Suggested Events for December 22nd – 28th, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.

Our Saturday Morning Music Party Series is BACK!

On New Year’s Day (Jan 1st), Hilltown Families, the Flywheel Arts Collective, and the Easthampton Family Center are continuing the beloved ‘Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! This year, we are starting off this family series on New Year’s Day, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and fruit, along with an awesome dance party for all ages! It takes place at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall. This event is a fundraiser for the organizers, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun!

Plus, this year, we’ll be collecting donations of new toys and toiletries to donate to the YWCA of Western MA. This activity came out of one Hilltown Families grandma who wants to get her grandson into the habit of joyful giving at a young age. We think that more really is merrier and decided to open it up to the whole Hilltown Families community! Please join our family in expressing the value of generosity by developing a practice of giving as individuals, with our neighbors, to our communities. You bring the toys and toiletries and we’ll sort, package, and deliver them to the YWCA of Western MA, which, for over 150 years, has provided shelter, support services, and tools for self-sufficiency for women and girls in our community.

Bulletin Board

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Hilltown Sleddogs is a touring & racing outdoor adventure business right here in Western Massachusetts. Winter Vacation day sled dog camps, rides & lessons on dryland & snow are offered Fall, Winter & Spring! Summer Sled Dog Camps Overnight & Day, Dog Yard tours & hikes with a Husky are highlights of Summer. Private instruction is also offered with clients dogs to learn how to mush, skijor, bikejor, scooter &/or cani-cross. Hilltown Sleddogs is available for birthday parties with or without snow, school demonstrations & festivals. Contact 413-296-0187 or HilltownSleddogs@gmail.comSaturday, December 29, 2018, 10am-3pm, Ages 8-16, 1 Day Sled Dog Camp, $90. Register online, Holiday Gift Certificates available too!

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Central Rock Gym in Hadley is offering Climbing Vacation Programs during school breaks! Great for ages 7-13, our program focuses on climbing for all skill levels, and includes an emphasis on problem solving and team building initiatives. Throughout their week, children will have the opportunity to experiment with different types of climbing, and engage in exciting games and group activities. Email for info or visit

Add Your Venue!

Hilltown Families is now partnering with local businesses and organizations throughout Western MA to help parents connect with the right venue for their kid’s birthday party. The Best Birthday Party Venue Directory will debut on January 1st, 2019. We would like to invite your venue to join our stellar team of spaces that are partnering with us to reach new customers and make birthdays throughout Western MA more fun for everyone! A 1-Year membership in the Best Birthday Party Venue Directory is $150. We have a special discount advertising package for folks who would like to take the promotion of their space to the next level, too! To add your venue, email Hilltown Families’ Director, Courtney Supple-Benoit, at to get set up quickly and easily!

Add your class

Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.

Add your school

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, after-school class, or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community-building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish, and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to

December 22nd – 28th, 2018


Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

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Suggested Events 12/19/09-12/25/09

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Discover fun and educational events happening this weekend in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.


Click here to suggest an event

Hilltown Families and Iron Horse Entertainment Group have partnered up to offer one family a chance to win a family 4-pack of free tickets to a New Year’s Eve family matinée concert to see Grammy Award Winner They Might Be Giants at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA on Thursday, December 31st at 3pm. Deadline to enter to win is 12/24/09.

If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, location, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

  • Ashfield: Dinner at Elmer’s starting at 5pm. 628-4003 ($)
  • Haydenville: Stephen Katz will be performing cello music at the Blue House Cafe from 6:30-7:30pm. 268-7441. (Free/Donation)
  • Russell: Nighttime hike at Noble View.  Learn about owls, star-gaze, enjoy hot cocoa.  Dress for weather and bring flashlight & mug.  Call to reg. 564-0895 (Free/Donation)
  • West Cummington: Dinner at Remmington Lodge.  Call to confirm 634-5493. ($)
  • Worthington: Holiday caroling (5pm) and potluck dinner (6:30pm) at the town hall.  Dress for the weather and bring a flashlight. 238-0296 (Free)


CHRISTMAS DINNERS DELIVERED IN THE HILLTOWNS: New this year! Manna Soup Kitchen Volunteers will deliver Christmas Day dinner to homes in Williamsburg, MA.  More info here.

SUSTAINING AND IMPROVING READING AT HOME: Parents can do so much at home to help their child educationally. As you prepare for the holiday break, consider both gifts (books, journals, “special” pens and pencils) and activities (courtesy of Education World) to help your child have fun while they continue to build their reading and writing skills!

HILLTOWN FOOD, CLOTHES & PET FOOD DRIVE:  The Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA is collecting warm clothes, canned and dried goods for the Hilltown Pantry and the Northampton Survival Center, also collecting goods for our animal friends at the Dakin Animal Shelter.

CALL FOR ART: The Wendell Free Library invites families to send a postcard size art work for their mail art exhibit, GREEN SEEN. All techniques and media welcome. Participants’ mail art works will be displayed as soon as they are received at the library. Mail art will be documented at the library website and contributors will receive a printed documentation. Ongoing exhibit will end in June and works will become part of a permanent art collection at the Wendell Free Library. Contact: Christine Tarantino, (FREE)

REGIFTING IN THE HILLTOWNS: Pick up a last-minute gift for the kids at the Meekins (Library) Market in Williamsburg, MA.  All items between $.05 and $5.00–Perfect presents for the whole family, all lovingly donated to the Meekins Market. Stuffed animals, jewelry, all kinds of cool stuff!

Sunday (12/20/09) - 4pm - CHRISTMAS CAROLING: Meet in front of the Williamsburg Market to sing winter songs and Christmas carols. Cookies and hot cocoa. Williamsburg, MA (Free)

UPCOMING EXHIBIT: Harry Potter’s World Exhibition at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA Harry Potter’s World, which runs January 28-February 26, will focus on Harry’s magical world and its connections to Renaissance thinkers, lore, and practices.

WINTER FARE: Northampton Winter Fare: Eat Locally Year Round.  Most farmers’ markets, farmstands, and CSAs have closed for the season, but locally grown food can still be found in the Valley. On January 9th from 10am-2pm, a vibrant, diverse farmers’ market and community event is coming to Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School in Northampton, MA. CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) is organizing the first Northampton Winter Fare based on Greenfield’s very successful Winter Fare celebration, which is held in February. In addition to perusing an amazing array of local foods, shoppers can mingle over hot soup, attend one of the educational workshops scheduled during the market, and barter home-preserved local food with their neighbors. Winter Fare is a mid-winter celebration of local agriculture, and it promises to be one of the warmest community events of the season.

SUPPORT THE REGIONAL LIBRARY SYSTEM: Springfield Falcons VS Hartford Wolfpack.  An action packed Hockey Game on January 23rd, 2010 at 7:30 MassMutual Center Arena. Come out and meet Wally the Green Monster along with a night of action packed hockey to benefit the Regional Library System that faces deep state budget cuts! Tickets $17 $10 this game only.  Ticket order forms available at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA, or call Julia Kincade at (413) 739-3344 x 105. The offer is NOT valid at the box office. Tickets will be mailed up to January 18th.

LIBRARY FINES: Forbes Library will be holding a “Food for Fines” program from Monday, January 4th through Saturday, January 16th, 2010. Support your local community, clear your library account and return our books to circulate to others! During this time, patrons may pay any Forbes Library overdue fines on their account with a donation of canned goods (please check your expiration dates) or healthy non-perishable food items. This applies to late fines only and not to lost or damaged fees. All food collected will be given to the Northampton Survival Center for distribution to those in need in Northampton. High demand food items are non-dairy milk, cereal, crackers, canned fruit, peanut butter, tuna fish, hearty winter canned soup, macaroni and cheese, pasta and sauce, beans, and rice. Suggested donation is one item for each $1 waived in fines.

LIBRARY FINES: BTW, did you know you can now leave AV material (books on tape or CD, videotapes, DVDs) in the drop box in front of the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA? That’s will sure help save on the fines! Please make sure you put it in the correct door!

HOMESCHOOLING: Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts is planning a visit to the American Textile Museum and programs for grades 3-12 on Friday, February 5th, 2010. The museum is located at 491 Dutton Street, Lowell, MA. (Meet at 10:15 am in the main lobby.) More info here.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Hampshire County seeks volunteers to help children in Hampshire County. Three to five hours per week. Staff will provide training, support and activity ideas. Call (413) 253-2591.

SUPPORT SERVICE: Parents Helping Parents is a weekly confidential and anonymous support groups for parents who want a better relationship with their children. (800) 882-1250, ext. 101.

SPONSORSHIP, ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large local family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement on our Weekly List of Suggested Events. Serious inquiries can email us at for details.


Our Holiday Podcast of the HFVS is up, along with one from our archives, which aired on Christmas Day ’07 back when we use to do our show on Tuesday nights.  Click HERE to check out both podcasts and to listen now.

Families have three ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • HFVS Podcast: Listen to our most recent episodes anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!
  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to on Saturday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio from 9-10am.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA from 9-10am.


    Santa in Peru, MA in 2006 (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | School Closings and Delays | Free Museum Passes | Family Centers (Ages 0-4)

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    SATURDAY (12/19/09)

    Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at

    10am – FOOD DRIVE | CHRISTMAS MOVIE: Showcase Cinemas is having a food drive. Bring in a canned good and get in free to see It’s a Wonderful Life. 733-5134 West Springfield, MA (Food Donation)

    10am- 12Noon – PLAYGROUP GROUP | MOTHERS OF COLOR: Color Play is our new monthly social and craft for families raising children of color (all ages). Transracial adoptees and LGBTQ families are strongly encouraged to join. (413) 658-5096 Northampton, MA (Free)

    12Noon-3pm – CO-OP OPEN HOUSE: The River Valley Market Co-Op is celebrating the 165th anniversary of the opening of the very first food co-op. Food & music and more. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    1-2:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES | SNOWSHOE: Family Snowshoe Stroll Land of Providence Reservation. Come enjoy our newest reservation on showshoes on this 1 mile, easy walk. Beginners welcome. Snowshoe rentals available or bring your own. Call in advance to reserve snowshoes. (413) 532-1631 Holyoke, MA (Members FREE, $)

    2-3:45pm – ICE SKATING: Boys and Girls Club of Pittsfield. (413)448-8258 Pittsfield, MA ($)

    2-3:50pm – ICE SKATING: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink. (1267 South Church Street) Skate rentals available. (413) 664-8185 North Adams, MA ($)

    3-5pm – SANTA IN THE HILLTOWNS: Santa will be at Stanton Hall, arriving by fire truck. Huntington, MA (FREE)

    4-9pm –HOLIDAY EVENT: Look Park’s Winter Wonderland is a series of Holiday Events that combine the long-standing tradition of “Santa’s Workshop” with the Look Park “Holiday Light Displays”, Hayrides around the park and our Look Park Zoo. Florence, MA

    4-9pm – CHRISTMAS EVENT | MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Twelve Nights of Christmas at Old Sturbridge Village. Dec. 3-6; 10-13; &. 17-20.  Stroll our candlelit Village, enjoy sleigh rides (snow permitting), meet Santa and Father Christmas. 1-800-SEE-1830 Sturbridge, MA ($)

    4-6:50pm – ICE SKATING: Mullins Center Ice Rink.  Rentals available. (413) 545-3990 UMass. Amherst, MA ($)

    5pm – FAMILY CONCERT: School for the Dead will play a show on First Churches’ front lawn. Northampton, MA (Free)

    5pm & 6:30pm – CHRISTMAS EVENT | MOVIES: Holiday movies will be shown at the town hall in Worthington. Worthington, MA (FREE)

    6-9pm – KIDS NIGHT OUT: At the YMCA. Parents take the night off and let the kids watch a movie, swim and play. Pittsfield, MA

    6pm-12Midnight – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Luminary display, dessert social, bonfire, caroling, hayrides and more at the Florence Civic Center. (413) 320-2306 Florence, MA (FREE)

    6:30pm – WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION: Celebrate at the Center for Cultural Evolution. Come to the Round House for stories, music and a Mummers’ Play. Bring snacks to share and canned goods for food drive. RSVP (413) 624-5140 Colrain, MA ($ Donation)

    8pm – CHRISTMAS EVENT | THEATER: “A Christmas Carol” at the Academy of Music. (413) 584-9032 Northampton, MA ($)

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