Suggested Events 11/10/07 – 11/16/07


As I walked my daughter to her carpool stop this morning, tiny tiny snowflakes dotted her black jacket. The remnants of Hurricane Noel seemed to bring in a big change of weather, giving us frosty mornings and chilly gusty days. Winter is fast approaching, and for Hilltown families whose children attend school outside the home, this will bring one of two things during those winter weekday mornings:

(A) Dressing in full arctic gear to shovel your car out of the driveway while scraping the ice and snow off of the car windows; packing kids padded in parkas and snow boots into the car; skidding down country lanes while spilling coffee in your lap; and sometimes getting stranded in snowbanks or on the incline of a hill (have I ever mentioned that cell phone service in the hills is oftentimes not an option?) …


(B) Dressing your kids in their parkas and snow-boots and then sending them to the edge of the driveway to wait for the school bus while you stand in the warmth of your home, still in your PJ’s, sipping coffee and waving goodbye.

We fall into category A.

Families in the Hilltowns can participate in what they call School Choice, which can lead to school bus fantasies. In a nutshell, children can go to public schools outside of their district, but the parents are responsible for getting them to school. And in rural New England, in the dead of Winter … well let’s just say it’s not the most fun activity you want to be participating in at the crack of dawn and leave it at that.

The solution? Carpooling. While it’s not the panacea for school bus fantasies, it can cut back on the winter morning driving drudgery. We’re fortunate to have a few families in our area that we can carpool with. Twice a week we walk our daughter to the carpool stop around the corner. It makes her feel like a big kid having to walk and wait. Sometimes she coaxes us into jogging behind her, and other times she drags her feet and whines. But today was her first glimpse at what’s to come when winter arrives.


  • Become a Sponsor

To find out how you or your business can help support Hilltown Families by becoming a sponsor, drop us an email or give us a call at 413.296.0096 for more information. We’re offering very reasonable rates throughout the holiday season.

  • Submit an Event

If you have a family-friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, or would like to submit your event to the Hilltown Families calendar of Suggested Events, email Sienna at Comments are warmly welcomed!

Local forecast | Get directions | Free Museum Passes

Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday – 11/10

8am – FAMILY RADIO – While traveling around town, tune-in to WXOJ 103.3 FM in Northampton, MA, from 8-10am to hear fabulous family-friendly music on Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child. [All ages] (Free)

8am-11am – FARM HANDS-ON – At the Winterberry Farm in Leverett, MA, kids and their parents can come help milk the goats to make into goat cheese and cornbread. 548.3940 [Families] ($$)

9am-2pm – TAG SALE – A tag sale to benefit MotherWoman Group will be taking place at the UU Church in Greenfield, MA. [Families] ($)

9:30am-4pm – ROCK SHOW – A Gem and Mineral Show will be happening at the Greenfield High School in Greenfield, MA. Lots of hands-on opportunities and demonstrations. 775.1671 [Families] (>$, under 12 free)

10am – BOOK PROJECT – At the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, Books Unbound! will be happening. Kids and their families are invited to come and make their own books. 585.2760 [Ages 4 and up] ($)

2pm – LAUGH IN – Bring the kids to the Forbes Library in Northampton, MA, to learn how to laugh, even under stress! 413.587.1017 [Families] (Free)

Tico and the Golden Wings by Leo Lionni

2pm & 3pm – FAMILY THEATER – Picture Book Theater performs Tico and the Golden Wings at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts in Amherst, MA. [Families](>$, Borrow a museum pass from your local library)

6pm – COMMUNITY ART PERFORMANCE – The Art Bridge in Shelburne, MA, will be hosting their monthly potluck, interactive performance and party. Enjoy puppet theater, actors, dancers and musicians. Come prepared to sing a song i n circle for an ancestor or loved one, or sit back and listen. 625.8275 [Families] (Donation)

6pm – CULTURAL EVENT – An African & Caribbean Cultural Festival will offered at Smith College with music, dance, readings, food and more. Davis Ballroom at Smith College in Northampton, MA. 585.2190 [Families] (>$)

8pm – DATE NIGHT – Take your partner and spin them around at the Goshen Square Dance at their town hall. Ralph Sweet will be the caller on hand. If you can’t make it this week, these dances happen the second Saturday of every month. [Adults] (n/a)

Sunday – 11/11

9:30am-4:30pm – HISTORIC FOODS – There will be an open hearth cooking demonstration at the Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA, on both Saturday & Sunday. Learn how autumn affected the preparation and preservation of foods in historic menus. 413.775.7214 [Ages 6 & up] ($/Borrow a museum pass from your local library)

Noon – 4pm – HISTORIC FOOD – At Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA, learn the historic uses of apples in New England. 413.775.7214 [Families] ($)

1:30pm-3:30pm – CRAFTING WITH KIDS – The Children’s Art Museum in Shelburne Falls, MA, will be offering a Crafting with Kids series. This weeks workshop is Interpreting Your Kids Art into Family Keepsakes. All ages welcomed. Must pre-register. 625-6826 [All Ages] ($$)

Call for Time – FAMILY HIKE – The Deerfield River Watershed Association will be hosting a short family hike of Spruce Hill in the Savoy State Forest on the Busby Trail. Preregister. Call Polly at 625.6628 [Families] (Free)

6:15 pm – LOCAL FOOD COOPERATIVE – A dessert potluck event at the Northampton Center for the Arts in Northampton, MA. This free, family-friendly meeting will be open to the public as well as member-owners as a celebration of the construction and imminent opening of the brand new cooperative grocery store, River Valley Market. At 7:30 p.m., laugh local with the Ha-Ha Sisterhood, the Pioneer Valley’s own all-woman comedy improv group. [Families] (Free)

Monday – 11/12

Veterans Day

CRAFT DAY – Make holiday crafts with the kids for the Kids-Make Holiday Bazaar happening at CAM in Shelburne Falls, MA. Click here for more information.

9:30am-4pm – CANDLE MAKING – There will be a historic candle making demonstration, followed by a hands-on opportunity to make your own candles at at the Candle Museum at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield, MA. 877.636.7707. [Families] (Free)

8:15am-12:30pm – OPEN HOUSE – The Hartsbrook School in Hadley, MA will be having a “Visiting Day” as an opportunity to visit the classes, followed by an assembly. 584.3198 [Families] (Free)

10am – FLOWER SHOW – Bring the kids to explore the amazing variety of Chrysanthemums at the Fall Chrysanthemum Show inside the Lyman Conservatory at Smith College in Northampton, MA. 585.2700 [Families] (>$)

11:30am – SIGNING STORYTIMES – Discover ALS (sign language) with your child at the Toy Box in Amherst, MA. Students from Hampshire College will read a story out-loud and in sign language (ASL) for the audience. 413.256.8697 [All ages] (Free)

4pm-6pm – ART RECEPTION – There will be an opening reception at Cup & Top Cafe in Florence, MA, for artisit Ruth Daniels, featuring tropical-themes, ink and watercolors. Bring the kids. [Families] (Free)

Tuesday – 11/13

1pm & 2pm – PARENT EXERCISE – Community Walking Program in the Hilltowns, organized by the Hilltown Community Health Centers. Every Tuesday (weather permitting) meet at Russell Conway School Parking lot in Worthington, MA. Beginner start at 1pm & experienced walkers start at 2pm. Call to register. 413.667.2204 [Parents] (Free)

4pm & 5:30pm- READING & WRITING – Readers & Writers club at the Lilly Library in Florence, MA. Click here for more info. [Kids must be able to read & write] (Free)

4pm – KIDS’ JAM – Join Hilltown Music Together director Lui Collins in a new music and movement for “big kids” at the Belding Memorial Library in Ashfield, MA. Two different time slots are available. Classes run through 12/11. Scholarship aid is available. Open to home schoolers and other family groups. 413.628.0197 [Ages 5-6+] ($$)

5pm – HILLTOWN FAMILIES PIZZA NIGHT – Treat your kids to pizza at Country Pie in Ashfield, MA, with other families from the Hilltown Families Listserv. 413.296.0096 [Families] ($)

7pm – FAMILY RADIO – Tune-in between bath and bedtime to the Hilltown Families very own radio show, the Hilltown Family Variety Show, on WXOJ LP 103.3 FM, Valley Free Radio out of Northampton, MA. This week’s episode is hosted by Guest DJ, Gwendolyn from Gwendolyn and the Good Time Gang, with HFVS co-host, Persephone. [Families] (Free)

Wednesday – 11/14

9pm – PARENT COFFEE BREAK – After dropping the kids off at school or their homeschool program, drop into Elmer’s in Ashfield, MA. Not only do they have great coffee, they have a fantastic breakfast menu too. Connect with other parents. If you’d rather do some work, bring your laptop (they have wireless!) and let them bring you coffee! To find out what’s happen over at Elmer’s, read Notes from Nan, a weekly update posted here on Hilltown Families. [Parents] ($/Free)

Thursday – 11/15

9am – PARENT SOCIAL – Hilltown Families invites parents to gather at Bread Euphoria in Haydenville after dropping off the kids. Get yourself a scone and tea and chat with other area parents before heading off to work or to accomplish your never-ending “to do list.” [Parents] ($, Free)

11am-1pm – HOMESCHOOL HAPPENINGS – Join other homeschoolers at the Greenfield Library in Greenfield, MA, to learn about Ancient Greece. Runs through 11/15/07. For more information call 413.772.1544 x5. [Ages 7 & up] (Free)

5:30pm – READ TO DOGS – The Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA, will be resuming their special program Reading to Dogs. Animals are ideal nonjudgemental reading companions that are less intimidating than peers. Children sign up for 20minute slots. All dogs are registered therapy pets. 413.268.7472 [Ages 6 & up] (Free)

Open till 8pm – LOCAL LIBRARY – Did you know the Meekins Library in Williamburg, MA, stays open until 8pm every Thursday? A great thing to have as the winter months approach. Take the kids in their PJ’s and spend time at the library before bed time reading stories or getting help with homework. [Everyone] (Free)

Friday – 11/16

11am-12:50pm – HOME SCHOOL ICE SKATING – Mullins Center at the University of MA in Amherst, MA, is starting up a Home School (Ice) Skates. Ice skate rentals are free and accompanying parents are free. The Mullins Cafe will be open serving coffee and assorted foods. [Ages 5 & up] (>$)

5pm – COMMUNITY DINNER – Elmer’s in Ashfield, MA, invites community members to come together to share dinner and conversation every Friday evening. Click here for menu 413.628.4003 [Families] ($)

7pm – GIRLS NIGHT OUT – MotherWoman will be sponsoring the 2nd Annual Women’s Poetry Open Mic, featuring and hosted by Patricia Smith, will be held at el Mercado Cafe in Holyoke, MA. Open to the public. 253.8990 [Public] ($$, Scholarships available)


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