Suggested Events for Oct 15th-21st, 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

The 4th Annual Surrealist Cabaret and Pumpkin Walk happens this weekend in Amherst. See photos from last year's event up at Elmer's Gallery in Ashfield right now, as part of the "Hilltown Families: Traveling Photography Exhibit." (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

On Friday, Oct 14th from 4-6pm – 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)

On Saturday, Oct 15th from 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. No walk ins welcomed. Call 413-256-6006. Amherst, MA ($)

On Sunday, Oct 16th from 10:15am-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate fall in Westhampton today at the Fall Festival and Pumpkin Roll! The event begins with an interfaith worship service with imaginative dramatization of some Native American creation stories, followed by the Run for the Hills 5k at 12:30. The Pumpkin Roll is at 4:15, followed by a bonfire and barbecue! Other activities include scarecrow making, cow plop bingo, cider making, lumber jacking demonstrations, antique cars, and more! 413-527-1731. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, Oct 22nd from 3-9pm in Franklin Co. – PUMPKIN FEST: Over a thousand Jack O’Lanterns will be on display in downtown Turners Falls fro the 2nd Annual Franklin County Pumpkin Fest. There will be live music, great food and vendors too. 413-522-0712. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

On Sunday, Oct 23rd from 4-8pm in Berkshire Co.- ENCHANTED HALLOWEEN FOREST: The New Stage Performing Arts Center is now home to an Enchanted Forest! Made up of sets from Castle Hill Theater’s family shows and full of witches, wolves, and other characters, the forest is an interactive Halloween adventure! 413-418-0999. 55 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

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.”

SIMPLICITY PARENTING: Too Much, Too Fast, Too Soon Creates Stress for Kids. “Simplify Your Child’s Life,” says Simplicity Parenting Group Leader Jennifer Van Beckum. Parents will learn how to bring more ease and connection to family life in a 7 Week Parenting Series, Oct. 26-Dec. 14 at Cradle in Thornes Marketplace in Northampton. Based on the book Simplicity Parenting-Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne. “Many of today’s behavioral issues come from children having too much stuff and living a life that is too fast,” writes Payne. For more information and to register, call Jennifer at 413-586-0596 or email at javanbeckum@iglide.net. Check out simplicityparenting.org and cradlefamily.com.

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.

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.

Stacy Carkonen of CISA writes, “The CISA Emergency Farm Fund was launched this week by Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) in partnership with Whole Foods Market, Equity Trust and individual donors. The revolving fund will offer quick, zero-interest loans to assist farmers and farm businesses who are struggling to meet their immediate needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene’s storm and flooding. In the future, the fund will be available immediately following disasters to help farmers affected by unexpected events continue farming. An anonymous matching grant of $50,000 catalyzed the funds creation. Donations to the fund will be matched up to $50,000 and will help reach and exceed the goal of $100K. To donate or apply for the fund visit buylocalfood.org.”

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in honor of this, The Pastures hosts their annual Women’s Cancer Wellness Walk on Sunday October 16th. The event raises money for The Pastures’ fund for women living with cancer in the Berkshire/Taconic region. The walk takes participants on a beautiful 4-mile walk around the southern Berkshires, and also includes delicious breakfast, yoga, hula hooping, live music, and more! It’s a fun event for a great cause that also includes exercise, great scenery, and fun! Tickets are $25. To register, visit thepastures.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Oct 15th-21st, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Oct 15th, 2011

“The leaves are changing & autumn is here. The sweet smells of maple syrup will be wafting from the High Hopes Sugarhouse in Worthington, MA on Route 112. Every March & October we enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet that is offered by the Rowe Family. There isn't anything the Rowe’s have forgotten. In October visitors are offered an additional special treat, it's decorated for Halloween! Do take a enjoyable ride up Route112 and stop by. You'll be glad you did!” - Sharon O'Connell

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. From 9-10am, Lloyd Miller from the Deedle Deedle Dees is the Hilltown Family Variety Show’s Guest DJ this week! Lloyd will be spinning tunes by Elizabeth Cotten, Dr. John, The Kinks, Dean Jones, Felice Brothers, Pete Seeger, and of course cuts off of his new album, Strange Dees, Indeed. Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you want. Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast too.

8am-4pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: Join the town of Hampden in celebrating harvest season today! The festival begins with a pancake breakfast from 8-10, and throughout the day there will be a craft fair, scarecrow making, farmers market (10-2), hayrides, and lots of other activities! 413-374-8742. 590 Main Street. Hampden, MA.

9:30am-5pm – HARVEST DAYS: What was the fall harvest like hundreds of years ago? Take the kids to Old Sturbridge Village this weekend to learn more at their old-fashioned Harvest Days weekend. Many hands-on crafts and demos. Churn the butter, thresh and winnow the grain, shell the corn and beans… Hands on learning of 19th-century methods! 800-733-1830. Sturbridge, MA ($)

10am-12noon – ART/OPEN HOUSE: IS183 Art School’s open house is today- if you’ve never visited before, see what it’s all about and make some art while you’re at it. 413-298-5252. 13 Willard Hill Road. 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, technology, engineering and math. 413-475-1553. 90 Federal St. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

10am-12noon – COLOR PLAY: Forbes Library hosts Color Play, a social and craft time for families raising children of color. Bring a healthy brunch item to share! 20 West Street. 413-587-1011. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

10am-2pm – NATURE STUDIES: Celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week with Watershed on Wheels at the Great Falls Discovery Center. Families can learn about the watershed by examining forty different animals, testing their knowledge, games and more. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

10am-6pm – ART/OPEN STUDIOS: Artists in North Adams are offering open studios today! Check out all of the art that is being created within your community and learn how local people make a living by making art. 413-664-8718. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

10:30am-12noon – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: The Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting a fall-themed event for kids this morning! There will be a craft, movie, snack, and storytime- all fall themed. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

11am-1pm – HARVEST EXCHANGE: At the Great Barrington Farmers’ Market, community members are invited to stop in and exchange their home-preserved harvest with other home-preservers. Trade a jar of your low-sugar blueberry jam with someone’s pickled jalepenos! 413-528-8950 Located at the Historic Railroad Station behind Town Hall. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

11:30am – ARCHAEOLOGY: Today is Historic Deerfield’s Archaeology Day! Go on a Archaeological Walking Tour or tour the museum’s burial grounds! The event runs from 10-4 but burial ground tour is at 11:30. An excellent way to learn about local history through an archaeological and/or anthropological perspective. 413-775-7179. Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (<$)

12noon-8pm – FILM FESTIVAL: The Brick and Mortar Video Art Festival features work from around the world, showcased in various historic buildings around downtown Greenfield. Learn more about a new and cutting edge art form while exploring Greenfield’s architecture. Downtown Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

1pm – FILMMAKING: Learn how the movie “Rio” was made! Filmmaker Carlos Saldanha will be at the Norman Rockwell Museum this afternoon sharing the story of how the film was created. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

1-4pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Design your own unique greeting cards today at the Norman Rockwell Museum! You’ll learn how to use stencils, fabric, and other images to design and reproduce cards. 413-298-4100. 9 Glendale Road. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

1-4pm – VOLUNTEER: Bring the family for a community service day by helping to clean up the Greenfield Energy Park in anticipation of next year’s season of fun outdoor community events! 50 Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

2pm – FAMILY CONCERT: The Springfield Community Music Center presents the first event in their fall Abra-Kazoo! concert series! Putamayo world music artist Jose Gonzales will perform with Crillo Clasico! 413-732-8428. 127 State Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

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

3-10pm – OKTOBERFEST: It’s not just for the grown-ups! Easthampton’s New City Neighborhood Association is holding a family-style Oktoberfest, including live music (featuring the Royal Order of Chords and Keys as well as the Metropolitan Swing Quartet), pumpkin painting, face painting, games, and more! Takes place at the Pulaski Club. 413-320-6199. 79 Maple Street. Easthampton, MA. ($)

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 ($)

5-8:30pm – 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. No walk ins welcomed. 413-256-6006. Amherst, MA ($)

5pm – CULTURAL CELEBRATION: Enjoy delicious Italian cuisine at Springfield’s Taste of Italy! The event is part of Italian Heritage Month, and will include tons of tasty food from restaurants all around the Springfield area. This is a great way to not only enjoy an excellent dinner but also to learn about the local Italian community! The event takes place at the Mt. Carmel auditorium. 89 Park Avenue. Springfield, MA. (<$)

5-6:45pm – HAUNTED HAY RIDES: 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. ($)

5-8pm – HALLOWEEN ZOO: Put on your Halloween costume and trick-or-treat around the Forest Park Zoo! Kids will learn all about the animals they encounter while celebrating Halloween. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. (<$)

7pm – COMEDY: Laugh locally! The Ha-Ha’s, a local family-friendly comedy group, will perform at North Star tonight! Funny and appropriate for all ages. The event raises money for North Star’s scholarship program. 413-582-0193. 135 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. ($)

7-9pm – SILENT FILM: Watch the silent film, “The Last Command” with live organ accompaniment by Peter Krasinski at the United Congregational Church! Fun way for kids to experience a bit of film history. 413-532-1483. Appleton and Maple Streets. Holyoke, MA. ($)

7:30pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: The Jewish Community of Amherst presents an opportunity to learn about Jewish culture and music! Dani Orstav (composer, educator, Israeli radio host) will provide a lecture with musical selections about the evolution of Jewish music in Israel since the settling of Palestine. Best for older students. 413-549-0447. 742 Main Street. Amherst, MA.

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Sunday, Oct 16th, 2011

“Last the fall, my family went to the Great Pumpkin Roll in Westhampton, MA. It was our first time there but not our last. The leaves and music danced in our dreams that night along with all the great food smells and rolling pumpkins.” Jensen Family (Easthampton, 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 – ROAD RACE/WALK: Franklin Co. Sheriff’s office will hold their 5th annual Jail Break 5K Road Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to benefit family support programs of Community Action. Kids Fun Run (1/2mile) begins at 9:30am and is free. 5K begins at 10am. 413-774-4014 x2161. 160 Elm Street. Greenfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

9am-3pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: Outlook Farm will have a Pumpkin Festival with a pig roast & BBQ starting at noon. Tag sale starts at 9am. Live music from 1-3pm. 413-529-9388. Route 66. Westhampton, MA ($)

9:30am-5pm – HARVEST DAYS: What was the fall harvest like hundreds of years ago? Take the kids to Old Sturbridge Village this weekend to learn more at their old-fashioned Harvest Days weekend. Many hands-on crafts and demos. Churn the butter, thresh and winnow the grain, shell the corn and beans… Hands on learning of 19th-century methods! 800-733-1830. Sturbridge, MA ($)

11am-3pm – PUMPKINS: Celebrate the pumpkin harvest at Deerfield Farm. PYO pumpkins, hayrides and refreshments. 413-325-5793 South Deerfield, MA

10am-4pm – ART/OPEN STUDIOS: Artists in North Adams are offering open studios today! Check out all of the art that is being created within your community and learn how local people make a living by making art. 413-664-8718. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

10:15am-7pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate fall in Westhampton today at the Fall Festival and Pumpkin Roll! The event begins with an interfaith worship service, followed by the Run for the Hills 5k at 12:30. The Pumpkin Roll is at 4:15, followed by a bonfire and barbecue! Other activities include scarecrow making, cow plop bingo, cider making, lumber jacking demonstrations, antique cars, and more! 413-527-1731. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

11am-4pm – PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: The North Hadley Sugar Shack’s 13th Annual Pumpkin Festival and Tractor parade happens today! 413-585-8820. 181 River Drive. Hadley, MA (FREE)

11am-5pm – SHEEP SHEARING: Winterberry Farm invites the public to join them for their fall sheep shearing and fiber day. Kids can see demonstrations on what can be made with wool, including spinning, felting, and weaving. Shearing happens at noon. 21 Teawaddle Hill Road. Leverett, MA (FREE)

11am-5pm – YO-YO CONTEST: The Massachusetts State Yo-Yo Contest takes place today at the Academy of Music! People from all over the state will come to show off their skills and hopefully take home a title. Come watch and learn about the physics-filled sport of yo-yo! 413-584-9032. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

12noon-4pm – UKULELE: The Ukulele is a great string instrument for kids to begin their music journey. Families can experience and be inspired by great ukulele music at Sheep Hill. There will be a workshop and live music featuring The Ladies Auxiliary Ukulele Orchestra and Boxcar Lilies. 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

12noon-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Museum of Our Industrial Heritage is having an open house today! Along with exploring the museum to learn about the history of local industries past (and present), there are walking tours, including one on the archaeology of the Newell Snow Factory, formerly located on the banks of the Green River. 2 Mead Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

1-3pm: SCHOOL/OPEN HOUSE: Open House at The Academy at Charlemont today. Serving grades 7- 12 and post graduate, families can take a tour of the campus, meet the faculty, current students and families, and learn about academics, sports, art, music, and drama. 413-339-4912. 1359 Route 2. Charlemont, MA (FREE)

2pm – MARIONETTE SHOW: The Marketplace Cafe will host the Robbins-Zust Marionettes who will present their family-friendly puppet show, “The Carnival of Animals.” 413-358-4777. 53 North Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

2pm – ART/CULTURAL STUDIES: Tibetan Buddhist monks will be creating a sand mandala at Amherst College this week, with a dissolution ceremony today. When the mandala is destroyed, the deity’s blessings are said to spread out to all. Here’s a locally opportunity to introduce your kids to Buddhist culture. Follow the link for more information and to see a video that show one of these amazing sand mandalas being made. Frost Library. Amherst College. Amherst, MA (FREE)

2pm – FAMILY THEATER: See the Secret Garden come to life like never before! As a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the Arena Civic Theatre is hosting performances of the musical version of the story at the Shea Theater! 413-863-2281 ex. 3. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. ($)

2-4:30pm – HISTORY/FASHION: Women’s fashion has changed quite a bit over the years! Today, you can learn about what women of 1860’s wore- and why! This includes learning about the social and historical significance of the fashions. Presented by the Emily Dickinson Museum, the presentation takes place at the Alumni House at Amherst College. Call to register. 413-542-2034. 75 Churchill Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

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 – HAUNTED HAY RIDES: 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. ($)

5-8pm – HALLOWEEN ZOO: Put on your Halloween costume and trick-or-treat around the Forest Park Zoo! Kids will learn all about the animals they encounter while celebrating Halloween. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. (<$)

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Monday, Oct 17th, 2011

"Thanks to Hilltown Families, we went apple picking in Ashfield, and also “picked” our Christmas tress there as well! I look forward to receiving the weekly events update. Thank you and keep up the great work–it’s appreciated!" - Heather Johnson

SLEEP SOLUTIONS: Sleep Solutions for Infants and Toddlers, a workshop series at Second Chances Kids Consignment Shop with social worker and child sleep consultant, Jen Zajac, MSW, LICSW, begin today. Registration is required. Email Jen at Jen@helpingyourchildsleep.com Amherst, MA ($$)

5-7pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP: Berkshire Children and Families hosts a Parent Support Group at the Northampton Parents Center in the basement of Edwards Church. There is free dinner and childcare, and parents can discuss many different parenting issues with other parents. 8 week series. Call to register. 413-584-5690. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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

6pm – LOCAL HISTORY/PETROLOGY: Gravestones in the Pioneer Valley are made out of granite, marble, or sandstone… do you know why? Learn all about the history of gravestone art and creation at the Wistariahurst Museum! 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

7pm – FILM SCREENING: NOFA and Images Cinema present a screening of the documentary “Farmageddon.” The movie is about the freedom to choose food and farmers’ rights to produce food free from heightened regulations. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, 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) ♦
  • 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 ($)
  • 6:30pm – SING-A-LONG: Families are invited to the Montague Center Library for a community sing-a-long with librarian/musician Linda Hickman. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, Oct 18th, 2011

“I have been referring to Hilltown Families for years — I make my weekly calendar from the suggested events list! As a mother of 3, 5 and under, it has been an invaluable resource for our family.” - Ellen Ferris (South Hadley, MA)

6:30-8:30pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP: “At Your Wit’s End: Responding to Challenging Behavior” is being offered at the South Hadley Family Center as a 3-part series (10/18. 10/25, 11/1). Geared towards parents and grandparents of preK kids. Participants are encouraged to attend at least 2 of the workshops in the series. Free child care. This is a Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) program, funded by the MA Department of Early Education and Care and administered by the Collaborative for Educational Services, led by Claire Kurtz. 413-570-3061. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

7-8:30pm – DYSLEXIA WORKSHOP: October is National Dyslexia Awareness Month- attend a workshop to find out more about the condition and what signs to look for in your children and how to be supportive for dyslexic children. RSVP to lcgravelslp@gmail.com. 413-330-4118. 110 North Hillside Road. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9:15-10:30am – YOGA: Drop off the kids at school then come enjoy a yoga class at the library. Yoga teacher Kellie Finn teaches yoga this morning at the Meekins Library. This is a fun class for those at any level. Call beforehand to check on available space. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11am: 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 19th, 2011

"My family and I check with Hilltown Families every week. We have done numerous activities thanks to Hilltown Families over the years…big thanks!" - Rebecca Lauterbach (Springfield, MA)

9am-4pm – CONFERENCE/RAISING GIRLS: The “Through Her Eyes” conference is today! The event promotes using social change to empower girls, and there are tons of informational workshops all day! This is a great opportunity to learn about methods and practices for helping girls deal with facing challenges in many parts of their lives. Takes place at the Mass Mutual Center. 413-439-2243. 1277 Main Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

4-6pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP: Are your kids ready for kindergarten? Take them to the first of a three-part series taking place over the course of the next year designed to prepare kids and parents for the transition to kindergarten. Takes place at the Boland School. 426 Armory Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: How do/will you talk to your kids about sex? Trained sex educator Meg Baker will lead a workshop for parents on discussing sex and healthy relationships with your children. 413-341-6494. 2 Conz Street #42 (Maplewood Shops). Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

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 20th, 2011

“Hilltown Families has helped us stay connected and tuned in to the events in the hills and valley and once allowed us to attend a great Mister G show!! Thanks it was a lot of fun!” - Piet Slaghekke (Easthampton, 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)

10:30am – PUMPKIN PICKING: Join the Family Resource Center for pumpkin picking at Whitney’s Farm! Along with pumpkins, there will be a hayride and a chance to visit the petting zoo! Registration required. 413-664-4821. Route 8. Cheshire, MA. (FREE)

4-8pm – ENCHANTED HALLOWEEN FOREST: The New Stage Performing Arts Center is now home to an Enchanted Forest! Made up of sets from Castle Hill Theater’s family shows and full of witches, wolves, and other characters, the forest is an interactive Halloween adventure! 413-418-0999. 55 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

6:30-8:30pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP: “At Your Wit’s End: Responding to Challenging Behavior” is being offered at the Our Lady’s Child Care Center as a 3-part series (10/20, 11/2, 11/9). Geared towards parents and grandparents of preK kids. Participants are encouraged to attend at least 2 of the workshops in the series. Free child care. This is a Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) program, funded by the MA Department of Early Education and Care and administered by the Collaborative for Educational Services, led by Alison Morrisey. 413-570-3061. 35 Pleasant St. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

7pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Beacon Cinema is screening “The Wizard of Oz” as part of Pittsfield 3rd Thursdays. 413-358-4780. 57 North Street. Pittsfield, MA (>$)

7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Amherst Regional Public Schools and the state District Attorney’s office host an anti-bullying workshop tonight. Learn about the realities of bullying in schools and how it can be prevented. Takes place in the auditorium in the middle school. 170 Chestnut Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

7-8:30pm – ORNITHOLOGY: Remember those robins who hopped around your backyard all summer? Do you know where they’ve ended up (and where they’ll get to) now that it’s getting colder outside? Learn about bird migration tonight at the Great Falls Discovery Center. Best for older students. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Music class starts at 11am most Thursdays. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 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 21th , 2011

“We have gone to many very cool event and have explored out side our area because of Hilltown Families.” - Sebastian Chandler (Turners Falls, MA)

4-8pm – ENCHANTED HALLOWEEN FOREST: The New Stage Performing Arts Center is now home to an Enchanted Forest! Made up of sets from Castle Hill Theater’s family shows and full of witches, wolves, and other characters, the forest is an interactive Halloween adventure! 413-418-0999. 55 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

5-6:45pm – HAUNTED HAY RIDES: 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. ($)

5-8pm – HALLOWEEN ZOO: Put on your Halloween costume and trick-or-treat around the Forest Park Zoo! Kids will learn all about the animals they encounter while celebrating Halloween. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. (<$)

5:30-8:30pm – HALLOWEEN TRAIN RIDE: Take a ride on the haunted train at Look Park! The ride is full of spooky visitors and good witches who bring candy! 413-584-5487. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. (DONATION)

5-8pm –HALLOWEEN COSTUME PARTY: There will be a kid’s Halloween costume party at St. Theresa’s Church to benefit the South Hadley Family Center. Bring the family to enjoy games, crafts, music and a costume parade. 413-533-7096. 9 E Parkview Drive. South Hadley, MA (FUNDRAISER)

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

6-11pm – HALLOWEEN PARTY/HAUNTED HOUSE: The Westfield YMCA will host a Halloween Party from 6-8pm with a “Haunted” open swim, followed by a Haunted House from 8-11pm. 413-568-8631. 67 Court Street. Westfield, MA ($)

7pm – HALLOWEEN HISTORY: Visit Storrowton Village for “Tales from Haunted New England,” an evening of spooky historical tales told by a professional storyteller. The event takes place in the spookiest of locations- in the village church, lit by candles! 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. (<$)

7:30pm – FAMILY THEATER: See the Secret Garden come to life like never before! As a celelbration of the 100th anniversary of the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the Arena Civic Theatre is hosting performances of the musical version of the story at the Shea Theater! 413-863-2281 ex. 3. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. ($)

7:30pm – SILENT FILM: Take the kids to see a classic Charlie Chaplin film on the big screen at the Shelburne Falls Memorial Hall in his 1925 silent film, “The Gold Rush.” Music before by Coop Jazz at 7pm. 413-625-3052. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, 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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