Suggested Events for Oct 8th-14th, 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

While at the Ashfield Fall Festival this weekend, stop in to the Belding Library for their annual book sale and stock up on your winter reading! In addition to the book sale, will be over 55 arts and crafts exhibits at the festival, along with live music, a wide variety of local agricultural products and prepared foods, tag sales, fundraising raffles, and many activities for children.

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

On Saturday, October 8th & Sunday, October 9th from 10am-5pm in the Hilltowns – 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, games, music performances, Morris dancers, and the 4th annual tallest sunflower and heaviest pumpkin competitions. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

On Sunday, October 9th from 10am-5pm in the Berkshires – MEDIEVAL FAIRE: Ventfort Hall hosts the annual Medieval Faire!  There will be exciting events happening all day, including displays of armored combat, equestrian demonstrations, medieval arts and crafts, live music, and opportunities to learn about feudalism and medieval society.  The fair is fun for the whole family and is also a great way to learn about a fascinating historical era!  413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

Later in the day on Sunday, October 9th from 2-5pm in the Pioneer Valley – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Celebrate the fall harvest at Crimson and Clover Farm with Grow Food Northampton!  There will be exciting activities all afternoon, including live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, farm tours, a composting workshop, games and other kids’ activities, and fresh delicious farm-grown food!  413-584-0081.  215 Spring Street.  Florence, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

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

The Academy at Charlemont writes, “The Academy at Charlemont will be hosting an Open House Sunday, October 16th from 1 to 3 p.m.  The Academy is a coed college preparatory school serving grades 7- 12 and post graduate. We are located along the scenic Deerfield River. Join us for tours of the campus. Meet the faculty, current students and families.  Learn about academics, sports, art, music, and drama. We offer safe, civil, round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton and Greenfield. Come see for yourself! For more information visit www.charlemont.org.  Find your voice. Speak Your Mind.”

WOODWORKING CLASS FOR KIDS: After-School Woodworking Classes in Easthampton for 4th – 6th Graders with New England School of Architectural Woodworking (NESAW)! In this 8-week class, students will build a small take-home project while learning how to safely work in a shop environment, measure, calculate cuts, use hand tools (hammer, saw, drill & chisel) and power tools (drill press & scroll saw). Taught by an experienced shop teacher & an assistant on Tues., Oct 25-Dec 13 from 3:30-4:45PM. For safety reasons, class size is limited to 10 students. Parents may stay on-site in a separate classroom while students are in the shop. Cost is $110 (includes $10 in materials). Online registration available www.nesaw.com. NESAW is located at One Cottage Street, Easthampton.

SLEEP SOLUTIONS: Sleep Solutions for Infants and Toddlers workshop, a series led by local social worker and child sleep consultant, Jen Zajac, MSW, LICSW, at Second Chances Kids Consignment Shop in South Amherst, will begin October 17th. Jen Zajac has over 11 years of experience working with children and families in the Pioneer Valley. Topics include current child sleep research, physical and developmental impacts of chronic overtiredness, different sleep training methods including no-cry techniques, as well as discussions regarding co-sleeping and how to ensure that your child stays well rested. Registration is required. Email Jen at Jen@helpingyourchildsleep.com or visit www.shop2ndchances.com.

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.

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.

CHILDBIRTH EDUCATION: Are you pregnant? Or know someone who is? You can get free childbirth education with Ann Buscemi, certified childbirth educator, sponsored by Hilltown Community Health Centers. Learn about breathing and relaxation techniques, labor and delivery, coping with a C-section, breastfeeding, planning for life after baby, and more. Flexible and convenient scheduling. For more info, call Lee at the Worthington Health Center: 413-238-5511 x155

HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Fundraising.

Hilltown Family Variety Show

It’s fundraising time at Valley Free Radio continues. 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, with a plethora of CD’s to giveaway! Call between 9-10am this Saturday (10/8) 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 8th-14th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Oct 8th, 2011

“One of my favorite things to do in the fall is go to the Ashfield fall festival with my kids. I love driving up from Northampton and marveling at the leaves. And once we are there, I love how relaxed the fair is, how yummy the pies and others goodies are, how fun the kids games are; I also like sitting on the hill listening to the music and entertainment, not to mention running into family and friends.” - Becky Castro of 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 http://www.valleyfreeradio.org.

10am – LOCAL HISTORY: Go on a walking tour of Palmer’s Depot Village!  You’ll learn all about the area that was once the center of business and commerce for the town.  Bob Ring, chair of the Palmer Historical Commission, will lead the tour and teach attendees about the historical significance of certain buildings as well as the town’s growth and development.  Meet at the library.  413-283-3330.  1455 Main Street. Palmer, MA.  (FREE)

10am – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Celebrate fall today at Red Fire Farm by pressing cider!  The event lasts all day until dusk, and there will be a potluck from 1-2pm.  BYO apples or order seconds from the farm- price TBA.  There will also be some live old-time music and plenty of cider donuts to go around!  413-467-7645.  7 Carver Street.  Granby, MA.  ($)

10-11am – LOCAL HISTORY: Guided walk at the Mission House that follows the route of the “Mohican Quest.” 413-298-3239 19 Main St. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)

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-12noon – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Squirrels and chipmunks are busy little creatures during this time of year- they have to stock up for the winter!  Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary hosts a story, craft, and critter observation time this morning for kids ages 4-9!  Kids will learn to look for squirrel and chipmunk homes and identify the little creatures.  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  127 Coombs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

10am-2pm – SCARECROW CONTEST: 2nd Annual Eathampton Scarecrow Building Contest happends at Park Hill Orchard. Bring everything you need and the PHO will supply the hay. Reg. by 4pm. Judging is from 5-7pm. Prizes at 7pm. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The annual Ashfield Fall Festival takes place this weekend!  There will be tons of live music and performances, activities, food, vendors, and more!  Highlights include live morris dancers, tons of apple pie and cider, beautifully made crafts from local vendors, and games like skeeball, pumpkin painting, and a treasure hunt!  This is a great way to celebrate not only fall, but local culture as well!  Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – COMMUNITY BBQ: The first ever annual Riverside Blues & BBQ festival takes place today at Beacon Field!  Barbecue teams will travel from all over to compete at the festival, and there is even a Backyard Barbecue category for amateur barbecuers!  Besides tons of delicious food, the event will also include vendors, local artists and craftsmen, live blues music, beer sampling for Big Kids, and childrens’ activities!  413-772-1553.  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.  ($)

10:30am-2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn how to catch a falling star and put it in your pocket!  Micrometeorites, commonly known as falling stars, fall to earth all the time and can be found in rivers and streams everywhere.  Learn about how they end up there and how you can sift for your own this afternoon at the Great Falls Discovery Center!  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-4pm – TRADE HISTORY: See demonstrations of architectural woodworking and silversmithing today in Historic Deerfield!  This is a great opportunity to observe two skills that are no longer used as commonly.  413-775-7179.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

11am-12noon – GRAPHIC NOVELS: Visit the Central Library for Graphic Novel Club!  Kids in grades 1-5 can stop by to practice drawing comic strips, work on a craft, do a graphic novel-themed scavenger hunt, and have a snack!  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

1-3pm – OUTDOOR CONCERT: Bring a picnic lunch to the top of Mt. Sugarloaf for an outdoor concert with Erica Wheeler!  Hear your favorite experiences of hiking Sugarloaf come alive in song.  617-626-4962.  South Deerfield, MA.  (<$)

2pm – ARCHAEOLOGY: Heritage State Park presents, “Buried Archaeology: A Tale of Two Cities,” a program the two cities, Pompeii and Herculaneum, buried in 79AD by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.  The presentation is an illustrated lecture- best for older kids with audience skills.  Learn all about the fascinating story of these two cities!  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building 4.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

5-6:45pm – HALLOWEEN: Visit McCray’s Farm for a haunted hay ride!  Evening hayrides are appropriate for all ages.  Enjoy ice cream and visit the animals afterward!  413-533-0775.  55 Alvord Street.  South Hadley, MA.  ($)

7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Wistariahurst Museum presents, “I Choose to Be the One,” a one-woman show about philanthropist and Holyoke native Belle Skinner.  Learn about this important figure from local history!  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA.  ($)

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Sunday, Oct 9th, 2011

“In the fall our family loves to hike up Mt. Toby in Sunderland. The sweeping views of the Connecticut River Valley with the changing colors of the autumn trees is breathtaking. After a nice hike we’ll drive a few miles North and dip into the Montague Bookmill. At the mill the kids will pick through books and read on the floor. To top the day off we’ll have a hardy lunch with warm drinks at the Lady Killgrew. It’s the perfect afternoon in the fall!” - Aschler

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)

9am – CONSIGNMENT SALE: Greater Holyoke YMCA Kids Consignment Sale this weekend with lots of toys, clothes, books, strollers, games and more. All items have been gently used and are in good condition. In addition to the wide variety of items and the low prices, you can feel good about shopping for what your kids need when all the proceeds support the Greater Holyoke YMCA’s Scholarship Assistance Program. 413-534-5631. 171 Pine Street.
Holyoke, MA (SALE)

11am-12Noon – LOCAL HISTORY: Take a guided tour of Naumkeag, the former home of the Choate family built at the height of the Gilded Age.  The estate will host “Upstairs & Downstairs: Servant Life at the Gilded Age Museum,” featuring guided tours of the hidden recesses — downstairs and in the attic — where the workers and servants of Naumkeag lived. 413-298-8138. Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA.

10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The annual Ashfield Fall Festival takes place this weekend!  There will be tons of live music and performances, activities, food, vendors, and more!  Highlights include live morris dancers, tons of apple pie and cider, beautifully made crafts from local vendors, and games like skeeball, pumpkin painting, and a treasure hunt!  This is a great way to celebrate not only fall, but local culture as well!  Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – MEDIEVAL FAIRE: Ventfort Hall hosts the annual Medieval Faire!  There will be exciting events happening all day, including displays of armored combat, equestrian demonstrations, medieval arts and crafts, live music, and opportunities to learn about feudalism and medieval society.  The fair is fun for the whole family and is also a great way to learn about a fascinating historical era!  413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

11am-2pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Bidwell Museum will host a Pumpkin Fest featuring activities for children of all ages. Art School Road. Monterey, MA .

1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about local history and the art or surveying today at the old school building in Plainfield!  The building currently houses the Shaw Memorial Library and the town offices, and the historical society is offering an opportunity to learn about the history of the town’s first permanent school building, as well as the work that went into surveying and building it!  In case of rain, the event will take place on the 10th at the same time.  413-634-2250.  Main Street.  Plainfield, MA.  (FREE)

1 and 3pm – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Field trip!  Head to UConn’s Jorgensen Performing Arts Center for a theatrical adaptation of the book “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.”  The show tells the story of a young donkey (Sylvester) who finds a magical red pebble that teaches him all about the value of friends and family!  860-486-4226.  2132 Hillside Road.  Storrs, CT.  ($$)

1pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: See Cirque du Soleil’s “Quidam” at UMass’ Mullins Center!  The show tells the story of a young girl who creates her own world full of interesting and exciting characters who encourage her to explore.  The show includes acrobats, actors, musicians, and singers- great entertainment for the whole family!  800-745-3000.  Amherst, MA.  ($$)

1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Wistariahurst Museum presents, “I Choose to Be the One,” a one-woman show about philanthropist and Holyoke native Belle Skinner.  Learn about this important figure from local history!  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA.  ($)

1pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Ever wonder, while driving past into town, who’s buried in the Bridge Street Cemetery in Northampton?  Today you can go on a walking tour of the cemetery with Forbes Library’s writer-in-residence, Susan Stinson.  Learn all about the notable figures of Northamptons past who now lie in the cemetery grounds!  Use Parsons Street entrance.  413-587-1011.  Parsons Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – HISTORY: Columbus Day is tomorrow- learn about Columbus, Angloswarm, the Puritans, and the transformation of the Northeast with Dr. Dan Bennett!  Best for older kids.  Takes place at Moore’s Corner Schoolhouse.  North Leverett Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – INSECT ADVENTURES: Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory will be holding their 3rd Annual Monarch Butterfly mass release in their outdoor garden area at 1pm sharp. Bring the family to watch these beautiful insects fly away as they head north towards Mexico.  A magical moment for all. They are also offering sponsorhip of a butterfly in memory of a loved one. Call them to make arrangements. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA (FREE, entrance to conservatory not included)

2-5pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Celebrate the fall harvest at Crimson and Clover Farm with Grow Food Northampton!  There will be exciting activities all afternoon, including live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, farm tours, a composting workshop, games and other kids’ activities, and fresh delicious farm-grown food!  413-584-0081.  215 Spring Street.  Florence, MA.  ($)

2-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about what colonial living was like here in Western MA at the Wilder Homestead this afternoon!  There will be cider pressing, quilting, open hearth cooking, shoemaking, and more!  This is a great way to learn about local history and cultural and technological advancement.  Route 112.  Buckland, MA.  (<$)

5-6:45pm – HALLOWEEN: Visit McCray’s Farm for a haunted hay ride!  Evening hayrides are appropriate for all ages.  Enjoy ice cream and visit the animals afterward!  413-533-0775.  55 Alvord Street.  South Hadley, MA.  ($)

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Monday, Oct 10th, 2011

“Our favorite activity is to take a walk on the trails in the Catamount Forest. Enjoying the sites of fall with the leaves changing and the smell of the air getting that crisp scent. Nothing better then a beautiful fall day!” – Victoria Anne Valenti (Charlemont, MA)

Columbus Day

10am-4pm – ARTS/CRAFTS SHOW: Paradise City Arts Festival at 3 County Fairgrounds. Shop handmade for the holidays. Bring the kids to view high quality craftsmanship. You never know where making macaroni noodle necklaces will led them someday! Today is the last day of this large 3-day arts & crafts festival. 54 Old Ferry Rd. Northampton, MA ($)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chesterwood hosts a day of museum exploration and fall festivities- you can design and carve your own pumpkin and take part in other fall-themed activities.  Help the museum celebrate the end of their season!  413-298-3579.  4 Williamsville Road.  Stockbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-5pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Visit the Zoo in Forest Park for Discovery Day!  Just as Columbus discovered North America and learned all about the people and creatures of the new land, you can explore the zoo and learn all about the creatures who live there!  There will be scavenger hunts to help you find new things to discover.  413-733-2251.  301 Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

1-3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Berkshire Museum is celebrating Wally the Stegosaurus’ birthday!  There will be dinosaur and birthday-related crafts happening, and a birthday sing-a-long and cake at 2pm!  413-441-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

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 11th, 2011

“We just relocated to the area three months ago from Colorado. We’ve enjoyed Hilltown Families for local events, happenings, and local business information. It has helped us “jump right in” to the community and has been invaluable to us since our move. Thank you for keeping us informed.” - Annie DeCoteau (Greenfield, 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)
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a pre-school play-and-learn group in the after school room at the Haskins Center for kids ages 2.5-5!  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 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 – STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to storytime at the Central Library!  There will be stories, songs, and a craft.  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, 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) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler storytime takes place at the North Adams Library this morning!  413-662-3133.  74 Church Street.  North Adams, 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) ♦
  • 3:30-4:45pm – LIBRARY CLUB: The Millers Falls Library offers a weekly drop-in club for kids of all ages with stories, art and crafts. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a gym group at Florida Elementary School!  There will be free play, circle time, and a snack.  413-664-4821.  56 North Country Road.  Florida, 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 12th, 2011

"Hilltown Families is the first (and often the last) place I check for fun things to do with my family. Thanks for providing this great service." - Sandra Dias (Holyoke, MA

10am – STORYTIME: Don’t get out of your pajamas after breakfast today!  Grab your teddy and head to the Westhampton Library for pajama story and craft time.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

10am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Creole Choir of Cuba is performing at the Fine Arts Center at UMass today!  The group performs traditional Haitian, Dominican, and Cuban music- this is a great opportunity to learn about the music of other cultures and to begin a conversation about cultural diversity and heritage. Check out their study guide. 413-545-2116.  Haigis Mall, UMass.  Amherst, MA. 

6-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Holistic health coach Bi-sek Hsiao leads a talk on packing a healthy and wholesome lunch for your kids tonight at Berkshire Trail Elementary School!  Learn about healthy options and give and receive advice and ideas with other parents!  2 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY: Learn about Native American history and culture tonight at the Hinsdale Library with archaeologist Mark Horvath!  Learn by traveling through 15,000 years of history!  This is a great way to learn more about an often misunderstood and misrepresented part of the area’s history.  413-655-2303.  58 Maple Street.  Hinsdale, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – DRUM CIRCLE: Join Otha Day at the Milne Library for a drum circle!  There will be many different percussion instruments to try out- this is a great opportunity to experiment with rhythm and music making!  413-458-5369.  1095 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn all about the history of Northampton- from just before Europeans reached the valley up until the town of Northampton was settled at Owl and Raven.  Older history scholars only- 15+.  413-341-6494.  2 Conz Street (Maplewood Shops).  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

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

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center- downstairs in the Unitarian Meeting house. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11am: 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) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is this morning at the North Adams Library!  413-662-3133.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) ♦
    10:30 – STORYTIME: The Meekins Library hosts pre-school storytime this morning. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: The Mason Square Library hosts pre-school storytime!  413-263-6853.  765 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: Stories, activities, crafts and music at Carnegie Library.  413-863-3214. 201 Avenue “A” Turners Falls, 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 ($)
  • 1:15pm – HOMESCHOOL: The Carnegie Library offers a weekly homeschool program series called Powerful Earth (through 11/16). All ages welcomed.  413-863-3214. 201 Avenue “A” Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 4pm – STORYTIME: Visit the Pine Point Library for Martha Speaks storytime for kids ages 5-8!  413-263-6855.  204 Boston Road.  Spingfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4-5pm: CREATIVE/CONTEMPORARY DANCE: The Big Cats creative dance and contemporary technique for kids 9-12yo with Grasshoppa Dance at the Cummington Community House Auditorium. Exploring the fundamentals of contemporary dance, developing improvisation & choreography skills. Drop-in welcomed through Dec 21st. 413-634-5431. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA ($)
  • 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 13th, 2011

“Great webpage and I always find something interesting to do with my 2 kiddos. Thanks!” - Sarah Schatz (Hatfield, 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)

6:30pm – STORYTIME: After dinner, dress the kids in their PJ’s and let someone else do the bedtime stories!  The Monson Free Library hosts an evening pajama storytime tonight.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn about effective strategies for getting your kids to do their homework at a workshop sponsored by the Springfield Parents Academy tonight!  Attendees will also learn how to help their kids develop a homework schedule and ways to work through homework-related conflicts.  Takes place at the Huntington Learning Center.  413-750-2831.  352 Cooley Street.  Springfield, 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)
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Baby playgroup for pre-walking children with the Cummington Family Center. Located in the rear of the Cummington Community House. 3 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)
  • 9:45am – STORYTIME: The Central Library hosts toddler storytime this morning!  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Visit the Sixteen Acres Library for pre-school storytime!  413-263-6858.  1187 Parker Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – 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 – MUSIC/MOVEMENT: PreK kids welcomed to join Tom Carrol and Laurie Davidson at the Millers Falls Library (through 12/29). 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is today at the Lilly Library!  413-587-1500.  19 Meadow Street.  Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 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 14th , 2011

Join Hilltown Families this afternoon from 4-6pm for a free t-shirt making workshop and pizza party at the Art Garden in Shelburne Falls. All welcomed. Click on banner to read more about this creative opportunity.

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)

9-10:30am – FARM ANIMALS: Red Gate Farm will be hand shearing their sheep and goats this morning.  Come watch this traditional craft at work! 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA (FREE)

10am – MOVIE: The Berkshire Athenaeum screens preschool movies on Friday mornings!  Today’s showings will be, “Harry the Dirty Dog,” “Too Many Pumpkins,” and “Milo’s Hat Trick.”  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

2-5pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: The Bag Share Project is hosting their first community sew of the fall!  The event is open to all ages, so long as kiddos are helpful!  If you don’t have your own sewing machine, there will be some provided- no sewing experience is necessary!  Bags made will be for Cornucopia Foods.  Takes place in the Dynamite Space in Thornes Marketplace.  413-634-5591.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

4-6pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Today is October’s Second Friday at the Smith College Museum of Art!  Families can visit the museum for free, and there will be hands-on artmaking for kids ages 4+ and their accompanying adults.  413-585-2777.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

5pm – HALLOWEEN SURREALIST CABARET: The 4th Annual Surrealist Cabaret and Pumpkin Walk, hosted by the Royal Frog Ballet on Bramble Hill. Starts promptly at 5pm. Wandering beasts, stories from the swamps, tales fall from the trees… Bring mug, wear walking shoes, dress warmly. Must RSVP:  RFBtickets@yahoo.com Amherst, MA ($)

5-6:45pm – HALLOWEEN: Visit McCray’s Farm for a haunted hay ride!  Evening hayrides are appropriate for all ages.  Enjoy ice cream and visit the animals afterward!  413-533-0775.  55 Alvord Street.  South Hadley, MA.  ($)

5-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN NATURE STUDIES: Every October the trails at the Hitchcock Center come alive with a cast of characters from different habitats. This year, you will meet animals that use smell to survive. Adults and children of all ages will enjoy meeting our magical characters as you are guided along the pumpkin-lit trails of Larch Hill Conservation Area. There will be simple craft and games and an opportunity to visit with a fortune teller. Pre-registration is required. Walks happen tonight and tomorrow night. No walk ins welcomed. 413-256-6006. Amherst, MA ($)

6pm & 7pm – HALLOWEEN: Friday Night Fright tours of The Mount every Friday in October. 800-838-3006. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, 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) ♦

7:30pm –  CONCERT: The African Children’s Choir will perform tonight at the Academy of Music!  The choir is made up of children from numerous different African countries, and they sing music that is representative of their cultures.  The show is a great way to learn more about African arts and customs, as well as an opportunity to enjoy beautiful music.  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, 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)
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Lanesborough Elementary School for gym group!  413-443-0027.  Summer Street.  Lanesborough, 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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