Suggested Events for Nov 5th-11th, 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

Halloween Snow-tacular! Events rescheduled from last weekend in Northampton, South Deerfield, Greenfield, Chicopee, Amherst, Westfield, Williamsburg and Florence! Details below. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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Deadline to enter to win is Sunday, 11/06/11 @ 7pm (EST).


November 5th & 6th in Franklin Co: The first weekend of November brings us Franklin County’s Cider Days. Celebrating the traditional drink of New England, Cider Days is for everyone who loves fresh apples, sweet and hard cider, cooking with apples, and enjoying autumn in New England. This is the 17th year of this festival, and there will be orchard tours, cider making workshops, cider tastings, talks by orchardists, and more. Highlights include Saturday’s Apple Pancake Breakfast at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield, and the Marketplace at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne Falls, with local artisans and producers, food vendors, and of course, apples!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15th from 7-9pm: HILLTOWN FAMILIES PRESENTS: “The Importance of Creative Play in a Commercialized World” with Dr. Susan Linn, author of The Case for Make Believe and Consuming Kids on Tues., Nov 15th from 7-9pm at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg (FREE). In the critically acclaimed Consuming Kids, Dr. Linn, the nation’s leading advocate for protecting children from corporate marketers, provided an unsparing look at modern childhood molded by commercialism. In her book, The Case for Make Believe, Dr. Linn argues that while play is crucial to human development and children are born with an innate capacity for make believe, the convergence of ubiquitous technology and unfettered commercialism actually prevents them from playing. Dr. Linn will speak about these issues and help generate ideas for preserving non-commercialized creative play, especially around the holidays. A Q&A session will follow.

BULLETIN BOARD

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS: Spring forward, Fall back… Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday, Nov 6th at 2am. Before hitting the hay Saturday night, remember to set your clocks back one hour and enjoy an extra hour of sleep (if your kids will let you!).

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Nov 5th-11th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Nov 5th, 2011

“Families can spend the day checking out the beautiful flower gardens at Smith College (Northampton, MA) while having a picnic at paradise pond!” - Stephanie Gale(Easthampton, MA)

6-10am – 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.

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet of Trout Fishing in America Guest DJ the Hilltown Family Variety Show this week! Keith and Ezra will be spinning tunes by Justin Roberts, Grenadilla, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, Louis Jordan, Eric Erman, Dino O’Dell and songs off of their new CD, Chicken Joe Forgets Something Important! Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.  – 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.

CIDER DAYS: Celebrating the traditional drink of New England during Franklin Co. Cider Days!  This is the 17th year of this festival, and there will be orchard tours, cider making workshops, cider tastings, talks by orchardists, and more. Highlights include Saturday’s Apple Pancake Breakfast at the Second Congregational Church in Greenfield, and the Marketplace at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne Falls, with local artisans and producers, food vendors, and of course, apples! Franklin Co.

9am-5pm – FIBER FESTIVAL: Learn all about the fiber industry today at the Big E!  The Fiber Festival of New England includes demonstrations of all kinds, a fiber marketplace, fiber-covered animals to meet and learn about, and more!  It’s all fiber, all weekend.  413-737-2443.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  (<$)

10am – LOCAL HISTORY: Historic Northampton hosts a walking tour of the town highlighting places significant to the Underground Railroad and other abolitionist sites!  See where famous abolitionists of the 1800’s lived and worked.  Begins at the Unitarian Society. Rain date: 11/6.  220 Main Street.  Northampton, 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-3pm – HANDMADE CRAFT FAIR: Head to the Cummington Family Center for the second annual Handmade for Kids Craft Fair!  The event will include home/handmade crafts and goods- just for kids!  There will also be music for kids, crafts, a bake sale, and a raffle.  Great opportunity to get some early holiday gifts taken care of, and also a way to support local artists and craftspeople!  Cummington, MA.  (MARKET) 

10am-3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: It’s Family Day at the Smith College Museum of Art!  Families can tour the museum and check out (and learn from) art from cultures all around the world.  There will be drop-in crafts for kids to do, too, where they can try their hand at different world art techniques.  413-585-2781.  Elm Street and Bedford Terrace.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – FLOWER SHOW: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s Fall Chrysanthemum Bulb Show runs through November 20th!  Stop by to see a huge variety of gorgeous mums, along with the many other exotic plants that call the gardens home.  413-585-2740.  College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

10am-4pm – HANDMADE CRAFT FAIR: Eastworks hosts the Handmade With Love Craft and Gift Fair!  All items (everything from jewelry and accessories to bath products!) are hand/homemade locally.  1165 Pleasant Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (MARKET)

11am – BOOK READING: Visit the Odyssey Bookshop for a reading of “Grin and Bear It” with author Leo Landry.  The book is about a bear who dreams of becoming a comedian, but his jokes just don’t quite measure up!  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-4:30pm – HISTORIC CRAFTS: Historic Deerfield offers an opportunity to learn about 19th century living!  This month’s activity is making a band box and a mulling satchel (used for hot cider) to take home!  Band boxes were used to store bands for men’s shirt collars, and eventually the style of box was expanded to all sizes because of the convenient storage it provided!  413-775-7214.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

12:30-3:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: There will be a concert with David Grover at Kidzone Child Care and Education Center. Projects and treats will be available too. 413-448-2366. 10 Lyman Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

2pm & 3pm – PUPPET SHOW: Picture Book Theater performs Eric Carle titles in the auditorium. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (>$)

3-6pm – TRICK-OR-TREATING: Rescheduled from Halloween. Look for orange pumpkins on the doors and windows of downtown businesses. Northampton, MA (FREE)

3pm & 7:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Green Room Productions presents, “James & the Giant Peach” at the Academy of Music. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA ($$)

3pm – STORYTIME: Owl and Raven hosts an afternoon storytime!  This week’s book will be selections from Madeline L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”  413-341-6494.  2 Conz Street #42 (Maplewood Shops).  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

4 & 5:30pm – HALLOWEEN EVENT: – The Witches Ball for Kids at Chandler’s Restaurant, rescheduled from Halloween. Enjoy kid’s karaoke, pumpkin decorating, and up close creepy crawlers! Ghoulish buffet served. 413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($$)

5-8pm – ART WALK: Explore the studios of Shelburne’s many artists tonight during Art Under the Stars!  There will be live music and refreshments accompanying some of the artwork.  Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (FREE)

5-8pm – TRICK-OR-TREATING: Rescheduled from Halloween. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

5-9pm – AUCTION: The Academy at Charlemont’s annual Cornucopia Auction is tonight!  This is an opportunity to bid on a wide array of items, enjoy delicious local drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and to help raise money for the academy!  413-339-4912.  1359 Route 2.  Charlemont, MA.  ($$)

5:30pm – RAG SHAG PARADE: Rescheduled from last weekend. Line up at Trinity Row Park on Main Street and march down to the VFW at 18 Meadow St. Treats at the end. Florence, MA (FREE)

Dusk – TRICK-OR-TREATING: Rescheduled from Halloween. Chicopee, MA (FREE)

Dusk – TRICK-OR-TREATING: Rescheduled from Halloween. Goshen, MA (FREE)

Dusk – TRICK-OR-TREATING: Rescheduled from Halloween. Northfield, MA (FREE)

6pm – RAG SHAG PARADE: Rescheduled from Halloween. March from Mill Street to Fire Station for games and treats. Official trick-or-treat day too. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

6pm – PERFORMANCE: “Talking About It, Moving Through: Poetry, Martial Arts and Storytelling” a benefit for “I Am Somebody! Mentorship Foundation at the Valley Women’s Martial Arts. Four artists will weave together their different art forms, including a South African storyteller, and African American theater artists and a local American poet. This collaborative performance is appropriate for families with kids 12yo+. Childcare space available. 413-527-0101. One Cottage Street #319. Easthampton, MA (DONATION)

8pm – THEATER: Valley Light Opera presents, “The Sorcerer!”  The show is about a young sorcerer who aims to end divisions between social classes through the use of a love potion… which of course goes awry.  The show is engaging for all ages, and is performed at Amherst High School.  Triangle Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

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Sunday, Nov 6th, 2011

2am – DAYLIGHT SAVINGS: Spring forward, Fall back… Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday, Nov 6th at 2am. Before hitting the hay Saturday night, remember to set your clocks back one hour and enjoy an extra hour of sleep (if your kids will let you!).

"We love keeping up with family events all around Western Mass. We have found so many interesting places to go and met great people along the way!! No other place like it." - Eileen Hamel (Southampton, 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.CIDER DAYS: Celebrating the traditional drink of New England during Franklin Co. Cider Days!  This is the 17th year of this festival, and there will be orchard tours, cider making workshops, cider tastings, talks by orchardists, and more. Franklin Co.

9am-3pm – FIBER FESTIVAL: Learn all about the fiber industry today at the Big E!  The Fiber Festival of New England includes demonstrations of all kinds, a fiber marketplace, fiber-covered animals to meet and learn about, and more!  It’s all fiber, all weekend.  413-737-2443.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  (<$)

10am-4pm – AVIATION/WOMEN’S STUDIES: The New England Air Museum hosts Women Take Flight– a special day where visitors can learn about the important women who paved the way for careers for women in aviation and aerospace technology.  There will be special guests and a panel discussion, as well as a chance to explore the museum.  800-623-3305.  36 Perimeter Road.  Windsor Locks, CT.  ($)

10am-4pm – FLOWER SHOW: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s Fall Chrysanthemum Bulb Show runs through November 20th!  Stop by to see a huge variety of gorgeous mums, along with the many other exotic plants that call the gardens home.  413-585-2740.  College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

10:30am – FUN RUN: Help raise money for the Cutchins Program and get some exercise and time outdoors at the same time!  Today is the (rescheduled from last weekend) annual Give a Hoot Fun Run– it starts at the Toasted Owl in Northampton.  Registration begins at 9.  413-584-1310.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

11:30am-4pm – HALLOWEEN FEST: Celebrate Halloween in downtown Amherst with a rag shag parade, trick-or-treating, haunted house and carnival, games, prizes and seasonal food (rescheduled from last week). Meet at Sweetzer Park for parade to beging the day! Activities at the Bangs Community Center. Amherst, MA (FREE, >$)

1-3pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Learn all about different types of birds of prey at Magic Wings Butterfly Sanctuary today!  413-665-2805.  281 Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

2pm – THEATER: Valley Light Opera presents, “The Sorcerer!”  The show is about a young sorcerer who aims to end divisions between social classes through the use of a love potion… which of course goes awry.  The show is engaging for all ages, and is performed at Amherst High School.  Triangle Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

3pm – PERFORMANCE: Green Room Productions presents, “James & the Giant Peach” at the Academy of Music. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA ($$)

4-6pm – HALLOWEEN: Amelia Park Children’s Museum is hosting a Halloween Spectacular with a costume contest/parade and Halloween Party. 413-572-4014. 29 S. Broad Street. Westfield, MA (FREE w/MUSEUM ADMISSION)

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Monday, Nov 7th, 2011

"We live at the intersection of three counties, so it’s great to have a source of information that covers them all (and more!)" - Emmy Howard (Plainfield, MA)

10am-1pm: HEALTH & SAFETY: Williamsburg Senior Center and Council on Aging if holding a Health, Safety and Information Fair. Many vendors and demos for services, programs and resources for grandparents and seniors of all ages. Haydenville Town Office Building. 413-268-8410. 141 Main St. Haydenville, MA (FREE)

10am-4pm – FLOWER SHOW: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s Fall Chrysanthemum Bulb Show runs through November 20th!  Stop by to see a huge variety of gorgeous mums, along with the many other exotic plants that call the gardens home.  413-585-2740.  College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

7pm – SING-A-LONG: Sing along with your neighbors at the Westhampton Library!  BYO instrument (if you play), and a copy of Rise up Singing if you’ve got one!  413-527-5386.  3 South 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 – 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) ♦
  • 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) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Community Network for Children hosts story hour at the MN Spear Memorial Library- kids 0-5 (with caregivers) can enjoy stories, songs, and craft activities!  413-259-1213.  10 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Bring babies ages 12-14 months to Wee Ones Storytime at the Indian Orchard Branch Library!  413-263-6846.  44 Oak Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Mother Goose on the Loose at the Orange Library!  Rhymes, songs, finger play, stories, and more!  978-544-2495.  49 East Main Street.  Orange, 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 ($)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – LEGOS: The Central Library hosts LEGO Club tonight!  Kids in grades 1-5 are invited to experiment with architecture and create a masterpiece.  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 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, Nov 8th, 2011

"Thanks Hilltown for the tip about Mt. Holyoke College Art Museum. We’re studying ancient civilizations in homeschool. We planned a trip for Western Mass. Homeschoolers and about 20 kids will be going, not counting adults. We can’t wait to see their exhibit." -Christa Figueroa, (Holyoke, MA)

10am-4pm – FLOWER SHOW: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s Fall Chrysanthemum Bulb Show runs through November 20th!  Stop by to see a huge variety of gorgeous mums, along with the many other exotic plants that call the gardens home.  413-585-2740.  College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

6-8pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP: The Palmer/Monson Family Network will host a workshop, Small Screen Big Impact. Parents can learn how media affects learning in kids. Child care is available. 413-570-3061. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA (FREE)

7pm – MUSIC STUDIES: The documentary, “Rejoice and Shout” tells the story of the evolution of Gospel music over the years and in its many forms.  Older students can see it tonight at Pleasant Street Theater!  413-253-2547.  Pleasant Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

EVERY TUESDAY (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) ♦
  • 9:30-11am: 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: Interactive Literacy and playtime at the Sunderland Elementary School for preK kids. All welcomed. 413-475-1553. 28 Old Amherst Rd. Sunderland, MA (FREE)
  • 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-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, 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) ♦
  • 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) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Public Library hosts Pre-School Story Hour. There will be stories, songs, and fingerplay for little ones and they caregivers. 413-587-1011. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Milne Library!  413-458-5369.  1095 Main Street.  Williamstown, 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 – STORYTIME: Toddler storytime takes place at the North Adams Library this morning! 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, 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) ♦
  • 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)
  • 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) ♦
  • 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, Nov 9th, 2011

"Hilltown Families is informative and let’s us know what is happening in our area. We always check to see what performers are appearing in the area and look for updates all the time. Thanks Hilltown Families!" - Kathy Kassing

10am: OPERA FOR KIDS: The Westfield State University Music Theatre Workshop class presents an operatic version of the story “The Billy Goats Gruff,” based on opera scenes from Rossini, Donizetti and Mozart. For kids up to 10yo, this production highlights strategies on bullying. Open to the general public on the Dever Stage at Wetfield State University. 577 Western Ave. Westfield, MA (FREE)

10am-4pm – FLOWER SHOW: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s Fall Chrysanthemum Bulb Show runs through November 20th!  Stop by to see a huge variety of gorgeous mums, along with the many other exotic plants that call the gardens home.  413-585-2740.  College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

3:30-4:30pm – STORYTIME: Campfire Adventures this afternoon at the Chicopee Library is an event that combines stories, games, and crafts for kids ages 5-12!  Fun for all.  413-594-1800.  449 Front Street.  Chicopee, MA.  (FREE)

4:30-5:30 – AUTISM SUPPORT: Forbes Library hosts a seminar on learning to become an effective partner for kids with autism!  Lead by Heidi Ehrenreich, the seminar will teach strategies for better understanding how communication works and ways to communicate outside of the norm.  413-587-1011.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – FILM SCREENING: “We Still Live Here” is a documentary about the revival of the Wampanoag language– which took place 100 years after the death of the last native speaker.  Historic Deerfield hosts an advance screening tonight!  The film offers an opportunity to learn about a people who are  important to the history of New England and a culture that is not well known.  Takes place at the White Church Community Center.  413-775-7179.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – ANCIENT HISTORY: Native Northampton: 10,000 BC – Older students (15yo+) are welcomed to discover the history of indigenous people who lived in the Pioneer Valley over 10,000 years ago during the end of the last ice age with John Santos. 413-341-6494.  2 Conz Street #42 (Maplewood Shops).  Northampton, MA.

7pm – LECTURE: Bard College at Simon’s Rock hosts, “Edible Education: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement – School Lunch and Edible Schoolyards” with author and chef, Ann Cooper (AKA The Renegade Lunch Lady).  Co-hosted by Berkshire Grown. 413-528-0041. 84 Alford Road. Great Barrington, 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)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children holds playgroup for kids ages 0-5 at Erving Elementary School!  There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities.  978-544-5157.  28 Northfield Road.  Erving, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Wendell Free Library hosts the Community Network for Children’s playgroup for kids ages 0-5.  There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities.  978-544-5157.  7 Wendell Depot Road.  Wendell, 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) ♦
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Milne Library!  413-458-5369.  1095 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is this morning at the North Adams Library! 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 2-5 can attend storytime at the Monson Library this morning!  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Visit the Leverett Public Library for the Community Network for Children’s story hour!  Kids ages 0-5 can enjoy stories, hands-on science activities, and art projects!  413-548-9220.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4pm – STORYTIME: Visit the Pine Point Library for Martha Speaks storytime for kids ages 5-8! 413-263-6855. 204 Boston Road. Springfield, 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) ♦
  • 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)
  • 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) ♦
  • 6pm – SUPPORT GROUP: Treehouse hosts a New Moms Group where new mothers can connect with other moms and babies can spend time with other babies.  Intended for moms with babies 6mos and under.  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Thursday, Nov 10th, 2011

"Hilltown Families lets me know whats happening in time to plan it into my life." - Sue Overstreet (Belchertown, MA)

10am-4pm – FLOWER SHOW: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s Fall Chrysanthemum Bulb Show runs through November 20th!  Stop by to see a huge variety of gorgeous mums, along with the many other exotic plants that call the gardens home.  413-585-2740.  College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

7-8:30pm – PARENTING WORKSHOP: “At Your Wit’s End: Responding to Challenging Behavior” is being offered at the Clapp Memorial Library as a 3-part series. 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 Deborah Roth-Howe. 413-570-3061. 19 South Main St. Belchertown, MA (FREE)

7pm – LECTURE: Professor Gail Carlson of Colby College will speak at Stoneleigh-Burnham School on the health impacts associated with everyday products. Parents can find out how these products impact their kids and find out what actions they can take to protect their families. 413-774-2711. 574 Bernardston Road. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 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) ♦
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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) ♦
  • 10:30am – 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) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Take kids to storytime this morning at the Emily Williston Memorial Library!  413-529-1605.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Jones Library in the Children’s Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is today at the Lilly Library! 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come and enjoy stories and songs with facilitator, Julie Stepanek, at the New Salem Library on Thurs. through Dec. 15th. 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., MA (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Visit the Hatfield Library for story hour!  39 Main Street.  413-247-9097.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30pm – STORYTIME: Martha Speaks storytime takes place today at the Brightwood Branch Library- kids can learn about the power of words through stories about dogs, crafts, and more!  413-263-6805.  359 Plainfield Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦

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Friday, Nov 11th , 2011

"Hilltown Families keeps me connected to great shows in the area. Both kids and adults." - Dave Cahn (Florence, MA)

10am-4pm – FLOWER SHOW: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s Fall Chrysanthemum Bulb Show runs through November 20th!  Stop by to see a huge variety of gorgeous mums, along with the many other exotic plants that call the gardens home.  413-585-2740.  College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

1-2pm – PUPPETS: The National Marionette Theater performs Hansel and Gretel this afternoon at the Springfield Museums!  800-625-7738.  9 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

4pm – TEACHING: The Norman Rockwell Museum will soon be opening an exhibit about the illustration of the Curious George books!  Today, the museum hosts a special preview of the exhibit for educators and librarians.  Afterwards, there will be a discussion on fun ways to use Curious George books in the classroom (or in other educational settings).  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

7:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Green Room Productions presents, “James & the Giant Peach” at the Academy of Music. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA ($$)

MANY SCHOOL DISTRICTS ARE CLOSED TODAY FOR VETERANS DAY. PLEASE DOUBLE CHECK LISTINGS BELOW BEFORE ATTENDING TO CONFIRM:

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

  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Shutesbury Elementary School for the Community Network for Children’s playgroup!  Kids ages 0-5 can take part in stories, motor skills play, and art activities!  413-259-1212.  23 West Pelham Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 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) ♦
  • 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-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)♦
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Lanesborough Elementary School for gym group! 413-443-0027. Summer Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORY/CRAFT: Stories, songs and crafts for preK kids and their guardians. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)
  • 10-10:45am – 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) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: Kids 2-3.5 years old can go to storytime at the East Forest Park Branch Library!  413-263-6836.  122 Island Pond Road.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Brightwood Branch Library hosts storytime for kids ages 2-3.5.  413-23-6805.  359 Plainfield Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME: Bring littlest ones to the Monson Library for stories, songs, and fun!  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Great Falls Discover Center hosts a story hour for kids 3-6yo. Held the 4th Friday of every month. 413-863-3221 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 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: PreK story hour with snack and crafts at the Griswold Memorial Library. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, 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) ♦
  • 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) ♦
  • 8:30pm-12:30am – COMMUNITY DANCE: Dance Spree is a community family-friendly (and barefoot!) dance event – kids of all ages are welcome to attend with guardians.  Great way to get moving!  25 Main Street, 4th Floor (above Fitzwilly’s).  Northampton, MA.  (<$) ♦

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