Suggested Events for Sept 10th-16th, 2011

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Chalk Art in the Park

"Draw-in" at Pulaski Park in Northampton on Saturday, Sept 10th from 10am-2pm. Part of Chalk Art 2011. Families are encouraged to come draw in the park! Chalk provided. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community! Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to support Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising.  Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

On Saturday, Sept 10th from 10am-2pm in the Pioneer Valley – CHALK ART: Northampton’s annual chalk art festival, held by Arts Night Out, is celebrating chalk art this week.  Get your hands dusty and create a true work of art at a draw-in at Pulaski Park.  There will be sidewalk chalk and plenty of concrete available for anyone who wants to participate.  Pulaski Park. Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Also on Saturday, Sept 10th from 10am-4pm in the Pioneer Valley – HONEY FESTIVAL: Enjoy honey ice cream and learn all about beekeeping at the Honey Festival at Warm Colors Apiary.  413-665-4513.  2 South Mill River Road.  South Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, Sept 11th from 10am-4pm in the Hilltowns – PYO APPLES: Apple season is upon us, and with it comes apple picking.  Outlook Farm’s picking season has begun- ½ bushel bags for picking can be purchased to fill with delicious apples.  You can pick every day unless it rains, and there are wagon rides on Sundays from 1-4 and barbecue at lunchtime.  413-529-9388.  Route 66.  Westhampton, MA.  ($$) – Find out about other PYO Apple Orchards in the area HERE.

And a bit later on Sunday, Sept 11th from 12noon-5:30pm in the Berkshires – CULTURAL FESTIVAL: St. Joseph Church hosts the annual “Festival of Sharing Roots” today.  The event includes entertainment, food, activities, and more- all that are centered around nine different cultures represented within the church congregation.  413-445-5789.  414 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, Sept 17th from 10-11:30am – KIDS HEALTHY EATING CLASS: River Valley Market host “Back to School: Making Good Eating Great Fun with Kids” with Barbara Storper, MS, RD, author of Janey Junkfood’s Fresh Adventure! Families will make snacks together that are healthy as they learn together how to be empowered to make healthy choices. Call to reserve your spot: 413-584-2665. 330 North King St. Northampton, MA (FREE)

On Sunday, Sept 18th from 12Noon-6pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: 6th Annual North Amherst Harvest Festival. A fundraiser for the North Amherst Community Farm, the festival is a family-friendly celebration with live music,  farm-fresh food, microbrewed beverages, local ice cream, and a small farmers’ market offering locally grown produce. — 413-624-6223. 1089 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA. ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

ART OPENING: The Neil Hammer Gallery of the Hawks~Hayden Community Room at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg is currently hosting a photography exhibit by Hilltown Families’ founder and director, Sienna Wildfield. The photos tell stories of life in the Hilltowns and illustrate the culture and values of the area. Entitled, “Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit of Life and Landscape in Western MA,” the show features images of life in the Hilltowns (and how it changes) throughout the seasons. There will be an opening reception on September 17th from 2:30-4:30pm, and the images will be on display through the 29th. Sales of images from the exhibit benefit Hilltown Families, and the show is supported in part by grants from local Cultural Councils in Ashfield, Buckland, Chesterfield and Cummington — all local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Enhanced PublicitySPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Let us help get the word out about your event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

Trina Cysz, Pet Food Bank Coordinator at the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society writes, “DPVHS has a year round pet food bank program that is available for people in communities in WMass. I wanted to know if you have heard from anyone in the hilltowns about their pet food or companion animal needs (crates, blankets, etc). We can drop off dry cat and dog food and other supplies if needed. Feel free to contact me via phone (413-244-0131 ) or email (trinacysz@gmail.com) – we’re here to help.”

We're giving away copies of All Together Singing in the Kitchen by The Nields! This new titles comes with a CD of 30 songs, and includes the Nields' charming illustrations, popular song lyrics, games, and more. Click on the banner to find out how you can enter to win.

PIE CONTEST: Northampton’s Tuesday Market is having a pie contest on Sept. 13th to celebrate the release of The Nields‘ new book, “All Together Singing in the Kitchen.”  The event is a fundraiser for the market’s FoodStampsX2 program, which allows shoppers to double their SNAP benefits at the market.  It’s open to anyone, though there will be a special prize for Best Kids’ Pie reserved for those 13 and under .  Participants are asked to make fruit pies only- no custard or savory.  There will also be prizes for the best gluten free pie, the most outstanding, and the most beautiful pies.  To find out more, visit the pie page on the market’s website at www.northamptontuesdaymarket.com.  Let the best (and most delicious) pies win.

HISTORY: Baskets have been of significant cultural importance through history- they were used for gathering the harvest, for carrying children, storing food, transporting items, etc. in early America.  They were often made out of materials such as ash splints, pine needles, or bits of stiff grasses.  Basket making was an art- and an important skill to have due to the frequent use of baskets.  During September and October, Historic Deerfield is offering programming that teaches visitors about the use and fabrication of harvest baskets.  Visitors will first learn about the history of baskets, and then will be able to create their own from recycled materials.  To learn more, visit www.historic-deerfield.org.

TEEN READING:  Forbes Library has organized Northampton’s first Teen Community Read.  The book, Dawn Metcalf’s “Luminous,” is available to check out at Forbes, as well as the libraries of the high and middle schools.  The author will visit Forbes on October 26th for an author talk about the book, which will be followed by celebration on November 2nd to mark the end of the Community Read.  The read is a chance for teen members of the community to explore a topic together, to share thoughts and ideas on a common theme, and to celebrate literature.

CAR-SEAT INSPECTIONS: Free child car-seat inspection for Amherst residents. The Amherst Police Department conducts free inspections on the third Saturday of each month, by appointment only. Certified technicians will thoroughly inspect your car seat for wear and effectiveness, and install it properly. Call 413-259-3355 or email police@amherstma.gov to schedule an appointment.  For residents of other towns, visit Safe Kids of Western Massachusetts to learn about other free car-seat inspections in Western MA.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Dirty Sock Fun Time Band

Hilltown Family Variety Show

This week, the guys from Dirty Sock Fun Time Band are our Guest DJs, spinning tunes by Parliament Funkadelic, AudraRox, Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Bowie, Sinit, and many other, including songs off their CD, Sock-A-Delic.

Tune in every Saturday from 9-10am. Encore episodes are aired every Sunday from 7-8am. Families have several ways to tune in to the Hilltown Family Variety Show:

  • Streaming Audio: Surf on over to ValleyFreeRadio.org on Saturday & Sunday mornings and listen to us live via streaming audio.
  • On Your FM Dial: Tune in to WXOJ 103.3FM if you live near Northampton, MA.
  • Podcast: Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you wish! Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to our podcast too!

LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Sept 10th-16, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets | Weekly eNewsletter

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Sept 10th, 2011

“The kids love Look Park! There is so much to do…mini golf, spray park, playground, and lots of space to run! We also frequent the Mountain View farm for morning flower and vegetable picking. We love to seek out special craft, nature, and music activities whenever possible. We love new adventures and this website really helps with making that happen! Thank-you!” Renee Cote (Easthampton, MA)

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org

7am-6pm – HOT AIR BALLOONS: The Northampton Cooperative Bank Hot Air Balloon Festival continues today at Look Park.  The first balloon launch of the day will be at 7am, and the second at 5pm.  Throughout the day, there will be live music, tethered hot air balloon rides, and inflated balloons that kids can walk though.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA. (>$)

8am-9:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Head to the Franklin County Fair today for all sorts of fun activities and learning opportunities.  The midway opens at 11am for games and rides, and exhibits are open all day long.  There will be livestock and tractor shows (and pulls.), food, exhibits, and more.  413-774-8282.  89 Wisdom Way.  Greenfield, MA.  ($)

TAG SALES

  • 9am-12Noon – TAG SALE: Northampton High School Theater Booster Club is having a fundraising tag sale at the circle at the high school. Donations can be dropped off Friday from 4:30-8:30pm, or call if you need large items to be picked up. 413-582-9996. Northampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)
  • 2-5pm – TAG SALE: 12th annual From Trash to Treasures Giant Used Furniture Sale, benefiting the Amherst Survival Center happens on the Amherst Town Common. Find a gently used piece of furniture for your home while supporting the ASC. They can even deliver!  413-549-3968. Amherst, MA (FUNDRAISER)
  • 9am-4pm – TAG SALE: Help the town of Leverett raise money for their property tax assistance fund for elderly and disabled residents by shopping your heart out at their tag sale.  Items can be donated at any time before the sale.  413-548-9446.  172 Long Plain Road (Route 63).  Leverett, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

9:30am-3pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Join the Whately Historical Society for a tour of five Whately farms.  You’ll get a farmer-led experience and see everything from berry growing to alpacas.  The tour is a great opportunity to learn not only about agriculture but also to learn about local history.  413-665-3837.  Whately, MA.  ($)

10am-12noon – ANIME: Greenfield Public Library’s Anime Club meets this morning.  The meeting consists of watching some episodes and talking about what you enjoy about anime.  This is also a chance to learn facts you didn’t know or share your own information with others.  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦

10am-3pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Help raise money for Berkshire Family and Individual Resources’ programs at the annual Miniature Golf Tournament and Community Day Fundraiser.  There will be, of course, miniature golf, as well as food, music, raffles, and more.  The event takes place at The Range.  413-663-3030.  1190 South State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

10am-4pm – HONEY FESTIVAL: Enjoy honey ice cream and learn all about beekeeping at the Honey Festival at Warm Colors Apiary.  413-665-4513.  2 South Mill River Road.  South Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

8am-10pm – SCHOOL FUNDRAISER: RH Conwell CEC Charity Golf Tournament with Aaron Lewis at the Worthington Golf Club. 113 Ridge Road. Worthington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

9am-1pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Open Square celebrates fall this week at their farmers’ market.  There will be horse-drawn carriage rides, live music, and zumba demonstrations, along with the usual market full of delicious local foods.  413-532-5057.  4 Open Square Way.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-4:30pm – ANIME: Springfield’s Central Library hosts Chibiconn VII: A Celebration of Anime Fandom today.  Today is the film festival- all day long, there will be a series of anime shown.  All films are PG 13, some are for 15 and over.  413-268-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-5pm – HISTORY: Kids get free admission to Old Sturbridge Village every weekend in September.  There will be special harvest exhibits and demonstrations to celebrate fall, along with all of the regular demonstrations and areas to explore.  Learn all about what life in New England was like in 1830.  Today there is a special event, too- the Drummers’ Call.  There will be live drumming (and demonstrations and learning opportunities) all day.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-2pm – CHALK ART: Northampton’s annual chalk art festival, held by Arts Night Out, is celebrating chalk art this week.  Get your hands dusty and create a true work of art at a draw-in at Pulaski Park.  There will be sidewalk chalk and plenty of concrete available for anyone who wants to participate.  Pulaski Park. Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – ARTS FESTIVAL: The Mattoon Arts Festival takes place this weekend in Springfield.  There will be over 90 exhibitors, vendors, and performers- this is the longest running arts fair in Western Massachusetts, and boasts that it is the best in New England.  413-736-0629.  Mattoon Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-6pm – FARM ADVENTURE: NOFA’s Massachusetts Raw Milk Dairy Days are this weekend.  There are many farms participating, three of which are in the Hilltowns.  Cricket Creek farm will be open from 10-6, with tours happening throughout the day.  Sidehill Farm in Ashfield will offer a tour of their farm and facilities at 2pm, and Taproot Commons Farm in Cummington will offer impromptu tours all day.  Farm tours are a great way to learn about dairy farming and the benefits of raw milk straight from a farmer.  Western MA (FREE)

10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: It’s Berkshire County Resident Family Day today at Chesterwood.  Enjoy the views of Monument Mountain, walk in the woods, and rest in the garden- enjoy Danile Chester French’s historic home.  413-298-3579.  4 Williamsville Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE to Berkshire Co. Residents)

10:30am – 2pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: How do beaks help birds to snatch up worms for dinner or sip on drops of water?  Are they made out of bones or cartilage?  Why are they pointy?  Learn all of these things and more today at the Great Falls Discovery Center.  Kids can learn through crafts, games, stories, etc. all about bird beaks.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-3pm – BALLET AUDITIONS: Are your kids (ages 5-12) interested in ballet?  They can audition for the Pioneer Valley Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, even if they have no experience.  Auditions take place this morning.  Auditions for kids 5-7 are at 10:30, and for kids ages 8-12, registration begins at 12:30.  Auditions take place at Eastworks.  413-527-6363.  116 Pleasant Street, Suite 155.  Easthampton, MA.  ($)

11am-10pm – MUSIC/ARTS FESTIVAL: Everhthing Under the Sun Music and Arts Festival happens at Noel Field, a fundraiser for The Minerva Arts Center.  Street art demos, activies for kids, live music and an evening dance party.  Rout 8. North Adams, MA (FUNDRAISER)

12noon-4:30pm – HISTORY: Learn all about the historical significance of harvest baskets at Historic Deerfield.  Baskets were made out of all sorts of natural materials, and used for everything from household items to harvesting food.  You’ll get to make your own basket, too.  413-774-5581.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE with admission)

12noon-11pm – GREEK FESTIVAL: St. George Cathedral hosts a traditional Greek Glendi.  There will be all things Greek- music, dancing, food, games, family activities, art, and more.  413-737-1496.  Main, Plainfield, and Carew Streets.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

1-3pm – ART: Artist Susan Pecora will be at the Goodwin Memorial Library this afternoon to paint a picture of the library and explain her process.  Kids will be provided with their own materials for art making.  This is a great opportunity to learn about how a professional artist approaches their craft.  413-586-3031.  Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – RESKILLING: Hancock Shaker Village hosts a reskilling workshop on canning.  The event, Return and Learn: Canning 101, will teach participants how to can using vegetables grown at the village.  Registration required.  413-443-0188.  1843 West Housatonic Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) 

4-5pm – RESKILLING: Learn to can (or just get some practice if it has been a while) at the Berkshire Co-op Market.  The Community Cooperative Farm will be running the workshop, and you’ll learn to make zucchini bread-and-butter pickles, sauerkraut, and blueberry jam.  Registration required.  413-528-9697.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

5-8pm – ART WALK: Art Walk in Easthampton, a family-friendly opportunity to explore Easthampton. Pick up a map at Nashawannuck Gallery. 40 Cottage St. Easthmpton, MA (FREE)

7-10pm – FAMILY NIGHT OUT: The Pelham Library hosts klezmer band Klezamir live in concert tonight.  The band plays a mix of traditional Jewish music and rock- there will be some instruction before the concert on simple Jewish dances.  There will also be snacks, including local apples, challah, and honey.  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.  ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

4:30-8pm – EVENING AT RED GATE: Have dinner (and a lovely evening in general) at Red Gate Farm.  The event begins with a wine and cheese reception, with dinner following at 5:30 in the Big Red Barn.  There will be a brief presentation on the farm and its activities and programs throughout the past year at the end of the night.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.  Celebrate ten years of Red Gate.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  ($$)

7pm-midnight –MOONLIGHT BALL: Celebrate Shutesbury’s 250th Anniversary at the Moonlight Ball on the beach at Lake Wyola.  There will be live music, food, a cash bar (beer and wine), and a fun dancing-filled night out.  Tickets are available in advance at the Shutesbury Town Hall, library, or at Shutesbury Market.  413-259-1214.  94 Lakeview Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  ($)


Sunday, Sept 11th, 2011

“Hike a myriad of the trails at Mt. Tom State Reservation (Holyoke, MA) and then take the slow ride up Route 5 to Northampton for Bueno Y Sano, then Woodstar Cafe, Haymarket Cafe, Ben & Bill's Chocolate Emporium. We do this all seasons.” - Glenn Sullivan (Holyoke, MA)

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org

7:30am – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Join the Hoffmann Bird Club on a birding expedition.  Today’s adventure will be looking for migrant birds and visiting the hawk watch.  Meet at the Lanesborough post office.  413-281-1017.  Route 7.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

8am – WOMEN’S TRAIL RUN: Women of all levels are invited to a weekly trial run along the Westfield River. Walkers welcomed too. 413-296-4753 West Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

8am-9:30pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Today is the final day of the Franklin County Fair.  Don’t miss the livestock shows, agricultural exhibits, games, rides, food, and fun.  413-774-8282.  89 Wisdom Way.  Greenfield, MA.  ($)

9am-4pm – TAG SALE: Help the town of Leverett raise money for their prperty tax assistance fund for elderly and disabled residents by shopping your heart out at their tag sale.  Items can be donated at any time before the sale.  413-548-9446.  172 Long Plain Road (Route 63).  Leverett, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

9:30-5pm – HISTORY: Kids get free admission to Old Sturbridge Village every weekend in September.  There will be special harvest exhibits and demonstrations to celebrate fall, along with all of the regular demonstrations and areas to explore.  Learn all about what life in New England was like in 1830.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-4pm – PYO APPLES: Apple season is upon us, and with it comes apple picking.  Outlook Farm’s picking season has begun- ½ bushel bags for picking can be purchased to fill with delicious apples.  You can pick every day unless it rains, and there are wagon rides on Sundays from 1-4 and barbecue at lunchtime.  413-529-9388.  Route 66.  Westhampton, MA.  ($$) – Find out about other PYO Apple Orchards in the area HERE.

10am-5pm – ARTS FESTIVAL: The Mattoon Arts Festival takes place this weekend in Springfield.  There will be over 90 exhibitors, vendors, and performers- this is the longest running arts fair in Western Massachusetts, and boasts that it is the best in New England.  413-736-0629.  Mattoon Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) 2

10am-6pm – FARM ADVENTURE: NOFA’s Massachusetts Raw Milk Dairy Days are this weekend.  There are many farms participating, three of which are local.  Cricket Creek farm will be open from 10-6, with tours happening throughout the day.  Sidehill Farm in Ashfield will offer a tour of their farm and facilities at 2pm, and Taproot Commons Farm in Cummington will offer impromptu tours all day.  Farm tours are a great way to learn about dairy farming and the benefits of raw milk straight from a farmer.  Western MA (FREE)

11am-5pm – DINOSAUR ADVENTURES: Last day for the  Springfield Museums a special exhibit called, “Be the Dinosaur.” Children can experience what life as a dinosaur was like through computer simulation.  There are “pods” in which visual and aural simulation is broadcast, giving the participant a dinosaur-like experience.  The exhibit also includes artificially intelligent dinosaurs that move across artificial terrain, and simulated muscle and digestive systems.  An accompanying exhibit invites kids to be paleontologists and dig for fossils.  800-625-7738. 21 Edwards St. Springfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

11am-9pm – MUSIC/ARTS FESTIVAL: Everhthing Under the Sun Music and Arts Festival happens at Noel Field, a fundraiser for The Minerva Arts Center.  Street art demos, activies for kids, live music and an evening dance party.  Rout 8. North Adams, MA (FUNDRAISER)

12noon-4:30pm – HISTORY: Learn all about the historical significance of harvest baskets at Historic Deerfield.  Baskets were made out of all sorts of natural materials, and used for everything from household items to harvesting food.  You’ll get to make your own basket, too.  413-774-5581.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE with admission)

12noon-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: It’s free admission at the Eric Carle Museum all day.  At 1pm Mordicai Gerstein, author/illustrator of The Man Who Walked between the Towers, will be telling the story from a child’s perspective in the auditorium. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (FREE)

12noon-5:30pm – CULTURAL FESTIVAL: St. Joseph Church hosts the annual “Festival of Sharing Roots” today.  The event includes entertainment, food, activities, and more- all that are centered around nine different cultures represented within the church congregation.  413-445-5789.  414 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-7pm – GREEK FESTIVAL: St. George Cathedral hosts a traditional Greek Glendi.  There will be all things Greek- music, dancing, food, games, family activities, art, and more.  413-737-1496.  Main, Plainfield, and Carew Streets.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

12:30-3:30pm – ANIME: Day two of Chibiconn VII is today at the Central Library.  Today’s events include anime trivia, a costume and skit contest, and an art contest.  Celebrate anime fandom.  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – CONCERT: The Hidden Drive Trio- a group playing a mix of jazz, blues, and rock- will perform this afternoon at the North Hall Arts Festival.  The show is fun and great for families- kids under 12 get in for free.  413-413-667-5543.  40 Searle Road.  Huntington, MA.  ($)

2pm – FAMILY THEATER: Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Colonial Theater this afternoon to see The Wizard of Oz.  The show is performed by Berkshire Theater Festival’s Children’s Theater Company, which is made up of kids and adults from Western MA.  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

2-3:30pm – ARBORICULTURE & POETRY: Poets have always written about trees- now you can learn all about three different types of trees, starting with the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Wallace Stevens, and Robert Frost.  Takes place at the Great Falls Discovery Center.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

2-4pm – INSTRUMENT PETTING ZOO: Come “pet” some instruments at the Northampton Community Music Center’s annual Open House.  The musical “petting zoo” is full of instruments that kids can try out.  There will also be demo classes of Music Together, Future Maestros, and a beginner’s recorder course.  413-585-0001.  139 South Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – CAMPFIRE STORIES: Visit the DAR State Forest for an evening of storytelling around a campfire.  Enjoy this summer activity one last time before it gets cold out.  There will be a special activity (that glows in the dark.) for kids to make and take home with them.  413-268-7098.  78 Cape Street.  Goshen, MA.  (FREE)


Monday, Sept 12th 2011

"Hilltown Families tells us the best places to go – we moved to the area almost two years ago and without this resource, we’d NEVER know the best places to go!" - Amanda Sakladt

4-5:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: To celebrate the release of their book, “All Together Singing in the Kitchen,” the Nields will be at Whole Foods to perform a short concert accompanied by a drum making activity.  The project, instructions for which are included in the book, teaches kids how to make instruments out of tin cans.  413-586-9932.  327 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

5pm – MEET THE AUTHOR: Lincoln Pierce, author of “Big Nate on a Roll” (the third in a series of great books about Nate), will be at the Odyssey Bookshop this afternoon.  The author will read aloud, and will answer questions about his writing for fans.  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY MONDAY (Click HERE to suggest a free weekly playgroup, storytime or support group)

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Forbes Library hosts Storytime with Ellie this morning.  413-587-1011.  20 West Street. Northampton, MA.  (FREE)
  • 3pm – LEGOS: Does your kid love LEGOS? Try out LEGO BrikWars, a wargaming system that takes ordinary building blocks and turns them into a game of strategy and destruction.  Takes place at Forbes Library.  413-587-1011.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Tuesday, Sept 13th, 2011

"Our parents group relies upon Hilltown Families, I think it’s one of the resources we use most for planning outings together!" - Rachel Keller (Williamsburg, MA)

12Noon – HOMESCHOOL: Join other homeschoolers in the Berkshires at the old Stockbridge Plain School Park (new town hall) for an informal afternoon at the park. BYO picnic and equipment for a game of softball and tennis. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

3-5pm – BOOK RELEASE & PIE CONTEST: The Nields will have a book release party during Tuesday Market’s Pie Contest. They will be showing off their fabulous new book, judging pie and singing a few songs. Tuesday Market is located outside between Thornes Market and the Parking Garage. Northampton, MA (FREE)

6pm – SUPPORT GROUP: Monthly Support Group for Single Parents. The Valley Single Parent Support Group is open to all individuals parenting a child alone (as a result of a breakup or intentionally) and/or co-parenting with an ex. This group is being facilitated by a newly single mom of a toddler who is interested in providing a space for folks in similar situations to share stories and gain support. 413-341-5282. Thornes Market Place. Northampton, MA (FREE)

6:30pm – HISTORY: Learn all about the significance of department stores and tea rooms in American history with author Jan Whitaker at the Dickinson Library.  This is a great opportunity to learn about an interesting historical topic not often addressed.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY TUESDAY (Click HERE to suggest a free weekly playgroup, storytime or support group)

  • 9:15-10:30am – YOGA: Drop off the kids at school then come enjoy a yoga class at the library. Yoga teacher Kellie Finn teaches yoga this morning at the Meekins Library.  This is a fun class for those at any level.  Call beforehand to check on available space.  413-268-7473.  2 Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Public Library hosts Pre-School Story Hour.  There will be stories, songs, and fingerplay for little ones and they caregivers.  413-587-1011.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦

Wednesday, Sept 14th, 2011

"Hillltown Families gives me a great round up of family friendly museum events. Thanks." - Stacia Potter (Florence, MA)

7:30am – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Join the Hoffman Bird Club for a morning of bird watching at Slingside Park.  This excursion will be to look for migrating songbirds and sparrows in different habitats.  Get some exercise and fresh air, and learn about birds while you’re at it.  413-442-6327.  North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

3:30-4:30pm – INSECT STUDIES: Explore the life cycle of monarch butterflies with educator Rachel Roberts.  The workshop will use hands-on art and science activities to teach kids about the unique life of a butterfly.  Registratino required- space is limited.  Takes place at the Greenfield Public Library.  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – CONCERT: It’s Watermelon Wednesday at the West Whately Chapel.  This week’s performer is Maeve Gilchrist and Band- she is a Celtic harpist and singer, and performs with an alternative string quartet.  Wonderful music, and fun for the whole family.  413-775-3741.  Conway and Williamsburg Roads.  Whately, MA.  ($)

7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Owl and Raven hosts a workshop with trained sex educator Meg Baker.  Parents can discuss and learn about addressing sex and sexuality with kids and teens of all ages.  413-341-6494.  2 Conz Street #42.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY WEDNESDAY (Click HERE to suggest a free weekly playgroup, storytime or support group)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center- downstairs in the Unitarian Meeting house.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Cummington Family Center playgroup in the rear of the Cummington Community House. 33 Main St. Cummington, MA (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Sunshine Story Time for preK kids at the Greenfield Public Library. Reading, singing and play intertwine as Kay Lyons leds a fun half hour of story time followed by play time. Lover Level in the LeVanway Meeting Room. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10:15am: STORYTIME: The Chesterfield Public Library has a children’s story hour. 413-296-4735 Route 143. Chesterfield (FREE) ♦
    10:30 – STORYTIME: The Meekins Library hosts pre-school storytime this morning!  413-268-7473.  2 Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4:45-6pm – KNITTING: Is your yarn all knotted?  Do your needles refuse to behave?  Get some help (or, if you’re a skilled knitter, offer support) at Forbes Library’s Knitting Clinic.  Knitters of all ages and abilities are welcome- no pattern problem is too big or small.  413-587-1011.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦

Thursday, Sept 15th, 2011

"I follow Hilltown Families on Twitter, which keeps me well informed as to what is going on at local museums. Hoorah!" - Emily Neuburger (Amherst, MA)

10am- OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Go for a hike at Natural Bridge State Park with other families.  The hike will be led by a guide, and there will be nature activities and snack.  Arranged by Child Care of the Berkshires.  Meet at the parking lot.  413-664-4821.  107 Natural Bridge Road.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

6-7:45pm – WEATHER: TORNADOS: How exactly does a tornado work?  What makes one happen?  Why do they happen in some places frequently, and others hardly at all?  Learn the answers to these questions and more from an MIT PhD candidate at the Monson Library.  Best for older students and aspiring scientists.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE)

7-8:30pm – ARBORICULTURE: Interested in trees and forests?  Learn all about the Northern Forest tonight at the Great Falls Discovery Center.  The forest extends through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, and there are tons of great facts to learn about it.  Attendees will also learn some general information about trees, such as measuring and identifying.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY THURSDAY (Click HERE to suggest a free weekly playgroup, storytime or support group)

  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Music class starts at 11am most Thursdays. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation) 
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME: The Meekins Library hosts pre-school storytime this morning.  413-268-7473.  2 Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE) ♦  

Friday, Sept 9th 2011

"Hilltown Families is the place to check when you have family visiting and you need to schedule a weekends worth of entertainment!" Tony Lemos (Ashfield, MA)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Milham Planetarium at Williams College hosts an observatory show tonight.  The planetarium’s Zeiss Skymaster can show phases of the moon, retrograde motions of planets, temperatures of planets and stars, the location of nearby galaxies, and more.  The show is entertaining and also a great learning opportunity.  413-597-2188.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE) ♦

10-10:45am – SIGN LANGUAGE: The Westfield Athenaeum hosts sign language storytime this morning!  Kids ages 3-5yo can sign, sing, and read along to stories- there will be lots of movement, music, and of course, American Sign Language!  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦

10:30am – MUSIC CLASS:  Music Together classes at the Gateway Family Center for kids 5yo and younger and their caregivers. Facilitated by Music Together Teacher, Sondra Lewis. Register for all or part of the series by contacting Kim Savery ksavery@hchcweb.org. 413-667-2203 x3. Huntington, MA (FREE).

4pm – SPORTS: Take the little kids to see the big kids play soccer at Hampshire Regional High School for a boys varsity soccer game vs. Chicopee High. 413-527-7680. 19 Stage Rd. Westhampton, MA (FREE)

4-5pm – ARTS/CRAFTS: The Berkshire Co-op invites kids to come make portable art tubes for transporting their original masterpieces from school to home. 413-528-9697.  42 Bridge Street. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)     

EVERY FRIDAY (Click HERE to suggest a free weekly playgroup, storytime or support group)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center- downstairs in the Unitarian Meeting house.  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am – STORY/CRAFT: Stories, songs and crafts for preK kids and their guardians. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORY/CRAFT: Preschoolers can take part in story/craft time this morning at the Sunderland Public Library!  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Lap-sit story hour for kids 3yo and younder at the Greenfield Public Library for Mother Goose on the Loose.  Kay Lyons leads a half hour of structured story time, followed by 15 mins of visiting time.  Kids will enjoy movement games, rhythm and song as Kay reads and leads the group with puppets and hand rhymes. Lower Level in the LeVanway Meeting Room. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)  ♦
  • 6:30-8:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: GROW and MotherWoman host a postpartum support group for mothers in need of a supportive space to share, receive help, and grow.  The group takes place at the Community Room.  413-822-6043.  48 Elizabeth Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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