Suggested Events for Sept 17th-23rd, 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

PYO apples this Sunday at Clarkdale Fruit Farms in Deerfield (benefits CISA) and on Monday at Outlook Farm in Westhampton to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Details below.(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 17th from 10-11:30am in the Pioneer Valley – 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)

Later on Saturday, Sept 17th from 12noon-7pm in the Hilltowns – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Also, the trolley museum will be open and there will be ice cream cones available for just a nickel! Help Shelburne Falls support hurricane relief efforts at the 3rd annual Salmon Falls Festival. There will be live music, local fall food from local restaurants, family activities, street performers, and vendors set up all along Bridge Street. Support downtown Shelburne. 413-625-2526. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

On Sunday, Sept 18th from 12Noon-6pm in the Pioneer ValleyHARVEST 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. ($)

Also on Sunday, Sept 18th from 12noon-7pm in the Hilltowns COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The annual Hilltown Hoot is today. Help raise money for Central Berkshire Schools while having tons of fun. Performers include Terry a la Berry, the Hilltown Zydeco String Band, Annie Guthrie, Ryan Blessing, and Arlo Guthrie. There will be a bake sale and family activities all day. Takes place at the Washington Town Park. Route 8. Washington, MA. ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, September 24th from 10am-12noon – INSECT STUDIES: September may seem late in the season for butterfly watching, but the last round of butterflies heads to Mexico towards the end of the month. Visit Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary this morning to learn about monarch butterflies and adventure outdors to find butterflies to observe. 413-584-3009. 127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

GRASSHOPPA DANCE: Maureen Shea leads creative contemporary dance & Pilates classes for movers & shakers of all ages beginning September 12th at the Cummington Community House. Improvisation and technique meet in classes for ages 3-5 (The Green Leaves), ages 6-8 (The Johnny Jump-Ups) & ages 9-12 (The Big Cats). New dance classes this year include 4-week tasters during October for ages under 3 with their adult (Little Bodies, Big Bodies), and a dance class for adults (who says the kids should have all the fun?). Pilates classes for Active Adults and for Elders continue to run while an Introduction to Pilates will take place at Prakasa Yoga Studio in Goshen. Please check out grasshoppadance.org for class descriptions and schedule.

MEET THE DOULA DAYS: Meet the Doulas Day. Sunday, September 25, 2-4 PM at Cradle, Third Floor, Thornes Marketplace, Northampton. Drop in any time to meet birth and postpartum doulas and other professionals in a relaxed atmosphere. Free refreshments, free raffle, and free 15-minute massages for pregnant mamas. Learn more at www.greenriverdoulas.org.

WELLNESS PROGRAM: Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Need to lose some weight? Craig Fear of Pioneer Valley Nutritional Therapy is offering a 12-week group weight loss/wellness program rooted in local and traditional foods. GET AT THE ROOTS isn’t just about weight loss, it’s about getting the body healthy without dieting or calorie restriction. It can help parents not only with their own health issues but also with their children’s health. Many kids health issues such as ADHD, obesity, depression and allergies can be helped via nutrition. Anyone with a chronic health challenge will benefit. Classes start Sept 27th in Easthampton. For more info visit www.pvnutritionaltherapy.com/weight-loss. Contact craig@pvnutritionaltherapy.com or call 413-559-7770.

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.

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Grammy Award winning artist Keb' Mo' at the Calvin Theater on Thursday, Sept 22nd. Deadline to enter to win: Monday, Sept 19th @ 7pm

John Berkowitz, Pioneer Valley Climate Action Coordinator writes, “On Sunday Sept. 25 at 1pm in Northampton, we are holding a public “Chill-Out The Climate” rally in the Bridge Street School park. There will be young musicians performing, and we’d like to offer six students between the ages of 8-21 the opportunity to share a poem, song, hip-hop rhyme, prose statement, or anything they’ve created to express feelings/views about the environmental crisis we face. Then on Friday Nov. 4th @ 7pm in Northampton, and on Friday Nov. 11th @ 7pm in Greenfield, we are holding events for “It’s Our Future: Children and Youth Speak Out about Climate Change.” At each one up to 15 students will perform their piece about the environment-poetry, song, hip-hop rhyming, prose statement, etc. For details visit amherst350.org.”

GINGERBREAD HOUSES: The Springfield Museums are currently accepting submissions of designs for gingerbread houses for their annual gingerbread house exhibit in December. Designs can be inspired by (or recreations of) homes, historic places, local architecture, and more- design a gingerbread house that looks just like Northampton’s city hall or one that represents your dream house. Designs must be for structurally sound houses, so this is a great opportunity for kids to learn about and practice basic architectural concepts. If they choose to design a house based on a historic building, they can learn about the history behind that place, too. Submissions must be received by September 30th. The entry form is available HERE and guidelines for entries can be found HERE.

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.

CIRCUS HISTORY: The Big E has a new exhibit about circus history! Located in the Young Building, the exhibit is called “Circus Around the Clock” and shows a day in the life of a performer in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circuses. Visitors to the exhibit will learn how the circus operated during its heyday in the early 1940’s. The exhibit includes photographs, video footage, displays, informational panels, and even a wagon from a Barnum and Bailey street parade during the 1800’s. Visiting the exhibit is a great way to learn about the history of a popular form of entertainment and its significance within American culture. The exhibit can be visited from 8am-10pm during the Big E in West Springfield, which runs through Oct 2nd.

GRANDPARENT RESOURCE: Grandparents caring for grandkids. Franklin County Home Care Corporation (FCHCC) has grants available to help grandparents with the costs of caring for their grankid(s). More and more grandparents are being called on to give up their plans in order to look after their grandchildren, just as the looming expenses of retirement cut into the retiree’s income. For more information on the FCHCC grants, call 800-732-4636, or 413-773-5555, or 978-544-2259, or TDD 413-772-6566, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or use this eform.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Rocknocerous

Hilltown Family Variety Show

The guys from Rocknoceros guest DJ the HFVS this week with a Harvest Show, playing songs by Recess Monkey, Neil Young, The Trashmen, Robbie Schaefer, The Who, Ella Fitzgerald, and of course song off of their newest CD, Colonel Purple Turtle. – www.rocknoceros.com

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 17th-23rd, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Sept 17th, 2011

“Bike ride on the Northampton Bikeway from our house to Look Park (Florence, MA) for a picnic lunch & mini golf. Stop on the way back for a gluten-free treat & coffee at Cup & Top (Florence, MA).” - Nikki Wheeler (Northampton, 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

9am-2pm – COMMUNITY RALLY: Celebrate all that the highlands area has to offer and rally together with other community members at the Trustees of Reservations’ Rally for the Highland Communities. The event celebrates the strong connections that our community has with the place in which we live, and also provides attendees with opportunities to learn more about connecting with the community and preserving the area. The day ends with tours of the Bullitt Reservation and a hike. 413-628-4485. Bullitt Road. Ashfield, MA. (<$)

9am-2pm – CLOTHING EXCHANGE: Stop. Don’t take that bag of outgrown clothes to your local charity just yet. Bring them to a community clothing exchange. You’ll get to find some great new-to-you stuff for yourself, and others will benefit from your own outgrown bounty. Donations should be dropped off to the St. John’s Corner House (where the swap will take place) by the 16th in order to be organized for the swap. Leftover items will be donated to Share the Warmth and the Salvation Army. Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

9am-4pm – HOMESTEADING: Join the WIlliamstown Rural Lands Foundation at Sheep Hill for Homestead Day, featuring Carleen Madigan, author of The Backyard Homestead. The day will include workshops on bee keeping, raising chickens, cheese making, food preservation, and more. 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. WIlliamstown, MA. ($)

9:30am – PEACE FESTIVAL: Celebrate and learn about peace through many different lenses today at Hancock Shaker Village. There will be 18 different workshops throughout the day (ending by 3:45), along with live performances (music, dance, and more), demonstrations of peaceful activities (tai chi, for example), peaceful storytime for kids, New Games that encourage cooperation rather than winning, and more. There are peace-related activities and learning opportunities appropriate for all ages throughout the day- this is a great opportunity to teach your kids about the importance and benefits of peaceful living and mindfulness. 413-443-0188 ex 213. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

9:30-2pm – ANTIQUE AUTOS: Old Sturbridge Village hosts an Edwardian Era automobile gathering. Numerous vehicles from the early 1900’s will be on display and visitors can learn about the history of automobiles and the evolution of transportation. 800-733-1830. Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

10am- COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Colrain celebrates its 250th birthday this year. Today is the town’s Old Home Day, beginning with a huge parade. Following, there will be a Gala Celebration at the Pitt House during which there will be live performances of all kinds, food, vendors, games, a book sale, story telling, exhibits, and more. The day ends with a fireworks display. Happy birthday Colrain. Main Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE)

10-11:30am – KIDS COOKING: Help your kids learn about healthy eating and growing up to be healthy and fit at River Valley Market. FoodPlayProductions will engage kids in a fun and informative workshop- that includes making their own healthy snacks. Children must be accompanied by parents. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

10-11:30am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Kids are invited to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary for a morning of fairy-house making and storytime. Kids will learn to use materials that come from the forest without harming any plants. 413-584-3009. 127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA. (<$)

10am-12noon – COLOR PLAY: Forbes Library hosts Color Play – a group for families parenting children of color- this morning. The monthly event is a social and craft time for families sharing common threads- kids and parents can meet others from multiracial families. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

10am-1pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the grand opening of the Buckland Public Library. Attendees can check books, and also the newly renovated and expanded library space. There will be treats, games tours, music, and more. 30 Upper Street. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

10am-2pm – BACK-TO-SCHOOL: Celebrate back-to-school with Springfield Public Schools at Blunt Park. Free backpacks and school supplies will be distributed to the first 3,000 students to attend. There will be fun activities and a barbecue. 413-787-7908. 2460 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (FREE) (rescheduled from 8/27)

10am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Gill comes alive today for the annual Fall Arts & Crafts Festival and Farmers’ Market. The event celebrates and showcases the work of local artists, artisans, farmers, and growers. Arts, crafts, fruits, and veggies of all kinds will be on display and available for purchase. The event is held at the Four Winds School. 413-626-3620. Route 2. Gill, MA. (FREE)

10am-4pm – FIBER ARTS: There are many sheep farmers, fiber artists, spinners, dyers, weavers, and other artisans locally. Learn more about their craft and the local fiber arts scene today at the Franklin County Fiber Twist. The event takes place at the Yankee Candle flagship store. There will be demonstrations, a drop-in fiber arts area where visitors can make their own projects, and a vendor marketplace. Learn all about a local industry (and maybe get yourself a nice locally made sweater!). 25 Greenfield Road (Routes 5 and 10). South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

10:30am – BILINGUAL STORYTIME: Bring little kiddos to Second Chances Consignment Shop for story time with Somos Amigos. There will be stories and songs in both English and Spanish. 413-259-9393. 7 Pomeroy Lane #6. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – ORNITHOLOGY: Learn to understand and connect with birds in their habitat with A Passion for Birds with Henry Lappen at the Great Falls Discovery Center. The workshop will explin how birds have adapted to their habitat and the science behind how the move and act. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

12noon-4pm – MUSIC JAM: Musicians of all ages and abilities- pack up your fiddle, banjo, base, harmonica, guitar, etc. and bring it to the Greenfield Energy Park for the John Putnam Fiddlers’ Festival, an afternoon of informal jams and live music. There will also be a sunflower contest, sponsored by the Greenfield Recorder. Bring your biggest and best sunflower to win. 20 Sanderson Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

12noon-4:30pm – PET ADOPTION: Dakin Animal Shelter is having a special cat adoption event today. Cats can be adopted for just $5. If your family has been seriously considering adopting a cat, visit the shelter and bring home a sweet, fuzzy, ball of love . 413-781-4000. 163 Montague Road. Leverett, MA.

12-5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Bring the family to the Northampton Senior Center for a block party. Fun and foood for the entire family with the typical kidly friendly activities, live music by the Salvation Alley String Band & T.I.M.E. Raising money for the Senior Emergency Fund. 413-587-1228. 67 Conz St. Northampton, MA (>$)

12noon-7pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Also, the trolley museum will be open and there will be ice cream cones available for just a nickel! Help Shelburne Falls support hurricane relief efforts at the 3rd annual Salmon Falls Festival. There will be live music, local fall food from local restaurants, family activities, street performers, and vendors set up all along Bridge Street. Support downtown Shelburne. 413-625-2526. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

1pm – HISTORY: Learn all about what it was like to be a wireless communication operator at the turn of the 20th century. There will be postcards, photos, and letters to look at that belonged to (and tell the story of) a wireless operator and his experiences. Takes place at the Milne Library. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: The Northampton Community Music Center presents The Royal Order of Chords and Keys (R.O.C.K.) at the Eric Carle Museum. Sure to be a rockin’ time for kids and parents alike. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

1pm – THEATER HISTORY: Join Heritage Walks for a behind the scenes tour at the Barrington Stage Company. Older students can discover the history of the theater’s 100yo building, tour the stage, dressing rooms, costumes, and props. Prepare for stairs. One hour tour. 30 Union St. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

2-4pm – ASPERGER SUPPORT: Meetup at the Westfield Athenaeum 3rd Sat. of every month with members of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership. Anyone on the spectrum, parents of children with asperger and folks in support roles are welcomed. Meet downstairs in the committee room. Contact Michael Reinhagen at mreinhagen@gmail.com for more info. 6 Elm St. Westfield, MA (FREE)

2:30-4:30pm – HILLTOWN FAMILIES FUNDRAISER: Photographs by local photographer (and Hilltown Families’ founder and director) Sienna Wildfield are currently on display at the Meekins Library. A free opening reception will take place this afternoon for the exhibit, which features images of life in the Hilltowns and emphasizes the area’s unique culture and landscape. All images are for sale and benefit Hilltown Families. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

3-6pm – WILL BIKE 4 FOOD: Congratulate all the participants in the Food Bank of Western MA’s Will Bike 4 Food fundraiser at the afterparty! There will be refreshments from Berkshire Brewing Company and Bueno Y Sano, live music with The Alchemystics, and a show with TEAM E.A.S.T. Millside Park. 2 Ferry St. Easthampton, MA ($)

4:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Join Heritage Walks for a train ride to explore the local history of the paper making industries. Train stops along it’s slow journey from Lenox to Stockbridge, narrated by local historians.  A unique approach to social studies for older students. Dinner included. Pre-registration required. 413-637-2210. 10 Willow Creek Road. Lenox, MA ($$)

5pm – COMMUNITY POTLUCK: Crimson and Clover Farm hosts a Harvest Moon Potluck tonight. Open to the community, the event will include potluck dinner (BYO dishes etc. to limit waste, please don’t bring soups), a music jam (bring any instrument or music to share!), games, outdoor play, and more. The evening begins with dinner and becomes a night of spontaneous fun. 413-570-0337. 215 Spring Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

6-8pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Support fundraising efforts for the new Shutesbury Library and enjoy a delicious turkey dinner and live music from Lindsay LaBelle and others. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. ($)

7-9pm – ICE CREAM SOCIAL: All are invited to an ice cream social at the Goshen Town Hall. There will be ice cream, deserts, music and friendly neighbors. Hosted by Marybeth Mizula who is helping to send a local student to Prague. 42 Main St. Goshen, MA (>$)

7pm – HISTORY: WGBY hosts a free show at the Academy of Music on the War of 1812. Young history buffs will learn all about the first war that the United States ever declared on another nation. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)


Sunday, Sept 18th, 2011

“A perfect summer day would be to go out to Enterprise Farm (Whately, MA) to pick veggie’s and flowers in the morning, take a long walk on the bike path in the afternoon followed by a facial at JoiaBeauty (Northampton), and dinner at Karma’s (Northampton).” - Anna Alter (Northampton, 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

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-6pm – PYO APPLES: Celebrate CISA and locally harvested fruit at Clarkdale Fruit Farms. You can pick your own apples and stock up on peaches, grapes, pears, and plums. Yum. 413-772-6797. 303 Upper Road. Deerfield, MA. (MARKET)

ROSH HASHANAH: Celebrate and learn about Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, at Chabad House. There will be shofar making, music workshops, crafts, storytime, backing, and more. Call for time. 413-548-8749. 30 North Hadley Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

8am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: Visit the Big E. The Eastern States Exposition offers literally thousands of learning opportunities for kids and families along with endless fun. There are booths, exhibits, and demonstrations for countless industries, groups, etc. There are also midway games and rides, animals (and animal contests and demonstrations), live performances, and more. Hours are the same every day, and the event runs through October 2nd. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

9:30am – LOCAL HISTORY: Join Heritage Walks in an exploration of Gould Farm. Older students can learn about charcoal making, the lore behind their stone walls and the history of the nations first residential therapeutic retreat. Prepare for a moderate 2mile outdoor walk. Gould Road. Monterey, MA (FREE)

9:30-11am – 5K RUN/WALK: Nicky D’s annual 5K Run/Walk, held at Nonotuck Park, benefits Empty Arms this year. Empty Arms is a local bereavement support organization- all money raised stays here and supports local programs. Registration forms are available on the dealer’s website- families are encouraged to participate in the walk portion. 413-527-5401. 164 Northampton Street. Easthampton, MA. ($)

10am – LOCAL HISTORY: Discover the history of Stockbridge on a guided walk along historic Main Street with Heritage Walks. Older students can learn about their 275 history, about the Native American history, an unique residents who have resided in this small Berkshire town. Lead by Barbara Allen of the Stockbridge Library Historical Museum and Archives. One hour/one mile walk, beginning at the Stockbridge library. Corner of Main and Elm. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

10am-1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Hike off-the-trail at Notchview and Tamarack Hollow and explore lost cellar holes and other signs of abandoned homesteads. Learn about the history of the area (why are there cellars in the woods?!) and spend some quality time outdoors. The hike is 3 miles- best for older kids and parents, and preregistration is required. 413-445-4967. River Road. Windsor, MA. (FREE)

10am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Gill comes alive today for the annual Fall Arts & Crafts Festival and Farmers’ Market. The event celebrates and showcases the work of local artists, artisans, farmers, and growers. Arts, crafts, fruits, and veggies of all kinds will be on display and available for purchase. The event is held at the Four Winds School. 413-626-3620. Route 2. Gill, MA. (FREE)

11am-4pm – JEWISH STUDIES: The Yiddish Book Center at Hampshire College is holding an open house for members and prospective members. There will be tours at 11:30am and 12:15pm, Yiddish games at 1pm, and a live choral performance at 2pm. This is a great opportunity to explore a local resource for cultural studies. 413-256-4100 ex 114. West Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

12noon-4:30pm – HISTORY: Visit Historic Deerfield to learn about the use of baskets throughout history. Baskets were used by early settlers in Deerfield for everything from baby carrying to food storage. Visitors will also get to make their own baskets (for any purpose you want!) out of natural and/or recycled materials. 413-775-7214. Deerfield, MA. ($)

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. ($)

12noon-7pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The annual Hilltown Hoot is today. Help raise money for Central Berkshire Schools while having tons of fun. Performers include Terry a la Berry, the Hilltown Zydeco String Band, Annie Guthrie, Ryan Blessing, and Arlo Guthrie. There will be a bake sale and family activities all day. Takes place at the Washington Town Park. Route 8. Washington, MA. ($)

1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Take a guided tour of Richmond’s oldest cemetery. Gloria Morse from the Richmond Historical Society will lead a walking tour through the cemetery where older students can hear stories about Richmond’s previous citizens. Pre-register: 413-698-2560 1101 State Road. Richmond, MA (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

4pm – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Group presents “Russian Soul in the Early Fall,” a performance celebrating music of Russia at the Colonial Theater. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)


Monday, Sept 19th 2011

“I love the Hilltown Families site because of the great community events to watch for, but also because it was so great to be working today and to have a great email come from the site about an issue I am currently struggling with, a toddler in my bed! Getting that email made me feel more connected than ever!” - Catherine Wolkowicz (Whately MA)

2pm – GEOCACHING: The Clark Institute is a great place to geocach. Either bring your own GPS or borrow one from the institute- first come, first served. You’ll get to explore the grounds and find treasures. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)

3pm & 6pm: MOVIE SCREENING: The Whately Library will screen Jane Eyre (PG-13). 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA (FREE)

3:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Images Cinema is celebrating Jim Hensen’s Muppets this week. This afternoon, see a film titled, “Sesame Street at 40: Milestones on the Street.” THe film is fine for ages three and up and chronicles the evolution of Sesame Street over the years. 413-458-1039. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)

3:30-5pm – ROSH HASHANAH: Apples are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food- they symbolize the sweetness wished towards others at the Jewish New Year. Pick apples at Outlook Farm this afternoon to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. There will be singing, games, and a craft. Families must purchase the apples they pick. RSVP to Jen Gottlieb at jgottlieb@jngcommunications.com. Westhampton, MA

5:30pm – BREASTFEEDING – La Leche League of Northampton meets third Monday of every month. Topics cover breastfeeding benefits, nutrition and weaning, home care of your infant, and support. 413-570-0684 150 Main St. 3rd Floor. Northampton, MA (FREE)

6pm – BOOK SALE: Help the East Longmeadow library raise money and celebrate the beginning of the annual book sale by attending an international cooking competition. Teams will be cooking up international delicacies, inspired by The International Cookbook for Kids. There will be treats for all, and tons of great books for sale. 413-413-525-5432. 60 Center Square #2. East Longmeadow, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

6:15-8:15pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP: Child Care of the Berkshires hosts “Understanding Temperament” at the Haskins Community Center. Sarah Patton, LICSW, HHC will faciliate a workshop that will explain what temperament is and how parents who understand temperament can better parent their young kids. Registration is required: 800-519-188 x102 210 State St. North Adams, MA ($)

Deadline to enter to win is tonight @ 7pm.

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)
  • 4:30-5:30pm – CREATIVE DANCE: Johnny-Jump-Ups creative dance for kids 6-8yo with Grasshoppa Dance at the Cummington Community House Auditorium. Practicing improvisation, making dances and learning choreography. Drop-in welcomed through Dec 19th. 413-634-5431. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA ($)

Tuesday, Sept 20th, 2011

“Hilltown Families made us feel welcome in Western MA when we moved to Northampton nearly a year and half a go. We were at a loose end and didn’t even know where a playground was. Once we found it, we always knew where to go to have fun with our three boys. Soon we were meeting people and bumping into them again and again. It’s still the spot we check week after week. Hilltown Families reminds us when it is market day and where the playgroups are going on rainy cold days.” - Karen Bayne (Northampton MA)

8am-10pm – SOCIAL STUDIES: Visit the Rhode Island Building at the Big E today- it’s Rhode Island Day. Visitors can learn all about the state, everything from geography to history to food to culture… and everything in between. There’s a ton to learn about the smallest state in New England. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

10am – FAMILY MOVIE: See some muppet fairytales this morning at Images Cinema as part of their weeklong muppet celebration. 413-458-1039. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)

6:30pm – RESKILLING: Bring questions on freezing, drying, and canning food to the Whately Library tonight for a discussion and demonstration on food preservation. Along with information, resources for further information and help will be suggested. Learn how to prepare for winter so that you can enjoy local produce all year round. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, 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 21st, 2011

“Thank you Hilltown Families for letting us know about all the cool people and events just outside Northampton. You are a great resource for those of us who don’t live in the hills, but love to go there for a reason.” - Brenda Hardin Abbott (Easthampton, MA)

8am-10pm – SOCIAL STUDIES: Today is Connecticut Day at the Eastern States Exposition. Tour the Connecticut Building and learn all about the fascinating history of our southern neighbor, the Nutmeg State. (Why is it called that, anyway?… Find out!) There will also be delicious foods straight from Connecticut, as well as agricultural and industrial exhibits. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

2pm – PUPPETS: Watch, “The Art of Puppetry and Storytelling” at Images Cinema. Following the screening will be a puppetry workshop where participants can make their own puppets and practice puppetry. 413-458-1039. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, 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) ♦
  • 3:30-4:15pm: CREATIVE DANCE:  Green Leaves creative dance for kids  3-5yo with Grasshoppa Dance at the Cummington Community House Auditorium.  An introduction to dance concepts, body & spatial awareness, dancing with music and with each other. Drop-in welcomed through Dec 21st. 413-634-5431. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA ($)
  • 4-5pm: CREATIVE/CONTEMPORARY DANCE:  The Big Cats creative dance and contemporary technique for  kids 9-12yo with Grasshoppa Dance at the Cummington Community House Auditorium.  Exploring the fundamentals of contemporary dance, developing improvisation & choreography skills. Drop-in welcomed through Dec 21st. 413-634-5431. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA ($)
  • 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) ♦
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Hop into your pajamas and visit the East Longmeadow Library for Pajama Night Storytime before bed. For kids ages 3-6. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square #2. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦

Thursday, Sept 22nd, 2011

“Hilltown Families has given me numerous ideas, destinations, and events to participate in with my infant twins. It has been an invaluable resource that motivates us to get out and explore together!” - Stephanie Allen (Greenfield, MA)

8am-10pm – SOCIAL STUDIES: Celebrate Massachusetts today at the Big E. Learn about (or simply revel in and celebrate) the state’s history and culture at the Massachusetts Building. Sights to see include a replica of the state house, vendors from all over the state, and some of the state’s delicacies. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

4pm – PICNIC: The Northampton Parents Center is hosting their Annual Welcome Back Picnic at Look Park and welcome all families (new/current/alumni) to join them near the little playground.  BYO dish to share. 413-582-2636. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA (FREE, >$ for parking) (POSTPONED TO NEXT WEEK DUE TO RAIN)

6:30pm – MOVIE SCREENING: Screening of “Farmageddon: The Unseen War on Family Farms” at the Beacon Cinema. Refreshments at 6:30pm & screening at 8:30pm. Question and answer session follows screening. 413-442-0888. 57 North St. Pittsfield, MA (>$)

7:30pm – FIREWORKS: As part of the 154th Belchertown Fair, there will be fireworks at the Chestnut Hill Community. Belchertown, 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 23rd, 2011

“Hilltown Families has been fabulous to our family proving wonderful ideas, places to visit, and of course the families which we have meet by mentioning Hilltown Families. Thank you, Hilltown Families. Keep up the Good Work!!” - Glenda (Ashfield, MA)

AUTUMN EQUINOX

6:45am – AUTUMNAL EQUINOX: Gather at the UMass Sunwheel to celebrate the Fall Equinox. Located south of the McGuirk Alumni Stadium at UMass. Amherst, MA (>$)

10-10:45am – SIGN LANGUAGE: The Westfield Athenaeum hosts sign language storytime this morning. Kids can sign, sign, 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) ♦

10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Great Falls Discover Center hosts a story hour for kids 3-6yo. Held the 4th Friday of every month. 413-863-3221 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

4-10pm – FAIR: 154th Belchertown Fair. Belchertown, MA

5-8pm – COUMMUNITY CELEBRATION – Lee Founders’ Weekend begins with David Grover performing on the library lawn, kids carnival at Carr Hardware, rock climbing at Lee Bank, sidewalk sales, “Taste of Lee,” and much more! 413-243-1705 Main Street. Lee, MA (FREE)

6pm – AUTUMNAL EQUINOX: Gather at the UMass Sunwheel to celebrate the Fall Equinox. Located south of the McGuirk Alumni Stadium at UMass. Amherst, 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) ♦

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 – PLAYGROUP: Infants, toddlers, and their caregivers are invited to Crawl Talk at the East Longmeadow Library. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square #2. East Longmeadow, 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) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: PreK story hour with snack and crafts at the Griswold Memorial Library.      413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, 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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