Suggested Events for Sept 24th-30th, 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

Alley Octoput Graffiti Art

Checking out recent graffiti art on Kirkland Ave. in Northampton, MA. (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 partner with 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

Kids' Winter Wear Swap In the morning on Saturday, Sept 24th from 9:30-10:30am in the HilltownsKIDS’ WINTER WEAR SWAP: Do you have a bunch of winter weather gear that your kids have outgrown and wish that it would somehow just… get bigger? That may never happen, but you can get the next best thing on Saturday- new-to-you gear that fits. Hilltown Families has organized a Kids’ Winter Wear Swap! The event will take place in the Community Room at the Meekins Library. Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, etc. that your kids have outgrown to swap with other parents. Leftover gear will be donated to charity. Open to all. 2 Williams Street (Route 9). Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Then all day on Saturday, Sept 24thMUSEUM ADVENTURES: Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day with museums nationwide (8 of which are in Western MA) offering free admission! Museums in Amherst, Deerfield, Greenfield, Stockbridge, and  Springfield are participating. (Also, a great day trip is to visit the Ecotarium in Worcester- kids can learn all about ecology, biology, and the outdoors.) For a complete list of free Massachusetts museums, visit www.smithsonianmag.com. Celebrate the spirit of the Smithsonian- free learning and exploration for all. Western MA (FREE)

In Franklin Co. on Sunday, Sept 25th from 11:30am-12:30pm – ARBORICULTURE: Learn about the life cycle of an oak tree with educator Rachel Roberts at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Kids will learn about the processes that go on within a tree through storytime and hands-on activities. Sponsored by the Bernardston Cultural Council. 49 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

In Berkshire Co. on Sunday, Sept 25th from 12noon-5pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: The “Geckos: Tails to Toepads” exhibit at the Berkshire Museum has been extended through the end of October. The exhibit is an excellent way for kids (and families.) to learn about the life of a fascinating animal. For example, did you know that geckos have night vision and disposable body parts? There are many more fascinating facts to learn. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

And in Hampden Co. on Sunday, Sept 25th from 10am-4pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: The Westfield Athenaeum hosts Colonial Harvest Day (moved from the 24th due to rain). There will be games, crafts, vendors, music, a play, and more. Live entertainers include the Pioneer Valley Fiddlers, Colcester Continentals Fife and Drum Corps, and Washboard Slim and the Blue Lights. The library will also be holding a used book and tag sale to raise money for programming. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

 Next weekend, Oct 1st & 2nd in Orange: The 13th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival. Celebrating agricultural and a region rich in local culture, the Garlic and Arts Festival is a two day celebration with cooking demonstrations, garlic market, garlic cuisine, local artisans and great entertainment! — 60 Chestnut Hill Road. Orange, MA (>$)

Next Sunday, Oct 2nd at 1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: The Eric Carle Museum presents “BUGS”- a concert with local children’s musician, Mister G! 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, 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.

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.

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT: Do you know a child who is grieving the loss of a loved one? The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens welcomes families grieving the death of someone close. Families with children ages 5-18 are invited to join this free support group on Sunday afternoons. Children participate in small groups where they make projects, play games and other activities planned to support their grieving process, while their adult caregivers are part of a support group too. All groups are held at the Hampshire Regional YMCA in Northampton. For more information, visit www.garden-cgc.org, or contact Shelley Bathe Lenn at shelly.lenn@hrymca.org or 413-584-7086.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Autumn Equinox

Hilltown Family Variety Show

Charity Kahn from Charity and the JAMBand guest DJs the HFVS this week with a Autumn Equinox Show, playing songs by Justin Roberts, Joe Walsh, The Gourds and songs of her very own. She will also be reading the story, Lin Yi’s Lantern: A Moon Festival Tale by Brenda Williams and Benjamin Lacombe. A show not to miss.

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 24th-30th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Sept 24th, 2011

"My family and I like to hike Mt. Greylock (Lanesborough). We also go to the Apple Squeeze every year in Lenox." - Jen Filkins (Pittsfield, MA)

Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day: Free admission to 8 Western MA Museums

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 http://www.valleyfreeradio.org.

8am-10pm – SOCIAL STUDIES: What place do Cabot Cheese, Ben and Jerry’s, and maple syrup remind you of? Vermont. It’s Vermont Day at the Big E today- visit the Vermont Building to learn everything there is to know about the state- there’s a lot more to it than cheese and ice cream. Exhibits and demonstrations will teach visitors about the history, culture, and industry of Vermont. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

9am-3pm – COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: The First Congregational Church of Hadley’s Fall Festival is today. There will be a silent auction, tag sale, jams and jellies to buy, tasty foods, and more. Also, the Hadley Farm Museum will be open as part of the event, a great local museum to learn about the history and evolution of farming- specifically farming in the Pioneer Valley. 413-533-2412. 147 Russell Street and 102 Middle Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

9am-10pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The town of Lee is celebrating with Lee Founders’ Weekend. A great day to visit a town you’ve never traveled to in the Berkshires, or make a day in a town you frequent daily. There will be a hometown parade on Main Street (11am); Terry a la Berry will perform a family concert (1pm) and Moonshine Holler (2:30pm) on the library lawn; Lee Historical Society will display Lee memorabilia; “Peter Pan” will be performed at the Spectrum Playhouse (3pm); Shakespeare on Main Street Stage (4pm); Festival Latino in the Park (4-8pm),;”Lee Idol” at the playhouse; and plenty more worth checking out. 413-243-1705 Main Street. Lee, MA (FREE)

Kids' Winter Wear Swap 9:30-10:30am – KIDS’ WINTER WEAR SWAP: Do you have a bunch of winter weather gear that your kids have outgrown and wish that it would somehow just… get bigger? That may never happen, but you can get the next best thing today- new-to-you gear that fits. Hilltown Families has organized a Kids’ Winter Wear Swap. The event will take place in the Community Room at the Meekins Library. Bring winter jackets, boots, snow pants, etc. that your kids have outgrown to swap with other parents. Leftover gear will be donated to charity. Open to all. 2 Williams Street (Route 9). Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

9:30-10pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate Belchertown’s 250th birthday AND local culture and agriculture at the same time. The Belchertown Fair is this weekend, and with it comes an opportunity to see tons of livestock and livestock competitions, view exhibition items, play games and ride the ferris wheel, hear some great live (and local.) music, enjoy some delicious treats, and more. Belchertown, MA. ($)

9:30am-4:30pm – HARVEST HISTORY: Visit Historic Deerfield for a chance to learn about open hearth cooking using foods from the fall harvest. Pioneers needed to preserve all of the fresh foods in season during the fall- learn how they did this using only an open hearth for cooking. 413-775-7179. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

10am – FAMILY MOVIE: See “The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland” at Images Cinema as part of their week of muppet-themed events and screenings. Appropriate for ages 4+, and fun for the whole family. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, 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-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENURE: 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. (<$)

10am-4pm – TRANSPORTATION HISTORY: See a 1942 Air Force Jeep, a 1957 Corvette, and a 1930 Packard Coupe (and many more vintage cars) at the Springfield Museums today. Not only is this an opportunity to gawk at beautiful rare cars, it’s a great way to observe the evolution of transportation and car manufacturing over the last 80 to 90 years. There will be live DJ music, treats, a scavenger hunt, children’s activities, and more alongside the vintage automobiles. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

10am-4pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Head to the Amherst Town Common for the 25th annual Apple Harvest Crafts Fair and Children’s Festival. Along with booths and displays from local artists and artisans, there will be live music and performances (including Caravan Puppets, the OomPah Band, and Roger Ticknell), hay rides, scarecrow making, a petting zoo, face painting, and pumpkin decorating. 413-545-0865. Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

10am-4pm – NATURE SCIENCE: The Great Falls Discovery Center hosts and Investigation Station for kids to dicover the science behind leaves changing colors.  A variety of leaves will be examined. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

10am-5pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Lenox’s 32nd annual Apple Squeeze is this weekend. There will be apples galore, as well as hayrides, live performances, kids’ activities, vendors, food, and tasty beers and wines for the grown ups. 413-367-3646. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

10am-5pm – COUNTRY FAIR: Celebrate the fall harvest at Hancock Shaker Village’s annual Country Fair. The event will include a pie contest (high stakes- these are serious pies.), pony rides, a quilt show, live music (Berkshire Bluegrass- 2:30-5pm), wagon rides, a giant hay pile for jumping, a tent full of kids’ activities (including old fashioned games.), and tons of displays from local artists and artisans. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

10am-6pm – PAGAN FESTIVAL: The annual Western Massachusetts Pagan Pride Day is today. This is a great opportunity for families (it’s appropriate for kids.) to learn about Pagan culture and traditions. The day is filled with workshops covering many different aspects of Pagan life (including cooking, medieval astrology, the Celtic alphabet, and traditional fairy lore) as well as opportunities to participate in rituals and practices. Held at the Florence Civic Center. Attendees asked to donate nonperishable food items for donation to a local shelter. North Main Street. Florence, MA. (DONATION)

10:30am – BAKING – Local Apple-Bake Off at Greenfield Farmers’ Market. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

10:30-4pm – TEXTILE HISTORY: Historic Deerfield is offering a chance to learn about flax dressing and hat making today. Learn all about the history and cultural significance of these two things- great for young history scholars and those interested in fashion. 413-775-7179. 80 Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

11am – STORYTIME: the Odyssey Bookshop will host illustrator Kimberlee Lynne of The Frog and the Mouse for a reading and signing. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Visit the Huntington Public Library for an apple-themed storyhour. Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman’s birthday is coming up AND apple season is just beginning. Celebrate with some apple-themed stories. 413-667-3506. 7 East Main Street. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

11am-4pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Celebrate the turning of leaves, apple season, pumpkins galore, crisp air, and so much more in North Adams today at the Harvest Fest at Western Gateway Heritage State Park. There will be face painting, live performances, demonstrations (including soap making, butter churning, and loom weaving), fall crafts, a shadow theater, local food, and a beer garden for the biggest kids (which raises money for the North Adams Food Pantry). Tons of fun. 413-663-6312. State Street (Route 8). North Adams, MA. (FREE)

11am-7pm – LGBT FESTIVAL: Help raise money for the LGBT Coalition of Massachusetts at Rainbow Riverfest. The festival is a full day of live music, comedy, games, educational workshops, and more. There’s plenty for the whole family to do- there is a tent specifically for youth (20 and under) and there are lots of games and activities for kids. Set on the lovely banks of the Connecticut (at the Holyoke Canoe Club), the festival is sure to be fun. 413-2 Country Club Road. Holyoke, MA. ($)

11:30am – FAMILY BIKE RIDE: Help raise money for the Northampton Cycling Club by doing a family 8-mile bike ride, followed by a fantastic celebration at Look Park. Following the ride, there will be barbecue and live music (and local beer for the older folks). There are longer rides departing earlier in the morning, but the later, shorter route is best for families. 888-956-9560. North Main Street. Florence, MA. ($$)

12Noon-4pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Nuestras Raices hosts their 18th Annual Harvest Festival. there will be a traditional pig roast, kids activities, live music, demonstrations, vendors, and much more. 413-535-1789. 24 Jones Ferry Road. Holyoke, MA (FREE, DONATIONS WELCOMED)

1pm – ART STUDIES: Take a guided tour of downtown Pittsfield with art educator Craig Langlois from the Berkshire Museum to discover the public art the town hosts. Meet at the Pittsfield Visitors Center. 413-499-9747. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

1-5pm – GIRLS LACROSSE: Girls in grades 3-6 are invited to learn to play lacrosse. Wear loose clothing and BYO water bottle. This is a great opportunity to try out a new sport or just to spend an afternoon running around. Sponsored by Hadley’s Parks and Recreation department, the event takes place at the Hadley Elementary sports fields. Equipment will be provided. 413-586-6375. 21 River Drive. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

7-9pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Bring your flashlight and head to ZOO in Forest Park and Education Center to explore nocturnal animals. 413-733-2251 x110 302 Sumner Ave., Springfield, MA ($)


Sunday, Sept 25th, 2011

"One our favorite things to do in Western Ma is to head up to Westview Creamery (Monson) to get a pumpkin have lunch and ice cream and apple picking at echo hill farms and we always get the apple cider donuts." - Ashley Pierce (Monson, 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-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. ($)

9am-4pm – OUTDOORS EXPO: The Big MOE is today. The MOE is the Massachusetts Outdoors Exposition, sponsored by FAWNS (Facts About Wildlife and Nature Society). There will be demonstrations of outdoors skills, as well as opportunities to try your hand at things like fishing, kayaking, shooting, geocaching, tree identification, mountain biking and more. There will also be live birds of prey and reptiles to meet. Takes place at the Hamilton Rod and Gun Club. 413-589-8900. 24 Hamilton Road. Sturbridge, MA. (FREE)

9:30-8pm – FAIR: Celebrate Belchertown’s 250th birthday AND local culture and agriculture at the same time. The Belchertown Fair is this weekend, and with it comes an opportunity to see tons of livestock and livestock competitions, view exhibition items, play games and ride the ferris wheel, hear some great live (and local.) music, enjoy some delicious treats, and more. Belchertown, MA. ($)

10am-2pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Learn all about the history of farming in Whately at the Whately Harvest Fair. There will be an exhibit from the town’s historical society that offers kids a chance to touch and hold tools once used on local farms. There are also photographs, clothes, and other items from historic farms. Along with the exhibit, there will also be delicious food and live music. 413-665-3837. 218 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

10am-4pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: The Westfield Athenaeum hosts Colonial Harvest Day. There will be games, crafts, vendors, music, a play, and more. Live entertainers include the Pioneer Valley Fiddlers, Colcester Continentals Fife and Drum Corps, and Washboard Slim and the Blue Lights. The library will also be holding a used book and tag sale to raise money for programming. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) [Moved from Saturday due to weather]

10am-5pm – COUNTRY FAIR: Celebrate the fall harvest at Hancock Shaker Village’s annual Country Fair. The event will include a pie contest (high stakes- these are serious pies.), pony rides, a quilt show, live music (Berkshire Bluegrass- 2:30-5pm), wagon rides, a giant hay pile for jumping, a tent full of kids’ activities (including old fashioned games.), and tons of displays from local artists and artisans. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

10am-5pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Lenox’s 32nd annual Apple Squeeze is this weekend. There will be apples galore, as well as hayrides, live performances, kids’ activities, vendors, food, and tasty beers and wines for the grown ups. 413-367-3646. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

11:30am-12:30pm – ARBORICULTURE: Learn about the life cycle of an oak tree with educator Rachel Roberts at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Kids will learn about the processes that go on within a tree through storytime and hands-on activities. Sponsored by the Bernardston Cultural Council. 49 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

12noon-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Children’s Museum at Holyoke celebrates 30 years! Come celebrate their birthday with fames, clowns, cake and special unveilings! 413-536-5437. 444 Dwight St. Holyoke, MA (>$)

12noon-5pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: The “Geckos: Tails to Toepads” exhibit at the Berkshire Museum has been extended through the end of October. The exhibit is an excellent way for kids (and families.) to learn about the life of a fascinating animal. For example, did you know that geckos have night vision and disposable body parts? There are many more fascinating facts to learn. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

1pm – AUTHOR SIGNING: Eric Carle has written a new book, and you can help him celebrate at the Eric Carle Museum. The book is called The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse and Eric will be signing copies for a limited number of guests. You can also check out Eric’s original artwork for the book in the gallery and exercise your creativity with art projects inspired by the book. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

1-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate fall and our beautiful and bountiful forests at Hopkins Forest today. There will be wood working demonstrations, apple cider and apple butter making, a canopy walkway, treats, live music, and children’s activities. 413-597-4353. Northwest Hill Road and Bulkley Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

1-5pm – RALLY: Unlike some of the rallies you’ve perhaps attended, this one is totally perfect for kids and families. The Chill Out the Climate Rally is a gathering of people to call for carbon-free and safe energy sources. The rally begins at the Bridge Street School and will include a march from the school, across the Coolidge Bridge, and then back to the school (via the bike trail). Following the march, there will be live music poetry, and speakers. Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

2pm – FAMILY MOVIE: See “The Great Muppet Caper” at Images Cinema as part of their week of muppet-themed events and screenings. Appropriate for ages 4+, and fun for the whole family. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)

2pm – CONCERT: North Hall hosts the Old County Road Band this afternoon. The group plays a mix of classic country soungs, with a little bit of bluegrass mixed in. Fun, upbeat music for the whole family. 413-667-5543. 40 Searle Road. Huntington, MA. ($)

2-4pm – HISTORY: Director Ken Burns’ latest documentary series is on Prohibition, and the Springfield Museums are hosting an advance sneak-peek screening. Following the screening will be a panel discussion entitled, “Through Prohibition’s Historical Lens: Springfield, Women, and the Nation.” This is a great opportunity for older kids to learn more about prohibition, especially how it affected people locally. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

2-4pm – MEET THE DOULA DAYS: Meet the Doulas Day at Cradle. 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. Third Floor, Thornes Marketplace. Northampton, MA (FREE)


Monday, Sept 26th 2011

"Hilltown Families really helped us when we moved to this area from a big-city a few years ago. We thought we would be bored here and you quickly proved us wrong! Thank you." - Rebecca Chambers (Amherst, MA)

FAMILY DAY – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children

7pm – STRESS RELIEF: Laugh away your stress and ease your anxiety at Forbes Library. Laughing is healthy for many reasons (it lowers your blood pressure, for example), and it’s the best way to feel better. Enjoy a full 60 minutes of laughter and leave feeling relaxed and refreshed. Bring you t(w)eens to and laugh together… they won’t be able to resist. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

7:30pm – ORNITHOLOGY: Older students canlearn about science within classic films at Amherst Cinema. This month’s installment in the new Science on Screen series is Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Following the movie, UMass professor Dr. Jeff Podos will speak about bird communication and genetic mutation. 413-253-2457. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

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

  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, 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)
  • 10am- STORYTIME: The Shutesbury Library’s story hour is this morning. Enjoy an hour of stories, songs, games and crafts. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Play and learn this morning at Broad Brook Playground, hosted by the Family Resource Center. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Forbes Library hosts Storytime with Ellie this morning. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 2:30-5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Meekins’ Teen/Tween Scene is this afternoon. Hang out at the library and check out some new books, music, or DVD’s. You can also play a game on the Wii, get help with your homework, or do some arts and crafts. Snacks provided. 413-268-7472. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, 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 27th, 2011

"I like learning about community events and services. Been to a couple this past year I likely would have missed otherwise." - Leigh Salvage (Amherst, MA)

10am- HOMESCHOOL DAY: The Children’s Museum of West Hartford is hosting Homeschool Day today. There are tons of activities and workshops planned specifically for homeschoolers- some themes include humanity’s impact on the environment, simple architecture, aerodynamics, and space travel. Families will also be able to tour the museum on their own and learn from exhibits. Pre-registration is required. 860-231-2830. 950 Trout Brook Drive. West Hartford, CT. ($)

7:30pm – ORNITHOLOGY: Learn about science within classic films at Amherst Cinema. This month’s installment in the new Science on Screen series is Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.” Following the movie, UMass professor Dr. Jeff Podos will speak about bird communication and genetic mutation. 413-253-2457. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($) .

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) ♦
  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Interactive Literacy and playtime at the Sunderland Elementray School for preK kids. All welcomed. 413-475-1553. 28 Old Amherst Rd. Sunderland, 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)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Lilly Library hosts Kulp Memorial Storytime- it’s a lap sitting hour for kids newborn-18 months old. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 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) ♦
  • 10:30am – SINGING: Wendy will lead “Sing with Your Baby” at the Jones Library (large meeting room). 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – TODDLER TIME: Lilly Library hosts Toddler Time in the Kids’ Room. Little ones can hear stories, do crafts, sing, and play games. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm – NEW MOTHERS CIRCLE: Cradle hosts a gathering of moms and babies in a comfortable and supportive environment. Share your experiences with other moms and bond over the transformations that come with motherhood. 413-341-5282. Thornes Marketplace, 3rd Floor. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – BINGO: The Hinsdale Lions Club hosts Bingo every Tuesday evening. Though it’s generally an adult game, your kids can come too for a fun intergenerational evening. If they’re learning to count, they can get some great practice matching numbers on your card. Doors open at 5, and dinner is available inexpensively beforehand. 413-655-2973. Maple Street (Route 143). Hinsdale, MA. (<$) ♦

Wednesday, Sept 28th, 2011

"We look to Hilltown Families for so many amazing events including homeschool times at the Historic Deerfield Museum every fall. Thank you so very much for providing a great website." - Elizabeth Jensen

10am-4pm – HOMESCHOOL DAY: Historic Deerfield hosts Homeschool Harvest Day today. There will be opportunities to learn about open hearth cooking, carding wool, loom weaving, gardening, old fashioned schooling, and the fall harvest. Also, for a bit extra, you can make your own scarecrow. Tons of fun and a great opportunity to learn about history. 413-775-7127. 80 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

1-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Crane Museum of Papermaking to learn about the history of papermaking at Crane since the early 1800’s. Located on the banks of the Housatonic River, the building itself is a museum. This is a great opportunity to learn about local history. If you can’t make it today, the museum is open all weekdays during the same hours. 413-684-2600. 30 South Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

Deadline to enter to win is tonight @ 7pm.

3-6pm – COMMUNITY EXPO: If you live in the Central Berkshires, there’s a great opportunity tonight for you to find out about all of the community services available to you. The Dalton CRA is hosting a Community Expo, at which numerous organizations will be on hand to display and provide information on available resources- everything from fuel assistance to child care, job security to health questions, and more. Takes place at the Dalton Senior Center. 413-684-2000. 40 Field Street Extension. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

6-8pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP: The Friends of the Palmer Monson Family Network are hosting a workshop called “Dealing with Challenging Behavior” with child development expert, Alison Morrisey. Call to pre-reg. Childcare provided. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA (FREE)

6-8:30pm – COLLEGE FAIR: The Williston Northampton School hosts the 2011 Hampshire County College Fair this evening. If you have kids who are applying to college this year, this is a great opportunity for them to connect with representatives from schools that they are interested in (there will be 165 schools represented.). For kids who may be applying next year, the fair is an opportunity for them to begin their college search and get an idea of what schools they’re interested in (and what schools may be looking for) in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. Held in the school’s athletic center. 413-529-3000. 80 Park Street. Easthampton, 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)
  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, 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) ♦
  • 11am-12Noon: PLAYGROUP – Baby Hour at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, 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 29th, 2011

“You’ve done an amazing job of improving our lives by keeping families connected and informed about issues and events that we care about.” - Helen Kahn (Florence, MA)

ROSH HASHANAH: Hilltown Families contributing writer, Amy Meltzer, has shared many opportunities in Western MA for families celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Read her post and find out what’s happening in Florence, Northampton, Amherst and Pittsfield, open to all families.

2:30-6pm – FAMILY HARVEST CELEBRATION: Burgy Thursday Market celebrates their first season with a Family Harvest Celebration.  There will be activities for the kids, including cider pressing, floral arranging and paper-maché. Rain or shine! Come celebrate. 413-896-3709. Route 9. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

4-6pm – FAMILY CENTER PICNIC: Northampton Parent Center hosts a welcome back picnic at Look Park. All are welcomed. 413-582-2636. Florence, MA (FREE, >$ PARKING)

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)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Jones Library in the Children’s Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME:  Meekins Library with Rochelle. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Lilly Library with Lisa. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦

Friday, Sept 30th, 2011

"I love Hilltown Families, I live in Berkshire County and am much more aware of fun family events in the surrounding towns to take my daughter too... My daughter has enjoyed so many events we would not have known about." - Rebecca Heath (Pittsfield, MA)

10am – MOVIE TIME: The Berkshire Athenaeum will be screening: Noisy Nora, The Little Engine that Could, Morris’ Disappearing Bag, and  How Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? for preK kids. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

5pm – DANCE HISTORY: The history of hip hop music and dance will be presented at the Jones Library for t(w)eens. An interactive presentation with pizza & snacks. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE) 

5:30-7:30pm – TEEN: The Huntington Public Library screens, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” tonight. Enjoy a free “night at the movies”- there will even be free popcorn. 413-667-3506. 7 East Main Street. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

6-9pm – FAMILY NIGHT OUT: Enjoy one of Old Sturbridge Village’s Harvest Parties. The village will be open for exploration, discovery, and learning (so much history to learn about.), and there will be live music, hayrides, storytelling around a bonfire, live music, and more. Celebrate fall and learn about early life in Massachusetts at the same time. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

7pm – PUPPET SHOW: “Once Upon a Compost Pile: A Puppet Show” will be presented by Cripps Puppets CompostAbilities at the Ashfield Community Hall. The show tells the story of a young artist and his mother inspiring people to embrace composting as part of everyday life. As the story unfolds, we get a rare glimpse of marionette culture as the puppets carry on lives of their own. 413-628-4613. Main Street. 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) ♦

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)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Gross motor activities at the Sunderland Elementary School gym for preK kids. All welcomed. 413-475-1553. 28 Old Amherst Rd. Sunderland, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10-10:45am – SIGN LANGUAGE STORYTIME: 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) ♦
  • 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 – STORYTIME: PreK story hour with snack and crafts at the Griswold Memorial Library. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, 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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