Suggested Events for March 11th – March 17th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has given me numerous ideas, destinations, and events to participate in with my infant twins. It has been an invaluable resource that motivates us to get out and explore together!” – Stephanie Allen (Greenfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families 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.

Summer Camp

FIND YOUR SUMMER CAMPSo many Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of summer camps & programs in the region. More are added each day! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens!

Hilltown Families Events

Saturday, March 18, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the Saturday Morning Music Party series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! After a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, Scotty Swan will present The Fuzznogginz Puppet Party! This will be a combination of a magic AND puppet show together in one big spectacular extravaganza! There will be lots of comedy, funny puppetry, and amazing magic combined with plenty of audience participation. Audience members are invited to come on stage to become puppeteers and learn how a puppet show works.We’ll round out the morning with DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” This is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Bulletin Board

Mar 10

Montessori Comes to Forbes Library: On Friday, March 10, at 11am, bring your child to a visit with Montessori School of Northampton educator Laura Frogameni. The hour will include time to explore Montessori materials, circle time and a story. The Forbes Library is located at 20 West Street in Northampton. Free; all families of children 0-6 are invited to attend. For more information, call Laura at 413-586-4538 x103 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Mar 11

Join Nonotuck Community School’s Annual Family Dance Party! The morning will be filled with fun activities for all ages including live music by DandyLion’s Garden, games, dancing with special guest DJ, food, crafts, and more! The event will take place on Saturday, March 11th from 10am-12pm at Jackson Street Elementary School in Northampton (120 Jackson St). Tickets are $5 per person/$12 per family, www.nonotuck.org.

Mar 11

The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT will re-launch its annual Women Take Flight Day on Saturday, March 11 from 10:00am-4:00pm in commemoration of Women’s History Month. Visitors of all ages are invited to celebrate women’s contributions to aerospace history through special events, and three special guest speakers. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet other women pilots, engineers, and aerospace industry specialists, and featuring the same model aircraft that Amelia Earhart flew. Real life “Rosie the Riveters,” women WASP pilots from World War II, and more. A series of activity stations will also be available for younger visitors, and a variety of flight simulators allow visitors to become virtual pilots. For more information: www.neam.org.

Mar 13 – 19

Downtown Amherst Restaurant Week, March 13-19. Take a bite out of the last week of winter! A wonderful array of restaurants offer special dishes, multi course meals and traditional St. Patrick’s Day dishes. You can span the globe from our beautiful downtown by sampling diverse cuisine, including Himalayan/Nepalese, Persian, Northern Italian, Mediterranean and New American. Bread made from scratch daily, treasured family recipes, local and organic ingredients and exceptional pairings are on the menu. Book a cozy booth or a long center table for a feast with friends and family. More information and menus: www.amherstdowntown.com/events/restaurant-week. Questions? Contact ann@amherstdowntown.com.

PreK – 6th

Whately Elementary School has school choice openings! Whately Elementary is a small, rural public school, Pre-K through 6th Grade with an average class size of 18 students, talented educators and a very supportive parent community. Offering Spanish, Art, Music, PE and Gardening. Band & Strings instruction for upper grades. Student-centered academics with a school-wide emphasis on social-emotional learning and community service locally & globally. Currently developing a new 4-H club. They are currently accepting school choice applications for openings in kindergarten through 5th Grade. Accepting registrations for full-day preschool. For more information, please call Mary at 413-665-7826. An Eco-friendly, composting school. www.frsu38.org/wes.

Open House: Mar 11

Open House at the Hartsbrook School: Experience the warmth and imagination in a Waldorf early childhood classroom. Teachers will be offering activities for children ages 2-6 in the classroom and on the play yard. Crafts, puppet show and snack will nourish your child’s senses while allowing a glimpse into how the teachers prepare children to meet the future with a strong foundation and joyful aliveness. Families with children in grades 1-12 are also welcome for a tour and discussion with the enrollment director. Imagine the possibilities for your child! Saturday, March 11, 10am to 12noon at 193 Bay Road in Hadley, MA. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org.

Mar 12

“Love Always Wins,” A Community Purim Celebration in Northampton. On Sunday, March 12 from 10:30am-1pm, Congregation B’nai Israel, in collaboration with PJ Library Western Massachusetts. Beit Ahavah ~ The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton and Lander-Grinspoon Academy, welcomes the public to a joyous Purim celebration including music, mask making, preparing food for the Cot Shelter, a fantastic puppet show featuring Felicia Sloin and Tom Knight and an original Purim play put on by LGA 6th graders. The program will conclude with a delicious, vegetarian meal. $5 kids under 10 and $10 adults. To RSVP and for more details click here or contact rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org, 413-584-3593 x203.

Mar 17

The Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company takes an innovative twist on traditional Irish Dance with a toe tapping, hand clapping vibrant modern flair. This family friendly celebration of Celtic dance, music and culture is a wonderful way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day for all ages. Friday, March 17 at 6pm at the Academy of Music in Northampton. $14/adult, $12/child and senior, $5 for children under 5. Ticket information can be found at CelticHeelsDance.com. The Celtic Heels School of Dance offers lessons and summer workshops in Greenfield and Florence for ages 4-adult. Join in the fun of the jigs and reels with Celtic Heels! For show or class information please contact Celtic Heels at celticheels@gmail.com. 413-475-3353.

Mar 18

Piti Theatre’s 8th annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival celebrates spring, sap and the arts at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls on Saturday, 3/18. Two time Grammy winner Bill Harley headlines the Festival at 4 pm, performing his own set and narrating two stories performed by Piti’s Shelburne Falls Youth Troupe. Sammy and the Grand Buffet, a world premiere solo physical comedy performance by Piti Theatre’s Jonathan Mirin taps things off at 2 pm. Plus syrup tasting, complimentary Real Pickles, clowning workshop for children on 3/19 (free), teen/adult clowning workshop and more! Tix: $15/$12 students and seniors, $5 children under 12 at Boswell’s Books, World Eye Bookshop or www.ptco.org/syrup. 1-800-838-3006. info@ptco.org.

Jun 26 – Aug 11

Join Journey Camp at Woolman Hill, Deerfield and at Open View Farm, Conway this summer! The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music, and crafts. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Farm Week Session for All ages 7-12, June 26-30,8:45-4pm, Conway; Session One for All ages 7-12, July 3-7, 8:45-4, Deerfield; Moonseed Teen Leadership Camp for ages 12-18, July 17-20, two overnights & campfires, Deerfield; Girls Weeks, ages 7-12, July 31-Aug 4 & Aug 7-11, 8:45-4, Deerfield. www.sarahpirtle.com. Contact: 413-588-6399; marsha.journey@gmail.com.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.

2017 Preschool Directory for Western MA

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.

Featured Winter & Spring Classes in Western MA

What are your child’s interests? What are your interests? This fall there are a number of after-school, homeschool, evening, and weekend classes to choose from to supplement and support the interests of your family! Check out our growing list of classes, programs, open houses and even auditions for this fall in our dedicated post, 2017 Winter & Spring Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA, and find the perfect activity for your child, teen, and even lifelong learners! — Have a class you’d like to add to this list? Click here to find out how to have your class, lessons, program, auditions, and open house included.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 11th – March 17th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for March 4th – March 10th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

What we enjoy most about Hilltown Families is… “the incredible number of events that are included in the weekly suggestions – most importantly free or low cost events! With the weekly suggestions in my inbox, there is never an excuse to stay home on a weekend day – except, of course, for the sheer exhaustion of parenting!” – Mairin Brady (Whately, MA)

What we enjoy most about Hilltown Families is… “the incredible number of events that are included in the weekly suggestions – most importantly free or low cost events! With the weekly suggestions in my inbox, there is never an excuse to stay home on a weekend day – except, of course, for the sheer exhaustion of parenting!” – Mairin Brady (Whately, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families 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.

Summer Camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Hilltown Families Events

Saturday, March 18, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the Saturday Morning Music Party series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! After a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, Scotty Swan will present The Fuzznogginz Puppet Party! This will be a combination of a magic AND puppet show together in one big spectacular extravaganza! There will be lots of comedy, funny puppetry, and amazing magic combined with plenty of audience participation. Audience members are invited to come on stage to become puppeteers and learn how a puppet show works.We’ll round out the morning with DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” This is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. For more information, email info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Bulletin Board

PreK – 6th

Whately Elementary School has school choice openings! Whately Elementary is a small, rural public school, Pre-K through 6th Grade with an average class size of 18 students, talented educators and a very supportive parent community. Offering Spanish, Art, Music, PE and Gardening. Band & Strings instruction for upper grades. Student-centered academics with a school-wide emphasis on social-emotional learning and community service locally & globally. Currently developing a new 4-H club. They are currently accepting school choice applications for openings in kindergarten through 5th Grade. Accepting registrations for full-day preschool. For more information, please call Mary at 413-665-7826. An Eco-friendly, composting school. www.frsu38.org/wes.

Open House: Mar 4

Sunnyside Child Care Center in Northampton is holding an Open House on Saturday, March 4, 9:30-11am. They are enrolling now for Fall 2017. Sunnyside provides play-based programs with an emergent curriculum for ages 18 months-5 years on 8 wooded acres between Northampton and Easthampton. Sunnyside values and promotes diversity, and offers flexible scheduling and a sliding scale tuition to make their high-quality childcare more accessible. Visit them at the open house, or call to schedule a tour. Sunnyside, 557 Easthampton Rd., Northampton. 413-727-3665. www.sunnysidekids.org.

Open House: Mar 8

Oasis Camp offers specialty programs for children from 3 years old to 6th grade! With amazing facilities at Smith College, Oasis features mature staff with low camper/staff ratio and a warm environment where kids can participate in activities tailored to their interests! The Early Start camp for kids 3 years to Kindergarten offers sports, daily Red Cross swim, arts, dance, theater and a Ready for September enrichment program. The Traditional Camp (1st- 6th graders) is designed to provide campers with sports crafts, theater, dance and Red Cross Instructional and Recreational Swim to further develop skills and confidence. Contact: 800-317-1392, www.oasischildren.com. Open House-March 8 at 5:30pm, at Smith College Seeley Hall Rm. 101.

Mar 11

The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, CT will re-launch its annual Women Take Flight Day on Saturday, March 11 from 10:00am-4:00pm in commemoration of Women’s History Month. Visitors of all ages are invited to celebrate women’s contributions to aerospace history through special events, and three special guest speakers. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet other women pilots, engineers, and aerospace industry specialists, and featuring the same model aircraft that Amelia Earhart flew. Real life “Rosie the Riveters,” women WASP pilots from World War II, and more. A series of activity stations will also be available for younger visitors, and a variety of flight simulators allow visitors to become virtual pilots. For more information: www.neam.org.

Mar 11

Join Nonotuck Community School’s Annual Family Dance Party! The morning will be filled with fun activities for all ages including live music by DandyLion’s Garden, games, dancing with special guest DJ, food, crafts, and more! The event will take place on Saturday, March 11th from 10am-12pm at Jackson Street Elementary School in Northampton (120 Jackson St). Tickets are $5 per person/$12 per family, www.nonotuck.org.

Mar 13-19

Downtown Amherst Restaurant Week, March 13-19. Take a bite out of the last week of winter! A wonderful array of restaurants offer special dishes, multi course meals and traditional St. Patrick’s Day dishes. You can span the globe from our beautiful downtown by sampling diverse cuisine, including Himalayan/Nepalese, Persian, Northern Italian, Mediterranean and New American. Bread made from scratch daily, treasured family recipes, local and organic ingredients and exceptional pairings are on the menu. Book a cozy booth or a long center table for a feast with friends and family. More information and menus: www.amherstdowntown.com/events/restaurant-week. Questions? Contact ann@amherstdowntown.com.

Open House: Mar 4

The Common School: Community, collaboration, social justice, intrinsic motivation, deep understanding, diversity, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their Nursery Open House, Saturday, March 4, from 10am-12noon. Featuring: Teaching Creatures at 11:30am with their special program: Amazing Mammals. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, and chat with current parents. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Open House: Mar 11

Open House at the Hartsbrook School: Experience the warmth and imagination in a Waldorf early childhood classroom. Teachers will be offering activities for children ages 2-6 in the classroom and on the play yard. Crafts, puppet show and snack will nourish your child’s senses while allowing a glimpse into how the teachers prepare children to meet the future with a strong foundation and joyful aliveness. Families with children in grades 1-12 are also welcome for a tour and discussion with the enrollment director. Imagine the possibilities for your child! Saturday, March 11, 10am to 12noon at 193 Bay Road in Hadley, MA. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org.

Jun 26 – Aug 11

Join Journey Camp at Woolman Hill, Deerfield and at Open View Farm, Conway this summer! The supportive staff makes it easy to find new friends while exploring nature, theater, games, music, and crafts. Inclusiveness and peace building are hallmarks of Journey Camp. Founder and Director, Sarah Pirtle, has numerous awards for her books and music for children. Farm Week Session for All ages 7-12, June 26-30,8:45-4pm, Conway; Session One for All ages 7-12, July 3-7, 8:45-4, Deerfield; Moonseed Teen Leadership Camp for ages 12-18, July 17-20, two overnights & campfires, Deerfield; Girls Weeks, ages 7-12, July 31-Aug 4 & Aug 7-11, 8:45-4, Deerfield. www.sarahpirtle.com. Contact: 413-588-6399; marsha.journey@gmail.com.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.

2017 Preschool Directory for Western MA

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.

Featured Winter & Spring Classes in Western MA

What are your child’s interests? What are your interests? This fall there are a number of after-school, homeschool, evening, and weekend classes to choose from to supplement and support the interests of your family! Check out our growing list of classes, programs, open houses and even auditions for this fall in our dedicated post, 2017 Winter & Spring Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA, and find the perfect activity for your child, teen, and even lifelong learners! — Have a class you’d like to add to this list? Click here to find out how to have your class, lessons, program, auditions, and open house included.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 4th – March 10th, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 18th – 24th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families always offers such a complete listing of fun and educational events in the area for all ages… One of the great resources that make living in Western MA so family friendly. Thanks!” – Freja Joslin (Northampton, MA)

“Hilltown Families always offers such a complete listing of fun and educational events in the area for all ages… One of the great resources that make living in Western MA so family friendly. Thanks!” – Freja Joslin (Northampton, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families 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.

Summer Camp

advertise with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Wednesday, March 8th, 2017, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2017 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

Bulletin Board

Feb 25

Meet Curious George and others at the WGBY Love for Learning PBS Kids fan fair Saturday, Feb. 25 from 10am to 3pm at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. It’s like a comic book convention for PBS Kids (ages 2–8). Children are encouraged to dress up as a favorite character. Enjoy show-themed activity stations, tabletop fun from community partners, and live demos from children’s book authors and illustrators. Plus, meet live characters, including Curious George, Buddy from Dinosaur Train, The Cat in the Hat, and others. The event is free (with suggested donation in support of public television). Event details and registration available at wgby.org/fanfair. Questions? Contact Marie Waechter at mwaechter@wgby.org.

Feb 26

Mister G February Fiesta! Presented by Sunnyside Child Care Center (one of the area’s longest running early childhood centers, offering quality care for children ages 18 months through five years). Come hear Latin Grammy winner Mister G perform songs in English and Spanish for kids from 1-100! Crafts, pizza, popcorn, and fun for all. Sunday, February 26, 10am-noon, at the Florence Civic Center, 140 Pine St., Florence. $8/per person or $25 for the family! www.sunnysidekids.org.

Open House: Mar 4

Sunnyside Child Care Center in Northampton is holding an Open House on Saturday, March 4, 9:30-11am. They are enrolling now for Fall 2017. Sunnyside provides play-based programs with an emergent curriculum for ages 18 months-5 years on 8 wooded acres between Northampton and Easthampton. Sunnyside values and promotes diversity, and offers flexible scheduling and a sliding scale tuition to make their high-quality childcare more accessible. Visit them at the open house, or call to schedule a tour. Sunnyside, 557 Easthampton Rd., Northampton. 413-727-3665. www.sunnysidekids.org.

Mar 4

The Common School: Community, collaboration, social justice, intrinsic motivation, deep understanding, diversity, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their Nursery Open House, Saturday, March 4, from 10am-12noon. Featuring: Teaching Creatures at 11:30am with their special program: Amazing Mammals. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, and chat with current parents. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.

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 info@hilltownfamilies.org.

2017 Preschool Directory for Western MA

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.

Featured Winter & Spring Classes in Western MA

What are your child’s interests? What are your interests? This fall there are a number of after-school, homeschool, evening, and weekend classes to choose from to supplement and support the interests of your family! Check out our growing list of classes, programs, open houses and even auditions for this fall in our dedicated post, 2017 Winter & Spring Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA, and find the perfect activity for your child, teen, and even lifelong learners! — Have a class you’d like to add to this list? Click here to find out how to have your class, lessons, program, auditions, and open house included.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
February 25th – March 3rd, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Ticket Giveaway: 2015 Green River Festival!

Take the Family to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
Happening July 10th-13th, 2015
Greenfield, MA

Enter for a chance to win a pair of weekend tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 10th-13th in Greenfield, MA. Kids 10 and under get in free. Win tickets and take the family! Deadline to enter for a chance to win: 6/30/15.

The 29th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 10th-13th, 2015… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of weekend tickets to giveaway! With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Click here to find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

Ticket Giveaway: 2014 Green River Festival!

Take the Family to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
Happening July 12th & 13th, 2014
Greenfield, MA

Enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 12th or 13th in Greenfield, MA. Kids 10 and under get in free. Win tickets and take the family! Deadline to enter for a chance to win: 7/2/14.

The 28th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 12th & 13th, 2014… and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway, one pair for each day! With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children ten and under, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great western Massachusetts music festival! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Click here to find out how you can enter for a chance to win!

Ticket Giveaway: 2013 Green River Festival!

Win a Pair Tickets to
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
Happening July 20th & 21st, 2013
Greenfield, MA

Enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival happening July 20th or 21st in Greenfield, MA. Deadline to enter to win: 6/7/13.

The 27th annual Green River Festival happens again this year on July 20th & 21st, 2013… and Hilltown Families has a pair of tickets to giveaway for either day! With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children under twelve, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great Western MA music festival! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Details on how to enter to win are below. Deadline to enter to win is Sunday, July 7th by 11:59pm (EST).

ABOUT THE GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

Western New England’s favorite summer festival (voted best festival in the Valley Advocate for the past 11 years) will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 20 & 21, 2013 on the grounds of Greenfield Community College (I-91, Exit 26, Greenfield, MA). Presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, this celebration combines a spectacular line up of music on three stages, food, crafts, a dance tent, a wide array of kid’s activities and entertainment, and hot air balloon rides for the Pioneer Valley’s biggest outdoor event of the summer. This is the only music festival in Massachusetts that features hot air balloons!

This years line up includes: Gogol Bordello, The Devil Makes Three, The Skatalites, JD MCPherson, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, Jeffrey Foucault & Cold Satellite, Slaid Cleaves, Yonder Stage (Dance Tent), The Bernie Worrell Orchestra, Ryan Montbleau Band, The Duhks, Miss Tess & The Talkbacks, Poor Old Shine, Caravan Of Thieves, Brandi Carlile, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Lake Street Dive, Todd Snider, Heather Malone, Bombino, Spirit Family Reunion, Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, and The Sun Parade.

Local highlights include: Lux Deluxe, Salvation Alley String Band, Gaslight Tinkers, The Boxcar Lilies, Who’da Funk It, And The Kids, Spanish for Hitchhiking, Rusty Belle, Jeffrey Foucault, Heather Maloney and Philip Price in the round, The Dire Honeys, Bright Lines and Bunk.

Find out more about this award-winning Western Mass music festival at www.GreenRiverFestival.com.

HOW TO WIN

Your chance to win a pair of tickets to be used either day, July 20th or 21st, at the  Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA is as easy as 1-2-3 (4)!  Winner can choose to use their tickets for either day, but not valid for both. To win simply:

  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER by selecting from the icons below.
  • TELL US WHAT YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES AND HOW IT KEEPS YOUR FAMILY CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY THROUGHOUT THE REGION below (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • We’ll randomly draw a winner and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Sunday, 07/07/13 @ 11:59pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets are available online at www.greenriverfestival.com.

Highlights for the First Weekend of Summer

Lavender Festival happens this weekend in Buckland at Johnson Hill Farm. Walk their Lavender Labyrinth, gaze at their dove release, and join in on a number of hands-on workshops. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Summer is officially here and school is out (for most)! This weekend there are several community festivals and celebrations happening in Western MA to start your summer off right. Three such festival will be celebrating specific cultures, including Puerto Rican, Chinese and Vietnamese.

A community celebration of Puerto Rican arts and culture happens on Saturday, June 23rd in Holyoke at La Noche de San Juan. Live music will fill Holyoke Heritage State Park as participants enjoy dancing, beach volleyball and family activities. And on Sunday, June 24th up in the Berkshires, The Clark in Williamstown will host a traditional Chinese Street Festival, while down in the Pioneer Valley STCC host a Springfield Vietnamese Festival.

On both Saturday and Sunday this weekend the annual Mutton and Mead Festival takes place in Montague, a traditional Renaissance Faire offering families a unique opportunity to learn about medieval culture. And in the Hilltowns, Johnson Hill Farm in Buckland will have their annual Lavender Festival where visitors can tour the farm, watch demonstrations and take part in workshops.

Other festivals and celebrations this weekend include Trolleyfest on Saturday at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum where families can enjoy a trolley ride with costumed actors offer a living-history presentation of a 1910 trolley trip. And in Great Barrington, welcome the summer at the Berkshire Coop’s Summer Solstice Bash at Memorial Field with David Grover giving a family concert and local food being featured. Then on Sunday, festivals continue with Family Fun Day in Greenfield.

Library adventures await you this week too! With school letting out, many libraries will begin their summer reading programs. On Saturday, June 23rd, Tom Stankus presents, “T-Bone’s Big Adventure” at the Wilbraham Library to kick-off their summer reading program in the morning, and then in the afternoon Roger Ticknell and Davis Bates present,”Imagine That: A Song and Story Celebration” at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg to kick-off their program. Then on Monday, June 25th, Lee Library will kick-off their program with Magician Ed Popielarczyk, and the Southampton Library will kick-off theirs with a family-friendly show from the Salvation Alley String Band in the evening on Tuesday, June 26th. Then on Wednesday, June 27th, there will be a family concert with Jay Mankita at the Whatley Library to kick-off their summer reading program too!

Other literary adventures this coming weekend include local local author Ty Allen Jackson, reading When I Close My Eyes at the Lanesborough Library this Saturday morning, and a Bear-Themed Storywalk for the book Saturday Errands: A Day With Momma Bear and Honey Bee will lead families through Easthampton Saturday afternoon. Then later in the week on Thursday, June 28th, there will be a poetry slam at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield which will include a workshop for kids where they can learn about the idea of a slam, and see a mock-slam in the evening.

Find out about all of these events, and other weekend highlights, as well as our summer list of ongoing weekday events, on this week’s list of Weekly Suggested Events.

Win Weekend Passes to the 26th Annual Green River Festival!

Win a Pair of Weekend Passes to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
July 14th & 15th, 2012
Greenfield, MA

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA! Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th. Details on how to enter to win are outlined below.

Hilltown Families and the Green River Festival have partnered up to offer two very lucky families a pair of weekend passes to the 26th Annual Green River Festival (their 2nd Annual 25th Anniversary!), the weekend of July 14th & 15th, 2012!

With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children under twelve, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the day at this great festival, all weekend long! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Details on how to enter to win are below. Deadline to enter to win is Friday, July 6th by 7pm (EST).

ABOUT THE GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

Located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the festival is presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce on the campus of Greenfield Community College.  This 2-day festival combines music on multiple stages, delicious local food, crafts from a range of artisans, a dance tent, family music on the River Meltdown tent, balloon illuminations and hot air balloon launches (weather permitting) for Western Massachusetts’ biggest outdoor event of the summer!

The Green River Festival began in 1986 as a balloon festival and has gained increasing popularity each year as more and more music and dance entertainment have been added. Today it has become a fantastic summer musical event in Western Massachusetts with three stages of music. This year the festival will feature Arlo Guthrie and the Guthrie Family, Los Lobos, Ozomatl, Richard Thompson, Rubblebucket, Rebirth Brass Band, David Wax Museum, Chris Smither, Winterpills, CJ Chenier, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Elizabeth Cook, Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three, The Sweetback Sister, Lake Street Dive, Peter Mulvey & The Crumbling Beauties, Martin Simpson, Session Americana, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion, and many many other great acts!

Family favorites on the Meltdown Stage this year include:  Uncle Rock, Flannery Brothers, Deedle Deedle Dees, Alastair Moock & friends, Mister G, Dog on Fleas, and several others. See the complete schedule here.

Find out more about this award-winning Western Mass music festival at www.GreenRiverFestival.com.

HOW TO WIN

We’re putting together a bucket list of things to do and places to see in Western MA with the family in the summer time. Recommend your favorite attraction, must see or must do family activity, and be entered to win a pair of weekend tickets to the Green River Festival for July 14th & 15th, 2012.  To be eligible to win simply:

  • POST YOUR RECOMMENDATION AS OUTLINED ABOVE  (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK by selecting the Facebook icon below.
  • We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Friday, 07/06/12 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets are available online at www.greenriverfestival.com.

Community Celebration & Animal Adventure Highlights for this Weekend

Community Celebration, Community Breakfast, and Animal Adventure Weekend Highlights: May 19th & 20th, 2012

It’s Turtle Day at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary this Saturday, May 19th, 2012! Learn all about turtles – kids will get to meet a live turtle, learn about local turtle species, and take a walk along the brook highlighting the area’s natural history. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS

This weekend there are a number of community celebrations happening throughout the region, one of which is the 23rd annual Chester on Track event taking place this Saturday, May 19th in Hampden County! The event, which began as a celebration of the town’s railway history, now encompasses all types of history – everything from steam engines to the Civil War! There will be reenactments of both the Civil and Revolutionary wars, blacksmithing demonstrations, antique cars to check out, and railroad cars, including freight cars, a caboose, and steam and gas engines.

Also in Hampden County, all weekend is Long Meddowe Days. The Longmeadow Historical Society hosts this community celebration, commemorating Longmeadow’s history and culture with an authentic Civil War encampment, graveyard & architecture  tours, live music, Scottish dancers, and activities all weekend the family can enjoy.

In northern Berkshire County on Saturday, families can head to Mass MoCA (with bikes!) for the BIKEfest Family Bike Rodeo in North Adams for a bike-themed storywalk, a bike parade, and a celebration of all sustainable modes of transportation.  In central Berkshire County, celebrate all things mud at Muddy Brook Elementary School’s Mud Day in Great Barrington. Connecting the community with its environment, Mud Day will be filled with fun mud-based games for the kids (and adults not afraid of getting a little, or a lot, muddy!).

In the Pioneer Valley, Laurel Park in Northampton will host its annual Spring Festival at Laurel Park where families can enjoy an afternoon picnic with Morris dancers, live music, and a maypole, and throughout downtown Northampton, the Community Music Center will host Springfest with live music at various locations all day.

COMMUNITY BREAKFAST

Take your family to enjoy breakfast together with your community this weekend, excellent intergenerational opportunities to engage with your family in your community!  On Saturday, there will be a free community breakfast at the Community House in Longmeadow to enjoy before Long Meddowe Days, and on Sunday, a fundraising community breakfast for the Manhan Rail Trail happens at the American Legion Hall in Easthampton before heading over to Big Rig Day.

ANIMAL STUDIES

If your kids are interested in fish, turtles, birds, sheep, nocturnal creatures, or cats & dogs, there’s an opportunity for them this coming weekend and next.  On Saturday, it’s Turtle Day at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Hampden, and the Ramsdell Library in Housatonic will host The Creature Teachers for kids to learn about creatures of the night.

On Sunday, the Forbes Library in Northampton is hosting a community bird walk where older kids can learn to spot birds, and get help identifying their markings and songs. And for the fish enthusiasts, head on over to the Turners Falls Fishway in Turners Falls to see directly into the river through a special viewing window as anadromous fish (those who live in rivers but spawn in the ocean) make their way to their Atlantic breeding grounds down the Connecticut River.

Later in the week, on Tuesday, May 22nd, families with older kids interested in volunteering at the Dakin Animal Shelter can come to an information session at the Leverett Library tin Leverett o learn about the many different activities that volunteers do and what is required of helpers. And then next week, mark your calendar for two weekend long events that celebrate all things sheep, Old Sturbridge Village’s Wool Days in Sturbridge and the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fairin Cummington.

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about all of these events and well over one hundred other family friendly events, workshops for parents, and community opportunities happening all throughout Western MA in our list of Weekly Suggested Events!

50th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills

50th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills
October 2nd, 2011

50th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills happens Sunday, Oct 2nd from 10am-4pm, rain or shine! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

The 50th Annual Conway, Massachusetts’ Festival of the Hills, an annual fall festival that has been recognized as a Library of Congress “Local Legacy” in Western Massachusetts, will take place Sunday, October 2nd from 10am-4pm. The Festival of the Hill’s numerous events will begin with the Covered Bridge Classic 10K Road Race, a 1.2 mile kids’ race at 10am. Other highlights include children’s activities from 10am-4pm, live music with The Nields at 10:30am, parade at 1pm, skillet toss at 2pm, and a book signing at the Town Memorial Park. Author/illustrators include Heidi Stemple, David Costello, Marie Betts Bartlett, Pat Leuchtman, Holly Hobbie, John Crowley, Susan Todd, Peter Jeswald, and many other!  Click here for a full schedule

SKILLET TOSS

The following video was submitted by the Conway Festival of the Hills organizers.  In this video, Sir Reginald Buttwinker tracks down and interviews the elusive former champion of the Conway, MA Festival of the Hills’ Skillet Toss. The annual skillet toss competition is a battle of brawn and wits, and Sir Reginald is on a quest to find out the secret skills needed to win the Festival of the Hills skillet toss:

Read the rest of this entry »

TICKET GIVEAWAY: Green River Festival

Win a Pair of Tickets to the
GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL
July 16th & 17th, 2011
Greenfield, MA

Enter to win a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival in Greenfield, MA! Deadline to enter to win is Thursday, July 7th. Details on how to enter to win are outlined below.

Hilltown Families and the Green River Festival have partnered up to offer two very lucky families a pair of tickets to the 25th Annual Green River Festival, the weekend of July 16th & 17th, 2011!

With a pair of tickets, and free admittance for children under twelve, two adults can take a gaggle of kids and plan on spending the at this great festival on either Saturday or Sunday (their choice)! Tickets do not including parking or food.

Details on how to enter to win are below. Deadline is Thursday, July 7th by 7pm (EST).

ABOUT THE GREEN RIVER FESTIVAL

Located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, the festival is presented by the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce on the campus of Greenfield Community College.  This 2-day festival combines music on multiple stages, delicious local food, crafts from a range of artisans, a dance tent, the River Meltdown tent, balloon illuminations and hot air balloon launches (weather permitting) for Western Massachusetts’ biggest outdoor event of the summer!

The Green River Festival began in 1986 as a balloon festival and has gained increasing popularity each year as more and more music and dance entertainment have been added. Today it has become a fantastic summer musical event in Western Massachusetts with three stages of music. This year the festival will feature Toots and the Maytals, Emmylou Harris, Eilen Jewell, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, Mister G, Wanda Jackson, Grupo Fantasma,  Patty larkin, Terry Adams and the New NRBQ, Black Joe Lewis & the Honey Bears, Baze & His Silly Friends, Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, and many many other great acts!  See the complete schedule here.

Find out more about this fabulous Western Mass festival at www.GreenRiverFestival.com.

HOW TO WIN

The Greenfield River Festival is a winning event and a great way to spend two days in Western MA!  But what about non-events? Share with us a great way to spend one day with your family in the region. 

In the spring, maybe you have a favorite sugar shack you enjoy breakfast at every year, followed by cross-country skiing at one of our local park or reservations, then your favorite place to pick up dinner at the days end.

In the summer, maybe you have your favorite morning farmers’ market you like to visit before lunch at a family friendly cafe or favorite picnic spot, followed by an afternoon bike ride or spray park, then an evening concert on the green, stopping for ice cream on the drive home.

In the fall, maybe you have a favorite farm to pick pumpkins in the morning, followed by an afternoon  hike to view the foliage, stopping for a hot cup of cider at your favorite apple orchard as the day ends?

In the winter, maybe you know of a great place to get a steaming cup of hot cocoa after sledding, snowshoe hike or ice skating at an outdoor pond with the family?

You get the idea!  We’re looking for recommended ways a family can spend a full day here in Western MA during any season. Selected recommendations will be featured on Hilltown Families throughout the year.  From those, we will randomly select two winners to receive a pair of tickets to the Green River Festival for either Saturday, July 16th or Sunday, July 17th (their choice)! 

To be eligible to win simply:

  • POST YOUR RECOMMENDATION AS OUTLINED ABOVE  (one entry per household) and be sure to tell us your
  • FULL NAME (first/last) and where you
  • LIVE (TOWN/STATE) must include your town to be eligible.
  • ACCURATE EMAIL (we never share your email address).
  • CONSIDER SHARING ON FACEBOOK and “Like” this post.
  • We’ll randomly draw two winners and will share the results below.

IT’S THAT SIMPLE! — Deadline is Thursday, 07/07/11 @ 7pm (EST).

If you don’t win, tickets are available online at www.greenriverfestival.com.

Suggested Events 11/20/10-11/26/10

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Happy Thanksgiving! If you're enjoying turkey this holiday season, there are a few local farms that raise free-ranged turkeys. This handsome heritage breed turkey is from EarthFire Farm in Ashfield, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

BEST BETS

On Saturday, November 20th from 10am-3pm – WINTER FAIR: Holiday Fair at the Hartsbrook School (193 Bay Rd.). King Winter, Gingerbread houses, craft activities, pony rides, Marionette Show, and the Pocket Person. Jump Rope Making, Candle Dipping, Games, Fabulous Gifts, and Marionette Shows. 584-3198 Hadley, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

Also on Saturday, November 20th at 10am – FAMILY FILM: Kids Flix Mix will be at the International Family Film series at Images Cinema (50 Spring St.). Kids Flix Mix is a collection of international animated shorts assembled by the New York International Children’s Film Festival, targeted at ages 3-8, but fun for all ages. www.imagescinema.org Williamstown, MA (>$)

Then on Sunday, November 21st from 3-5pm – FAMILY DANCE: Community Family Dance at First Churches (enter across from the Iron Horse). There will be live music and dances will be taught to families. All ages 3yo & up. 230-7037 Northampton, MA (>$)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Friday, November 26th at 11am – THANKSGIVING PARADE: Springfield’s Big Balloon Parade is a Pioneer Valley tradition for the day after Thanksgiving. Bring the family to see larger than life balloons parade down Main Street. After the parade, enjoy refreshments and a marionette show at Tower Square. 733-3800 (FREE)

In the evening on Friday, November 26th from 4:30-10pm  – MOONLIGHT MAGIC: An annual village tradition to kick-off the holiday season.  Stores, galleries and restaurants are open.  Luminaries line the streets.  Parade at 5pm.  This year look for Santa, the Grinch, Shriners Clowns and a Snow Princess.  Music inside and out.  Trolley rides with the SF Trolley Museum.  And more! Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

On Saturday, November 27th at 1pm & 4pm – MOVIE SCREENING: The Wizard of Oz (1946) starring Judy Garland will be shown at he Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. 528-0100 www.mahaiwe.org Great Barrington, MA (>$)

On Sunday, November 28th from 9am & 10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES:  7th Annual Gorge aprés Gorge at the Chesterfield Gorge.  5K ($10) at 9am.  Free family/community walk/run at 10am.  A lovely community post-Thanksgiving outing.  Read more here. West Chesterfield, MA ($, FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

CHILDCARE SUBSIDIES AVAILABLE: For income eligible families with children ages 0-5 residing in the towns of Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Peru, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, and Worthington. Adult(s) must be working, or in a vocational or educational program during childcare hours to qualify for assistance. If your gross household annual income is below the limits listed, you may be eligible: Household of 2 ($50,050), Household of 3 ($56,300), Household of 4 ($62,550), Household of 5 ($67,600), Household of 6 ($72,600). Contact Jennifer Reagan for application: 230-8552 conreag@comcast.net. This Program is funded by a Community Development Block Grant from the MA Dept. of Housing and Community Development and the Towns of Chesterfield & Cummington.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

HILLTOWN CLOTHING EXCHANGE: Ashfield Needles & Threads is working in collaboration with Share the Warmth to host a Free Clothing Exchange – a community hand-me-around to facilitate Recycling, Reusing, Sharing and Happiness! It starts with collecting: please drop off clean clothes and shoes in excellent condition – all seasons and sizes – in the foyer of St. John’s Church (corner of Main & South Streets in Ashfield) anytime between the afternoon of Sunday, 11/14 & Friday, 11/19. Then, come see what we have for you on Saturday, November 20th from 9am–2pm in the Ashfield Community Hall (Grange) on Main Street. Everyone is encouraged to bring family and friends and their own reusable shopping bags. Leftover items will be distributed through Share the Warmth. 628-4527

SURVEY FOR FAMILY SERVICES IN THE HILLTOWNS: A staff representative from the Hilltown Community Health Center’s Families Together program will be at the Cummington Family Center, 33 Main St. in Cummington, on Wednesday, December 1st from 10-11am. Hilltown residents wishing to give comments, suggestions, or ideas for improvement to the program are invited to drop by and complete a survey. Anyone wishing to give input but unable to make the session may obtain a survey at the Worthington Health Center or call the health center at 238-5511 x155 to find out how to complete a survey. Families Together is funded by the Massachusetts Community Development Block Grant Program. To remain eligible for these funds, the program must annually gather this information.

LETTER TO SANTA: The Huntington Library will have materials available from now until 12/18 to write and send a letter to Santa. The earlier these are sent, the better the chance to receive a reply from Santa before the holiday. 667-3506

TEEN SUPPORT: Donate to “Gifts for Teens.” This program provides area gift certificates and gifts to teens ages 13 to 18 who do not traditionally qualify for local programs providing gifts for low-income families. Names of youths who qualify are acquired from several local non-profit agencies, schools, and churches. This year a much larger number of names is anticipated due to the weak economy. Please donate money or local gift certificates, so that no one has to be turned away. Checks can be made out to CHP-SBCC, with “Gifts for Teens” in the memo line. Checks and gift certificates can be mailed to 343 Main Street, P.O. Box 30 Great Barrington, MA 01230. Contact Shelley Brooks for more info or to volunteer 528-1919 x14

NEW EXHIBIT: Nov 20 – Feb 13, Robots: The Interactive Exhibition, Springfield Museums. The wit, excitement and imagination of 20th Century Fox’s animated film Robots combine for a fun, educational experience that the whole family will enjoy. The exhibition features more than 15 interactive areas on the world of robotics. In Robot Explorers, visitors can use a robotic probe to explore underwater, deep space or the surface of Mars. Families can take a spin on the Crosstown Express, exploring robotic vehicles both real and fictional. Industrial Robots allows visitors to program an actual Ford robotic arm, and Robot Round Up explores robots in daily life. Visit www.springfieldmuseums.org for more info.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: THANKSGIVING EPISODE

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

This week on the HFVS is our Thanksgiving Episode, featuring music by Keller Williams, Cab Calloway, Caspar Babypants, The Missoula Coyote Choir, Fats Waller, Patty Griffin, The Verve Pipe, Forest Sun, Sweet Honey in the Rock and many many others.

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.

HFVS Podcast

PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 11/13/10-11/19/10

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

The Fall Chrysanthemum Show at the Lyman Conservatory of the Smith College Botanic Garden happens all weekend from 10am-4pm. Take the kids and enjoy the greenhouses with the family. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

BEST BETS

On Saturday, November 13th at 1:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: No Nap Happy Hour continues with The Flannery Brothers and R.O.C.K, performing a family concert at Flywheel (43 Main St.). www.flywheelarts.org Easthampton, MA (>$)

On Sunday, November 14th from 1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Family Festival at the Norman Rockwell Museum with Caldecott-winning illustrator, Jerry Pinkney. Family events all day, including art, readings and tours. 298-4100 www.nrm.org Stockbridge, MA (KIDS FREE, ADULTS $)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

On Friday, November 19th from 6-9pm –  MOMS NIGHT OUT: Yoga and Women’s Gifting Circle at the Shelburne Falls Yoga Studio. A lovely mom’s night out to relax and consider gifts from the Women’s Peace Collection. shelburnefallsyoga.blogspot.com (FREE, SALE)

On Saturday, November 20st at 10am – FAMILY FILM: Kids Flix Mix will be at the International Family Film series at Images Cinema (50 Spring St.). Kids Flix Mix is a collection of international animated shorts assembled by the New York International Children’s Film Festival, targeted at ages 3-8, but fun for all ages. www.imagescinema.org Williamstown, MA (>$)

On Sunday, November 21st from 3-5pm – FAMILY DANCE: Community Family Dance at First Churches (enter across from the Iron Horse).  There will be live music and dances will be taught to families.  All ages 3yo & up. 230-7037 Northampton, MA (>$)

BULLETIN BOARD

CONCERT IN THE HILLTOWNS: On Saturday, November 13th at 8pm, Peter Tork (of the Monkees) and his band Shoe Suede Blues will be in concert to benefit the Institute for the Musical Arts’ (IMA) programs for women and girls in IMA’s Big Barn at 165 Cape St. (Hwy 112) in Goshen. Suggested donation: $15-$50 per person. Click here to get tickets on-line. Great cause, great music, great room to hear it in. For more information contact IMA at : (413) 268-3074

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

Bill Harley writes: Free download of my song, “Enough is a Feast” to remind us that there are those with less. Wrote this song after I was hanging out with Nancy Schimmel, daughter of Malvina Reynolds, who said that line to her more than once.

NEIGHBORHOOD TOY STORE DAY: This Saturday is “Neighborhood Toy Store Day,” a national day that honors and encourages support of locally owned, independent toy stores. On Saturday, Hilltown Families sponsor, The Toy Stop of Northampton will be giving 10% off of any purchase to readers of Hilltown Families! Just mention “Hilltown Families” and get your discount. Visit The Toy Stop online at thetoystoplaughplaylearn.com

TAKE ACTION: Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has recently launched a campaign to encourage parents and teachers to ask Scholastic to stop the promotion of SunnyD in schools. Read more about their campaign here.

HILLTOWN CLOTHING EXCHANGE: Ashfield Needles & Threads is working in collaboration with Share the Warmth to host a Free Clothing Exchange – a community hand-me-around to facilitate Recycling, Reusing, Sharing and Happiness! It starts with collecting: please drop off clean clothes and shoes in excellent condition – all seasons and sizes – in the foyer of St. John’s Church (corner of Main & South Streets in Ashfield) anytime between the afternoon of Sunday, 11/14 & Friday, 11/19. Then, come see what we have for you on Saturday, November 20th from 9am–2pm in the Ashfield Community Hall (Grange) on Main Street. Everyone is encouraged to bring family and friends and their own reusable shopping bags. Leftover items will be distributed through Share the Warmth. 628-4527

Stacey Mackowiak of Cummington, MA writes: Handmade for Kids Holiday Fair at the Cummington Community House in Cummington, MA on November 13th 10-3pm. The Handmade for Kids Holiday fair features local crafters selling beautiful, handmade goods for kids of all ages; toys, clothing, diapers, art, ceramics, and much more. We will have holiday crafts for kids, a children’s play space, baked goods, and a raffle featuring baskets of handmade goods. Admission is free so bring the whole family! The event is a fundraiser for the Cummington Family Center, for more information go to www.cummingtonfamilycenter.org.

BREASTFEEDING RESOURCES: Looking for help with breastfeeding? Did you know that Cooley Dick offers breastfeeding services, supplies and equipment? Group support is offered every Monday from 12-1pm and individual breastfeeding consultations are available via referral. Their Breastfeeding Clinic has a variety of support items available too. Give them call at 582-2096. — Another great local resource is The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog. Based out of Western MA, lactation consultant Tanya Lieberman hosts the blog and does an excellent job sharing information and resources! – And be sure to check out List of Weekly Suggested Events for breastfeeding workshops & support groups.


HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

This week on the HFVS the Dream Jam Band is our Guest DJ, spinning tunes by The Tornados, Owl Jolson, Pete Seeger, Jerry Garcia & David Grisman, The Turtles, Falther Goose and many others!

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 11/13

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    9am – OPEN HOUSE: The Berkshire County Day School will be hosting an open house and preschool play dated (Route 183). 637-0755 www.berkshirecountryday.org Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

    10:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Animal ABC’s: Busy Bold Beavers. Kids 6yo and younger can learn about this master builder and what the beavers tools are. Build a beaver home with mud and sticks. At the M.M. Spear Memorial Library. (978) 544-5157 www.mnspear.org Shutesbury, MA (FREE)

    10am-12Noon – ANIMAL STUDIES: Bird Banding Demonstration at Pleasant Valley (472 W. Mt. Rd.). Observe birds closeup and see a demonstration of mist next and the banding of captured birds. Learn how information is gathered in this fieldwork. www.massaudubon.org Lenox, MA (>$)

    10am-12Noon – BABY SHOWER: A community baby shower will be at the Berkshire Mall Center Court for expecting families to learn about labor, delivery, infant care, breastfeeding, nutrition, lead poisoning, child care, parenting strategies and more from local agencies. Lanesborough, MA (FREE)

    10am-3pm – CRAFT FAIR: Cummington Family Center craft fair at the Cummington Community House, featuring handmade item for kids of all ages made by local artisans and crafters. 634-8853 Cummington, MA (SALE)

    10am-3pm – HOLIDAY BAZAAR: JFK PTO will be hosting its 2nd Annual Holiday Bazaar at JFK Middle School. Florence, MA (SALE)

    10am-4pm – SECONDS SALE: First weekend of three: Snow Farms Seconds Sale.  A great place to let the kids run around outside while perusing their sale.  Make your own glass ornament too! www.snowfarm.org Williamsburg, MA (SALE)

    10am-4pm – CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW: The Botanic Garden Lyman Conservatory of Smith College (15 College Lane) will host a Fall Chrysanthemum Show. A sweet event to take the family to. 585-2740 Northampton, MA (FREE, DONATION)

    10am-5pm – VOCATIONAL STUDIES: Artists in the Arts and Industry Building (Pine St.) will open up their studios this weekend and invite all to come by. A great opportunity for vocational studies with the kids. The will be food and drinks from Hilltown Families Sponsors, Cup & Top and Bread Euphoria too. Florence, MA (FREE)

    10:30an-12noon – LOCAL HISTORY: Older students will enjoy a walking tour that will illustrate the history of railroads in Springfield from 1839 to 1930 on a tour lead by Jim Boone, past president of the Springfield Preservation Trust. He will point out the sites of four old Springfield railroad stations and talk about the building of the Hotel Massasoit and the railroad arch over Main Street. Meet at Welcome Center at the Springfield Museums. 747-1830 aqca@kimballtowers.com Springfield, MA(>$)

    11am-2pm – NATURE STUDIES: Mass Audubon Basin Pond Ecology Hike with naturalist Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow Environmental and Cultural Programs. A moderate three-mile hike to Basin Pond with  northern hardwood forests, glacial erratics, remnants of impoundment dams and old settlements. Learn how to identify native trees and plants in their late fall colors along the way.  Register by calling 584-3009 www.massaudubon.org Berkshires, MA ($)

    12Noon – 4:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Holiday gift making at Historic Deerfield. With thread and a needle museum educators will help visitors embroider a small design or initials on a cloth napkin. Make a unique napkin ring to go along with the napkin, and tie it up with a ribbon. Then decorate a card, and put it a gift bag. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    1-2:30pm – READING ADVENTURES: Family Adventures in Reading (FAIR) will be offered at the Indian Orchard Branch Library (44 Oak St.) with professional storyteller John Porcino lerading families and children 6 and older in discussions about children’s stories on topics such as fairness, courage, and dreams. Snacks will be provided. Register at 263-6846 www.springfieldlibrary.org Springfield, MA (FREE)

    1:30-3:20pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($)

    ♦ 2-3:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena (575 Maple St.) Skate rentals available. 532-2929 Holyoke, MA ($)

    1:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: No Nap Happy Hour continues with The Flannery Brothers and R.O.C.K, performing a family concert at Flywheel (43 Main St.). www.flywheelarts.org Easthampton, MA (>$)

    2pm & 3pm – THEATER: Picture Book Theatre Presents Tico and The Golden Wings and Geraldine, The Music Mouse in the auditorium at the Eric Carle Museum. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA ($)

    2-4pm – INFANT CPR: Infant CPR & basic first aid at Cradle. 341-5282 http://www.cradlefamily.com Northampton, MA ($$)

    2-5pm – DANCE CLASS: Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance will host free Irish dance classes in their studio (267 Main St.). 4-6yo @ 2pm. 6-8yo @ 3pm. 8yo+ @ 4pm. Adults @ 5pm. www.celticheelsdance.com Greenfield, MA (FREE)

    2-5pm – GIRLS CIRCLE: The Girl Circle, an ongoing group for girls between 9-12 yrs to explore their holistic relationship with the seasons, the moon cycles, sense of self and esteem, body image and awareness, verbal vocal clarity, holistic empowerment, fullness of expression, and gain skills for managing and balancing emotional and physical health and wholeness. Led by Alisa Wright Tanny. 695-6950 Conway/Shelburne Falls, MA ($$)

    3pm – FOLK CONCERT: Sea Chanteys at the Ashfield Community Hall with some of the best singers in Maritime Music. http://www.maudesmusic.com Ashfield, MA ($)

    5-8pm – ART WALK: Easthampton Art Walk.  Follow the yellow banners. www.ArtWalkEasthampton.org Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    8pm – CONCERT: Peter Tork (of the Monkees) and his band Shoe Suede Blues will be performing in concert to benefit the Institute for the Musical Arts in IMA’s Big Barn at 165 Cape St. (Hwy 112). www.ima.org Goshen, MA ($,SLIDING SCALE)

    8-11pm – SQUARE DANCE: All are welcomed to a square dance with the Fall Town String Band and caller, Bill Wiles. 773-8936 Goshen, MA (>$)

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    Suggested Events 11/6/10-11/12/10

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Field of glowing jack-o-lanterns at Old Sturbridge Village's Halloween event, Things That Go Bump in the Night. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 10/30/10-11/05/10

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    The 3rd Annual Surrealist Cabaret and Pumpkin Walk, hosted by the Royal Frog Ballet on Bramble Hill in Amherst, MA last weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    There are so many terrific community events and activities happening this weekend for Halloween scroll down and peruse the list, and don’t for get to check our list of Rag Shag parades too!

    On Saturday, October 30th at 1pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Kids Gallery Halloween Quest at MASS MoCA. For kids ages 6-12 and their adult companions. Costumes encouraged. RSVP 664-4481 x8112 www.massmoca.org North Adams, MA ($, FREE FOR MEMBERS)

    In the evening on Saturday, October 30th from 5-9pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Things That Go Bump in the Night at Old Sturbridge Village. Includes The Trail of Terror (ages 11yo & up), haunted pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, puppet show with Caravan Puppets, and more. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

    On Sunday, October 31st from 11am-4pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Supernatural Sunday: Halloween in at Historic Deerfield. Enjoy the fun of Halloween and the beauty of harvest during the fall season with seasonal hearth cooking, pumpkin decorating, wagon rides, mask-making, and face painting. Wear a costume and enjoy some early trick-or-treating at select historic houses. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Next weekend: CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW: The Botanic Garden Lyman Conservatory of Smith College (15 College Lane) will host a Fall Chrysanthemum Show. A sweet event to take the family to. 585-2740 Northampton, MA (FREE, DONATION)

    And, CIDER DAYS: An annual celebration of hard and sweet cider. www.ciderday.org Franklin County, MA

    BULLETIN BOARD

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    FREE AFTERNOON PROGRAM: Every Tuesday in November, Hilltown Families sponsor, Cup and Top Cafe (1 N Main St.) in Florence, will host a free Puppet Show – Sing Along Time with Anna Sobel of Talking Hands Theatre for families with kids up to 5yo! Meet different puppets every week. Learn hand motions to classic kids’ songs and pick up some catchy new tunes. Anna is a former preschool music teacher and led sing-alongs at Brooklyn cafes for five years. She makes her own puppets and has a magical way of making everything fun and interactive for young children. Donations welcomed. 585-9565 www.cupandtop.com

    (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Biocitizen is seeking volunteers to begin a long-term stream monitoring project in collaboration w/MA DEP. We use the rapid biotic assessment technique, which involves collecting and inventorying benthic invertebrates (water bugs); the type of bugs we find give us a gauge of the stream’s health. We’re scheduling 4 assessments for these 4 weekend days from 1-3 pm: Oct. 30 & 31, Nov. 6 & 7. Children and families are invited to be trained for free. It’s great for those interested in biology, ecology, environmental protection. It is possible, since this is a long-term project, for families, and their schools, to adopt a stream and watch over it. Contact Kurt Heidinger at bioticitizen@gmail.com.

    Leslie Chaison of Greenfield, MA writes: Just Roots, a local citizens’ group, will host a Public Forum in the Town of Greenfield on Sunday, November 7th at 2pm at the Greenfield High School. This forum will be a conversation to help define, as a Greenfield area community, the best use of the Greenfield Town Farm, which includes 31 acres of prime farmland. This conversation will include decision makers, working farmers, community gardeners, social service networks, educators, permaculturists, and you. The forum will be held in the Greenfield High School Cafeteria. The high school is located off Silver Street in Greenfield. Please come and be part of the vision! For more information, contact jaylordjr@gmail.com.

    (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    ENERGY AUDITS: Free energy audits for WMECO homes, performed by Co-op Power. If your electric provider is WMECO, or if your gas heat is provided by Berkshire Gas, call to set up ap free audit, which is much more comprehensive than those offered by utility companies. Contact Jane Anderson, (413) 695-6430, jane@cooppower.coop, www.cooppower.coop

    READING MENTOR PROGRAM: The Forbes Library Teen Department in Northampton, MA is looking for tween/teen volunteers to read to younger children once a week or about an hour for their Reading and Mentoring Program. Younger children who may not have older brothers/sisters who would like to spend time with an older friend are wanted too. Call to sign up: 587-1010.

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week is our Halloween Episode, with music by Justin Roberts, Jamie Broza, Recess Monkey, The Hobo Nickels, Rosemary Clooney, Caspar Babypants, Mister G and many others!

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the BerkshiresListen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 10/30

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Last market of the season and Customer Appreciation Day. Many of the vendors will also be in costume for Halloween. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9am-12:30pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: The Rivulet Trail that inspired William Cullen Bryant to write one of his most famous poems needs your help. Old Growth Trees and Trail Work on the Rivulet at the Bryant Homestead (207 Bryant Rd.). After working to control trail erosion in the morning, take a walk with Bob Leverett and learn more about this historic stand of old growth pines. Please wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves. Bring your lunch and enjoy a post-work picnic with a spectacular view. Call The Trustees of Reservations 532.1631 x13. Cummington, MA (FREE)

    9:30am-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: What’s cooking? Open hearth cooking at the Historic Deerfield. Open hearth cooks will prepare select dishes that are on display as part of the exhibition Dinner is Served!: Dining and the Decorative Arts. Come see “what’s cooking” and learn how these dishes were prepared in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The history workshop: Pots, Pans and Porridge: Children in the Colonial Kitchen, will be offered too starting at 12Noon. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    10am – HIKE: The Deerfield River Watershed Association offers a hike in a different part of the Catamount Hills. Led by Colrain historian Muriel Russell. Hikers will pass beaver ponds and lunch at the south end of MacLeod Pond. 624-3311 Colrain, MA (FREE)

    10am-3pm – CHILDBIRTH CLASS: The Hilltown Community Health Center will offer a free childbirth education class. This day-long format will prepare families for the childbirth experience in one session. Ann Buscemi, certified childbirth educator, will talk about what to expect in labor and delivery, as well as breathing and relaxation techniques. Call Lee at 238-5511 x155 for more information on location and to register. www.hchcweb.org Huntington, MA (FREE)

    10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC TRADE: Made By Hand: Trades-by-Hand-Trades of the Past: Letterpress Printing & Gravestone Carving demonstrations at Historic Deerfield. See historic trades demonstrations of letterpress printing with Carl Darrow, and gravestone carving with Karin Sprague. www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    11am-12Noon – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween stories and craft with Robin Foley at the Whatley Library. Children ages 3 and up are invited to come in costume (or not) and share some stories and a craft – decorate a trick-or-treat tote bag! Please call to register 665-2170. Whatley, MA (FREE)

    11am-2pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween party at the Huntington Library. Wear a costume and join in games and snacks. 667-3506 www.thehuntingtonpubliclibrary.org Huntington, MA (FREE)

    11am-5pm – TROLLEY MUSEUM : Kids can ride the trolley and take a hand at pumping the handcar. Any child under sixteen gets free candy on Halloween, while supplies last. www.sftm.org Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

    11am – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Lenox Library Association Youth Department presents haunted, but not too haunting, tales for the young and young-at-heart, told with puppets, props and audience participation. Families will be treated to ghoulish goodies and boo brew. Come dressed in costume (optional) for a howling good time. This program is appropriate for ages 4 to 10. 637-0197 x105 Lenox, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-Dusk – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Carnival at Burgundy Brook Farm 3090 Palmer St. (Rt 181). Halloween Egg Hunt (3pm), horse-drawn hay rides and pumpkin picking. Show your Halloween spirit! Come in costume! Games and Prizes! All proceeds benefit the horses at Blue Star Equiculture. http://www.equiculture.org Palmer, MA (>$)

    12:15pm & 2:20pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Express at the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum. Kid-friendly Halloween train rides with fun decorations, treats for the kids, and free pumpkins to all children 12 and under while supplies last. Come in costume. www.berkshirescenicrailroad.org Lenox, MA ($)

    1pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Kids Gallery Halloween Quest at MASS MoCA. For kids ages 6-12 and their adult companions. Costumes encouraged. RSVP 664-4481 x8112 www.massmoca.org North Adams, MA ($, FREE FOR MEMBERS)

    1-2:30pm – READING ADVENTURES: Family Adventures in Reading (FAIR) will be offered at the Indian Orchard Branch Library (44 Oak St.) with professional storyteller John Porcino lerading families and children 6 and older in discussions about children’s stories on topics such as fairness, courage, and dreams. Snacks will be provided. Register at 263-6846 www.springfieldlibrary.org Springfield, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween decorating party at the town hall.  Decorate cookies, make crafts.  Russell, MA (FREE)

    1:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: No Nap Happy Hour continues with Billy Kelly and the Blah Blah Blahs, along with local band School for the Dead, performing a family concert at Flywheel (43 Main St.). Costumes are encouraged. www.flywheelarts.org Easthampton, MA (>$)

    2pm – THEATER: Picture Book Theatre Presents Tico and The Golden Wings and Geraldine, The Music Mouse in the auditorium at the Eric Carle Museum. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA ($)

    2pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Hokey Halloween with Susie Magoozy. Silly scary stories for all. Reg. 562-6158 x5 Westfield, MA (FREE)

    2-4:30PM – RESKILLING: Traditional Pickling at the Cummington Community House kitchen (33 Main St.) with Sarah Stockwell. Preserve vegetables the old-fashioned no-vinegar, no-heat way with friendly bacteria cultures. music@sarahstockwell.com 634-8062 Cummington, MA ($$)

    2-3pm – RESKILLING: Food Preservation 101 at the Hancock Shaker Village. 443-0188 http://www.hancockshakervillage.org Pittsfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    5-6:45pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Munchkin Haunted Hay Rides at McCray’s Farm (55 Alvord St.). Gentle, exciting ride for families with children 7yo and younger. 533-0775 www.mccrays-farm.com South Hadley, MA ($)

    5-8pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Town of Worthington Rec. Dept. hosts a townwide trick-or-treating, Wicked Wickets, DJ,and food. Click here for more info. Worthington, MA (FREE)

    5-9pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Things That Go Bump in the Night at Old Sturbridge Village. Includes The Trail of Terror (ages 11yo & up), haunted pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, puppet show with Caravan Puppets, and more. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

    5:30-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Haunted Train and Lights Display at Look Park. Train ride for 5yo+. 584-5457 www.lookpark.org Northampton, MA (FREE ENTRANCE, >$)

    6-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Blandford Recreation Committee will be putting on a Halloween party at the former elementary school with music, crafts, food and magic.848-2459

    6-9:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Skeleton Crew Theater (SCT) at Camp Kee-Wanee. SCT is a theatrical attraction with a Halloween twist. Think of it as a treasure/scavenger hunt you’ll solve in one evening. Shows are 45/65 minutes long. Dress for the outdoors and bring a flashlight. Not scary or gory, just spooky in a tasteful way. Bad weather cancels. www.skeletoncrewtheater.com Greenfield, MA ($)

    6:30-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween dance and party at Whole Childen (41 Russell St.). 585-8010 www.wholechildren.org Hadley, MA (>$)

    6:30-7:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Celebration around the Campfire with Roger Tincknell through songs, stories and dance. Dress warmly and bring flashlights and blankets or chairs for seating. Program meets behind Visitor Center at the Northfield Mountain Recreation & Environmental Center. Pre-registration required (800) 859-2960 Northfield, MA (FREE)

    7-9pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Animals and Night Hike at Arcadia. Learn the truth about animals we associate with Halloween through games and crafts, indoors and outdoors. 584-3009 www.massaudubon.org Easthampton, MA (>$)

    7pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Family Friendly Haunted Hayrides at Echo Hill Orchards. 267-3303 Monson, MA

    7pm – 10pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: 8th annual 3D Haunted Trail at The Panek’s Woods (17 Cedar Glen). Belchertown, MA (DONATIONS)

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    Bread and Books Benefit Hilltown Libraries

    Bread and Books at Bread Euphoria: A Fundraising Benefit for the Williamsburg Libraries

    Bread & Books, a benefit for the Meekins and Haydenville Libraries. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Join local writers and readers for good food and good conversation on Monday, November 8th, 2011, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bread Euphoria, in Haydenville, MA to support the Meekins and Haydenville libraries. Enjoy hot soup and home-cooked casseroles and of course bread and treats provided by Bread Euphoria and friends, on a cold autumn evening for Bread and Books, a fundraising event.

    Find out what Patricia Maclachlan, Ann Turner, Ellen Wittlinger, Rochelle Wildfong, Erica Verillo, Jack Barry and Jim Cahillane love to read. Talk with them about their books, your books and more books! Come to Bread and Books!

    Do you have a beloved book that you read again and again? Is there a special book that you read to your child or grandchild each night? Have you ever wondered if your favorite author has a favorite book?

    Enjoy hot soup and home-cooked casseroles and of course bread and treats provided by Bread Euphoria and friends. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Bring your favorite book and be among the first people to have your picture taken with your all-time favorite book and inaugurate the dynamic “Williamsburg Reads” portraits that will be on display in the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA.

    This fundraising evening with our community authors will benefit the Meekins and Haydenville Libraries. Seating is limited.  Neighbors are ready to help with rides so everyone who wants to can come. For information call: 268-7472 or email ddarienzo@me.com.

    Suggested Events 10/23/10-10/29/10

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Day of the Dead altar at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA. This year the Meekins Library will have their community altar for the Day of the Dead on display from 10/23-11/3. All are invited to bring a small token of remembrance of a person or animal they have loss, marigolds, sugar skulls, etc. to add to the display. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    On Saturday, Oct. 23rd from 11am-4pm – SCIENCE ADVENTURES: “What Is It? Day” at the Springfield Science Museum. Visitors are invited to bring in unusual artifacts or mystery objects they have found for identification and information. Scientists and experts will be on hand to look at and identify fossils, rocks, and minerals as well as prehistoric and historic artifacts. “What is It? Day” has been planned in conjunction with Massachusetts Archaeology Month. 263-6800 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org Springfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    Later on Saturday, Oct. 23rd from 6-8pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Haunted Farm at Red Gate Farm. A festive Halloween Celebration complete with a “not-so-scary” haunted barn, games, food, treats, and a haunted hay ride! Put on your costume and come on over! The only scary part is how much our farm animals are looking forward to Halloween! Ages 3 – 12. No registration necessary. Please call the Farm Office for more information. 625-9503 www.redgatefarm.org Buckland, MA (>$)

    On Sunday, Oct. 24th at 5:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: The 3rd Annual Surrealist Cabaret and Pumpkin Walk, hosted by the Royal Frog Ballet on Bramble Hill (S. Pleasant St.). Starts promptly at 5:30pm. Dancing grannies, hooting from tree tops, and much more. Bring mug, wear walking shoes, dress warmly. www.theroyalfrogballet.com Amherst, MA ($)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Learn how to make Mexican Sugar Skulls

    Learn to make Mexican Sugar Skulls for Day of the Dead, traditionally celebrated on November 3rd.

    On Saturday, Oct. 30th from 5-9pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Things That Go Bump in the Night at Old Sturbridge Village. Includes The Trail of Terror (ages 11yo & up), haunted pumpkin patch, trick-or-treating, puppet show with Caravan Puppets, and more. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

    On Sunday, Oct. 31st from 11am-4pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Supernatural Sunday: Halloween in at Historic Deerfield. Enjoy the fun of Halloween and the beauty of harvest during the fall season with seasonal hearth cooking, pumpkin decorating, wagon rides, mask-making, and face painting. Wear a costume and enjoy some early trick-or-treating at select historic houses. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.orgDeerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MAHERBAL CLASS SERIES: Herbal Medicine for Children and Babies in Ashfield at Blazing Star Herbal School. The class will begin with pre-conceptive health care and continue throughout childhood, covering pathologies and common and uncommon states. The class will discuss methods to help prevent compromised immune systems and ways to strengthen the terrain. Cultures around the world will be compared and contrasted. Clarity will be given on appropriate dosage for children and methods of administration. Explore creative medicine making and making nourishing condiments. Students will leave with a complete Materia Medica for Children’s Health. Dates: Friday Mornings Oct 22, Nov 5, Nov 19th Last date TBA .Cost for 4 classes $130

    MOTHER-DAUGHTER PROJECT:Anticipating Adolescence: Renee Schultz, co-author of The Mother-Daughter Project invites you to explore many of the commonly held beliefs about mothers and daughters while offering a new model of connection. On Thursday, October 28th at the Anne T. Dumphy School in Williamsburg, MA at 7pm. Geared toward mothers of girls ages 6-12. Childcare will be provided. More info HERE.

    Deadline to enter to win: 11/3/10

    Cherylann Richards is the Outreach Coordinator for the Old Creamery Co-op writes: Your views are critical to our effort. Please take our survey online. or pick up a paper survey at The Old Creamery. As our thanks for completing the survey, we will hold a drawing with a Grand Prize of a $100 Old Creamery gift certificate and 5 runner-up prizes of a Creamery-made pie or cake. The drawing will be held on Nov 1, deadline for responses is Oct 29. To be entered, you must provide your contact information. All responses are confidential, and we will not share your contact information. If you have questions, please contact our Outreach Coordinator Cherylann Richards at cherylann@oldcreamery.coop. Thank you!

    RECYCLING FUNDRAISER: Littleville Elementary School in Huntington, MA is participating in this free fundraiser. Please donate your empty printer cartridges and used cell phones to the school. They will recycle them through the Funding Factory to earn new playground equipment, books and other items for the school. Last year, more than 300 million cartridges were thrown away and 30 million cell phones were tossed or replaced. Help the environment and help Littleville!

    DIY: Halloween Paper-Maché Piñatas

    DIY: Halloween Paper-Maché Piñatas

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: The Parent Aide Program (serving Hampshire County) Trained volunteers provide weekly home visits to families in need of support. The program encourages parents to set their own goals, and Parent Aides partner with parents to attain them. Parent Aides provide both concrete and emotional support to improve coping and life skills and connect parents to needed community services. Through their involvement with the Parent Aide program, families become more connected to both formal and informal community supports, enabling parents to experience less isolation, depression and family violence. The service typically lasts about one year. Training forming now. Please contact Katarina at Berkshire Children and Families in Hadley at (413) 584-5690 ext. 140 or knoyes@bcfcma.org

    Bobbie Knox of Williamsburg, MA writes: Friends of the Williamsburg Libraries is having a Move it for Meekins (Library) and Chili Fest on October 24th from 12noon-3pm during the Williamsburg Fall Festival. The Move it for Meekins has a Trick or Treat Walk (in costume) with cookies and cider served at the turn around point, among funny tomb stones, spooky music for families, and a Woodland Trails 2 hour walk for the more hardy walker. Right after the walks starts the chili fest with great chili and corn bread, drinks and desert. Dining is on straw bales on the library lawn. Register before walks at Meekins Library. www.meekins-library.org

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS, Morgan Taylor of Gustafer Yellowgold is our Guest DJ, playing excellent tunes from his childhood plus great music from current albums, including Bread, John Sebastien, Caspar Babypants, Pilot, Recess Monkey, and many others!

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


     

    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday -10/23

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKETOn the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9:30am-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: What’s cooking? Open hearth cooking at the Historic Deerfield. Open hearth cooks will prepare select dishes that are on display as part of the exhibition Dinner is Served!: Dining and the Decorative Arts. Come see “what’s cooking” and learn how these dishes were prepared in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The history workshop: Pots, Pans and Porridge: Children in the Colonial Kitchen, will be offered too starting at 12Noon. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    10am-2pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Pumpkin painting and scarecrow building with the police and fire departments at the Williamsburg Snack Shack Parking Lot (Route 9). Rain or shine. Haydenville, MA (FREE, DONATIONS)

    10am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Bird banding demo at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (472 W. Mountain Rd.) 637-0320 Lenox, MA (>$)

    10:30am-12Noon – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Children’s Halloween Party at the Carnegie Library. Refreshments, games, face painting, and arts and crafts. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. 863-3214 Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

    11am-3pm – FALL FAIR/OPEN HOUSE: The Montessori School of Northampton’s annual Children’s Fall Fair and Open House (51 Bates St.). The full day of fun for families will include children’s games, arts and crafts, pony rides, a petting zoo, a bounce house, and more. Entertainment will be provided by Hooping Harmony, singer-songwriter Chris Scanlon, clown Peppermint Pattie and storyteller Tom McCabe (of Paintbox Theater). 586-4538 www.northamptonmontessori.com Northampton, MA (FREE ENTRANCE) Rain dates: 10/24.

    11am-4pm – SCIENCE ADVENTURES: “What Is It? Day” at the Springfield Science Museum. Visitors are invited to bring in unusual artifacts or mystery objects they have found for identification and information. Scientists and experts will be on hand to look at and identify fossils, rocks, and minerals as well as prehistoric and historic artifacts. “What is It? Day” has been planned in conjunction with Massachusetts Archaeology Month. 263-6800 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org Springfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Northampton Community Music Series featuring Gustafer Yellowgold in the auditorium at the Eric Carle Museum. 658-1100 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA ($)

    1-2:30pm – READING ADVENTURES: Family Adventures in Reading (FAIR) will be offered at the Indian Orchard Branch Library (44 Oak St.) with professional storyteller John Porcino lerading families and children 6 and older in discussions about children’s stories on topics such as fairness, courage, and dreams. Snacks will be provided. Register at 263-6846 www.springfieldlibrary.org Springfield, MA (FREE)

    1-3pm – DOG PARADE: The Friends of the Dickinson Memorial Library (115 Main St.) are sponsoring a dog show and parade. Bring your dog or come and cheer the contestants on. 498-2455 www.northfieldpubliclibrary.org Northfield, MA (>$, FREE)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 10/09/10-10/15/10

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Click on image to learn how to make a Halloween Paper-Maché Piñata

    DIY: Halloween Paper-Maché Piñatas—The history of piñatas is rich, with historical traditions found in China, Europe, and Mexico, and are made out of a variety of materials, including clay pots, tissue paper, ribbons and paper-maché. In Mexico, piñatas were originally clay pots filled with sweets and treasures, later transformed into a seven-point star with religious symbolism. In today’s modern world, piñatas come in a menagerie of traditional and commercial characters and icons. Click on the image above to learn how to make your very own Halloween Paper-Maché Piñata with Hilltown Families Guest Artist, Kara Kitchen. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    On Saturday & Sunday, October 9th & 10th from 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Ashfield Fall Festival takes place on Main Street (rain or shine). A fabulous family event. Arts & Craft exhibits, local food, live music and dance, many kid activities, book & tag sales, seasonal foods. A showcase of Ashfield artisans and businesses. No dogs. www.ashfieldfallfestival.org Ashfield, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

    On Saturday night, October 9th from 6-9:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Skeleton Crew Theater (SCT) at Camp Kee-Wanee. SCT is a theatrical attraction with a Halloween twist. Think of it as a treasure/scavenger hunt you’ll solve in one evening. Shows are 45/65 minutes long. Dress for the outdoors and bring a flashlight. Not scary or gory, just spooky in a tasteful way. Bad weather cancels. www.skeletoncrewtheater.com Greenfield, MA ($)

    On Sunday night, October 10th at 7:30pm – CONCERT: Sonya Kitchell will be in concert at Memorial Hall. Joining her for this special evening is the Brooklyn String Quartet with opening act, Rusty Belle. 665-4036 Shelburne Falls, MA ($$)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    On Saturday, October 16th from 10am-3pm – DISCOVERY DAY: Arcadia Discovery Day invites you to come explore the sanctuary and its many habitats, take a net and investigate the small invertebrates in the pond and field, build a bluebird or American kestrel box, and see live birds up close with local wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi. www.massaudubon.org Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    On Sunday, October 17th at 12:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Westhampton’s 5th Annual Fall Festival with the famous Great Pumpkin Roll (4:15pm). Demos, crafts, 5k, cookout, campfire sing-along. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    KID’S CONSIGNMENT SALE: On Saturday, October 9th, come shop The Green Turtle’s Fall/Winter Children’s Consignment Sale at Richmond Town Hall (1529 State Rd.) in Richmond, MA from 10am–5pm. The Green Turtle is an upscale Children’s Eco Boutique showcasing high-end gently loved items ranging from clothing (newborn to preteen); including boutique apparel, shoes, books, toys, CD’s and DVD’s, baby and kids gear, furniture, décor, hand crafted items and more. Get deals on boutique brands and name brands such as: Mini Boden, Hanna Andersson, American Girl, GAP, Gymboree, Naartjie, Polo, LL Bean, Talbots as well as Carters, Old Navy, Children’s Place and more! Shop the Green Turtle Dollar Rack! greenturtlekid@gmail.com

    PRIVATE MUSIC LESSONS: Scott Halligan of Ashfield is currently offering in-home private music lessons for students of all ages in the Hilltowns. Lessons are available by the half-hour or hour in piano, guitar, string instruments, and brass instruments. Discounts are available for group lessons and households wishing to host lessons for multiple students. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player, Scott can help you reach your goals in music! For rates, schedule, and other information please write to scotth@doubleedgetheatre.org. Scott holds a MM from the New England Conservatory of Music, and is Director of Instrumental Music at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA

    Deadline to enter to win: 10/13

    JOB VACANCY: Executive Director, Hilltown Community Development Corporation (CDC). The Hilltown CDC has been working to address the economic, housing, educational, social and community needs of a ten-town rural region since 1981. The ED will supervise Hilltown CDC’s professional team and the management of all programs. Preferred candidates will have strong leadership and organizational skills and will have experience in financial analysis, budgeting, resource development and grant writing. Candidates with at least 3 years experience in non-profit management strongly preferred. Position requires an ability to understand and manage compliance with federal and state regulations. Full job description is posted at www.hilltowncdc.org.

    Jenn Drumm of Williamsburg, MA writes: Please join us at the 1st Annual Williamsburg Arts & Crafts Fall Festival on Sunday, October 24th from 10am – 4pm at the Williamsburg Grange. Williamsburg will be a hub of activity with a fundraiser for the Meekins Library and other events scheduled, including Hot Air Balloon tethering rides from 3-4:30pm. If you’re a local artist/craftsperson looking for a new opportunity, give us a call. Tables are only $20. If interested, please contact: Jenn Drumm Schmitt @ 268-0131 jenndrumm3@gmail.com or Lori Burns @ 268-0074 villagehillroad@msn.com Hope to see you there!

    Deadline to enter to win: 10/13

    FIELD TRIP: This weekend is the Cranberry Harvest Celebration. Pack up the car and take a road trip to Wareham, MA, for cranberry bog tours, helicopter rides, pony rides, cooking demonstrations, juried crafters and artisans, musical performances, games for children and much more. The Cranberry Harvest Celebration is a great way to see and learn about the picturesque cranberry harvest, while enjoying some old-fashioned family fun. www.cranberryharvest.org

    NEW EXHIBIT: October 2nd through February 27th: Color Forms I: Pink and Blue Projects at KidSpace at MASS MoCA in North Adams. First of a two-part series of exhibitions that explore how color can become form and how it can be connected to social constructions of meaning such as gender. Artist Portia Munson will use paintings, photographs, and everyday objects to discuss the mixed messages sent to children about gender and about mass consumption. The sheer mass of collected pink and blue material goods displayed will make plain how children are indoctrinated into the world of materialism and are taught social rules for gender identity from an early age. kidspace.massmoca.org

    Deadline to enter to win: 10/20

    PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Parents Together Support Groups are happening in both Northampton and Amherst, a FREE alternative support group for parents who learn best in non-traditional ways and have kids 5yo or under. Come play games, learn parenting skills, create art, go on field trips/picnics and discuss ways to keep your family happy and healthy. Transportation, childcare, games, prizes, food and coffee will be provided. Groups meet at the Amherst Family Center (Tuesdays from 9:30-11am) and the Northampton Parent Child Development Center (Time TBD). To learn more about this program and register, call Kris Larson at 834-3344 or email krislarson@unitedarc.org

    COAT COLLECTION: The Girls Scouts in Hadley, MA are collecting gently-used coats to donate to local shelters this winter. Coats can be dropped off at the Hadley Park & Rec and the Hadley Elementary School through October 8th. More info call Kate at 531-5415

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS we’re continuing with our fundraising efforts.  Donate now to Valley Free Radio, YOUR community radio station!

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 10/02/10-10/08/10

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Milkweed pods can be gathered this time of year with the kids to be dried and hand crafted into shadow box ornaments to give to the grandparents for the holidays. Click on the image to find out how. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    On Saturday, October 2nd from 10am-5pm –HARVEST FESTIVAL: Berkshire Botanical Garden 2010 Harvest Festival. Live music, crafts, food, rides, silent auction, plant sale, animals, tag sale, and fall fun activities for kids. www.berkshirebotanical.org Stockbridge, MA (>$)

    On Saturday, October 2nd from 4-8pm – BARN PARTY: In support of “Grow Food Northampton” there will be live music with Lui Collins, dancing, cider pressing, speeches, delicious local food, dessert potluck, kid activities and more at the Elk’s Lodge. www.growfoodnorthampton.com Florence, MA (DONATION)

    On Sunday, October 3rd from 10am-4pm – COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: 49th Annual Festival of the Hills. 10K road race, arts and crafts exhibits, live music, activities for kids, a parade, log-splitting and skillet-tossing contests, and food and wares from local vendors. All proceeds from the Festival go to support scholarships for local high school students. www.festivalofthehills.com 369-4392 Conway, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    On Columbus Day weekend from 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Ashfield Fall Festival takes place on Main Street (rain or shine) on Saturday & Sunday. A fabulous family event. Arts & Craft exhibits, local food, live music and dance, many kid activities, book & tag sales, seasonal foods. A showcase of Ashfield artisans and businesses. No dogs. www.ashfieldfallfestival.org Ashfield, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    PRIVATE MUSIC LESSONS: Scott Halligan of Ashfield is currently offering in-home private music lessons for students of all ages in the Hilltowns. Lessons are available by the half-hour or hour in piano, guitar, string instruments, and brass instruments. Discounts are available for group lessons and households wishing to host lessons for multiple students. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player, Scott can help you reach your goals in music! For rates, schedule, and other information please write to scotth@doubleedgetheatre.org.  Scott holds a MM from the New England Conservatory of Music, and is Director of Instrumental Music at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield, MA.

    Birdie Bunny Photography

    Warm welcome to Hilltown Families newest sponsor, Birdie Bunny Photography. Serving families in Western MA, photographer Erin Newman-Long specializes in Fine Art Photography of Newborn, Baby, Child, Maternity and Family. http://www.birdiebunnyphotography.com

    Jenn Drumm of Williamsburg, MA writes: Please join us at the 1st Annual Williamsburg Arts & Crafts Fall Festival on Sunday, October 24th from 10am – 4pm at the Williamsburg Grange. Williamsburg will be a hub of activity with a fundraiser for the Meekins Library and other events scheduled, including Hot Air Balloon tethering rides from 3-4:30pm. If you’re a local artist/craftsperson looking for a new opportunity, give us a call. Tables are only $20. If interested, please contact: Jenn Drumm Schmitt @ 268-0131 jenndrumm3@gmail.com or Lori Burns @ 268-0074 villagehillroad@msn.com Hope to see you there!

    Mark Wamsley, Program & Outreach Coordinator for the Highland Communities Initiative of the The Trustees of Reservations writes: The Highland Communities Initiative is looking for someone with woodworking skills to help us build a display rack for our literature/pamphlets to hang at Notchview in time for cross-country ski season. We have a simple design and most of the required lumber on hand, we just need someone with a little bit of time and know-how to build it. Of course we’ll cover the cost of materials. We can pay for the help too, but the amount we have is most certainly less than a professional carpenter would charge. As a supplement, we’re happy to discuss a barter arrangement for additional lumber, etc. Also, since we are a non-profit, any donation of services would be a tax deduction. Thanks to anyone who might be willing to chip in and help us out! 268-8219 mwamsley@ttor.org

    Dina Raymond of Goshen, MA writes: Part time helper for a lovely elderly woman, my Mom. Seeking a reliable, responsible and kind companion to help my Mom two days a week with shopping, cleaning, and other errands in and around Northampton. Hours are Monday’s & Friday’s from 11:20 am- approx. 2:30/3:00 pm. Please have a car with a clean driving record. References are great and you need not have prior experience with elders to apply. A sense of humor and good listening skills is a bonus! Please reply to dinalew@crocker.com

    Deadline to enter to win: October 6th.

    JOIN 4-H BIRD BRAINS! YOUR LOCAL POULTRY 4-H CLUB: A great opportunity to develop a greater knowledge base about chickens and other poultry, to develop youth leadership and teamwork, to provide community service, to experience hands-on learning and to have fun! Our next meeting is Monday, October 4th at 6 PM, at Burgy Bullets (12 Laurel Rd. Haydenville). Please call Nicole 413.727.8239 with any questions.

    SKI & SNOWBOARD: Chesterfield Downhill Ski & Snowboard Club is looking for interested participants! Are you interested? Day of the week and cost for the program still underway. More details will be available in November, program will begin in January 2011. If you want to be kept in the loop, please express your interest to coordinator, Joan Griswold at joan@bybhealth.com or 268-7985. Open to all.

    PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Parents Together Support Groups are happening in both Northampton and Amherst, a FREE alternative support group for parents who learn best in non-traditional ways and have kids 5yo or under. Come play games, learn parenting skills, create art, go on field trips/picnics and discuss ways to keep your family happy and healthy. Transportation, childcare, games, prizes, food and coffee will be provided. Groups meet at the Amherst Family Center (Tuesdays from 9:30-11am) and the Northampton Parent Child Development Center (Time TBD). To learn more about this program and register, call Kris Larson at 834-3344 or email krislarson@unitedarc.org

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS is our fundraising episode.  We’re helping to raise $6,000 for WXOJ 103.3FM (Valley Free Radio.).  We’re playing great music while taking a few breaks to ask for your support. – A new podcast will be posted on Saturday, featuring new music by The Okee Dokee Brothers, Fannery Brothers, The Bazilions, Capar Babypants, and story time with a new tale off of Bill Harley’s new CD.

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 10/2

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    All Day – TAG SALE: Community wide tag sale. Deerfield, MA (SALE)

    All Day – BIG E: New England’s Premier Exposition. www.TheBigE.com West Springfield, MA ($)

    8am-3pm – CONSIGNMENT SALE: 8th Annual All 4 Kids Fall/Winter Sale at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church (128 Main St.). Easthampton, MA (SALE)

    9:30am-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: What’s cooking? Open hearth cooking at the Historic Deerfield. Open hearth cooks will prepare select dishes that are on display as part of the exhibition Dinner is Served!: Dining and the Decorative Arts. Come see “what’s cooking” and learn how these dishes were prepared in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The history workshop: Pots, Pans and Porridge: Children in the Colonial Kitchen, will be offered too starting at 12Noon. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    9:30am-5pm – FOOD HISTORY: Apple Days at Old Sturbridge Village. See their animal-powered Cider Mill in operation and try your hand at a man- (or woman- or child-) powered version. Learn about heirloom varieties of apples, taste a few (included with admission), take a walk in a Village orchard led by a horticulture expert, see (and smell!) cooking with apples, have a taste of mulled cider, and learn about storing and preserving the fruit that was such a big part of early New England life. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

    10am-12Noon – PARENTING WORKSHOP: Happiest Baby on the Block with Melanie Serman. Learn techniques to soothe your baby. CHP Family Services Building (442 Stockbrige Rd.). 644-0104 www.communityhealthprograms.org Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

    10am-3pm – CULTURAL CELEBRATION: The New England Peace Pagoda (100 Cave Hill Rd.) will celebrate its 25th Anniversary with drumming, ceremony, Buddhist traditions and interfaith prayers. Cambodian Traditional Blessing and Flower Dance. Songs, speech, and a social dance led by the Wampanoag Singers and Dancers. A hearty lunch will be served at 1:30pm. 367-2202 www.newenglandpeacepagoda.com Leverett, MA

    10am-5pm –HARVEST FESTIVAL: Berkshire Botanical Garden 2010 Harvest Festival. Live music, crafts, food, rides, silent auction, plant sale, animals, tag sale, and fall fun activities for kids. www.berkshirebotanical.org Stockbridge, MA (>$)

    10am-TBA – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Middlefield Heritage Days. Wagon rides, cider, food, art show, variety show, and much more. Town Center. 623-0017 Middlefield, MA

    10am-5pm – GARLIC & ART FESTIVAL: North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival (Forster’s Farm, 60 Chestnut Hill Rd.). (978) 544-9023 http://www.garlicandarts.org Orange, MA (>$)

    10:30am-4:30pm – HISTORIC TRADE: The Deerfield Museum’s Made-by-Hand-Trades of the Past will feature Hat Making & Redware Potting. See historic trades demonstrations of hat making with Bill Wigham, and redware potting with Rick Hamelin. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    11am-2pm – FAMILY PICNIC: Fall potluck for LGBT families at Look Park (picnic table 67K). Sponsored by LGBT Parents in Pioneer Valley. Bring food to share, and toys/clothes for a swap. Crafts for kids. (Rain date: 10/3, 10/9) Florence, MA (ENTRANCE FEE)

    11am, 1:15 & 3pm – FOLIAGE CRUISE: Quinnetukut II Riverboat cruises. Join Captain Steve Larivee and first mate Sarah Doyle for this 12 mile cruise along the scenic Connecticut River. Cruises depart from Barton Cove. Make a reservations: (800) 859-2960 Northfield, MA ($)

    11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Opening celebration at MASS MoCA in their Kidspace for Color Forms 1: Pink & Blue Projects by Portia Munson. Explore the colors pink and blue in Portia Munson’s installation of found objects, photographs, and print. Refreshments, art-making activities, meet the artist. 413.MoCA.111 www.massmoca.org North Adams, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

    And many more … Read the rest of this entry »

    49th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills

    49th Annual Conway Festival of the Hills
    October 3rd, 2010

    Festival of the Hills, a Library of Congress “Local Legacy”, Promises a Wonderful Day for All

    The 49th Annual Conway, Massachusetts’ Festival of the Hills, an annual fall festival that has been recognized as a Library of Congress “Local Legacy” in Western Massachusetts, will take place Sunday, October 3rd from 10am-4pm. The Festival of Hill’s numerous events will include the Covered Bridge Classic 10K Road Race, a 1.2 mile kids’ race, live bands, craft fair, food vendors, skillet toss, log-splitting contest, art show, children’s activities, and a parade. Click here for a full schedule.

    Last year, the festival continued its efforts to reduce trash generated at the event by increasing recycling and adding composting of Festival waste. Again this year, the Festival will provide bins for recycling bottles and cans as well as bins to collect compostable food and paper. There will also be water stations where attendees can get a cup of water, reducing the use of single-use water bottles. Again this year, the Festival invites everyone who attends to help the Festival reduce its environmental impact by using the composting and recycling stations.  Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 09/25/10-10/01/10

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Orchard Ladders in Deerfield, MA. Click on the photo to recommend your favorite Apple Orchard in Western MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    Saturday, Sept. 25th from 10am-5pm: 50th Anniversary Country Fair at the Hancock Shaker Village. Kids tent, agricultural demonstrations, wagon rides, a fabulous Farmers Market, and local and regional crafters and artisans. www.hancockshakervillage.org 443-0188 Pittsfield, MA

    Sunday, Sept. 26th from 1-6:30pm: On stage at the Pine Theater at Look Park, a CD release concert for the star-studded family music CD, Many Hands, will take place. Scheduled performers include: Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell & Family, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Tony Vacca, Grenadilla and The Deedle Deedle Dees. Florence, MA ($)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 2nd & 3rd: 49th Annual Festival of the Hills.  10K road race, arts and crafts exhibits, live music, activities for kids, a parade, log-splitting and skillet-tossing contests, and food and wares from local vendors.  All proceeds from the Festival go to support scholarships for local high school students. www.festivalofthehills.com 369-4392 Conway, MA

    Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 2nd & 3rd: North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival (Forster’s Farm, 60 Chestnut Hill Rd.). (978) 544-9023 http://www.garlicandarts.org Orange, MA (>$)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    The Toy Stop in Northampton, MA

    Warm welcome to Hilltown Families newest sponsor, The Top Stop. A locally owned, independent toy store on Pleasant Street in Northampton, MA. Grand opening this weekend! Stop by and thank them for sponsoring Hilltown Families!

    GRAND OPENING: The Top Stop will be celebrating their Grand Opening this weekend, Saturday, September 25th & Sunday, September 26th. Located at 271 Pleasant Street in Northampton, The Toy Stop offers creative, eco-friendly toys and games that inspire play, laughter and learning. All are invited to stop in for giveaways and a free gift with every purchase all weekend long. – The Toy Stop. Laugh. Play. Learn. (413) 727-8821 http://www.thetoystoplaughplaylearn.com

    Melissa Adams of Williamsburg, MA writes: My mother’s friend Susan Tordella Williams just wrote a book, Raising Able: How Chores Cultivate Capable Young People and is teaching a 6 week on-line course in parenting skills. If any parents have interest, check out www.blackeyedsusanpublications.com for more information or contact Susan at susan@susantordella.net.

    FIELD TRIP: This weekend is the Working Waterfront Festival. Pack up the car and take a road trip to New Bedford, MA, America’s largest commercial fishing port, to learn about the men and women who harvest the North Atlantic. Walk the decks of a scalloper, dine on fresh seafood, mend a fishing net and watch a Coast Guard rescue demonstration. Experience the workings of the industry which brings seafood from the ocean to your plate. www.workingwaterfrontfestival.org

    Deadline to enter to win: October 6th.

    PARENTING CLASS: The Family Resource Center in North Adams presents, How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, a free 6 week parenting series for parents. Learn simple effective communication techniques that really work – Cope with your child’s negative feelings. Express your anger without being hurtful. Gain your child’s cooperation. Set limits and maintain goodwill. Use alternatives to punishment. Resolve family conflicts peacefully. – This 6-week class is for families with a child age 8 or under starting Monday, September 27th for six Monday nights from 5:30 to 7:00pm at the Haskins Community Center. Includes free class, light snack, transportation (if needed) and child care. Call 413-664-4821 to register. Space is limited.

    HILLTOWN BUSINESS DIRECTORY: The annual Hilltown Business Directory, published both in print and online by the Hilltown Community Development Corporation (HCDC), a community non-profit in Chesterfield, is a way for small businesses to reach local customers, to keep local money circulating locally, and to preserve and create local jobs. The deadline for listings in the new edition is October 10. Find out more HERE.

    Deadline to enter to win: September 29th.

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: The Paradise City Arts Festival is rated #3 among arts and crafts fairs nationwide. On Columbus Day Weekend, over 50 artists have donated sculpture, art glass, ceramics, jewelry and pottery to an auction benefiting The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts – October 7-11th at the Three County Fairground in Northampton. The Food Bank is looking for help running the auction table, assistance for set-up and greeters at the front entrance where a food drive is happening. Admission is free for volunteers. Volunteer orientations at The Food Bank on Monday, October 4th from 1-2:30pm & 5:30-7pm. Come help out and enjoy the show. Interested in participating? Contact Laurie Thompson at katieshane@verizon.net or (413) 786-5963

    Deadline to enter to win: September 27th.

    LIBRARY AND PARENT CENTER VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Littleville Elementary School is looking for help staffing their school library. Volunteers are needed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the school day (hours vary). Click here for a sign-up form to return to the school office, and additional information on volunteering at the library. The Littleville Parent Center is also looking for volunteers who can donate time to help teachers. Click here for more information and a sign-up sheet to return to the school office.

    COAT COLLECTION: The Girls Scouts in Hadley, MA are collecting gently-used coats to donate to local shelters this winter. Coats can be dropped off at the Hadley Park & Rec and the Hadley Elementary School through October 8th. More info call Kate at 531-5415

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS, music by Sonya Kitchell, Rusty Bell, Dan Zanes, Frances England, Rani Arbos & Daisy Mayhem, and many others.

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 9/25

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    COUNTRY FAIR: Applefest at the Little Red Schoolhouse. A country fair for the family, with games, crafts, food, and apples galore! http://www.lrsh.org 458-8668 Williamstown, MA (>$)

    All Day – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Lee Founders Weekend with sidewalk sales, art show, parade (11am), family performance with Terry a la Berry (1:30pm), tag sale, Italian Fest, Food, walking tour, multi-cultural celebration, dancing, and much more. 243-1705 www.leefoundersweekend.com Lee, MA

    All Day – BIG E: New England’s Premier Exposition. www.TheBigE.com West Springfield, MA ($)

    9am – HILLTOWN JUNIOR OLYMPICS: Goshen, MA

    9:30am-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: What’s cooking? Open hearth cooking at the Historic Deerfield. Open hearth cooks will prepare select dishes that are on display as part of the exhibition Dinner is Served!: Dining and the Decorative Arts. Come see “what’s cooking” and learn how these dishes were prepared in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    10am – YOGA: Bring the family in for a free yoga classes for National Yoga Month at Inn Nautre B&B and Yoga Studio (261 South St.). One hour introductory class for all ages and activity levels. Also on Sunday at 6pm. 296-9201 Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

    10am – GEOLOGY: Exploring Little Tom: Dikes, Sills, and Lava Flows. Join geologists Richard Little and Steve Winters in exploring this little-known geologic wonder of the Mt. Tom Range. The hike is challenging at times due to steep and rough off-trail terrain. Explore dramatic exposures of lava, volcanic ash, and possibly the igneous sills and dikes that fed the volcanism that built the Holyoke Range over 200 million years ago. After hiking on Little Tom, the group will proceed to Dinosaur Footprints for further geo- and paleontological study. [Rain date: 9/26] Holyoke, MA (>$)

    10am-1pm – NATURE STUDIES: Frogs and Turtles of Western Massachusetts at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Join naturalist Chris Lyons for a look at amphibians and rep- tiles and some of their distinguishing characteristics . Review the specific species in western Massachusetts and take a peek at a host of photographic and artistic images of frogs and turtles . End with a short walk around the pools at Arcadia to view their habitat and look for late-season examples of these fabulous animals. 584-3009 Easthampton, MA (>$)

    10am-4pm – ALPACA DAY: Grass Hill Alpacas (79 Adams Rd.) is once again participating in the National Alpaca Farm Days. There will be alpaca merchandise, activities for the children, tours of the farm, visits with the animals and information regarding farming and specifically, raising alpacas. All are welcome. Haydenville, MA (FREE)

    10am-4pm – APPLE FESTIVAL: Apple Harvest Crafts Fair and Children’s Festival happens on the Amherst Town Common. Children’s games, pony rides, pumpkin decorating, baby scarecrow making, live entertainment, crafters’ booths. Sponsored by the Amherst Family Center, 256-1145 Amherst, MA

    10am-4pm – FIBER FAIR: Franklin County Fiber Twist. Held at the Employee Health & Fitness Center at Yankee Candle. Showcase of sheep and fiber f armers, spinners, knitters, dyers, felters, weavers, traditional rug hookers and more. 773-5463 www.fibertwist.com South Deerfield, MA (FREE)

    10am-5pm – COUNTRY FAIR: 50th Anniversary Country Fair at the Hancock Shaker Village. Kids tent, agricultural demonstrations, wagon rides, a fabulous Farmers Market, and local and regional crafters and artisans. www.hancockshakervillage.org 443-0188 Pittsfield, MA

    10am-5pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: 31st Annual Apple Squeeze. Downtown, enjoy all things apples. 637-3646 Lenox, MA (FREE)

    10am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm (25 South Main St.). 665-8331 www.mikesmaze.com Sunderland, MA ($)

    10am-10pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: 153rd Belchertown Fair & Parade. Parade at 10am. www.belchertownfair.com Belchertown, MA

    10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Made-by-Hand-Trades of the Past: Flax Dressing demo at Historic Deerfield. See historic trades demonstrations of flax dressing with Gina Gerhard. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    11am, 1:15 & 3pm – FOLIAGE CRUISE: Quinnetukut II Riverboat cruises. Join Captain Steve Larivee and first mate Sarah Doyle for this 12 mile cruise along the scenic Connecticut River. Cruises depart from Barton Cove. Make a reservations: (800) 859-2960 Northfield, MA ($)

    12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: Honey Harvest at Historic Deerfield. Honey was an important ingredient used to sweeten foods and beverages in colonial America, and to brew a traditional drink called mead. Join museum educators in this fun family program to learn about bees and honey. Taste different kinds of honey, and make a beeswax candle to take home. 775-7214 www.historic-deerfied.org Deerfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    12Noon-4:30pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Nuestras Raices’ 17th Annual Harvest Festival & 2nd Annual Education Fair. Games, activities and resources for families and children. Full roast pork dinner (1pm), market, Puerto Rican crafts, music, and more! Held at Nuestras Raices Farm (24 Jones Ferry Rd.) www.nuestras-raices.org Holyoke, MA

    MORE EVENTS: Read the rest of this entry »

    Hancock Shaker Village 50th Anniversary Country Fair

    Hancock Shaker Village 50th Anniversary Country Fair

    Celebrating the bounty of the harvest, the Country Fair will be held on September 25th and September 26th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in Pittsfield, MA. At the Kids Tent, Hancock Shaker Village interpreters will lead a host of fun activities, including crafts, old-fashioned games, and face painting. There will also be wagon rides through the scenic Village grounds and, of course, a hay pile to jump and play on.

    Hancock Shaker Village’s 50th anniversary Country Fair promises fun for the whole family with Shaker-inspired games in the Kids Tent, a farmers’ market with samples of heirloom vegetables to taste, a juried fine craft show, wagon rides, antique engines and tractors, sustainable gardening tips, a pie contest, square dancing demonstration, quilt show, and more.

    Celebrating the bounty of the harvest, the Country Fair will be held on September 25th and September 26th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in Pittsfield, MA. “For those who have told us they miss the Hancock Shaker Village Craft Fair, we’re delighted that we have more fine craft artists than ever lined up for this year’s Country Fair,” said Ellen Spear, president and CEO of Hancock Shaker Village “This event is always a festive highlight of the year and a great way for families to learn about our mission and its connection to sustainable, principled living.” Children 12 and under and Hancock Shaker Village members are admitted free of charge. Admission for adults is $17.00 and youth visitors aged 13 to 17 are $8. For more information, call 800.817.1137 or visit www.hancockshakervillage.org.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 09/18/10-09/24/10

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    First Prize Winner of the Northampton Chalk Art Festival last Friday. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    Saturday, September 18th from 10am – FAMILY FILM: International Family Film series at Images Cinema (50 Spring St.) begins with an Aardman Animations Retrospective, featuring the new Wallace & Gromit episode: A Matter of Loaf and Death. Following the screening, special Guest Tom Gasek will field questions. Tom Gasek was an animator and director for Aardman for two years. His credits include The Wrong Trousers, Chicken Run, as well as Gumby, The California Raisins and many others. Recommended for ages 6yo & older. www.imagescinema.org Williamstown, MA (>$)

    Sunday, September 19th from 12Noon-8pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Enjoy the family fun at the 5th Annual North Amherst Harvest Festival hosted by North Amherst Community Farm and Simple Gifts Farm. This fall celebration includes a kid’s stage featuring Yuri the Prince of Color, Happy Dan the Music Man, Henry the Juggler and more! Family field games & races, face painting, hayrides, Cow Plop Bingo and more! Yummy locally grown food, a pig roast, and a great lineup of live music including Tracy Grammer and Jim Henry. with music, food and kid activities at NACF/Simple Gifts Farm (1089 N. Pleasant Street). http://www.nacfonline.org Amherst, MA

    Kids participating in the Northampton Chalk Art Festival last Friday in Pulaski Park. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Saturday, September 25th at 7pm – FILM FEST: Ashfield Film Festival Gala Preview at the Ashfield Town Hall.   Whether you’re a budding filmmaker or just your every day ‘ol movie lover, the Ashfield FilmFest is for you!  It’s a night of film, friends and fun. www.ashfieldfilmfest.org Ashfield, MA

    Sunday, September 26th from 1-6:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: On stage at the Pine Theater at Look Park, a CD release concert for the star-studded family music CD, Many Hands, will take place. Scheduled performers include: Dan Zanes, Elizabeth Mitchell & Family, Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Tony Vacca, Grenadilla and The Deedle Deedle Dees. Florence, MA ($)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    HERB CLASS FOR KIDS: Hilltown Families sponsor, Blazing Star Herbal School, and local herbalists present Dandelion Wishes: Herbal Magic for Kids (7-13yo) on Sunday, September 19th, from 10am-3pm in Ashfield, MA. Through craft and working with different flowers and plants, kids can have fun exploring the magic of dreaming, connect with the green world, share stories and make potions for their heart’s desire. Participants will make herbal dream pillows, an herbal bath blend, a magic potion, and weave a Weeping Willow wreath. Teachers include Tony(a) Lemos, Brittany Wood Nickerson, Venus Zephyr, Angie Gregory, and Dori Midnight. Class fee is $40. To register, call Blazing Star Herbal School 625-2030 or email blazingstarclinic@gmail.com.

    Deadline to enter to win: September 22nd.

    Swansea Benham Bleicher, Director of the Northampton Parents Center writes: The Northampton Parents Center is open again for the 2010-2011 season… Hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:30-11:30 am. All children birth through kindergarten age and their caregivers are welcome. Donations are greatly appreciated, but not required. Music classes on Thursday mornings. Come and join us for our 25th year! For more information visit www.northamptonparentscenter.org.

    PRESCHOOL DISCUSSION: Have you checked out our Preschool Discussion Thread lately over on the Hilltown Families Facebook page? Erin O’Donnell is looking for help to start a new preschool in the Hilltowns, and Nancy Cavillones is looking for a daycare/preschool in the Valley. “Like” us and add your 2-cents! – Have a topic you wish to discuss? Start a new thread on a new topic.

    Deadline to enter to win: September 27th.

    MUSIC THERAPY: On Friday, September 17th, the Northampton Community Music Center (139 South St.) will host an Open House for its Music Therapy Program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Parents of children ages 3-21 who might benefit from the program are invited to attend. Program director Michael Williams-Russell will speak about the program’s beneficial effects on past participants, and answer questions about how music can make a difference in the lives of those affected by autism. The event will be held in NCMC’s Recital Hall, and will begin at 4:00pm. 585-0001 www.ncmc.net

    LIBRARY AND PARENT CENTER VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Littleville Elementary School is looking for help staffing their school library. Volunteers are needed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the school day (hours vary). Click here for a sign-up form to return to the school office, and additional information on volunteering at the library. The Littleville Parent Center is also looking for volunteers who can donate time to help teachers. Click here for more information and a sign-up sheet to return to the school office. [FILL]

    PARENTING CLASS: The Family Resource Center in North Adams presents, How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, a free 6 week parenting series for parents. Learn simple effective communication techniques that really work – Cope with your child’s negative feelings. Express your anger without being hurtful. Gain your child’s cooperation. Set limits and maintain goodwill. Use alternatives to punishment. Resolve family conflicts peacefully. – This 6-week class is for families with a child age 8 or under starting Monday, September 27th for six Monday nights from 5:30 to 7:00pm at the Haskins Community Center. Includes free class, light snack, transportation (if needed) and child care. Call 413-664-4821 to register. Space is limited.

    Deadline to enter to win: September 29th.

    RECYCLE HAZARDOUS HOUSEHOLD WASTE: Saturday September 25th, 9 – 11:30 AM, Great Barrington Recycling Center, drop off your waste oil paint and used motor oil. For residents of Alford, Becket, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham and West Stockbridge. To register or for information about what can be brought to this drop off, visit www.cetonline.org or email amandad@cetonline.org. Or call CET at 888-577-8448 ext. 10 or 30. Residents from communities that are not participating should call their City or Town Hall for information about hazardous household product collections.

    COMMUNITY EXHIBIT: Call to participate in a community exhibit about Walking at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls. The Exhibit Hundreds of Ways will include creative work that reflects on the theme of walking (poetry, prose, drawing, painting, photography, mixed-media, etc.) Participation is free and open to all ages! Deadline for submissions: September 21st. Opening reception and full moon walk: September 23rd. For details see www.theartgarden.wordpress.com. The Art Garden is a Community Supported Art-making place located in the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum building.

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS, Hilltown Families contributing writer, Amber Bobnar of Boston Children’s Music, put together our playlist of school songs she and her son listen to as they get ready for school.  She’s featuring music by Bill Harley, Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family, Ben Rudnick & Friends, Recess Monkey, Renee & Jeremy, Justin Roberts, and several others.

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 9/18

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    All Day – BIG E: New England’s Premier Exposition. www.TheBigE.com West Springfield, MA ($)

    9am-3pm – RESKILLING: Food Preservation Workshop presented by NOFA/Mass. Northampton, MA ($$)

    9am-1pm – BOOK SALE: Chesterfield Public Library book sale on the library lawn (Route 143). Chesterfield, MA (SALE)

    9:30am-5pm – AGRICULTURE FAIR: Old Sturbridge Village celebrates the coming of fall with an old-fashioned Agricultural Exhibition celebrating heirloom vegetables, locally grown food and historical farming techniques. Stagecoach and riverboat rides are free throughout the weekend, and visitors can help plow behind the Village oxen, and learn to winnow and thresh grain, and shell corn the old-fashioned way all weekend long. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

    10am – PUPPET SHOW: Tanglewood Marionettes perform The Dragon King at the Shea Theater (71 Avenue A). 863-2281 www.theshea.org Turners Falls, MA (>$)

    10am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Holyoke Harvest Farmers’ Market at Open Square Way. Local farmers, food, entertainment, coffee and more. Holyoke, MA (MARKET)

    10am – FAMILY FILM: International Family Film series at Images Cinema (50 Spring St.) begins with an Aardman Animations Retrospective, featuring the new Wallace & Gromit episode: A Matter of Loaf and Death. Following the screening, special Guest Tom Gasek will field questions. Tom Gasek was an animator and director for Aardman for two years. His credits include The Wrong Trousers, Chicken Run, as well as Gumby, The California Raisins and many others. Recommended for ages 6yo & older. www.imagescinema.org Williamstown, MA (>$)

    10am-12Noon – BREASTFEEDING WORKSHOP: Breastfeeding Workshop offered by Melanie Seserman at the CHP Family Services Building (441 Stockbridge Rd.). Learn the basics of breastfeeding with a certified lactation consultant. 644-0104 www.communityhealthprograms.org Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

    10am-4pm – CRAFT FAIR: Old Deerfield Craft Fair, outdoors in the village of Old Deerfield. Includes craft demos. www.deerfield-craft.org Old Deerfield, MA (>$)

    10am-5pm – CORN MAZE: Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm (25 South Main St.). 665-8331 www.mikesmaze.com Sunderland, MA ($)

    10:30am-12Noon – CULTURAL CELEBRATION: José Gonzalez and Banda Criolla present Caribbean Fiesta for Kids. Fun music and songs for the entire family – part of the Jones Library Hispanic Heritage Month series of events. 259-3223 www.joneslibrary.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: Honey Harvest at Historic Deerfield. Honey was an important ingredient used to sweeten foods and beverages in colonial America, and to brew a traditional drink called mead. Join museum educators in this fun family program to learn about bees and honey. Taste different kinds of honey, and make a beeswax candle to take home. 775-7214 www.historic-deerfied.org Deerfield, MA (FREE w/admission)

    12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

    1pm – ASTRONOMY : Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer. Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more. 256-6234 amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    1pm & 3pm – RESKILLING: “To Bee or Not to Bee” – An Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping at the Hancock Shaker Village. Learn how to set up an apiary and learn all about bees. Hands-on honey extraction and other bee activities. 443-0188 www.hancockshakervillage.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/Admission)

    1-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Tour the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Explore the ancestral home of the great 19th-century poet, newspaperman, and essayist, and wander the grounds above the Westfield River. Try the “I Spy” family activity using a hands-on spy pack to discover the Homestead’s secrets. 634-2244 Cummington, MA (>$)

    2-4pm – CHESS: At the Forbes Library. Casual meets every Saturday the library is open. All competition levels are welcome. Drop in for part or all of the session. Bring your own set if you have one or use one of the library’s. 587-1011 www.forbeslibrary.org Northampton, MA (FREE)

    3pm – ASTRONOMY: Observe the sun with Northampton Solar at A2Z Science and Learning Center. See Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    9pm – ASTRONOMY: View the Moon, Planets, Satellites, Multiple Stars, Star Clusters, Galaxies, Nebulas and more through the 6 ton, 25 foot long, 18 inch F/17, World Class Clark Refractor at the Wilder Observatory at the Amherst College. Set up a telescope on the lawn, view through public use telescopes. www.amherstastronomy.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    2010 Ashfield FilmFest

    Ashfield FilmFest Gala Screening
    September 25th at 7pm in the Ashfield Town Hall

    It’s that time of year again for the 4th Annual Ashfield FilmFest. Last year all 450 tickets sold out, so be sure to get your tickets early! Details below.

    Here on Hilltown Families we’ve featured a couple of films entered into the festival, including 2009 First Prize, Adult & Audience Choice Award winner Dancing Queens produced by Nancy Hoff, and 2007 Grand Prize winner Three Seasons of Winter produced by David Fessenden.

    Last year’s Grand Prize winner, The Great Ashfield Pancaper, produced by Gayle Kabaker,  a story about Secret Agents trying to steal Elmer’s award winning pancake recipe, is featured below. Abe Loomis, Janice Sorensen, Sonya Kitchell, Erica Wheeler & Erin McKeown contribute their vocal and song writing talents.

    Nan Parati, proprietress of Elmer’s writes:

    When Gayle Kabaker came to me in early summer to say she wanted to make a film about Elmer’s pancakes, I backed away saying, “I don’t think I want to be involved with this,” a project I feared was somehow going to be a five-minute infomercial on our pancakes. I do love our pancakes, but I couldn’t see myself standing there pitching them or standing proudly by while someone else did. I wasn’t sure what she had in mind and did everything I could to dissuade her from the idea.

    Then she brought me the script and it was SO goofy and downright funny—AND I would get to wield a gun and smoke a cigar; the casting was very well-thought out, and it featured three of my favorite people in cameo roles, so I agreed and even did my own hair and makeup for the shoot.

    Be sure to get your tickets early for the Fourth Annual Ashfield Filmfest. The event was sold out last year. The gala screening will take place at Ashfield Town Hall on Saturday, September 25th at 7 pm. Tickets are $5. Kids are free but they must have tickets. You can purchase tickets at the Ashfield Farmers Market Saturday mornings or at Belding Memorial Library during regular library hours. Tickets are also be available at Elmer’s and at Ashfield Hardware Store. This year a Technical Achievement Award and a Music Award have been added to the list of prizes. Belding Memorial Library will receive a share of this year’s proceeds. All the five minute film entries are in. Be sure to be there for the screening and to vote for the popular Audience Award. For more information visit our website at www.ashfieldfilmfest.org.

    Suggested Events 9/11/10-9/17/10

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Red, orange, yellow and purple carrots fill the stalls at area Farmer's Markets this time of year. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BETS

    Saturday, September 11th, All Day – BALLOON FESTIVAL: Look Park Balloon Festival. Balloon launch at 7am and again at 5pm. Walking Dreams Puppet group performs during the day. Jamie Kent performs on the field. Tether rides and play. www.lookpark.org 584.5457 Florence, MA (>$)

    Sunday, September 12th from 2:30-4:30pm – KIDS CONCERT: Primate Fiasco will be playing music from their “adult strength kids CD”, Wheels on the Bus at First Churches (Main Street). Circus and puppets before show. Northampton, MA (>$)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Saturday, September 18th at 1pm & 3pm – RESKILLING: “To Bee or Not to Bee” – An Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping at the Hancock Shaker Village.  Learn how to set up an apiary and learn all about bees.  Hands-on honey extraction and other bee activities. 443-0188  www.hancockshakervillage.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/Admission)

    Sunday, September 19th, all day – BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: The Old Creamery turns 10!  Come celebrate with food, music, storytelling, and much more! Cummington, MA (FREE)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. — Help us help you!

    GIRLS BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP: The Lenox Library Association Youth Department (18 Main Street) is hosting two book discussion groups for girls in grades 4 and grades 5 to 6 and a “girl” adult of their choice—mother, aunt, grandmother. The first meeting of the 4th grade group will be held on Thursday, September 23rd at 6:30 pm. The 5th-6th grade group will meet on Wednesday, September 29th at 6:30 p.m. Dessert will be provided. Registration is required. Register at the library or call 637-0197 ext. 105. The first book for discussion will be The Secret of Zoom by Lynne Jonell; copies are available at the youth desk.

    Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA

    Blazing Star Herbal School is located in Ashfield, MA

    HERB CLASS FOR KIDS: Hilltown Families sponsor, Blazing Star Herbal School, and local herbalists present Dandelion Wishes: Herbal Magic for Kids (7-13yo) on Sunday, September 19th, from 10am-3pm in Ashfield, MA. Through craft and working with different flowers and plants, kids can have fun exploring the magic of dreaming, connect with the green world, share stories and make potions for their heart’s desire. Participants will make herbal dream pillows, an herbal bath blend, a magic potion, and weave a Weeping Willow wreath. Teachers include Tony(a) Lemos, Brittany Wood Nickerson, Venus Zephyr, Angie Gregory, and Dori Midnight. Class fee is $40. To register, call Blazing Star Herbal School 625-2030 or email blazingstarclinic@gmail.com.

    HOMESCHOOL OPPORTUNITY: The Springfield Museum will be offering à la Carte Programs on Thursdays at 12:15pm. Programs may be suitable for older homeschool students. Programs include: Springfield: A Life in Postcards (Sept. 9th); A Hungry Hill Trinity: Life and Times of Three Generations (Sept 16th); A Window to the World of Honey Bees: Beekeeping at the Springfield Science Museum (Sept 23rd); and How Art Made the World, Part Five: To Death and Back (Sept 30th). The programs are held in the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. The D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards St. in downtown Springfield. Parking is free. For more information about Museums à la Carte, call 413-263-6800, ext. 488. (>$)

    FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS: First-Time Homebuyer Workshop at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg. Offering three times: Sept 18, 25, and Oct 2. 9 – 12:30pm. Buying a home is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. The first step of the process is to look at the picture as a whole, then work with the individual puzzle pieces. If you want to buy your first home, but are a bit leery of the process, and are afraid of taking on the financial responsibility of owning a home, then educating yourself is the thing to do! The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you will be and the more successful you will be in your homeownership. Registration required. Contact Bea at Hilltown CDC. 296-4536, ext 115 or beavh@hilltowncdc.org

    JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Mark Wamsley, Program & Outreach Coordinator of the Highland Communities Initiative (HCI) writes: HCI is proud to be partnering with the Americorps program, Massachusetts Land Initiative for Tomorrow (MassLIFT). Together, we are searching for a new Service Learning Coordinator to help us foster an ethic of community service and civic engagement among young people, and to increase the connections that children and young adults feel to the land. The position will start out at HCI’s office in Haydenville and move to our beautiful new location in Ashfield sometime this fall. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis through September 17, 2010. See our website www.highlandcommunities.org for more details.

    Deadline to enter to win: September 22nd.

    CONSERVATION SEMINAR: What do you do when “Land For Sale” signs start appearing near your favorite view or hike? Who do you call when a friend asks for advice about saving their family’s farmland for the next generation? If you care about the future of your town’s rural, undeveloped lands, the Trustees of Reservation’s free Kick Starting Conservation seminar will give you the information that you need to help at 6pm on Tuesday, September 14th at the Worthington Historical Society. You’ll know who to call and what to do after learning basic land conservation techniques and meeting the staff of local conservation organizations. Light dinner served. Please call 413.268.8219 to register and get information. Worthington, MA (FREE)

    AUDITIONS: On Sunday, September 12th, the Northampton Community Music Center will be holding auditions for its Children’s Choir. The choir is led by choir director Joan Cornaccio, and has performed at many events, including the opening of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Commonwealth Opera’s productions of La Boheme and Brundibar. Auditions will be held from 2 – 4pm, during NCMC’s Annual Open House. The choir is open to children in grades 3 to 9 with unchanged voices, and performs a wide variety of vocal literature while developing critical sightsinging and vocal skills. For more information please call our office at 585-0001. http://www.ncmc.net ($$$)

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns
    ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 9/11

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKETOn the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    All Day – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: 162nd Franklin County Fair (89 Wisdom Way). 774-4282 www.fcas.com Greenfield, MA ($)

    All Day – ANTIQUE SHOW: The Brimfield Outdoor Antiques Show is an excellent place to take the kids and explore treasures from our past. A fun history lesson for the whole family, and many treasures to be found. www.brimfieldshow.com Brimfield, MA (FREE, Sale)

    All Day – BALLOON FESTIVAL: Look Park Balloon Festival. Balloon launch at 7am and again at 5pm. Walking Dreams Puppet group performs during the day. Jamie Kent performs on the field. Tether rides and play. www.lookpark.org 584.5457 Florence, MA (>$)

    9am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Hawk Watch at Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation. On a good day hawk migration can be one of the greatest shows of the fall season . This is the time of year when many species of hawks migrate over mountain ranges toward their southern wintering grounds . If weather conditions are right, participants should see sharp-shinned hawks, red-shouldered hawks, and American kestrels, as well as nonraptorial species such as shrikes, ravens, and vultures. 584-3009 Sunderland, MA ($)

    9am-3pm – RESKILLING: Food Preservation Workshop presented by NOFA/Mass. Shelburne, MA ($$)

    9am-3pm – RESKILLING: Food Preservation Workshop presented by NOFA/Mass. Great Barrington, MA ($$)

    9am-3pm – RESKILLING: Food Preservation Workshop presented by NOFA/Mass at St. John’s Episcopal Church (48 Elm St.). Northampton, MA ($$)

    9:30am-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Drummers’ Call: Fife & Drum Day at the Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

    10am-12Noon – NATURE STUDIES: Monarch Butterflies at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. September is the month to watch for migrating monarch butterflies. While they’re more commonly seen during the summer, the last batch to hatch in the fall will begin a flight to southern California or Mexico. Come to Arcadia to learn about the life cycle of the monarchs. Observe both caterpillar and butterfly in the field. This family program is suitable for children ages 4-12. 584-3009 Easthampton, MA (>$)

    10am-4pm – HONEY FESTIVAL: Celebrate the Honeybee with Warm Coors Apiary. Honey, beeswax candles, mead sampling, honey ice cream, more. 665-4513 www.warmcolorsapiary.com South Deerfield, MA

    10am-5pm – ARTS FESTIVAL: Mattoon Street Arts Festival. Take the family to the longest running arts and crafts fair in Western Massachusetts, and one of the best in New England. www.mattoonfestival.org Springfield, MA

    10am-5pm – CRAFT SHOW: The Artisans of Western Mass are thrilled to be sponsoring their first ever art & craft show, Local ARTery: Bringing Handmade to the Heart of Our Community. This event will feature 20 artisans who all live and work in western Massachusetts. 835-5163 localartery.artisansofwmass.com Northampton, MA (SALE)

    11am-7pm – COMMUNITY FAIR: Williamsburg Grange Community Fair. Williamsburg, MA

    12Noon-11pm – CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Glendi Greek Festival at the Greek Cultural Center (22 St. George Rd.), the best in traditional Greek foods, pastries, music, dancing, and old-fashioned Greek hospitality – activities for children including games and a bounce house, a Greek cultural and art exhibit. 737-1496 www.stgeorgecath.org Springfield, MA (>$)

    12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-4:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: Honey Harvest at Historic Deerfield. Honey was an important ingredient used to sweeten foods and beverages in colonial America, and to brew a traditional drink called mead. Join museum educators in this fun family program to learn about bees and honey. Taste different kinds of honey, and make a beeswax candle to take home. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (FREE W/admission)

    12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

    1pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Baby Bunnies and Pet Rabbits at the Whately Public Library (202 Chestnut Plain Rd.).  Destiny McDonough raises rabbits and shows them at American Rabbit Breeders Association shows.  Come see her rabbits!  She will share with us how to care for pet rabbits, raise baby bunnies, and children will have a chance to hold the babies too!  665-2170 Whately, MA (FREE)

    1pm – ASTRONOMY: Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer.  Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more.  256-6234  amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    1-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Tour the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Explore the ancestral home of the great 19th-century poet, newspaperman, and essayist, and wander the grounds above the Westfield River. Try the “I Spy” family activity using a hands-on spy pack to discover the Homestead’s secrets. 634-2244 Cummington, MA (>$)

    2-4pm – CHESS: At the Forbes Library.  Casual meets every Saturday the library is open. All competition levels are welcome. Drop in for part or all of the session. Bring your own set if you have one or use one of the library’s.  587-1011 www.forbeslibrary.org Northampton, MA (FREE)

    2:30pm – DAIRY FARM TOUR: As part of the Massachusetts Raw Milk Dairy Days, Sidehill Farm (137 Beldingville Rd) will be giving a guided tour of their pastures, the town’s oldest milking parlor, and their unusual facilities – a milk room built into a step van and a yogurt plant in a semi trailer. Stay after the tour for samples of raw milk and yogurt. Nine other farms in Western MA will be giving tours and demos too. Click here for a full list. For more info on the tour at Sidehill Farm, call 625-0011 www.sidehillfarm.net Ashfield, MA (FREE)

    3pm – ASTRONOMY: Observe the sun with Northampton Solar at A2Z Science and Learning Center. See Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    4pm – BENEFIT CONCERT: Appalachian Still will perform a benefit concert for the Food Bank of Western MA. (411 Russell Road). 586-5000 www.stridespw.com Sunderland, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    4:30-8pm – FARM DINNER: Friends of Red Gate Farm Dinner. Wine & Cheese Reception (4:30pm – 5:30pm) enjoy refreshments on the lawn including many local cheeses. Visit with farm Board members and staff and walk through their many gardens. Evening in the Big Barn (5:30pm – 8pm) fill up on wholesome grilled fare, vegetarian dishes, and delightful desserts. Finish the night with coffee and tea and a short film highlighting the past year and our Youth Corps. 625-9503 www.redgatefarm.org Buckland, MA (FUNDRAISER, ADULTS)

    5-8pm – ART WALK: Art Walk Easthampton is held the “Second Saturday” of the month. Locations across the city showcase visual, music and performance art in an energetic sampling of local, regional and national talent. All events are free. Parking is free. Art Walk Easthampton is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council and the support of Mantis Graphics which makes our large, yellow banners. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

    ASTRONOMY: Public Observing at Notchview of the night sky with the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center. 569.6336 http://www.arunah.org Windsor, MA (FREE)

    9pm – ASTRONOMY: View the Moon, Planets, Satellites, Multiple Stars, Star Clusters, Galaxies, Nebulas and more through the 6 ton, 25 foot long, 18 inch F/17, World Class Clark Refractor at the Wilder Observatory at the Amherst College.  Set up a telescope on the lawn, view through public use telescopes. www.amherstastronomy.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 09/04/10-09/10/10

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    Lucky Duck, one of the many games for kids at the Cummington Fair this past weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BET

    Saturday: Arunah Hill Days from 7am-11pm at The Arunah Hill Natural Science Center (218 Trouble St.) in Cummington. A family-oriented weekend of astronomy, star gazing, nature walks, and science education. Several large telescopes will be available for nightly viewing of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, galaxies, star clusters, and other wonders of the Summer Milky Way. Experienced amateur astronomers will conduct nightly constellation orientation talks. Specially filtered solar telescopes will also be used during daylight hours to reveal sunspots and solar prominences. 569.6336 www.arunah.org (FREE)

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR

    Saturday, September 11th from 12Noon-11pm – CULTURAL FESTIVAL: Glendi Greek Festival at the Greek Cultural Center (22 St. George Rd.), the best in traditional Greek foods, pastries, music, dancing, and old-fashioned Greek hospitality – activities for children including games and a bounce house, a Greek cultural and art exhibit. 737-1496 www.stgeorgecath.org Springfield, MA (>$)

    Sunday, September 12th from 2:30-4:30pm – KIDS CONCERT: Primate Fiasco will be playing music from their “adult strength kids CD”, Wheels on the Bus at First Churches (Main Street). Circus and puppets before show. Northampton, MA (>$)

    BULLETIN BOARD

    SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information. —  Help us help you!

    PARENTING WORKSHOP: Shana Hiranandani, M.A. will be offering a series of three group workshops for Parents and Caregivers titled “Put the Oxygen Mask On Yourself First!” *Create a life that nourishes your own needs as Parents. Discover useful tools and new ideas to create balance, enjoyment and meaning in our roles as Parents.* The cost of the series is $75 for all three meetings and will be offered in Easthampton on Wednesdays, September 22nd, 29th, and October 6th from 12Noon-1:30pm OR 5:30-7pm. Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information visit online at www.UniquePeople.net or call (413) 341-3158. Shana is a Personal Life and Career Coach and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

    Deadline to enter to win: September 22nd.

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Marie Westburg of Williamsburg, MA writes: Transition Williamsburg is sponsoring a Community Work Day at the Williamsburg Grange Monday, September 6th from 2-5pm. Help fix up the Grange! We will paint and spruce up the front garden. Bring a paint brush and your community spirit! For more information call Marie Westburg at 268-7899 or amwestburg@verizon.net.

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Andrew Baker of Shelburne Falls, MA writes: Families at the Solar Circle affordable condominium community in Haydenville are hosting a “Vote NO on 2” potluck picnic on Sunday, September 19th from 12:30-3:30pm to showcase their affordable housing community in order to highlight the importance of voting no on Question #2 on the ballot in November. The event is open to the public. Solar Circle is a housing development for first time home buyers built using the affordable housing law, otherwise known as Chapter 40B. This November, Massachusetts voters will weigh in on Question 2, which asks voters to repeal Chapter 40B, a law that has created 80% of the affordable housing built in Massachusetts, outside of the major cities, over the last decade. More info on this topic HERE.

    HOMESCHOOL OPPORTUNITY: The Springfield Museum will be offering à la Carte Programs on Thursdays at 12:15pm. Programs may be suitable for older homeschool students. Programs include: Springfield: A Life in Postcards (Sept. 9th); A Hungry Hill Trinity: Life and Times of Three Generations (Sept 16th); A Window to the World of Honey Bees: Beekeeping at the Springfield Science Museum (Sept 23rd); and How Art Made the World, Part Five: To Death and Back (Sept 30th). The programs are held in the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts. The D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards St. in downtown Springfield. Parking is free. For more information about Museums à la Carte, call 413-263-6800, ext. 488. (>$)

    FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS: First-Time Homebuyer Workshop at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg. Offering three times: Sept 18, 25, and Oct 2. 9 – 12:30pm. Buying a home is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. The first step of the process is to look at the picture as a whole, then work with the individual puzzle pieces. If you want to buy your first home, but are a bit leery of the process, and are afraid of taking on the financial responsibility of owning a home, then educating yourself is the thing to do! The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you will be and the more successful you will be in your homeownership. Registration required. Contact Bea at Hilltown CDC. 296-4536, ext 115 or beavh@hilltowncdc.org

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS is our BACK TO SCHOOL episode. Our playlist includes new music by Imagination Movers, Clint Holmes, Key Wilde & Mr. Clarke, The Sweet Colleens, Lisa Loeb, Tom Paxton, Ellis Paul, The Not-Its!, Chuck Berry, and many others!

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns
    ♦ On-going Events

    Saturday – 9/4

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    7am-11pm – ASTRONOMY ADVENTURES: The Arunah Hill Natural Science Center (218 Trouble St.) will host Arunah Hill Days, a family-oriented weekend of astronomy, star gazing, nature walks, and science education. Several large telescopes will be available for nightly viewing of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, galaxies, star clusters, and other wonders of the Summer Milky Way. Experienced amateur astronomers will conduct nightly constellation orientation talks. Specially filtered solar telescopes will also be used during daylight hours to reveal sunspots and solar prominences. 569.6336 www.arunah.org Cummington, MA (FREE)

    8am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Youth Day at the 143rd Blandford Fair (10 North Street). 848-0995 www.blanfordfair.com Blandford, MA ($)

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: 193rd Three County Fair (54 Fair St.) 584-2237 www.3countyfair.com Northampton, MA ($)

    MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Free Admission to the Berkshire Museum (Pittsfield) and the BasketBall Hall of Fame (Springfield) today, courtesy of the Highland Street Foundation. www.highlandstreet.org (FREE)

    9:30am-5pm- FAMILY DAY: Family Fun Days at Old Sturbridge Village. Pay base ball the way early New Englanders did, make a craft, join a game of French & English (left), meet the young oxen in training, try your hand at marbling paper, watch a toy fire-balloon flight, visit the Freeman Farm, stop and see craftsmen at work, and much more. 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA (FREE)

    10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Free day at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

    12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

    1pm – ASTRONOMY: Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer. Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more. 256-6234 amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    1-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Tour the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Explore the ancestral home of the great 19th-century poet, newspaperman, and essayist, and wander the grounds above the Westfield River. Try the “I Spy” family activity using a hands-on spy pack to discover the Homestead’s secrets. 634-2244 Cummington, MA (>$)

    3pm – ASTRONOMY: Observe the sun with Northampton Solar at A2Z Science and Learning Center. See Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more. Northampton, MA (FREE)

    6pm – SPORTS FANS: Take the family out to the ballpark to see a Pittsfield Colonials baseball home game at Wahconah Park. www.pittsfieldcolonials.com Pittsfield, MA ($)

    6:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Friends of the M.N. Spear Memorial Library will host a family movie night at the Town Hall: showing Star Wars, episode 4, A New Hope. Shutesbury, MA(Donation >$)

    8:45pm – DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater call or visit online for Films. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

    9pm – ASTRONOMY: View the Moon, Planets, Satellites, Multiple Stars, Star Clusters, Galaxies, Nebulas and more through the 6 ton, 25 foot long, 18 inch F/17, World Class Clark Refractor at the Wilder Observatory at the Amherst College. Set up a telescope on the lawn, view through public use telescopes. www.amherstastronomy.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Suggested Events 08/28/10-09/03/10

    Like This!

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    142nd Cummington Fair starts this Thursday and runs through the weekend. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BET

    CUMMINGTON FAIR: The Biggest and Best Little Fair in the Country Right in the Heart of the Hilltowns! The 142nd Cummington Fair, a four-day agricultural celebration right in the heart of Western MA, is this weekend! The fair starts Thursday night (4-9pm) when families can buy a $10 wrist band for the kids to ride the midway unlimited all night long (or until they’re too dizzy to stand). Read more at the Cummington Fair HERE.

    BULLETIN BOARD

    IRISH DANCE LESSONS: Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance in Greenfield is offering Irish Dance Lessons classes for children ages 4 and older, as well as adult classes, this Fall. Sign up now and join in the fun of the Jigs and Reels. Registration is going on now and classes begin in September. Space is limited so call today! – In addition to Irish Dance Lessons, Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance also offers Celtic Music Lessons and Celtic Concerts the first Friday of each month. These concerts are open to the public and all are invited! – For additional information, please contact Cara at (413) 475-3353, or email celticheels@gmail.com. Celtic Heels is located at 267 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. Visit online at www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

    PARENTING WORKSHOP: Shana Hiranandani, M.A. will be offering a series of three group workshops for Parents and Caregivers titled,“Put the Oxygen Mask On Yourself First!” *Create a life that nourishes your own needs as Parents. Discover useful tools and new ideas to create balance, enjoyment and meaning in our roles as Parents.* The cost of the series is $75 for all three meetings and will be offered in Easthampton on Wednesdays, September 22nd, 29th, and October 6th from 12Noon-1:30pm OR 5:30-7pm. Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information visit online at www.UniquePeople.net or call (413) 341-3158. Shana is a Personal Life and Career Coach and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.

    NANNY POSITION WANTED: Sandy Shapiro of Cummington, MA writes: Need a great nanny? I’ve been working as a nanny and a preschool teacher for nearly 25 years. For the past 13 years I’ve been the nanny for one family, and as the kids got older I served several families part time. I’m reliable, an expert problem solver, and have wonderful references. I also cook, mend, shop, organize, run errands, etc. Available Tues-Thurs, preferably in the Hilltowns, but willing to travel. I’m very flexible and willing to combine families/children, work morning and/or afternoon hours, and can serve different families with variable needs. For more information, call me at (413) 634-5068.

    Bread Euphoria Cafe & Bakery in Haydenville, MA

    FREE COOKIES: Hilltown Families sponsor, Bread Euphoria, is be having a Back-to-School Special: FREE COOKIES! They will be giving out free cookies to kids from September 1st-3rd. They’ll have 100 chocolate chip and snicker doodle cookies each day and will be passing them out to kids at the cafe. Limit one per child while supplies last. Bread Euphoria is located at 206 Main Street (Route 9) in Haydenville, MA. www.breadeuphoria.org

    Deadline to enter to win: September 22nd.

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Andrew Baker of Shelburne Falls, MA writes: Families at the Solar Circle affordable condominium community in Haydenville are hosting a “Vote NO on 2” potluck picnic on Sunday, September 19th from 12:30-3:30pm to showcase their affordable housing community in order to highlight the importance of voting no on Question #2 on the ballot in November. The event is open to the public. Solar Circle is a housing development for first time home buyers built using the affordable housing law, otherwise known as Chapter 40B. This November, Massachusetts voters will weigh in on Question 2, which asks voters to repeal Chapter 40B, a law that has created 80% of the affordable housing built in Massachusetts, outside of the major cities, over the last decade. More info on this topic HERE.

    CHORUS AUDITIONS: Auditions for the South Hadley Children’s Chorus, between 4-6 pm, Wednesday September 1st. Informal, nothing to prepare ahead. Chorus enrolls kids 7-14 from many Valley towns (currently including Leyden, Shutesbury and Sunderland), rehearsing Wednesday afternoons 4:30-5:45 pm in South Hadley. Annual tuition discounts for siblings. 2010-11 season includes concerts in Amherst, Northampton, Belchertown, South Hadley, Chicopee, and Holyoke; a children’s choir festival and collaboration with Greenfield’s Celtic Heels. Older children especially welcome. Contact director Cathy Melhorn, 413-548-1098 or email:cmelhorn@mtholyoke.edu.

    ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information.

    HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW

    Hilltown Family Variety ShowTune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am.

    This week on the HFVS our playlist includes new music by The Okee Dokee Brothers, Fannery Brothers, The Bazilions, Capar Babypants, and story time with a new tale off of Bill Harley’s new CD, The Best Candy in the Whole World.

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

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • HFVS Podcast

    PODCAST: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 8/28

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    7am-10pm – AGRICULTURE FAIR: The 142nd Cummington Fair at the Cummington Fairgrounds. http://www.cummingtonfair.org Cummington, MA ($)

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9am-4pm – TAG SALE – To benefit the Berkshire Environmental Action Team at the United Methodist Church (6 Holmes Rd.) Lenox, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    DOG SHOW: At the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition. 787-0127, (203) 266-5496 www.thebige.com West Springfield, MA

    10am-12Noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Gorge Discovery Day at the Chesterfield Gorge. Explore the Westfield River and find out what swims, clings, crawls and flies in and around this designated wild and scenic river. Wear water shoes and come prepared to get wet! Meet at the Gorge parking lot. Sponsored by the Trustees of Reservations. 532-1631 x13 West Chesterfield, MA (>$)

    10am – HIKE: Hike into the Catamount Hills. Bring water, unscented bug repellant, flashlight to explore caves and lunch to enjoy at MacLeod Pond. Rain will cancel so please register with the leader. 614-3311 Colrain, MA (FREE)

    11am-3pm – LOCAL FOOD: New England Food Sampling Fair at Atkins Farm with over 30 New England vendor sampling thier foods. www.atkinsfarms.com Amherst, MA (FREE)

    11am & 2pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Bremen Town Musicians presented by Castle Hill Theatre at the Berkshire Museum. This funny and imaginative tale of a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster who are forced to leave their homes and make their way in the world. Along the way, they confront robbers and become a jug band. Don’t miss this heartwarming story about self-discovery and friendship. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

    12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-5pm – FOOD FESTIVAL: Tomato Festival at Red Fire Farm. Live music, chef demos and seasonal fare. Kids activities, wagon rides, workshops, PYO, artisans, The Nields, Eva Cappelli, Salvation Alley String Band and Carrie Ferguson. http://www.redfirefarm.com Granby, MA (>$)

    12:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chow Time in the aquarium at the Berkshire Museum. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/museum admission)

    1pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Gallery Quest: Stomping Grounds at MASS MoCA. Kids and their families can discover the many different environments on view at MASS MoCA including the upside down house from Gravity is a Force to be Reckoned With and the installations of Material World as well as the campus’s historic architecture. The event wraps up with a snack. www.massmoca.org North Adams, MA ($)

    1pm – SCIENCE STUDIES: Amherst Solar will be set up with their telescopes on the Amherst Town Common all summer. Stop by with the kids and see Sunspots, Prominences, Limb Darkening and more. 256-6234 amastro.org Amherst, MA (FREE)

    1pm & 3pm – BALLET: Audiences of all ages will delight in Amherst Ballet’s Hansel and Gretel, based upon the Grimm Brothers’ tale as illustrated by artist Lizbeth Zwerger, presented at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Twenty-four dancers between the ages of 7 – 17 years old are featured in the ballet, set to the music of a variety of composers. 658-1105 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA (FREE w/Museum Admission)

    1-5pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Tour the William Cullen Bryant Homestead. Explore the ancestral home of the great 19th-century poet, newspaperman, and essayist, and wander the grounds above the Westfield River. Try the “I Spy” family activity using a hands-on spy pack to discover the Homestead’s secrets. 634-2244 Cummington, MA (>$)

    1:30-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Ponding for Kids: For ages 5-10. Come explore the pond life with hands on activities. Catch and learn about all types of pond creatures. At Holyoke Range State Park. 253-2883 Holyoke, MA (FREE)

    3-4:30pm – FAMILY YOGA: CircusYoga at Prakasa Yoga Studio. 268-8313 Goshen, MA (>$)

    5pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Lobster Supper at the American Legion Pavilion (Route 8). Call to reserve seating: 258-4688 Sandisfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

    6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE PERFORMANCE: Jacob’s PIllow Outdoor Inside/Out performance. 243.0745 www.jacobspillow.org Becket, MA (FREE)

    8-9:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Campfire Fun at DAR State Forest. Meet at the nature center field fire ring for stories and head games like scatergories, the ministers cat etc. 268-7098 Goshen, MA (FREE)

    Dusk – FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: UP will be screened outdoors at Energy Park. www.ma-greenfield.gov Greenfield, MA (FREE)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    142nd Annual Cummington Fair (August 26th-29th, 2010)

    The Biggest and Best Little Fair in the Country
    Right in the Heart of the Hilltowns

    The 142nd Cummington Fair, a four-day agricultural celebration right in the heart of Western MA, is this weekend!  The fair starts Thursday night (4-9pm) when families can buy a $10 wrist band for the kids to ride the midway unlimited all night long (or until they’re too dizzy to stand).  Added bonus, it’s Night for Trucks too.  Makes for a loud evening, but great for kids who love trucks!  There will also be a Circus Thrill Show and events in the Fun House Tent.

    Friday is Cruise Night. It’s also Children’s Night where families can buy discounted tickets for the rides, which in the past meant 1/2 priced tickets for the rides on the midway. In years past we’ve been able to use any left over tickets for the rest of the weekend (so buy extra if you’re coming back with the kids!).  Other highlights on Friday night include the Circus Thrill Show, Demolition Derby, Bux The Balloon Man, Spaghetti Dinner, and youth Sheep & Cattle Show.

    Saturday is Old Fashion Fair Day.  Families can come early and stroll around in the morning looking at the antique tractors, watch the 4H kids proudly share their animals, visit the petting barn, and check out the craft barn.   After 11am the shows begin.  This year Rick Adam, One Man Band, Hansen’s Spectacular Circus Thrill Show, Dux The Ballon Man, Jose’ Duddy and Allegheny String Band will be giving shows all weekend long.  As well as the Draft Oxen Pulls and the Ox Teamster Challenge.

    The community Roast Beef Dinner’s first seating happens around lunch time and then again as an early dinner.  There are also an abundance of food vendors selling all sorts of culinary fair delights.  In the afternoon hours, in between shows and performances, families can check out the exhibitor hall and see all the glorious produce local gardeners have grown and crafts artisans have made.  After the dinner hour families can check out the Skid Steer Rodeo and join in square dancing with the Bob Willie & Friendship String Band. Then in the evening there will be fireworks, rain or shine!

    Sundays are great days too!  It’s Senior Citizen’s Day, an excellent opportunity for grandparents to take their grandkids! The Western Mass Lumberjack Championship happens in the morning, and later in the day is the Draft Horse Competition, Firemen’s Muster, Antique Car Parade and the community turkey dinner.  Johnny Mystic Magical Entertainment happens throughout the day, and the midway and rides are open from 11am-8pm.

    Admission to the fair for kids under 10 get is free, and their adult companions only pay $8. Kids ages 10-16 are $4. There is also the option of buying a 3-Day pass (save $4 per adult) or a 4-Day pass (save $7 per adult). You also have to pay for parking, anywhere between $3-$5 per car.  So carpool if you can to save a few extra dollars.

    The Cummington Fair is held every year at the Cummington Fairgrounds (97 Fairgrounds Road, Cummington, MA).  It’s located one mile off of Route 9 from the center of Cummington, or 5 miles off of Route 143 from the center of West Chesterfield. Map/Direction.

    AGRICULTURAL FAIR LESSON PLANS

    I’ve linked to several state fair lesson plans below for families looking for curriculums they can use with the abundance of agricultural fairs that happen in and around Western MA:

    Suggested Events 08/21/10-08/27/10

    Like This!

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

    SUGGEST AN EVENT

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The 142nd Cummington Fair is August 26th-August 29th in the heart of the Hilltowns! The Biggest and Best Little Fair in the Country! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

    Suggest an EventIf 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, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

    BEST BET

    NEW EXHIBIT: Dinner is Served!: Dining and the Decorative Arts in Early America will be on display at Historic Deerfield beginning Saturday, August 21st and running through  November 28th. Families and students can enjoy a multisite exploration of the social, cultural, and artistic importance of dining in early America. Learn about the ordinary as well as the exotic accoutrements of dining-from cutlery and mustard pots to argyles and toasted cheese dishes. Then experience recreations of period dinners-complete with faux food-in the dining rooms of three historic houses. For more information visit www.historic-deerfield.org.

    LOCAL FOOD: Sixth Annual Free Harvest Supper of Local Food will be on Sunday, August 22nd from 4:30 to 6:30 pm on the Greenfield Town Common/Court Square. All are welcome to join in sharing this truly community celebration event, which features a bountiful meal of locally grown food prepared by local chefs, live music, children’s activities, educational displays and a Really, Really Free Market. Read more here.

    BULLETIN BOARD

    ADVERTISING & ANNOUNCEMENTS: Deliver your message to a large family based audience while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Advertise your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement here in the Bulletin Board section of our List of Weekly Suggested Events. Email hilltownfamilies@gmail.com for more information.

    IRISH DANCE LESSONS: Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance in Greenfield is offering Irish Dance Lessons classes for children ages 4 and older, as well as adult classes, this Fall.  Sign up now and join in the fun of the Jigs and Reels. Registration is going on now and classes begin in September.  Space is limited so call today! – In addition to Irish Dance Lessons, Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance also offers Celtic Music Lessons and Celtic Concerts the first Friday of each month. These concerts are open to the public and all are invited! – For additional information, please contact Cara at (413) 475-3353, or email celticheels@gmail.com. Celtic Heels is located at 267 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. Visit online at www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

    NANNY POSITION WANTED: Sandy Shapiro of Cummington, MA writes: Need a great nanny?  I’ve been working as a nanny and a preschool teacher for nearly 25 years.  For the past 13 years I’ve been the nanny for one family, and as the kids got older I served several families part time.  I’m reliable, an expert problem solver, and have wonderful references.  I also cook, mend, shop, organize, run errands, etc.  Available Tues-Thurs, preferably in the Hilltowns, but willing to travel. I’m very flexible and willing to combine families/children, work morning and/or afternoon hours, and can serve different families with variable needs.  For more information, call me at (413) 634-5068.

    Deadline to enter to win: August 25th.

    Rachel Stoler of Community Coalition for Teens in Greenfield, MA writes: The Community Coalition for Teens invites West County residents who are parents of middle/high school children to participate in a focus group to give input into a campaign we’re developing to support healthy development for young people. Focus group will be on Monday, August 23rd from 5:30-6:30pm at the Shelburne Falls Senior Center. We may be scheduling more focus groups in the future. Pizza and soda will be provided for dinner. Participants will be given a $20 Big Y gift certificate AND will be providing a valuable service to their community! The group will be limited to ten parents. Please call Davette at 774-3167 x 101 to sign up. Space is limited and will be first-come-first-served

    VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Lezlie Densmore writes: I’m organizing the La Leche League Nursing Mothers’ Booth at the Big E again this year and I’m starting to line up volunteers. La Leche League has been sponsoring the Nursing Mother’s Booth for a few years now and we reach well over 1000 people each year.  I need volunteers to sit at the table and keep an eye on the booth.  All volunteers that help for 4 hours or more receive a free entrance pass and a free parking pass for the day. The dates this year are Sept 17 – Oct 3. We need at least 3 people per day but can have as many as 6, so invite a friend or spouse to come along!  If you think you might be interested, email me (LezlieDen@gmail.com) and I’ll add you to our list.

    Deadline to enter to win: September 22nd..

    PIE & TOMATO CONTEST: As part of Community Spirit Day, Four Winds Farm and CHP-South Berkshire Community Coalition will sponsor at Pie & Tomato contest at the Great Barrington VFW on Sunday, August 22nd. Enter your home-baked pie(s), made with LOCAL fruits. Also bring your best, ugliest, biggest tomato from your garden for an entry into our tomato contest. No preregistration, just bring by 12:15pm for entry. This is a FREE community event (12 noon to 5 p.m.) with a potluck (bring a dish to share along with your own plates and utensils), games, magic, music, kid’s activities, Farmer’s Market and a ‘meet-your-local non-profit organizations’ venue. For more info contact SBCC at 413-528-1919 x14.


    WEEKLY LIST OF SUGGESTED EVENTS

    Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

    Suggest an Event | Local Forecast | Free Museum Passes | Playgroups & Family Centers | Movies in the Valley | Movies in the Berkshires | Farmers’ Markets | Listen Here

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns

    Saturday – 8/21

    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 www.valleyfreeradio.org.

    8:30am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: On the town green. Ashfield, MA (MARKET)

    9am-5pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Berkshire County 4-H Youth fair is celebrating its 70th year, the oldes continually run youth fair in the country! 448-8285 Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

    9:30am-4:30pm – AIR SHOW: Westfield International Air Show at Barnes Air National Guard Base, featuring the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. www.westfieldairshow.net Westfield, MA (FREE)

    8:30am-11pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: 93rd Heath Fair.  Fireworks at dark. www.heathfair.org Heath, MA (>$)

    11am – FAMILY THEATER: Nutshell Playhouse will be at Main Street Stage, where “Pirates” will swash their buckles once again.  637-1245 www.nutshellplayhouse.org North Adams, MA ($)

    11am & 2pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Bremen Town Musicians presented by Castle Hill Theatre at the Berkshire Museum.  This funny and imaginative tale of a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster who are forced to leave their homes and make their way in the world. Along the way, they confront robbers and become a jug band. Don’t miss this heartwarming story about self-discovery and friendship. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA ($)

    11am-8pm – GREEK CULTURE: Celebrate Greek Tradition at St. George Greek Orthodox Church (73 Bradford St.) for Greek traditions, music, dances and food. 442-8113 Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

    12Noon – 5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: 3rd Annual Chilifest at Stone Soup Farm (275 Jackson St.) Family-friendly farm festival with chili, salsa tasting, hayrides, tours, music and more. Rain date: 8/22.  Belchertown, MA (FREE)

    12Noon-3pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Montague Farm Zen House presents the weekly Montague Farm Cafe -a free, weekly family oriented meal and gathering, with healthy food, art activities, live music, and games. 367-5275 Montague, MA (FREE)

    1pm & 3pm – FAMILY THEATER: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and PuppeTree present Caps for Sale.  Based on the classic book by Esphyr Slobodkina, this simple folk tale of a hat seller whose inventory of hats is lost to mischievous monkeys while he is napping is told around the world in every culture that has monkeys. The PuppeTree tells this exciting story through the eyes of 7 different cultures, using an engaging variety of puppetry styles to celebrate diversity.  658-1105 www.carlemuseum.org Amherst, MA ($)

    1:30-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Ponding for Kids: For ages 5-10. Come explore the pond life with hands on activities. Catch and learn about all types of pond creatures. At Holyoke Range State Park.  253-2883 Holyoke, MA (FREE)

    1:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Inside Pahat at the Berkshire Museum. Take a guided 3-D virtual tour through our 2,300-year-old mummy, Pahat. Learn how cutting-edge technology is being used to decipher the mysteries of mummification. 443-7171 www.berkshiremuseum.org Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/admission)

    1-4pm – NATURE STUDIES: Discover Trees by learning all about trees, their systems, and identification.  The make a leaf craft at the DAR State Forest. 268-7098 Goshen, MA (FREE)

    2-7pm – SUSTAINABILITY: Celebrating Resilient Community with Transition Northampton and concert featuring Sarah Stockwell-Arthen.  Workshops focusing on practical skills and community building tools.  Concert & potluck follow. http://www.laurelparkassociation.org Northampton, MA (>$)

    2:30pm – TANGLEWOOD FOR KIDS: Family Concert at Tanglewood, designed to engage and inspire new generations of children.  In the Ozawa hall.  Check out the Instrument Playground too, a chance for kids to sample instruments. Lenox, MA (FREE FOR KIDS 18yo & YOUNGER)

    5-9pm – ART WALK: The *Art Under the Stars* event means that stores, galleries and restaurants will be open late and celebrating with special exhibits, music and good food.   You can drive, walk or take the trolley to The Art Garden where you can make a pocket-sized ‘Walking Journal’ and enjoy some snacks. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

    6:15pm – OUTDOOR DANCE PERFORMANCE: Jacob’s Pillow Outdoor Inside/Out performance.  243.0745  www.jacobspillow.org Becket, MA (FREE)

    7pm – MOVIE: Screening of The Breakfast Club (R).  Greenagers invite you to watch an ’80s classic revived on the big screen of the beautiful Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and support a good, local initiative. Greenages is local youth working to strengthen the environment and our community. 644-0000 www.greenagers.org Great Barrington, MA ($)

    8-9pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Campfire Cooking at DAR State Forest. Learn to make campfire popcorn. 268-7098 Goshen, MA (FREE)

    8pm – THEATER: The Firebird at Double Edge Theatre. 628-0277 www.doubleedgetheatre.org Ashfield, MA ($$)

    8:45pm – DRIVE-IN MOVIE: Northfield Drive-In movie theater call or visit online for Films. (603) 239-4054 www.northfielddrivein.com Northfield, MA ($)

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Hancock Shaker Village Celebrates 50 Years as a Living History Museum

    Hancock Shaker Village 50th Anniversary Charter Day

    Hancock Shaker Village Charter Day is a family-friendly event featuring children’s music, plays, storytelling, lawn games, wagon rides, free ice cream, and more!

    It’s the Hancock Shaker Village’s 50th anniversary and they are celebrating with Charter Day, a family-friendly celebration of Hancock Shaker Village’s official “birthday” as living history museum on August 21st, 10:00am to 5:00pm in Pittsfield, MA. This fun-filled day will include:

    • Lawn games
    • Wagon rides
    • Shaker story time
    • Kids concert with Mister G
    • Clara and Claire, a short play for young audiences
    • Free ice cream
    • Demonstrations
    • Exhibits
    • Community slideshow

    Mister G. will perform children’s music concerts at 11:00am, 1:00pm, and 2:30pm. His career spans twenty years as a performing musician and recording artist. He began blending his love of music and education in the late 1990s, and specializes in promoting literacy through song creation. He has toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, and his songs have been featured in television programs around the world.

    Clara and Claire, a short play for young audiences written and directed by Berkshire resident Juliane Hiam and conceived by Sharon Smullen, will be performed at 12:00pm and 3:30pm. The play tells the story of two girls from different periods of history who have a magical, accidental meeting at Hancock Shaker Village. One is Clara Sperle, who was the last child to be raised by the Hancock Shakers. Clara went to live with the Shakers at age eight and remained there until she was a young woman. The other is a fictionalized modern day child who is visiting Hancock Shaker Village on a class field trip. Their encounter will bring the audience on a journey that reveals the wonders of simplicity. The production will feature two local 12-year-old actresses, Rebecca van der Meulen and Harper Glantz.

    Charter Day will also include children’s lawn games, wagon rides, free ice cream by Crescent Creamery, Shaker Story Time, plus the full schedule of Village daily tours and demonstrations. Admission will be half-price and free for members and children 12 and under.  For more information, call 800.817.1137 or go to www.hancockshakervillage.org.

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