100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: November 16-29, 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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Nov 23

Saturday, November 23rd – REVIVE! A Center School Open House and Community Upcycling Event. Join the Center School as they make old things new again. Teachers will be offering fresh, cool, upcycling projects—make a no-sew t-shirt bag, create a key rack using old keys, design felted woolens accessories, build an invention with recycled materials, weave a jump rope from old sheets, and more. All classrooms will be open, and teachers will be on hand. Explore the campus, buy a sweet, warm or savory snack in their pop-up cafe, meet current students and parents, and see what the Center School is all about. Join them from 10am-2pm. All welcome! The school is located at 71 Montague City Road in Greenfield. For more info, visit centerschool.net.

Nov 29

On Friday, November 29th, the New England Air Museum will host jolly St. Nick! Come and have a “Selfie with Santa” aboard a Sikorsky Seaguard helicopter between 11am and 12noon. Santa is not coming empty-handed – his bag will be filled with a special gift for each child. Also, the museum will be conducting its popular “Behind the Scenes” Tour, which allows visitors to take a close-up look at some of the current restoration projects, including the wide-bodied Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster, Kaman HOK-1 helicopter, some vintage engines, and more. Tours start at 10:30am (the last tour begins at 2:30pm). Learn more about this and other programs and events at www.NEAM.org. New England Air Museum. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT.

Nov 29 – Dec 31

Springfield Museums, home of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, invites you to celebrate with the Gingerbread: Hollywood and the Holidays exhibitand Family Fun Holiday Happenings/Countdown to Christmas from November 29 through December 31, 2019. An annual event, the Gingerbread exhibit puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Gingerbread features a multitude of artistic culinary creations accented by creative murals, festively decorated trees, and other enchanting elements. Stop in also to view Sweet: A Tasty Journey for a history of candy and a chance to experience hands-on FUN while learning. And don’t forget to visit the Grinch, the beloved curmudgeon who helps us all remember, “Maybe Christmas means just a little bit more!”

Dec 4

Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy Present: A Celtic Family Christmas. Wednesday, December 4, 7pm, UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall in Amherst, MA. This holiday season join award-winning fiddle virtuosos Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy for an intimate and unique Christmas concert. With the duo accompanied by an incredible array of talented musicians – and their children – A Celtic Family Christmas welcomes the audience into the wonderful world of their family holiday celebration. Come early, wear your ugly sweaters, and create your own holiday photo. $25-$45; Youth 17 & Under: $10-15. Approximately 1.5 hours. Appropriate for all ages. More at fineartscenter.com/macmaster or call 800-999-UMAS.

Pre – Order by Nov 17

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it’s time to pre-order your local turkey and pies from River Valley Co-Op! Jillian, Patrice, and their entire Prepared Foods team are ready to help make your holiday special, offering up a full Thanksgiving dinner à la carte style. All of their freshly baked in-house desserts are made from scratch using non-GMO ingredients and available for pre-order. Pre-order your fresh local turkey by November 17 and receive a $10 Off coupon on a purchase of $50 or more when you pick up your pre-ordered turkey between Nov 24-27. River Valley Co-Op is located at 330 N King St. in Northampton and is open every day from 8am-10pm. For more information, visit them online at www.rivervalley.coop or call 413-584-2665.

Nov 23

Nourish your senses at the Hartsbrook Holiday Fair! The beauty of handmade crafts, the joy of children’s games, the warmth of a bonfire, and the friendship of community: these are what make the Hartsbrook Holiday Fair a favorite in the Pioneer Valley. Enjoy candle dipping, jump rope making, cookie decorating, festive live music, artisan vendors, and a marionette show. All are welcome to this magical annual celebration, taking place this year on Saturday, November 23, from 10am-3pm at the Hartsbrook School, located at 193 Bay Road in Hadley. Admission is free; events cost extra. Park at the Hadley Flea Market and take the free shuttle to the Holiday Fair. www.hartsbrook.org

Dec 7

Winter Fair! An alternative to traditional holiday buying, this fun and participatory Winter Fair on Dec. 7, 10am-3pm, at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School in Easthampton offers a chance to create homemade gifts and enjoy crafting, musical performances and delicious food! Many crafts use recycled and natural materials – including fairy houses, full-sized wreaths, jewelry, herbal sachets, and more. HCCPS is a public school serving grades K-8 and emphasizing an arts-integrated approach. There is no tuition; admission is by lottery for students in Hampshire and Franklin counties. All proceeds from the Fair support the school’s library and educational programs. For information about the Fair or the school: www.hilltowncharter.org

6 Week Program

Six-Week Ski & Snowboard After-School & Homeschool Program at Ski Blandford in Blandford, MA. Designed for the novice through the advanced, ages 6-17. Learn the basics and develop skills by purchasing the whole package! Packages include lift tickets, rentals, helmet, and lessons. Or, build-your-own custom package! Lessons are one hour long, once a week. An After-School Program is held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and a Homeschool Program is available during the day on Wednesdays and Fridays. Costs of the program: $90 Lift Tickets; $90 Rentals; $120 Lessons; and $40 Helmet. For more info or to register: www.skiblandford.com; office@skiblandford.com; 413-848-2860. Build confidence, have fun with friends, and make lifelong memories!

Sale

Nikki Gardner Photography is offering a sale on a Fall Mini Portrait Session through December 6th. These fun 30-minute sessions (in their Northampton studio or on location) are great for holiday cards and family portraits! The price of a mini session is $150 and includes 5 digital files; a non-refundable deposit of $50 saves your session date/time, and $100 is due at the session! Press-printed holiday cards: 25 cards for $50. Additional files, albums, and prints available. Nikki Gardner Photography offers boutique portrait and commercial photography for the artistic soul. For more info and to book your mini session: www.nikkigardnerphotography.com; nikki@nikkigardnerphotography; 978-684-2294.

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
November 16-29, 2019

Saturday, Nov 16Sunday, Nov 17
Monday, Nov 18Tuesday, Nov 19Wednesday, Nov 20
Thursday, Nov 21Friday, Nov 22

Saturday, Nov 23Sunday, Nov 24
Monday, Nov 25Tuesday, Nov 26Wednesday, Nov 27
Thursday, Nov 28Friday, Nov 29

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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, NOVEMBER 16

Saturday, November 16, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/FRIENDSHIP: HFVS Food Episode with Guest DJs, The Green Orbs. Food, glorious food!!! We all eat it, so why not sing some songs about it! Heather Hirshfield and Eddie RosenBerg III, otherwise known as The Green Orbs, take you on a musical culinary journey with songs from artists like Weird Al, The Pop Ups, and Cookie Monster on the menu. Click here select from over 13 years of archived episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, produced by Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield! 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, November 16, 9am-1pm – ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Animal Communication Class. Did you ever wonder what your pet is saying to you? What they are feeling or why they behave the way they do? In this 4-hour workshop, Fran Wolfe, Animal Communicator, will teach the basics of connecting and communicating with your pet(s). It is a hands-on class where you will practice your new learned skills on Lexus, their friendly Golden Retreiver. Fran will guide and teach students how to connect heart to heart and soul to soul to help feel their animal’s needs and to get a good sense of their wants/ailments. Call the Center to reserve your seat. Hilltown Holistic Center. 413-345-0490. 486 Main Street, Suite 2. Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 9:30am-4pm – FOOD HISTORY: New England Thanksgiving. During November, Old Sturbridge Village’s costumed historians will be preparing for Thanksgiving – the biggest holiday of the year in early 19th-century New England. In particular, you can learn about the many foods that would have been prepared, even weeks in advance. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 10-11:30am – PHENOLOGY/TURKEYS: Terrific Turkeys and Fall Harvest at Laughing Brook. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird? Both toms (male turkeys) and hens (female turkeys) have interesting histories and adaptations that may surprise you. Participants will learn about wild turkeys, go for a hike, and look for evidence of these impressive birds, all the while scouting for autumn’s woodland harvest. Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 789 Main St, Hampden, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 10am-12noon – FARMING/DAIRY: Cows & Conservation: A Special Farm Tour. Join the Kestrel Land Trust to see how the future of farming meets the past at Barstow’s Longview Farm. In 2014, the Barstow family conserved 123 acres of their farmland with Kestrel’s help, preserving it forever. Take a special tour of this innovative local dairy farm with 7th generation dairy farmer and Kestrel’s TerraCorps Community Engagement Coordinator, Denise Barstow. Tour the farm and view the robot milkers, dairy barn, calf barn, bunker silos, and anaerobic digester–a system that converts cow manure and food waste into fertilizer, heat, and electricity for 1,600 homes. You’ll also find out how conserving farmland contributes to habitat, sustainability, heritage, and farm viability while learning how farmland is a vital part of our collective New England history. This tour is free, but space is limited, and registration is required. Barstow’s Dairy Farm. 172 Hockanum Road. Hadley, MA

Saturday, November 16, 10am-1pm – CULINARY ARTS/NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE: Heritage New England Cooking at the Berkshire Botanical Garden Teaching Kitchen. Cast your mind back to the time when Farm-to-Table meals were from your farm and on your table. Learn the simple but tasty approach to farmhouse cuisine of 150 or more years ago. Participants will experience such dishes as stewed soup, Johnnie Cake, herbed farmers’ cheese, and more. Learn the secrets of selecting and caring for cast iron cookware and its health benefits. Hands-on participation is encouraged, so bring a sense of curiosity and adventure and be willing to help with the process. Advance registration is highly recommended, but walk-ins are welcome, space permitting. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 10am-4pm – PLANT STUDIES/FLOWERS: Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory is in bloom this month for the annual Fall Chrysanthemum Show! Visitors to the greenhouses can learn about genetic diversity amongst plants and plant hybridization while viewing the beautiful flowers, which can be up to eight inches across. Even the most amateur botanists will love the wide variety of color, pattern, shape, and size seen amongst the blooms. Read more in our post, Fall Chrysanthemum Show at Smith Offers Community-Based Learning. The Botanic Garden of Smith College. 413-585-2740. 16 College Ln, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 10am-4pm – ARTISAN TRADITIONS/GLASS BLOWING: Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear, and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s when glassblowing was raised to the level of art, led by German artist Hans Godo Frabel. This month families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glassblower in their glass studio. Learn about the art of glass blowing and walk away with your very own holiday keepsake… a great tradition to do with your family year after year! This glassblowing opportunity is part of Snow Farm’s Seconds Sale weekend, where 200 craftspeople from across the country sell their seconds. For ages 8+. Snow Farm-New England Craft. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Rd, Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 10:30-11:30am – ZOOLOGY/HIBERNATION: Winter Hibernation! How do your favorite animals spend the winter? Find out, as we learn about hibernation and the adaptations of animals in New England. Bring a stuffed animal and create a cozy little hibernation den to take home! Emily Williston Memorial Library. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 11am – CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/CRAFTS: A book signing and make-and-take craft event. Art Sparks: Draw, Paint, Make, and Get Creative with 53 Amazing Projects! by Summer Art Barn founder, Marion Abrams, and Summer Art Barn Assistant Director, Hilary Emerson Lay. This event is family friendly, and will include hands-on art activities for kids and adults of every age! Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 11am – SKILLSHARING/SEWING: Sewing Machine Essentials. Learn sewing machine operation, parts and function, methods and techniques, troubleshooting, and basic repair. Bring in your sewing machine or learn with one on-site. RSVP required. Make-It Springfield. 413-342-1681. 168 Worthington St, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 12-4:30pm – PALAEOGRAPHY/COLONIAL HISTORY: Palaeography is the study of historical handwriting. Explore this interest further during “Written by Hand: The Art and Fun of Writing with a Quill Pen” at Historic Deerfield in the History Workshop Building. Learn to write with a quill pen. Practice cursive or printing with a goose quill, write on special “aged” paper using Historic Deerfield’s ink and take home a writing sample! Learn about the ingredients of ink, how quill pens were made and sharpened and read some quill pen writing from Historic Deerfield’s manuscript collection. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 1-3pm – TRADITIONAL CRAFTS/NATIVE FINGER WEAVING: For hundreds of years, the Mashpee Wampanoag people have been finger weaving. Marlene Lopez has been finger-weaving and keeping this art alive by teaching others the knowledge that she has learned for 30 years. The designs are those of the Eastern Woodland and Plains people of Turtle Island during the 18th century. The style of weaving is called warpface. The designs are variations of the diagonal, Chevron, Arrowhead, diamond, flame and lightning. The items woven with these designs are ceremonial sashes, belts, garters, armbands, headbands, and hair-ties. Co-sponsored by DCR and Nolumbeka Project. Free admission. All welcome. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 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, November 16, 1-4 pm – MYO GIFTS: Jazz up your Christmas tree or create the perfect gifts in an ornament-making workshop at Hancock Shaker Village. Participants make three festive woven ornaments: a large eight-point snowflake, a puffy heart, and a reindeer woven in thin maple strips and dyed reed. The workshop is suitable for ages 14 and up; beginners are welcome. Pre-registration is required. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 2-4pm – WORLD DANCE STUDIES/INDIA: Indian Dance Workshop with Amherst Ballet, as part of their World Dance Workshop Series, this workshop includes a lecture by Ranjanaa Devi, the founder of Nataraj Performing Arts of India. Learn about Indian culture, experience Indian dance, and enjoy Indian cuisine. In this series, students are exposed to dances from various places of the world in workshops led by local instructors. The purpose of these workshops is not only to help students hone their dancing skills by trying out different techniques but also to promote understanding of various cultures through dance. In many societies, dance performances started as offerings to gods and carried fundamental cultural significance. Thus, dance can be a powerful educational tool for global cultural appreciation. After the workshop, there will be a reception with Indian cuisine. Free and open to anybody in the local community. Amherst Ballet. 413-549-1555. 29 Strong St. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 3-6:30pm – LITERATURE/HERMAN MELVILLE: Celebrate Melville’s 200th Birthday at the library. Join literature scholar, Michael Hoberman, for a lively exploration of Herman Melville’s complex relationship in America. To be followed by David Shaerf’s film, “Call Us Ishmael,” a documentary about the “cult” of Melville (and especially Moby Dick) lovers. Arms Library. 413-625-0306. 60 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 6pm – CLASSIC STORIES/BROADWAY THEATER: Annie. With pluck and positivity in equal measure, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations… and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt! She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Audiences will delight in seeing this classic children’s tale come to life on stage! Rated G. Performances held at Ja’Duke Theater, 110 Industrial Boulevard, Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 7pm: MUSICAL THEATER/FAMILY FRIENDLY: Once Upon a Mattress. If you thought you knew the story of “The Princess and The Pea,” you may be in for a walloping surprise! Did you know, for instance, that Princess Winnifred actually swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab? Or that Lady Larken’s love for Sir Harry provided a rather compelling reason that she reach the bridal altar post haste? Or that, in fact, it wasn’t the pea at all that caused the princess a sleepless night? Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, Once Upon a Mattress is a rollicking spin on the familiar classic and provides for some side-splitting shenanigans! Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again. Family friendly for all ages. The show is being presented by the Black Cat Theater and performances will be held at South Hadley High School, 153 Newton Street, South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, November 16, 7:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/ORCHESTRA: Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra presents “Royal Reformation,” a concert of royalty-inspired orchestral works, featuring pianist Jiayan Sun performing Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. Pre-concert talk by Professor David Schneider. John M. Greene Hall. 413-584-2700. 60 Elm Street, Northampton, MA.


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 17

Sunday, November 17, Anytime – FAMILY PODCAST/FRIENDSHIP: HFVS Food Episode with Guest DJs, The Green Orbs. Food, glorious food!!! We all eat it, so why not sing some songs about it! Heather Hirshfield and Eddie RosenBerg III, otherwise known as The Green Orbs, take you on a musical culinary journey with songs from artists like Weird Al, The Pop Ups, and Cookie Monster on the menu. ♥ 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, November 17, 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, November 17, 9:30am-4pm – FOOD HISTORY: New England Thanksgiving. During November, Old Sturbridge Village’s costumed historians will be preparing for Thanksgiving – the biggest holiday of the year in early 19th-century New England. In particular, you can learn about the many foods that would have been prepared, even weeks in advance. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 10am-4pm – BOTANY/CHRYSANTHEMUMS: It might be chilly outside, but Smith College’s greenhouses in Northampton are bursting with color this time of year! Annually, with November comes The Botanic Garden of Smith College’s Fall Chrysanthemum Show, a living exhibition filled with colorful mums of all shapes and sizes. (Some as large as eight inches across!) Budding botanists will love exploring the greenhouse and inspecting blossoms to learn about chrysanthemums. Visitors to the show can use a stroll through the flowers as a way to support the learning of all kinds, particularly within the realm of science. Exploring the many different blossoms can help learners to understand diversity amongst plant life – especially when they keep in mind that technically, though some blossoms may look drastically different from each other, they are all variations of the same kind of flower. Add some math to your visit by counting how many flowers you see of each color, shape, or size, and perhaps create some basic statistics to accompany your data analysis. The Botanic Garden of Smith College. 413-585-2740. 16 College Ln, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 10am-4pm – ARTISAN TRADITIONS/GLASS BLOWING: Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear, and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s when glassblowing was raised to the level of art, led by German artist Hans Godo Frabel. This month families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glassblower in their glass studio. Learn about the art of glass blowing and walk away with your very own holiday keepsake… a great tradition to do with your family year after year! This glassblowing opportunity is part of Snow Farm’s Seconds Sale weekend, where 200 craftspeople from across the country sell their seconds. For ages 8+. Snow Farm-New England Craft. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Rd, Williamsburg, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 12-2pm – THEATER STUDIES/COMPANY: Community Day at Double Edge Theatre. Celebrate Double Edge’s vibrant community members, artists, and partners who have created and contributed to the last 25 years at the Double Edge Farm in Ashfield. Fly on bungees, sing and play music, and learn about their history, ongoing renovation, and preservation of the beautiful Farm. Double Edge Theatre. 413-628-0277. 948 Conway Rd, Ashfield, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 12-2:30pm – 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.

Sunday, November 17, 12noon-4:30pm – LANGUAGE ARTS: Youth Short Story Writing at Historic Deerfield. Compose your next literary masterpiece at Historic Deerfield with this facilitated writing exercise. Historic Deerfield staff will help children ages 10 and up learn the elements of fiction, and then write a story: will they rewrite a famous work of literature? Will they create their own story set in atmospheric Old Deerfield? Let your imagination flourish in Historic Deerfield unique setting. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 1-4pm – NATIVE AMERICAN/INTEGRATED ART: We are Still Here: Diverse Indigenous Voices In the Valley, an Indigenous Community Event in Amherst, MA. Local Native artists, comedians, musicians, poets, and speakers will be reflecting on identity, topical issues, and day to day life through diverse artistic mediums. The event is free and open to the public. Some local Native vendors will have merchandise for sale. Spend an engaging afternoon with some of your Native neighbors from the Valley. Jones Library. 413-259-3223. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA. Jones Library. 413-259-3223.43 Amity St, Amherst, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 2pm – CLASSIC STORIES/BROADWAY THEATER: Annie. With pluck and positivity in equal measure, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations… and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt! She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Audiences will delight in seeing this classic children’s tale come to life on stage! Rated G. Performances held at Ja’Duke Theater, 110 Industrial Boulevard, Turners Falls, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 2pm – MUSICAL THEATER/FAMILY FRIENDLY: Once Upon a Mattress. If you thought you knew the story of “The Princess and The Pea,” you may be in for a walloping surprise! Did you know, for instance, that Princess Winnifred actually swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab? Or that Lady Larken’s love for Sir Harry provided a rather compelling reason that she reach the bridal altar post haste? Or that, in fact, it wasn’t the pea at all that caused the princess a sleepless night? Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, Once Upon a Mattress is a rollicking spin on the familiar classic and provides for some side-splitting shenanigans! Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again. Family friendly for all ages. The show is being presented by the Black Cat Theater and performances will be held at South Hadley High School, 153 Newton Street, South Hadley, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 2-5pm – FOLK ART/NATURAL DYE: Nature Printing 101: Paper and Textiles. Join Marjorie Moser of the Print and Dye Workshop to learn beginning natural dye techniques, including which plants to use and what parts of the plants will produce color. Participants will dye paper and cloth and make prints using black walnuts, madder root, and local leaves. A demonstration will be provided, and hands-on activity will result in a small project to take home. Free event. Registration Required. Tyler Memorial Library. 413-339-4335. 157 Main St, Charlemont, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 3:30-5pm – FOLK MUSIC/SING-A-LONG: Songs of Hope & Resistance with the Nields and Local & Focus Chorus. Annual Songs of Hope & Resistance, a sing-a-long concert in the tradition of Pete Seeger, with The Nields and special guests Local Chorus and Focus Chorus, benefiting the Rosenberg Fund for Children and celebrating community, song, family, and resistance. All ages. Congregation B’Nai Israel. 253 Prospect St., Northampton, MA.

Sunday, November 17, 6:30-8pm – LOCAL HISTORY/SUGAR MAPLES: Honoring the Sugar Maples at Historic Northampton. Following this program, all are welcome to gather at the sugar maple near the Historic Parsons House and consider this tree’s history — who has passed by during its lifetime, what are some of the significant changes that have taken place since it took root. Organizers will read some tree-related poetry and toast its life with small samples of maple syrup. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 18

Monday, November 18, 9:30am-3:30pm – 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.

Monday, November 18, 5:30-7:30pm – PLACEMAKING/CREATIVE FREE-PLAY: Art Night at the Old Creamery Co-Op! Bring your own art supplies or use their supples. All are welcomed to this free event. Old Creamery Co-op. 413-634-5560. 445 Berkshire Trail, Cummington, MA.

Monday, November 18, 6-7pm – CULINARY ARTS/COMMUNITY MEAL: Love to cook? Join the Evening Cookbook Club at the library! Pick up a copy of this month’s cookbook, One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking: 600 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Home Cooks, Farmers, Fishermen, Pit-masters, and Chefs by Molly O’Neill, select a recipe to prepare at home, and then bring it in for a taste testing and book discussion. This popular cookbook club meets monthly; new members are always welcome. Please register: Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19

Tuesday, November 19, 12-1:30pm – THEATER/ACTING CLASS: Join the Storrs Library for an 8-week acting class, Making Theater Happen: Becoming an Actor with former theater director and professor Fred Sokol who guides participants to develop their acting skills. During this eight-week program, participants will begin with the basics, progressing through improv, scripted works, and maybe even write their own scenes to perform! Participants will contribute to the progression of the program, depending on their interests and comfort level. This series will focus on beginner skills, but actors of all levels are welcome to attend. Pre-register online: Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Tuesday, November 19, 5-6pm – THEATER/HISTORY: Academy of Music Theatre History Tour. Did you know that a trap door was once cut into the stage at the Academy of Music in Northampton for Harry Houdini’s disappearing act? Or that Frankenstein’s monster himself, Boris Karloff, appeared at the 123-year-old theater? Join a history tour of this local treasure, and see the recently discovered and conserved 1913 Tuttle scenic curtain. Reservations are required. Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Tuesday, November 19, 6-7pm – FOOD HISTORY/CIDER: Cider History with Dennis Picard: A Drink When We Want It and a Cup for a Thirsty Traveler. Quaff your thirst for Cider History with historian Dennis Picard who will introduce us to traditional New England cider making by sharing images, stories, and history of cider making techniques that took place over the centuries. Advance registration is strongly encouraged. Best for self-directed teens and lifelong learners. Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA.

Tuesday, November 19, 7pm – DEMOCRACY/BOOK DISCUSSION: “Democracy in Chains,” a community book discussion. Join the conversation about this timely book. “Democracy in Chains,” by award-winning historian Nancy MacLean, is an explosive exposé of the little-known thinker behind the radical right’s relentless campaign to eliminate unions, suppress voting, privatize public education, stop action on climate change, and alter the Constitution. The conversation will be facilitated by economist and educator Francisco Perez of the Center for Popular Economics. Copies of the book are available at the Jones Library, through the CW MARS Library System, and at your friendly neighborhood bookseller. Jones Library. 413-259-3223. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA. Jones Library. 413-259-3223.43 Amity St, Amherst, MA.

Tuesday, November 19, 7:30-9pm – DANCE STUDIES/PERFORMANCE: Montreal-based Rubberband Dance Company, makes their UMass Amherst debut with their work Ever So Slightly, an exploration of the daily challenge to find balance and reflection in our lives. Combining live musicians with RBDG’s distinct mixture of contemporary, ballet, and hip-hop, the work conveys all the energy contained in urgency, revolt, chaos, and flight. Pre-performance dialogue with Paul Katz, UMass Professor and Director of Neuroscience and RUBBERBAND Artistic Director, Victor Quijada. Post-performance Q & A in the lobby immediately following the performance.UMass Fine Arts Center. 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Dr, Amherst, MA.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20

Wednesday, November 20, 9:30am-3:30pm – 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.

Wednesday, November 20, 10am – CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/THANKSGIVING CRAFTS: Make it and Take it Turkeys at the library. Bring your PreK kids for a morning of Thanksgiving-themed crafts from their Maker Cart. Bring your imagination and make your own gobbler! Great opportunity to talk about why turkeys are icons during the autumn in New England and why non-vegetarian families serve them for holiday meals. The Cart is full of art supplies to use any time the library is open, and for all ages. Griswold Memorial Library. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Rd. Colrain, MA.

Wednesday, November 20, 10:45am-12:15pm – CLIMATE CHANGE/DIRECT ACTION: Climate Change Presentation with Extinction Rebellion. Two members of Extinction Rebellion Western MA will be giving a climate change presentation, with an emphasis on what we can do about it. Hear about local and international efforts to address the crisis from this global movement focused on helping humanity. Members of Extinction Rebellion on neighboring campuses have successfully worked on divesting from investments in fossil fuels and developing plans to have emissions be climate neutral by 2025, among other things. The event is free and open to the public. Held in room KC301. Greenfield Community College. 1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA.

Wednesday, November 20, 5:30-7:30pm – CULTURE STUDIES/COMMUNITY MEAL: Come for Supper: a Culture and Community Celebration in the Cohn Family Dining Commons at Greenfield Community College. The Interfaith Council of Franklin County and GCC are collaborating to create a community meal celebrating the cultures, traditions, and ethnicities of our region. This family-friendly event will include games for kids, music, dance, information tables, food representing Guatemalan, Egyptian, Thai, Puerto Rican, Korean, Mexican, Jewish, Senegalese, Tibetan, and Indigenous Peoples cultures! There will also be an opportunity for people from different communities and ethnicities to offer blessings or share traditions. Free and open to the public. Greenfield Community College. 1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA.

Wednesday, November 20, 6:30pm: FOLK TRADITIONS/SOAP MAKING: Learn about the tradition of soap making and how you can make fun soaps to keep or giveaway during the holiday season in the 60-minute workshop, Curly Rainbow Soap. Each participant will make their own fun and quirky swirl soap using a glycerin-based soap, colorful soap curls, cosmetic glitter, and a variety of scents. We will discuss the process of making cold process soap, blending of essential oils, and the role of exfoliants in soap making. Emily Williston Memorial Library. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.

Wednesday, November 20, 6:30-7:30pm – HISTORY/ANTIQUES Treasures from the Attic returns to the library. Dennis Picard will ‘show & tell’ a collection of interesting items from the Storrs House Museum attic. Picard has been a museum professional in the living history field for over 30 years at both Old Sturbridge Village and Storrowton Village Museum. Pre register: Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Wednesday, November 20, 7-8:30pm – CLIMATE CHANGE/RELIGION STUDIES: Lecture at Williams College explores the intersection of Buddhist practices and climate issues. Karin Meyers, visiting assistant professor of Buddhist studies at Smith College, will deliver a talk titled “Buddhist Practice in an Age of Ecological Crisis” at Williams College. In her lecture, Meyers will discuss how Buddhist thought and practice help cut through cognitive dissonance regarding the collective existential threat of our climate and ecological crisis, and how Buddhism is evolving in the face of this crisis. The event, which is free and open to the public. Held on campus at Griffin Hall, Room 3. For building locations on the Williams campus, please consult the map on their web site. Williams College. 413-597-3131. 880 Main St. Willilamstown, MA.


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21

Thursday, November 21, 9:30am-4pm — FOLK TRADITIONS: What better way for you and your children to learn about life in New England in the 1830s than to be immersed in a historical reenactment of that time, complete with a village of interesting and talented residents, and to participate in the tasks that filled people’s days back then? Visit Old Sturbridge Village for Home School Day, a special opportunity to explore the village and participate in many hands-on activities and demonstrations relating to the theme of “Artisan Crafts and Trades.” Blacksmithing, spinning, pottery, and basket weaving are among the skills that will be celebrated and explored at this event. Visitors may also spend time at the farm to learn how to make cider and to discover the connections between farm life and the seasons, stop in a house to learn how to cook on an open hearth, try traditional games, and visit the printing press to learn how to set and print type. Advance ticket purchase required. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Thursday, November 21, 2-4:30pm – SKILLSHARING/SEWING: Skillsharing at the Amherst Survival Center sewing repair workshop. Learn sewing and fiber skills, bring in special projects (clothing repair, curtains, etc.), get expert guidance, and have access to sewing machines and needed supplies. Amherst Survival Center. 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road, North Amherst, MA.

Thursday, November 21, 3:15-4pm – ORIGAMI/THANKSGIVING: The history of origami, or Japanese paper folding, begins in the 6th century when Buddhist monks first brought paper to Japan from China. By the 7th century, paper folding played an important role in Shinto, the traditional Japanese religion, during weddings and other ceremonies. The most famous origami shape is the crane, and tradition holds that anyone who makes one thousand paper cranes will have their deepest wishes come true. Over the years, origami has evolved as an art form, and many related types of paper folding have developed. Kusudama, for example, is a type of paper folding that features the use of pyramidal units that are folded together to form spherical shapes. If you are interested in crane origami, how about a turkey? Learn how to fold a turkey just in time for American Thanksgiving from a local team of Origami experts. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Thursday, November 21, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Thursday, November 21, 5:30-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Northampton Parent Café Series: Being a Great Parent is Part Natural & Part Learned. Information and ideas that help us take care of ourselves, build strong relationships with our kids, and raise children who thrive. Sunnyside Early Childhood Center. 413-587-1471. 557 Easthampton Rd. Northampton, MA.

Thursday, November 21, 6pm – DATE NIGHT: Four-Course Cider Pairing Dinner at the Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub for a special Cider Pairing Dinner. Four courses, including Cranberry Brie Fried Cheese, Apple Cider Cheddar Cheese Butternut Squash Soup, Thick Cut Pork Chops, and Butterscotch Cake with Caramel Icing, are paired with four hard cider varieties. Seating is limited. Hosted by the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England. 413-333-4951. 429 Morgan Road. West Springfield, MA.

Thursday, November 21, 6-8pm – INDIGENOUS CULTURE/NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY: A New Thanksgiving: Indigenous Frameworks on Food & Language. All are invited to a panel discussion and a meal to celebrate a new Thanksgiving with an indigenous framework with the I-Collective, a group of indigenous chefs, activists, herbalists, and seed and knowledge keepers. Meet members of I-Collective at the Mead, celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Mohawk Freedom School, and learn about the importance of passing on food, language, and recipes to preserve Native cultures. Free and open to all. Mead Art Museum. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA.

Thursday, November 21, 6:30-8pm – MYO HOLIDAY CRAFT/ORNAMENT: Teen/Adult Ornament Painting. Join artist Cierra Thompson to create delightful hand-painted cedar ornaments – the perfect wintry gift for someone you love! Teens and adults are welcome, but supplies are limited. Call the library to register. Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 N Rd, Westhampton, MA.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22

Friday, November 22, 10am-4pm – ARTISAN TRADITIONS/GLASS BLOWING: Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear, and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s when glassblowing was raised to the level of art, led by German artist Hans Godo Frabel. This month families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glassblower in their glass studio. Learn about the art of glass blowing and walk away with your very own holiday keepsake… a great tradition to do with your family year after year! This glassblowing opportunity is part of Snow Farm’s Seconds Sale weekend, where 200 craftspeople from across the country sell their seconds. For ages 8+. Snow Farm-New England Craft. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Rd, Williamsburg, MA.

Friday, November 22, 11am-3pm – AGRICULTURE/WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Downtown Springfield Winter Farmers’ Market. Winter farmers’ markets provide a fresh and colorful oasis during the winter months, reminding us that despite the blustery, snow drift-covered fields that surround us, farm-fresh foods of all kinds are still available. Connecting to the local food chain year-round is not only healthy for your body, your family, and your community, but it can be educational as well! Exposing children to the vast array of foods available from winter farmers’ markets can help them to recognize that there are many different methods for growing and producing food while connecting to where their food comes. 1391 Main Street, 1st Floor. Springfield, MA.

Friday, November 22, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, November 22, 5:30-7pm – BREWING/SAKE: Lifelong learners can explore the world of sake in an informal yet intimate gathering in the Provisions classroom. What is sake? According to Wikipedia, “Sake, also spelled saké also referred to as Japanese rice wine, is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran. Despite the name, unlike wine, in which alcohol is produced by fermenting sugar that is naturally present in fruit (typically grapes), sake is produced by a brewing process more akin to that of beer, where starch is converted into sugars, which ferment into alcohol.” Learn all sorts of things about sake styles, food pairings, and serving techniques. Ages 21+, reserve your seat! Provisions. 413-727-3497. 30 Crafts Ave. Northampton, MA.

Friday, November 22, 6pm – CLASSIC STORIES/BROADWAY THEATER: Annie. With pluck and positivity in equal measure, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations… and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt! She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Audiences will delight in seeing this classic children’s tale come to life on stage! Rated G. Performances held at Ja’Duke Theater, 110 Industrial Boulevard, Turners Falls, MA.


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23

FAMILY MUSIC/PODCAST: Click here select from over 13 years of archived episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, produced by Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield! 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, November 23, 9:30am-4pm – FOOD HISTORY: New England Thanksgiving. During November, Old Sturbridge Village’s costumed historians will be preparing for Thanksgiving – the biggest holiday of the year in early 19th-century New England. In particular, you can learn about the many foods that would have been prepared, even weeks in advance. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 10am-12noon – DANCE STUDIES/INTERGENERATIONAL WORKSHOP: Family Dance Workshop. In this workshop, participants will be playing with choreographic structures, movement games, writing/ drawing, props, and choreographic principles. Families will be invited to collaborate, making work that draws on stories, movement through space, emotion, laban technique, and of course imagination. Families will perform for each other and create from one’s creative landscape and the other members of their brood. Eventually, each family group will bring their creations to the broader family community, enabling a larger choreographic piece to be developed. This memorable workshop will be bonding and fun for all ages, but particularly appropriate for youth older than 6 to elder. Advance registration is strongly encouraged. Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 10am-2pm – UPCYCLING/MYO GIFTS: REVIVE! A Center School Open House and Community Upcycling Event. Join the Center School as they make old things new again. Teachers will be offering fresh, cool, upcycling projects—make a no-sew t-shirt bag, create a key rack using old keys, design felted woolens accessories, build an invention with recycled materials, weave a jump rope from old sheets, and more. All classrooms will be open, and teachers will be on hand. Explore the campus, buy a sweet, warm or savory snack in their pop-up cafe, meet current students and parents, and see what the Center School is all about. All welcome! For more info, visit The Center School. 413-773-1700. 71 Montague City Rd, Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 10am-3pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: Nourish your senses at the Hartsbrook Holiday Fair! The beauty of handmade crafts, the joy of children’s games, the warmth of a bonfire, and the friendship of community: these are what make the Hartsbrook Holiday Fair a favorite in the Pioneer Valley. Enjoy candle dipping, jump rope making, cookie decorating, festive live music, artisan vendors, and a marionette show. All are welcome to this magical annual celebration. Admission is free; events cost extra. Park at the Hadley Flea Market and take the free shuttle to the Holiday Fair. Hartsbrook School. 193 Bay Road. Hadley, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 10am-4pm – ARTISAN TRADITIONS/GLASS BLOWING: Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear, and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s when glassblowing was raised to the level of art, led by German artist Hans Godo Frabel. This month families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glassblower in their glass studio. Learn about the art of glass blowing and walk away with your very own holiday keepsake… a great tradition to do with your family year after year! This glassblowing opportunity is part of Snow Farm’s Seconds Sale weekend, where 200 craftspeople from across the country sell their seconds. For ages 8+. Snow Farm-New England Craft. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Rd, Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 11am – SKILLSHARING/SEWING: Sewing Machine Essentials. Learn sewing machine operation, parts and function, methods and techniques, troubleshooting, and basic repair. Bring in your sewing machine or learn with one on-site. RSVP required. Make-It Springfield. 413-342-1681. 168 Worthington St, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 11am-2pm – SPORTS/COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UMass Football vs. BYU. Come out to McGurik Alumni Stadium to support the UMass Minutemen as they take on the BYU Cougars in there last regular season game of the year! McGuirk Alumni Stadium. 300 Stadium Dr. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 12noon-4:30pm – PALAEOGRAPHY/COLONIAL HISTORY: Palaeography is the study of historical handwriting. Explore this interest further during “Written by Hand: The Art and Fun of Writing with a Quill Pen” at Historic Deerfield in the History Workshop Building. Learn to write with a quill pen. Practice cursive or printing with a goose quill, write on special “aged” paper using Historic Deerfield’s ink and take home a writing sample! Learn about the ingredients of ink, how quill pens were made and sharpened and read some quill pen writing from Historic Deerfield’s manuscript collection. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 1pm – STORYTELLING/CHRISTMAS: A reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Candy canes will be handed out to all the “good little girls and boys.” Buckland Public Hall. 15 Upper St. Buckland Center. Buckland, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 1-3:30pm – WALKING TOUR/CANALS: Holyoke Canal Walking Tour. A walking tour of the Holyoke Canal. Meet at Dwight Street at the upper corner of Holyoke Heritage State Park. Walk to various points along the canals. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 2-4pm – AGRICULTURE/SEED SWAP: Saving and sharing seeds helps to make sure that massive corporations are not able to control food production. The fact that private companies can own patents on food is extremely troubling. If companies can legally own a crop, that means they can dictate how and where it is grown. Thus the production of food becomes a part of a for-profit enterprise, as opposed to the rightfully shared gifts of the natural world. Seed sharing helps to maintain a strong local, independent food culture, in which local farmers and consumers make decisions about what to grow and how to grow it. Join your local community for the Annual Hilltown Fall Seedswap! Cummington Community House, 33 Main Street, Cummington, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 4-7pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Creamery Community Dinner. Join the co-op for a Community Dinner. Enjoy a delicious entree, salad, and side dish made right in their kitchen. No tickets necessary, stop in for dinner and sit down with all your neighbors and friends! Old Creamery Co-op. 413-634-5560. 445 Berkshire Trail, Cummington, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 5-8pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/POTLUCK: Community gathering and potluck with music by Radio Free Earth. This is a chance for folks of all ages to gather, talk, eat, and boogie in the old grange hall at the center of town. Families are especially welcome! Josh and Kim Wachtel of Radio Free Earth will be joined by their band, Justin Tomsovic on drums and Dave Christopolis on bass. Williamsburg Grange. 413-340-1313. 10 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 6pm – CLASSIC STORIES/BROADWAY THEATER: Annie. With pluck and positivity in equal measure, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations… and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt! She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Audiences will delight in seeing this classic children’s tale come to life on stage! Rated G. Performances held at Ja’Duke Theater, 110 Industrial Boulevard, Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, November 23, 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


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24

FAMILY MUSIC/PODCAST: Click here select from over 13 years of archived episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, produced by Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield! 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!

Deadline: Saturday, November 24: GINGERBREAD HOUSES – Gingerbread houses first appeared in Germany in the early 1800s, perhaps inspired by the edible house in Grimm’s fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.” Even today, they are part of our end of the year holiday traditions. Building a gingerbread house is a fantastic way to include creative folks of all ages in creating a delicious, well-engineered work of art, along with skills in architectural design, engineering, communication, and collaboration. The Old Sturbridge Village’s annual Gingerbread House Contest is one of the most popular events at their Christmas by Candlelight. Create and register your own gingerbread house in one of several categories, or view the creative handiwork of others when you visit the Village during Christmas by Candlelight. Entry forms must be submitted by on or by November 24, 2019. Finished entries must be delivered to the Village December 3, 4, or 5. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 9:30am-4pm – FOOD HISTORY: New England Thanksgiving. During November, Old Sturbridge Village’s costumed historians will be preparing for Thanksgiving – the biggest holiday of the year in early 19th-century New England. In particular, you can learn about the many foods that would have been prepared, even weeks in advance. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 10-11:30am – Be Kind Party with PJ Pals. A kindness party to celebrate the new book Be Kind by local author Naomi Shulman. Stations will be set up with fun activities for preschoolers that promote kindness. Lander~Grinspoon Academy. 413-584-6622. 257 Prospect St. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 10am-4pm – ARTISAN TRADITIONS/GLASS BLOWING: Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear, and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s when glassblowing was raised to the level of art, led by German artist Hans Godo Frabel. This month families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glassblower in their glass studio. Learn about the art of glass blowing and walk away with your very own holiday keepsake… a great tradition to do with your family year after year! This glassblowing opportunity is part of Snow Farm’s Seconds Sale weekend, where 200 craftspeople from across the country sell their seconds. For ages 8+. Snow Farm-New England Craft. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Rd, Williamsburg, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 12noon-4:30pm – LANGUAGE ARTS: Youth Short Story Writing at Historic Deerfield. Compose your next literary masterpiece at Historic Deerfield with this facilitated writing exercise. Historic Deerfield staff will help children ages 10 and up learn the elements of fiction, and then write a story: will they rewrite a famous work of literature? Will they create their own story set in atmospheric Old Deerfield? Let your imagination flourish in Historic Deerfield unique setting. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 2pm – CLASSIC STORIES/BROADWAY THEATER: Annie. With pluck and positivity in equal measure, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations… and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt! She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Audiences will delight in seeing this classic children’s tale come to life on stage! Rated G. Performances held at Ja’Duke Theater, 110 Industrial Boulevard, Turners Falls, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 2-4pm – AGRICULTURE/STORYTELLING: Food connects us to each other and the world in which we live. For better or worse, the food we consume is a reflection of where and how it was produced. Local food connects us to the people in our community and the land around us. Enjoy an afternoon of stories from some of the farmers and chefs in our community at Field Notes: An Afternoon of Storytelling. Ever wonder what it’s really like to be a farmer? Curious about what goes on behind closed doors at your favorite restaurant? These stories give us a glimpse into the lives of the people who produce our food. Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 2:30pm – LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION/PICTURE BOOK: Picture Book Theatre presents its final season with performances at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Don’t miss their final show, The Littlest Matryoshka. Come early for a special Behind the Scenes program is at 1:30pm. The 40-minute family program brings this delightful picture book to life with music and large string puppets. Recommended for ages 5+, the story features Nina, the smallest of a group of Russian nesting dolls and her journey home to her sisters. Tickets are $5 per person (Members $4.50). Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Museum’s Admissions Desk or by calling 413-559-6336. Museum admission is not included or required. Book signing with author Corinne Demas to follow the program. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 3-4pm – CULTURE STUDIES/THANKSGIVING: Allegiance to Gratitude, Braiding Sweetgrass, Community Reading. Join friends and neighbors in a community reading of the chapter “Allegiance to Gratitude,” focusing on the Thanksgiving Address. The book is Braiding with Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a member of the Potowatomi Nation. The Thanksgiving Address expresses gratitude for the bounty the land gives to us. Participants will be sharing snacks and drinks, so please feel free to bring finger food. Arms Library. 413-625-0306. 60 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 3-5pm – RELIGION STUDIES/BUDDHISM: “The Sure Heart” a Buddhist Group for Children. Explore Buddhist teachings in the space of loving-kindness, awareness, and acceptance. Tell stories, and do simple steadiness-building and heart cultivating exercises. This is a pilot program designed for children ages 8-12 taking place on Sundays through 12/15. Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley. 413-527-0388. Eastworks Building, 116 Pleasant Street #242, Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Sunday, November 24, 7-9pm – DANCE STUDIES/BELLY DANCING: Belly dancing has a long and rich history dating back to the ancient Middle East. The dance first became popular in the United States after the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, where a group of Egyptian dancers stole the show. Following the Fair, imitators began popping up all over the country, and the dance became popularly known as the ‘Hoochie Coochie.’ Thomas Edison immortalized some of the most popular belly dancers of the day in a series of films during the late 1890s and early 20th century. Sahina Bellydance will be performing the annual Dancing into the Dark Student Showcase, featuring a variety of group and solo works by Sahina’s students, plus live music provided by area musicians! Florence Community Center. 140 Pine Street, Florence, MA.


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 25

COMMUNITY-BASED RESOURCES/SPORTS: Though western Massachusetts isn’t known as a sports mecca, it’s filled with communitybased resources for exploring sports and the history behind them. As the birthplace of at least two major sports and home to teams and clubs engaging in a great many more, the area offers a variety of ways to learn about sports of all kind. Read more in our post, Exploring Athletics and Sports History Through Community-Based Resources.


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 26

Tuesday, November 26, 1-6pm – VOLUNTEER/FOOD SECURITY: Located at Edwards Church, the MANNA Soup Kitchen welcomes volunteers to help prepare for their Thanksgiving meal. Teens ages 15 and older can sign up for a volunteer shift with their families. (Families with children under the age of 15 can help with home deliveries on Thanksgiving Day. See listing below.)Single shifts are available, and volunteers can sign up online. MANNA Soup Kitchen. 413-584-1757. 297 Main St, Northampton, MA.


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27

Wednesday, November 27, 10am-1pm – VOLUNTEER/FOOD SECURITY: Located at Edwards Church, the MANNA Soup Kitchen welcomes volunteers to help prepare for their Thanksgiving meal. Teens ages 15 and older can sign up for a volunteer shift with their families. (Families with children under the age of 15 can help with home deliveries on Thanksgiving Day. See listing below.)Single shifts are available, and volunteers can sign up online. MANNA Soup Kitchen. 413-584-1757. 297 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, November 27, 1-2:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/POTLUCK: All are welcomed to join the Amherst Survival Center for their annual Pre-Thanksgiving Community Meal/Potluck, which is always held the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Donations of food are welcomed, but be sure to register with the ASC ASAP and before delivery so they can be sure to keep perishables fresh. In addition to the traditional turkey meal, vegetarian options will be abundant in this delicious community served and shared meal/potluck. This annual community meal/potluck takes place at Immanuel Lutheran Church. 867 North Pleasant Street. Amherst Survival Center. 413-549-3968. North Amherst, MA.

Wednesday, November 27, 6pm – PLACEMAKING/TREE LIGHTING: Tree lighting ceremonies are a form of placemaking, encouraging community members to meet and utilize common spaces in town. The North Adams Annual Tree Lighting Celebration is one such example which always takes place the Wednesday befor Thanksgiving and features a holiday window decorating contest. Prior to the event, local businesses decorate their storefronts, and local non-profits decorate empty storefronts. Come see North Adams decorated for the season, get infused with holiday cheer, and see examples of urban placemaking in action all holiday-season long! (Rain date: 12/6, 6pm.) North Adams Tourism. 413-664-6180. 10 Main Street. North Adams, MA.


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28

PODCAST/THANKSGIVING: HFVS Thanksgiving Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn. Through music and story, Hilltown Family Variety Show culminates in a vision for world peace where everyone finally has enough food, shelter, community, and love. Incorporating songs by Snatam Kaur, Los Lobos, the Moody Blues, the Rolling Stones, Nat King Cole, and many others, the music and commentary weave a gentle yet thought-provoking meditation on gratitude, generosity, love, and compassion to inspire folks of all ages this holiday season:

HERITAGE/RECIPES: Dinner on Thanksgiving Day is a meal when extended family and friends come together to celebrate and share the harvest. It’s a holiday when we talk a lot about food, sharing cooking tips and family recipes. In year’s past we ask our readers to share what they serve for their Thanksgiving Dinner and to offer cooking tips, starting with kitchen tips on how to cook a turkey, followed by a request for favorite vegetarian dishes to cook up too. Read more in our post, Thanksgiving Dinner: Tips & Recipes.

SELF-GUIDED HIKES: In Western MA we are so fortunate to have easy access to nature in our communities through local trails, nature preserves, and forests. This diversity of options inspires naturalists and conservation-minded enthusiasts to lead guided walks, hikes, and river paddling trips, teaching the richness of our local landscapes and biodiversity. Find our about guided & self-guided hikes and Vistas in our Sept/Oct Season edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA.

Thursday, November 28, 6:30am-5pm – VOLUNTEER/FOOD SECURITY: Located at Edwards Church, the MANNA Soup Kitchen welcomes volunteers to help prepare and serve their Thanksgiving meal. Families with children under the age of 15 can help with home deliveries. Teens ages 15 and older can sign up for a volunteer shift with their families. Single shifts are available, and volunteers can sign up online. Volunteers wanting to deliver meals to homes do not need to sign up; just come in the State Street side door of Edwards Church at 9:45am on Thanksgiving morning to pick up a delivery. MANNA Soup Kitchen. 413-584-1757. 297 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Thursday, November 28, 9am-4:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/VOLUNTEERING: Not Bread Alone offers a free community feast on Thanksgiving Day. This meal is in addition to their regular meals every Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday. Volunteers are needed, and everyone is welcome to enjoy this Thanksgiving celebration and any of its weekly meals! The meal is serve at 1pm. Volunteers shifts are between 9am-4:30pm.Bread Not Alone. 413-256-0128. Meals served in the lower level of the First Congregational Church of Amherst, UCC. 165 Main Street. Amherst, MA.

Thursday, November 28, 9:30am-4pm – FOOD HISTORY: New England Thanksgiving. During November, Old Sturbridge Village’s costumed historians will be preparing for Thanksgiving – the biggest holiday of the year in early 19th-century New England. In particular, you can learn about the many foods that would have been prepared, even weeks in advance. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Thursday, November 28, 12-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/VOLUNTEER: Stone Soup Café host a community Thanksgiving meal. Their model of service helps build a “diverse, inclusive community through a high-quality dining experience with healthy, delicious food and cultural offerings.” Community meals are great intergenerational opportunities to sit down with neighbors of all ages, making connections and nurturing relationships across the generations. According to Feeding America, “Many people facing hunger are forced to make tough choices between buying food and medical bills, food and rent, and/or food and transportation. This struggle goes beyond harming an individual family’s future; it can harm us all.” Volunteering and dining with Stone Soup Café does more than fill bellies … it strengthens the social fabric of the community by developing a sense of place in ourselves through shared experiences. Community meals also offer implicit learning opportunities by providing an intergenerational environment for community members of all ages to share stories and make connections at the “kitchen table.” Thanksgiving allows us to establish nourishing connections by reminding us that we are interwoven with one another. These connections can help carry us all into the darkest time of the year with a bright light of compassion and caring. No reservations are needed. Pay-what-you-can donations welcomed. Stone Soup Café. 413-475-0072. Meals at the All Souls Church. 399 Main Street. Greenfield, MA

Thursday, November 28, 12pm-5pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/VOLUNTEERING. The People’s Pint will be holding their annual “Thanksgiving for the People” on Thanksgiving day. They will serve a traditional holiday meal for the whole family and the whole community. Pay what you can. All proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and other local charities. Whether you need a good meal, want to volunteer, or want to spend Thanksgiving with your community, this is the place to be on Thanksgiving day! Contact them to find out about volunteer opportunities: thepeoplespint@gmail.com. The People’s Pint. 413-773-0333. 24 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA.

Thursday, November 28, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.


FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 29

FOLKLORE/CHRISTMAS TREES: What is folklore? Folklore includes the traditions and stories of a culture or community that are passed down for generations. Typically, folklore is passed on through word of mouth in the form of a narration. Over time, stories can change, morph, and transform depending on the place, culture, context and the storyteller. That’s the beauty of a folktale; it has many added layers as the story moves from narrator to narrator, place to place. Storytelling is an art, both the narration and the listening. Some of our holiday traditions today are a result of folklore and myth. For example, the contemporary Christmas tree has an interesting past with a story and history that has been passed down from generation to generation. From its original form with the ancient Norse pagans to its present day form in the houses of those who celebrate Christmas, the Christmas tree, like many folktales, has changed shape and meaning as it has been adapted to new cultures, people and places. Visit your local Christmas Tree farm, learn how contemporary trees are grown while selecting a tree for your holiday tradition.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/CHRISTMAS TREES: In addition to community events for Black Friday, a self-initiated family activity might include visiting a local tree farm and cutting your own evergreen for the holidays. Linking the holidays and environmental science, an examination of evergreen tree farming can help children learn about a non-food related form of sustainable farming. Tree farming contributes to oxygen production, provides food and habitat for variety of animal species, and doesn’t have a huge impact on the location in which it takes place. Read more in our post, Local Christmas Tree Farms: A Lens Into Environmental Science.

Friday, November 29, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/HOLIDAYS: Springfield Museums, home of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, invites you to celebrate with the Gingerbread: Hollywood and the Holidays exhibit and Family Fun Holiday Happenings/Countdown to Christmas from November 29 through December 31, 2019. An annual event, the Gingerbread exhibit puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Gingerbread features a multitude of artistic culinary creations accented by creative murals, festively decorated trees, and other enchanting elements. Stop in also to view Sweet: A Tasty Journey for a history of candy and a chance to experience hands-on FUN while learning. And don’t forget to visit the Grinch, the beloved curmudgeon who helps us all remember, “Maybe Christmas means just a little bit more!” Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Friday, November 29, 10am-4pm – ARTISAN TRADITIONS/GLASS BLOWING: Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear, and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s when glassblowing was raised to the level of art, led by German artist Hans Godo Frabel. This month families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glassblower in their glass studio. Learn about the art of glass blowing and walk away with your very own holiday keepsake… a great tradition to do with your family year after year! This glassblowing opportunity is part of Snow Farm’s Seconds Sale weekend, where 200 craftspeople from across the country sell their seconds. For ages 8+. Snow Farm-New England Craft. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Rd, Williamsburg, MA.

Friday, November 29, 10am-4pm – FOLK TRADITIONS/REDWARE POTTERY: Visitors to Historic Deerfield will meet talented craftspeople and observe their work up close at this Historic Trade demonstration, including Redware Pottery with Stephen Earp. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Friday, November 29, 11am – PLACEMAKING/BALLOON PARADE: Kick-off the holiday season in Springfield with the annual Spirit of Springfield Big Balloon Parade. Led by the giant Cat in the Hat balloon, the Spirit of Springfield parade will promenade down Main Street from Lyman Street to Margaret Street. Great opportunity to support learning about physics and similar holiday traditions, while joining in with 70,000 visitors to this annual event. Spirit of Springfield Big Balloon Parade. Main Street. Springfield, MA.

Friday, November 29, 11am-12noon – SANTA/AVIATION: The New England Air Museum will host jolly St. Nick! Come and have a “Selfie with Santa” aboard a Sikorsky Seaguard helicopter between 11am and 12noon. Santa is not coming empty-handed – his bag will be filled with a special gift for each child. Also, the museum will be conducting its popular “Behind the Scenes” Tour, which allows visitors to take a close-up look at some of the current restoration projects, including the wide-bodied Burnelli CBY-3 Loadmaster, Kaman HOK-1 helicopter, some vintage engines, and more. Tours start at 10:30am (the last tour begins at 2:30pm). Learn more about this and other programs and events at New England Air Museum. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT.

Friday, November 29, 11am-3pm – AGRICULTURE/WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Downtown Springfield Winter Farmers’ Market. Winter farmers’ markets provide a fresh and colorful oasis during the winter months, reminding us that despite the blustery, snow drift-covered fields that surround us, farm-fresh foods of all kinds are still available. Connecting to the local food chain year-round is not only healthy for your body, your family, and your community, but it can be educational as well! Exposing children to the vast array of foods available from winter farmers’ markets can help them to recognize that there are many different methods for growing and producing food while connecting to where their food comes. 1391 Main Street, 1st Floor. Springfield, MA.

Friday, November 29, 12-4pm – PHYSICS/MERRY GO ROUND: Are you someone who always picks a horse on the inside of the carousel, or do you ride one on the outside? All merry-go-round horses make one complete circle in the same amount of time. Still, the interior horses travel a much shorter distance in that time than the outer ones do, resulting in very different linear speeds. And what happens when you choose a stationary horse versus one that gallops up and down? Experience the fun of physics by bringing your kids, or grandkids, for a ride on the Holyoke Merry Go Round. Known as “Holyoke’s Happiness Machine,” the antique carousel with brightly painted wooden animals and calliope music is a sensory treat for young and old. It was once part of Mountain Park, an amusement park on the side of Mt. Tom, and was moved to Holyoke Heritage Park when Mountain Park closed in 1987. Enjoy a ride on the carousel, which will be covered in seasonal decorations. The Holyoke Merry-Go-Round. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton Street. Holyoke, MA.

Friday, November 29, 12noon-4:30pm – MYO GIFTS: “Hand-Made Gift Making” at Historic Deerfield in the History Workshop Building. Get started on your holiday gift list, have fun, and be creative. Learn to make a simple handmade gift that will be treasured by friends and family. Historic Deerfield will give you beautiful paper and a card to decorate too – all set and ready for giving. Gift making choices will be fun and easy for all ages. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Friday, November 29, 1-2:30pm – FAMILY WALK: Would you rather connect with nature and local history than compete with the Black Friday shopping crowds? How about a leisurely walk along the Canalside Rail Trail in Turners Falls? Best for families with children ages 8+. Dress for the weather. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, November 29, 1pm & 2:30pm – LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION/PICTURE BOOK: Picture Book Theatre presents its final season with performances at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Don’t miss their final show, The Littlest Matryoshka.The 40-minute family program brings this delightful picture book to life with music and large string puppets. Recommended for ages 5+, the story features Nina, the smallest of a group of Russian nesting dolls and her journey home to her sisters. Tickets are $5 per person (Members $4.50). Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Museum’s Admissions Desk or by calling 413-559-6336. Museum admission is not included or required. Book signing with author Corinne Demas to follow the program. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Friday, November 29, 1-2:30pm – GUIDED HIKE: Go Green on Black Friday. Feel better about that Thanksgiving indulgence. Avoid crowds at the stores. Instead, enjoy late-autumn splendor and stretch your legs with friends, family, and others on a DCR interpreter-guided hike at Mount Tom. Take in scenic vistas, see natural springs and vernal pools, peer into the park’s past – a former campground and old gravel and rock quarries. Hike over old roads, trails, hillsides, and occasional mud. Pace and terrain are moderate. The distance is approximately 2.5 miles in total. Free and for all ages. Dress for chilly weather. Wear clothes in layers, sturdy shoes or hiking boots, hats, and gloves. Bring water and a snack if you wish. Inclement weather cancels the hike. Call for last-minute updates. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 617-699-2387. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA.

Friday, November 29, 1-3pm – PLANT BIOLOGY/FERNS: Tree and Winter Fern Hike. The Pioneer Valley Fern Society is leading this hike at Mount Toby Forest, where participants will kike parts of the Robert Frost trail to the famous Sunderland Caves. Identify ferns, trees, and shrubs along the way. Learn about winter ferns, including Christmas fern, woodferns, and maidenhair spleenwort. This guided hike is a 2-mile hike on moderate terrain. Meet at the trailhead parking area on Reservation Road. Sunderland, MA.

Friday, November 29, 4-9pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls will once again kick off the holiday season. The popular annual “festival of lights” features thousands of luminaria lighting up the village filled with an eclectic variety of stores, galleries, and restaurants offering special holiday promotions, in-store treats, and holiday cheer. Vendors from across the valley contribute a rich assortment of items, including baked goods, maple products hand-crafted in the region, arts and crafts, delicious food, and hot drinks. The Iron Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic, creating a pedestrian mall so shoppers can stroll back and forth across the Deerfield River, enjoying events and shops on both sides of the river. At 5:15pm, shortly after the town officially lights up, the Parade of Lights will begin in Buckland across from Lamson Factory Outlet Store, featuring Santa, the Grinch and Max, Clifford, and the Snow Princess. The Parade marches down Conway Street, through the Village of Buckland and then crosses the Iron Bridge into Shelburne. Santa and Mrs. Claus continue to Santa’s Workshop at the Shelburne-Buckland Senior Center on Main Street. Moonlight Magic. 413-625-2526. Shelburne Falls, MA.

Friday, November 29, 5pm – PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY LIGHTING: Holiday lighting ceremonies are a form of placemaking, encouraging community members to meet and utilize common spaces in town. The Lighting of the Springfield Quadrangle highlights the spectacular architecture and beautifully landscaped grounds of the Quadrangle. This festive holiday celebration features appearances by Santa Claus and the Grinch, rides on a fanciful train, performances of holiday music and special guests, and visits to the Gingerbread exhibition in the Springfield Museums. Free warm beverages and cookies. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Friday, November 29, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, 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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