Suggested Events 01/01/11-01/07/11

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


Start the year off right and get the family outside! Take the kids sledding or on a New Year's Day hike! Several free First Day Hikes are featured for Saturday. Pick one in the Pioneer Valley, Hilltowns or Berkshires and set tracks for a great new year! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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


Sunday, January 2nd at 4pm – MARIONETTE SHOW: The Cummington Family Center and the Tanglewood Marionettes present Cinderella at the Community House (33 Main St.) Cummington, MA (FREE)

Friday, January 7th at 6:30pm – MOVIE: Northampton Community Music Center hosts a movie/sing-along for kids of all ages to “The Wizard of Oz.” Bring blankets and get Northampton, MA (FREE)


Hilltown Families presents: "Do I Have To?: How Chores Empower Families" on Jan. 12th @ 6:30pm. Free & open to the public.

On Saturday, January 8th at 10am – FAMILY CONCERT: Mister G kicks off the Nonotuck Community School Winter Concert Series with a family concert at First Churches of Northampton (129 Main St.) More info here. 586-5996 Northampton, MA (>$)

On Wednesday, January 12th at 6:30pm, Hilltown Families presents ..Do I Have To?: How Chores Empower Families, an interactive and fun presentation for adults with author Susan Tordella at 6:30pm on Wednesday, January 12th at Cup & Top Cafe (1 North Main St.). Learn how cleaning toilets, washing dishes and raking leaves empower families. Florence, MA (FREE)


Pioneer Valley Local First - buy localPioneer Valley Local First writes: In the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts we are blessed with natural beauty and a vibrant local living economy made up of independent businesses, family farms, educational institutions and active community organizations. It’s a rich and diverse culture and one that Pioneer Valley Local First is dedicated to protect and strengthen. Our mission is to encourage people to Think Local First so that they Buy Local First.  We also encourage and support companies to be socially, locally and environmentally responsible. In addition we educate Pioneer Valley citizens, community organizations, businesses and local governments about the benefits of doing business with locally owned, independent businesses. Help the Pioneer Valley to continue to be its unique, wonderful self; so that our place, doesn’t look like every place, by using your Pioneer Valley Local Business Guide.

Deadline to enter to win: Jan. 4th

CIRCUS ARTS CLASSES: A new session of week day kid’s circus classes will begin on January 10th at SHOW Circus Studio in Easthampton, MA. We will work on trapeze, fabric, juggling, tumbling and acrobatics, human pyramids, balancing, strength and flexibility. Circus is a great way to increase self esteem, have fun, get in shape, improve focus and learn new skills. Classes for students new to circus will be held on Tuesday and Thursday. Ages 5-7 will run from 3:30-4:30pm and ages 8+ will be from 4:30-5:30pm. Continuing circus students are able to choose from Level 2 classes on Monday (ages 5-7 from 3:30-4:30pm and ages 8+  from 4:30-5:30pm) or the SHOW Stars Performance Troupe on Wednesdays (All ages, 4-5:15). Registration is available online.

Hilltown Families has been serving & supporting our local community for 5 years! Help HF continue to serve our community by supporting the work we do! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and/or enhanced publicity. Email for details.

NATURE GAMES: Check out Mass Audubon’s Winter Walk Bingo cards.  Print out these cards and head out into the snow with your kids.  Try to find five in a row!

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. for more information. — Help us help you!

ENERGY ASSISTANCE: The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund is available to any Massachusetts resident who, because of temporary financial difficulty, cannot meet a month’s energy expense and is not eligible for state or federal energy assistance.  Income eligibility guidelines for 2010-2011 can be found HERE.  Emergency Grant Applications are already being accepted with all other grant applications being accepted starting on Monday, January 3rd, 2011.  For more info visit or call 1-800-262-1320

Deadline to enter to win 5 annual family memberships is Jan. 3rd.

DONATIONS OF ITEMS WANTED: The Franklin County 4-H Community Service Project for 2011 is providing “comfort care bags” to the Department of Children and Families in Greenfield. Items needed: Stuffed animals (new or gently used) for ages newborn to 8 years old; Toothbrushes and tooth paste for children – teens; Baby bottles, baby lotion, wet wipes, diapers and onesies; Pajamas for 1 – 8 year olds; Underwear for 3 – 8 year olds; Socks for 3 year olds – teens; Books (new or gently used) for 1 – 8 year olds; Crayons, pens, pencils, drawing books; Playing cards.  If you have any questions, please contact the Franklin County 4-H Community Service Coordinator, Ellen White at


Tune in to 103.3FM WXOJ (Northampton) every Sat. from 9-10am & Sun. from 7-8am - or anytime to our podcast.

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

This week on the HFVS is our New Year’s Day Peace Episode. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to 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.
  • 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!


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

    Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

    SATURDAY, JANUARY 1st, 2011

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

    10am-5pm – MASS MOCA: Explore MASS MoCA as they open their doors on New Year’s Day.  Kidspace open 11am-4pm. New Katharine Grosse installation on view. 662-2111 North Adams, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

    All Day – ICE SKATING: New Year’s Day activities all day at Amelia Park Ice Arena (21 South Broad St.). Big Screen broadcast of NHL’s Winter Classic, BBQ & of course, ice skating! 562-2277 Westfield, MA

    10am – HIKE: First Day Hike at D.A.R. State Forest.  Meet in the Day Use Area off Route 112, main parking lot. Goshen, MA (FREE)

    10am – HIKE: First Day 2011 Hike with Williamsburg Woodland Trails at Bradley Sanctuary.  Directions here. 268-7523 Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

    1pm – HIKE: First Day Hike at Mount Greylock State Reservation.  For families with kids 7yo+. An easy 1.8 mile hike on the Bradley Farm Trail, followed by hot cocoa by the fireplace.  Bring shoshoes & poles. Leashed dogs welcomed. Meet at the visitors center (30 Rockwell Rd.) 499-4262 Lanesborough, MA (FREE)

    1pm – HIKE: First Day Hike at the Chesterfield Gorge for families.  Casual community meet-up. Walk along the Westfield River. West Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

    1-2:30pm – HIKE:  First Day Hike through the Holyoke Heritage State Park and along the canalwalk in the historic district of Holyoke.  Learn about the city’s past and future possibilities. Hot cocoa. 534-1723 Holyoke, MA (FREE)

    6:30-8:30pm – ICE SKATING: 2nd Annual Snowflake Skate at the Mullins Center Ice Rink to benefit the Sunderland 6th Grade Class. Amherst, MA ($)

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