Suggested Events for September 6th-12th, 2014

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“We love heading to the farmers’ markets and farm festivals that are listed on Hilltown Families. And we’ve found that our kids eat veggies much more willingly when we talk about which farmer grew them, which fields they came out of, etc. Thanks for being a great resource.” Deborah Doulette (Whately, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Begins in Sep

Sign up for Theater Improvisation with Heidi Haas! Improv increases spontaneity, creativity and self-confidence. Classes focus on tuning into one’s scene partners, creating bold characters and developing skits with each other. Classes are offered for 6th-8th graders on Wednesdays from 3-5pm and for 1st-5th graders on Thursdays from 3:30-5pm in Florence, MA. The first 10 week session begins in Sept. Heidi has been teaching theater to children since 1996 and is also a clinical social worker with a specialty in child/family concerns. Check out her website at www.heidihaasimprov.com to register call: Heidi Haas 584-5562 or email Heidi_Haas@comcast.net.

Begins in Sep

Enrolling now! At The Center in Amherst, children spin stories from movement using classical and modern dance techniques. Sister duo Ashley and Caddy Carlisle combine their years of dance training with a special approach to teaching that gets kids reading, writing and dancing; connecting, collaborating and creating. It’s a holistic approach to dance. Classes beginning in September for children ages 5 through 14, in downtown Amherst. For more information, visit www.thecenterdance.com or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com.

Sep 7

On Sunday, September 7, from 2 to 4 pm, the Northampton Community Music Center will host its annual Open House & Instrument Petting Zoo. Come see, hear and try out different musical instruments, meet our teachers, take free demo classes, and enjoy a performance by NCMC’s ukulele choir. NCMC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1986 with 50 professional faculty members serving more than 800 students annually. NCMC also hosts more than 75 performances and events each year. Programs include instruction in 25 different instruments, choruses, instrumental ensembles, vocal performance classes, recording studio classes, summer programs and special workshops. Financial aid available. For information, call 413-585-0001 or visit www.ncmc.net.

Sep 13

New in Greenfield: Kids Yoga! Celtic Heels is offering yoga classes for ages 3-teen in Greenfield starting in September. Every child should learn at an early age what they are capable of and exploring movement and creativity through yoga is a great way to achieve that goal. Small class sizes will enable each student to cultivate a growing relationship with the school’s accomplished, nurturing and certified instructor. Discounts are offered for additional family members in Irish dance, ballet and Celtic Cardio. Join Celtic Heels for their Free Yoga Day on Saturday, September 13 (and ask about their Irish dance and ballet lesson day too). For additional information email celticheels@gmail.com or visit their website: www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

Sep 14

On Sunday, September 14th at 4pm, join your fellow book lovers from the Odyssey Bookshop at the Jones Library in Amherst for an afternoon of magic and adventure! Hear from two master storytellers as they share their new book: The Iron Trial, Book One of Magesterium. From the imaginations of #1 bestselling authors Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) and Cassandra Clare (the Mortal Instruments series) comes a heart-stopping plunge into the magical unknown. Perfect for Harry Potter fans! Space is limited but you can reserve your seat at www.odysseybks.com! Ages 7-70!

Begins Sep 19

Earthwork Programs Heron & Swift Eagle Homeschool Programs are starting Friday, September 19 (9:30am-2pm), in Amherst, MA, for ages 7+. For the last 15 years, hundreds of children have developed their Nature Awareness, Wilderness Survival Skills & Mentoring with Frank Grindrod. Curriculum covered is seasonal according to the cycles of nature and is designed to allow students to explore what interests them but still revolve around group studies. $610-$720, sliding scale, for 12-week fall session (includes bound Journal/Handbook). Winter & spring sessions available as well. Register online ASAP: www.earthworkprograms.com or call 413-340-1161 or email Frank: frank@earthworkprograms.com.

Sept 20

Join in the fun of the jigs and reels at Celtic Heels! A dance school in Greenfield offering lessons for ages 3+ in Irish Dance, Celtic Music, Ballet and KidsYoga; as well as, classes specifically for adults has something for everyone and discounts are offered for additional family members. Join Celtic Heels for their Free Irish Dance + Ballet Day on Saturday, September 20 (and ask about their free yoga lesson day too). For additional information email celticheels@gmail.com or visit their website at www.CelticHeelsDance.com.

Sep 28

On Sunday, Sept. 28th, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts will be hosting their 4th annual Will Bike 4 Food (WB4F) charity cycling event. When you’re at cookouts and picnics throughout the summer, it’s the perfect time to pull your family, friends and neighbors together to form a team and ride to end hunger. Forming a team is easy (4 or more). With multiple courses to choose from—a 10, 25, 50 or 100 mile loop—riders of any level to become involved. Registration is easy and only takes a few minutes. Don’t miss the post-race for a celebration with complimentary food, beer from Berkshire Brewing Company, and family activities. To register, or to learn more about WB4F, visit their website at www.foodbankwma.org/events/bike.

Fall Openings

Spaces available! Nonotuck Community School is accepting applications for children 15 mos. to 5 years. January start date is available for younger children not old enough to start now. Open from 7:30am – 5:30pm and located in Northampton, Nonotuck has well-appointed classrooms, daily access to indoor and outdoor play spaces, an art studio, yoga instruction, gardening & more. Curriculum is play-based and inspired by progressive early childhood education theory. They emphasize community, emotional intelligence and resilience and provide ample opportunities for cognitive, artistic, social, emotional, and physical development throughout the school day. A parent cooperative. Contact: info@nonotuck.org or 413-586-5996 or www.nonotuck.org.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, fall program, after school class, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at info@hilltownfamilies.org.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to info@hilltownfamilies.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
September 6th-12th, 2014

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Join Guest DJ, National Parks Service Ranger Jeff Wolin (aka Ranger Jeff) from his ranger station in the mountains of Colorado for a musical tour of our National Parks. While families are dancing and singing, everyone will get a musical exploration of our country’s great natural and cultural treasures. From a polka about a revolutionary war hero to sea turtles in the Gulf Islands, this national park themed show will keep you moving and perhaps inspire you and your family to visit a park near you! Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from 7 years!

Saturday, September 6, TBA – LOCAL HISTORY: Join the Mill River Greenway Initiative for a “Riverwalk” in Leeds. Walk from Cook’s Dam to River Road and discover the history of Leeds and the Mill River. This walk would be best for older students interested in local history. Pre-registration required – email info@millrivergreenway.org to register; space is limited. Leeds, MA.

Saturday, September 6, 8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The 166th Annual Franklin County Fair runs this from September 4 through September 7 and has tons of fun activities for community members of all ages! Learn about animals in the Exhibition Hall, see horse and oxen pulls, have fun on the midway, see a community talent show, eat delicious food, hear great live music, see demonstrations, watch the demolition derby and firefighter’s muster, and much more! 413-774-4282. 89 Wisdom Way. Greenfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 6, 9am-3pm – HISTORY/TRANSPORTATION: The Springfield Museums’ History on the Move Car Show features tons of classic and vintage automobiles, as well as muscle cars, a driving demonstration using a replica of an 1893 Duryea (the first gasoline-powered car and built in Springfield!), a talk on the early car industry in Springfield, and more. All ages will enjoy learning about these historic automobiles and seeing how cars have changed over time! Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Saturday, September 6, 9am-4pm – TAG SALE: Support the Amherst Survival Center at their annual furniture sale, the Trash to Treasures Sale! Find cool used furniture items for your home at this huge sale. Takes place on the Amherst Town Common. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, September 6, 10am – IMMIGRATION STUDIES: The Norman Rockwell Museum and the Berkshire Immigrant Center will be a hosting a naturalization ceremony in the galleries of the Museum. Berkshire residents who immigrated to the United States will be sworn in as naturalized citizens in front of Rockwell’s iconic “Four Freedoms” paintings – “Freedom of Speech,” “Freedom of Worship,” “Freedom from Want,” and “Freedom from Fear.” The paintings are based on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union address, in which he outlined those four freedoms as essential human rights to be protected. This is the third annual naturalization ceremony at the museum – this year, over a dozen Berkshire residents will become citizens in front of the “Four Freedoms.” This is a rare opportunity to witness members of the Berkshire community become recognized as U.S. citizens against the historic backdrop of some of Rockwell’s most famous works. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. $$

Saturday, September 6, 10am-12noon – INSECT STUDIES: The 2nd Annual Springfield Bee Fest takes place September 6! Come to South Branch Park to celebrate and learn about the bees and other beneficial insects that live in our backyards. The festival is part of the lawn mowing study and ReGreen Springfield and will be led by bee biologist Joan Milam. Attendees can look at bees and other insects under a microscope, learn about bee biology and behavior, and discover how they can help ReGreen Springfield in their efforts to restore Springfield’s urban forest. 413-545-5447. South Branch Park, East Forest Park Neighborhood. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, September 6, 10am-5pm – ARTISAN TRADE: Learn about woodworking at WoodWorks Weekend at Hancock Shaker Village on September 6 and 7. The weekend features demonstrations on timber framing, portable saw milling, custom furniture-making, historic preservation, restoration, and more; a show and sale of many different handcrafted items; and a chance to meet experts in the field and representatives from different vendors. Students with a strong interest in woodworking can learn a lot from this woodwork-oriented weekend! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $$

Saturday, September 6, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Chesterwood, the former country home, studio, and gardens of famous sculptor Chester French, will offer free admission to families on September 6. Families can explore Chesterwood’s studio, residence and grounds, and participate in activities like hands-on clay modeling and a self-guided scavenger hunt. Pack a picnic lunch and spend a fun-filled day at Chesterwood with the whole family! 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Road. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 6, 10am-5pm – HISTORY: The Clark Art Institute’s new exhibition, “Radical Words: From Magna Carta to the Constitution” opens on September 6 and will be open until November 2. The exhibition brings together six documents of great importance to American history – the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These documents span eight centuries and each is important to the history of the United States. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. $

Saturday, September 6, 10am-5pm – STREET FESTIVAL: Matton Street Arts Festival, the longest running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley, runs all weekend long. Featuring 100 exhibitors, food vendors and strolling musicians, the Festival is a great family-friendly community event that celebrates the arts. Mattoon Street. Springfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, September 6, 10:30am – PARENT-CHILD WORKSHOP: Pathways for Parents is sponsoring a two-session workshop at the East Longmeadow Public Library titled “Kindergarten Connections.” Children ages 4-5 and their caregivers can work together to assess the child’s learning style and learn kindergarten transition techniques through fun activities. The workshop takes place on September 6 and September 13 and you should attend both sessions. Registration is required. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 6, 10:30am-11:30am – LOCAL HISTORY: Immerse yourself in local history at the Great Falls Discovery Center‘s “The Paper Mills of Turners Falls” event with Bill Wilson from the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage. Learn about Turners Falls’ four paper mills and then walk along the canal to imagine the town with the mills and see what is left of them today. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 6, 10:30am-11:30am – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids ages 2-5 and an adult can participate in an Art Lab at the Berkshire Museum on September 6. Come build fine motor skills and improve language by using paintbrushes, learning colors and techniques, and more. Space is limited; call to register. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171 x10. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 6, 12noon-4:45pm – CIRCUS: Show Circus Studio is offering free trial classes for kids and adults on September 6. There will be trial circus classes for kids ages 5-7 from 12noon-1pm and for ages 8-12 from 1:15pm-2:15pm. Ages 13 and up can participate in an adult mixed ground class (2:30pm-3:30pm) or an adult mixed aerial class (3:45pm-4:45pm). Call Show Circus Studio for more information. 413-527-6901. 150 Pleasant Street, Suite 313. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 6, 1pm-4pm – HIKING/YOGA: The Dickinson Memorial Library is offering a yoga hike at Northfield Mountain on September 6. Older students and adults who like yoga and hiking will enjoy this intergenerational program! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 6, 2pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Join the The Westfield Athenaeum for popcorn and a family movie. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 6, 2pm-3pm – INSECT STUDIES: Study the caterpillars in the Berkshire Museum‘s “Butterflies” exhibition and learn about their life stages at a “Caterpillar Chat.” Discover some of their amazing adaptations at this program. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 6, 3pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: Learn about Japanese culture and astronomy at Western Gateway Heritage State Park‘s “Japanese Moon Appreciation Month.” 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, September 6, 3pm-9pm – CONCERT/CELEBRATION: Say goodbye to summer at the Salute 2 Summer at Look Park’s Pines Theatre! This annual concert benefits the Northampton Recreation Department playgrounds at Florence Fields and features live music by The Bronx Wanderers, Union Jack, and Joe Pucci and the American Longboards. There will also be activities for kids in the afternoon, including a bounce house, face painting, and clowns. This is a fun chance for the whole family to celebrate and bring summer to a close. Kids under 12 get in free. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. $

Saturday, September 6, 4pm – STORYTELLING: Park Hill Orchard presents a storytelling with Tim Van Egmond. He will perform dulcimer music and stories for all ages. Come enjoy this fun program in a beautiful outdoor setting. Rain date 9/7 at 4pm. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, September 6, 4pm – BOOKS: Join Odyssey Bookshop for their monthly Young Adult Author Panel, which takes place at the Jones Library this month. Sarah J. Maas, Alexandra Bracken, and Dawn Metcalf will be at the library to discuss their books. Purchase a book from the Odyssey and get it signed by one of the authors! 413-534-7307. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, September 6, 4pm-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Discover some interesting bits of local history at the Stockbridge Library’s fourth Cemetery Tour of the season – “The Library: From Idea to Building/From House to Community Center.” Come to Stockbridge Cemetery to learn about the early days of the Stockbridge Library and how it has changed over the past 225 years. The tour will focus on the people and stories behind the library’s transformation. These cemetery tours are a fun way to learn about the history of Stockbridge and some of its interesting history! 413-298-5501. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. >$

Saturday, September 6, 7:30pm – HIKING: Explore Peaked Mountain under the full moon with The Trustees of Reservations. Hike the Miller Forest Tract and see Lunden Pond in the moonlight on this 2-3 mile night hike. Best for older teens and adults. 413-532-1631 x21. 43 Butler Road. Monson, MA. $

Saturday, September 6, 7:30pm – FILM: Pothole Pictures is screening Labor Day (2013; rated PG-13) and the documentary End of Summer – Making Labor Day. The movie was filmed in Shelburne Falls during the summer of 2012 and features many local sites and landmarks. Film buffs will enjoy seeing the documentary and behind-the-scenes footage to learn more about the making of the film. The documentary screens at 7:30pm and the film begins at 8pm. Come for either or both. There will also be piano music by Abdul Baki at 7pm. 413-625-2896. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. >$

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Sunday, September 31, 2014

Ongoing Sunday Events

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. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see 7 years of archived shows.

Sunday, September 7, 8am – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The 166th Annual Franklin County Fair runs this from September 4 through September 7 and has tons of fun activities for community members of all ages! Learn about animals in the Exhibition Hall, see horse and oxen pulls, have fun on the midway, see a community talent show, eat delicious food, hear great live music, see demonstrations, watch the demolition derby and firefighter’s muster, and much more! 413-774-4282. 89 Wisdom Way. Greenfield, MA. $

Sunday, September 7, 10am-3pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is holding their 2nd annual Family Volunteer Day for family members of all ages – even toddlers can help out!  Activities include touring the Food Bank warehouse, sorting food, educational opportunities for kids, and more.  It is important that kids understand the value and importance of volunteering and community service, and this is an excellent opportunity to give them some hands-on experience volunteering for a great local organization.  This all-ages event shows that no one is too young to start making a difference in their community.  Please RSVP on their Facebook event page to let the Food Bank know how many family members will be attending.  413-247-9738 x114.  97 North Hatfield Road.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, September 7, 10am-3pm – HISTORY/LOCAL FOOD: Exhibit, “Drinking, Distilleries & Prohibition,” opens at Sheffield Historical Society (Old Stone Store). Antique distilling and brewing equipment, bottles and photos will be on display in this exhibit that explores how alcohol production played a part in shaping Sheffield’s economy, politics, and culture. A section on the Temperance movement and Prohibition will trace how alcohol consumption went in-and-out of public favor over the centuries in Western Massachusetts. On display every weekend through October 12. 413-229-2694. Old Stone Store. 137 Main St. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 7, 10am-5pm – ARTISAN TRADE: Learn about woodworking at WoodWorks Weekend at Hancock Shaker Village on September 6 and 7. The weekend features demonstrations on timber framing, portable saw milling, custom furniture-making, historic preservation, restoration, and more; a show and sale of many different handcrafted items; and a chance to meet experts in the field and representatives from different vendors. Students with a strong interest in woodworking can learn a lot from this woodwork-oriented weekend! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $$

Sunday, September 7, 10am-5pm – STREET FESTIVAL: Matton Street Arts Festival, the longest running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley, runs all weekend long. Featuring 100 exhibitors, food vendors and strolling musicians, the Festival is a great family-friendly community event that celebrates the arts. Mattoon Street. Springfield, MA (FREE)

Sunday, September 7, 12noon-4pm – HISTORY EXHIBIT: For the month of September, Wistariahurst will be hosting an in house exhibit of advertisements made by Skinner & Sons from the turn of the century to the mid 1900s. For over 150 years, the Skinner name was synonymous with silk of the finest quality. William Skinner & Sons produced products ranging from threads, silks, satins, dress goods and sewing notions used to create lingerie and bridal gowns. William Skinner & Sons was a brand associated with excellence, quality and reputation. A variety of advertisements from the 1880s to the 1950s for silk, satin, rayon and taffeta products will be on view in the gallery demonstrating the William Skinner & Sons marketing style and confidence in a superior product. Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA (>$)

Sunday, September 7, 12noon-7pm – FESTIVAL: The Hilltown Hoot, a super fun benefit for Central Berkshire Schools, takes place September 7 in Washington Town Park! Come for live music, a craft fair, food, games, and fun for all ages. More information and a full schedule of events can be found on the Hilltown Hoot website. Route 8. Washington, MA. $$

Sunday, September 7, 12:30pm-5:30pm – FESTIVAL: St. Joseph’s Church’s Sharing Our Roots Festival began in 2002 as a way to recognize the events of September 11, 2001, and also to celebrate the diverse nationalities and cultures that make up the parish. The festival consists of a tag sale, food, entertainment, kids’ activities, and more. 413-445-5789. 414 North Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Sunday, September 7, 1pm – CONCERT: Enjoy a free concert by the Miro Sprague Quintet at the Clark Art Institute on September 7. The group will perform jazz music on piano, trombone, saxophone, bass, and drums. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 7, 1:30pm – AGRICULTURE/LOCAL FOOD: Russell Steven Powell will speak about his new book, Apples of New England: A User’s Guide, at the Keep Homestead Museum. Apple enthusiasts can learn about apple flavor and texture, history, ripening time, storage quality, uses, and more from this informative book. Powell will discuss his new book and some interesting facts about apples in New England at this program. 413-267-4137. 35 Ely Road. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 7, 2pm-4pm – MUSIC: The Northampton Community Music Center‘s annual Instrument Petting Zoo and Open House takes place on September 7. This event acts as an opportunity to introduce families to the instruments, teachers, and classes offered at the Music Center. Children will get a chance to try different instruments like recorders, keyboard, and more and can participate in music demo classes. The Northampton Community Music Center is a great resource for young musicians in the area, and this is a good opportunity to learn about all they have to offer! 413-585-0001. 139 South Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 7, 3pm-4pm – HISTORY: The Very Reverend Philip Buckler, Dean of Lincoln, will present an illustrated talk at the Clark Art Institute to accompany their newest exhibition, “Radical Words: From Magna Carta to the Constitution.” The talk, titled “Living with Magna Carta,” covers the document’s 800-year history, as well as the history of London, from Roman times up to the present. The Magna Carta on display at the Clark is one of only four surviving copies. Older students interested in history can learn from the talk and the exhibition – this is a rare chance to see this document on display, so don’t miss out! 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. $

Sunday, September 7, 4pm-6pm – COLLEGE FAIR: The New England Association for College Admissions Counseling is holding a college fair at Western New England University’s Alumni Healthful Living Center. Representatives from over 200 colleges, universities, and other schools will be present to provide information and answer questions. This is a great chance to check out tons of different schools from all over the country! 1215 Wilbraham Road. Springfield, MA.

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Monday, September 8th, 2014

Monday, September 8, 10:15 am – STORYTIME/MUSIC: Pathways for Parents is offering “Toddler Two Step” for toddlers ages 12-24 months at the Wilbraham Public Library. This music class features rhymes, songs, and fingerplays. This program is a six-week session and registration is required for the whole program. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 8, 7pm – MUSIC: Join community members of all ages at the Westhampton Public Library for a community sing along. Bring an instrument, songs, or music to share with others, or just come and listen. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can come to the South Hadley Family Center every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for playgroups and more. The Center follows the South Hadley Schools’ calendar. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – KNITTING: The Sunderland Public Library has a knitting group on Mondays. The group is open to knitters of all levels and ages. Great intergenerational opportunity for young children and homeschool kids. Runs most Mondays. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday and Wednesday for stories with Nathan! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Monday at the Williamstown Youth Center. 413-664-4821. School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – FARM ADVENTURES: Kids ages 4 and under can explore farm life at Red Gate Farm every Monday through November 17. Come learn about and meet the farm’s plants and animals and participate in hands-on activities. Call to sign up no later than noon on the Sunday prior. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. >$
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. $
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 11am-11:30am – CHILDREN’S PROGRAM: Every Monday at 11am, Moo-Licious Farm will offer an educational show for kids. Call for more info. 413-569-1700. 258 Feeding Hills Road. Southwick, MA.
  • 11am-12:30pm – PARENT GROUP: Mothers of infants and young children, as well as expectant moms, can come to the Hilltown Village Mothers’ Group every Monday at St. John’s Corner House. Come talk about motherhood and share your experiences in this supportive group environment. Childcare is available for kids up to age 4; infants in arms are welcome. The group follows the Mohawk Trail school schedule. 413-522-9732. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA.
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can come to tummy time at the Forbes Library every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 4pm-7pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday evening for a drop-in craft activity! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-7:30pm – SPORTS: Kids and adults 12 and up can come play pickup soccer at Pettingill Park in Cummington. All experience levels welcome. Runs until the snow falls. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – KNITTING: All skill levels can attend a knitting group at the Westhampton Public Library every Monday evening. Come learn and share tips and tricks with knitters of all ages and levels. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-7pm – STORYTIME: Kids can unwind at the end of the day at the Montague Center Library‘s weekly evening storytime. Kids are welcome to come to the storytime in their pajamas. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 (except 9/29-10/2) at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$

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Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: Join the Family Resource Center at the North Adams Public Library for LEGO Group! Kids ages 4-8 can get creative with LEGOs and have fun building with peers. 413-664-4821. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 9, 7pm – FILM/ANIMAL STUDIES: See the documentary The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013) at the Berkshire Athenaeum. This film is about several non-human animals that live within or have been rescued from the global animal industries – entertainment, food, fashion, and research. The film tackles the question of whether or not animals deserve the same sorts of rights as humans. Older students interested in animals and animal rights will enjoy this film. More information available here. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 9, 7pm-9pm – BIRD STUDIES: Learn about hawks and how to classify and identify them at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Hawks migrate in the fall, making this a perfect time to search the skies for them and learn about them. This program is best for teens and adults who are interested in learning about birds of prey. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. $

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12:30pm – TRAIL WORK: Do trail work at Notchview with The Trustees of Reservations the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, through October. They need help repairing several trails on the property. Best for teens and adults. 413-532-1631 x10. Route 9. Windsor, MA. (VOLUNTEER)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can come to the South Hadley Family Center every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for playgroups and more. The Center follows the South Hadley Schools’ calendar. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Come to the Goodwin Memorial Library every Tuesday for storytime! Runs all year. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Tuesday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. $
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: Parents and babies can come to the Jones Library for “Sing with Your Baby,” every Tuesday through November 18. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Children ages 3-6 and their parents are invited to the Great Falls Discovery Center’s Kidleidoscope event! Kidleidoscope focuses on teaching young children about the natural world using the theme “we share our home.” Activities include stories, interactive games, and crafts. Kidleidoscope runs every Tuesday through October 7. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Lenox Library is offering a storytime for toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years every Tuesday. This storytime follows the school district schedule. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library is holding a baby and toddler playtime every Tuesday. Come to the library and meet other kids and parents. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema offers weekly matinees on Tuesdays especially for people with babies! This is a great chance to get out and see a movie without having to worry about finding a sitter. Check their website to see what’s playing each week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. >$
  • 5:30pm & 6:30pm – KARATE: Free shotokan karate classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday at Northfield Elementary School. There are two classes – one for 7-10 year olds (5:30pm-6:15pm) and one for teens and adults (6:30pm-7:30pm). More info available here. 802-451-0303. 104 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Tuesday evening at the Greylock Apartments’ Community Room for children walking age to age 5. 413-664-4821. Angeli Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: It’s Pajama Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Wear your pajamas and enjoy stories and fun. Happens the second Tuesday of each month. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Tuesday evening for storytime with Jason. This program includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and more. 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 (except 9/29-10/2) at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$

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Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 9am-12noon – PLANT STUDIES: Botanist Connie Parks will teach about goldenrods and asters at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Learn about these late summer bloomers and how to identify them and use a dichotomous key at this program, which is geared towards adults. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. $

Wednesday, September 10, 12:30pm-2:30pm – PARENT-CHILD WORKSHOP: Pathways for Parents is offering “Welcome, Baby!” for parents/caregivers and their infants, ages birth-1 year, at the Wilbraham Public Library. The program is both fun and instructive. Call the library for more information or to sign up. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 10, 1:30pm – SCRABBLE: Come to the Westhampton Public Library for Scrabble! Have fun playing this classic word game with community members of all ages. Terrific intergenerational opportunity for homeschoolers and students with half-days on Wednesdays. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 10, 3:30pm-4:30pm – SCIENCE: Kids ages 9 and up can make their own sidewalk chalk at the West Springfield Public Library! This fun hands-on science program engages kids in a creative task with cool results. Please pre-register. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 10, 4pm – BOOK GROUP: Tweens and teens can come discuss Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by 7s at the Forbes Library Young Adult Book Club! Read the book and come discuss it with your peers. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.

Wednesday, September 10, 6pm – SCIENCE/HISTORY: Bascom Lodge presents a talk on the trial of Galileo on September 10. Older students interested in science, history, and the work of Galileo will enjoy this informative talk. Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – AGRICULTURE: Homeschool students ages 8 and up can come to Red Gate Farm for Homeschool Half Days most Wednesdays through November 19. Students can learn about farming at these hands-on programs, which revolve around farm activities and explorations. Students ages 12 and up will work separately on more advanced farm projects. Sign up for some or all meetings. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. $
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can come to the South Hadley Family Center every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for playgroups and more. The Center follows the South Hadley Schools’ calendar. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Parents and their preschoolers can come to the Westhampton Public Library for coffee and storytime every Wednesday. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday and Wednesday at 10am for stories with Nathan! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. $
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: It’s storytime at the Monson Free Library for kids ages 2-5! Come by for stories, snacks, crafts, and fun. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 11am – NATURE STUDIES: Young kids and their parents/guardians can go on a Tyke Hike every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. These easy hikes will get young kids interested in nature and exploring the outdoors. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Toddlers can have fun at the Forbes Library every Wednesday at their toddler time program through November 5. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Preschool storyhour every Wednesday at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Ruthanne Paulson includes stories, music, movement, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Preschool-aged kids can attend Kidleidoscope every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. This weekly program features forest-themed educational activities. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm-4:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about some fascinating local history at the Swift River Valley Historical Society every Wednesday and Sunday from 1:30pm-4:30pm through September 28. Tour the building, see interesting exhibits, and learn about the Quabbin Reservoir and the towns that were flooded for its creation. 978-544-6882. 40 Elm Street. New Salem, MA.
  • 4pm – CHESS: The East Longmeadow Public Library holds a chess club for kids ages 6-14 every Wednesday afternoon. Come improve your chess skills by playing with peers of all levels. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – STORYTIME/ARTS & CRAFTS: The North Amherst Library is offering a story and craft time for kids every Wednesday afternoon. Come by for stories, crafts, and fun. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – KNITTING: Come to the Goodwin Memorial Library every Wednesday evening for knitting group. All levels are welcome, making this is a great chance to share knitting tips and tricks with other knitters of all ages. Runs all year. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA.
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for teens and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 (except 9/29-10/2) at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$

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Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 10am – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 11, 2pm – MOVIE: Come to the Westhampton Public Library for a free afternoon movie. Call the library for the title and more information. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 11, 3:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids can do a fun nature craft at Natural Bridge State Park on September 11. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 11, 3:45pm – BOOK GROUP: Kids in grades 2 and 3 can participate in the Ready Readers Book Club at the West Springfield Public Library. Read Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom by Joan Holub and come discuss it and do a fun craft. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 11, 5pm-7pm – MYCOLOGY/: The organization Radical Mycology is coming to the Mason Library on September 11! Radical Mycology is focused on accessibly teaching the importance of mushrooms and other fungi for personal, societal, and ecological health. Older students interested in ecology and social justice will enjoy learning about these concepts and how they can be applied. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 11, 6pm-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Valley Community Development Corporation is offering a series of First Time Homebuyer Classes at Greenfield Savings Bank in Northampton. Adults who are interested in buying their first home can come to these classes and learn the steps to home ownership. Classes are every Thursday from August 28-September 18. Please call to register. 413-586-5855 x16. 325A King Street. Northampton, MA.

Thursday, September 11, 6:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Stockbridge Library presents a talk by Gary Leveille, author of the new local history book Legendary Locals of the Southern Berkshires, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on September 11. Leveille will discuss his book and some of the people included in it. The book focuses on Berkshire residents of the past and present who have had a lasting impact on the community, the country, and the world. Older students interested in local history will enjoy learning about these fascinating local legends! 413-298-5501. 29 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 11, 7:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about Joseph Griswold, a young industrialist from Buckland in the early 1800s, at the Colrain Historical Society. Griswold harnessed the power of the North and Connecticut Rivers in order to run water-driven mills and was at one point responsible for employing almost half the working population of Colrain! Older students interested in local history will enjoy learning about this fascinating figure from the past and discovering the lasting impact of his industry. Main Street. Colrain, MA.

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • TBA – LEGOS: Have fun with LEGOs and Duplos at the Monson Free Library! Kids can come get creative and practice building things at this program. Runs the first Thursday of every month. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA.
  • 10am – MOVEMENT: The Millers Falls Library is offering a music and movement group for young children and their caregivers every Thursday through December 18. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. $
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: The Jones Library will offer a preschool storytime every Thursday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Hatfield Public Library holds a storytime for kids 5 and under every Thursday! Come to the library for stories and fun. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 11am-11:45am – STORYTIME/ARTS & CRAFTS: The Lenox Library is offering Story Craft for kids ages 3-5, with stories and crafts. This program follows the school district schedule. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-3pm – PLAYGROUP: Babies can have fun and make friends at the Forbes Library‘s weekly baby playgroup. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 4pm-8pm – GAMES/LEGOS: Families can have fun every Thursday at Gaylord Memorial Library‘s game and LEGO night! Stop by for board games, puzzles, LEGOs, and more. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 4:30-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/MOVIE: The Amherst Survival Center serves a free community meal every Thursday and screens a film for the community to enjoy together. Bring your family and come enjoy an evening with your community while learning about the work of the ASC! 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm & 6:30pm – KARATE: Free shotokan karate classes are offered every Tuesday and Thursday at Northfield Elementary School. There are two classes – one for 7-10 year olds (5:30pm-6:15pm) and one for teens and adults (6:30pm-7:30pm). More info available here. 802-451-0303. 104 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm – KNITTING: Spruce up your knitting skills and spend time with community members of all ages at the Dickinson Memorial Library‘s knitting group every Thursday evening. All skill levels are welcome. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 (except 9/29-10/2) at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$

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Friday, September 12th, 2014

Friday, September 12, 9am – STEM: The New England Regional Developers (NERD) are holding a free, three-day conference – NERDSummit – at the UMass Hotel and Conference Center from September 12-14. The conference has many workshops and activities for teen and adult programmers, in addition to some geared toward the younger crowd. Kids can participate in workshops on topics like Intro the Web and HTML, Intro to Javascript, Learn to Program with Scratch, and Physical-Digital Chain Reaction with Scratch and LEGO WeDo. Kids, teens, and adults who are interested in learning more about computers and programming will benefit from this super fun conference and all it has to offer. More information on the conference and how to sign up can be found on the NERDSummit website. 413-387-4540. 1 Campus Center Way. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 12, 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Movers and Shakers playgroup at the Adams Youth Center on September 12, 19, and 26. 413-664-4821. East Street. Adams, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 12, 10am-7pm – ART/FESTIVAL: The Northampton Chalk Art Festival takes place downtown on September 12! Come see talented artists create chalk masterpieces on the sidewalks of downtown Northampton. Watch them draw from 10am-4pm, then see the finished products and who will take first place at 5pm, followed by a family free draw until 7pm. All ages will love seeing these unique works of art lining the streets of town on this special Arts Night Out. Downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 12, 3:30pm – BOOK GROUP: Kids in grades 4 and 5 can participate in the Bookworms Book Club at the West Springfield Public Library. Read The Pet War by Allan Woodrow and come discuss it and do a fun craft. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 12, 3:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Kids can learn about different animals that live in the area at Natural Bridge State Park‘s Forest Friends program. There will be a craft or game based on this animal. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 12, 6pm – CONCERT: Zydeco Connection will perform a lively concert with catchy tunes and great rhythms at the Sunderland Public Library on September 12. This fun outdoor concert will be great for community members of all ages! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 12, 7pm-9pm – MYCOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating world of fungi at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary with artist/naturalist Marty Klein. At this program you can learn about the hundreds of species of mushrooms that grow in our area, how to identify them, how they interact with other organisms, and more. Teens and adults who are interested in fungi and ecology will enjoy this program. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. $$

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (We are building up our ongoing list for the school year! To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

11:30am-12:30pm – PRENATAL YOGA: Open to all trimesters and all levels of yoga experience. No registration necessary. For info visit HRYMCA website or call Courtney at 413-303-1246. Hampshire Regional YMCA, 286 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA ($10 for non-members, free for HRYMCA members)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open Tuesday-Friday from 9am-12noon for drop-in activities for infants, preschoolers, and their caregivers. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center is open every Monday through Friday, 9am-12noon. Drop in for playgroups and activities for young children (ages 0-5) and caregivers. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a Play and Learn Group every Friday at Lanesborough Town Hall. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour every Friday at 10am & 2pm. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – HISTORY: Join the Trustees of Reservations every day for tours of Naumkeag’s Mansion House, a 44-room Gilded Age summer home through Oct 15. The Mansion has all the original artwork and furniture from the time period. Visitors can also tour the Fletcher Steele-designed gardens and kids can participate in a garden adventure quest! 413-298-3239 x3013. 5 Prospect Hill Road. Stockbridge, MA. $
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Families can attend the “Family Frolic Storytime” every Friday at Gaylord Memorial Library! Enjoy stories, musical plays, and crafts. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-6 can come to the Sunderland Public Library for stories, songs, finger plays, and crafts every Friday morning. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum’s weekly Museum Adventures program features stories, songs, dancing, play time, scavenger hunts, and more, and is open to kids 18 months to 3 years. It’s a great way for young kids to explore some of what the museum has to offer! Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $
  • 7:30pm – GHOST TOUR: Learn some spooky local history at the first-ever Valley Ghost Tours, which run every night through October 31 (except 9/29-10/2) at 7:30pm and start behind Thornes Marketplace. Explore the city and learn fascinating ghost stories from the past. The tour is family friendly, but keep in mind the stories can be spooky! Dogs are welcome. Please book tickets in advance. Downtown. Northampton, MA. $$
  • 8pm – ASTRONOMY: The Milham Planetarium at Williams College will be open to the public for a planetarium viewing every Friday through December 5. You can learn about the motions of the planets, the phases of the moon, comets, and much more! Reservations recommended. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Cummington, Deerfield, Goshen, Plainfield, Shelburne and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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