Suggested Events for February 13th-19th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Just wanted to let you know that my two sons have really enjoyed the Valentine Swap! They are delighted each day to run to the mailbox and find a little surprise waiting for them! We made a Valentine tree and put all of the valentines from our new friends on it! They also loved creating their own valentines, so much so that they chose to forgo the usual store bought ones in favor of making their own for their school parties! Thanks so much for including us! This was a wonderful community outreach project!” – The Allen Family

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families Event

Feb 13

Saturday Morning Music Party: Sat., Feb 13, 10am-12noon in Easthampton! Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, families can craft handmade valentine’s with the Easthampton Family Center while enjoying a new performance with our special guests, Scotty Swan Puppet Co. After the breakfast, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Bulletin Board

Feb 20

Postponed to February 20

[Postponed to Feb 20] WinterFest Amherst 2016 is the best family entertainment value of the winter! Saturday, February 13, from 1-6pm, Cherry Hill Golf Course, North Amherst. If there’s no snow we’ll make snow! Featuring a Chili Cookoff Competition, Best in Snow Dog Show, snow sculpting contest, golf competitions, Mobile Disk Golf Experience, sledding, wine and cheese tasting, Fat Track Bike Rides, horse drawn wagon rides, dancing, live music and more! The Cardboard Classic Sled Race invites everyone to bring a decorated old cardboard box to compete in this crowd-pleaser. Fireworks at 6pm! Families of 3+ just $20. For more information please follow on Facebook or visit www.cherryhillgolf.org. Presenting Sponsor: Integrity Development and Construction.

Feb 13-21

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun school vacation week programs from Feb 13-Feb 21. Explore three giant hangars filled with over 80 aircraft and experience the wonders of flight. A variety of activities will be offered daily including hands-on Build and Fly Challenges, open Cockpit Experiences aboard real aircraft, Aircraft Quests, and more! The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will also be open daily between 11am-3pm. Additional activities are scheduled for the following days: Feb 13– Open Cockpit; Feb 15– Aeromodeling Workshop; Feb 16– The Great Paper Airplane Contest; Feb 17– Nose Art Design Workshop; Feb 18– Kites in Flight Workshop; Feb 19– LEGO Flying Machine Contest. Visit www.neam.org for more information. Windsor Locks, CT.

Feb Vac Week

Winter school vacation week at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst means live performances, special storytime guests and art projects! Fun learning in a beautiful warm spot, with three galleries of picture book art. See Magic, Color, Flair, the world of Mary Blair before it closes! Go on a museum-wide scavenger hunt. Delight in illustrators and authors reading their books. Enjoy live theatre with the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School. Make mosaics in their Art Studio. All this and more during school winter vacation week at The Carle. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for special event times all week long. Open President’s Day! 125 W. Bay Road, Amherst, MA, 413-658-1100.

Feb 15-19

Puppet Festival February 15-19 at the Springfield Museums. This school vacation, join the Springfield Museums for their Puppet Festival, featuring the region’s finest puppet ensembles. Performances include a mashup of Little Red Riding Hood and the Gingerbread Man by Barefoot Puppets, and shows by Wayne Martin’s Puppets and Puppet Showplace Theater, among others. There’s also live animal demonstrations and plenty of hands-on art and science activities, all free with museum admission! And don’t miss Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs, an exhibit that gets to the “furry facts” about man’s best friend. For information, visit springfieldmuseums.org.

Feb 15-19

The Art Garden has invited five regional artists to their studio for a fun and creative February Vacation Program. Visiting artists will do morning workshops in mosaic, fiber arts, paper cutting, printmaking & make-your-own-scratch cards! Afternoons are dedicated to mixed media studio projects. Program runs Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls. Extra hours available. Ages 7-17+ welcome. The Art Garden fosters a culture of inclusion with instruction tailored to meet the needs of all ages. Registration is required. Cost is $325 for the full week. Sibling discounts and financial assistance are available. Individual days possible if space permits. Call 413-625-2782 or email csartgarden@gmail.com to register.

Feb 15-19 & Mar 7-11

February & March CyclePottery Vacation Camps are open for registration! Campers will learn how to use a potter’s wheel to throw functional stoneware forms and handbuild with graphic artist Amber Bartosz. New to the camps: Students will glaze on the the final day! Sessions are: Feb. 15th-19th & March 7th-11th, 9am-3pm, 6 students max, Ages 9+, New reduced fee of $400 for the February Camp, and 3 Day Camp: Tues/Wed/Fri for $285. $450 for March camp. Get a 10% discount if paid in full by Feb. 22nd. CyclePottery is located at 225 Nonotuck Street in Northampton, MA. For more info visit www.CyclePottery.com and registration forms contact Kathryn @ kathryn@cyclepottery.com 413-219-9594.

Info Session Feb 25

Montessori Middle School Information Session. What’s different about a Montessori middle school? Would it be a good fit for my adolescent? Come learn the answers to these and other questions on Thursday, February 25 at 5pm at the Edwards Public Library, Southampton. Corey Hadden, middle school teacher, will discuss adolescent development and how the Montessori middle school curriculum supports the student at this critical point in their development through challenging academics, a focus on exploring identity and purpose, and opportunities to contribute to the larger community. The Montessori School of Northampton’s middle school program will open in September 2016. For more information: northamptonmontessori.org or 413-586-4538.

Our Place Summercamp gets kids out of the house and into nature. For 5 days campers hike, climb, wade and swim “our place”: the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck biome. These activities aren’t just “fun”—they’re designed to increase camper’s perceptual abilities, stimulate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep and lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. Campers go from site to site—mountains, forests, brooks, industrial brownfields, you name it—enjoying an adventurous, collaborative, inquiry-based investigation into the mysteries of the bios (life) that is where we live: our place! info@biocitizen.org

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 13th, 2016, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE. Take advantage of our Early Rate by signing your camp/program today!

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
February 13-19, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for February 6th-12th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Winter birdwatching provides a way to participate in important citizen science projects! Through Mass Audubon, families can learn about and report data on numerous bird species found in New England. While some of the species included in Mass Audubon’s resources for reporting bird sightings focus on summertime species, there are a great many birds found in wintertime who can be included as well – meaning that families have access to lots of wildlife-related citizen science opportunities during the colder months!

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families Event

Feb 13

Saturday Morning Music Party: Sat., Feb 13, 10am-12noon in Easthampton! Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, families can craft handmade valentine’s with the Easthampton Family Center while enjoying a new performance with our special guests, Scotty Swan Puppet Co. After the breakfast, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Bulletin Board

Home School Sale

Happy Valentine’s Day from Oak Meadow! From Feb. 1 to 14 enjoy 15% off their flexible, progressive homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12. Use independently or enroll in their teacher-supported distance learning school. The student-centered, nature-based curriculum fosters creativity and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. High school students can take charge of their own learning thanks to options such as life experience credit, independent study, and dual enrollment. Visit their Bookstore to save 15% on all items, including the new digital curriculum option. It’s not too early to plan for the next school year. Ready for a change now? You can start any time.

Feb 4

To Catch a…Slice? A Pizza Party with Varian Johnson at the Odyssey Bookshop, Thursday, February 4th at 6pm. Come nosh on free pizza with Varian Johnson, awesome author of the wonderfully diverse and action-packed To Catch a Cheat, the sequel to the popular Great Greene Heist. Johnson will give you the scoop on all the scheming in his new novel starring middle school mastermind and con-man Jackson Greene and his gang of talented friends while you munch on the best school lunch there is: PIZZA! There will be giveaways and a raffle to win copies of The Great Greene Heist! This event is appropriate for ages 8 and up! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., South Hadley, MA. Email RSVP to kids@odysseybks.com.

Feb 6

Sunnyside Presents: “February Fiesta!” Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Latin Grammy-Winner Mister G! “Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar…Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” – The Washington Post. Come dance, decorate a maraca, and eat pizza with your friends! Join Sunnyside on Saturday February 6th from 10:00am-12noon at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine Street, Florence, MA). Tickets $8 per person ($25 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. www.sunnysidekids.org

Info Session Feb 6

Montessori Middle School Information Session. What’s different about a Montessori middle school? Would it be a good fit for my adolescent? Come learn the answers to these and other questions on Saturday, February 6 at 10:30am in the Community Room at Lilly Library in Florence. Corey Hadden, middle school teacher, will discuss adolescent development and how the Montessori middle school curriculum supports the student at this critical point in their development through challenging academics, a focus on exploring identity and purpose, and opportunities to contribute to the larger community. The Montessori School of Northampton’s middle school program will open in September 2016. For more information: northamptonmontessori.org or 413-586-4538.

Feb 6

This Saturday, February 6, from 10am-4pm join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and First Book for Friendiversay, a celebration of friendship and reading! Free Admission! Meet and have your photo taken with costume characters Elephant and Piggie. Enjoy art making, films, storytimes and three galleries of inspiring picture book art. Pack a picnic lunch or enjoy food from Foley’s Franks. Every child will receive a free Elephant and Piggie book while supplies last. For more information or to view the day’s schedule visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1126. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is located at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst, MA.

Open House: Feb 7

Birds of Prey! — Sunday, February 7th, 1-4pm: The Center School’s Admissions Open House featuring a live birds of prey presentation. All are welcome to join the Center School for the annual Birds of Prey Open House. From 1pm-2pm Tom Ricardi, internationally renowned raptor rehabilitator will give a presentation with live birds of prey. See eagles, hawks, owls, falcons and more. Then, from 2pm-4pm all classrooms will be open and teachers will be leading bird-related activities: build nests, paint eggs, make bird masks, dissect owl pellets and more. Meet teachers, parents and students and learn about what makes the Center School special. Light refreshments served. This event is free and open to the public. For more info visit centerschool.net

Full Moon Girls: Enlivening and deepening girls’ connection to themselves, community and the natural world. At Full Moon Girls, girls gather together with strong women mentors to play, explore, challenge their edges, and learn new skills. This program nourishes the individual and cultivates an environment for growth, leadership, and resilience. Girls play games, build friction fires, learn wild edibles, engage in storytelling, gain wilderness skills, make trusting friendships, learn songs, and more! Fridays weekly in Conway, Feb 5-May 27,9:30-3:30. Girls 9-15. $55-75/day. Saturdays monthly in Montague, Jan 30-Jun 4, 9:30-2:30. Girls 7-15. $45-75/day. Scholarships available! Contact us at FullMoonGirlsInfo@gmail.com or 413-367-6191.

Feb 13

WinterFest Amherst 2016 is the best family entertainment value of the winter! Saturday, February 13, from 1-6pm, Cherry Hill Golf Course, North Amherst. If there’s no snow we’ll make snow! Featuring a Chili Cookoff Competition, Best in Snow Dog Show, snow sculpting contest, golf competitions, Mobile Disk Golf Experience, sledding, wine and cheese tasting, Fat Track Bike Rides, horse drawn wagon rides, dancing, live music and more! The Cardboard Classic Sled Race invites everyone to bring a decorated old cardboard box to compete in this crowd-pleaser. Fireworks at 6pm! Families of 3+ just $20. For more information please follow on Facebook or visit www.cherryhillgolf.org. Presenting Sponsor: Integrity Development and Construction.

Feb 13-21

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun school vacation week programs from Feb 13-Feb 21. Explore three giant hangars filled with over 80 aircraft and experience the wonders of flight. A variety of activities will be offered daily including hands-on Build and Fly Challenges, open Cockpit Experiences aboard real aircraft, Aircraft Quests, and more! The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will also be open daily between 11am-3pm. Additional activities are scheduled for the following days: Feb 13– Open Cockpit; Feb 15– Aeromodeling Workshop; Feb 16– The Great Paper Airplane Contest; Feb 17– Nose Art Design Workshop; Feb 18– Kites in Flight Workshop; Feb 19– LEGO Flying Machine Contest. Visit www.neam.org for more information. Windsor Locks, CT.

Feb 15-19

Puppet Festival February 15-19 at the Springfield Museums. This school vacation, join the Springfield Museums for their Puppet Festival, featuring the region’s finest puppet ensembles. Performances include a mashup of Little Red Riding Hood and the Gingerbread Man by Barefoot Puppets, and shows by Wayne Martin’s Puppets and Puppet Showplace Theater, among others. There’s also live animal demonstrations and plenty of hands-on art and science activities, all free with museum admission! And don’t miss Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs, an exhibit that gets to the “furry facts” about man’s best friend. For information, visit springfieldmuseums.org.

Feb 15-19

The Art Garden has invited five regional artists to their studio for a fun and creative February Vacation Program. Visiting artists will do morning workshops in mosaic, fiber arts, paper cutting, printmaking & make-your-own-scratch cards! Afternoons are dedicated to mixed media studio projects. Program runs Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls. Extra hours available. Ages 7-17+ welcome. The Art Garden fosters a culture of inclusion with instruction tailored to meet the needs of all ages. Registration is required. Cost is $325 for the full week. Sibling discounts and financial assistance are available. Individual days possible if space permits. Call 413-625-2782 or email csartgarden@gmail.com to register.

Feb 15-19 & Mar 7-11

February & March CyclePottery Vacation Camps are open for registration! Campers will learn how to use a potter’s wheel to throw functional stoneware forms and handbuild with graphic artist Amber Bartosz. New to the camps: Students will glaze on the the final day! Sessions are: Feb. 15th-19th & March 7th-11th, 9am-3pm, 6 students max, Ages 9+, Fee $450. 10% discount if paid in full by Feb. 8th or Feb. 22nd. CyclePottery is located at 225 Nonotuck Street in Northampton, MA. For more info visit www.CyclePottery.com and registration forms contact Kathryn @ kathryn@cyclepottery.com 413-219-9594.

Our Place Summercamp gets kids out of the house and into nature. For 5 days campers hike, climb, wade and swim “our place”: the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck biome. These activities aren’t just “fun”—they’re designed to increase camper’s perceptual abilities, stimulate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep and lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. Campers go from site to site—mountains, forests, brooks, industrial brownfields, you name it—enjoying an adventurous, collaborative, inquiry-based investigation into the mysteries of the bios (life) that is where we live: our place! info@biocitizen.org

MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 13th, 2016, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE. Take advantage of our Early Rate by signing your camp/program today!

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
February 6th-12th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 30th-February 5th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“[Last year] was the first year my three year old participated in the Valentine’s Day swap & we had a blast making and receiving our cards in the mail. This site truly enhances what western Massachusetts is all about community and our great state!” – Summer Mikaitis (Pittsfield, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families 8th Annual
Handmade Valentine Swap

Deadline to sign up: Jan 30.

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past eight years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again!

Support Hilltown Families with Your Vote!

Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon!

Hilltown Families is celebrating 10 years! — TEN YEARS!!! Celebrate with us by casting your vote for Hilltown Families as BEST BLOG in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2016! BEST BLOG is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/best-of

Bulletin Board

Accepting applications for fall 2016. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

Jan 30

Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs Exhibit Opening Celebration Saturday, January 30 10am-5pm at Springfield Museums. Ever wonder how wolves transformed into our favorite furry companions? Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs is a fascinating look at the history, biology and evolution of man’s best friend. The exhibit opens Saturday January 30 at the Springfield Museums with full day of family fun, including a magic show by Greg McAdams and his furry sidekick Axel, plus animal demonstrations by Rae Griffiths of Teaching Creatures, and themed art and science activities. For more information, visit springfieldmuseums.org

Open House: Jan 30

The Common School: Community, collaboration, social justice, intrinsic motivation, deep understanding, diversity, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House on Saturday, January 30, from 10am-12noon. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 120 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Open House: Jan 30

Amherst Montessori School will host an Open House for parents on Saturday, January 30 from 10am-12noon. Meet teachers and administrators, tour their beautiful new school in South Amherst, and learn about the Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. AMS programs feature thoughtfully-prepared classrooms to support the child’s development, and a curriculum that integrates music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE, Spanish, and more. January’s Open House will also offer an elementary level parent panel for interested families. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

Begins Feb 1

Meadowedge Art for Children in Bernardston begin their next session of classes and events on Feb 1-May 23, with an additional Tuesday class for 8-11 years old, and a new Preschool Program for 3-5 year olds on Saturday mornings! For homeschoolers, there are private and small group lessons. Along with lots of drawing, there are many media to explore: clay hand building, stone carving, felting, tie dyeing, batik, doll making, fairy and creature houses, wood projects, game design, carving and printing, glass and ceramic mosaics, mandala drawing, book making, & collage. Summer Arts/Swim workshops start in June with information and signups available February 13. For more info: www.meadowedgeart.org; cfulton@meadowedgeart.com; 413-219-7807.

Home School Sale

Happy Valentine’s Day from Oak Meadow! From Feb. 1 to 14 enjoy 15% off their flexible, progressive homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12. Use independently or enroll in their teacher-supported distance learning school. The student-centered, nature-based curriculum fosters creativity and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. High school students can take charge of their own learning thanks to options such as life experience credit, independent study, and dual enrollment. Visit their Bookstore to save 15% on all items, including the new digital curriculum option. It’s not too early to plan for the next school year. Ready for a change now? You can start any time.

Expanded caregiver-and-me schedule beginning soon at The Center Dance Studio in Amherst! Now offered three times weekly, Garden of Verses provides a gentle, joyful introduction to creative movement to babies/toddlers (ages 0-5) & their caregivers. Using imagery, rhyme & song, children are guided through foundational movement patterns that promote kinesthetic awareness, coordination & focus. Storybook pages spring to life as children reimagine timeless classics & embody beloved characters; props, instruments & costumes enhance the magic. How hungry is your little caterpillar? Join Garden of Verses to find out. For more info visit visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main Street. Amherst, MA. 413-687-7953.

Feb 6

Sunnyside Presents: “February Fiesta!” Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Latin Grammy-Winner Mister G! “Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar…Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” – The Washington Post. Come dance, decorate a maraca, and eat pizza with your friends! Join Sunnyside on Saturday February 6th from 10:00am-12noon at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine Street, Florence, MA). Tickets $8 per person ($25 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. www.sunnysidekids.org

Feb 4

To Catch a…Slice? A Pizza Party with Varian Johnson at the Odyssey Bookshop, Thursday, February 4th at 6pm. Come nosh on free pizza with Varian Johnson, awesome author of the wonderfully diverse and action-packed To Catch a Cheat, the sequel to the popular Great Greene Heist. Johnson will give you the scoop on all the scheming in his new novel starring middle school mastermind and con-man Jackson Greene and his gang of talented friends while you munch on the best school lunch there is: PIZZA! There will be giveaways and a raffle to win copies of The Great Greene Heist! This event is appropriate for ages 8 and up! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., South Hadley, MA. Email RSVP to kids@odysseybks.com.

Info Session Feb 6

Montessori Middle School Information Session. What’s different about a Montessori middle school? Would it be a good fit for my adolescent? Come learn the answers to these and other questions on Saturday, February 6 at 10:30am in the Community Room at Lilly Library in Florence. Corey Hadden, middle school teacher, will discuss adolescent development and how the Montessori middle school curriculum supports the student at this critical point in their development through challenging academics, a focus on exploring identity and purpose, and opportunities to contribute to the larger community. The Montessori School of Northampton’s middle school program will open in September 2016. For more information: northamptonmontessori.org or 413-586-4538.

Open House: Feb 7

Birds of Prey! — Sunday, February 7th, 1-4pm: The Center School’s Admissions Open House featuring a live birds of prey presentation. All are welcome to join the Center School for the annual Birds of Prey Open House. From 1pm-2pm Tom Ricardi, internationally renowned raptor rehabilitator will give a presentation with live birds of prey. See eagles, hawks, owls, falcons and more. Then, from 2pm-4pm all classrooms will be open and teachers will be leading bird-related activities: build nests, paint eggs, make bird masks, dissect owl pellets and more. Meet teachers, parents and students and learn about what makes the Center School special. Light refreshments served. This event is free and open to the public. For more info visit centerschool.net

Full Moon Girls: Enlivening and deepening girls’ connection to themselves, community and the natural world. At Full Moon Girls, girls gather together with strong women mentors to play, explore, challenge our edges, and learn new skills. This program nourishes the individual and cultivates an environment for growth, leadership, and resilience. Girls play games, build friction fires, learn wild edibles, engage in storytelling, gain wilderness skills, make trusting friendships, learn songs, and more! Fridays weekly in Conway, Feb 5-May 27,9:30-3:30. Girls 9-15. $55-75/day. Saturdays monthly in Montague, Jan 30-Jun 4, 9:30-2:30. Girls 7-15. $45-75/day. Scholarships available! Contact us at FullMoonGirlsInfo@gmail.com or 413-367-6191.

Feb 13

Saturday Morning Music Party: Sat., Feb 13, 10am-12noon in Easthampton! Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, families can craft handmade valentine’s with the Easthampton Family Center while enjoying a new performance with our special guests, Scotty Swan Puppet Co. After the breakfast, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 13th, 2016, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE. Take advantage of our Early Rate by signing your camp/program today!

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
January 30th-February 5th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: February 2016

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
February 2016

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of February. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale/Peru, Mount Washington, Monterey, North Berkshire, Pittsfield, Washington, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 23rd-29th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has provided us with a place to find events, read thought provoking articles, and linked us to local resources. I love this website! Thanks so much!” – Melissa Power-Greene (Northampton, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Support Hilltown Families with Your Vote!

Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon! Vote today!

Hilltown Families is celebrating 10 years! — TEN YEARS!!! Celebrate with us by casting your vote for Hilltown Families as BEST BLOG in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2016! BEST BLOG is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/best-of

Hilltown Families 8th Annual
Handmade Valentine Swap

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past eight years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again!

Bulletin Board

Starting Jan 21

Piti Theatre Co. to create Youth Troupe in Shelburne Falls! Learn new skills, make new friends and get ready to be in a play about how children lived around here 100 years ago, “Olde Coleraine: A Musical Hilltown History” at Piti’s SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival, March 20th at Memorial Hall. Youth Troupe is for ages 7-12, starting January 21st at Shelburne Falls Yoga. Adults, teens, and younger children who would like to participate as actors or in other ways should also get in touch. No experience required. Other Piti classes include “Sing and Dance in French” and “Soapstone Carving.” More at www.ptco.org/classes, call 413-625-6569, or jonathan@ptco.org.

Open House: Jan 23

Montessori School of NorthamptonVisit the Montessori School of Northampton on Saturday, January 23 from 10:30am-12noon, for an open house highlighting the Montessori science curriculum for students ages 2 through 14! All parents of toddler, preschool, elementary and middle school students interested in September 2016 admission are strongly encouraged to attend. Families will have an opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers and speak with the Director of Admissions and the Head of School, and learn about all the school’s programs, including the new middle school opening in September 2016. Snow date will be Saturday, January 30. For information, please call 413-586-4538 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org

Open House: Jan 23

Smith College Campus School Open House: Prospective kindergarten through sixth grade students and their parents are invited to an open house on Saturday, January 23, from 9:30-11am at the school (33 Prospect Street) in Northampton, MA. Explore classrooms and meet teachers, staff and parents. For more information contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or www.smith.edu/sccs.

Open House: Jan 23

Looking for a thoughtful approach to school? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Learn more at their winter open house, 10am to 12noon on Saturday, January 23rd. Speak with current teachers, parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All ages are welcome! 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-584-3198. www.hartsbrook.org

Open House: Jan 23

Open House! Nonotuck Community School. Jan. 23, Sat. 10am-12:30pm. Come learn about Nonotuck’s early childhood program for children 15 months-5 years. Tours for grown-ups and activities for children. Applications are being accepted for summer/September. Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. Open 7:30am–5:30pm. Find out why Nonotuck has been serving the Northampton community for 40 years! Conveniently located at 221 Riverside Dr., Florence in Northampton. For more information visit www.nonotuck.org or contact them at 413-586-5996 or info@nonotuck.org.

Jan 24

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, January 24, with presentations beginning at 1pm. 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. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

Begins Jan 27

Pittsfield, MA – Winter/Spring enrollment! Join UBU Theater’s Middle and High School Teen theater programs at the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires. No auditions! Just bring commitment and curiosity to explore theater through acting, improvisation, theater games, voice and movement, devising, ensemble work, scenes, monologues, plays. Includes 2 final performances. Starts January 27th, Monday’s and Wednesday’s. High School 3-4:30pm, Middle School 5:30-7pm. Register www.bgcberkshires.org. 16 Melville St. Pittsfield, MA. 413-448-8258. $10 Club membership plus $10 activity fee. Homeschoolers welcome. Alternatively, contact UBU Theater directly for individualized homeschool groups at ubutheater@icloud.com.

Open House: Jan 30

Amherst Montessori School will host an Open House for parents on Saturday, January 30 from 10am-12noon. Meet teachers and administrators, tour their beautiful new school in South Amherst, and learn about the Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. AMS programs feature thoughtfully-prepared classrooms to support the child’s development, and a curriculum that integrates music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE, Spanish, and more. January’s Open House will also offer an elementary level parent panel for interested families. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

Open House: Jan 30

The Common School: Community, collaboration, social justice, intrinsic motivation, deep understanding, diversity, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their winter Open House on Saturday, January 30, from 10am-12noon. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 120 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Jan 30

Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs Exhibit Opening Celebration Saturday, January 30 10am-5pm at Springfield Museums. Ever wonder how wolves transformed into our favorite furry companions? Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs is a fascinating look at the history, biology and evolution of man’s best friend. The exhibit opens Saturday January 30 at the Springfield Museums with full day of family fun, including a magic show by Greg McAdams and his furry sidekick Axel, plus animal demonstrations by Rae Griffiths of Teaching Creatures, and themed art and science activities. For more information, visit springfieldmuseums.org

Begins Feb 1

Meadowedge Art for Children in Bernardston begin their next session of classes and events on Feb 1-May 23, with an additional Tuesday class for 8-11 years old, and a new Preschool Program for 3-5 year olds on Saturday mornings! For homeschoolers, there are private and small group lessons. Along with lots of drawing, there are many media to explore: clay hand building, stone carving, felting, tie dyeing, batik, doll making, fairy and creature houses, wood projects, game design, carving and printing, glass and ceramic mosaics, mandala drawing, book making, & collage. Summer Arts/Swim workshops start in June with information and signups available February 13. For more info: www.meadowedgeart.org; cfulton@meadowedgeart.com; 413-219-7807.

Open House: Feb 7

Birds of Prey! — Sunday, February 7th, 1-4pm: The Center School’s Admissions Open House featuring a live birds of prey presentation. All are welcome to join the Center School for the annual Birds of Prey Open House. From 1pm-2pm Tom Ricardi, internationally renowned raptor rehabilitator will give a presentation with live birds of prey. See eagles, hawks, owls, falcons and more. Then, from 2pm-4pm all classrooms will be open and teachers will be leading bird-related activities: build nests, paint eggs, make bird masks, dissect owl pellets and more. Meet teachers, parents and students and learn about what makes the Center School special. Light refreshments served. This event is free and open to the public. For more info visit centerschool.net

Accepting applications for fall 2016. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
January 23rd-29th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday Morning Music Party with Hilltown Families & Flywheel During Easthampton WinterFest

Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids!  Beginning the series with a New Year’s Day Music Party that was our best party to date, we will be continuing on Saturday, February 13 during Easthampton WinterFest, from 10am-12noon at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton.

During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, families can craft handmade valentine’s with the Easthampton Family Center while enjoying a new performance with our special guests, Scotty Swan Puppet Co. After the breakfast, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party!

These Morning Music Parties are a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, 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! Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 16th-22nd, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Join us for our 8th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! Here’s what one of our participants had to say last year about the swap: “I participated in this swap last year for the first time. I LOVED making the Valentine’s for my list of folks. I am not usually very excited about the mail but this event made me excited for the mail to come. This is such an uplifting way to celebrate a day that can be lonely sometimes. Thank you for this activity. Count me in again!” – Carla D. (Chicopee)

Suggest Event
If 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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Support Hilltown Families with Your Vote!

Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon! Vote today!

Hilltown Families is celebrating 10 years! — TEN YEARS!!! Celebrate with us by casting your vote for Hilltown Families as BEST BLOG in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2016! BEST BLOG is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/best-of

Hilltown Families 8th Annual
Handmade Valentine Swap

Deadline to Sign-Up: Jan 30, 2016

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past eight years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again!

Bulletin Board

Open House: Jan 14

Lander-Grinspoon Academy, (LGA) 257 Prospect Street, Northampton, is hosting an Open House on Thursday, January 14 from 9:00am -10:30am. LGA is committed to the intellectual, emotional, social, ethical, and spiritual development of its students. Its emphasis on community, culture, and social justice encourages children of all ages to become independent thinkers, as well as caring and responsible citizens of the world. LGA’s talented, dedicated faculty makes sure that students are seen — and celebrated — as the individual young people they are. LGA welcomes families from all Jewish traditions and backgrounds, including interfaith families. Generous financial aid and tuition incentives available. More info: glansky@landergrinspoon.org.

Open House: Jan 20

Montessori Middle School Information Session. What’s different about a Montessori middle school? Would it be a good fit for my adolescent? Come learn the answers to these and other questions on Wednesday, January 20 at 3:30pm at the Smith College Campus Center Room 204. Corey Hadden, middle school teacher, will discuss adolescent development and how the Montessori middle school curriculum supports the student at this critical point in their development through challenging academics, a focus on exploring identity and purpose, and opportunities to contribute to the larger community. The Montessori School of Northampton’s middle school program will open in September 2016. For more information: northamptonmontessori.org or 413-586-4538.

Starting Jan 21

Piti Theatre Co. to create Youth Troupe in Shelburne Falls! Learn new skills, make new friends and get ready to be in a play about how children lived around here 100 years ago, “Olde Coleraine: A Musical Hilltown History” at Piti’s SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival, March 20th at Memorial Hall. Youth Troupe is for ages 7-12, starting January 21st at Shelburne Falls Yoga. Adults, teens, and younger children who would like to participate as actors or in other ways should also get in touch. No experience required. Other Piti classes include “Sing and Dance in French” and “Soapstone Carving.” More at www.ptco.org/classes, call 413-625-6569, or jonathan@ptco.org.

Open House: Jan 23

Looking for a thoughtful approach to school? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Learn more at their winter open house, 10 am to 12noon on Saturday, January 23rd. Speak with current teachers, parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All ages are welcome! 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-584-3198. www.hartsbrook.org

Open House: Jan 23

Smith College Campus School Open House: Prospective kindergarten through sixth grade students and their parents are invited to an open house on Saturday, January 23, from 9:30-11am at the school (33 Prospect Street) in Northampton, MA. Explore classrooms and meet teachers, staff and parents. For more information contact the admission office at 413-585-3270 or www.smith.edu/sccs.

Open House: Jan 24

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Open House for interested families on Sunday, January 24, with presentations beginning at 1pm. 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. Academy students love school. Shouldn’t everyone? Details at www.charlemont.org.

Open House: Jan 30

Amherst Montessori School will host an Open House for parents on Saturday, January 30 from 10am-12noon. Meet teachers and administrators, tour their beautiful new school in South Amherst, and learn about the Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. AMS programs feature thoughtfully-prepared classrooms to support the child’s development, and a curriculum that integrates music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE, Spanish, and more. January’s Open House will also offer an elementary level parent panel for interested families. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
January 16th-22nd, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

New Year’s Resolution: Volunteering with Your Family

New Year’s Resolution: Volunteering

Volunteers help pack bags of food at a Brown Bag: Food for Elders distribution location.

Each day, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts relies on the hard work and dedication of our volunteers that share our vision of a Western Massachusetts where no one goes hungry and everyone has access to healthy food. Their tireless work and generous support are just one of the many “ingredients” in the recipe to end hunger.
With the need for emergency food in our region continuing to grow, it takes many hands — all working together — to help feed our neighbors in need. Read the rest of this entry »

Show Your Support for Hilltown Families: Vote for Us!

Hilltown Families: BEST BLOG
Vote for Us by Feb. 3rd!

Deadline to cast your votes is 12noon, Feb 3rd.

Hilltown Families is celebrating 10 years! — TEN YEARS!!! Celebrate with us by casting your vote for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2016!

Best Blog is listed under the
Information Age
category, last page of the poll. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)?

Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 3rd.

Spread the word & share the ❤ love!

Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/best-of

ABOUT HILLTOWN FAMILIES: Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for January 9th-15th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families keeps us busy doing all sorts of fun and amazing things every weekend… and there’s no time left for winter blues!” – Erin Klett (Greenfield, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families 8th Annual
Handmade Valentine Swap

Deadline to Sign-Up: Jan 30, 2016

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past eight years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again!

Support Hilltown Families with Your Vote!

Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon! Vote today!

Hilltown Families is celebrating 10 years! — TEN YEARS!!! Celebrate with us by casting your vote for Hilltown Families as BEST BLOG in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2016! BEST BLOG is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/best-of

Bulletin Board

Jan 10

Interested in filmmaking? Perhaps you have a friend or family member that is and you need to find them a unique holiday gift! In this new one-day intensive Filmmaker Workshop at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on January 10th each student will learn basic aspects and best practices of production, editing, and how to use websites like YouTube to upload and share work. The class is ideal for artists, students, communications professionals, beginning filmmakers, and anyone interested in DIY video. In today’s world, entire films are shot on iPhones, edited on laptops, and then shared to a worldwide audience with websites like YouTube. Now learn how to be a part of it! For more info and to sign up, visit: www.lindsayvandyke.com

Open House: Jan 14

Lander-Grinspoon Academy, (LGA) 257 Prospect Street, Northampton, is hosting an Open House on Thursday, January 14 from 9:00am -10:30am. LGA is committed to the intellectual, emotional, social, ethical, and spiritual development of its students. Its emphasis on community, culture, and social justice encourages children of all ages to become independent thinkers, as well as caring and responsible citizens of the world. LGA’s talented, dedicated faculty makes sure that students are seen — and celebrated — as the individual young people they are. LGA welcomes families from all Jewish traditions and backgrounds, including interfaith families. Generous financial aid and tuition incentives available. More info: glansky@landergrinspoon.org.

Open House: Jan 30

Amherst Montessori School will host an Open House for parents on Saturday, January 30 from 10am-12noon. Meet teachers and administrators, tour their beautiful new school in South Amherst, and learn about the Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. AMS programs feature thoughtfully-prepared classrooms to support the child’s development, and a curriculum that integrates music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE, Spanish, and more. January’s Open House will also offer an elementary level parent panel for interested families. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your school, open house, vacation camp, class, community event, open enrollment, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
January 9th-15th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

8th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap for Western MA Families

Hilltown Families 8th Annual
Community Handmade Valentine Swap

Hilltown Families 8th Annual Community Handmade Valentine Swap! Free to sign up and open to all in Western MA. Deadline to sign up: Jan 30th. Join us!

It’s that time of the year again! For the past eight years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. Sign up below!  It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts!

A handmade valentine swap gives local families an opportunity to be creative together while connecting with other families in Western Massachusetts.  Through the swap, participating families mail out handmade valentines to ten assigned addresses, and in return, they receive handmade valentines from ten other participating families.  The cards can be handmade by any combination of child and adult, so if you’re kids aren’t completely up to the task, or if an adult would like to make their own design, there’s flexibility.  All are welcomed!

Deadline to sign up (below) is Saturday, January 30th. On Monday (2/1/16), you will be emailed your assigned names/address of participants to mail your handmade valentines to.  Everyone is kindly requested to mail your valentines off by Feb. 7th.

If interested in participating, the information below must be filled out and submitted by Saturday, January 30th.  If you have multiple children and would like each one to receive their own list of families to swap with, please register each person separately. Click here to sign up!

Suggested Events for January 2nd-8th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families keeps us connected with all the amazing educational and cultural activities and resources that abound here in W. Mass and curates them in a way to let us know just what’s out there for the many varied interests of our young families and communities,while creating networks of support and growth.” – Kara Kitchen (Plainfield, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families’ Events: New Year’s Day!

Join us on New Year’s Day at Flywheel in Easthampton from 10am-12noon

Friday, Jan 1

On New Year’s Day (Jan 1), Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective 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, Friday, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages! Takes place at Flywheel in the old town in Easthampton, MA. Who needs night clubs when you have our Morning Dance Parties with Hilltown Families and Flywheel?! Save on the babysitter and dance the morning away! This event is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, 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! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

Bulletin Board

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your school, open house, vacation camp, class, community event, open enrollment, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
January 2nd-8th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: January 2016

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
January 2016

“I like the ability to see what is happening in the area. We have experienced many different and delightful events that I would not known of if I did not know about the [Hilltown Families] eNewsletter.” – Kathy Couch (East Otis, MA)

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of January. We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:

Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Hinsdale/Peru, Monterey, North Berkshire, Pittsfield, Washington, and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Ripple: Carrying the Ocean Inside

We Carry the Ocean Inside Us

A few days ago, when the East Branch of the Westfield River was shrouded in warm drizzly fog, it occurred to me that I was in a giant breathing lung. Every breath I inhaled was as wet as what I exhaled. My exposed skin was wet, too, with mist, and the tips of the wool threads of the sweater I wore held glistening beads of water that matched the droplets hanging from delicate branch tips.

Amphibians must feel this way, I reckoned, but even more so—for, unlike us warm-bloods, they breathe through their skins. I’ve walked with kids who reprimand other kids for picking up newts and frogs, because our skin oils clog the breath-pores of their cool, moist lung-bodies. That’s sensitivity, the kind that makes me hopeful. Whom ever is teaching these kids deserves a high five!

Way way back in time, about 390-360 million years ago, fish with gills and lungs crawled out of the water and onto land. It is hard to grasp such a length of time—or is it? Most of the colorful rocks that comprise the Westfield’s riverbed are about that old. Our lungs, the breath we’re breathing this very instant, can be traced back to these miraculous walking fish. Gills extract oxygen directly from water; somehow they managed to reverse the engineering of their gills, and created within them a sort of mini ocean, an inner sea, where atmospheric oxygen could be turned into sea-water: and that sea-water is our blood. Our lungs are 90% water, and our blood 80%. Somehow, the walking fishes brought the ocean onto land, by keeping it inside of themselves. And—think of the taste of sweat when it drips onto the tongue—that is exactly what we do today.  Read the rest of this entry »

Winter Classes, Auditions & Open Houses in Western MA

Suggested Events for December 26th, 2015-January 1st, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“We love Hilltown Families at our home because it provides us with resources for activities throughout the area, answers readers questions about various topics, and allows our family a chance to connect with other families in the area who have the same interest as we do!” -Victoria Valenti-Triggs (Shelburne Falls, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families’ Events: New Year’s Day!

Join us on New Year’s Day at Flywheel in Easthampton from 10am-12noon

Jan 1

On New Year’s Day (Jan 1), Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective 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, Friday, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages! Takes place at Flywheel in the old town in Easthampton, MA. Who needs night clubs when you have our Morning Dance Parties with Hilltown Families and Flywheel?! Save on the babysitter and dance the morning away! This event is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, 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! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

Bulletin Board

Jan 10

Interested in filmmaking? Perhaps you have a friend or family member that is and you need to find them a unique holiday gift! In this new one-day intensive Filmmaker Workshop at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on January 10th each student will learn basic aspects and best practices of production, editing, and how to use websites like YouTube to upload and share work. The class is ideal for artists, students, communications professionals, beginning filmmakers, and anyone interested in DIY video. In today’s world, entire films are shot on iPhones, edited on laptops, and then shared to a worldwide audience with websites like YouTube. Now learn how to be a part of it! For more info and to sign up, visit: www.lindsayvandyke.com

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

CyclePottery in Florence announces the next 3 sessions of kids’ & teen/adult wheel throwing classes that run for 6 weeks each. First session begins January 6th. Sheilah Bolger has joined the studio to teach her own Handbuiling and Sculpting class for pre-teens. More special classes taught by guest Potters are soon to pop up. Are you an artist and would like to use the studio to Teach Your Own Class? Check out www.CyclePottery.com for full details. CyclePottery is now offering monthly studio rentals, ongoing drop-in Sunday Open Studios, and part-time or full-time private room rentals for professionals. As always, workshops, private lessons, special events, homeschool classes can be arranged! Contact Kathryn: kathryn@cyclepottery.com; 413-219-9594.

Winter/Spring enrollment is open! At The Center in Amherst, children spin stories from movement using classical and modern dance techniques. Sister duo Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special approach to teaching that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. Drop by their Open House on Thursday, January 7th from 5-6:30 PM. For more information visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. 321 Main Street. Amherst, MA. 413-687-7953.

Whole Children in Hadley, MA. Keep the kids moving this winter at Whole Children! Whole Children offers a wide range of after-school, weekend, and vacation enrichment programs for children and teens of all abilities, particularly those with special needs. The emphasis in all classes is on finding and celebrating children’s individual strengths, having fun, and making and sustaining friendships. From Kung Fu to Winter Sports, Dating 101 to Science Club, Whole Children has winter fun covered. Winter session classes begin January 11. Register for classes at www.wholechildren.org or call 413-585-8010. Whole Children is located in the Inclusive Community Center at 41 Russell St., Hadley, MA.

Vortex Dance Fitness Studio teaches a mix of jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, ballet, and modern dance. Classes focus on healthy body intelligence, increasing self-confidence, tolerance and support for all ability levels, developing calmness and ease to make friends more easily, strengthening balance, rhythm, and flexibility, and emphasizing cooperation over competition. Next session for ages 5-9 runs Friday, January 8-March 11 from 4-4:45pm. Next session for ages 10-15 runs Tuesdays, January 5-March 9 from 3:30-4:15pm. Discounts available when session is paid for in full. Located on the 2nd floor of the Eastworks Building in Suite 251 right above Riff’s Restaurant. For more info visit www.vortexdancestudio.com or call 413-727-1366.

Stone House Farm in Amherst has Vacation Day Programs offered from 9am-3pm during December school vacation: Monday, December 28 – Gingerbread Houses (grades 1-6); Tuesday and Wednesday, December 29 & 30 – Sewing Flannel PJ’s (2-day project for grades 4 & up); December 31 – Cooking New Year’s Eve Appetizers (grades 1-6). These classes are limited to 6 students each. Cost is $75 per day. Please see www.stonehousefarmbb.com or email candi@stonehousefarmbb.com for more information and to register.

Central Rock Gym is offering Climbing Vacation Programs during school breaks! Great for ages 7-13, their program focuses on climbing for all skill levels, and includes an emphasis on problem solving and team building initiatives. Throughout their week, children will have the opportunity to experiment with different types of climbing, engage in exciting games and group activities, and concludes with a pizza party on the final day. Email youth.crghadley@gmail.com for more information and to register. www.centralrockgym.com

Lui Collins' Upside Up MusicAll children are musical! Winter classes start January 12 in Ashfield, Shelburne Falls, Williamsburg & Online. Comfortable, welcoming. Meet other families and give yourself time to enjoy your child. No experience necessary. Music Together (birth-5) and Kids’ Jam (5-7) provide singing, large & small movement, singing games, and ear training exercises through play to prepare a child for a lifetime of musical expression. Tuition includes 2 CDs, Songbook. Music at Home family homeschool music curriculum for grades K-2 or 1-3 and siblings. Music at Home support materials include interactive videos with Lui Collins, making music accessible to all families regardless of parental musical experience. Information and registration at UpsideUpMusic.com

Apr 15 & 16

Save the Date. On April 15 and 16, 2016, the Massachusetts Sustainable Campuses and Communities Conference will come to Pioneer Valley. The public event connects grassroots, government, business, and education and features best practices. Call to Participate. Currently seeking speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and conference staff. Join hundreds who are moving sustainability forward. Info at www.MaSustainableCommunities.com.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your school, open house, vacation camp, class, community event, open enrollemnt, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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 26, 2015-January 1st, 2016

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | en Español

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 19th-25th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families helped me get out after I had my first baby and was feeling a bit isolated. Everyday there was a list of things on the website to help me connect with the community and other new mothers. Now I have two kids and never have trouble finding things to do as a family thanks to Hilltown Families.” – Erin Murphy (Sunderland, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families’ Events

Jan 1

Join us on New Year’s Day at Flywheel in Easthampton from 10am-12noon.

On the first day of 2016, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective 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, Friday, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and an awesome dance party for all ages! Takes place at Flywheel in the old town in Easthampton, MA. Who needs night clubs when you have our Morning Dance Parties with Hilltown Families and Flywheel?! Save on the babysitter and dance the morning away! This event is a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, 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! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

Bulletin Board

Dec 17-20

Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is a rather silly dog! PaintBox Theatre presents their third annual, all new, The Santa Show! Everyone deserves a Christmas present, but what about Santa? Mrs. Claus has the perfect idea: a doggie. In spite of the title, he’s not really a puppy: he’s a full-grown hound and very, very smart. Perfect for Santa! Hijinks will ensue. The Santa Show is at Northampton High School (380 Elm Street) on Thursday & Friday, December 17-18 at 7pm, and Saturday & Sunday, December 19-20 at 10:30am & 4pm. Thursday is 2 for 1 night, for teens who bring their favorite little kid(s). Tickets: $10 (general seating) at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. www.paintboxtheatre.com.

Dec Vac

Stone House Farm in Amherst has Vacation Day Programs offered from 9am-3pm during December school vacation: Monday, December 28 – Gingerbread Houses (grades 1-6); Tuesday and Wednesday, December 29 & 30 – Sewing Flannel PJ’s (2-day project for grades 4 & up); December 31 – Cooking New Year’s Eve Appetizers (grades 1-6). These classes are limited to 6 students each. Cost is $75 per day. Please see www.stonehousefarmbb.com or email candi@stonehousefarmbb.com for more information and to register.

Jan 10

Interested in filmmaking? Perhaps you have a friend or family member that is and you need to find them a unique holiday gift! In this new one-day intensive Filmmaker Workshop at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on January 10th each student will learn basic aspects and best practices of production, editing, and how to use websites like YouTube to upload and share work. The class is ideal for artists, students, communications professionals, beginning filmmakers, and anyone interested in DIY video. In today’s world, entire films are shot on iPhones, edited on laptops, and then shared to a worldwide audience with websites like YouTube. Now learn how to be a part of it! For more info and to sign up, visit: www.lindsayvandyke.com

Lui Collins' Upside Up MusicAll children are musical! Winter classes start January 12 in Ashfield, Shelburne Falls, Williamsburg & Online. Comfortable, welcoming. Meet other families and give yourself time to enjoy your child. No experience necessary. Music Together (birth-5) and Kids’ Jam (5-7) provide singing, large & small movement, singing games, and ear training exercises through play to prepare a child for a lifetime of musical expression. Tuition includes 2 CDs, Songbook. Music at Home family homeschool music curriculum for grades K-2 or 1-3 and siblings. Music at Home support materials include interactive videos with Lui Collins, making music accessible to all families regardless of parental musical experience. Information and registration at UpsideUpMusic.com

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

Central Rock Gym is offering Climbing Vacation Programs during school breaks! Great for ages 7-13, their program focuses on climbing for all skill levels, and includes an emphasis on problem solving and team building initiatives. Throughout their week, children will have the opportunity to experiment with different types of climbing, engage in exciting games and group activities, and concludes with a pizza party on the final day. Email youth.crghadley@gmail.com for more information and to register. www.centralrockgym.com

Apr 15 & 16

Save the Date. On April 15 and 16, 2016, the Massachusetts Sustainable Campuses and Communities Conference will come to Pioneer Valley. The public event connects grassroots, government, business, and education and features best practices. Call to Participate. Currently seeking speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and conference staff. Join hundreds who are moving sustainability forward. Info at www.MaSustainableCommunities.com.

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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 19th-25, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now

Read the rest of this entry »

New Year’s Day Morning Music Party with Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective

On the first day of 2016, Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective 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 with a morning music party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA.

During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, families can enjoy a performance with our special guests, Scotty Swan Puppet Co. & The Magic of Jeff P. After the breakfast, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon.” Start off the new year with a New Year’s Day Music Dance Party! Save on the babysitter and dance away on the first morning of the new year!

These Morning Music Parties are a fundraiser for both Flywheel & Hilltown Families, 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! Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 12th-18th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families always offers such a complete listing of fun and educational events in the area for all ages… One of the great resources that make living in Western Mass so family friendly. Thanks!” – Freja Joslin (Northampton, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Dec 11-13

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration marks the return of the light with a family show of music, dance, song and story to drive the dark away. Join revelers in a seaside village as they celebrate the return of their fisher folk at the winter solstice. Nautical songs and a sailors’ jig add to the seasonal revelries. Friday and Saturday Dec. 11 and 12 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2pm. The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. Tickets adults $12, seniors and children $10, (age four and under free). Families of four or five $40. Purchase tickets in advance at Jones Library in Amherst, Broadside Books in Northampton, World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield or at the door. More information and reservations at www.welcomeyule.org

Dec 11-13

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents its holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Always new and always sweet, follow Clara on her journey through the land of sweets. Featuring Jan Berkhard and Pablo Perez, of Carolina Ballet, as The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Local favorite Meghan Mangsen returns as Clara. And introducing Cain Coleman, of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance, as The Prince. Performs December 11-13 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and info: www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Dec 13

Come to the CyclePottery Holiday Open Studio and Paint Your Own Ornament, ready that day! Sunday, December 13th from 12noon-3pm. Parents, while your kid paints, get a massage upstairs in the private room for rent for therapists and the like! You can also see youth, teen and adult student work as well as learn about classes, workshops, camps starting the first week in January. Gift certificates for workshops/ lessons make great gifts too! Go to www.CyclePottery.com for more info and don’t forget to check out the latest work and news on the CyclePottery Facebook page!

Dec 13

Latke vs. Hamantashen Debate/Throw-Down and Chanukah Party on Sunday, December 13th from 5-7pm at Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton. CBI warmly welcomes everyone to attend a fun and festive Chanukah party to include a hilarious debate on the topic of whether the latke or hamantashen reigns supreme. The program will include a communal menorah lighting and singing and, of course, latkes! At 5pm, Refreshments, Chillin’ and Dreidel Spinnin’. At 5:30pm, Latke vs Hamantashen Debate or Songs and Stories for kids ages 2-6 with Felicia Sloin. At 6pm, Communal Menorah Lighting and Singing. At 6:30pm, Latkes and Other Treats. Suggested donation of $5 per person. Check out more here.

Dec 17-20

Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is a rather silly dog! PaintBox Theatre presents their third annual, all new, The Santa Show! Everyone deserves a Christmas present, but what about Santa? Mrs. Claus has the perfect idea: a doggie. In spite of the title, he’s not really a puppy: he’s a full-grown hound and very, very smart. Perfect for Santa! Hijinks will ensue. The Santa Show is at Northampton High School (380 Elm Street) on Thursday & Friday, December 17-18 at 7pm, and Saturday & Sunday, December 19-20 at 10:30am & 4pm. Thursday is 2 for 1 night, for teens who bring their favorite little kid(s). Tickets: $10 (general seating) at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. www.paintboxtheatre.com.

Dec 19

Trace the history of Emily Dickinson’s Christmas celebrations during A Dickensian Christmas with the Dickinsons on Saturday, December 19, at 11am, 1pm, and 2pm at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst. Evocative decorations, seasonal music, new objects, and the words of Emily Dickinson and her family will bring their Christmas experiences to life. A Museum guide will serve as host for this special holiday visit, which concludes with an intimate reading in The Evergreens from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a Dickinson favorite, by award-winning author and Dickens fan, Tony Abbott! Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for museum members, and $5 for students grades K-12. Purchase tickets at www.EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org or call 413-542-2034.

Dec Vac

Stone House Farm in Amherst has Vacation Day Programs offered from 9am-3pm during December school vacation: Monday, December 28 – Gingerbread Houses (grades 1-6); Tuesday and Wednesday, December 29 & 30 – Sewing Flannel PJ’s (2-day project for grades 4 & up); December 31 – Cooking New Year’s Eve Appetizers (grades 1-6). These classes are limited to 6 students each. Cost is $75 per day. Please see www.stonehousefarmbb.com or email candi@stonehousefarmbb.com for more information and to register.

Dec 12

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 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 12th at 4pm at Bowker Auditorium, UMass, in Amherst. 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 $8-$18. Information can be found at http://www.ACelticNutcracker.com

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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 12-18, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Family Volunteer Day with Hilltown Families & The Food Bank in the New Year

Winter months put further strain on struggling households

On a chilly December morning, Volunteers at a Mobile Food Bank distribution in the north end of Springfield finish setting up, as they await the arrival of hundreds of individuals in need of assistance. — In partnership with Hilltown Families, The Food Bank will be hosting our January Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, January 16 from 9 – 11 a.m. All ages are welcome, as families are invited to help prepare food to be distributed to our neighbors in need across Western Massachusetts.

As the days and nights grow colder in Western Massachusetts, we are reminded of the thousands of low-income families that will be forced to choose between heat and hunger this winter season. High costs of heat will further strain the budgets of households already struggle to make ends meet, forcing them to turn to food pantries, soup kitchens and other community agencies to access emergency food. It most instances, these community agencies — many of which are experiencing a slump in donations following the holidays — find it increasing difficult to keep up with the high demand in the winter months.

In a recent report produced by Feeding America, it was determined that many families in Western Massachusetts that are struggling with food insecurity are already faced with crucial choices to keep food on the table. 61 percent reported choosing between paying for food and paying for utilities (such as heat and water). 59 percent reported having to make a choice between food and medicine/medical care. In addition, 53 percent reported choosing between paying for food and paying for housing. Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for December 5th-11th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families has been our family go-to place to know what’s going on in the community and find the fun… Most recently we had a chance to start listening to the radio show for children. We played the Hanukah show over and over and [they] BOTH loved it. As did I. Thank you so much!” – Liz Friedman (Northampton, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Service-Based Learning with Hilltown Families

Volunteering together as a family encourages quality time, increases communication, and provides opportunities for family members to be role models. In partnership with Hilltown Families, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts invites families to attend a Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, December 5, 9-11am, to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take action to help fight hunger. This month’s theme is “Holidays.” Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. 413-247-9738 x135. 97 North Hatfield Road, Hatfield, MA.Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden

Bulletin Board

Dec 5

Come see NY Times Bestselling & Newbery Honor author Grace Lin! Purchase the 4th and newest book in her award-winning Ling and Ting series and be served free* frozen yogurt by Sunnyside celebrity guests! A limited number of Grace’s other titles will also be available for purchase and autographing (come early). *A benefit for the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund (donations being accepted for yogurt), this is a unique opportunity to get a personalized, autographed book for the holidays! Saturday, December 5th from 10am to 12noon at GoBerry, 80 Main Street, Northampton, MA.

Open House: Dec 5

Collective Copies Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 5, 1-5 pm at 71 S. Pleasant St. in Amherst. The public is invited to the festivities! So much more than copies, Collective Copies truly has something for everyone–food, drink, readings, a book sale, and art. The Collective is featuring members of their unique local co-op community. Guests can sample their Equal Exchange coffee and chocolate and other co-op produced treats. Stephanie Kraft will be reading from Emancipated Women at 2pm and author David Bollier will read from his new book Patterns of Commoning at 3pm. Steve Strimer will speak on self-publishing. Kids of all ages can try their hand at scratch foam, a simple printmaking technique, with Nancy Haver (1-2). Levellers Press titles will be on sale. www.collectivecopies.com amherst@collectivecopies.com

Open House: Dec 5

Rumpus! — Saturday, Dec. 5th, 10am-2pm: The Center School’s Admissions Open House and Enchanted Indoor Forest. All are welcome to the Center School campus for the annual Rumpus Open House and Yggdrasil Enchanted Indoor Forest. All classrooms will be open and teachers will be leading creative, nature-based, arts activities. Come explore Yggdrasil–the mighty oak tree from Norse mythology which houses 9 magical realms: spirit animal cave, transfiguration, archery, forest photoscape, dragon academy and more. Sweet, warm and savory foods will be available for purchase. Meet teachers, parents and students and learn about what makes the Center School special. All activities are free and open to the public. For more info visit centerschool.net.

Dec 5

Winter Fair on Saturday, December 5 from 10am-3pm at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, 1 Industrial Way, Easthampton. The Winter Fair at HCCPS is a fun and festive annual event which includes craft and gift-making for all ages, musical performances by the school chorus, a comprehensive selection of Scholastic books for sale and delicious homemade food. Come with your children and create gifts for family and friends, then stay for performances and some homemade treats! There is something for everyone at the Hilltown Winter Fair. For more information call the school at 413-529-7178 or check out their web site: www.hilltowncharter.org.

Dec 11-13

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration marks the return of the light with a family show of music, dance, song and story to drive the dark away. Join revelers in a seaside village as they celebrate the return of their fisher folk at the winter solstice. Nautical songs and a sailors’ jig add to the seasonal revelries. Friday and Saturday Dec. 11 and 12 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2pm. The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. Tickets adults $12, seniors and children $10, (age four and under free). Families of four or five $40. Purchase tickets in advance at Jones Library in Amherst, Broadside Books in Northampton, World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield or at the door. More information and reservations at www.welcomeyule.org

Dec 11-13

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents its holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Always new and always sweet, follow Clara on her journey through the land of sweets. Featuring Jan Berkhard and Pablo Perez, of Carolina Ballet, as The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Local favorite Meghan Mangsen returns as Clara. And introducing Cain Coleman, of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance, as The Prince. Performs December 11-13 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and info: www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Dec 12

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 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 12th at 4pm at Bowker Auditorium, UMass, in Amherst. 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 $8-$18. Information can be found at http://www.ACelticNutcracker.com

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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 5th-11th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closures | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Family Fun: December 2015

Berkshire County Highlights for Families:
December 2015

“We love that Hilltown Families keeps us updated on events in the larger area, in both the Berkshires and the Valley…We use the calendar section, the camp guide, the school guides, and much more.” – Caitlin Loverin (Pittsfield, MA)

Find out about community events and learning opportunities happening throughout Berkshire County for the month of December.

We’ll be adding to this list as the month progresses, so be sure to check back each week. Do you have an event you’d like to include in this list? Email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

To find out what’s happening throughout the four counties of Western MA, check our comprehensive list of Weekly Suggested Events, published every Thursday!

There you will also find our list of ongoing weekday playgroups, storyhours and events both in Berkshire County and throughout the region.


Berkshire Family Fun, a project of Hilltown Families, is sponsored in part by MASS MoCA:


Berkshire Family Fun is also supported in part by a grant from the Monterey, Northern Berkshire, Pittsfield and Windsor Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for November 28th – December 4th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Hilltown Families has allowed my family to participate in so many community events! Thank you all and Blessings of Peace and Love this Holiday Season.” – Susan Clark (Charlemont, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Giving Tuesday: Donate to Hilltown Families

As we celebrate our 10th year, we look ahead to the next decade of supporting education through community engagement with YOUR support! Make a tax-deductible donation to Hilltown Families today! – Hilltown Families is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

#GivingTuesday is the first Tuesday after Black Friday, a global day of generosity, when people around the world contribute to causes they believe in. Be a part of this international outburst of intentional giving by supporting a local organization that makes life richer for you, your family, and your community. With Valley Gives on hiatus this year, #GivingTuesday is the time to donate to the institutions that touch your life, including Hilltown Families! A gift to Hilltown Families, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, expands the work of hundreds of community organizations throughout the four counties of Western Massachusetts. Our award-winning website includes weekly listings and blog posts of community-based educational and service-based learning opportunities. The work of Hilltown Families helps connect other non-profit organizations to their community while supporting the interests and education of our community. To learn more about the vision & mission of Hilltown Families, check out this TEDx Talk by Hilltown Families founder, Sienna Wildfield.

Bulletin Board

Dec 2

At River Valley Co-op on December 2nd, 6:30-8pm: Finding the Money for Home Solar & Weatherization. In this workshop participants will discuss solar incentives, including the Mass Solarize Program and the low-cost Solar Loan Program. Participants will also learn about rebates and 0% loans to help pay for insulation, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, solar hot water heating, and much more. Learn how to create a more comfortable, healthier, and energy efficient home for all seasons! All workshops are free and everyone is welcome. Pre-registration is required. Call 413-584-2665 to reserve your spot today. River Valley Co-op is located at 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. www.rivervalleymarket.coop.

Dec 5

Come see NY Times Bestselling & Newbery Honor author Grace Lin! Purchase the 4th and newest book in her award-winning Ling and Ting series and be served free* frozen yogurt by Sunnyside celebrity guests! A limited number of Grace’s other titles will also be available for purchase and autographing (come early). *A benefit for the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund (donations being accepted for yogurt), this is a unique opportunity to get a personalized, autographed book for the holidays! Saturday, December 5th from 10am to 12noon at GoBerry, 80 Main Street, Northampton, MA.

Open House: Dec 5

Rumpus! — Saturday, Dec. 5th, 10am-2pm: The Center School’s Admissions Open House and Enchanted Indoor Forest. All are welcome to the Center School campus for the annual Rumpus Open House and Yggdrasil Enchanted Indoor Forest. All classrooms will be open and teachers will be leading creative, nature-based, arts activities. Come explore Yggdrasil–the mighty oak tree from Norse mythology which houses 9 magical realms: spirit animal cave, transfiguration, archery, forest photoscape, dragon academy and more. Sweet, warm and savory foods will be available for purchase. Meet teachers, parents and students and learn about what makes the Center School special. All activities are free and open to the public. For more info visit centerschool.net.

Dec 5

Collective Copies Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 5, 1-5 pm at 71 S. Pleasant St. in Amherst. The public is invited to the festivities! So much more than copies, Collective Copies truly has something for everyone–food, drink, readings, a book sale, and art. The Collective is featuring members of their unique local co-op community. Guests can sample their Equal Exchange coffee and chocolate and other co-op produced treats. Stephanie Kraft will be reading from Emancipated Women at 2pm and author David Bollier will read from his new book Patterns of Commoning at 3pm. Steve Strimer will speak on self-publishing. Kids of all ages can try their hand at scratch foam, a simple printmaking technique, with Nancy Haver (1-2). Levellers Press titles will be on sale. www.collectivecopies.com amherst@collectivecopies.com

Dec 5

Winter Fair on Saturday, December 5 from 10am-3pm at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, 1 Industrial Way, Easthampton. The Winter Fair at HCCPS is a fun and festive annual event which includes craft and gift-making for all ages, musical performances by the school chorus, a comprehensive selection of Scholastic books for sale and delicious homemade food. Come with your children and create gifts for family and friends, then stay for performances and some homemade treats! There is something for everyone at the Hilltown Winter Fair. For more information call the school at 413-529-7178 or check out their web site: www.hilltowncharter.org.

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
November 28-December 4, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Holiday Events for Families in Western MA: 2015

10 Black Friday Alternatives to the Mall in Western MA, 2015

10 Smart Black Friday Alternatives to the Mall
Friday, November 27th, 2015

The annual Moonlight Magic holiday stroll will be kicking off the holiday season in the village of Shelburne Falls on Black Friday! Stroll the Village with your family and enjoy local shopping and holiday fun!

In Deerfield from 9:30am-4:30pm
Opt-out of Black Friday chaos, and instead let Historic Deerfield be your destination for handmade, heartfelt giving in preparation for the holiday season. On the Day of Giving, every museum visitor will have the opportunity to handcraft a special gift using simple or natural materials. Historic trade demonstrations of paper marbling and redware pottery-making will provide inspiration for handcrafted gifts. Works by paper marblers Regina and Dan St. John and redware potter Stephen Earp will be available for purchase at the Museum Gift Shop and Bookstore.The Day of Giving kicks off the museum’s support of the Community Action Holiday Gift Program. Visitors can bring unwrapped gifts for children up to 18 years old until December 13. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street, ($)

In Sturbridge from 9:30am-5pm
Just in time for your holiday shopping, Old Sturbridge Village‘s Winter Market offers unique items from more than 30 juried craft vendors offering the finest hand-made treasures for the special people on your list. Marvel at diverse creations including pottery, paper goods, arts and crafts, treats for your pets, ornaments, gourmet foods, artisan jewelry, and gorgeous home accessories. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. (FREE Members, <$ Non-members, MARKET/SALE)

In Williamsburg from 10am-4pm
Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60s was glassblowing was raised to the level of art, lead by German artist, Hans Godo Frabel. Make your own glass ornament at the Snow Farm. No advance sign up necessary. Check in at the Hot Shop when you arrive to be placed on the list, do a little shopping or have lunch, then come back to the shop when it’s your turn. No experience necessary;ages 8 and up. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Road. ($$)

In Lee from 10am-4pm
May the force be with you at the Star Wars Marathon at the Lee Library. Bring your comfy soccer chair; bring lunch. At 10am: A New Hope (PG, 1977). At 12:15: The Empire Strikes Back (PG, 1980). At 2:30: Return of the Jedi (PG, 1983). Children under 12 must be supervised. Brown bag snacks and lunches welcome. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street. (FREE)

In Springfield from 10am-5pm
Celebrate the season and Dr. Seuss at the opening of “Seussian Holiday,” the Springfield Science Museum‘s sixth annual gingerbread exhibition and competition! See incredible creations by bakery shops, restaurants, schools, and area residents. The gingerbread creations will be displayed until January 3. There will also be festively decorated holiday trees, enchanting lights, and a backdrop of beautifully painted murals representing popular Seussian characters and stories in anticipation of the opening of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in fall 2016. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. ($$)

In Sunderland at 11am
The Forest Park Zoo’s “Zoo on the Go” program will give a special presentation at the Sunderland Public Library. Educators will bring a variety of zoo animals so children can see them up close and learn all about their behaviors, diets, adaptations, conservation statuses, and natural habitats. Children will be able to ask questions and, in some cases, touch the animals. Perfect for children in pre-school through elementary school. Space is limited, so please pre-register. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street. (FREE)

In Springfield at 11am
Since 1991, the Spirit of Springfield has helped welcome Santa Claus to town with The Parade of the Big Balloons. Springfield’s own 75-foot inflatable “Cat in the Hat,” a few of his inflatable friends, bands, and colorful contingents will promenade down Main Street, entertaining young and old alike. 413-733-3800. Main Street from Lyman Street to Locust Street. (FREE)

In Amherst at 2pm and 3pm
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to present Picture Book Theatre featuring Eric Carle’s “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth and Rooster’s Off To See The World. Directed by founder Therese Brady Donohue, Picture Book Theatre is now in its 10th season and is known for adapting picture books into puppets and dance productions suitable for all ages, especially the very young. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. ($)

In Shelburne Falls from 4pm-9pm
The annual Moonlight Magic will be kicking off the holiday season in the village of Shelburne Falls! See the Lighting of the Village, meet Santa, hear local vocalists and instrumental groups, purchase from street vendors, go on trolley rides, and more. A great post Thanksgiving holiday tradition! (FREE)

In Great Barrington from 6:15pm-8:30pm
Children may be little, but their feelings are often anything but! Explore the inner emotional world of a child in Inside Out (PG, 2015). This film, screened as part of the Mason Library‘s Family Films program, tells the story of Riley, an 11-year-old girl who is uprooted from her Midwest life to move to San Francisco. Her emotions –joy, fear, anger, disgust, and sadness– are featured characters in the film, sharing with the audience Riley’s experience with navigating a new city, house, school, and relationships. This movie shares important messages about our healthy, human need to feel and express a wide range of emotions, and provides countless opportunities to exercise empathy. Pre-registration required. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. (FREE)

Suggested Events for November 21st-27th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is a great community centered organization which helps children take the important aspects of education into consideration… It has most definitely enriched my life by showing me what is a true sense of community and UNITY.” Meghan Keegan (Ware, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Nov 21

Visit the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair, Saturday, November 21st in Hadley, MA! Enjoy King Winter, roving musicians, unique crafts to make and buy, candle dipping, jump rope making, games, food, and pony rides. See the marionette performance by their Early Childhood teachers. Come experience the wonder that abounds at the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair! There is nothing else like it! Saturday, November 21st. 10:00am – 4:00pm, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org

Nov 21

Art Supporting Music — The annual Little Drummer Craft Fair returns to the Franklin County Technical School (82 Industrial Blvd) in Turners Falls on Saturday, November 21 from 9am-3:30pm. This juried craft fair features over 65 artists & craftspeople from throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond, presenting their unique handcrafted products. All proceeds from this event benefit FCTS Music and award-winning FCTS Renegades Drumline. Support the annual FCTS food drive – bring 2 canned goods to donate to the food drive and receive a ticket to a raffle drawing. Help make this the biggest food drive ever! Admission is free, plenty of free parking, and completely ADA accessible. Lunch and baked goods available, prepared by FCTS culinary students.

Nov 21, 27 & 28

See Eric Carle books come to life in Amherst at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! Picture Book Theatre presents: Rooster’s Off to See The World and “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” Said The Sloth. Featuring a talented cast of young dancers from Amherst Ballet, Picture Book Theatre features costumes, large puppets, and stick puppets, all in the style of Carle’s vibrant illustrations. The 45-minute performances will take place at the following times: November 21 at 2pm, November 27 & 28 at 2pm & 3pm. Tickets are $6 and can be reserved in advance by calling The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art 413-658-1126. Museum admission is not required to see the performance. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for details.

Nov 22

The Shelburne Falls Autumn Market will take place on Sunday, November 22, 2015 at the Buckland Shelburne Elementary School on Mechanic Street in Shelburne Falls from 11am-4pm. Local farms, artisans, crafters, and bakers will be selling their wares just in time for Thanksgiving. A Tea Cup Auction of local goods will be held, local musicians will be playing, and ready-to-eat luncheon offerings will be available throughout the day. The event is free with free parking. For more information visit: www.shelburnefallsfarmersmarket.org.

Nov 27

Springfield Museums Holiday Happenings, and Opening of Gingerbread Exhibit Friday: November 27 from 10am-5pm. Start the holiday season off right with the Springfield Museums’ “Holiday Happenings” event! There will be loads of family activities, a performance of A Christmas Carol by the Puppet People, and the opening of this year’s Seussian Holiday Gingerbread exhibit, plus music by the Springfield Sci-Tech Band, TEN31’s living Red Poinsettia sculpture, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, all free with museum admission. For more information, visit springfieldmuseums.org or call 413-263-6800 ext. 488.

Nov 21 – Mar 12

Get your kids skating & playing: Amherst Hockey Association‘s popular on-ice Learn to Skate and Learn to Play programs run Nov 21-March 12 for ages 4-8, with a new All-Girls Learn to Play team option. Learn to Skate is Saturdays from 1-2:20; Learn to Play is Saturdays 2:30-3:50 with mini-games on Sundays beginning in December. Girls’ House Team for ages 9-15 begins Nov 19 through mid-March with two practices per week plus additional, optional on- and off-ice events with their Girls’ Division. The focus is fun! Parents can watch their kids skate with confidence in the Mullins Community Rink at UMass, the warmest rink in Western Massachusetts. Amherst Hockey Association www.amhersthockey.org or Dan Feldman at mbedan@comcast.net for more info.

Dec 2

At River Valley Co-op on December 2nd, 6:30-8pm: Finding the Money for Home Solar & Weatherization. In this workshop participants will discuss solar incentives, including the Mass Solarize Program and the low-cost Solar Loan Program. Participants will also learn about rebates and 0% loans to help pay for insulation, high efficiency heating and cooling systems, solar hot water heating, and much more. Learn how to create a more comfortable, healthier, and energy efficient home for all seasons! All workshops are free and everyone is welcome. Pre-registration is required. Call 413-584-2665 to reserve your spot today. River Valley Co-op is located at 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. www.rivervalleymarket.coop.

Open House: Dec 5

Rumpus! — Saturday, Dec. 5th, 10am-2pm: The Center School’s Admissions Open House and Enchanted Indoor Forest. All are welcome to the Center School campus for the annual Rumpus Open House and Yggdrasil Enchanted Indoor Forest. All classrooms will be open and teachers will be leading creative, nature-based, arts activities. Come explore Yggdrasil–the mighty oak tree from Norse mythology which houses 9 magical realms: spirit animal cave, transfiguration, archery, forest photoscape, dragon academy and more. Sweet, warm and savory foods will be available for purchase. Meet teachers, parents and students and learn about what makes the Center School special. All activities are free and open to the public. For more info visit centerschool.net.

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
November 21st-27th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for November 14th-20th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

What we enjoy most about Hilltown Families is… “the way it helps us make connections to our local community.” – Wendy Somes (Goshen, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Nov 14

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Family Volunteer Days are held once a month and are open to everyone. Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place on Saturday, November 14 from 9-11am for Thanksgiving in Hatfield while supporting food security in the region! Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER) – Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden

Nov 21

Visit the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair, Saturday, November 21st in Hadley, MA! Enjoy King Winter, roving musicians, unique crafts to make and buy, candle dipping, jump rope making, games, food, and pony rides. See the marionette performance by their Early Childhood teachers. Come experience the wonder that abounds at the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair! There is nothing else like it! Saturday, November 21st. 10:00am – 4:00pm, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org

Nov 21 – Mar 12

Get your kids skating & playing: Amherst Hockey Association‘s popular on-ice Learn to Skate and Learn to Play programs run Nov 21-March 12 for ages 4-8, with a new All-Girls Learn to Play team option. Learn to Skate is Saturdays from 1-2:20; Learn to Play is Saturdays 2:30-3:50 with mini-games on Sundays beginning in December. Girls’ House Team for ages 9-15 begins Nov 19 through mid-March with two practices per week plus additional, optional on- and off-ice events with their Girls’ Division. The focus is fun! Parents can watch their kids skate with confidence in the Mullins Community Rink at UMass, the warmest rink in Western Massachusetts. Amherst Hockey Association www.amhersthockey.org or Dan Feldman at mbedan@comcast.net for more info.

Dec 12

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 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 12th at 4pm at Bowker Auditorium, UMass, in Amherst. 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 $8-$18. Information can be found at http://www.ACelticNutcracker.com

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
November 14th-20th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

“Giving at Thanksgiving” Family Volunteer Day with Hilltown Families at The Food Bank

Coming together to end hunger

At a Family Volunteer Day earlier this year, families work together to sort and pack fresh produce to be distributed to our neighbors in need throughout the four counties of Western Massachusetts.

While getting food to people facing hunger is essential throughout the entire year, it takes on special significance during these holiday months. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, food is on the minds of many people. But, probably none more so than those that are forced to go without during times that are supposed to be plentiful.

Currently in Western Massachusetts, there are more than 235,000 people that rely on food pantries, meal sites, shelters, and other emergency programs to get food. An estimated 33,580 of them are children under the age of 18 (according to Feeding America, the national network of food banks). Of these, 22% (or about 7,000 children) are from households that don’t qualify to receive SNAP benefits, but yet their income is still too low to pay for basic household expenses and put adequate food on the table.   Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for November 7th-13th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families sprang to life shorty after the birth of our first son. Since its inception, it’s been a go-to resource for keeping up on family friendly, local events and destinations.” – Chris Williford (Turners Falls, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Open House: Nov 7

Smith College Campus School, a coeducational day school enrolling children kindergarten through sixth grade, will be hosting an Open House for prospective kindergarten and first grade students and their parents on Saturday, November 7, from 9:30-11am. Come explore classrooms, see what their students are learning, and meet teachers, administrators and current parents. For more information about Smith College Campus School or to preregister for the Open House visit online at www.smith.edu/sccs or call the admission office at 413-585-3270. Smith College Campus School is located at 33 Prospect St. in Northampton, MA.

Nov 7

Calling all creatures, beasts, and things that go bump in the night to the Odyssey Bookshop’s Monster Mash! Debut picturebook author Karin Lefranc visits the store for some post-Halloween fun on Saturday, November 7th at 11am! Lefranc’s book, I Want to Eat Your Books!, is about a zombie who devours books instead of brains, and attendees will enjoy all manner of monster snacks, crafts, and even some Halloween-themed yoga, taught by the author herself, a certified kids yoga teacher. If you haven’t had enough of Halloween, come on down and get your fill—and there just might be some leftover Halloween candy, too! Check out odysseybks.com for more info about the event and how to buy the book!

Nov 10

At River Valley Co-op on November 10th, 6:30-8pm: Herbal Approaches to Autoimmune Disorders. Autoimmune disorders are known for their variety of symptoms, ranging from joint and body pain to digestive issues. Learn how herbal medicine can provide natural support for you as you explore ways to manage your health and well-being. All workshops are free and everyone is welcome. Pre-registration is required. Call 413-584-2665 to reserve your spot today. River Valley Co-op is located at 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. www.rivervalleymarket.coop.

Nov 11, 23 & 24

Kids have no school on Veterans Day and the week of Thanksgiving? Send them to the CyclePottery studio in Florence where they can create beautiful handmade functional or decorative pottery just in time for the holidays too! For ages 9+. Veteren’s Day Workshop on Nov. 11 from 9am-3pm: F​ee $120. Thanksgiving Vacation Week, Nov. 23rd & 24th, 10am-3pm: F​ee $240. In addition to day-of instruction, the workshop fee includes the cost of post-workshop tasks, such as trimming, bisque-firing, glazing, and the final firing of student pieces. Private workshops and lessons available too! For more info or to register contact: kathryn@cyclepottery.com; 413-219-9594; CyclePottery, 225 Nonotuck St. Unit A, Florence, MA 01062

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Family Volunteer Days are held once a month and are open to everyone. Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place on Saturday, November 14 from 9-11am for Thanksgiving in Hatfield while supporting food security in the region! Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER) – Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your  class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, fundraising event, wellness program, local business, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
November 7th-13th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

Suggested Events for October 31st-November 6th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“What we enjoy most about Hilltown Families is… that they are always there with fabulous suggestions and ideas for upcoming events and seasonal ideas. Thank you don’t stop doing what you do!” – Linda Norton (Indian Orchard, MA)

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, 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Oct 31

Amherst Cinema’s Family Film series continues this October with a spooky collection of fun films for the whole family. Audiences are encouraged to come in costume to receive a free child sized popcorn! Tickets are just $5 for everyone. Saturday, October 31 at 10am – Ghostbusters. For tickets and more information visit www.amherstcinema.org.

Oct 31

The Center Dance Studio cordially invites kids to showcase their spookiest moves at the 1st Annual Halloween Morning Masquerade! Creep over to 321 Main Street in Amherst on Saturday, October 31st for some Halloween fun: stories, games, cookie decorating and LOTS of dancing. Costumes encouraged! 10am-12pm. Admission is $3 per child. Caregivers, please plan to attend. For more information, email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com.

Begins Nov 2

Arcadia Nature Art Programs for Adults and Kids starting November 2 in Easthampton. Visit www.massaudubon.org
/arcadia
for more info and to register. Drawing and Painting: Learn the rudiments of drawing, design, and composition from art educator Prof. Jan Ruby-Crystal. Cost includes all supplies and instruction. This six-part series takes place on Mondays, 9am-12pm beginning November 2. Autumn Art and Nature: Every season provides new and exciting things to see in nature and incorporate into art projects. As late fall settles in, come see what is happening in the natural world and have fun making creative art projects. This program is designed for children and is a three-part series beginning on Monday, November 2, 3:30-5pm. 413-584-3009.

Open House: Nov 5

Lander-Grinspoon Academy, located at 247 Prospect Street in Northampton, is hosting an Open House on Thursday, November 5 from 9:00 -10:30 am. LGA is committed to the intellectual, emotional, social, ethical, and spiritual development of its students. Its emphasis on community, culture, and social justice encourages children of all ages to become independent thinkers, as well as caring and responsible citizens of the world. LGA’s talented, dedicated faculty makes sure that students are seen — and celebrated — as the individual young people they are. LGA welcomes families from all Jewish traditions and backgrounds, including interfaith families. Generous financial aid is available. For more info: glansky@landergrinspoon.org.

Open House: Nov 7

Smith College Campus School, a coeducational day school enrolling children kindergarten through sixth grade, will be hosting an Open House for prospective kindergarten and first grade students and their parents on Saturday, November 7, from 9:30-11am. Come explore classrooms, see what their students are learning, and meet teachers, administrators and current parents. For more information about Smith College Campus School or to preregister for the Open House visit online at www.smith.edu/sccs or call the admission office at 413-585-3270. Smith College Campus School is located at 33 Prospect St. in Northampton, MA.

Nov 7

Calling all creatures, beasts, and things that go bump in the night to the Odyssey Bookshop’s Monster Mash! Debut picturebook author Karin Lefranc visits the store for some post-Halloween fun on Saturday, November 7th at 11am! Lefranc’s book, I Want to Eat Your Books!, is about a zombie who devours books instead of brains, and attendees will enjoy all manner of monster snacks, crafts, and even some Halloween-themed yoga, taught by the author herself, a certified kids yoga teacher. If you haven’t had enough of Halloween, come on down and get your fill—and there just might be some leftover Halloween candy, too! Check out odysseybks.com for more info about the event and how to buy the book!

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

Nov 10

At River Valley Co-op on November 10th, 6:30-8pm: Herbal Approaches to Autoimmune Disorders. Autoimmune disorders are known for their variety of symptoms, ranging from joint and body pain to digestive issues. Learn how herbal medicine can provide natural support for you as you explore ways to manage your health and well-being. All workshops are free and everyone is welcome. Pre-registration is required. Call 413-584-2665 to reserve your spot today. River Valley Co-op is located at 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. www.rivervalleymarket.coop.

Nov 11, 23 & 24

Kids have no school on Veterans Day and the week of Thanksgiving? Send them to the CyclePottery studio in Florence where they can create beautiful handmade functional or decorative pottery just in time for the holidays too! For ages 9+. Veteren’s Day Workshop on Nov. 11 from 9am-3pm: F​ee $120. Thanksgiving Vacation Week, Nov. 23rd & 24th, 10am-3pm: F​ee $240. In addition to day-of instruction, the workshop fee includes the cost of post-workshop tasks, such as trimming, bisque-firing, glazing, and the final firing of student pieces. Private workshops and lessons available too! For more info or to register contact: kathryn@cyclepottery.com; 413-219-9594; CyclePottery, 225 Nonotuck St. Unit A, Florence, MA 01062

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts & Hilltown Families present Family Volunteer Days! Each month, families are invited to attend a monthly volunteer session to help sort food, take part in educational activities, and learn how to take actions to help fight hunger. This is an opportunity for Hilltown Families participating families to volunteer together with their community, engaged in service-based learning while supporting an important local cause! Family Volunteer Days are held once a month and are open to everyone. Our next Family Volunteer Day takes place on Saturday, October 31 from 9-11am for Halloween fun in Hatfield while supporting food security in the region! Families may stay for all or some of the event. Space is limited. Pre-registration required. Click here to sign up! Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER) – Sponsored by Hilltown Tree & Garden

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, program, 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 info@hilltownfamilies.org. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE.

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
October 31st-November 6th, 2015

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Read the rest of this entry »

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