Suggested Events for December 15th – 21st, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

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

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

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

Each week, Hilltown Families taps into your interests and values and gives you the chance to connect with others who want to explore them. By highlighting the learning opportunities that are embedded in the everyday events, activities, and spaces that make up our communities, sharing this information with families via our extensive online network, and supporting your participation in engaging and meaningful ways – together – we are building connections that shape and change lives and communities. Hilltown Families is where families come to connect to the place where they live and the people who call it home.

The beautiful fact is, we can’t do any of this without you. It all comes back to you and your engagement. During this season of gratitude and giving, we are inviting you not only to get out and have some fun while you learn, we’re inviting you to invest in the organization that helps make that possible. Hilltown Families is in the process of redesigning our website and planning new in-person programming for the Spring. We will bring you seasonally-based mindfulness events and workshops for learners of all ages and backgrounds at our founder, Sienna Wildfield’s, new space, Curly Willow on the Westfield River. But we need your help. Please support what you love by donating what you can to Hilltown Families. Consider becoming a Hilltown Families Sustainer and make yours a monthly contribution. For less than what you spend on a cup of coffee, you can make a big difference in the lives of families – just like yours – throughout Western MA! We thank you!

Special Event: We Are Human: Family Storytime & Read-In with Megan Dowd Lambert

Join us for a Family Storytime and Read-In with Megan Dowd Lambert, Sunday, December 16, 11am – 12pm. Especially for families with kids 0-8, and all ages welcome! The first 25 attendees receive free entry to the Eric Carle Museum. All families will receive a FREE copy of “I Am Human” by Susan Verde, illustrations by Peter Reynolds.

This FREE family program is part of the month-long We Stand Together Hanukkah Ally Action (www.we-stand-together.org/ally-action-against-anti-semitism) aimed at creating solidarity through pride and compassion,through story-time and a FAMILY READ-IN featuring a curated selection of picture books to spark conversations about empathy, solidarity, and learning about Jewish identity and who we all are. All are welcome!

In light of the anti-Semitic and racist violence we are witnessing in our world, please join us for a reading of the newly released book, “I AM HUMAN: A BOOK OF EMPATHY” by Susan Verde and illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds, read by Megan Dowd Lambert. This is an opportunity for families to come together and remember that we are all deeply connected. This beautifully illustrated book “lifts up the flawed fullness of humanity and encourages children to see themselves as part of one big imperfect family—millions strong.”

Through this delightful reading and age-appropriate activities, families will have an opportunity to show how much we care about all people and have an action to do with our children to bring the message right into our homes. Children want to make the world right. Each child will receive a coloring sheet of a Hanukkah Menorah (Jewish holiday candelabra). Families are invited to hang the menorah in their home to show support and compassion to all people who are targeted by hate and as a stand for empathy.

We Stand Together helps people of all ages learn how to be brave and is happy to provide this family event that helps us all remember the power of standing together and being our truly compassionate selves through age-appropriate Ally Actions. Join us!

Our Saturday Morning Music Party Series is BACK!

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

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

Bulletin Board

Sign Up Now!

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

Add Your Venue!

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

Add your class

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

Add your school

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

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 15th – 21st, 2018

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Psychedelic Dixieland for the Kids at the Hilltown Spring Festival

The Primate Fiasco Returns to the Hilltown Spring Festival with a Kids Show on Saturday, May 15th @ 2pm

The Primate Fiasco is what you might call a psychedelic dixieland band. With the instrumentation of tuba, trumpet, clarinet, banjo, drums, and vocals, any modern style of music can be fused with that New Orleans festive sound to create high energy jams that will move the feet of hippies, ravers, jazzers, break dancers, and their grandparents. Check out their kids show at 2pm and adult show at 5pm on Saturday, May 15th during the Hilltown Spring Festival at the Cummington Fairgrounds. (Photo Credit: Derek Goodwin)

The Primate Fiasco is normally found in front of a mob of screaming college students and jazz enthusiasts. However, children have become more and more of a constant at Primate Fiasco shows due to the high energy, whimsical, short attention span of the music. Finally, an album is being recorded just for them. It will be a collection of kids classics like “On Top of Spaghetti” and “Wheels on the Bus” but with the psychedelic multi-genre flair that’s to be expected at any other Fiasco show. With Tuba, Trumpet, Clarinet, Banjo, and Drums, there are enough shiny objects on stage even before they start sharing tambourines with the audience.

Listen here to their version of the Muppets Show theme song during the Academy of Music benefit for the Northampton arson victims in January 2010. Aside from the Kids CD, The Primate Fiasco has recently released their own coloring book.

The Primate Fiasco will be one of 15 acts performing this year at the 4th Annual Hilltown Spring Festival, put on by the Hilltown CDC.

New this year to the Hilltown Spring Festival:

The Festival has added a Kids-Made Craft Bazaar, featuring homemade crafts and art for sale by children up to age 13. Also new this year is a maypole dance scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Hosted by EarthSpirit of Worthington, the community maypole dance will be accompanied by traditional rhythmic stepping by multiple teams of Morris Dancers. Another new feature is an all-day puppet-making workshop led by MOther Earth JOurney Puppets of Williamsburg. Families can create their own stick puppets, inspired by the giant marionettes on display.

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