Suggested Events for December 8th – 14th, 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 making it 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!

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

Dec 7, 8, & 9

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration revels in the return of the sun with a family show of music, dance, song and story to drive the dark away. This year, everyone is invited to our village tavern to enjoy traditions from the early Middle Ages to rousing contemporary carols. Come hear ancient songs, see the Abbotts Bromley horn dance, a mummers play and the passing of the yule log! There will be Basque, molly and sword dances! Friday and Saturday Dec. 7 and 8, 7:30pm & Sunday Dec. 9, 2pm. Shea Theater, Turners Falls. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors and children 5-16 years, at Amherst Books, Amherst; Broadside Bookshop, Northampton; World Eye Bookshop, Greenfield; at the door or online. Information and reservations at www.welcomeyule.org.

Dec 7 – 9

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel to the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Live on stage December 7 – 9 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. A special Sensory and Family Safe Presentation on December 7 at 4:00 p.m. has lighting and sound accommodations for a reduced sensory experience, and is also ideal for young children. The 40th Anniversary Celebration Performance that evening features special musical guests and a champagne treat for the adults. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

Dec 8

As an alternative to traditional holiday buying, the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School will host a Winter Fair featuring musical performances and holiday gift-making on Saturday, December 8. Holiday crafts use recycled and natural materials and include fairy houses, full-sized wreaths, gingerbread people, and more. All proceeds support the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School library and educational programs. The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is a public school serving grades K-8 and emphasizing mixed-aged classrooms and an arts-integrated approach to curricula. There is no tuition; admission is by lottery and is open to students throughout Hampshire and Franklin counties. For more information about the Winter Fair visit www.hilltowncharter.org or call (413) 529–7178.

Dec 9

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, December 9. The program begins at 1 PM. Meet students, teachers, and current parents and get a feel for their their creative and rigorous academic program and warm community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, competitive athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership, with daily round trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield and the hilltowns, including several stops along each route. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

Dec 9

There Will Be Light: A Community Hanukkah Celebration. Sunday, Dec. 9, 5 pm – 7:30 pm at Congregation B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect St., Northampton. Join us at 5 pm for two programs: 1. Candle lighting & song circle. Light hanukiot in the main sanctuary and sing songs of light and hope in-the-round with Molly, Aram, and Rabbis Jacob and Justin. 2. Candle lighting & music for families with kids ages 0-5. Join Felicia Sloin & friends for 8th night menorah lighting, story telling, song, and play. At 6:30 pm, a catered dinner will be served. RSVP requested: cbinorthampton.org. $10/person, $7/children 12 and under. We encourage you to bring your own menorah. For more info, contact Merideth Lively: mer@cbinorthampton.org or (413) 584-3593.

Dec 15

Save the Date! This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with live Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to this one showing event on Saturday, December 15th at 3pm at the Academy of Music, Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $12-20. Information can be found at www.ACelticNutcracker.com.

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 8th – 14th, 2018

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Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: Emily Dickinson Museum

Step into Emily Dickinson’s World

Bee! I’m expecting you!
Was saying Yesterday
To Somebody you know
That you were due –

The Frogs got Home last Week –
Are settled, and at work –
Birds mostly back –
The Clover warm and thick –

You’ll get my Letter by
The Seventeenth; Reply
Or better, be with me –
Your’s, Fly.
Fr. 983

This poem by Emily Dickinson was written in 1865 during the most productive period of her writing life. By the time she turned 35 that year, she had produced more than 1,100 of the 1,789 poems we know of today.  Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: Hampshire College Art Gallery

Students Work is Center Stage at Hampshire College Art Gallery

Hampshire College opened in 1970, along with an art gallery in its library building designed to give students an opportunity to present their work and enjoy exhibitions of local, national, and international artists. Though it is primarily a teaching space, the gallery has become a great place to experience edgy, engaging works by both well known and lesser-known artists.

Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: Beneski Museum

Discovery and “Wow” Moments at the Beneski Museum

From February 16-19, 2016, families can enjoy student docent–guided tours at 11am and 1pm daily. Scavenger hunts for the whole family will be available throughout the entire month. Admission is always free.

The Beneski Museum of Natural History in Amherst is one of New England’s largest natural history museums, boasting three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display, and tens of thousands of specimens available for use by scholars and researchers from across campus and around the world!

At the Beneski, visitors can step inside the museum and see:

  • Dramatic displays of fossil skeletons, from fish to dinosaurs to Ice Age megafauna
  • An extraordinary collection of dinosaur footprints
  • Geological specimens and immersive exhibits that tell the history of the local landscape through geologic time, including when dinosaurs inhabited the area
  • Dazzling mineral specimens from around the world and meteorites from beyond Earth

Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Look, Learn, Explore: Family Fun at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum!

Photograph by Laura Shea.

Going to an art museum can feel like an adventure, a chance to travel back in time through encounters with objects from faraway cultures. Many museums also give you the chance to unlock the magic of learning about your own local history and stories from closer to home.

In both cases, looking at art and material culture gives parents and children an opportunity to make discoveries together and create shared experiences. Here are some tips used by museum educators that can easily be used by family visitors as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: 10 Learning Adventures with Museums10 this Holiday Season

10 Learning Adventures with Museums10 this Holiday Season

Don’t stay cooped up this winter! Museum adventures await you—make art with your children, enjoy contemporary art yourself, take in a gallery talk, or join in a game of table top nine pins. There is something to explore at each of the Museums10 member institutions during December, and beyond!  Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

The Carle Celebrates Picture Book Month in November

November is here with its flurry of leaves falling from the trees—or, who knows, maybe even snow flurries—and at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, there will be a flurry of programs. Why? Because it’s Picture Book Month!

This international initiative celebrates picture books during the month of November, and The Carle has a wide array of programs and events, from storytimes and theatre performances to book events and special exhibitions, for families to enjoy. In addition to all of this, they are featuring their regular storytime programs in the Reading Library, hands-on art projects in the Art Studio, and family activity kits that can be checked out at the admissions desk.

Here are just of few of the many programs presented this month:  Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: Historic Deerfield

 Visit Historic Deerfield this October for Fun Seasonal Activities with your Family

Explore archaeology, open hearth cooking, colonial life, and so much more at Historic Deerfield this October. Who knew there were so many fun (and tasty!) ways to get to know history?

October is a wonderful month to visit Historic Deerfield with your family. From the crisp, cool mornings and the first months of school, autumn brings its own sense of renewal as the long, hot days of summer ebb away. At Historic Deerfield, the Old Main Street comes alive with fall color. A robust schedule of historic trade demonstrations, educational programs and events await visitors of all ages.

Highlights this fall for families include the Archaeology Lab program, offered as a drop-in activity on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-4pm through November 22, 2015. Visitors can explore the science behind historical archaeology; help clean, sort, and identify artifacts; and learn about soil during a “shoe box” dig. Make some clay marbles based on archaeological finds to take home.  Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: University Museum of Contemporary Art

Turning 40, the University Museum of Contemporary Art Continues to Shine

September is a hectic but exciting time of the year. As summer winds down and new routines set in, we invite you to explore what the University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) has to offer!

Now in our fortieth year as a teaching museum at UMass Amherst, we continue to serve the community as a powerful resource. Through our outstanding exhibitions, visiting artists program, growing permanent collection, and varied educational programming, the museum is an amazing place to explore.  Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: Smith College Museum of Art

Surprise your Eyes at the Smith College Museum of Art

Where do you begin your Museum adventure? For many visitors to the Smith College Museum of Art, their first stop is to check out the artist-designed restrooms! Designed by artists Ellen Driscoll and Sandy Skoglund as functional—and permanent—works of art, each is unique and beautiful. A popular spot for selfies, the women’s restroom features works from the Museum’s collection reproduced in a blue underwater world through etched glass panels. In contrast to the cool hues and mermaid paradise of Driscoll’s women’s restroom, across the way Skoglund intended to create a space that would incorporate “patterning and visual sizzle.”  The men’s room is black and white from floor to ceiling, creating the sensory experience of stepping into an optical illusion. For the wall tiles, Skoglund used imagery based on global creation stories with the common theme of liquid origins. From the fixtures to the floors and even the toilet bowls and urinals, visitors are invited to be part of the art themselves through the use of these unforgettable spaces.

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The artist-designed restrooms are located on the lower level of the Museum, which has been a hub of activity this summer.  While the restrooms will remain untouched, extensive renovations to the rest of the floor are underway. When completed in October, the Museum’s gallery updates and improvements will offer new ways to experience and interact with SCMA’s treasured collection of exceptional art.

Don’t miss these highlights on a visit this fall:  Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: Mead Art Museum

From Mead to You: Making Learning Connections at the Mead Art Museum

Experience, investigate, and explore world-class art and hidden treasures at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum. In July, families can travel the world without ever leaving the area through the Mead’s family workshops and open house days. Enjoy art-making, guest performances, tours, and more—all of it free and open to all.

Search for secret doors in a seventeenth-century paneled room. Puzzle over a cuneiform inscription that praises a powerful Assyrian king. Marvel at a hanging sculpture spinning in a still gallery.

Visitors to the Mead Art Museum do so much more than see objects—at the Mead, art is experienced, investigated, and explored. Set on Amherst College’s beautiful main quadrangle and flanked by a fascinating, stand-alone stone steeple, the Mead offers a world of resources for connecting art across countless cultures, mediums, and eras.

Just as its south-up, equal-area map (on permanent display in the Kunian gallery) turns traditional worldviews “upside-down,” the Mead provides learning opportunities that encourage creative thinking and a global, culturally-aware approach to art history.  Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: Yiddish Book Center

Yiddish Book Center: Something for Everyone (and You Don’t Need to Speak Yiddish)

Learning about Jewish culture and history often leads parents and children to conversations about their own family’s history, culture, and traditions.

In the Yiddish Book Center’s kindervinkl (children’s corner), three-year-old Eli dons a white apron and begins whipping up an (imaginary) meal of brisket and, for dessert, homentashn. When he’s done, he and his mother settle on a red bench nearby and begin reading picture books.

In the welcome gallery, a dad and two preteen girls enjoy a short film about the history of the Center. When the film ends, they head over to a reproduction Yiddish print shop with vintage printing equipment, including a Yiddish Linotype, a hot-lead typesetting machine used for decades at the New York Yiddish newspaper the Forverts.   Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: Museums10 Turns 10 & Continues to Think Smart

Museums10 Deepens Western Mass Cultural Life Through Creative Collaboration

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts in Amherst, MA.

Western Massachusetts is rich with opportunities for families to get out into their community to explore, to get to know the world better, and gain a deeper understanding of history. The museums in our region embody that richness to the fullest! Now in its 10th year, Museums10 can point to the fact that they host more exhibitions annually than at the Met, Lourve, and Guggenheim combined and house 1.3 million collection objects (equal to what you’d find at the Harvard Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Art Museum put together!).

Who is Museums10? Ten years ago, 10 local museums came together to build a collaborative to foster greater cooperation. The hope was that by working together they could accomplish more than any could solo. During the past decade, they’ve hosted large joint exhibitions, worked with local organizations to create events, and built relationships with area schools to help make the museums part of children’s educational lives during the school day.  Read the rest of this entry »

Q&A: 10 Western MA Museums & Attractions

QUESTION AND ANSWERS

Peace Pagoda in Leverett, MA. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Is there a museum/attraction in Western MA that you still haven’t got around to visiting that you’ve been meaning to?

  • Mark Grodzicki writes,Wistariahurst in Holyoke.”
  • Sarah Lewis writes, “The Peace Pagoda (Leverett).”
  • Abbe Laine Schiowitz writes, “The Children’s Museum in Holyoke.”
  • Jennifer Shiao Page writes,Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield.”
  • Kelly Jabour Pramberger writes,Eric Carle Museum in Amherst.”
  • Shelly Bathe Lenn writes, “ALL of those are WONDERFUL. Must make a point to check them out. I want to see more of Wisteriahurst, and take a boat tour/ride on the CT river (Quinnetukut II Riverboat in Northfield).”
  • Susan Lillie Robert writes, “Tons of things, need to start making a list.”
  • Melissa Adams writes, “Tregellys Fiber Farm (Hawley).”
  • Meagheanne Donahue writes, “The Titanic Museum, 208 Main Street, Indian Orchard.  My son is all about the old ships & liners. I’m taking him & a friend there over February break.”
  • Cassandra Van Wagner writes, “Haven’t been to the Springfield Museums in a long while. Would love to go back.”
  • Rachel Cassia Trigere Besserman writes, “Dinos at Amherst! (Beneski Museum of Natural History, Amherst College)”

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