Learning Ahead: Nov & Dec Cultural Itinerary for Western MA

Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for
Western Massachusetts
Seasons: November & December

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 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 Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for November and December includes:

  • Learn about FOOD preservation: Harvest, Butchers & Museums
  • Veterans Day as a CATALYST for learning: Literature, History & Music
  • Looking through the LENS of Thanksgiving: Poetry & Painting
  • VALUE based engagement: Handmade &  Non-Commercial
  • Local HABITAT connects us to myth & nature: Christmas Trees
  • PLACEMAKING with annual events: Holiday Strolls & Caroling
  • Experience other CULTURES through the holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa & Three Kings Day
  • Mark the SEASON by sharing & connecting: Winter Solstice & Storytelling
  • Engage in New England TRADITIONS: First Night & First Hikes

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.

Special thank you to sponsors of this issue, including: ♦ Montague BookmillNew England Air MuseumDowntown Northampton AssociationSpringfield Museums.

4 Holiday Strolls to Connect Community & Celebrate the Holiday Season

Holiday Strolls Light up the Dark and Kick off the Holiday Season!

In the dark of late fall, special holiday events bring families out and into the crisp air to build community and celebrate the season! Taking place over the next few weeks, these events are not to be missed – read on to find a holiday stroll near you!

Shining as beacons in the dark of late fall and early winter evenings, the downtown sections of cities and towns all over western Massachusetts are becoming increasingly brighter with holiday decorations and cheer! Over the course of the next few weeks, local communities will kick off the holiday season with special events drawing families out into the crisp air to explore and celebrate.

The first holiday stroll of the season is the village of Shelburne Falls’ annual Moonlight Magic, an event that fills Bridge Street with food, crafts, and entertainment. Held from 4-9pm on Friday, November 27th, Moonlight Magic provides families with a non-commercial means of celebrating the holidays on Black Friday. Families can find vendors set up along the street with hot drinks in hand, watch a holiday parade at 5:15pm, or discover treats and treasures at indoor craft and food sales. Stores, galleries, and restaurants will even stay open late for the special event!  Read the rest of this entry »

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