7 Community Thanksgiving Meals & Volunteer Opportunities in Western MA

Thanksgiving Community Meals Promote Community Engagement Through Service-Based Learning

Taking place across western Massachusetts, community meals held around Thanksgiving offer opportunities for communities to connect through food and for families to give back to their communities. Families can donate food (like homemade pies made with your kids!), volunteer at events, or attend community meals in order to help build community!

Healthy living begins not with healthy food, but with access to food in general. For many families in western Massachusetts, access to food is made possible by community organizations that run food pantries and serve meals. These organizations – vital to our communities – depend on community support, and rely on donations and volunteers in order to provide the essential services that they offer. This Thanksgiving, families can participate in community service and spread kindness by helping out with a holiday community meal. Community Thanksgiving meals help to offer a holiday celebration to those who may not be able to prepare one on their own or who might not have anyone to share Thanksgiving dinner with, and also offer families an opportunity to engage in an intergenerational holiday celebration with a diverse group of people.  Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for November 24th-30th, 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 holiday season is upon us! We asked our readers for recommendations on where to get a locally grown Christmas Tree. Check out these recommendations on fun places to go with the family to choose/cut your own, and add to the list.

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.

WEEKEND BEST BETS

Saturday, Nov. 24th from 1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE/COMICS: The Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting an afternoon full of superhero-themed fun, to accompany an exhibit of comic book art. Kids are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite superhero (from a comic book or their imagination!), and can explore the museum, do art activities, listen to storytellers, and more. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, Nov. 24th at 2pm and 3pm – FAMILY THEATER: Picture Book Theater presents Eric Carle’s The Very Quiet Cricket and The Very Lonely Firefly – puppet style! – at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. See these classic children’s stories come alive with all of the beauty of Carle’s signature collaged illustrations. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$)

Sunday, Nov. 25th at 11am – COMMUNITY WALK: The annual Gorge Apres Gorge, a sweet post-Thanksgiving community tradition in the heart of the Hilltowns, takes place on Sunday at the Chesterfield Gorge. Bring your family and friends and stroll along the Westfield River in a post-Thanksgiving community walk (you can run too). A 5K run happens earlier at 9am to benefit the Trustees of Reservations ($). BYO potluck items to share with other participants after the walk. Chesterfield Gorge. Ireland Street. West Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night: Join Hilltown Families for an evening of volunteering together with your family during our first ever Family Community Service Night! On Friday, November 30th from 4:30-7:30pm in Northampton, families can come together for a fun evening visiting five different volunteer stations, each offering a simple, hands-on service project for all ages. Volunteering as a family helps children learn values like kindness, respect and friendliness, and on this evening you can volunteer with five different local non-profits in a single evening! Space is limited so reserve a spot for your family today!

Call for Youth Photographers: Western MA youth photographers ages 8-18 are invited to participate in an upcoming exhibit titled, “Places We Live, Play & Learn: Narratives of Life by Western Massachusetts Youth Photographers.” Hosted by Hilltown Families with the support of the Cummington Cultural Council, the exhibit will be on display at the Cummington Community House Gallery in the rear of the Cummington Community House, originally schedule for this fall, now scheduled for the month of January 2013. Exhibit gives youth an opportunity to explore their towns and document their findings both in images and a written narrative. Participation is free and open to all youth living in Western MA. Deadline for entry has been extended to Dec 1st, 2012. An application and entry rules can be downloaded here: Places We Live, Play & Learn Application Form (pdf).

Hilltown Families Board Game SwapOn Saturday, December 1st from 9:30-10:30am, Hilltown Families is hosting a Board Game Swap in the Meekins Library community room in Williamsburg, MA. Bring in board games, puzzles & card games you would like to swap with other families. New this year, incomplete games are welcomed and will be donated to the Northampton Creative ReUse Committee. A fun way to recycle old board games and to discover new ones. Board games make excellent holiday gifts for the children in your life too! Surprise them with a new recycled game. This community swap is free and open to all families. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD


Dec. 1st

On Sat. Dec. 1st, Greenfield Center School will again host a Crafty Rumpus Open House. This is a creative, free holiday gift making event for children ages 3-12. New this year they will have a Middle School Melee—a party celebrating 5th-8th graders with an indoor bounce house, dance party, henna tattoos and even a chocolate fountain. In addition: savory and sweet foods available for purchase, free pony rides, and admissions information available. Come, meet the teachers and families of the Center School. Enjoy a day of fun and creativity. All are welcome! For directions: www.centerschool.net and check out the Rumpus website: www.craftyrumpus.com. Crafty Rumpus and Middle School Melee. Sat. Dec. 1st, 10am-2pm. Greenfield, MA.

Dec. 7th-9th

Pioneer Valley Ballet is proud to present its 34th annual production of the Nutcracker, an enchanting, classic ballet production at the landmark Academy of Music Theatre: Fri, Dec. 7 at 4pm & 7:30pm, and Sat, Dec. 8 & Sun, Dec. 9. at 1pm & 4:30pm. All tickets are reserved seating and available online and in person at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Senior discounts available in person only. To purchase tickets, call the Pioneer Valley Ballet at 413-527-6363, or the Academy of Music box at 413-584-9032 x105, or visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com. All shows have discounted high school & college student RUSH seats available 1/2 hour prior each performance at box office window. RUSH seats are restricted to upper balcony only.

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: 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.

For November we are pleased to offer a chance to win one of two pairs of tickets to see Jake Shimabukuro at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA at 8pm on Saturday, De. 1st, 2012. Deadline to enter: Tues., 11/27.

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
November 24th-30th 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for November 17th-23rd, 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

Next Thursday, Nov. 22nd is Thanksgiving and there are several opportunities to stock up on local ingredients for your family Thanksgiving Dinner, including in Easthampton on Friday, Nov. 16th, Great Barrington and Amherst on Saturday, Nov. 17th, and Shelburne on Sunday, Nov. 18th.  (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

Saturday, November 17th from 10am-3pm – HOLIDAY FAIR/CRAFT MAKING: Go on a hayride, dip candles, make your own holiday gifts, see a marionette show, enjoy homemade food, and more at the Hartsbrook School’s Holiday Fair!  The Pocket Lady and King Winter might even pay a visit!  413-586-1908.  193 Bay Road.  Hadley, MA.  (FREE ENTRANCE, >$)

Saturday, November 17th from 10am-3pm – MYO HOLIDAY GIFTS: Four Rivers Charter School is hosting a homemade holiday craft event, where families can create their own unique and handmade gifts!  Bring your gift list, and your creativity.  413-775-4577.  248 Colrain Road.  Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, November 18th at 5pm – CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING: The holidays have begun – and the tree at Yankee Candle will be lit tonight!  Visit the company’s flagship store for the tree lighting, which will feature a visit from Santa himself, as well as carolers, hot chocolate, and cookies.  877-636-7707.  25 Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night: Join Hilltown Families for an evening of volunteering together with your family during our first ever Family Community Service Night! On Friday, November 30th from 4:30-7:30pm in Northampton, families can come together for a fun evening visiting five different volunteer stations, each offering a simple, hands-on service project for all ages. Volunteering as a family helps children learn values like kindness, respect and friendliness, and on this evening you can volunteer with five different local non-profits in a single evening! Space is limited so reserve a spot for your family today!

Call for Youth Photographers: Western MA youth photographers ages 8-18 are invited to participate in an upcoming exhibit titled, “Places We Live, Play & Learn: Narratives of Life by Western Massachusetts Youth Photographers.” Hosted by Hilltown Families with the support of the Cummington Cultural Council, the exhibit will be on display at the Cummington Community House Gallery in the rear of the Cummington Community House, originally schedule for this fall, now scheduled for the month of January 2013. Exhibit gives youth an opportunity to explore their towns and document their findings both in images and a written narrative. Participation is free and open to all youth living in Western MA. Deadline for entry has been extended to Dec 1st, 2012. An application and entry rules can be downloaded here: Places We Live, Play & Learn Application Form (pdf).

Hilltown Families Board Game SwapOn Saturday, December 1st from 9:30-10:30am, Hilltown Families is hosting a Board Game Swap in the Meekins Library community room in Williamsburg, MA. Bring in board games, puzzles & card games you would like to swap with other families. New this year, incomplete games are welcomed and will be donated to the Northampton Creative ReUse Committee. A fun way to recycle old board games and to discover new ones. Board games make excellent holiday gifts for the children in your life too! Surprise them with a new recycled game. This community swap is free and open to all families. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Beginning Nov 17

The ClarkLions and Tigers and Museums, Oh My!, on view beginning November 17 at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s Stone Hill Center in Williamstown, utilizes video, hands-on activities, taxidermy, and innovative displays to create an exciting learning environment for all ages. The exhibition includes a magnificent specimen of an adult African lion as well as a lioness’s pelt, claws, and a skull that will be available to encourage hands-on exploration. Visitors try on a gauntlet as they try to balance a wooden block that approximates the size and weight of a falcon for a first-hand experience of the difficulty and delicate balance needed in falconry. Visit clarkart.edu to learn about the exhibition and other family events and programs.

Nov 18

On Sunday November 18th at 3pm, Jane Yolen, “The Hans Christian Andersen of America,” joins folksinger-songwriter Lui Collins in An Afternoon of Poetry and Song for all ages at the Ashfield Community Hall. This family-friendly concert features Jane’s poems interspersed with Lui’s songs, including several of Jane’s poems she has set to music. All proceeds benefit Upside-Up Music’s Scholarship Fund, making family music classes accessible in the Hilltowns. Refreshments, books and CDs available for sale and autographing at intermission. Suggested donation $12; students, seniors, low income $10; <12 $5; <2 free. Family maximum $29. Reservations requested: lui@luicollins.com.

ADVERTISE YOUR FALL/HOLIDAY EVENT: 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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
November 17th-23rd, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Read the rest of this entry »

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