Q&A: 15 Recommended Activities Grandparents Can Do With Their Grandkids in Western MA


Arts and crafts are an excellent activity for grandparent to do with their grandkids!  The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, a non-profit organization offering a creative community environment for art-making, has open studio hours from 1-5pm every day except Sundays. Grandparents can get creative with their grandkids and other families, making keepsakes together! [Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield]

Patricia Valenti writes, “What are some good activities in the area for grandparents to do with their grandkids, or are there any local grandparents groups? I watch my daughter’s son a couple of times a week and want to get out with him more!”

  • Carrie Gabinelle Duda recommends, “Tons of playgroups around. I’ve seen plenty of grandparents there.”
  • Zoe Wright Johnson recommends, “The Northampton Parents Center seems particularly grandparent friendly!”
  • Abbe Laine Schiowitz recommends, “The Amherst Family Center is grandparent friendly as well.”
  • Community Network for Children recommends, “We have playgroups and story hours that grandparents attend as well.”
  • Amy Vlastos Benoit recommends, “The Belchertown Family Center too!”
  • Kara Kitchen recommends, “The Dalton CRA sees many kids with their grandparents at Kindergym (includes play, craft, snack+swim time!) on Mon. & Wed. mornings, swim lessons (grand/parent/toddler class is free!), at their many sports leagues games, as well as their many free community events (like concerts, movies, holiday events).”
  • Berkshire Athenaeum recommends, “Have you considered a visit to one of our many local museums? We have museum passes for free/reduced general admission.”
  • Sandy Courtney recommends, “The Palmer/Monson Family Network runs a Drop-In Playgroup Tues-Fri mornings. Check out the Friends of the Palmer/Monson Family Network Facebook page for updates! – Most libraries have story hours for children as well – Monson Free Library has Weds mornings @ 10:30 and Baby Story Time on Friday mornings @ 10:30.”
  • Jean Engel recommends, “The childrens department at the Lee Library is always safe and welcoming. There are many weekly activities there.”
  • Linda Bennett-Mason recommends, “Yes the library in Westfield is good too.”
  • Mandy Gerryrecommends, “Come to the Northampton Parents Center, in downtown Northampton, lower level of Edwards Church. Open 9:30-11:30 M-Th, drop in playgroup for birth to 5 and their caregivers.”
  • Sharon Hawkes recommends, “The librarian from Lenox is thrilled to see all these nice comments about libraries (And yes, the Lenox Library also have storytimes and special events about once a month that are great for bonding with grandkids)!”
  • Carrie St John recommends, “Monday story time at Forbes Library (Northampton). There is also a play area and craft/puzzle area.
  • Donna Todd Rivers recommends, “If they are interested in starting their handcrafted holiday gifts…a mug for Dad with their handprints on it, a beaded necklace for Mom that they made themselves…at Bisque, Beads & Beyond (Pittsfield)!

For a list of playgroups and story hours that happen each week, be sure to check our List of Weekly Suggested Events for a comprehensive list!

List of Weekly Suggested Events

Grandparents and Other Seniors May Be Cut From Senior FarmShare Program

Philip Korman, CISA Executive Director in South Deerfield, MA writes:

State cutbacks threaten Farm shares that feed low-income seniors

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), through its Senior FarmShare Program, has been offering free shares of the harvest to low-income seniors since 2004. The program is now at risk of being eliminated unless the Massachusetts Senate includes it in their budget.

Every year, over 300 low-income seniors receive fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms during the height of the harvest season. For many of the elders, it is their only source of fresh produce. Since approximately 10% of seniors in the three counties (Franklin, Hampshire and Hamden) live below the poverty line, this program has helped close the gap for a part of the population that is most in need.

During this fiscal year, the state funds provided to CISA were cut from $50,000 to $25,000. As a result, the number of seniors receiving shares declined 10% and the amount of food delivered was cut 25%. For the upcoming fiscal year 2010, the Governor’s Budget did not include funds for the program, but the House restored funding at the $50,000 level. Unfortunately, the initial Senate budget (released Wednesday by the Senate Ways and Means) did not include any funds in its budget.

“This program fulfills a vital need and deepens bonds between our farmers and those most vulnerable in our community”, stated Philip Korman, Executive Director of CISA. He added that, “In the past we have been able to supplement the state funds with generous giving from churches, foundations and businesses such as Xeric Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation, Chicopee Savings Bank and Whole Foods. Sadly, we do not see how we can run the program next year without any state support.”

CISA is asking the community to contact their Massachusetts legislators to thank them for their past support and to request their state senators match the House budget and fully fund the program in fiscal year 2010. Contact information for legislators is available at CISA’s website www.buylocalfood.org. CISA also welcomes businesses and the community to make donations.

CISA is a nationally recognized organization comprised of farmers, institutions and residents working together to strengthen local agriculture by building connections between farmers and the community.

More information about CISA can be found at www.buylocalfood.org or call 413-665-7100.

A Different Kind of Playdate

A Different Kind of Playdate

Victoria Worth of Ashfield writes:

In Ashfield yesterday at Elmer’s, I approached Nan’s father about arranging a playdate with my mother. I didn’t expect his answer, “Well, I already have a playmate.” Needless to say, I turned a bright shade of red and explained that I meant nothing more than a cup of tea and conversation. I reassured him my my 88-year old mother was interested in meeting other elderly folks in the neighborhood, and that his wife was, of course, included. As I was excusing my use of the term, “playdate,” I pointed out that my mother’s idea of ‘play’ probably amounted to no more than a game of cards.

I realized at that point that my language is more fitting for get-togethers with my five-year old than with those of the generation beyond my own. Well, call it what you will. I am seeking contemporary companionship for my 88-year old mother. Really very above-board, I assure you. My mother is a most respectable lady, regardless of her daughter’s awkward introduction.

Kindly reply to vkworth@gmail.com.

I’m My Own Grandpa Episode on HFVS (09/04/07)

WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio
Northampton, MA
September 4th, 2007 @ 7pm

I’m My Own Grandpaw Episode

listen now | subscribe to podcast | archived shows


In honor of National Grandparents Day we put together a grandparents episode. It was Mark Twain who proved it was possible for a man to become his own grandpa. In the 1930’s, Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe put it to song. Thus was born “I’m My Own Grandpa,” a song that has been recorded by a number of artists, including Asylum Street Spankers, Timmy Abell, Chet Atkins, and even The Muppets:

Skeptical? Click here to see the genealogy mapped out.

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