all levels of experience. Ages 10 and above suggested. Midway through the event there will be potluck snacks and socializing. Munson Memorial Library. 1046 South East Street, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, October 26, 7-10pm – DATE NIGHT/FUNDRAISERS: Nields Benefit at West Cummington Church to benefit It Takes A Village, an organization serving the Hilltown that provides postpartum support for new parents and families. Proceeds will support It Takes a Village’s programs for families living in the Hilltowns. West Cummington Church. 413-634-2100. Church Road. West Cummington, MA.


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27

Sunday, October 27, Anytime – FAMILY PODCAST: HFVS Sweets & Treats Episode with Guest DJ Again Again. In this episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, Anne and Jen from Again Again take you on a sweet musical journey exploring how sugar and treats make their way into song. Keep your ears open for some tidbits on fruits and veggies, just to keep the hour balanced. ♥ 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 27, 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, October 27, 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 27, 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 27, 10am-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/ARCHITECTURAL WOODWORKING: Visitors to Historic Deerfield will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close at this Historic Trade demonstration, including Architectural Woodworking with Ted Ingraham. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, October 27, 11am-1pm – CULTURE STUDIES/DIA DE LOS MUERTOS: Family Art Studio: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Join the IS183 Art School of the Berkshires for family fun and hands-on art-making, open to students age 3-14 with an adult. Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday to honor and remember loved ones. In this family workshop, participants will focus on the festive and colorful art that adorns this celebration. Make colorful calaveras and cajitas de muertos (3D shadow boxes). Call to register. IS183 Art School of the Berkshires. 413-298-5252. 13 Willard Hill Rd. Stockbridge, MA.

Sunday, October 27, 12pm – HALLOWEEN/PLACEMAKING: Amherst Leisure Services 50th Annual Halloween Fest happens today 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! Amherst, MA.

Sunday, October 27, 1-2pm – STEM/HALLOWEEN: Spooktacular is a 60 minute Halloween themed science show, brought to you by Mad Science. Spooktacular is a kid-friendly event, catered specifically to the audience! See things like bubbling potions, haunted graveyard & more. Apex Orchards. 413-625-2744. 225 Peckville Rd. Shelburne, MA.

Sunday, October 27, 5-7:30pm – HALLOWEEN/TRICK OR TREAT: Village Trick or Treat. Visit Old Sturbridge Village after hours for a family-friendly evening of trick or treating on the Common. Show off your best Halloween costume, hear spooky tales, enjoy a bonfire, take a hayride around the Common, and more! Throughout the evening, children can trick-or-treat around the Village Common. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, October 27, 5-9pm – HALLOWEEN/TRAIN RIDE: Look Park in Florence is a destination for parents whose children love trains. Get in the Halloween spirit by taking a haunted train ride! The park is home to a Steamer Train, offering a one-mile ride around the Park and Zoo. The train runs regularly, and rides last about 10 minutes. This program is weather dependent. (The ride is designed for children five and up. The first hour has the calmest rides, and the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies do not chase after the train. This time is best suited for kids who may be most likely to be scared. As the night progresses and it gets dark, the creatures begin to run after the train and pop out of the dark!) Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.


MONDAY, OCTOBER 28

Monday, October 28, 8:45am-1:15pm – STEM/HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS: Historically, the field of engineering has been male-dominated. Today, however, women are breaking into engineering, computing, and other science-related professions more and more. To promote women’s pursuits of science, technology, and engineering, UMass Amherst College of Engineering, in cooperation with the College of Information and Computer Sciences, host Women Engineering and Computing Career Day! Open to young women in grades 9-12. Tours of the school’s engineering and science labs, hands-on computing and engineering activities, technology demonstrations, information about career opportunities and college pursuits, and a chance to talk with female students and professors of engineering. Preregister. UMass. Amherst, MA.

Monday, October 28, 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 www.scitechcafe.org. Union Station. 413-341-3161. 125 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA.


TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29

Tuesday, October 29, 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 29, 6pm – FILM STUDIES/HORROR: We all know them and love them: the great Universal Monsters! Here are the stories behind Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon! Participants will be following the making of those 1930s classic horror films and look at what other filmmakers over the past 90 years have created using those iconic characters and stories. From Frankenstein’s wail “It’s alive, it’s alive!” to Count Dracula’s “I don’t drink … wine,” these are great movies from Hollywood’s true golden age. Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Tuesday, October 29, 6:30pm – HALLOWEEN/RAG SHAG PARADE: Easthampton Rag Shag Parade. For Halloween, celebrate with a costume parade for children and adults, marching safely through the city streets of Easthampton. March ends at the Easthampton Savings Bank where candy is given out to children. (Rain date 10/30). Easthampton, MA.

Tuesday, October 29, 6:30-7:30pm – PARANORMAL/ANTIQUITY: Ghost Stories from Antiquity. The University of Massachusetts, Amherst Professor of Classics Debbie Felton presents tales of the supernatural from ancient Rome and Greece. Learn about ghosts, witches, werewolves, zombies, demons, and other supernatural creatures that people who lived thousands of years ago told stories about, just like people still do today. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA.

Monday, October 29, 6:30pm & 7:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/NIGHT TOUR: Darkened Hallways: A Nighttime Tour of Wistariahurst Museum. Wistariahurst’s nighttime candlelit tours of the historic mansion offer a special chance to explore the house at night! Creep through the darkened hallways and rooms of the spooky Skinner Mansion. Explore the home by candlelight and feel the energy of those who lived here and those who worked here. Learn about the Skinner family, how the house came to Holyoke, and how silk, wisteria, and antique musical instruments transformed the building. Listen to stories of happenings in this house sure to make you shudder. This evening tour is a rare opportunity for a guided tour at night. Reservation is strongly encouraged. Inquire about age appropriateness for younger children. Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA.


WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30

Tuesday, October 30, 6:30pm & 7:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/NIGHT TOUR: Darkened Hallways: A Nighttime Tour of Wistariahurst Museum. Wistariahurst’s nighttime candlelit tours of the historic mansion offer a special chance to explore the house at night! Creep through the darkened hallways and rooms of the spooky Skinner Mansion. Explore the home by candlelight and feel the energy of those who lived here and those who worked here. Learn about the Skinner family, how the house came to Holyoke, and how silk, wisteria, and antique musical instruments transformed the building. Listen to stories of happenings in this house sure to make you shudder. This evening tour is a rare opportunity for a guided tour at night. Reservation is strongly encouraged. Inquire about age appropriateness for younger children. Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA.


THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31

Thursday, October 31, 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!

Thursday, October 31, 11am – DAY OF THE DEAD: Day of the Dead Celebration. Celebrate Dia de Muertos during a 3-day tradition, which is an important part of Mexican culture and is considered a day of celebration. La Veracruzana Mexican Restaurant invites the community to celebrate with them, learn a little about traditional Mexican culture, and participate in many family-friendly activities. La Veracruzana Mexican Restaurant. 31 Union Street. Easthampton, MA.

Thursday, October 31, 4-6pm – LOCAL CULTURE/HALLOWEEN TRADITIONS: The annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat event in Greenfield is a fun way to use Halloween to bring people together while engaging with local businesses. Business owners welcome families to be their most creative costumed-up selves and to stop in for a little Trick-or-Treating (4-5:30pm. Look for Halloween welcoming signs in the windows of said businesses). Right after T-O-T is the annual Rag Shag Parade, a community Halloween tradition unique to Western MA. The parade steps off at the Mohawk Mall parking lot at 5:30pm and makes its way to Energy Park for costume judging. (Prizes awarded!) Along the parade route, local businesses usually pass-out candies or other nifty options! Greenfield Business Association. Main Street. Greenfield, MA.

Thursday, October 31, 4-6pm – HALLOWEEN/TRICK-OR-TREAT: Downtown Trick-or-Treat! HALLOWEEN/TRICK-OR-Join the Downtown Northampton Association for their annual downtown trick-or-treat, Halloween evening. Look for orange signs in the windows of participating businesses, and bring your little ones. Downtown Northampton

Thursday, October 31, 5-8pm – HALLOWEEN/RAG SHAG PARADE: Annual Florence Rag Shag Parade will be stepping off from Trinity Row Park on the corner of Main & South Main St. and will march to the Florence Civic & Business Center where kids can pick up a goody bag. Gathering at Trinity Row will start around 5pm, Judging at 5:30, Parade Steps off at 6pm. Rain or shine. Trinity Row Park. Main and South Main Street. Florence, MA.

Thursday, October 31, 7pm – FILM STUDIES/HORROR: Halloween is the perfect time to have fun getting scared. Come together among the stacks for a Halloween Fright Night film screening of a classic horror film by Alfred Hitchcock, which may forever change the way you look at motel showers (Rated R). In the Woodbury Room. Jones Library. 413-259-3223.43 Amity St, Amherst, MA.

Thursday, October 31, 7-8:30pm – SHAKER HISTORY/OCCULT: Spiritualism, the belief that the spirits of the dead continue to exist and can communicate with the living, was a unique religious movement, which reached its peak in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, when it claimed more than eight million followers in the United States and parts of Europe. In the United States, spiritualism was closely associated with the causes of women’s rights and the abolition of slavery. This was especially true among the Quaker communities. To this day, there are many denominational spiritualist churches in the United States and elsewhere. Come learn all about the link between spiritualism and the Shakers during an evening “haunted tour.” Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1

Friday, November 1, 11am – DAY OF THE DEAD: Day of the Dead Celebration. Celebrate Dia de Muertos during a 3-day tradition, which is an important part of Mexican culture and is considered a day of celebration. La Veracruzana Mexican Restaurant invites the community to celebrate with them, learn a little about traditional Mexican culture, and participate in many family-friendly activities. La Veracruzana Mexican Restaurant. 31 Union Street. Easthampton, MA.

Friday, November 1, 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.

Friday, November 1, 5-8pm – ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING: Pittsfield is rapidly becoming known as a center for the arts in the region. Every first Friday of the month, come out and explore the works of some of Pittsfield’s most renowned artists with a leisurely stroll through the city’s Upstreet Cultural District. Most of the artists will be in the studios and galleries from 5 to 8pm and will be available to discuss their work. This is a great opportunity to learn about the artistic process. For more information and a completely list of artists and locations, please visit Pittsfield’s First Fridays Artswalk. Downtown Pittsfield, Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, November 1, 6-9pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/FUNDRAISER: Join Friends of Children on for FOCUS On The Arts, an event celebrating the arts and supporting Friends of Children’s FOCUS program, bringing essential resources to young adults in MA who have aged out of foster care. Enjoy live music, delicious catered food, fun cocktails, and more! Bid on the work of local & regional artists, concerts, museums, destination packages, and other exciting items in their silent & live auctions, including: Artwork by artists Laura Radwell, Patricia Parker, Valerie Bunnell & Peter Max; Improv Party by Heidi Haas; Cocktails & Conversation in the library of cookbook editor Lisa Ekus. Tickets at friendsofchildreninc.org. Northampton Center for the Arts. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, 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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