Suggested Events for Oct 1st-7th, 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

Caramel apples are a harvest time sweet treat sure to be found at the many fall festivals happening over the next few weekends. - And check out all the great history listings this week too! Click on the photo to see our featured history events. (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

Featured History Events This Weekend

On Saturday, Oct 1st 10am-5pm in Berkshire Co. – FALL FESTIVAL: The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Fall Festival is today. There will be live music, food, a plant sale, a silent auction, a huge farmers’ market, a vaulting demonstration, of local artists & vendors and information sessions on many topics, including: honeybees, growing garlic, autumn garden wrap-up and making jellies and jams. 413-298-3926. Routes 102 and 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

Also on Saturday, Oct 1st from 10am-5pm in Franklin Co. – FALL FESTIVAL: Pay a visit to the festival that stinks. The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is this weekend, bringing with it tons of great opportunities for both fun and learning for the entire family. There will be live music all day, including both LuxDeluxe and Gaia Roots. Families can enjoy delicious food- prepared with lots of garlic.- and attend demonstrations on cider pressing, grain grinding, lumber milling, and more. 60 Chestnut Hill Road. Orange, MA. ($)

On Sunday, Oct 2nd from 10am-4pm in Franklin Co. – FALL FESTIVAL: The Conway Festival of the Hills is today. The event begins with a 10k road race for adults or a 1.2 mile kids’ race. There will also be an open house at the historical society from 11-4, along with delicious food, art exhibits, a parade at 1pm, cider pressing, a raffle, TONS of live music, exhibits and demonstrations from local businesses and organizations, a skillet throwing contest at 2pm, and more. This is a great way to celebrate both fall and Hilltown culture. 413-475-0087. Conway, MA.

And in the afternoon on Sunday, Oct 2nd at 1pm in Hampshire Co. – 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. ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Columbus Day Weekend – ASHFIELD FALL FESTIVAL: The annual Ashfield Fall Festival takes place up and down Ashfield’s Main Street on Saturday, Oct. 8, and Sunday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Offers over 50 craft and art exhibits, locally prepared foods and agricultural products, activities for children, Pumpkingames, music performances, Morris dancers, and the fourth annual tallest sunflower and heaviest pumpkin competitions. Visit www.ashfieldfallfestival.org. Ashfield, MA (FREE)


On Friday, Oct 14th from 4-6pm in Franklin Co. – ART & PIZZA: Hilltown Families and The Art Garden will be offering a free Design Your Own T-Shirt Workshop & Pizza Party for families. All are invited to come and create t-shirts with affirmative slogans and positive images of self-expression. Bring an old t-shirt and repurpose it into your very own, one-of-a-kind design. Pizza slices will be sold for $1 a slice while supplies last. 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

JEWISH LIVING: The Florence Melton Adult Mini School (FMAMS) exploring Jewish living will return to Northampton on Wed, Oct 26. Thirty week classes will be held at the Lander-Grinspoon Academy on Weds from 7-9pm. Instructors include: Shoshana Zonderman; plus a team of instructors including Rabbi Justin David, Rabbi Riqi Kosovske, Rabbi Devorah Jacobson, Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz & Dalia Davis. Cost is $360 for tuition & materials. Subsidies are available. No prior knowledge is needed; no homework; interfaith family members welcome. To enroll call Lisa at Temple Beth El, 413-733-4149. Watch a video about Melton course at www.facebook.com/FMAMS. Sponsored by Temple Beth El, Jewish Federation of Western MA, Jewish Endowment Foundation & Lander-Grinspoon Academy.

Opening reception on Sunday, Oct 2nd from 3-5pm at Elmer's in Ashfield, MA.

ART OPENING: The gallery at Elmer’s in Ashfield will be 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 Sunday, October 2nd from 3-5pm, and the images will be on display through Nov 3rd when it moves to Mocha Maya’s in Shelburne Falls. 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. 413-628-4003. 396 Main Street. Ashfield, MA.

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.

CULTURAL STUDIES: Beginning October 4th, the Chicopee Library will be hosting an exhibit of Polish artwork. Sponsored by the Kosciuszko Foundation, the exhibit will feature pictures, maps, and displays of aspects of Polish culture. There will be an opening reception on the 4th at 6pm. Pay a visit to the exhibit- it’s a great way to learn about customs, traditions, and daily life within another culture. For more information, visit the library’s website at www.chicopeepubliclibrary.org.

Leslie Reed-Evans, Executive Director of the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation writes, “ Whether you’ve just discovered a wonderful new pie recipe or have a traditional family favorite, consider entering the 8th Annual Williamstown Pie Contest on Saturday, Oct 15th. Sponsored by the WRLF, the Pie Contest will beheld at the Sheep Hill headquarters in Williamstown. A panel of distinguished pie aficionados will judge the pies in three categories: Adult Home-Bakers, Youth Bakers (16 & under), and Professional Bakers. Each entrant bakes two pies from the chosen recipe: one for the panel of judges and one for public sampling. Sweet and savory pies are welcomed, using ingredients from local farms and markets. Pies must be delivered to Sheep Hill on Oct 15th between 4-5:45pm. For more info call 413-458-2494, or go to www.wrlf.org.

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Fundraising.

Hilltown Family Variety Show

It’s fundraising time at Valley Free Radio. Call in during the show and make a donation to support your community radio station. Sienna Wildfield, host of the HFVS will be taking calls and pledges of support. Call between 9-10am this Saturday (10/1) 413-585-1033.

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:
Oct 1st – 7th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Oct 1st, 2011

"I love fall festivals like the Ashfield and Quabbin Garlic and Arts festivals. I enjoy seeing friends, tasting the foods of the season and enjoying the seasonal changes while creating a ritual with my kids who are experiencing some of these things for the first time." - Jessica Larkin of Bernardston, 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 http://www.valleyfreeradio.org.

TAG SALE: Today is Tag Sale Day in Deerfield and South Deerfield. There will be over 100 tag sales- meaning tons of great new-to-you goodies to discover. Deerfield, MA. (SALE)

8am-12:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Indulge in fresh fruits and vegetables (and lots of other local products) at the Farmers’ Market at St. Elizabeth’s church as part of the Fall Foliage Festival. St. Anthony Drive. North Adams, MA. (MARKET)

8am-10pm – SOCIAL STUDIES: Today is Maine Day at the Big E. Explore the Maine Building on the Big E grounds to learn about the largest New England State. The state is well-known for its lobster, potatoes, snow, gorgeous rocky coastlines, and isolated, scenic, and majestic forests, and there is tons to learn about the state’s history and culture. Meet representatives from some of the state’s largest agricultural industries and take a look at educational displays. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)

9am – PARADE: Well-behaved pups can be entered into the Dog Day of Fall Parade. Canines must be up-to-date on shots and leashed, and there will be prizes for doggies in costume as other animals. Begins at the Farmers’ Market. 413-499-4000. St. Anthony Drive. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

9am-12noon – PARENT WORKSHOP: With every generation, the challenges of parenting change. The Hartsbrook School hosts, “The Challenges of Being a Dad in the 21st Century,” today, a workshop full of great conversation lead by Jack Petrash, founder of the Nova Institute. 413-584-3198. 193 Bay Road. Hadley, MA. ($)

9am-3pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: It’s the Green River Cleanup today. Great opportunity for families to volunteer together in their community. Meet at Murphy Park, dress for the weather, and bring gloves for picking up trash. Organized by the Friends of the Green River as part of the CT River Source-to-Sea Cleanup. Participate in community service with your kids. 413-773-7560 Leyden Road. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

9:30am-5pm – APPLE HISTORY: Most of the time, we enjoy the same few types of apples- Macintosh, Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, and maybe a Granny Smith or Golden Delicious once in a while. There are, however, hundreds of apple varieties that go untasted and unappreciated. Old Sturbridge Village grows some of these varieties, and you can try them at Apple Days. Along with apple tasting, there will be demonstrations, cider, and fun for all. This is a great way to celebrate fall and learn about the history of this delicious fruit. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

10am – 5K RACE: Hatfield’s annual Harvest 5K Race takes place today. The route is mostly flat, and about half of it is off-road. Money raised by the race benefits the town’s schools. Registration begins at 9am at the elementary school. Main Street. Hatfield, MA. ($)

10am-12Noon – STEM PLAYGROUP: Join The Greenfield Family Center for a playgroup with a STEM focus. Kids 6yo and younger and participate in interactive activities around science, techology, engineering and math. 413-475-1553. 90 Federal St. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

10am-1pm – ARCHITECTURE: One way to observe changes in American culture is through architecture- home and building design always reflect the times. Today in Greenfield you can go on an architecture walk lead by Amherst professor Kevin Sweeney and learn about the architectural history of the town. After the walk will be an optional lunch at Hope and Olive during which Sweeney will provide a history of the building in which the restaurant is located. This is also a great way for older students to learn about local history. Meet at the Town Common. RSVP to pvi@gcc.mass.edu. 413-775-1671. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Fall Festival is today. There will be live music, food, a plant sale, a silent auction, a huge farmers’ market, a vaulting demonstration, of local artists & vendors and information sessions on many topics, including: honeybees, growing garlic, autumn garden wrap-up and making jellies and jams. 413-298-3926. Routes 102 and 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Pay a visit to the festival that stinks. The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is this weekend, bringing with it tons of great opportunities for both fun and learning for the entire family. There will be live music all day, including both LuxDeluxe and Gaia Roots. Families can enjoy delicious food- prepared with lots of garlic.- and attend demonstrations on cider pressing, grain grinding, lumber milling, and more. 60 Chestnut Hill Road. Orange, MA. ($)

10:30am-4pm – TRADE HISTORY: Visit Historic Deerfield today to learn how shoes and dresses were once made. This is a great way to learn about how the technology for apparel production has changed, as well as the evolution of fashion. 413-775-7127. Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

11am – SOCCER: Watch the Westhampton Men’s Varsity soccer team take on Palmer this morning. Going to a game is a great way to give kids a realistic idea of what seriously playing a sport can be like. 19 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

11am – MEET THE AUTHOR: The Odyssey Bookshop hosts author and illustrator Barry Moser. He will be promoting and signing copies of his newest book, “The Cheshire Cheese Cat,” which tells the tale of a stray alley cat with an embarrassing secret. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)

11:30-2:30pm – MEET THE AUTHOR: Children’s book author Mo Willems’ 1500-pound elephant sculpture is being installed at The Carle. Join Mo in celebrating, and then get your book signed and explore the museum. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

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1-3pm – CARD-MAKING: Today is World Card Making Day. Celebrate at the Milne Library by creating some original, one-of-a-kind cards to send to your friends and family. Preregistration required. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

1pm – BOTANY/DENDROLOGY: Budding botanists can learn to identify 10-15 types of ornamental trees. You’ll also learn about care and maintenance for these native and non-native shade-giving trees. This is best for older students who have an interest in botany, environmental studies, or dendrology (tree studies). Takes place at the Shutesbury Town Hall. 413-259-1204. 1 Cooleyville Road. Shutebury, MA. (FREE)

2pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: Western Gateway Heritage State Park hosts, “Macchu Picchu: 100 Years,” today. It’s a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the rediscovery of what is known as the “lost city of the Incas.” This is an informative, lecture-style presentation (including pictures) that is best for older kids and parents. 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

3pm – SOCCER: Watch the Westhampton High School Women’s Varsity soccer team play Palmer on their home turf this afternoon. Teach your kids how to be a supportive fan and expose them to higher-level athletics. 19 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

3-5pm – AUDITIONS: Does your kids love the spotlight? Are they aching to be on stage? Castle Hill Theater Company is hosting auditions for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” this weekend. There is space in the cast for 17 kids ages 6-14, as well as 10 adults. Kids will be expected to read from the script (based on the book of the same name) and sing a Christmas song- though the show isn’t a musical. Takes place at the New Stage Performing Arts Center. 413-418-0999. 55 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

3:30pm – CHESS: The Jones Library hosts Chess Club this afternoon. Whether you’re a seasoned player or a beginner, you’re welcome. If you have your own pieces, feel free to bring them. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

6-8pm – HISTORY: Hear all of the historical gossip of Stockbridge. Ghosts (er, actors) of residents past will be on the lawn at the Stockbridge Library, gossiping about all of the town’s happenings- visitors can talk with them or simply listen and observe to learn about the town’s history. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

6:30-9:30pm – MOVIE SCREENING: MN Spear Memorial Library’s movie night tonight is Dumbo. Shown at the Town Hall. 413-259-1213. Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

7pm – HAUNTED HAYRIDE: Head to McCray’s farm for the Monster Mash Hayride- a strong dose of spooky and scary. There are screams around every corner. Best for t(w)eens and adults. 413-533-0775. 55 Alvord Street. South Hadley, MA. ($$)

7pm – PUPPET SHOW: Head to Ashfield tonight for, “Once Upon a Compost Pile,” a puppet show about a young artist and his mother who work to inspire people to compost. Performed with marionettes, the show is both fun and educational. Takes place at the Ashfield Community Hall, and tickets are available at Elmer’s or Ashfield Hardware. Main Street. Ashfield, MA. ($)

7pm – SINGING: Join Sarah Pirtle to celebrate the release of her newest album, Better Together. The event takes place at the Nacul Center and begins with a sing-a-long and song-swap until 7:45 when Sarah will play a set including lots of songs from the album. The CD as well as Sarah’s book for parents and teachers will both be available for purchase. 592 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, Oct 2nd, 2011

"Going to the Ashfield Fall Festival and Conway Festival of the Hills of course. Don’t forget apple picking at Quonquont in Whatley." - Paula Yolles of Florence, 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)

7am – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: North Adams’ Fall Foliage Parade and festival is today. The event begins with an all-you-can-eat breakfast at 7. There will be a 5k race at 12:30, and the Fall Foliage Parade begins at 1. 413-499-4000. Curran Highway. North Adams, MA. (<$)

9am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Take a hiking tour of the Shadowbrook Estate. The route will take you through 3-5 miles of scenic trail, including a beautiful pond with a 50 foot waterfall and along brand new trails rebuilt this year. Best for older kids. Pre-registration required, meet at Olivia’s Overlook. 413-499-0596. Richmond-Lenox Road. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

9:30am-5pm – APPLE HISTORY: Most of the time, we enjoy the same few types of apples- Macintosh, Red Delicious, Gala, Fuji, and maybe a Granny Smith or Golden Delicious once in a while. There are, however, hundreds of apple varieties that go untasted and unappreciated. Old Sturbridge Village grows some of these varieties, and you can try them at Apple Days. Along with apple tasting, there will be demonstrations, cider, and fun for all. This is a great way to celebrate fall and learn about the history of this delicious fruit. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

10am – LOCAL HISTORY: The mill-town history of the town of Lee is visible in the buildings and monuments of its downtown area. This morning, the Lee Historical Commission will lead a waking historical tour of downtown Lee. Great for all ages- learn about the interesting history of the town. Register by contacting rattlerprod@earthlink.net. Lee, MA. (FREE)

10am – LOCAL HISTORY: The town of Egremont has a rich history of industry during the 19th century. Nic Cooper of the Egremont Hisorical Commission and Egremont Land Trust will lead a historical tour of town this morning. This is a great way to learn about local history. Meet at the Academy Building. Buttonball Lane. South Egremont, MA. (FREE)

Deadline to enter to win is tonight @ 7pm.

10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Conway Festival of the Hills is today. The event begins with a 10k road race for adults or a 1.2 mile kids’ race. There will also be an open house at the historical society from 11-4, along with delicious food, art exhibits, a parade at 1pm, cider pressing, a raffle, TONS of live music, exhibits and demonstrations from local businesses and organizations, a skillet throwing contest at 2pm, and more. This is a great way to celebrate both fall and hilltown culture. 413-475-0087. Conway, MA.

10am-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Ever wanted to scale a wall of rock? Today, you can learn how. Morse Hill Outdoor Education Center will be leading a Rock Climbing Fun Day today at Chapel Ledges. Kids over the age of 14 can learn to belay, and kids 8-14 can learn to climb and rappel. Pre-registration required. 413-253-1807. Williamsburg Road. Ashfield, MA. ($$)

11am – LOCAL HISTORY: One leg of the Underground Railroad went from Lebanon, New York to Dalton- and you can walk part of it and learn about the history behind it today. “Passengers” were transported through a tunnel underneath the road, which passes through scenic Wizard’s Glen and past part of what is now the Appalachian Trail. The tour will also include information about the Hoose House, a stop on the railroad, which was owned by a local African-American farmer who fought in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War. Meet at the Appalachian Trail parking area. Pre-registration required. 413-684-3312. Gulf Road. Dalton, MA. (FREE)

11am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL/LOCAL HISTORY: Enjoy live music, cider pressing, a farmers’ market, an antique auto show, book sale, and open houses at both the Historical Museum and the Farm Museum in Hatfield today. This is a great way to celebrate fall and learn about the community’s agrarian history. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

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1pm – FAMILY CONCERT : The Eric Carle Museum presents “BUGS”- a concert with children’s musician and local hero Mister G. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

1-3:30pm – EXPECTING MOMS: Midwife Michele L’Esperance leads a creative movement class for moms-to-be today at BayState Franklin Medical Center. The class will teach participants how to use birth balls, along with positioning and movement to help with labor. 413-203-4479. 164 High Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Explore the grounds at The Mount, the estate that formerly belonged to author Edith Wharton. The home, which is over 100 years old, is a National Historic Landmark. The tour will include a look at the formal gardens, as well as viewings of the stables, greenhouse, and kitchen garden. Throughout the tour, attendees will learn the historical significance of Wharton and her home. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Hatfield is home to the only preserved 17th century English village site ever discovered in Southern New England. UMass PhD student Randy Daum, in his illustrated presentation, will shed light on how the settlers lived and, in some cases, how they died. Meet at the Congregational Church. 41 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: History buffs can learn about gender roles in families in whaling villages on the coast of Massachusetts during the 18th and 19th centuries this afternoon at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum. Presented by a Brown University PhD student, the talk will also include discussion of women in Native American and Quaker communities. 413-743-7121. 67 East Road. Adams, MA. (FREE)

3-5pm – ART OPENING: The gallery at Elmer’s in Ashfield will be 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 today and sales of images benefit Hilltown Families. 413-628-4003. 396 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

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Monday, Oct 3rd, 2011

"Hilltown Families reminds me to seek out entertainment and support local artists with my family in the midst of a busy work week." -Celeste Palladino of Northampton, MA

10am-12pm – IMPORTANCE OF PLAY: Playing equals learning! The Greenfield Family Center will offer a hands on presentation with Amanda Watson on play and the lifelong benefits it has for our children. A family lunch will be served at 11:30am and each family will receive a free play kit. RSVP amandawatson@communityaction.us 413-475-1543. 90 Federal St. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

7pm – SING-A-LONG: The Westhampton Library hosts a community sing-a-long. If you have an instrument, bring it. Music can be brought to share, but please bring at least 10 copies to add to the library’s binders. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

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) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, 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 ($)

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Tuesday, Oct 4th, 2011

"Hilltown Families does a good job of putting out info about a lot of diverse events and activities. Fun to see all the good fun around here" -. Helene Leue of Ashfield, 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) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, 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. (<$) ♦

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Wednesday, Oct 5th, 2011

"Hilltown Families connects me with great family-friendly venues and better yet, gives me a way to connect friends with the site, so they show up, too. I send along the link to new parents, parents of teens, etc. Or, folks new to the area who may not have kids, but are looking for fun local flavor. Thanks for all you do." Deborah Doulette of Whately, MA

10:30am – HISTORY/THEATER: The Barrington Stage Company presents, “The Best of Enemies,” a historical show civil rights activist Ann Atwater and Klan leader C. P. Ellis who were brought together to desegregate schools in Durham, North Carolina. Appropriate for older students. 413-997-6118. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

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) ♦

    Deadline to enter to win is tonight @ 7pm.

  • 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) ♦

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Thursday, Oct 6th, 2011

"My mother has always enjoyed Hilltown Families. She grew up in Plainfield and I have relatives living in Chesterfield and Plainfield today. It’s great to have someone covering small town news." - Ed Kubosiak Southampton, MA

9:30-11am – SUPPORT GROUP:The Amherst Family Center hosts a family support group. There is childcare for kids under 6, a well as snacks, and parents can meet and talk with other parents in a supportive, positive environment. There will be occasional guest speakers, as well as field trips, crafts, poetry, and more. There is free transportation available from Northampton. 413-834-3344. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

10am – READING: In a call to end America’s early education achievement gap, more than 2 million voices will read Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney to set a world record. Join Clare Higgins for a reading at the Greenfield Family Center for a reading, kid activities and crafts. 90 Federal St. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

11am – READING: Visit the Eric Carle Museum for a special storytime featuring the book Llama, Llama Red Pajamas by Anna Dewdney. Today, readers across the country will read the same book in order to set a record- last year’s book was read by 2 million people- this year, hopefully 2.5 million will read. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

11am-3:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Holyoke Farmers’ Market celebrates fall today. Along with the usual delicious local fruits, vegetables, and more, there will be apple cider and apple crisp to sample, provided by School to Career. 413-322-5510. High Street. Holyoke, MA. (MARKET)

6pm – STORYTIME: Young dinosaur enthusiasts are invited to dinosaur-themed storytime at the Westhampton Library tonight. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

6:30-8pm –COMPOST: Worms- gross, slimy, icky, sticky, creepy crawly… and helpful. These little creatures help make heathy soil and compost. At River Valley Market tonight you can learn about how to manage indoor worm bins during the winter months. Worm bins are a great way for kids to learn about how worms live and the role that they play within our ecosystem. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, 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)
  • 10:30am – 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) ♦

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Friday, Oct 7th , 2011

"First thing I check in the morning... last thing I check at night.. Hilltown Families is my constant check in to keep me and Za out and about. Its a great way to meet other local families and stay connected with all our friends spread out through these hills. Thanks for all the great ideas and insight." Brehan Bruce of Becket, MA

9:30am – BREASTFEEDING – La Leche League of Northampton meets first Friday 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)

10am – FILM SCREENING: The Berkshire Athenaeum is now hosting pre-school films on Friday mornings. This week’s showings will be “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel,” “Catterpillar and the Polliwog,” and “Frog Goes to DInner.” 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

10:30am – HISTORY/THEATER: The Barrington Stage Company presents, “The Best of Enemies,” a historical show civil rights activist Ann Atwater and Klan leader C. P. Ellis who were brought together to desegregate schools in Durham, North Carolina. Appropriate for older students. 413-997-6118. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

11am – STORYTIME: PreK story hour with snack and crafts at the Griswold Memorial Library. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA (FREE)

5pm – SPORTS: The Easthampton volleyball team takes on Dean Tech tonight. Bring younger kids to learn about the game of volleyball, as well as sportsmanship and the fun of sports. 413-529-1585. 70 Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

6:30-9:30pm – CAMPFIRE STORYTIME: Around an Autumn campfire, join Rebekka Tippens for “One Town… Many Stories” – tales from Colrain and surrounding villages.  Refreshments.  413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA (FREE)

7pm – SPORTS: The Easthampton High School football team has a game tonight against Dean Technical High School. Bring your kids to give them a more realistic idea of what playing football is like than the NFL will ever provide. 413-529-1585. 70 Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Gaze into the night sky at the Springfield Science Museum tonight. “Stars Over Springfield” is an event where families can learn about stars- this month’s theme is the moon. After a brief astronomy talk, the museum’s telescope will be opened and visitors can view the stars. In case of bad weather, there will be a planetarium show. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

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)
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, 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 younGer 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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