Celebrating the New Year with Your Family in Western MA

Celebrating the New Year

Hilltown Family Variety Show New Year’s Day Peace Episode: A New Year’s Day episode with music about both world and inner peace for the New Year. Music by Babtunde Olatunji, Cat Stevens, Elizabeth Mitchell, Sweet Honey in the the Rock, Michelle Shocked, Pete Seeger and many other amazing musicians. – Story: Fawnie Byer reads “Peace Feather Story” off of Peace in the World Smiling.

It’s the last day of the year! There are a number of community events families can join in today to celebrate the last day of the year while ushering in the new year!


If you’re looking for a fun Parents’ Night Out instead? Check out Popcorn Noir’s Glitter Ball in Easthampton

Other New Year’s Eve highlights include magician David Hall at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, New Year’s Eve kid-friendly celebration at Chandler’s Restaurant in South Deerfield, celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation in Springfield, and museum adventures at MASS MoCA in North Adams and Old Sturbridge Village.  Find out all the details on these New Year’s Eve happenings HERE.


On New Year’s Day, there are First Day Hikes in Goshen and Pittsfield, and more museum adventures as previously mentioned in North Adams and Sturbridge.  Also, churches throughout the Pioneer Valley will be letting the beautiful sound of bells ring out through the crisp air in remembrance of Lincoln’s landmark policy to end slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation. Come out to hear the bells ring, or celebrate in your own home by ringing bells and learning together about the history surrounding the proclamation and the changes that it brought to the country.

Suggested Events for December 29th, 2012-January 4th, 2013

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


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.


Saturday, Dec. 29th 11am and 2pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Berkshire Children’s Theater presents, “Pinkalicious!” at the Berkshire Museum!  The show is a musical stage adaptation of the book of the same name, and is about a little girl learning how to exercise her self control!  Pinkalicious loves anything pink, but her special favorite are pink cupcakes – and, despite her parents cautioning, she eats so many that she turns pink!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

Sunday, Dec. 30th from 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Springfield MuseumsWacky Week comes to an end today, as kiddos head back to school tomorrow.  Special events and activities for the day include a chance to make silly finger puppets, family science adventures (11am-2pm), New Year’s mask-making, and a performance from BubbleMania!  BubbleMania: Effervescent Entertainment is filled with comedy and wit, and will teach audience members all about the amazing magic of bubbles – all to a soundtrack of swing music!  800-625-7738.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)


Saturday, January 5th from 1-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Northfield Mountain host Winter Trail Days for families with older children interested in trying snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing for the first time.  Free 45 minute clinics are being offered to first time skiers or who have never tried to ski. Equipment provided.  Pre-registration required by calling 1-800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA (FREE) 

Sunday, January 6th at 6:30pm – THREE KINGS DAY: Celebrate Three Kings Day at the 40th annual caroling event at the Red Lion Inn!  The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception will lead visitors in Christmas carols on the steps of the inn, and the event will also include treats for all.  413-298-3691.  30 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)


Jan 5

Pioneer Valley Ballet will present its spring production of The Little Mermaid on April 6th and 7th at Northampton’s historic Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA. Auditions will be held at the PVB studio at the Eastworks Building (116 Pleasant St.) in Easthampton on Saturday, January 5th for boys and girls ages 5-12yrs. Roles include pearls, crabs, sea horses, starfish and water sprites No dance experience necessary. Please visit www.pioneervalleyballet.org for registration information and audition times, or call the studio at 413-527-6363. Dancers with pointe experience, please contact the studio for additional audition schedules.

Jan 9

Interested in Jewish education? Looking for a progressive school with stellar teachers, vibrant community, and a values-based curriculum? Come to LGA Schechter’s Community Tour for Prospective Parents on Wednesday, January 9th, 9-10:30am. Visit classrooms. Speak with current parents, students, teachers and administrators. Learn what an LGA education is all about! Contact Principal Marcia Holden at mholden@lgaschechter.org or call 413-584-6622 to RSVP — or set up an individual tour on another day. Lander Grinspoon Academy is a Jewish day school located at 257 Prospect St. in Northampton, MA. For more info visit www.lgaschechter.org.

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT OR VACATION WEEK CAMP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your holiday event, open house, 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

Hilltown CDC is hosting a Community Development Forum on Monday, Jan 14 at 1pm at their offices in Chesterfield, MA. Hilltown residents are invited to come discuss housing needs, senior center needs and a variety of social service needs including the Hilltown Elder Network, the Health Outreach Program for Elders, the Food Pantry, and needs for young families including Child Care subsidies and Families Together. Do you have concerns about, compliments for or ideas on how to improve any of these programs in the Hilltowns? Do you have new ideas to share that could be developed further? All ideas are welcome. RSVP to Dave at 413-296-4536 x118 by Jan. 9. If you are unable to attend, you can still send feedback via email to davec@hilltowncdc.org.

Catherine Wolkowicz writes, ” A hilltown family has a personal connection to the tragedy in Sandy Hook. I have a connection. My sister, her first grade son and husband live there. They were lucky. If there is such a thing for any child who attends Sandy Hook Elementary School.” … Read Catherine’s letter to our community and about the Sandy Hook First Grade Survivors Fund she has established.

December 29th, 2012 – January 4th, 2013


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Berkshire Family Fun

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