Fall Festivals: Local Identity & Culture

Fall Festivals: Local Identity & Culture

Pumpkin games at the Ashfield Fall Festival.(Photo credit: (c) Sienna Wildfield)

Autumn in New England is rich with many traditions filled with the bounty of local farms and the seasonality of our region.  In addition to the robust fall harvest and autumnal flavors that return to our cooking, the fall’s colors, sights and cooler temperatures inspire us to head outdoors and honor the season through nature. Fall is a celebration of all that nourishes us: food, art, and recreation; it’s a season that invites us to be together and enjoy the land we love.

During the autumnal months, communities celebrate the change of season with festivals that bridge agricultural and cultural traditions. These festivities not only celebrate the harvest season but also the cultural traditions that define Western Massachusetts’ unique identity. Fall festivals are a community space that act as an intergenerational gathering place for folks to come together in the spirit of the season and share in the harvest and local traditions. Engage your community and attend a fall festival this season!  It’s a great way to meet your neighbors, new friends and contribute to the preservation of this region’s special character, culture and history. Check out these featured annual fall festivals that happen in Western MA. Read the rest of this entry »

7 Featured Annual Fall Festivals in Western MA

7 Featured Annual Fall Festivals in Western MA

Annual Festival of the Hills
First Weekend in October in Conway, MA
Inspired by the town’s 1915 celebration, “Pageant of Patriotism in honor of Independence Day,” Conway Festival of the Hills took form in 1967 as an annual event, celebrating local talent and culture. Every year, families come to witness a Conway tradition: the skillet toss! Along with the skillet toss there are many activities to behold: a log splitting contest, live music, handmade crafts, parade, pancake breakfast, community dinner, and their most popular event, a book signing with local authors. Conway resident, Holly Hobbie, and other notable authors are known to attend, including Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple, Natasha Lowe, David Costello, and many others!

Annual Ashfield Fall Festival
Columbus Day Weekend in Ashfield, MA
Since 1969, the Ashfield Fall Festival takes place on Ashfield’s charming main street and throughout the town every Columbus Day weekend, celebrating town culture, artisans, and Ashfield businesses. The annual giant pumpkin and tallest sunflower contests are something to be seen, along with an intergenerational round of pumpkin games! On the town common, carnival games initiated and facilitated by Ashfield youth take place, giving them an opportunity to develop their creative, social, and business skills in a real world application while contributing to their local culture. Admission is free to this two-day event, happening rain or shine.

Westhampton Fall Festival
Mid-Late October in Westhampton, MA
(Sunday, October 14 at 11:45 AM – 7 PM)
The newest festival in the Hilltowns, the Westhampton Fall Festival, began in 2005 in support of community-based learning and a celebration of local culture and civic organizations. Held in the town center, activities often include tours of the local church steeple and Blacksmith Shop Museum, demonstrations of traditional farming and artisan skills, a community supper, bonfire, sing-a-long, and their trademark event, the Great Pumpkin Roll! Call the library for date and time. – 413-527-5386

Read the rest of this entry »

Sense of Place: Community Festivals

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: Debut of Seasonal Cultural Itinerary

Hilltown Families on Mass Appeal: August Segment
Debut of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News!  Each month, Hilltown Families’ Founder & Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield,  joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Monday, August 29, 2016. This month Sienna and Lauren talked about agricultural fairs, fall festivals, one room schoolhouses and apples featured in the debut of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA:

Download a copy of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA. (38 page PDF) for the fall season.


Mass Appeal is a live weekday program that airs at 11am on 22News (Springfield, MA).  Our next visit to the Mass Appeal studios will be September 26th, 2016!

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Learning Ahead: Sept & Oct Cultural Itinerary for Western MA

Learning Ahead:
Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts
Seasons: Sept & Oct

Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.

Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a new bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

With these downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history, strengthening sense of place.

Looking through a seasonal lens, our debut Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is for the months of September and October and includes:

  • Participation in local CULTURE: Agricultural Fairs and Fall Festivals
  • PLACEMAKING through annual events: Guided Tours and Plein Air Paint Outs
  • Gathering and preparing seasonal FOOD: Apples and Pumpkins
  • VALUE based engagement: Intergenerational, Skillsharing, and Community Meals
  • Marking the SEASON with annual events: Back-to-School and Halloween
  • Engage in local HABITAT: Nature Trails and Fall Foliage
  • INTEREST based learning: Domestic Arts, Pastry Arts, and Paranormal

Click here to download PDF (38 pages).


Mass Humanities This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities, which receives support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Autumn Icons: Apples, Pumpkins, Autumn Foliage & Fall Festivals

Western Massachusetts’ Fall Classics Inspire Community-Based Learning

Another glorious New England autumn is here, bringing with it shorter days, cooler nights, and a cornucopia of seasonal and cultural darlings to celebrate! Families in western Massachusetts can celebrate fall by visiting local farms, enjoying fall-harvested foods,  leaf-peeping, and engaging in cultural celebrations honoring the season.

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APPLES, PUMPKINS & EVERGREENS

Apples, one of the earliest (and most delicious) signs of fall, have been an important part of New England agriculture for centuries. McIntosh apples are undeniably the most iconic of New England’s apples, and make up over two thirds of the regions apple crop! Macs and countless other delicious and fascinating varieties of apples are grown at orchards across western Massachusetts, and families can enjoy this year’s fantastic apple crop by visiting an orchard to pick or purchase a bushel. Find an orchard to pick your own by taking advice from our readers or perusing our list of local PYO orchards.

Learning how to pick apples can be an excellent mini lesson in botany.  In this short video, from the New England Apple Growers Association, not only do they share the etiquette of PYO orchards, but the how to properly pick:

Harvested later than apples, pumpkins are yet another sure sign of fall that somehow make their way onto our front steps and into our food just as the chilly air of fall arrives. Called “pompions” by the first European colonists, pumpkins were a food essential to winter survival – and they were grown in many more varieties than they typically are today. Keep the history of pumpkins in mind this fall while eating, picking, and decorating with the squash cultivars, and be sure to visit a local farm for pick-your-own pumpkins. After Halloween, leave your family’s jack-o-lanterns around and watch them rot – it makes a cheap, easy, and disgusting (yet fascinating) science project!

In the late fall, just after Thanksgiving, tree farms open, giving families an opportunity to pick the perfect locally grown evergreen tree for their holiday celebration as fall departs and winter arrives.

For more information about fall pick-your-own opportunities, check out Berkshire Grown’s Map-O-Licious and CISA’s local foods Farm Guide.

VISTAS FOR LEAF PEEPING

In addition to bountiful harvests, autumn brings with a dramatic change in the color scheme of the local landscape. Leaf peeping is a favorite activity of folks from out of state – and for good reason! Make time to get outside as a family this fall and explore the brilliant red, orange, and yellow that the woods have to offer. The best leaf peeping excursions are ones that include not only woods walking but a view from a high place. We recommend…

Pioneer Valley:

Hilltowns:

Berkshire County

FALL FESTIVALS

After apple-picking, pumpkin carving, and leaf peeping have all been crossed off of autumn bucket lists, there are still numerous fall festivals to enjoy! Local festivals held during the autumn months celebrate not only to bounty of the season, but the local cultural traditions associated with it.

The first of such festivals is the annual North Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival held in Orange on September 26th and 27th. Self-described as, “two days of peace, love, and garlic,” the festival draws crowds to celebrate local art and agricultural, and showcases the best that the region has to offer within these realms.

Following the Garlic & Arts Festival is Conway’s Festival of the Hills, the highlight of which is a skillet toss competition. Held on Sunday, October 5th, the Festival of the Hills also features a log-splitting contest (with both men’s and women’s divisions), a 10k road race, and children’s activities.

During Columbus Day weekend, families can head into the northern hilltowns for the beloved Ashfield Fall Festival, which fills downtown Ashfield with delicious fall food, local vendors, and – best of all – a midway filled with kid-made and kid-run games! This year’s Ashfield Fall Festival will be held on October 11th and 12th, and will feature a special PumkinGames event (think musical pumpkins, pumpkin bowling, etc.) at 12noon on the 11th. Further fall frolicking and pumpkin-rolling can be done at the Westhampton Fall Festival, a late-October event which features the Great Pumpkin Roll – an annual tradition that sends scores of pumpkins rolling down a very steep hill.

Western Massachusetts’ fall festival season concludes with the 21st annual Franklin County CiderDays, held on November 7th and 8th. A weekend jam-packed with educational opportunities, tastings, tours, and more, CiderDays spotlights the tradition of cider-making in Franklin County by honoring the history of the art in local communities and bringing cider-makers together to share the tips, tricks, and taste of the trade. While some CiderDays events require tickets to be purchased in advance, many tastings, tours, and other events are free and open to all ages – and all require a visit to the beautiful hills of the northeastern corner of our region.

Suggested Events for October 20th – 26th, 2012

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

Does your family carve pumpkins for Halloween? Carve an extra and bring it to the Franklin County Pumpkinfest in Turners Falls or the Stockbridge Library to be showcased in the Pumpkin Walk-About his weekend! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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, 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.

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 work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Hilltown Families Co-Sponsors

Saturday, October 20th from 12noon-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Franklin Land Trust invites the community to a Fall Festival at Guyette Farm! Highlights of the event include a scarecrow making workshop with artist Michael Melle (takes place from 12noon-4pm), hayrides, an evening bonfire, and lots of fun fall-themed activities for the whole family. BYO instrument for a jam around the fire! Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families. 413-625-9151. Gloyd Street. Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 20th from 5:30-8pm – HAUNTED FARM: The animals at Red Gate Farm are getting excited for Halloween – so excited, in fact, that they’ve decorated their barn! Visit the farm for a Halloween party and check out the Haunted Barn (not-so-scary), go for a hay ride, and enjoy Halloween treats and games. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. ($)

Western MA Premiere List of Halloween Events & Activities for Families!

Saturday, October 20th from 3-9pm – PUMPKINFEST: Pumpkins galore! The annual Franklin County Pumpkinfest fills Turners Falls’ Avenue A with more pumpkins than you’ve ever seen before! Costumes are encouraged, and families can bring their own painted or carved pumpkins to add to the display beginning at 10am. Along with the pumpkin display will be lots of fun family activities, beer for big people, and games and crafts for little people. Pair a visit to the event with a study of local agriculture – where do the pumpkins come from? How do they grow? When were they planted? It’s a great way to learn about the full season of farming that it takes to produce a pumpkin. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Deadline to enter: 10/23

Saturday, October 20th from 6:30-8:30pm – DRUM FEST: The third annual Berkshire Drum Fest takes place tonight at Berkshire Community College! The event features professional drummers, percussionists, and drum ensembles performing drumming of all different types. Kids can hear and learn about drumming from multiple world cultures, and learn about different types of drums and their unique sounds. The event benefits BCC’s music program and Tamarack Hollow, an educational organization focusing on environmental and cultural awareness. Takes place in the Boland Theater at the school’s arts center. West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (DONATION)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, October 27th at 7pm – CULINARY ARTS: The 9th Annual Williamstown Pie Contest will be held at the WRLF Sheep Hill Headquarters. This is intergenerational event allows adults, youth (16yo and younger) and professional bakers to participate together in their own categories. This is a great opportunity for kids, parents and grandparents to work side by side in the kitchen, making a traditional family favorite pie, sharing family stories and learning culinary skills at the same time. Sweet and savory pies made with local ingredients are welcomed. Pie tasting is at 7pm, followed by a full moon hike (weather permitting). Pies must be delivered to Sheep Hill on Oct 27 between 5-6pm. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.wrlf.org or requested by emailing lre@wrlf.org. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA (>$)

Deadline to enter: 10/25

Sunday, October 28th at 11am – HALLOWEEN FIESTA: Halloween Costume Party with Mister G! Popular, international children’s music artist & local hero Mister G will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume party at the Academy of Music Theatre. The event will double as a CD release concert for his Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning album, Chocolalala. The bilingual (Spanish/English) CD blends Latin rhythms, traditional instruments and uniquely catchy songwriting. Mister G will also perform songs from his 2011 Grammy-nominated CD BUGS, called “irresistible” by People Magazine. Eat Pizza for Breakfast, wear your funkiest, scariest costume & come ready rock. Northampton, MA ($$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 18-20 & 25-27

Where is Myra and who shot Charley? Find out at The Williston Northampton School’s fall theater production of Neil Simon’s classic farce, Rumors. Opening night is Thursday, October 18th running October 18th-20th & 25th-27th. All performances begin at 7:30pm, with the Saturday, October 26th performance beginning at 8pm. The Williston Theatre is located at 18 Payson Avenue in Easthampton. Seats can be reserved in advance at www.williston.com/theaterproductions or by calling the Williston box office at 413-529-3434. Tickets are $7 students/seniors and $10 adults.

Oct 19-20

Westfield Theatre Group presents The Odd Couple – Female Version on Oct. 12, 13, 19 & 20 at 8pm, & Oct. 20 at 2pm in Westfield for a fun parents’ night out. Recently divorced Olive Madison and friends play a friendly game of Trivial Pursuit. Then arrives Florence Unger, whose husband just left her. Thinking she is on the verge of suicide, she is barely able to go to the bathroom alone. Olive the slob and Florence the neat freak decide to live together with hilarious results. Directed by Theresa Allie. Produced by Linda Buzzee. Come see Linda Slozak, Nancy Colby, Winnie Legere, Kathy Leary, Kate Hebert, Larry Chiz, Paul Rothenberg & Sue Davis in Neil Simon’s hilarious contemporary classic. Tix: $10-$12. 413-572-6838. westfieldtheatregroup.com.

Oct 20

Paint & Pixel Festival showcases Western New England’s amazing comic artists, book illustrators, and cartoonists! This year features 60+ artists, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle co-creator Peter Laird, Vertigo Comics Fables artist Shawn McManus, DC Comics Batman inker Jack Purcell, Conan the Barbarian and Goosebumps artist Greg Ruth, and underground cartoonist Gary Hallgren. Saturday, October 20, at the Northampton Center for the Arts, 10AM to 6PM. Paint & Pixel offers a free Children’s Comics Workshop every Thursday in October, 4-5PM at Modern Myths, and is looking for a few schools who would like a comic book artist to visit their students. For details on the festival, comics workshop, and school outreach, visit www.paintandpixelfestival.com.

Oct 26

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Eric Carle Museum, the Academy of Music in Northampton is presenting Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s much anticipated new production of Eric Carle stories on October 26, 2012 at 6:30pm. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects, innovative puppetry, the triple bill shares Eric Carle’s most beloved stories: A Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me. Immediately following the performance will be a question & answer period focused on how special effects were accomplished. Running time is sixty minutes. For ticket information please visit the AOM website, www.academyofmusictheatre.com, or phone the Box Office at 413-584-9032 x105.

Oct 27

The Montessori School of Northampton’s annual Children’s Fall Fair and Open House will be held on Saturday, October 27 from 11am-3pm on the school’s campus at 51 Bates Street, Northampton. 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 percussionist Tony Vacca, and singer-songwriters Chris Scanlon and Burchie Green & Tom Knight. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. General admission is free; participation in some activities requires purchase of activity tickets at a minimal charge. Admissions information and tours of the school will also be available. 413-586-4538 or www.northamptonmontessori.org.

Oct 28

Sponsor: The Farm Education CollaborativeFamily Felting for all ages on Sunday, Oct 28 from 1-3pm at Crimson & Clover Farm (part of Northampton Community Farm) in Florence, MA. Come explore the world of fiber craft and learn about the animals that provide us with fiber. There will be an Angora rabbit and Shetland sheep for participants to meet, and learning stations for wet and needle felting. Create and take home a woolcraft. All levels welcome. $20-25/family (sliding scale). Spaces are limited! Financial Aid is available for all programs. Email farmeducationcollaborative@gmail.com for scholarship application. For more info & to register online, visit www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Oct 31

Chandler’s Restaurant in South Deerfield is hosting their annual Witches Ball on Halloween Night, Wednesday, Oct. 31st! Come dressed in your Halloween costumes and enjoy a buffet including oozing zombie zits, lumberjack fingers, shredded mummy guts, vampire eyeballs and more. The fun doesn’t end with the food- Cloud 9 Productions will be at the Witches Ball for kid’s karaoke, there will be pumpkin decorating, and Teaching Creatures will be bringing some creepy crawly creatures to learn about, some of them you can even touch! Seatings for this event, are at 4pm and 5:30pm. Be sure to make your reservations soon by calling 413-665-1277. For more information visit chandlers.yankeecandle.com.

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall festival, holiday event, afterschool class, homeschool program, community celebration, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

JOIN 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 hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

COATS FOR KIDS: Did you recently drag out your family’s winter gear, only to discover that your kids have outgrown most of it? Once your kids have been outfitted with new warm coats, donate your old ones to the Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids drive! Sponsored by Berkshire Bank, the drive collects new and gently-used kid-sized winter jackets in order to distribute them to local kids who might otherwise find themselves without proper outerwear for the cold, windy New England winter. Each jacket is cleaned before it is distributed, but families are asked to please only donate items that are without many obvious signs of wear and tear. There are donation sites all over western Massachusetts, including at any Berkshire Bank branch. Coats can be donated through October 26th. For more information, visit www.salvationarmycoatsforkids.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
October 20th – 26th , 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for October 13th – 19th, 2012

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 stalls at the farmers’ markets are filled with pumpkins, winter squash, brussel sprouts, apples and other harvest crops. A great time of the year to stock up with local produce! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield – Ashfield Farmers’ Market)

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, 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.

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 work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS THIS WEEKEND: OCT 13th & 14th

MARK YOUR CALENDAR & TICKET GIVEAWAY

Hilltown Families Co-Sponsors

Saturday, October 20th from 12noon-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Franklin Land Trust invites the community to a Fall Festival at Guyette Farm! Highlights of the event include a scarecrow making workshop with artist Michael Melle (takes place from 12noon-4pm), hayrides, an evening bonfire, and lots of fun fall-themed activities for the whole family. BYO instrument for a jam around the fire! Co-sponsored by Hilltown Families. 413-625-9151. Gloyd Street. Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

Deadline to enter: 10/17

Saturday, October 20th from 3-9pm – PUMPKINFEST: Pumpkins galore! The annual Franklin County Pumpkinfest fills Turners Falls’ Avenue A with more pumpkins than you’ve ever seen before! Costumes are encouraged, and families can bring their own painted or carved pumpkins to add to the display beginning at 10am. Along with the pumpkin display will be lots of fun family activities, beer for big people, and games and crafts for little people. Pair a visit to the event with a study of local agriculture – where do the pumpkins come from? How do they grow? When were they planted? It’s a great way to learn about the full season of farming that it takes to produce a pumpkin. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Deadline to enter: 10/23

Saturday, October 20th from 5-8:30pm – ENCHANTED FOREST: The forest at the Hitchcock Center is lighting up and coming alive with creatures who would love to share their stories with you! Visit the Enchanted Forest to navigate along the pumpkin-lit paths and learn about various animals and their unique characteristics as you journey! The theme this year is “50-Something” (in celebration of the center’s 50th anniversary) – forest animals include a salamander with 50+ spots and a 50-year-old turtle. Advance tickets not required, but are strongly suggested. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Deadline to enter: 10/25

Saturday, October 20th at 11am – HALLOWEEN GALLERY QUEST: Dress in costume and visit Mass MoCA for a Halloween gallery tour and some hands-on artmaking! Kids will learn about the work being shown in the museum’s KidSpace, and then will get to try out interesting materials for themselves. 413-662-2111. 87 Marshall Street. North Adams, MA. ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 12-13, 19-20

Westfield Theatre Group presents The Odd Couple – Female Version on Oct. 12, 13, 19 & 20 at 8pm, & Oct. 20 at 2pm in Westfield for a fun parents’ night out. Recently divorced Olive Madison and friends play a friendly game of Trivial Pursuit. Then arrives Florence Unger, whose husband just left her. Thinking she is on the verge of suicide, she is barely able to go to the bathroom alone. Olive the slob and Florence the neat freak decide to live together with hilarious results. Directed by Theresa Allie. Produced by Linda Buzzee. Come see Linda Slozak, Nancy Colby, Winnie Legere, Kathy Leary, Kate Hebert, Larry Chiz, Paul Rothenberg & Sue Davis in Neil Simon’s hilarious contemporary classic. Tix: $10-$12. 413-572-6838. westfieldtheatregroup.com.

Oct 13-14

The 10th Annual All- 4- Kids Fall/Winter Consignment Sale happens on Saturday, October 13th from 8am-4pm and Sunday, October 14th from 10am to 3pm (1/2 price sale). New extended shopping hours! This year the sale is in a NEW LOCATION at the former Fedor Auto Dealership at 228 Northampton Street in Easthampton, MA. Stop in and find new and gently-used clothing for infants through children’s size 20, baby gear, shoes and boots, Halloween costumes, snowsuits, toys, books, DVD’s, games, children’s furniture, and sports equipment. More info at www.sites.google.com/site/all4kidseasthampton.

Oct 14

The Farm Education CollaborativeOn Sunday, Oct 14 from 11:30am-4:30pm is the Grow Food Northampton FARM FEST 2012 at Crimson & Clover Farm (part of Northampton Community Farm)! Join The Farm Education Collaborative in celebrating the harvest at Farm Fest! Meet and learn about some of their farm animals and spend some time working with fibers, seeds, and more. Fun on the Farm in the Fall with Family! Meadow and Spring Streets in Florence, MA. For more info visit www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Oct 18, 20 & 25

Stitch Lounge in Greenfield offers both youth & adult classes this fall, including: Alabama Chanin Skirt class using upcycled tee’s, stenciling & hand-stitching, Oct 18 & 25; and a beginners 3-part Wonky Squares Quilt class starting Oct 20. Never sewn before or have rusty skills? Check out their Beginner Sewing Class. Kids Classes begin in Nov.! Visit stitchlounge.net for more classes. Stop-in to find inspiration, modern fabrics, sewing notions & lots more, including social sewing! A devoted sewing space with all the supplies you need. Bring your own machine or use one of theirs. Stitch Lounge is located at 30 Mohawk Trail. Open Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, & Sat 10am-3pm. stitchlounge@comcast.net. 413-475-3246.

Oct 20

Paint & Pixel Festival showcases Western New England’s amazing comic artists, book illustrators, and cartoonists! This year features 60+ artists, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle co-creator Peter Laird, Vertigo Comics Fables artist Shawn McManus, DC Comics Batman inker Jack Purcell, Conan the Barbarian and Goosebumps artist Greg Ruth, and underground cartoonist Gary Hallgren. Saturday, October 20, at the Northampton Center for the Arts, 10AM to 6PM. Paint & Pixel offers a free Children’s Comics Workshop every Thursday in October, 4-5PM at Modern Myths, and is looking for a few schools who would like a comic book artist to visit their students. For details on the festival, comics workshop, and school outreach, visit www.paintandpixelfestival.com.

Oct 26

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Eric Carle Museum, the Academy of Music in Northampton is presenting Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s much anticipated new production of Eric Carle stories on October 26, 2012 at 6:30pm. Featuring evocative music, stunning visual effects, innovative puppetry, the triple bill shares Eric Carle’s most beloved stories: A Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and Papa, Please Get The Moon For Me. Immediately following the performance will be a question & answer period focused on how special effects were accomplished. Running time is sixty minutes. For ticket information please visit the AOM website, www.academyofmusictheatre.com, or phone the Box Office at 413-584-9032 x105.

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall festival, holiday event, afterschool class, homeschool program, community celebration, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Deadline to enter: 10/15

JOIN 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 hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

Western MA Premiere List of Halloween Events & Activities for Families!

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Kane’s Krusade is seeking volunteers to assist with a doghouse-building event on Sat, Nov. 3 from 10am-5pm to help launch the distribution of Kane’s Canine Assistance Resources and Education kits for Springfield families who struggle financially to care for their dogs. Doghouses built by volunteers will be donated to provide insulated shelter for dogs whose owners cannot afford one. Kane’s staff will pair volunteers at assembly stations that meets their experience & interest level. No carpentry experience is required and tools provided. Volunteers can choose to build for the whole day or can work 2-3 hour shifts. Children welcomed if supervised by an adult. For more information, contact George at 413-363-2101 or visit www.kaneskrusade.org


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
October 13th – 19th , 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for October 6th – 12th, 2012

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

Ashfield Fall Festival

The Ashfield town green comes alive with games, music, local food and local artisans every Columbus Day weekend. This year is the 42nd annual Ashfield Fall Festival! A great time for the entire family! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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, 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.

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 work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS: 10 Fall/Harvest Festivals

  1. Granville Harvest Fair (Saturday-Monday. in Granville)
  2. Fall Festival at Jiminy Peak (Saturday in Pittsfield)
  3. Ashfield Fall Festival (Saturday-Sunday in Ashfield)
  4. Berkshire Botanical Garden Fall Festival (Saturday-Sunday. in Stockbridge)
  5. Look Park Pumpkin Festival (Saturday in Florence)
  6. Jewish Harvest Festival (Sunday in Northampton)
  7. Hatfield Fall Festival (Sunday in Hatfield)
  8. Grow Food Northampton Farm Fest (Sunday, Oct 14th in Florence)
  9. Hinsdale Dayz (Sunday in Hinsdale)
  10. Wilder Homestead’s Colonial Sampler (Sunday in Buckland)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Halloween Costume SwapHALLOWEEN COSTUME SWAP: You know that handmade costume you spent hours on a couple of years ago that your child has now outgrown, or the mask and cape you picked up at the dollar store that is “so last year” for your child this year? Bring it to the Hilltown Families Halloween Costume (& Props) Swap on Saturday, Oct 13th from 9:30-11am in the community room of the Meekins Library and swap with another child who would love to be that robot, purple monster or masked superhero this year… all while finding new inspirations for this year! Leftover costumes and props will be donated to Northampton ReUse. The Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. Free & open to all. Join us on Facebook.

Kids' Winter Wear SwapKIDS’ WINTER WEAR SWAP: Do you have a bunch of winter weather gear that your kids have outgrown and wish that it would somehow just… get bigger? That may never happen, but you can get the next best thing… new-to-you gear that fits! Hilltown Families Kids’ Winter Wear Swap is happening again this year after a fun and successful swap last year on Saturday, Oct 13th from 9:30-11am in the community room of the Meekins Library! Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, gloves & scarves that kids of all ages have outgrown to swap with other families. Leftover winter wear will be donated to charity. The Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. Free & open to all. Join us on Facebook.

BULLETIN BOARD

Oct 2, Oct 27 & Nov 7

Nestled among field and forest, The Montessori School of the Berkshires in Lenox Dale provides hands-on, individualized education for toddlers through eighth graders. Montessori education helps children become responsible, caring learners and community members who are self-motivated, confident, independent, and creative. MSB’s LEED-registered campus allows children to learn about sustainability both within the classroom and out of doors. Children have access to the natural world through garden areas and trails. Dr. Maria Montessori considered this connection to the earth and living things to be an essential part of education. Join the school for an Open House! Oct 2, Oct 27, Nov 7. For more info and to register visit BerkshireMontessori.org.

Oct 14

The Farm Education CollaborativeOn Sunday, Oct 14 from 11:30am-4:30pm is the Grow Food Northampton FARM FEST 2012 at Crimson & Clover Farm (part of Northampton Community Farm)! Join The Farm Education Collaborative in celebrating the harvest at Farm Fest! Meet and learn about some of their farm animals and spend some time working with fibers, seeds, and more. Fun on the Farm in the Fall with Family! Meadow and Spring Streets in Florence, MA. For more info visit www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

Oct 18, 20 & 25

Stitch Lounge in Greenfield offers both youth & adult classes this fall, including: Alabama Chanin Skirt class using upcycled tee’s, stenciling & hand-stitching, Oct 18 & 25; and a beginners 3-part Wonky Squares Quilt class starting Oct 20. Never sewn before or have rusty skills? Check out their Beginner Sewing Class. Kids Classes begin in Nov.! Visit stitchlounge.net for more classes. Stop-in to find inspiration, modern fabrics, sewing notions & lots more, including social sewing! A devoted sewing space with all the supplies you need. Bring your own machine or use one of theirs. Stitch Lounge is located at 30 Mohawk Trail. Open Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, & Sat 10am-3pm. stitchlounge@comcast.net. 413-475-3246.

Oct 28

Halloween Costume Party with Mister G! Popular, international children’s music artist & local hero Mister G will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume party at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton on Sun., Oct 28 at 11am. The event will double as a CD release concert for his Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning album, Chocolalala. The bilingual (Spanish/English) CD blends Latin rhythms, traditional instruments and uniquely catchy songwriting. Mister G will also perform songs from his 2011 Grammy-nominated CD BUGS, called “irresistible” by People Magazine. Eat Pizza for Breakfast, wear your funkiest, scariest costume & come ready rock. !Bailamos! Tix: $8 children/$10 Adults. info@mistergsongs.com. www.mistergsongs.com.

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fall festival, holiday event, afterschool class, homeschool program, community celebration, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

For October we have a pair of tickets to giveaway to see Leo Kottke at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Thurs, Oct 18th at 7pm. Deadline to enter to win: 10/15 @ 7pm (EST).

JOIN 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 hilltownfamilies@gmail.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
October 6th – 12th , 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

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Suggested Events for September 29th – October 5th, 2012

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

Caramel apples are sure to be found at the many fall festivals happening this weekend and over the next few weeks! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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, 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.

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 work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS: Fall Festivals this Weekend!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Ramblin' Jack ElliotNext Saturday, Oct. 6th at 11am and 1pm – CULTURAL/ART STUDIES: The Berkshire Museum hosts guest artist Jeremy Frey, who will be demonstrating traditional Passamaquoddy basket-weaving techniques.  The demonstrations are in conjunction with the museum’s Rethink! American Indian Art exhibit.  Tickets required.  413-443-7171.  30 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

Magic School BusNext Sunday, Oct. 7th from 2-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL/HISTORY: Explore local history and celebrate fall at the Wilder Homestead’s Colonial Sampler!  There will be open hearth cooking, Morris dancers, cider making, and traditional arts like weaving, spinning, and shoemaking.  413-625-9763.  Buckland, MA.  (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Sept 25 – Oct 16

Enjoy gardening with your child or want to start? Join the Sweet Roots Kids CSA this fall for kids (2-5yo) and their grown ups! This 4-week program runs Tuesday mornings, Sept 25-Oct 16, from 10-11:30am in Deerfield. Sweet Roots Gardens is a garden-based education program providing on site programs as well as off-site garden installation & education services for children & families. The Tuesday Kids CSA program celebrates the fall harvest. Participants can pick beans under the bean tunnel, paint pumpkins, snack on fresh veggies & get silly in the garden. Includes a weekly veggie snack share. Cost: $75 for 4-weeks or $20 per session. More info at www.facebook.com/SweetRootsGardens. To register contact Sara: saracoblyn@gmail.com. 413-230-4833

Sept 29-30

The Sharing Tree Consignment Sale: Offering high-quality, gently used items for babies and kids, including clothes, shoes, toys, books, baby equipment, and maternity wear. Thousands of items expected. Public sale: Saturday, September 29, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Half-Price Sale: Sunday, September 30, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Westfield, 28 West Silver St., Westfield (behind Amelia Park Ice Arena). Now registering sellers and volunteers: sellers earn a percentage on the items they sell and shop early – before the sale opens to the public. Volunteers shop first – even before sellers! Find out more at www.sharingtreekids.com. For questions, email Karen at info@sharingtreekids.comor call 413-324-8733.

Sept 30

Conway Festival of the Hills – Sunday, September 30. One of the best fall festivals around! Like their page on Facebook. The Festival has something for everyone – Covered Bridge Classic Road Race, kids activities (hill slide, hay maze, petting zoo, pony rides, and more), food (ice cream, baked goodies, fresh cider, and more), craft fair with many vendors, art exhibit and book sale, author signing with numerous local authors, live bands and music all day, Festival Parade at 1 p.m., Conway Historical Society open house, and the heralded Log Splitting and Skillet Toss competitions. 10am – 4pm. Free. Center of Conway, MA.

Oct 4

Free introductory sign language class for parents and children 0-3 yrs on Thursday, Oct 4th at 11am at Cradle in downtown Northampton. An 8-week class to follow on Thursdays at 11am beginning Oct 11th, also at Cradle. Cost: $100. Instructor: Kathryn Petruccelli. Classes include music, movement, & stories. Follows the Baby Signing Time series with additional activities apart from the Signing Time curriculum. Teaches real American Sign Language. Reduces frustration and tantrums; enhances cognitive development. A space to play and learn around this amazing communicative tool and watch our children speak to us with their hands – even before we get to hear their voices! Expectant parents, older siblings welcome. More info: www.startwithsign.com.

Oct 2, Oct 27 & Nov 7

Nestled among field and forest, The Montessori School of the Berkshires in Lenox Dale provides hands-on, individualized education for toddlers through eighth graders. Montessori education helps children become responsible, caring learners and community members who are self-motivated, confident, independent, and creative. MSB’s LEED-registered campus allows children to learn about sustainability both within the classroom and out of doors. Children have access to the natural world through garden areas and trails. Dr. Maria Montessori considered this connection to the earth and living things to be an essential part of education. Join the school for an Open House! Oct 2, Oct 27, Nov 7. For more info and to register visit BerkshireMontessori.org.

Oct 20 & 27

Click here to registerThe Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst is offering a two-Saturday youth workshop in Oct in conjunction with their newest exhibit. “In The Art Studio: Inspired by Eric Carle” takes place on Oct 20 & 27 from 9:30-11:30am for youth ages 5-8. In this workshop children will study the new exhibition Beyond Books: The Independent Art of Eric Carle to take inspiration from his non-representational, 3D & collaborative art. Participants will paint colorful textures & patterns on a variety of surfaces such as paper, vinyl, & cardboard then sculpt them into window hangings, mobiles, name plates, & more. Advance registration required by Oct 15. Instructor: Meghan Burch. Cost: $50 (Members $40). Registration info at www.carlemuseum.org.

Oct 28

Halloween Costume Party with Mister G! Popular, international children’s music artist & local hero Mister G will be hosting a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume party at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton on Sun., Oct 28 at 11am. The event will double as a CD release concert for his Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning album, Chocolalala. The bilingual (Spanish/English) CD blends Latin rhythms, traditional instruments and uniquely catchy songwriting. Mister G will also perform songs from his 2011 Grammy-nominated CD BUGS, called “irresistible” by People Magazine. Eat Pizza for Breakfast, wear your funkiest, scariest costume & come ready rock. !Bailamos! Tix: $8 children/$10 Adults. info@mistergsongs.com. www.mistergsongs.com.

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL FUNDRAISER: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your fundraiser, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Ashfield Community PreschoolVOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Ashfield Community Preschool is looking for some volunteer help with their booths during the Ashfield Fall Festival Columbus Day Weekend – October 6 and 7.  This small non-profit preschool relies on the Fall Festival as the biggest fundraiser of the year. Volunteer jobs are appropriate for teens and up.  If you would like to help with simple face painting, running a mini-golf game (also very simple), or dipping apples in caramel while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Ashfield in early October please contact Jess Kuttner at jkuttner@gmail.com or 413-522-9732.

Halloween Costume SwapHALLOWEEN COSTUME SWAP: You know that handmade costume you spent hours on a couple of years ago that your child has now outgrown, or the mask and cape you picked up at the dollar store that is “so last year” for your child this year? Bring it to the Hilltown Families Halloween Costume (& Props) Swap on Saturday, Oct 13th from 9:30-11am in the community room of the Meekins Library and swap with another child who would love to be that robot, purple monster or masked superhero this year… all while finding new inspirations for this year!  Leftover costumes and props will be donated to Northampton ReUse. The Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. Free & open to all. Join us on Facebook.

Kids' Winter Wear SwapKIDS’ WINTER WEAR SWAP: Do you have a bunch of winter weather gear that your kids have outgrown and wish that it would somehow just… get bigger? That may never happen, but you can get the next best thing… new-to-you gear that fits! Hilltown Families Kids’ Winter Wear Swap is happening again this year after a fun and successful swap last year on Saturday, Oct 13th from 9:30-11am in the community room of the Meekins Library! Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, hats, gloves & scarves that kids of all ages have outgrown to swap with other families. Leftover winter wear will be donated to charity. The Library is located at 2 Williams Street (Route 9) in Williamsburg, MA. Free & open to all. Join us on Facebook.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
September 29th – October 5th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events 10/16/10-10/22/10

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

Slices of Apple Pie & Cheddar Cheese, a New England tradition, sold to raise funds for the South Ashfield Library during the Ashfield Fall Festival 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 BETS

This 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)

This 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)

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Next Saturday, October 23rd from 3-6pm – OPENING CELEBRATION: Opening Celebration of the Bullitt Reservation (322 Bullitt Rd.). Come see the ongoing green transformation of an old farmhouse into an energy efficient office and meeting space, hike our new scenic trail, stroll through the meadow, and enjoy the view while sharing a potluck dinner with friends and neighbors. Kid’s activities will be available too! 268.8219 http://www.highlandcommunities.org Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Red Gate Farm in Buckland, MA

Also next Saturday, 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 (>$)

And next Sunday, October 24th from 10am-4pm – CRAFT FAIR: 1st Annual Williamsburg Arts & Crafts Fall Festival at the Willambsurg Grange. Great opportunity to find holiday gifts made by local artisians. There will be many activities happening in the town of Williamsburg on this day, including a fundraiser for the Meekins Library and Hot Air Balloon tethering rides from 3-4:30pm. 268-0074 Williamsburg, MA (SALE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Show Circus Studio in Easthampton, MA

Warm welcome to Hilltown Families newest sponsor, Show Circus Studio of Easthampton, MA - offering after-school classes, camps and workshops in the circus arts.

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

FREE CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION CLASS: With funding from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, the Hilltown Community Health Center in Huntington, MA will offer a free childbirth education class on Saturday, October 30th from 10:00 to 3:00. 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

Deadline to enter to win: 10/20

KIDS COOKING: Future chefs, ages 9 to 14, are invited to join Katie Wilton, author of You’re the Cook!, for a hands-on cooking class at the Lenox Library Association on Saturday, October 23rd from 3-4:30pm. Students will make recipes from her cookbook, including Deviled Eggs, Pizza Wontons, Parmesan Pita Triangles, Yogurt Fruit Shakes and Cream Cheese Filled Strawberries. Participants will sample all of the food. This workshop is free. Copies of Katie’s cookbook will be for sale. Registration is required; participation is limited. To register, call 637-0197 ext. 105.

NEW EXHIBIT: Special exhibit at D’Amour Musium of Fine Arts in Springfield: Season of Joy: Celebrating Childhood in Currier & Ives Prints. Great opportunity for older students and homeschoolers. Now until January 23rd. Currier & Ives is known for its idealized images of life in 19th century America. The images in this exhibit presented an optimistic, romanticized vision of childhood. However, these renditions fell short of reality for many youngsters who worked in American factories and farms from dawn to dusk. These images illustrate the charming side of childhood and can be appreciated both historically and aesthetically as romantic and sentimental depictions of growing up in 19th-century America. For information, call 413-263-6800 or visit www.springfieldmuseums.org.

Learn how to make Mexican Sugar Skulls

Learn how to make Mexican Sugar Skulls for Day of the Dead. Click on banner for a studio visit with ArtStar Lounge in Williamsburg, MA.

NEW EXHIBIT: Oct 15 – Jan 23, Eric Carle Museum and Yiddish Book Center, Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books. The exhibit shows the contributions that Jewish art and storytelling have made to children’s literature, tracing the development of the Jewish picture book from its early cultural roots to its contemporary innovations. The works represent an array of artistic media, including paintings, drawings, computer-generated images, paper cuts, collages, as well as lavishly illustrated Hebrew manuscripts. Texts are mainly in English, but there are also works in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Portuguese. See both the Carle website (www.carlemuseum.org) and the Yiddish Book Center website (www.yiddishbookcenter.org) for more info.

HOMEWORK HELP: Big Y’s Homework Helpline is a free service, available Monday through Thursday from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. by calling 1-800-866-BIGY or on-line by logging on to www.Bigy.com/homework

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.

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 we’re featuring local music by The Gypsy Wranglers, The Primate Fiasco, and Swing Caravan, and new music by Elizabeth Mitchell, Music for Little People, The Real Tuesday Weld, The Leisure Society, Forest Sun and a couple of cuts off of the Many Hands 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 – 10/16

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.

MUSIC FESTIVAL: The sixth annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival is scheduled through October 21st. www.berkshiresjazz.org Pittsfield, MA

WOOL HARVEST: Shearing & What to do with Wool, fall wool harvest celebration will be at Winterberry Farm (21 Teawaddle Hill Road). Shearing, spinning, weaving and felting demos. Try your hand at spinning on a hook. 548-3940 www.winterberryfarm.org Leverett, MA

ART ADVENTURES: Open Studios. www.northadamsopenstudios.com North Adams, MA (FREE)

8am – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Leverett Harvest Festival happens at the Leverett Elementary School (Montague Rd.) with a pancake breakfast, crafts, games and the Leverett Family Museum will be open to the public. Leverett, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

8am-3pm – TAG SALE: The Children’s Museum will host a tag sale in the upper level of the museum’s building (444 Dwight St.) 536-KIDS Holyoke, MA (FUNDRAISER)

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

9am-1pm – FAMILY CLOTHING SALE: Trinitarian Congregational Church (147 Main St.) will have a huge clothing sale with a large variety for the entire family. Northfield, MA (SALE)

9am-2pm – TAG SALE: Tag sale fundraiser for the Russell Conwell Community Education Center. Worthington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

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 – HARVEST DAYS: Talk with costumed interpreters about the harvest and learn about methods of food preservation. at the Old Sturbridge Village Harvest Days. Dig potatoes in the field, pull carrots in the garden, shell corn in the barn and thresh rye on the threshing floor! 800-733-1830 www.osv.org Sturbridge, MA ($)

9:45am – RAILWAY ADVENTURES: Take a field trip with the Gateway Family Center on the Berkshire Scenic Railway, located in Lenoxdale (a village in Lenox, 10 Willow Creek Rd.). The train goes from there to Stockbridge and back. For those that would like to spend more time in Stockbridge, it is possible to take a later train back (don’t lose your ticket!). Please dress for the weather. You may bring snacks for the Stockbridge station (there is often an ice cream truck there) and there is usually a hot dog vendor at the Lenoxdale station. Lenox, MA (>$)

10am – FAMILY FILM: A Town Called Panic will be at the International Family Film series at Images Cinema (50 Spring St.). Hilarious and frequently surreal, the stop-motion extravaganza A Town Called Panic has endless charms and raucous laughs for children from eight to eighty. Based on the Belgian animated cult TV series, Panic stars three plastic toys named Cowby, Indian and Horse who share a rambling house in a rural town that never fails to attract the weirdest events. www.imagescinema.org Williamstown, MA (>$)

10am-12Noon – PARENTING SOCIAL: Color Play is a monthly social and craft for families parenting children of color, supporting parents by addressing the cultural imbalances on their children’s community, encouraging self-acceptance and identity awareness. Providing parents with the opportunity to have open dialogue around the many concerns of parenting children of color, it will include a story hour, healthy snack and seasonal craft; as well as, fun interactive parent-child connecting in a diverse setting. Northampton, MA (FREE)

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

10am-12Noon – PARENTING WORKSHOP: Breastfeeding Workshop with Melanie Serman. Basics of breastfeeding w a certified lactation consultant. CHP Family Services Building (442 Stockbrige Rd.). 644-0104 www.communityhealthprograms.org Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

10am-12Noon – PARENTING WORKSHOP: Breastfeeding Workshop with Melanie Serman. Basics of breastfeeding w a certified lactation consultant. CHP Family Services Building (442 Stockbrige Rd.). 644-0104 www.communityhealthprograms.org Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

10am-12:30pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: At Historic Deerfield, Bob Paynter, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts will lead an Archaeological Walking Tour that families with older students might enjoy. A guided tour of the Old Burying Ground with a guide from Historic Deerfield will be at 11:30 a.m. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (FREE)

10am-3pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: Halloween Tricks and Treats at Look Park with arts, crafts, pony rides, entertainment, pumpkin painting, costumes, games, cider, hayrides. www.lookpark.org Florence, MA (>$)

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)

10am-3pm – ARCHITECTURE: Harvest Home tour. Explore the architecture and interior design of six of Westhampton’s loveliest homes. 529-2373 Westhampton, MA ($)

10am-4pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: 6th Annual Littleville Harvest Festival at the Littleville Fairgrounds (15 Kinne Brook Rd.). Kids Games & Craft Activities, Pumpkin Painting, Farmers Market, Huge Indoor Tag Sale, Bounce House, Pie Eating Contests, Kids Haunted House… 667-3987 Chester, MA (FREE ADMISSION)

10am-4pm – SCIENCE ADVENTURES: Radical Robots at the Springfield Science Museum with robotics demonstrations. Teams from Agawam, Springfield, and West Springfield will show off their award-winning machines, and meet The Aexeous Robot, an intelligent, heavy-duty robot that walks, talks and interacts with the audience. 263-6800 www.springfieldmuseums.org Springfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Annual Sunderland Fall Festival with the Taste of Sunderland Food Court, music, demos, crafts, kid activities, Cow Chip Bingo… Town Ball Fields. Sunderland, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

10am-6pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Huntington Fall Festival on the town green with food, crafts, family entertainment. 667-5269 Huntington, MA (FREE ENTRANCE)

10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC ADVENTURES: Made-by-Hand-Trades of the Past: English Factory-Made Ceramics & Broom making at Historic Deerfield. See historic trades demonstrations of English factory-made ceramics with Don Carpentier, and broom making with Bob Aborn. 775-7127 www.historic-deerfield.org Deerfield, MA (INCLUDED W/ADMISSION)

11am – FRENCH ADVENTURES: Pétanque Day at The Mount (2 Plunkett St.).  Played in pairs or small groups, Pétanque is a popular, fun, easy-to-learn French game and is cousin to both horseshoes and bocce.  Other French-themed activities including readings of popular French children’s stories, art creation, and scavenger hunts.  Light bistro fare will be available for purchase.   5511-5111 www.edithwharton.org Lenox, MA ($)

11am – LITERARY ADVENTURES: With Norton Juster at the Odyssey Bookshop (9 College St.). Norton will read The Odious Orge, his first collaobration with Jules Feiffer since The Phantom Tollbooth. 534-7307 South Hadley, MA (FREE)

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 ($)

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Suggested Events 10/18/08-10/24/08

The Cummington Family Center Booth at the Ashfield Fall Festival.

The Cummington Family Center Booth at the Ashfield Fall Festival.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page.

Suggest an Event | Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes | Farmer’s Market | Family Centers (Ages 0-4)

FEATURED EVENT: BLOOD & GUTS AT LILLY LIBRARY

Blood & Guts: A hands-on science learning experience for students and their families will happen tonight, Friday October 17, 6-8 pm at the Lilly Library in Florence (Sponsored by Baystate Franklin Medical Center).  This event is free and open to the public. Free refreshments and raffle.  See actual patient X-rays; look at cells under a microscope; touch real human bones; learn about healthy eating; test your balance on a physio ball or rocker board; test yourself on how well you wash your hands; talk with Baystate Franklin Medical Center professionals about their careers in health care; and much more!

Saturday – 10/18

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A New Hilltown Tradition: Friday After Fall Festival

Notes From Nan: Happy Anniversary!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

So, we decided to make it an annual tradition that the Friday night after Fall Festival we would serve our Authentic New Orleans Crawfish Pasta for those who:

  1. Wanted some but had to work the festival and didn’t get any
  2. Got some and want some mo’!

After all, it was the rousing success of our serving of it last year on the Friday after Fall Festival that made us look at each other and say, “Hey! How about let’s serve dinner on Friday nights!” So here we are with our first Friday Night Dinner Anniversary!

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Suggested Events 10/07/07 – 10/12/07

What to do on Columbus Day Weekend in Western Mass?

(c) Hilltown Families - Mad ScienceIt’s Columbus Day weekend, which means my daughter has Monday AND TUESDAY off from school next week. While there’s plenty to do this weekend and on Monday … what to do on Tuesday? I did run into Lui Collins at the Meekins Library in Worthington who told me about a Kids’ Jam she’s offering for older kids, starting this Tuesday that runs for ten weeks! Something to do!

One thing my daughter’s looking forward to are science classes held on Mondays in Northampton. Mad Science is offering an eight week after-school science enrichment program for kids her age. The participants get a hands-on learning experience on the science of art, energy, zoology, gravity, biology, motion and robots. There was an open house a couple of weeks ago and she was sold! They will also be offering drop-in classes every other Friday evening.

FEEDBACK WELCOMED

Your comments and feedback are warmly welcomed. If you like what you see here on HF and find our resources useful, don’t keep it to yourself. Let us know! And if you have a suggestion or constructive advice, we want to hear from you too.

And while we are here to primarily serve our local community, families from communities outside our area are taking advantage of and being inspired by Hilltown Families too:

“Hilltown Families is really smart & comprehensive. Inclusive & inspiring. I see it as a big-scale variety show where everyone can come and take what they need! Excellent job. There seems to be a need for something similar in this area. Something that pulls all of the resources for families and puts it in one package so that the information is there; so that families always feel empowered.”

Kelli Ann (Quebec, Canada)

SUGGESTED EVENTS

If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, or would like to submit your event to the Hilltown Families calendar of Suggested Events, email Sienna at swildfield@juno.com. Comments are warmly welcomed!

Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes | Printable Format

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday -10/06

8am – FAMILY RADIO – The Hilltown Family Variety Show will be filling in this week, feature music from all the participating artists from the HFVS 1st Annual T-Shirt Review. So while traveling around town, tune-in to WXOJ 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA, from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child [All ages] (Free)

Illustration (c) 2007 Hilltown Families9am – BOOK SALES – Stock up on books for your kids at both the Meekins Library in Williamsburg & the Ashfield Library in Ashfield. [Families] ($)

Illustration (c) 2007 Hilltown Families10am – 5pm – FALL FESTIVAL – The Ashfield Fall festival happens on the common in Ashfield, MA. Click here for details. [Families] (Free/$)

10am – 5pm – FALL FESTIVAL – The Berkshire Harvest Festival happens at the Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, MA. 413.298.3926 [Families] ($)

10am – KIDS PEACE MARCH – Kids will be gathering with their families in Northampton at the corner of Gothic and Main Streets for a Peace March; Peace at home, in our country and all over the world. Get the kids to make their own peace banners and join in a march through downtown Northampton. Facilitated by Wyatt Marshall. [Families] (Free)

10am – 2pm – FIRE HOUSE OPEN HOUSE – After the kids March for Peace in Northampton, head over to the Noho Fire Dept. 26 Safety Open House. There will be firefighting demos, cooking safety tips, fire prevention tips, Sparky the fire pup and more. 413.587.1032. [Families] (Free)

10:30am – HISTORIC TRADES – Made by Hand: Trades of the Past. Let the family learn about different historic trades at the Historic Deerfield Museum in Deerfield, MA. There will be demonstrations on potting, tinsmithing and silversmithing. 413.775.7214 Families] ($/Borrow a museum pass from your library)

Illustration (c) 2007 Hilltown Families11am – 3pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL – Hanging Mountain Farms in Westhampton, MA will be hosting a Pumpkin Festival with carving contest, face painting, petting zoo, hayrides and more. 413.527.0710 [Families] (N/A)

Noon-4pm – HISTORY WORKSHOP – Made by Hand: Trades of the Past. Take the kids to Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA, to learn about the kinds of things that people made by hand every day in early New England. Practice sewing or have fun making a hand-made toy out of clay to take home. Included with general admission. At History Workshop. 413.775.7214 [Families] ($/Borrow a museum pass from your library)

8pm – PARENT’S NIGHT OUT – Take your honey dancing in Greenfield, MA. Wild Asparagus will be hosting a contra dance at the Guiding Star Grange. Click here for directions. [Adults] ($)

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