47 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bald Eagles to Bobcats. Makerspace to Meteorology.

Nordic skiing is a unique was to enjoy your local landscape in the winter months. During school vacation week, Notchview in Windsor offers instruction for children under age 14 Both classical and skating instruction are being offered and ski rentals are available. Call ahead!

Bald Eagles to Bobcats. Makerspace to Meteorology. Seed Swap to Chocolate. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this weekSaturday Morning Music Party: Sat., Feb 13, 10am-12noon in Easthampton! Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, families can craft handmade valentine’s with the Easthampton Family Center while enjoying a new performance with our special guests, Scotty Swan Puppet Co. After the breakfast, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)


Birds of PreyOrnithologyCitizen ScienceTrackingCynologyAnimal StudiesWinter FestivalsMakerspaceAviationChemistryPhysicsArt StudiesArt HistoryMuseum AdventuresCollaborative ConsumptionSeed SwapFood HistoryIce HarvestingCivil WarSportsDance StudiesService-Based LearningFood SecurityFilm StudiesMusic StudiesCreative-Free Play


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Learning Ahead: February 8th-14th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 25 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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40 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Caramelization to Lunar New Year. Mardi Gras to Hip Hop.

Have you ever wondered what makes  caramel chewy? Chemistry! This chewy consistency is due to a chemical reaction that occurs when milk is added to hot sugar syrup. Now, can you identify which molecules of milk (protein? fat?) or why sugar and not salt contribute to this chemical reaction? Support an interest in chemistry, pastry arts and food science by learning the basics of caramelization from chef and author Bill Collins in the Learner’s Lab at the Berkshire Museum this weekend. Go curious and ask questions! And then make plans to cook up some chewy caramel covered pastries when you get home… making your kitchen your very own chemistry lab!

Caramelization to Food Swap. Lunar New Year to Theater Shorts. Cougars to Crows. Mardi Gras to Black History Month. Acapella to Hip Hop. .. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week: The town of Greenfield‘s 94th Annual Winter Carnival brings indoor and outdoor fun to locations across town, Friday, February 5 – Sunday, February 7! A tradition for nearly a century, Winter Carnival includes everything from traditional winter activities like the Cardboard Classic sled race and ice carving to a chili cook-off and a road race for the hardiest of runners. The event begins on Friday, February 5th with ice carving downtown, the annual Parade of Lights, and a fireworks display! Ongoing weekend events at Beacon Field include skating, sledding, the creation of a snowman village, a snow sculpture contest, a winter-themed story walk, and marshmallow roasting by the warming fire. 413-772-1553. 20 Sanderson Street, Greenfield, MA. (<$ SUGGESTED DONATION)


Mardi GrasWinter CarnivalIce ArtComputer ScienceHackathonFilmFood ScienceTrackingLocal FoodFood SwapChinese New YearLocal HistoryScience HistoryIce HarvestingSTEMTheaterAnimal StudiesOrnithologyMuseum AdventuresBlack History MonthArt StudiesMusic StudiesParenting WorkshopsParents’ Night Out


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Learning Ahead: February 1st-7th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 17 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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42 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Canines to Insects. Trains to Timber. Russian Folktales to Winter Camping.

Model railroad fans from throughout New England and beyond come together this weekend to share their passion for trains of all sizes at the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show at the Eastern States Exposition. A great intergenerational hobby, model trains can support a variety of interests, from history to carpentry to economics to set design. Come curious and ask questions! West Springfield, MA. ($-$$)

Canines to Insects. Trains to Timber. Russian Folktales to Winter Camping… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week:  Kicking off winter festival season is The Art Garden’s outdoor Winter Celebration on Saturday, January 30, 4pm-8pm. A celebration of local art and the collective experiences of winter (both literally and metaphorically), this special event includes both indoor and outdoor elements. In the rail yard just outside The Art Garden, families will find creative winter-inspired installations and participatory art pieces, as well as (weather permitting) a fire around which to gather and bask in the contrast between the light of fire and the chill of winter. Indoors, the Winter Celebration brings an opening reception for Winter, a community exhibit centered around its namesake and offering families the opportunity to explore the many different creative representations and interpretations of winter. 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street, Suite 2, Shelburne Falls, MA.


Museums AdventuresCynologyEntomologyTrainsSocial Emotional LearningCreative-Free PlayColonial HistoryHistorical TradesIce HarvestingStorytellingOutdoor AdventuresIce FishingSports HistoryWorld StudiesDance StudiesWinter CelebrationsMusic StudiesCulture StudiesParenting SkillsWomen’s StudiesTextile ArtsRefugee StudiesPaleontologyInclusion


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Learning Ahead: January 25th-31st, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 17 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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45 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Ice Harvesting to Quantum Physics. MakerSpace to Ballet.

Animal Adaptations to Phenology. Shakespeare to Paddington Bear. Classical Piano to Hip Hop.These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this weekArtZoo opens at the Berkshire Museum this weekend. Set out on an adventure at this family-friendly exhibition that explores a magnificent menagerie of creatures portrayed in photograph, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more! Grouped by species, as in a real zoo, ArtZoo at the Berkshire Museum features wild animals from every corner of the world. Scientific specimens – a pair of real sea turtles, a life-size ostrich skeleton, and enormous 10-inch eggs – provide an unmatched visual and educational experience. Interactive activities like Animal Yoga, a live monitor lizard, games, and a zoo quest are also included. Visitors of all ages will marvel at the variety of ways artists have chosen to portray animals. Since many of the objects are from the Museum’s permanent collection, ArtZoo provides a fun and unique opportunity to view some of these rarely seen items. The exhibit begins on January 23, 2016 and will be on display through May 1, 2016 at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)


Animal StudiesNature StudiesHikingDendrologySnow SportsAdaptive SportsSocial JusticeCanadian StudiesColonial HistoryIce HarvestingLocal HistoryHuman StudiesWorld HistoryBalletMakerSpaceQuantum PhysicsComputer CodingMusic StudiesUpcyclingQuiltingLiteracyPhilosophyCommunity ConnectionsCommunity MealParenting SkillsTheater StudiesOpera


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Learning Ahead: January 18th-24th, 2016


Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 20 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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31 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Ghandi to Martin Luther King. Cultural Traditions to Adaptive Activities.

Decomposition is an essential part of the cycle of matter on Earth. Often viewed as unpleasant or unattractive, it truly deserves positive attention! Artist Jan Ruby-Crystal appreciates the decomposition process, as evidenced in her current exhibition running January 20 through February 27, 2016 in Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Literary Adaptation to Philosophy in Literature. Moose to Bears. Ghandi to Martin Luther King. Coding to Robotics. Baking to Canning. Book Making to Sewing.These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this weekMoose, the largest member of the deer family, survive winter by browsing on twigs. It’s a hard existence, and wading through deep snow makes it even more challenging. How do they do it? Dr. John E. McDonald, assistant professor of environmental science at Westfield State University, will discuss the ecology of these unusual-looking animals on a hike at the Hilltown Land Trust‘s Stevens Property, sponsored by the Trustees of Reservations.on Saturday, January 16, 10am-12noon. Wear warm clothes and appropriate footwear for walking in the snow. Alternative date in case of bad weather: 1/26. RSVP required. 413-628-4485, ext.4. Pisgah Road, Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Collaborative ConsumptionFood SwapFilm StudiesAnimal StudiesVisual ArtsBotanyOrnithologyCivil RightsMartin Luther King, Jr. DaySTEMCulinary ArtsNutritionCommunity MealPhilosophyClassic LiteratureCultural TraditionsTu B’ShevatArts & CraftsSkillsharingOutdoor AdventuresAdaptive ActivitiesParenting SkillsADHD


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Learning Ahead: January 11th-17th, 2016

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 11 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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32 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Owls to Rabbits. O’Keeffe to Guggenheim.

Berkshire Now: Peter Gordon at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, now through Feb 21, 2016

Owls to Rabbits. O’Keeffe to Guggenheim. LEGOs to Yo-Yos. Swimming to Tracking. Cooking to Sewing… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week:  With winter truly upon us here in western Massachusetts, families are gearing up for ski season! Take advantage of the many properties and trail systems catering to crosscountry skiing during the winter months. Families can find lessons, equipment rentals, and opportunities to explore the wintry landscape by tapping into local resources for crosscountry skiing! You can learn more about Nordic skiing at our post, Western MA Cross-Country Ski Resources. Make this the year your family enjoys winter outdoors!


Film StudiesOrnithologyVisual ArtArt StudiesSTEMOutdoor AdventuresNordic SkiingPerforming ArtSwimmingAnimal StudiesCulinary ArtsLanguage StudiesSpanishMindfulnessSewingMusic StudiesUS HistoryWritingParent Workshop


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Learning Ahead: January 4th-10th, 2016

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 14 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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27 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Ice Skating to Cross-Country Skiing. West African Textiles to Silk History.

Cross-country skiing opportunities in our area abound! Here’s a starter list, but there are many more, including, perhaps, some of the fields near your own home!

Ice Skating to Cross-Country Skiing. American Art to Storytelling Arts. West African Textiles to Silk History… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week:  People have been skating on ice for many hundreds of years, although this “early” skating was pragmatic rather than recreational. “Skate” is derived from the Dutch word “schaats,” which means leg bone, as the first skates were simply lengths of animal bone strapped to the bottom of boots. When wood, and then iron, blades were introduced as a replacement to bone, skaters gained more control and speed, and skating for sport and fun began to rise. Our local skating culture traces its roots to Scottish immigrants, who brought skates with them when they resettled in the U.S.  Whether you like to skate slow or fast, practice turns or hold onto the wall as you go, there’s fun to be had on an ice skating rink for all.


Local FoodIce SkatingNordic SkiingWinter SportsArt StudiesEarly LiteracyStorytelling ArtsTextile ArtsCultural TraditionsSTEAMFamily Films


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26 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Physiology to Physics. Marionettes to Guided Hikes.

Dance Party to Fairy Tales. Marionettes to Guided Hikes. Physiology to Physics. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this week:  Are you someone who always picks a horse on the inside of the carousel, or do you ride one on the outside? All merry-go-round horses make one complete circle in the same amount of time, but the interior horses travel a much shorter distance in that time than the outer ones do, resulting in very different linear speeds. And what happens when you choose a stationary horse versus one that gallops up and down? Experience the fun of physics by bringing your kids, or grandkids, for a ride on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round. Known as “Holyoke’s Happiness Machine,” the antique carousel with brightly painted wooden animals and calliope music is a sensory treat for young and old. It was once part of Mountain Park, an amusement park on the side of Mt. Tom, and was moved to Holyoke Heritage Park when Mountain Park closed in 1987. It will be open during school vacation week, Monday-Wednesday 12pm-4pm and Thursday 10am-4pm. 413-538-9838. 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA. (<$)


Science FictionBird StudiesPuppetsOutdoor AdventuresFirst Day HikesFilm StudiesChoral MusicContemporary ArtPhysicsIce SkatingCarouselMagicMuseum AdventuresPhysiologyArts & CraftsMusic StudiesDance Party


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Learning Ahead: December 21st-27th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 9 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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29 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Christmas Bird Count to Winter Solstice. Ballet to Bucket Drumming.

Since mid-June, our minutes of daily sunlight have been steadily decreasing, leading us towards the winter solstice, the “shortest” day of the year. The winter solstice marks an important seasonal transition, when we begin to add minutes of daylight back into our lives and offers an opportunity to reflect on embracing inevitable changes. Celebrate this year’s solstice with these highlighted Winter Solstice community events.

Christmas Bird Count to Chocolate History. Emily Dickinson to Charles Dickens. Ballet to Bucket Drumming… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week:  Put away your electronic devices and try your skill at some colonial games at Historic Deerfield on Saturday, December 19 & Sunday, December 20 from 10am-4:30pm. Learn to play checkers, fox and geese, merelles, table-top nine pins, Jacob’s ladder, and ball and cup. Engaging in game play stimulates visual and spatial perception (How do these checkers move around the board?), encourages the making and testing of predictions (If I place my playing piece here, will I block her move?), and enables us to see physics and mathematics at work (At what angle should I roll the ball to knock down the most pins?). Special group games and songs at 11am and 2pm. 413-774-5581. Visitor Center at Hall Tavern, Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. (FREE Members and Deerfield Residents, $ Non-members)


OrnithologyCitizen ScientistEmpathyHoliday FilmsFolk DancingMYO GiftsWinter Farmers’ MarketsFood HistoryGingerbread HousesCreative-Free PlayCritical Thinking SkillsBoard GamesStorytellingBalletMakerspaceSTEMWinter SolsticeMusic MakingCultural StudiesLos Posadas


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Learning Ahead: December 14th-18th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 9 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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32 Community Highlights: Cryptography to Geocaching. Storytelling to Singing.

From the mid-15th century, when it was invented by Johannes Gutenberg, into the 20th century, the letterpress was the primary means of producing printed material. Type was locked into a bed, inked, and pressed against paper. Carl Darrow learned how to print with a letterpress in high school and has been doing it ever since. He will bring one of his small letterpresses from his shop in Conway to Historic Deerfield to demonstrate this traditional art by printing holiday cards this Saturday. Each visitor may take home one card!

Storytelling to Singing. Yuletide to Hanukkah. Cryptography to Geocaching… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week:  Handmade gifts are special for both the crafter and the recipient. The crafter can spend time thinking about who the gift is for and why they would like to give this person a gift in the first place. Taking time to make something by hand shows care and investment in the relationship, and recipients’ hearts are warmed by the thought and effort behind the gift, reminding us all that gift-giving is less about any particular present than it is about letting someone know they are appreciated. People of all ages are invited to the Montague Common Hall‘s Make and Take Craft Day on Saturday, December 12, 9am-2pm, where you can make beeswax candles, jewelry, spin art, magnets, votives, and more. Homemade breakfast and lunch foods will be available for sale as well, and visitors can also enjoy cozying up by the outdoor fire pit. 34 Main Street, Montague, MA. (FREE admission; < $ for each craft session)


StorytellingPoetryLocal FoodUpcyclingMYO GiftsArtisan SkillsLetterpress PrintingCritical Thinking SkillsGeocachingBoard GamesCeltic FolkloreTrackingBird StudiesCivicsGuided HikesDendrologyComputersSTEMFood HistoryEngineeringSingingA CapellaColonial ChristmasHanukkahMusic Studies


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Learning Ahead: December 7th-11th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 24 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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40 Community Highlights: Gingerbread Houses to Latkes. Hanukkah to Holiday Strolls.

Gingerbread houses first appeared in Germany in the early 1800s, perhaps inspired by the edible house in Grimm’s fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel.” Even today they are part of our end of the year holiday traditions. Building a gingerbread house is a fantastic way to include creative folks of all ages in creating a delicious, well-engineered work of art, along with skills in architectural design, engineering, communication, and collaboration. Check out the community-based opportunities happening this week!

Gingerbread Houses to Latkes. Kwanzaa to Hanukkah. Holiday Strolls to MYO Gifts… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week:  Celebrate the holidays at Storrowton Village’s Yuletide: Saturday, December 5, 11am-4pm & Sunday, December 6, 11am-4pm! This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment. There will be traditional music, storytelling, craft demonstrations, ice sculpting, a Sweet Shoppe, kids’ crafts, Santa, and more. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)


Family Volunteer DaySTEMHoliday StrollsSpellingMYO GiftsFood TraditionsBook ArtsPastry ArtsArchitectureColonial HistoryCollaborative ConsumptionFood SwapGuided WalksKwanzaaHanukkahChoral Music


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Learning Ahead: November 30th-December 4th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 17 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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25 Community Highlights: Evergreen Wreaths to Colonial Crafts. Barbershop Music to Roving Scientists.

Does your family get an evergreen tree to put in your home for the holidays? Visiting a local tree farm, selecting a tree with your children, and in some cases, sawing down the tree together,  offer numerous learning opportunities! What are the different kinds of evergreen trees? What types of climates do they grow in. What is the history behind the tradition of erection evergreens in our homes during the holiday season? Why do we decorate them and how have these decorations evolved and changed over the years with the invention of new materials and electricity? What does the seed of an evergreen look like and what sort of animals and insects do they depend upon to reproduce? Discovering the answers to these questions can help curious kids feel connected to not only your holiday tree, but also to the flora and fauna (and history!) of Western MA!

Evergreen Wreaths to Colonial Crafts. Barbershop Music to Roving Scientists. Landscape Architecture to Activism… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this weekOld Sturbridge Village invites you to return to a simpler time, when Christmas meant carols and community, not catalogs and chaos, at their annual Christmas by Candlelight event. Enjoy sleigh rides, carols, model railroads, holiday magic shows, dances, and story readings. Watch demonstrations of gingerbread baking and cider making, and learn about the history of holiday traditions such as roasted chestnuts, yule logs, mistletoe, and more! Visitors will also have an opportunity to make a Christmas keepsake to take home. This event runs December 4-6, 11-13, and 18-20, and advance ticket purchase is recommended. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA. ($)


Black FridayGiving TuesdayOutdoor AdventuresSocial JusticeClimate MarchPlant StudiesArchitectureMYO GiftsWreathsFilmTextile ArtsSewingColonial HistoryFood HistoryColonial ChristmasParenting/Professional WorkshopsSTEMLEGOsMuseum AdventuresChoral Music


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Learning Ahead: November 23rd-27th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 14 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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43 Community Highlights: Classical Guitar to Ragtime. Beaver Moon to Surrealism.

Have you ever prowled for owls? Here’s your chance! Owls are setting up their winter and spring breeding territories and now is a great time to set out at night to find them by their hoots and night calls. On Saturday evening, Nov 21, Dan Ziomek, local birder and naturalist, will lead an Owl Prowl! Learn about the different calls of native owls species and set out to locate them in the autumn night in a variety of habitats!

Classical Guitar to Ragtime. Engineering to Dinosaurs. Beaver Moon to Surrealism… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week: Do you have (or know) a child who loves to tinker and create? Check out the ARPS-Jones Library Makerspace on Saturday, November 21, 2pm-3:30pm, where kids can try out robotics kits, 3D printing, littleBits circuitry components, die-cut shape makers, LEGOs, and an assortment of craft supplies. An adult facilitator will be present to help participants explore new materials, but the session is, by design, very open-ended, and everyone is welcome to pursue her/his own interests and ideas! Intended for ages 8-13. Pre-registration requested. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)


Nature StudiesDance StudiesLocal FoodCreative-Free PlayColonial HistoryMindfulnessParent/Educator WorkshopsLocal HistoryPaleontologyMusic StudiesSTEMNative American StudiesSeed SavingArt StudiesCulinary ArtsRace IssuesTheaterActivismAnimal StudiesFolk DanceThanksgiving DayBlack Friday


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Learning Ahead: November 16th-20th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 22 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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41 Community Highlights: Fossils to Minerals. Bubbles to Yo-Yos

Did you know there are more than 1,000 moose in Massachusetts? Come to the Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center on Wednesday, November 18 at 7pm to find out about them at “Moose: Life History, Ecology and Current Research.” For ages 12 and older. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Fossils to Minerals. Sawmill Hills to Berkshire Cottages. Bubbles to Yo-Yos… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week: The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Family Volunteer Days are held once a month and are open to everyone. Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place on Saturday, November 14 from 9-11am for Thanksgiving in Hatfield while supporting food security in the region! Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER) – Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden


Service-Based LearningCollege SamplerGeologyLocal HistoryMedicineSTEMFlora & FaunaArtLiteracyTheaterParenting WorkshopsLEGOsNew England HistoryCommercial-Free HolidaysOpen Studios


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Learning Ahead: November 9th-13th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 23 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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39 Community Highlights: Grebes to Rattlesnakes. Wool to Chrysanthemums.

Fall is a great time to look for migrating waterfowl, including wood ducks, geese, and grebes, and Fitzgerald Lake in Northampton is a prime stopover for many species. On Saturday morning, November 7, join Bob Zimmerman and David Pritchard at 8am on a free waterfowl walk sponsored by the Broad Brook Coalition. Some spotting scopes and binoculars available for use. Species likely to be seen include Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards, and ring-necked ducks. Other possibilities are pied-billed grebes, hooded and common mergansers, ruddy ducks, northern pintails, and even snow geese. 413-268-3668. Meet at the North Farms Road parking lot.

Grebes to Rattlesnakes. Wool to Chrysanthemums. Make Faire to Skillfair… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week:  Maker labs, tinker spaces, and STEAM labs are cropping up all over! These are spaces that allow people to explore their ideas in an open-ended, creative manner using a variety of materials and tools. This weekend, the Mini Maker Faire hosted by Barnes & Noble invites folks to watch demonstrations of 3D printing, robotics, coding, and programming, and to try these technologies out for themselves. If your child ends up having his or her interest piqued by this fun activity, you can seek out some of the other great maker space offerings happening in our local libraries. 413-584-2558. Mountain Farms, 335 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)


Bird StudiesNatural HistoryNew England CultureSheep & WoolColonial HistoryMYO Holiday GiftsZentangleOrigamiChrysanthemumsStoryWalkHealth & WellnessParent CafeMeditationMaker FaireIce HockeyService-Based LearningPhysicsSkillshareArt StudiesLocal HistoryFashionVictorian HistoryMilitary HistoryTheaterFood StudiesMusic StudiesSing-AlongUkuleleFlash MobIndian Culture


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Learning Ahead: November 2nd-6th, 2015

Weekday community-based educational opportunities can be found throughout the four counties of Western MA all week long!

This week we are featuring 22 community-based educational opportunities that can be selected to support the interests and education of self-directed teens, homeschoolers and life-long learners:

Check our list of Weekly Suggested Events for our comprehensive list, including ongoing learning and play opportunities for younger children and intergenerational community events.


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24 Community Highlights: Spiders to Comics. Buttons to Symphony.

Do the lilting notes of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s ukulele rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” bring a smile to your face? You, too can strum this lovely song, and many more, with a bit of practice! Teens and adults are invited to participate in a series of free beginner ukulele classes at the Goodwin Memorial Library in Hadley on Wednesdays, Nov 4, 11 & Dec 2, from 7-8pm! You need not attend all classes to participate, and ukuleles will be provided if you do not have your own.

Spiders to Comics. Buttons to Symphony. Yiddish Literature to Day of the Dead… These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlights this week:  Volunteering together as a family encourages quality time, increases communication, and provides opportunities for family members to be role models. In partnership with Hilltown Families, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts invites families to attend a series of monthly volunteer sessions where they will help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take action to help fight hunger. Join us on Saturday, October 31 from 9am-11:30am. This month’s theme is “Halloween” so let thekids come in costume! Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Learn more about these monthly service-based events at The Food Bank in this Hilltown Family posting. 413-247-9738 x135. 97 N Hatfield Rd, Hatfield, MA. (VOLUNTEERING)


Volunteering Archnology/SpidersMuseum AdventuresSymphony Music StudiesUkuleleHistory Paranormal Buttons Guided HikeCultural StudiesYiddish LiteratureDay of the DeadPhenology Art InstallationParenting SupportMaker LabComics


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