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

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With 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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Jan 1

Mark your calendars! On the first day of 2020, Hilltown Families and Flywheel are partnering again in the beloved annual New Year’s Day Morning Dance Party, a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids held at Flywheel Arts Collective on Wednesday, January 1, from 10am-12noon. New this year, local storyteller, Tom McCabe, will spin a yarn while folks enjoy a community pancake breakfast. After breakfast, families can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.“. This annual event is a fundraiser to benefit the work of Flywheel Arts Collective. Minimum suggested donation: $6/person. Start the new year with a New Year’s Day Music Dance Party. Save on the babysitter and dance away on the first morning of the new year! So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun! Flywheel Arts Collective. 413-527-9800. 43 Main St, Easthampton, MA.

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

Open House: Dec 8

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Admissions Open House event for interested families on 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.

Dec 13-15

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel through the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Live on stage December 13-15 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. A special Sensory and Family Safe Presentation on December 13 at 4pm has lighting and sound accommodations for a reduced sensory experience and is also ideal for young children. Select performances will have special guest entertainment and the chance to participate in a pre-show Storytime with Clara. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

Dec 13 – 15

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration revels in the return of the sun with a show full of music, dance, song, and story to drive the dark away. A myth of the importance of music in our lives is told with the help of magical beasts in the form of puppets. The show includes traditional songs and dances along with new material from Rose Sheehan, Welcome Yule’s founder and Colin De la Barre. Enjoy the Abbots Bromley Horn dance, a sword dance, the now-familiar carols, a mummers play, and the passing of the yule log. The Shea Theater, Turners Falls, MA. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13th &14th at 7:30pm, Sunday, Dec.15th at 2pm. Tickets: adults $15, children 5 – 16 years and seniors $12. For reservations and information, see www.welcomeyule.org.

Dec 13 – 24

Santa’s Trains at Look Park: 
A holiday tradition for the whole family! Enjoy a magical evening with Santa, Mrs. Claus and their favorite elves. The Garden House will be transformed into a beautiful train station. Watch as model trains whizz by, enjoy hot cocoa by the fire and of course, make sure you’re on the nice list! Santa’s Trains is open daily 4pm to 8pm December 13-23 and 10am to 2pm on December 24th. For more information visit: www.lookpark.org or call 413-584-5457.

Dec 14

You and your family are cordially invited to celebrate Emily Dickinson’s 189th birthday at her home, the Emily Dickinson Museum! On Saturday, December 14, join the Museum for a festive open house from 1-4pm. Tour the houses for free, enjoy the holiday decorations and live music, create an artistic postcard to add to their project, “The World Writes Back: Postcards to Emily Dickinson,” and enjoy coconut cake made from the poet’s own recipe. All are welcome, and no fee or reservations are required. Emily Dickinson Museum. 413-542-8161. 280 Main St, Amherst, MA.

Dec 21

Save the Date! This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with live Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to this one showing event on Saturday, December 21st at 3pm at the Academy of Music, Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $12-20. Information can be found at www.aomtheatre.com.

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.com; 978-684-2294.

New!

Imagine a cozy space where caretakers and their little people are invited to read, create, play, & linger together. Now place it in downtown Florence, right off the bike path—then add bike & stroller parking, comfy spots for relaxing & feeding, and a family-friendly bathroom. It’s High Five Books, a NEW independent kids’ community bookstore. High Five Books is the neighborhood go-to for new board & picture books, early- and middle-grade readers, YA books & graphic novels, plus art kits and other creative supplies. They share their welcoming space with Art Always, an art school for children & adults. They offer $5 daily drop-in art sessions, family literacy & art events, and snacks. And, of course, high fives anytime. www.highfivebooks.org

Holiday Shopping

“Curated toys for curious minds.” A2Z Science & Learning Toy Store, located in beautiful downtown Northampton, has a unique gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Knowledgeable and friendly staff will help you find quality toys for every age. A2Z has great developmental toys for infants and toddlers, programmable robots and sensory toys for kids, and fun strategy games and brainteasers for teens and adults! A2Z also has construction toys, books, stuffed animals, minerals, dress-up, remote control toys, crafts, and so much more! Click here for the A2Z Holiday Shopping Guide to see featured products. A2Z is located on 57 King Street across from Hotel Northampton. Look for the dinosaur! For more information, visit A2ZScience.com.

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
December 7-20, 2019

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

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

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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, December 7

Saturday, December 7, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/HOLIDAY SHOW: This episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, The Jolly Pops, the Happy Dads, guest host an hour of music and family fun celebrating the Holiday Season. Chompy the Alligator and Bacon the Pig take over for Mr. Billy who has gone Holiday shopping. They spin tunes, make a snowman and even enjoy a visit from Santa Claus himself. 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, December 7, 8:30am-12pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/CHRISTMAS: Westfield State University’s annual Breakfast With Santa event combines a community meal with entertainment, giving, and pictures with Santa! Connect with your community while engaging in cultural traditions and supporting local charities! The event will be held at Westfield State University. Scanlon Banquet Hall. 413-572-5300. 577 Western Avenue, Westfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 9am-2pm – WINTER SPORTS/OUTFITTING: Northampton Lion’s Club Annual Ski and Skate Sale. Outfit your winter adventures with new-to-you options and prepare yourself to enjoy the great outdoors this winter here in Western MA. The annual Ski and Sate Sale has an extensive collection of new and used ski and skate equipment at affordable prices, including skis, snowboards, cross country skis, skates, jackets, hats, and other winter clothing. Smith Vocational High School. 80 Locust Street (Route 9), Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 9am-3pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: St. John’s Christmas Fair. Start the Holiday season at the St. John’s Christmas Fair where you can find beautiful handcrafted gifts, snacks & sweets, and plenty of Christmas cheer! Meet Santa, sing Christmas Carols, and have a cup of warm cider. Your purchases help them to support local organizations like MANNA Soup Kitchen, Safe Passage, the Survival Center, the Interfaith Cot Shelter, and more. St. John’s Episcopal Church. 48 Elm Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 9am-6:30pm – PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY WALK The northern Berkshires kick off the holiday season with Williamstown’s Holiday Walk. This annual Holiday Walk often features old-fashioned caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice carving, and a visit from the jolliest of holiday icons, Santa Claus. A special Reindog Parade will take place at 3pm, featuring furry four-legged friends wearing festive antlers and other holiday canine garb. For details on specific events and more information and schedule, visit Williamstown Chamber of Commerce. Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 9:30am & 11am – SANTA/COMMUNITY MEAL: Start the holiday season with a visit from the quintessential Christmas icon: Santa Claus! This wonderful intergenerational holiday event features a buffet-style breakfast with Santa and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Located at Look Park’s beautiful and scenic Garden House, this event is the perfect opportunity to take pictures with Santa and enjoy a lovely meal with the community. Call right away to reserve tickets. There are two seating’s, 9:30am & 11am. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 9:30am-4:30pm – NON-COMMERCIAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING: It’s time again for the annual Northampton Winter Craft Fair! With nearly 100 juried artisans, live music, children’s book sale, and delicious food, this is a treasured community gathering for the whole family. Support local arts and crafts, right in time for the holiday season. Shopping for gifts at local craft fairs is a great way to invest in the local culture and economy and ensures that local artisans we value can continue doing their amazing creative work. Admission benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. Northampton High School. 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA.

December 7, 10am-12pm – FAMILY CENTER/SING-A-LONG: Snow Day Sing-a-Long. Annual fundraiser featuring live music by Andy & Brandee! Crafts for Kids. Milk and cookies. Easthampton Family Center. 43 Main St, Old Town Hall Building, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 10am-1pm – HOLIDAY SWAP/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION: Rather than buying new or frivolous items this holiday season, consider swapping while connecting with your neighbors and friends! The annual Hilltown Holiday Hob Nob will be held at the Village Church. Hobnob with your neighbors at this community holiday gift re-exchange. It can even help you clean out your closets and save money. Come with gift-quality items that you already have but do not need, are not using, or are ready to let go of. Books, toys, games, music, art gadgets, clothing, etc. are welcome. They don’t have to be perfect or in a box. Just know that they could make a great gift for someone else. Items will be displayed for others to choose as a gift that they would like to give for the holidays. And of course, while you are there, pick out anything that you might like to give as a gift. All items are given and taken freely. Please feel welcome to bring a small plate of goodies to share if you like. Hot cider and good company will be served. If you have any questions or want to leave items for re-giving in advance email HilltownCROW@protonmail.com or call 413-634-5031 x2 to make arrangements. Sponsored by: HilltownCROW ReUse Project and held at the Cummington Village Church. 32 Main St, Cummington, MA.

December 7, 10am-3pm – WINTER FAIR/MYO GIFTS: Winter Fair! An alternative to traditional holiday buying, this fun and participatory Winter Fair at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School 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. Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School. 413-529-7178. 1 Industrial Pkwy, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 10am-4pm – BOOKS/BOOK ART: Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair. Book fair featuring some of the best antiquarian booksellers, ephemera dealers, and book artists from New England and the Mid Atlantic states. Exhibits & sales, workshop, demonstrations, and speakers. A great event to learn about antiquarian books, maps, and prints, and to discover the art of fine letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, hand papermaking, typography, and more. Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 10am-5pm – OPEN STUDIOS: Shop local and handmade at the annual Cottage Street Holiday Open Studios and Sale. Over 50 local artists and artisans open up their studios inviting in the public to see their work, ask questions about their process, and to purchase handmade gifts for the holidays and themselves. It’s also a great opportunity to see this an old historic mill building, situated on Rt. 141 across from the Nashawanuck Pond and boardwalk. Five decades ago, it enclosed four cavernous acres of space. Riverside Industries purchased the building from JP Stevens Textiles, moved its programs in, and began renting over three maze-likee floors to bookbinders, a fine woodworking school, and an ever-growing community of artists. One Cottage Street has over 80 studios. It is now home to a lively community of regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized designers, craftspeople, and fine artists, many of whom have spent their careers here in good company honing their craft. Cottage Street Studios. 413-527-2711. 1 Cottage St. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 11am-4pm –YULETIDE/LIVING HISTORY: learn about historical New England life at a unique holiday festival at Storrowtown Village! Storrowtown Village is a hands-on educational setting that offers guided tours and unique seasonal events centering around 19th-century life. Beginning in 1926 at a venue for handicrafts exhibits, Storrowtown Village is comprised of several antique buildings, which are transformed into a winter wonderland during this magical event, created by local designers, florists, and master gardeners. In addition to tours led by costumed volunteers, this event will feature several musical performances, ice-sculpting demonstrations, puppet shows, and historical lectures. Yuletide is an excellent opportunity to learn about what the holidays in New England would have looked like over a hundred years ago. Storrowton Village Museum. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 12:30-3pm – GINGERBREAD BUILD: What candy would you use to make realistic foliage for a gingerbread house yard? What could you do with a Lifesaver? Watch as teams of four compete to build the best gingerbread house at Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Gingerbread Build at Eastworks. See if you can guess who will win judges’ awards such as past categories: “Best Use of the Color Green,” “Most Resembling a Sea Creature,” and “Most Resembling a Famous Landmark.” Intergenerational, creative free-play! Eastworks. 413-527-1000. 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 1-3:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Family Day: Portraits and Popcorn at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. Join the museum for this year’s festive family day. Enjoy a variety of portraiture-inspired crafts, art scavenger hunts, button-making, story-time, music, and refreshments. Free and open to the public. Visitors of all ages welcome. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. Lower Lake Rd, South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 3-8pm – NEW ENGLAND HISTORY/CHRISTMAS: Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with having created the first nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, in 1223. Francis’ nativity scene used live actors and animals and reenactments of this kind became enormously popular throughout Christian Europe. Eventually statues and miniatures took the place of live actors. In England, it became customary to bake a mince pie in the shape of manger and fill it with a baby Jesus. After the Puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century, these pies were prohibited as “idolaterie in crust.” Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight features a wide variety of old fashioned historical Christmas activities, including, of course, the famous nativity scene. This is a great opportunity to learn about how Christmas would have been celebrated in colonial New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 4pm – HOLIDAY STROLL/PLACEMAKING: Lenox Winterland. Come to downtown Lenox to enjoy some winter fun. See the beautifully decorated shops, have a hot chocolate or mulled wine, warm up by the outdoor fire, and participate in the festivity of the season. 4 Housatonic Street. Lenox, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 4pm – PLACEMAKING/TREE LIGHTING: City of Holyoke Christmas Tree Lighting & Parade of Lights. The city of Holyoke will be hosting its annual tree lighting and parade of lights! Mayor Alex Morse and the Holyoke High School Madrigal Choir will be welcoming the community for an evening of holiday cheer, music, crafts, and lights. Holyoke City Hall. 536 Dwight Street, Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 4:30-6pm – RESTAURANT HISTORY: A Century of Restaurants in Northampton: A Public Talk. Restaurant historian Jan Whitaker will present an illustrated history of Northampton’s restaurants of the 20th century. Jan will discuss the town’s prominent and influential restaurants of the past, along with its ordinary and forgotten places. She will look at the highs and lows of the city’s restaurant history, from the Great Depression to the “renaissance” of the 70s and 80s. Pre-registration is required. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 5-6pm – PLACEMAKING/TREE LIGHTING: Community traditions help to increase our sense of belonging. They are shared experiences, which bond us to each other and to the place we call home. The Whately community for their annual lighting of the library tree and celebrate with hot drinks and baked goods! Whately Library. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 5-7pm – DANCE STUDIES/NUTCRACKER: Enjoy dance performance and bring in holiday cheer during On Winter’s Wing: An Amherst Ballet Presentation, a show which will include class presentations (ballet, modern, and hip hop) and excerpts from the Nutcracker. Totman Performance Lab, UMass Amherst. 30 Eastman Lane, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 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, December 7, 5-11pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 5:30-7:30pm – SPORTS/CURLING: Learn to Curl. Always wanted to try curling? Here’s another chance! Learn everything you need to know and even play a short game. Boys & Girls Club Of The Berkshires. 413-448-8258. 16 Melville Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 6pm – PARADE & TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY/PLACEMAKING: Seasonal use of third-spaces likes Main Streets and town commons highlight a town’s heritage and common areas through annual community celebrations. Westfield, also known as “Whip City” for its industrial history of whip production at the turn of the 19th century, host Decemberfest each year, a community-wide holiday celebration spearheaded by Westfield on Weekends. Decemberfest includes a Lantern Light Parade with giant puppets, floats, Santa Claus, live music, caroling, and hundreds of community marchers carrying lite lanterns. The parade steps off at 6:15pm from Franklin Street to Park Square Green for a tree lighting ceremony at 6:30pm. During the afternoon, an intergenerational Lantern-Making Party takes place at the local school from 9-3pm. WOW Decemberfest. 413-579-5967. Franklin Street. Westfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 6-9pm – PLACEMAKING/CAROLING: Holiday Caroling & Concert on Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. Few activities can evoke the feelings of holiday cheer like caroling! Come together as a community and sing your heart out, and enjoy the luminaries as you stroll along Main Street in Stockbridge. Main Street Historic District. Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, Dec 7Sunday, Dec 8Monday, Dec 9Tuesday, Dec 10Wednesday, Dec 11Thursday, Dec 12Friday, Dec 13Saturday, Dec 14Sunday, Dec 15Monday, Dec 16Tuesday, Dec 17Wednesday, Dec 18Thursday, Dec 19Friday, Dec 20

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8

Sunday, December 8, 7-8am – FAMILY RADIO/HOLIDAY SHOW: This episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, The Jolly Pops, the Happy Dads, guest host an hour of music and family fun celebrating the Holiday Season. Chompy the Alligator and Bacon the Pig take over for Mr. Billy who has gone Holiday shopping. They spin tunes, make a snowman and even enjoy a visit from Santa Claus himself. 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!

Sunday, December 8, 10am-4pm – NON-COMMERICAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING: It’s time again for the annual Northampton Winter Craft Fair! With nearly 100 juried artisans, live music, children’s book sale, and delicious food, this is a treasured community gathering for the whole family. Support local arts and crafts, right in time for the holiday season. Shopping for gifts at local craft fairs is a great way to invest in the local culture and economy and ensures that local artisans we value can continue doing their amazing creative work. Admission benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. Northampton High School. 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 10am-5pm – OPEN STUDIOS: Shop local and handmade at the annual Cottage Street Holiday Open Studios and Sale. Over 50 local artists and artisans open up their studios inviting in the public to see their work, ask questions about their process, and to purchase handmade gifts for the holidays and themselves. It’s also a great opportunity to see this an old historic mill building, situated on Rt. 141 across from the Nashawanuck Pond and boardwalk. Five decades ago, it enclosed four cavernous acres of space. Riverside Industries purchased the building from JP Stevens Textiles, moved its programs in, and began renting over three maze-likee floors to bookbinders, a fine woodworking school, and an ever-growing community of artists. One Cottage Street has over 80 studios. It is now home to a lively community of regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized designers, craftspeople, and fine artists, many of whom have spent their careers here in good company honing their craft. Cottage Street Studios. 413-527-2711. 1 Cottage St. Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 11am-1pm – 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! Bread Euphoria Bakery & Café. 413-268-7757. 206 Main Street. Haydenville, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 11am-3pm – NON-COMMERCIAL/HANDMADE: Friends of Whately Public Library Handmade Holiday Craft Fair. Whately Library. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 11am-4pm –YULETIDE/LIVING HISTORY: learn about historical New England life at a unique holiday festival at Storrowtown Village! Storrowtown Village is a hands-on educational setting that offers guided tours and unique seasonal events centering around 19th-century life. Beginning in 1926 at a venue for handicrafts exhibits, Storrowtown Village is comprised of several antique buildings, which are transformed into a winter wonderland during this magical event, created by local designers, florists, and master gardeners. In addition to tours led by costumed volunteers, this event will feature several musical performances, ice-sculpting demonstrations, puppet shows, and historical lectures. Yuletide is an excellent opportunity to learn about what the holidays in New England would have looked like over a hundred years ago. Storrowton Village Museum. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 12-2:30pm – HIGHER EDUCATION: Education Club’s College for Kids Event. The University of Massachusetts Education Club hosts Out-Of-This-World activities geared towards children ages 6-12, with events like building, a scavenger hunt, acting, arts and crafts, and more. UMass. Furcolo Hall. 813 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 12-4pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS/ARCHITECTURE: DecemberFest 2019 Holiday House Tours. What helps you celebrate the spirit of the holidays? Tour the beautiful homes in Westfield; all decked out in holiday cheer. Make your way down to the RInnova Building to grab your Holiday House Tour guide book, and then continue on a self-guided tour of 8 area homes that have been beautifully decorated for the Holiday Season. From the Colonial style Dewey House on South Maple St. to a Cape home on Tannery Rd; a Queen Anne Victorian on Hawthorne Ave to an Italianate style home on Chestnut St. Westfield On Weekends. RInnova Building. 413-579-5967. 105 Elm St, Westfield, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 1pm – EDUCATION/OPEN HOUSE: The Academy at Charlemont will host two Admissions Open House events for interested families 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, December 8, 2-5pm – TOWN PARTY/SANTA: Christmas Party at the Chester Railway. Santa Claus is coming to town with Mrs. Santa as part of the Annual Chester Railway Station “Thank You to the Town” Christmas Party. The pair plan to arrive via horse-drawn carriage at about 3:30pm. Join in the fun. Cookie or goodie donations most welcome. Chester Railway Station. 413-354-7878. 10 Prospect St, Chester, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 3-5pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/HISTORICAL FICTION: The Friends of the Chesterfield Library are sponsoring a talk by local author Joe Gannon. Joe will speak about the challenges of writing historical fiction, that is, how to deal with earlier realities that may be uncomfortable for modern readers. There will be time for Q&A, and refreshments will be served. The program is free, although donations to the FOL are encouraged. Chesterfield Community Center. 400 Main Rd, Chesterfield, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 3-8pm – HISTORY/CHRISTMAS: Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with having created the first nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, in 1223. Francis’ nativity scene used live actors and animals and reenactments of this kind became enormously popular throughout Christian Europe. Eventually statues and miniatures took the place of live actors. In England, it became customary to bake a mince pie in the shape of manger and fill it with a baby Jesus. After the Puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century, these pies were prohibited as “idolaterie in crust.” Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight features a wide variety of old fashioned historical Christmas activities, including, of course, the famous nativity scene. This is a great opportunity to learn about how Christmas would have been celebrated in colonial New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge,

Sunday, December 8, 4-6pm – HOLIDAY CLASSICS/READING: Hanukkah, Christmas, and Winter Stories, an annual reading of seasonal and holiday classics that celebrate this time of wonder. Selections include: Just Enough is Plenty by Barbara Diamond Goldin, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, Coming Home by Michael Morpurgo,The Scallop Christmas by Jane Freeberg, and The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Everyone is welcome. Come read or listen while enjoying holiday treats and warm drinks. Please bring a donation for the Hilltown Pantry or something warm to wear for those in need, or something to share with our animal friends in shelters if you can. Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 4pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CHRISTMAS VESPERS: Amherst College Vespers: A Festival of Christmas Readings and Carols. The holiday season is never complete without singing! Amherst College celebrates with its annual Christmas Vespers performance. Families are invited to participate in lessons and carols, culminating in traditional hymns and the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah to be performed with the congregation, the community, and various choral groups from Amherst College. Presented by Amherst College Choral Society and the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life. The event will take place in Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 4-5:30pm & 7:30-9pm – MUSIC STUDIES/VESPERS: The word “vespers” comes from the Latin word for “evening” and originally meant the daily hymns and prayers that were recited in the evening as opposed to the morning or midday prayers. Over the centuries, vespers became a great inspiration to classical music composers from Mozart to Vivaldi to Rachmaninoff. Start the holiday season off with a bang with an evening of beautiful music brought to you by the Smith College Chorus, Chamber Singers, Orchestra, and Handbell Choir. This annual Christmas Vespers recital at Smith College Performing Arts of carols and other holiday music has been a great local favorite for decades! John M. Greene Hall. 413-584-2700. 60 Elm Street, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 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, December 8, 5-9pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

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Monday, December 9

Monday, December 9, 5-9pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 9, 7-8:30pm – PAPERCRAFTS/GIFTS: Homemade Cards, Boxes, and Gift Tags Workshop, an evening of creating one-of-a-kind holiday greetings. Get into the spirit of the season and make very personal greetings. Learn how to make easy little boxes out of cards or card stock. Preregister. Cushman Library. 413-648-5402. 28 Church St, Bernardston, MA.

Monday, December 9, 7:30-10:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/ORCHESTRA: UMass Amherst Symphony Orchestra, hosted by UMass Amherst Department of Music and Dance. UMass Fine Arts Center. 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Dr, Amherst, MA.


Tuesday, December 10

Tuesday, December 10, 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 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!” Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 1-2pm – PAPER CRAFTS/ORIGAMI: Make an Origami Crane. . Create a beautiful, cascading mobile with colorful origami cranes and simple materials. Learn to fold origami cranes, and make and balance a mobile. No prior experience is required. This is a two part program. Supplies provided by the Friends of Springfield City Library. For lifelong learners. Springfield Central Library. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 5-9pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 5:30-6:30pm – ORNITHOLOGY/CROWS: In Lawrence, MA, as many as 27,000 crows roosting every night! Join Bob and Dana Fox for the Fabulous Winter Crow Roost where they will share their observations of the crows staging and roosting. Why do crows do this? Where do they go during the day? What are the patterns observed each winter? See their amazing photographs while learning about this highly intelligent bird and their unusual roosting phenomena. You will want to go out and observe a crow roost when they finish! Read more on their blog, http://www.wintercrowroost.com. Best for self-directed teens and lifelong learners. Northfield Mountain. 413-659-3714. 99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63, Northfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 5:30-7:30pm – FRENCH CULTURE/COMMUNITY MEAL: ARHS 5th French/Francophone Dinner, a night of cultural experience and delicious Francophone cuisine presented by the ARHS French students and the French Club. The cultural show will include poetry, music, singing, and more! For more information: waskiewiczmj@arps.org; cisseo@arps.org. Amherst-Pelham Regional High School. 21 Matoon St. Amherst, MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 6:30-8pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CHORAL: Northampton Community Music Center’s Annual Holiday Choral Festival. This concert showcases eight local choral groups, free and open to the public. First Churches of Northampton. 413-584-9392. 129 Main St, Northampton, MA.


Wednesday, December 11

Wednesday, December 11, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Wednesday, December 11, 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.

Wednesday, December 11, 5-9pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Wednesday, December 11, 5:30-8:30pm – CULTURAL & FOOD STUDIES/POLISH TRADITIONS: The Polish Center of Discovery and Learning at Elms College and the Polish Junior League of Massachusetts are jointly hosting a Polish Christmas Wigilia Dinner. The program includes sharing the traditions of Wigilia, Kolendy (“Kolędy” in Polish) the singing of Christmas carols in Polish and English, and a traditional menu. Held at the Ludlow Country Club. 648 East St. Ludlow, MA.

Wednesday, December 11, 6:30-8:30pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/ZINES: As countercultural philosopher Alan Watts said in 1967: “Our educational system, in its entirety, does nothing to give us any kind of material competence. In other words, we don’t learn how to cook, how to make clothes, how to build houses […], or to do any of the absolutely fundamental things of life. The whole education that we get for our children in school is entirely in terms of abstractions. It trains you to be an insurance salesman or a bureaucrat, or some kind of cerebral character.” The DIY, or Do it Yourself movement, seeks to address this lack of practical skills in education by encouraging people to learn how to build, modify, and create without professional expertise. Zines are a perfect example of the DIY ethos. The Forbes Library Zine Club is the perfect place to get together with others and write, draw, and collaborate! Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.


Thursday, December 12

Thursday, December 12, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Thursday, December 12, 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, December 12, 5-9pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.


Friday, December 13

Friday, December 13, 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, December 13, 11:30am-1:20pm – ICE SKATING: Are you a homeschool or unschooling family? The Mullins Center offers a weekday public ice skate for families to attend. Great opportunity for physical activity while making community connections. Ice skate rentals are free and guardian’s skates for free. All families are welcome. Mullins Center. 413-545-3040. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA.

Friday, December 13, 2-9pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: RiverCulture presents “It’s A Wonderful Night in Turners Falls.” Holiday activities for the whole family are planned throughout downtown: art exhibitions, live music, restaurant specials, performances, and unique gift buying opportunities. Join your neighbors for the annual lighting of the town evergreen, visit with Santa, take in a local performance, make your own gifts, and shop local for the holidays! Downtown. Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, December 13, 3-8pm – HISTORY/CHRISTMAS: Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with having created the first nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, in 1223. Francis’ nativity scene used live actors and animals and reenactments of this kind became enormously popular throughout Christian Europe. Eventually statues and miniatures took the place of live actors. In England, it became customary to bake a mince pie in the shape of manger and fill it with a baby Jesus. After the Puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century, these pies were prohibited as “idolaterie in crust.” Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight features a wide variety of old fashioned historical Christmas activities, including, of course, the famous nativity scene. This is a great opportunity to learn about how Christmas would have been celebrated in colonial New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge,

Friday, December 13, 4-5pm – ARCHITECTURE/SUSTAINABILITY: Did you know the Hitchcock Center is a Living Building? It is designed to model systems in nature, it’s net-zero energy and water, has composting toilets, and has been made with responsibly sourced non-toxic materials. Learn what makes our building a unique teaching tool, empowering visitors to ask, “what does sustainability look like in the built environment and my community?” Arrive curious with your questions! Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA.

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

Friday, December 13, 4-8pm – COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION/TOY EXCHANGE: Cleaning out old toy bins? Got some well-loved toys that are collecting dust? Or an old favorite that has since been neglected in favor of a shiny new toy? Donating these treasure to the annual Holiday Toy Exchange is a great way to help families save money during the holiday season and cut down on waste in your community. Donate your old toys instead of throwing them away or hoarding them in musty closets, never again to see the light of day! An old toy might become another child’s most beloved friend. Toy donations must be clean, in working order and complete (no missing pieces) and will be collected in the school cafeteria. Collected toys are offered free of charge to the general public from 10-11am. Participants are asked to leave children safely at home in the care of others on Saturday. The annual Toy Exchange is brought to you by Northampton ReUse and held at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA.

Friday, December 13, 4pm & 7pm – BALLET/THE NUTCRACKER: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel through the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Live on stage December 13-15 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. A special Sensory and Family Safe Presentation on December 13 at 4pm has lighting and sound accommodations for a reduced sensory experience and is also ideal for young children. Select performances will have special guest entertainment and the chance to participate in a pre-show Storytime with Clara. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org. Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, December 13, 4-8pm – HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDE/CHRISTMAS: Santa’s Trains at Look Park, a beloved holiday tradition for families throughout the Pioneer Valley runs nightly through December 23. The Garden House, transformed into a Victorian-style Train Depot complete with model rail cars whizzing through miniature villages, will surprise and delight children of all ages. Kids can share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy a holiday cookie and cocoa by the fire. Be marveled by the magic of the season. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Friday, December 13, 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, December 32, 5-11pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Friday, December 13, 7pm – CLASSIC LITERATURE/CHRISTMAS: A Christmas Carol. Adapted from a full-length version, this hour-long performance features the recreation of a 1930s production being broadcast live from the radio studio. The show is complete with six actors in period costume, gathered around standing microphones and voicing multiple characters. A Christmas Carol will feature creative sound effects that recreates the excitement of the early days of live sound production with an assortment of weird-looking and -sounding machines which he wields in full view of the audience during the course of the show. Period commercials spice up the station identification breaks! Says the director of this performance, “A Christmas Carol is a perfect theater piece for a holiday revival because it not only entertains an audience but it directly addresses the meaning of being human. It engages and delights the youngest to the oldest member of an audience.” Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Friday, December 13, 7:30pm – YULE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration revels in the return of the sun with a show full of music, dance, song, and story to drive the dark away. A myth of the importance of music in our lives is told with the help of magical beasts in the form of puppets. The show includes traditional songs and dances along with new material from Rose Sheehan, Welcome Yule’s founder and Colin De la Barre. Enjoy the Abbots Bromley Horn dance, a sword dance, the now-familiar carols, a mummers play, and the passing of the yule log. Tickets: adults $15, children 5 – 16 years and seniors $12. For reservations and information, see www.welcomeyule.org. Performance will be held at the Shea Theater Arts Center. 413-648-7432. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, December 13, 7:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CHORUS: embraces historical performance practice to illuminate and invigorate the great Western heritage of vocal and instrumental music. Join them for Handel’s ​Messiah, their annual, signature performance with the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys of Albany, soloists, and guest conductor Woodrow Bynum. Our Lady of the Valley Parish. 33 Adams St. Easthampton, MA.

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Saturday, December 14

Saturday, December 14, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/LOVING KINDNESS: What does it mean to be a Love Activist? In this Hilltown Family Variety Show Love Activist Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMband, Charity takes listeners on a musical and philosophical journey examining how we all, whether young or old, can use our love, kindness, time, resources and gifts to bring positive change to the world. 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, December 14, 9am-3pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: MassMutual Center is hosting their Annual Wonderland Workshop to celebrate the holiday season. This family-friendly event will feature various interactive stations, including cookie decorating, craft making, and writing letters to Santa. Guests can indulge in one-of-a-kind treats and trinkets from local vendors displayed throughout the Wonderland Workshop’s holiday promenade. Families are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for a drive to benefit local charities. MassMutual Center. 413-787-6610. 1277 Main St, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 10-11am – ZOOLOGY/ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Saturday Family Science: Nocturnal Life. When the sun sets, many of us get ready for rest, but there is a whole world that is just waking up! Get ready for some night life (during the day) and learn about why and how some animals are active while we’re all asleep. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 10am-12pm – PHOTOGRAPHY/GUIDED HIKE: Greylock Photography Group Meet-Up: White Birches in Winter. Welcome nature lovers and photo friends to the second gathering of the newly formed Mt Greylock Photography Group! This group is for everyone who loves nature and Mount Greylock and would love more opportunities to photograph the natural beauty of our majestic mountain! On this outing, meet at the Gould Trailhead parking lot on West Mountain Road in Adams and walk along the trails through extensive, picturesque white (paper) birch tree groves on the East side of the mountain, with stunning views up to the Summit! NOTE: Trails may be snow-covered or icy. Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring along your camera or your cell-phone. All interest and skill levels are welcome! This program is free and open to all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 10am-12noon – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: Maker Lab: Gingerbread Houses. Make your own simple gingerbread house and decorate the scene to your heart’s content. All ages. Drop-in. Hatfield Public Library. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street, Hatfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 10am-3:30pm – ART STUDIES/PICTURE BOOK ART: Celebrate the opening of Now & Then: Contemporary Illustrators and their Childhood Art on Sat., Dec. 14 at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art w/exhibiting artists Elisa Kleven, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Barbara Lehman, Grace Lin, Raúl the Third, Shadra Strickland, Don Tate, and Evan Turk. See their childhood art displayed next to their professional picture book art. Co-curator Jarrett J. Krosoczka will lead Now & Then artists in a series of fun drawing activities in the morning, while co-curator Grace Lin will lead artists in an afternoon discussion on ways to support the growing creativity of young artists. Plus, book signings, art activities & drop-in workshop w/Elisa Kleven to explore Texture Collages. Schedule at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 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.

Saturday, December 14, 10am-5pm – OPEN STUDIOS: Shop local and handmade at the annual Cottage Street Holiday Open Studios and Sale. Over 50 local artists and artisans open up their studios inviting in the public to see their work, ask questions about their process, and to purchase handmade gifts for the holidays and themselves. It’s also a great opportunity to see this an old historic mill building, situated on Rt. 141 across from the Nashawanuck Pond and boardwalk. Five decades ago, it enclosed four cavernous acres of space. Riverside Industries purchased the building from JP Stevens Textiles, moved its programs in, and began renting over three maze-likee floors to bookbinders, a fine woodworking school, and an ever-growing community of artists. One Cottage Street has over 80 studios. It is now home to a lively community of regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized designers, craftspeople, and fine artists, many of whom have spent their careers here in good company honing their craft. Cottage Street Studios. 413-527-2711. 1 Cottage St. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 10am-9pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: “A Special Day in Northfield” is an annual, non-commercial community holiday celebration that offers families an opportunity to explore, be creative, and enjoy what Northfield has to offer! Local artists and antiques stores will be open, too, so if you want to do any holiday shopping, you can shop locally and/or handmade. Northfield’s Main Street and Back Roads. Northfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 1pm & 4:30pm – BALLET/THE NUTCRACKER: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel through the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Select performances will have special guest entertainment and the chance to participate in a pre-show Storytime with Clara. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org. Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 1-4pm – HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE/POETRY:You and your family are cordially invited to celebrate Emily Dickinson’s 189th birthday at her home, the Emily Dickinson Museum! On Saturday, December 14, join the Museum for a festive open house from 1-4pm. Tour the houses for free, enjoy the holiday decorations and live music, create an artistic postcard to add to their project, “The World Writes Back: Postcards to Emily Dickinson,” and enjoy coconut cake made from the poet’s own recipe. All are welcome, and no fee or reservations are required. Emily Dickinson Museum. 413-542-8161. 280 Main St, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 3-6pm – MUSIC STUDIES/SYMPHONY: Holiday Pops with the Pioneer Valley Symphony. Join PVS Holiday Pops concert, featuring Thompson’s Frostiana. Frostiana was commissioned in 1958 for the 200th anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Amherst, MA and composed in 1959 in Gstaad, Switzerland. The piece consists of a song cycle consisting of seven of Robert Frost’s poems including his well-known “The Road Not Taken.” The piece is scored for mixed choir in three of the seven movements, the other four movements are scored for either men or women only. Enjoy selections of holiday favorites performed by their orchestra, chorus, chamber chorus and youth orchestra. Revel in the season during intermission with special activities for kids and families and delicious treats. Greenfield High School. 21 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 3-8pm – NEW ENGLAND HISTORY/CHRISTMAS: Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with having created the first nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, in 1223. Francis’ nativity scene used live actors and animals and reenactments of this kind became enormously popular throughout Christian Europe. Eventually statues and miniatures took the place of live actors. In England, it became customary to bake a mince pie in the shape of manger and fill it with a baby Jesus. After the Puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century, these pies were prohibited as “idolaterie in crust.” Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight features a wide variety of old fashioned historical Christmas activities, including, of course, the famous nativity scene. This is a great opportunity to learn about how Christmas would have been celebrated in colonial New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 4-8pm – HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDE/CHRISTMAS: Santa’s Trains at Look Park, a beloved holiday tradition for families throughout the Pioneer Valley runs nightly through December 23. The Garden House, transformed into a Victorian-style Train Depot complete with model rail cars whizzing through miniature villages, will surprise and delight children of all ages. Kids can share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy a holiday cookie and cocoa by the fire. Be marveled by the magic of the season. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 4:30pm – SINGING/CULTURAL TRADITIONS: Annual Cottage Street Sings. Communal singing is a vibrant part of many cultural traditions from around the world. In that spirit, the Cottage Street Cultural District will host a public singing event that aims to bring together members of the community to celebrate winter seasonal music of a wide variety of cultures, faiths, and traditions. Participants will sing seasonal songs from a variety of religious and cultural traditions. Cottage Street Sings also coincides with Art Walk, which will feature many venues in the district and throughout Easthampton. Cultural District is an initiative of Easthampton City Arts and the City of Easthampton. The event will take place on the Cottage Street promenade along Nashawannuck Pond at the entryway to the cultural district. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 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, December 14, 5-11pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 7pm – CLASSIC LITERATURE/CHRISTMAS: A Christmas Carol. Adapted from a full-length version, this hour-long performance features the recreation of a 1930s production being broadcast live from the radio studio. The show is complete with six actors in period costume, gathered around standing microphones and voicing multiple characters. A Christmas Carol will feature creative sound effects that recreates the excitement of the early days of live sound production with an assortment of weird-looking and -sounding machines which he wields in full view of the audience during the course of the show. Period commercials spice up the station identification breaks! Says the director of this performance, “A Christmas Carol is a perfect theater piece for a holiday revival because it not only entertains an audience but it directly addresses the meaning of being human. It engages and delights the youngest to the oldest member of an audience.” Centennial House, 94 Main Street, Northfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14, 7:30pm – YULE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration revels in the return of the sun with a show full of music, dance, song, and story to drive the dark away. A myth of the importance of music in our lives is told with the help of magical beasts in the form of puppets. The show includes traditional songs and dances along with new material from Rose Sheehan, Welcome Yule’s founder and Colin De la Barre. Enjoy the Abbots Bromley Horn dance, a sword dance, the now-familiar carols, a mummers play, and the passing of the yule log. Tickets: adults $15, children 5 – 16 years and seniors $12. For reservations and information, see www.welcomeyule.org. Performance will be held at the Shea Theater Arts Center. 413-648-7432. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, Dec 7Sunday, Dec 8Monday, Dec 9Tuesday, Dec 10Wednesday, Dec 11Thursday, Dec 12Friday, Dec 13Saturday, Dec 14Sunday, Dec 15Monday, Dec 16Tuesday, Dec 17Wednesday, Dec 18Thursday, Dec 19Friday, Dec 20

Sunday, December 15

Sunday, December 15, 7-8am – FAMILY RADIO/LOVING KINDNESS: What does it mean to be a Love Activist? In this Hilltown Family Variety Show Love Activist Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMband, Charity takes listeners on a musical and philosophical journey examining how we all, whether young or old, can use our love, kindness, time, resources and gifts to bring positive change to the world. 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!

Sunday, December 15, 10am-12noon – COMMUNITY MEAL/SANTA: Breakfast with Santa at Holyoke High School. Join Nana and her Elves for their 2nd Annual Breakfast with Santa. This year will feature pictures with Santa and Mrs.Claus, caroling and coloring, and a delicious breakfast buffet from Hamel’s of Holyoke. All proceeds help Nana Facetti’s Elves bring gifts to kids & teens in shelters in Holyoke this Christmas. Santa Claus will arrive at 10:30am and take photos with the kids. Holyoke High School. 303 Beech St. Holyoke, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 11am, 2pm, & 4:30pm – BALLET/NUTCRACKER: Massachusetts Academy of Ballet presents Nutcracker & Sweets at Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke’s most beloved holiday traditions. This unique, historical interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s classical ballet is presented through narration and dance, in the historic setting of Wistariahurst. Student dancers perform the magical story with a local historical twist and lively choreography. Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 12:30-1:30pm – NUTCRACKER/TEA PARTY: Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party. Be transported into a magical fairyland while enjoying an encore broadcast of The Nutcracker in the Clark’s auditorium. Sweeten the experience by starting the afternoon at the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea Party, featuring sweet and savory treats, hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. Make reservations ASAP. Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St, Williamstown, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 1-2:50pm – ICE SKATING/SANTA: Skate with Santa! Grab your skates ( or rent them) and join Santa on the ice. Amelia Park Arena. 413-568-2503. 21 South Broad St. Westfield, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 1pm & 4:30pm – BALLET/THE NUTCRACKER: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel through the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Select performances will have special guest entertainment and the chance to participate in a pre-show Storytime with Clara. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org. Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 1-3pm – CITIZEN SCIENCE/ORNITHOLOGY: Christmas Bird Count for Kids and Families. Do you want to learn more about birds? Would you like to contribute to science? Join birdwatchers all over America in the Christmas Bird Count (CBC)! The CBC is a 119-year old event in which bird lovers of all ages and skill levels count all the birds they see in a 24-hour period in December. At this program, participants meet at the Hitchcock Center for an indoor program about how to recognize common birds, followed by an outdoor bird count. Educator Katie Koerten will facilitate a bird count for kids and their families on the grounds of the Hitchcock Center. Stay as long as you wish. Don’t miss this opportunity to contribute to a real bird census! Sponsored by Hampshire Bird Club. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 2pm – YULE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration revels in the return of the sun with a show full of music, dance, song, and story to drive the dark away. A myth of the importance of music in our lives is told with the help of magical beasts in the form of puppets. The show includes traditional songs and dances along with new material from Rose Sheehan, Welcome Yule’s founder and Colin De la Barre. Enjoy the Abbots Bromley Horn dance, a sword dance, the now-familiar carols, a mummers play, and the passing of the yule log. Tickets: adults $15, children 5 – 16 years and seniors $12. For reservations and information, see www.welcomeyule.org. Performance will be held at the Shea Theater Arts Center. 413-648-7432. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 3-8pm – NEW ENGLAND HISTORY/CHRISTMAS: Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with having created the first nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, in 1223. Francis’ nativity scene used live actors and animals and reenactments of this kind became enormously popular throughout Christian Europe. Eventually statues and miniatures took the place of live actors. In England, it became customary to bake a mince pie in the shape of manger and fill it with a baby Jesus. After the Puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century, these pies were prohibited as “idolaterie in crust.” Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight features a wide variety of old fashioned historical Christmas activities, including, of course, the famous nativity scene. This is a great opportunity to learn about how Christmas would have been celebrated in colonial New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 4pm – CLASSIC LITERATURE/CHRISTMAS: A Christmas Carol. Adapted from a full-length version, this hour-long performance features the recreation of a 1930s production being broadcast live from the radio studio. The show is complete with six actors in period costume, gathered around standing microphones and voicing multiple characters. A Christmas Carol will feature creative sound effects that recreates the excitement of the early days of live sound production with an assortment of weird-looking and -sounding machines which he wields in full view of the audience during the course of the show. Period commercials spice up the station identification breaks! Says the director of this performance, “A Christmas Carol is a perfect theater piece for a holiday revival because it not only entertains an audience but it directly addresses the meaning of being human. It engages and delights the youngest to the oldest member of an audience.” The Deerfield Inn, 81 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 4-8pm – HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDE/CHRISTMAS: Santa’s Trains at Look Park, a beloved holiday tradition for families throughout the Pioneer Valley runs nightly through December 23. The Garden House, transformed into a Victorian-style Train Depot complete with model rail cars whizzing through miniature villages, will surprise and delight children of all ages. Kids can share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy a holiday cookie and cocoa by the fire. Be marveled by the magic of the season. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Sunday, December 15, 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, December 15, 5-11pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, Dec 7Sunday, Dec 8Monday, Dec 9Tuesday, Dec 10Wednesday, Dec 11Thursday, Dec 12Friday, Dec 13Saturday, Dec 14Sunday, Dec 15Monday, Dec 16Tuesday, Dec 17Wednesday, Dec 18Thursday, Dec 19Friday, Dec 20

Monday, December 16

Monday, December 16, 4-8pm – HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDE/CHRISTMAS: Santa’s Trains at Look Park, a beloved holiday tradition for families throughout the Pioneer Valley runs nightly through December 23. The Garden House, transformed into a Victorian-style Train Depot complete with model rail cars whizzing through miniature villages, will surprise and delight children of all ages. Kids can share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy a holiday cookie and cocoa by the fire. Be marveled by the magic of the season. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Monday, December 16, 5-9pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Monday, December 16, 6:30-8pm – MYO ORNAMENTS/CREATIVE FREE-PLAY:  Caregivers, join your kiddos for the workshop Handmade Ornaments Workshop for Kids & Their Adults. Learn how to make a few different types of Christmas ornaments and have access to the library’s craft supplies where participants can combine their creative, whimsical, and loving thoughts into unique handcrafted ornaments to give and treasured for years to come. Preregistration is required. Cushman Library. 413-648-5402. 28 Church St, Bernardston, MA.


Tuesday, December 17

Tuesday, December 17, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Tuesday, December 17, 5-9pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 17, 7:30pm – DATE NIGHT/AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC: Keb’ Mo’s Jingle Bell Jamboree with Alicia Michilli. Keb’ Mo’ is a modern master of American roots music, keeping the Blues alive with the ability to demand the attention of broad audiences spanning the globe. Alicia Michilli is a R&B /Soul artist, fresh off the road opening for Grammy winning Taj Mahal and Keb Mo on their 2018 TajMo tour. Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA.


Wednesday, December 18

Wednesday, December 18, 4-5pm – STORYTELLING: Firefly in a Fir Tree Story Hour is beautiful version of the twelve days of Christmas. After the story, participate in a a thematic craft and snack. Cushman Library. 413-648-5402. 28 Church St, Bernardston, MA.

Wednesday, December 18, 4-5pm – STORIES/SONGS: Polar Express & Christmas Carol Hour. Ceebs Bernon will present his rendition of The Polar Express. He and his friends from Berkshire Hills Music Academy will also sing Christmas carols. South Hadley Public Library. 413-538-5045. 2 Canal St, South Hadley, MA.

Wednesday, December 18, 4-8pm – HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDE/CHRISTMAS: Santa’s Trains at Look Park, a beloved holiday tradition for families throughout the Pioneer Valley runs nightly through December 23. The Garden House, transformed into a Victorian-style Train Depot complete with model rail cars whizzing through miniature villages, will surprise and delight children of all ages. Kids can share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy a holiday cookie and cocoa by the fire. Be marveled by the magic of the season. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Wednesday, December 18, 5-9pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Wednesday, December 18, 6-7:45pm – AROMATHERAPY/MYO GIFTS: Aromatherapy 101 with a Holiday Twist. Make your own gifts, including bath salts, soaps, essential oil blends, and other unique gift ideas while learning about the history and use of aromatherapy. All supplies provided. Program will be first come, first serve, no registration required. Good for teens and adults. Springfield City Library: East Springfield Branch. 413-263-6840. 21 Osborne Terrace, Springfield, MA.


Thursday, December 19

Thursday, December 19, 4-8pm – HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDE/CHRISTMAS: Santa’s Trains at Look Park, a beloved holiday tradition for families throughout the Pioneer Valley runs nightly through December 23. The Garden House, transformed into a Victorian-style Train Depot complete with model rail cars whizzing through miniature villages, will surprise and delight children of all ages. Kids can share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy a holiday cookie and cocoa by the fire. Be marveled by the magic of the season. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Thursday, December 19, 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, December 19, 5-9pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Thursday, December 19, 6-8pm – FILM/HOLIDAY CLASSIC: Holiday Movie Night: Elf, (rated PG). An evening with family, friends, and Buddy the Elf. This family-friendly classic promises many laughs and is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Popcorn will be provided. Gaylord Memorial Library. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.


Friday, December 20

Friday, December 20, 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, December 20, 11:30am-1:20pm – ICE SKATING: Are you a homeschool or unschooling family? The Mullins Center offers a weekday public ice skate for families to attend. Great opportunity for physical activity while making community connections. Ice skate rentals are free and guardian’s skates for free. All families are welcome. Mullins Center. 413-545-3040. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA.

Friday, December 20, 3-8pm – NEW ENGLAND HISTORY/CHRISTMAS: Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with having created the first nativity scene, in Greccio, Italy, in 1223. Francis’ nativity scene used live actors and animals and reenactments of this kind became enormously popular throughout Christian Europe. Eventually statues and miniatures took the place of live actors. In England, it became customary to bake a mince pie in the shape of manger and fill it with a baby Jesus. After the Puritans banned Christmas in the 17th century, these pies were prohibited as “idolaterie in crust.” Old Sturbridge Village’s Christmas by Candlelight features a wide variety of old fashioned historical Christmas activities, including, of course, the famous nativity scene. This is a great opportunity to learn about how Christmas would have been celebrated in colonial New England. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA.

Friday, December 20, 4-8pm – HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDE/CHRISTMAS: Santa’s Trains at Look Park, a beloved holiday tradition for families throughout the Pioneer Valley runs nightly through December 23. The Garden House, transformed into a Victorian-style Train Depot complete with model rail cars whizzing through miniature villages, will surprise and delight children of all ages. Kids can share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy a holiday cookie and cocoa by the fire. Be marveled by the magic of the season. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Friday, December 20, 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, December 20, 5-11pm – CHRISTMAS/LIGHT DISPLAY: The festive light display, Bright Nights in Forest Park, has been listed as one of the Top 100 Attractions in North America seven times! The light displays creatively celebrate not only the themes of Christmas, Santa, and winter but also branch into other subjects with displays like the Victorian Village. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.

Friday, December 20, 7-9:30pm – FILM/HOLIDAY TRADITION: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). Frank Capra’s 1946 holiday drama It’s a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, is a seasonal favorite. Designated the most inspirational movie of all time by the American Film Institute, IIt’s a Wonderful Life is a wonderful, feel-good movie to experience with friends and family. Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle St. Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, Dec 7Sunday, Dec 8Monday, Dec 9Tuesday, Dec 10Wednesday, Dec 11Thursday, Dec 12Friday, Dec 13Saturday, Dec 14Sunday, Dec 15Monday, Dec 16Tuesday, Dec 17Wednesday, Dec 18Thursday, Dec 19Friday, Dec 20

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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