Suggested Events for September 20th-26th, 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

“Our parent group relies upon Hilltown Families… it’s one of the resources we use most for planning outings together!” – Rachel Keller (Williamsburg, 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

Sep 18

On Thursday, September 18th, the streets of downtown Amherst are closed to traffic and open to a night of fun from 5-9pm for the Celebrate Amherst Block Party presented by the Amherst Business Improvement District! In its third year, this event brings thousands of people to downtown for a lively street fair environment including food vendors, multiple main stages with music, circus performers, dancing, and vendors from many area organizations. The streets become a playground for all ages in this fantastic community event. The Amherst Block Party is an event that you won’t want to miss! Visit www.amherstdowntown.com.

Sep 21

Join Huck Scarry, the son of beloved picture book creator Richard Scarry, for the best art project ever in Amherst! Huck is visiting the United States from his home in Austria and will be at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on Sunday, September 21st at 1:00 pm to demonstrate how to draw everyone’s favorite Busytown characters, including Lowly Worm and Huckle Cat. The latest Richard Scarry book, Best Lowly Worm Book Ever!, was discovered unfinished by Huck Scarry three years ago and Huck worked in the same style of his father to complete the book. Meet Huck and learn more about his famous father! Book signing to follow. Free with Museum Admission. For more information visit: www.carlemuseum.org

Our Place for HomeSchoolers is designed to “unplug” young learners by bringing them into direct contact with the creatures, geologies, hydrologies and infrastructures of the Nonotuck biome and the Westfield River watershed. During a 6 hour session, they roam the valley and the hilltowns, investigating natural and cultural history with all of their senses. An excellent educational enhancement for home schoolers, Our Place allows them to 1) experience first-hand the subjects they study in books and 2) use their background knowledge and critical thinking skills to comprehend, and share their perceptions of, what they are experiencing. If you know a learner who needs some time and space to “think outside,” Our Place is here.

Sep 27 & 28

Garlic and ArtsCelebrate life at the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival on September 27 & 28 from10am-5pm in Orange, MA. There’s something for everyone at this fabulous family destination. Over 100 booths: regional artists, farmers and fabulous food. Enjoy amazing music, performance, spoken word, and dance; celebrated chef demos & renewable energy education. Great for families! An animal area featuring two farms worth of heritage and working animals, a kids area vibrant with a pottery tent, climbing wall, native craft, and featured Birds of Prey and Wolftalk presentations, plus hula hooping, horse-drawn hayrides, and garlic games all weekend. Only $5/adults; Kids 12 & under are FREE! For more info visit www.garlicandarts.org.

Now Enrolling

Clonlara School’s Home Based Education Program is enrolling now! Clonlara is an accredited school that works with homeschool families to develop a unique education plan for each student. Clonlara collaborates with families to select subjects to be studied, methods to approach learning, educational materials, resources to use and more. For more information visit www.clonlara.org/home or call 734-926-4611.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, community event, program, after school class, 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 20th-26th, 2014

SaturdaySunday
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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, September 20th, 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. This weekend is our Harvest Episode with guest DJ, Story Laurie! Join Laurie for some lively songs (including two that were written by elementary school kids!); a crazy tale about a girl sailing around the world on a cabbage; and we’ll even check in with some folks in the Philippines, Finland and Korea about what they’re harvesting right now. 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 20, ALL DAY – STORYWALK: Follow the story Please, Louise by Toni and Slade Morrison down North Pleasant Street in Amherst, where it is displayed in store windows, to the Jones Library. Families can enjoy this story while exploring downtown Amherst on foot. The StoryWalk will be up from September 19-21. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, ALL DAY – NATURE/CULTURE/HISTORY: The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area presents Heritage Walks, which celebrate the communities, natural areas, history, and different cultures of the many places recognized as part of this National Heritage Area. Heritage Walks take place on Saturday 9/20 and Sunday 9/21 at many different sites throughout the region. For example, you can tour the historic Colonial Theatre, hike to a 19th-century water-powered mill site, search for migrant hawks, tour Tanglewood, go on a ghost town hike, learn about Gilded Age history, and much more. Because the Heritage Area designation is about the intersections between nature, culture, and history, each walk offers something different and it is likely you will find one that fits your interests! A full list of Heritage Walks can be found here. 860-435-9505. Berkshire County.

Saturday, September 20, 8am-10am – NATURE STUDIES/HISTORY: Learn about nature and history at “Nature Reclaims History,” a nature workshop at Stanley Park, led by Arthur O’Leary. Learn about history, place names, and nature is reclaiming sites that were once industrial. 413-568-9312 x100. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, 9am-10am – DANCE: Celtic Heels School of Irish Dance is offering a free Irish dance and ballet day for all. Come try out these styles of dance and learn about some of the classes offered by Celtic Heels. 413-475-3353. 267 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, 9am-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate Lee’s Founder’s Day Weekend with tons of fun activities for community members of all ages! There will be a tag sale, carnival, parade, food, children’s performance, crafts, a Festival Latino, Lee Idol, and more. A full schedule of events and activities can be found on the Lee Founder’s Weekend website. 413-243-1705. Lee, MA.

Saturday, September 20, 10am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 3 and up and their families can come to the West Springfield Public Library for a Saturday storytime. Celebrate “A Year of Seasons” with stories, music, a craft, and a snack. Please pre-register. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, 10am & 2pm – 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)

Saturday, September 20, 10am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Learn about fall migrants with Mass Audubon at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary. Many species of hawks and songbirds, as well as monarch butterflies, migrate south for winter due to lack of food and shelter during the colder months. Kids ages 3 and up and their families can come hike at Laughing Brook and learn about these unique animals and search the skies for them. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. Hampden, MA. $

Saturday, September 20, 10am-11:30am – GARDENING: Landscape designer Kim Smith will present, “Creating a Bee, Bird, and Butterfly Garden,” at the Berkshire Museum. This slideshow and lecture will teach you how to make your garden welcoming to bees, birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Older students with a passion for gardening can learn a lot at this lecture. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 20, 10am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate Shutesbury at their annual fall festival. Bring the family and enjoy live music, a farmers’ market, a tag sale, a bounce house, games, food, animals… they have it all going on down on the Town Common! Shutesbury, MA.

Saturday, September 20, 10am-4pm – FAIR: attend the Country Fair at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. There will be crafters, food, activities, and music. 413-442-1793. 780 Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, September 20, 10am-5pm – POETRY: The Amherst Poetry Festival has some great activities for kids on September 20. From 10am-5pm, come to Sweetser Park to see over 150 rubber ducks floating in the fountain, each with a piece of poetry attached. And from 10am-3pm, there will be a poetry zine making workshop by poet Karen Skolfield, also in Sweetser Park. These activities can get kids of all ages interested and engaged in poetry. Lessey Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, September 20, 10am-10pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Belchertown Fair’s theme this year is “Barnyard Boogie.” There will be exhibits, a parade, pulling competitions, animals, kids’ entertainment, live music, food, games, rides, and other fun activities. Main Street. Belchertown, MA.

Saturday, September 20, 10:30am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Chandler’s Restaurant offers a Kids Cooking class for families to explore the art of cooking, proper use of kitchen tools, and raw ingredients that go into delicious dishes! A brief tour of their professional kitchen follows the class. Great way to introduce children to the world of culinary arts! Space is limited, reservations are required 413-665-1277. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($$)

Saturday, September 20, 10:30am-12noon – CHILDREN’S CELEBRATION: Celebrate Curiosity Day at the Berkshire Athenaeum! Meet Curious George, hear a special guest reader, do a craft, play a game, experiment, and more at this fun celebration of curiosity and Curious George! For ages 8 and under. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, September 20, 11am-5:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Are you getting excited for Halloween? Whitney’s Farm Market will be holding Pumpkin Fest every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 26th! Stop by for u-pick pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze, a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, and much more. Pumpkin Fest is fun for the whole family and will you get into the Halloween spirit. 413-442-4749. 1775 S State Road. Cheshire, MA.

Saturday, September 20, 11:30am-12:30pm – INSECT STUDIES: You can get an up-close look at butterflies at the Berkshire Museum‘s screening of Life Story of the Black Swallowtail Butterfly, 45-minute narrated film about this particular butterfly species. All ages can come to the screening and gain a deeper understanding of butterfly life cycles, the relationship between wildflowers and pollinators, and the importance of pollinators to our ecosystem. There will be a Q&A with the filmmaker after the showing. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 20, 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 (>$)

Saturday, September 20, 12noon-6pm – ART/FESTIVAL: MegaPlanetPalooza is a street festival that celebrates the glass art of Josh Simpson, who creates “Megaplanets,” which are colorful glass globes with continents, rivers, oceans, mountains, and skies. The street festival includes artists, musicians, food vendors, and more. This is a fun autumn street festival for the whole family! Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, 1pm-5pm – REPAIR CAFE: Do you want to learn more about fixing things? Or do you have a broken item that you would like someone else to fix? Then come to the Pittsfield Repair Cafe, which takes place in the basement of St. Stephen’s Church. Repair Cafes encourage people to repair what they already own, instead of tossing it in the trash and buying a new one, therefore supporting sustainability. They also encourage collaborative consumption, in which people share their skills and services with one another to teach, help, etc. 67 East Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, 1:30pm-3pm – PAINTING: Drop by the Ramsdell Library for watercolor painting. This unguided watercolor session is a great chance to come and meet other artists and brainstorm new ideas. Younger watercolor artists can learn from more experience painters at this event. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, 2pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum is screening a teen movie (rated PG-13) about a world in which people are divided into factions based on human virtues. For grades 6-12. Please register in advance. 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, 2pm – FILM: The Clark Art Institute is offering a free film series held in conjunction with “Radical Words: From Magna Carta to the Constitution,” an exhibition featuring the Magna Carta and other significant historic documents. Each film in the series relates to one of the documents in the exhibition. On September 20, come see The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938; rated PG), which features references to the Magna Carta and its purpose. Older students interested in film and history will enjoy this free screening of a classic film. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, 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 20, 3pm – ASTRONOMY: Learn about astronomy at Western Gateway Heritage State Park‘s “Law and Order: Outer Space Unit” lecture. 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, September 20, 4pm – STORYTELLING: Park Hill Orchard presents a storytelling event with Bob Reiser. He will perform apple-related stories for all ages. Come enjoy this fun program in a beautiful outdoor setting. Rain date 9/21 at 4pm. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, September 20, 5pm-9pm – YO-YO: Yo-yo enthusiasts can attend the YoYoExpert ThrowDown Contest in the Eastworks Building on September 20! Come participate in a freestyle contest or just come to watch these expert yo-yoers show their skills. 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 201. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 20, DUSK – ASTRONOMY: Want to learn about astronomy first-hand? Join the Trustees of Reservations and the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center for an evening of stargazing and searching for moons, planets, galaxies, and more at Notchview! Please call to pre-register. 413-532-1631 x10. Route 9. Windsor, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, September 21st, 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 21, TBA – SKILLSHARE/LOCAL FOOD: Grow Food Amherst is hosting a handmade soap workshop with UMass Sustainable Food and Farming Student Xochiquetzal Salazar at All Things Local Cooperative Market. Participants will learn how to make soap using Native American medicines and the Kalpulli Olmeca tradition and will learn the history and science behind these methods. Best for older students and adults. 413-259-3149. 104 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, September 21, ALL DAY – STORYWALK: Follow the story Please, Louise by Toni and Slade Morrison down North Pleasant Street in Amherst, where it is displayed in store windows, to the Jones Library. Families can enjoy this story while exploring downtown Amherst on foot. The StoryWalk will be up from September 19-21. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 21, ALL DAY – NATURE/CULTURE/HISTORY: The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area presents Heritage Walks, which celebrate the communities, natural areas, history, and different cultures of the many places recognized as part of this National Heritage Area. Heritage Walks take place on Saturday 9/20 and Sunday 9/21 at many different sites throughout the region. For example, you can tour the historic Colonial Theatre, hike to a 19th-century water-powered mill site, search for migrant hawks, tour Tanglewood, go on a ghost town hike, learn about Gilded Age history, and much more. Because the Heritage Area designation is about the intersections between nature, culture, and history, each walk offers something different and it is likely you will find one that fits your interests! A full list of Heritage Walks can be found here. 860-435-9505. Berkshire County.

Sunday, September 21, 8am – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate Lee’s Founder’s Day Weekend with tons of fun activities for community members of all ages! There will be a pancake breakfast, 5K road race, duck derby, tennis, a performance by Bobby Sweet and Beeline Rumblers, and more. A full schedule of events and activities can be found on the Lee Founder’s Weekend website. 413-243-1705. Lee, MA.

Sunday, September 21, 9am-3pm – FESTIVAL: Celebrate fall at Outlook Farm‘s annual Apple Festival! There will be a community craft and tag sale (9am-3pm), a pig roast and barbecue (12noon-3pm), and live music (1pm-3pm). This is a fun community celebration for all ages! 413-529-9388. Route 66. Westhampton, MA.

Sunday, September 21, 9am-4pm – HISTORY: Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation is hosting members of the Mass 10th Militia at their encampment. See what life was like for the men as they set up their camps and learn how they spent their time preparing and training for battle. 413-357-6321. 42 Water Street. Granville, MA.

Sunday, September 21, 10am-1pm – HIKING/LOCAL HISTORY: Go for a ghost town hike through Tamarack Hollow and Notchview. Learn about local history by exploring 18th Century cellar holes, stone walls, an old dairy and maple sugar farm, and more. Best for ages 8 and up (with hiking experience). Registration required. 413-532-1631 x19. Route 9. Windsor, MA. (DONATIONS ACCEPTED)

Sunday, September 21, 10am-3pm – BIRD STUDIES: Learn about the annual hawk migration with The Trustees of Reservations at “Hawks Over Holyoke” at Heritage State Park. Celebrate these unique birds and see live bird demonstrations like “Eyes on Owls” and “Hawks with Tom Ricardi.” This free day of family fun is a great chance for all ages to learn about these magnificent birds. 413-532-1631. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 21, 11am-5pm – LOCAL FOOD/FESTIVAL: Celebrate bread and local food with Hungry Ghost Bread at their 11th Annual Wonder Not! Bread Festival on September 21. There will be vendors, live music, a puppet parade, wheat planting, and more. This is a fun celebration for the whole family, with a puppet parade beginning at 11am! 413-582-9009. 62 State Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 21, 11am-5:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Are you getting excited for Halloween? Whitney’s Farm Market will be holding Pumpkin Fest every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 26th! Stop by for u-pick pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze, a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, and much more. Pumpkin Fest is fun for the whole family and will you get into the Halloween spirit. 413-442-4749. 1775 S State Road. Cheshire, MA.

Sunday, September 21, 12noon-6pm – AGRICULTURAL FAIR: The Belchertown Fair’s theme this year is “Barnyard Boogie.” There will be exhibits, a parade, pulling competitions, animals, kids’ entertainment, live music, food, games, rides, and other fun activities. Main Street. Belchertown, MA.

Sunday, September 21, 1pm – ART: Huck Scarry, son of picture book author/illustrator Richard Scarry, will be at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for a special event. Scarry will be at the museum to demonstrate how to draw Busytown characters in the style of Richard Scarry and will then do a book signing. Richard Scarry fans of all ages will enjoy this event! Free with museum admission. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, September 21, 1pm – ART HISTORY/CULTURAL STUDIES: The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is offering a docent-led “mini-tour” by Ellen Peck-Killoh titled, “Islamic Arts.” This talk focuses on the Springfield Museums’ newly installed Islamic art gallery. Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Sunday, September 21, 1pm-6pm – EQUINOX CELEBRATION: Celebrate the equinox with EarthSpirit at their Autumn Equinox Ritual. Participate in a sacred walk (1pm) and ritual (3pm) at this event, which focuses on earth-centered traditional Pagan practices of Celtic Europe. Please attend both the walk and ritual. Call for directions. 413-238-4240. Worthington, MA

Sunday, September 21, 2pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Leverett Historical Society presents, “Reflections on Roaring Brook: East Leverett’s Industrial Past.” This historical presentation focuses on the industries and mills along Roaring Brook in East Leverett and features a short documentary based on an interview some longtime East Leverett residents. Older students interested in local history and industry will benefit from attending this presentation. Takes place at the Leverett Library. 413-367-9562. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA.

Sunday, September 21, 2pm – FILM/HISTORY: The Yiddish Book Center is screening The Sturgeon Queens (2014), a documentary about Russ and Daughters, a lox and herring emporium on New York City’s Lower East Side. The store is celebrating their 100th anniversary, and the documentary is about its history and the Jewish immigrant family who founded it. The film features interviews with two of the daughters who the store is named after, as well as prominent Russ and Daughters enthusiasts like Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, September 21, 2pm-3pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Great Falls Discovery Center‘s Great Hall has a unique history, and you can learn all about it at their Watershed History event on September 21. Those who are interested in local history will enjoy learning about the building’s history and hearing tales of machinery, fly fishing rods, historic preservation, and more. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 21, 2pm-4pm – SINGING: The Pelham Historical Society is holding their 12th annual shape note singing demonstration at Historic Town Hall on September 21. Community members of all ages and singing abilities can come listen to shape note singing or participate. Books will be provided. Amherst Road & Route 202. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 21, 3pm – FILM: As part of their Fast Forward Film Series, Historic Northampton is screening six short silent films from the late-18th and early 20th Centuries, which will be accompanied by live music performed by pianist Ellen Cogen. Silent movies used to be accompanied by live music and this is a great opportunity to relive the silent film era. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, September 21, 3pm-4:30pm – POETRY: The Jones Library presents the jubilat/Jones poetry reading series, which begins on September 21 with readings by Arda Collins and Matthew Rohrer. Collins and Rohrer will share their poetry and then answer questions in an informal Q&A session. Older students who like poetry or are looking to discover new poets would enjoy this series. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 21, 6pm – ASTRONOMY: Get an introduction to the New England sky at Bascom Lodge on September 21. Kevin Collins of the Amherst Astronomy Association will present this guide to understanding the stars and tips on finding local astronomy groups. In addition to the talk, there will also be a brief star viewing. Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Monday, September 22, 6:45am & 6pm – ASTRONOMY/AUTUMN EQUINOX: September 22 is the Autumnal Equinox! Come to the UMass Sunwheel at sunrise and sunset to witness the first of each for the new season. Learn about astronomy, the seasons, and the sunwheel by viewing this exciting event. Rocky Hill Road. Amherst, MA.

Monday, September 22, 3pm & 6pm – MOVIE: The S. White Dickinson Memorial Library is screening Words and Pictures (2013; rated PG-13) at 3pm and 6pm. The film is about an art teacher and an English teacher who form a rivalry over whether words or pictures are more important. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 22, 3:30pm-4:30pm – BOOK CLUB: 6th, 7th, and 8th graders can attend a middle school book group at the West Springfield Public Library on September 22. Read Julie Mata’s Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Chicken Zombies and come discuss it with peers and do a related craft. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 22, 4:30pm-6:30pm – SERVICE DOGS: Learn about service dogs and the important work they do at a presentation by American Poodles at Work founder Jillian Gartner at the Forbes Library on September 22. Gartner will discuss the work done by APAW, how dogs become service dogs, what the training is like, and more. There may even be some service poodles at the library to meet! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 22, 5:30pm-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Family Resource Center is offering a workshop for parents on September 22, 29, and October 6. “Active Parenting of Children Ages 1-4 Years” covers positive discipline methods, developmental stages, tantrum prevention, routines, and more. This is also a great place to meet other parents and make new friends and connections. Call ASAP to register. Takes place at Haskins Center. Childcare and transportation available. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 22, 6pm – STORYTIME: The Westfield Athenaeum is hosting a pajama storytime for kids ages 2-4. Kids can come dressed in pajamas and can even bring along a favorite stuffed animal. Please register in advance. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, September 22, 6pm – ASTRONOMY: Come to Amherst Brewing Company for this month’s Sci.Tech.Café! The topic this month is “Explore Alien Worlds.” Professor Nick Cowan will discuss how astronomers are able to determine the climates of distant planets and whether or not they are habitable. Those interested in astronomy will enjoy this talk, which is designed for community members without science backgrounds. 10 University Drive. Amherst, MA.

Monday, September 22, 6pm – TEXTILES/LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about fashion and local history at the Wistariahurst Museum’s “Threads that Bind” lecture series. This week, Ned Lazaro of Historic Deerfield will present “Fashion and Frugality: English Patterned Silks and Connecticut River Valley Women’s Fashion in the 18th Century.” The talk focuses on three brocaded silk gowns that were worn in the area in the 18th Century. Lazaro will discuss how these garments were made, how they were altered as popular styles changed, and how they are relevant to 21st-century fashion enthusiasts and professionals. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. $

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. 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 at 10am 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 – AGRICULTURE: 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-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, 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 – MUSIC: Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers can attend Music for Little Ones at the Pelham Library every Monday. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Storrs Library offers a drop-in playgroup for kids ages 3 and under every Monday morning. Come hear a story, sing songs, and enjoy free play. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 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.
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm – CHESS: Students in grades 2 and up can come to an afterschool chess club every Monday at the Storrs Library. All levels are welcome to come learn new strategies and have fun playing with peers. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 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 23rd, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 11am-1pm – INSECT STUDIES: Search for, identify, and document butterflies at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary and the Northampton Community Gardens with Mass Audubon. Learn about migrating butterflies like monarchs, skippers, and others. This program is geared towards adults but may be appropriate for older students. Call to register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. >$

Tuesday, September 23, 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 23, 4pm – BOOK GROUP: Join The Westfield Athenaeum for a kids book discussion group on E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Youth in grades 3-5 can come to discuss the book and play relevant games. This is a great chance for kids to do some outside-of-school reading while interacting with their peers in a discussion group. Please register in advance. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 23, 5:30pm-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Family Place and the Family Resource Center are offering a workshop for parents every Tuesday for 12 weeks. “Parenting Journey” is a workshop aimed at self discovery, in which parents can discuss the joys and challenges of parenting and learn how childhood experiences and memories affect parenting. Dinner, transportation, and childcare are provided. Call ASAP to register. Takes place at Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 23, 6pm – BANNED BOOKS: The Storrs Library and the Hatch Library at Bay Path University are hosting a Read Out event to celebrate Banned Books Week. Pick a favorite banned or challenged book and come read it aloud for up to five minutes at the library. Following the readings, the library will screen The Outsiders (1983; PG-13), based on the controversial coming-of-age novel of the same name by S.E. Hinton. Please register in advance. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA.

Tuesday, September 23, 7:30pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: The UMass Fine Arts Center presents a performance of Japanese Shomyo Buddhist Chants and Shirabyoshi Songs by Makiko Sakurai in the Bowker Auditorium. She will perform these ancient chants and songs, some dating back to 701-1192 AD. This is a unique musical experience that you don’t want to miss! 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, 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-10:15am – STORYTIME: The West Springfield Public Library is offering a “Little Crawlers” storytime for pre-walkers birth age and up. This storytime runs weekly through October 21. Sign-up is required. 413-736-4561 x3. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, 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 – 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-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, 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 – 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 24th, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, REGISTRATION DEADLINE – LOCAL FOOD: The Community Network for Children is offering a field trip to Cold Spring Orchard on September 25 from 9:20am-11am. Families can tour and learn about the orchard, get some apples, and enjoy a BYO picnic lunch. Registration is required by September 24 at 12noon. 978-544-5157. 391 Sabin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 24, 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 24, 1:30pm – SCRABBLE: Come to the Westhampton Public Library for Scrabble! Have fun playing this classic word game with community members of all ages. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 24, 1:30pm-2:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: The Community Network for Children is offering an Amazing Animal Adventures program at the Erving Public Library, run by Helen Ann Sephton of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Kids will receive a free book to take home and can see Speedy the box turtle crawl around and can hold Thailand stick insects! This is a great chance to introduce younger kids to unique animals. 978-544-5157. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 24, 6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: This October marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Mohawk Trail. Learn about the history of this historic state highway at Bascom Lodge on September 24. Families can learn about the conception and history of the highway, and how it was affected by the opening of the Massachusetts Turnpike. Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, September 24, 6:30pm – PLANT STUDIES: Naturalist John Root will lead an edible wild plants walk at Holiday Brook Farm on September 24. All ages are welcome to come learn about some of the edible plants that grow wild in the area. Rain date 9/27 at 1:30pm. 100 Holiday Cottage Road. Dalton, 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. $
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 2-3 ½ every Wednesday OR Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 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.
  • 10:30am-11am – STEM: The Berkshire Museum is offering a Parent/Child STEM Session the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Come explore science, technology, engineering, and math through books, hands-on activities, and play. Registration is required. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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 – STORYTIME: All ages can enjoy stories and a craft at the Cushman Library‘s weekly story hour. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 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 – WRITING: Forbes Library holds a writing group for children and young adults the third Wednesday of each month. Come do some free writing, story workshopping, and do exercises to beat writer’s block. All ages welcome. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, 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)
  • 5:30pm-7:30pm – KNITTING: The Cushman Library‘s knitting group runs every Wednesday night. Come hang out with knitters of all ages and share knitting advice. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, 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 25th, 2014

Thursday, September, 25, TBA – ART/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the local arts scene in North Adams at DownStreetArt, a monthly art event focuses on revitalizing the city through art. September 25 is the last event of the season, so head downtown and check out the museums and galleries. More information is available on the DownStreetArt website. Downtown. North Adams, MA.

Thursday, September 25, 9:15am & 3pm- ROSH HASHANAH: Sound the shofar, dip apples in honey! It’s time for Rosh Hashanah. Family service will be held at Beit Ahavah (130 Pine St.), led by puppeteer and Jewish educator, Anna Sobel in the morning. Then an afternoon river “Tashlich” service with shofar, breadcrumbs and singing led by Rabbi Riqi Kosovske at the MIll River (60 Federal St. entrance). Florence/Northampton. (FREE)

Thursday, September 25, 1pm – HISTORY/INDUSTRY: Learn about the history of water power at Natural Bridge State Park on their Water Power Tour. Explore the marble dam and mill site and discuss how water used to run the operations of the quarry. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 25, 3pm – GAMES: Today is game day for teens and tweens in grades 6-12 at the Westfield Athenaeum! Come by for Wii, board games, and card games. Feel free to bring your own games to play and share with others. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 25, 4pm – INSECT STUDIES/CITIZEN SCIENCE: All ages can get involved with a citizen science project by helping the Hitchcock Center for the Environment tag monarch butterflies! Kids and adults can learn about these fascinating insects and their life cycles, and can gain hands-on experience working with them through this citizen science project. Please register. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 25, 6pm-9pm – CLOTHING SWAP: “Shop” for new-to-you clothing in a sustainable way at The Haberdashery‘s clothing swap! 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, September 25, 7pm – BANNED BOOKS: Librarian and information policy lawyer Laura Quilter will present, “From ‘Banned in Boston’ to Ethnic Studies in Arizona – Intellectual Freedom in America Today,” at the Jones Library as part of Banned Books Week. Quilter’s talk focuses on the law and politics of banning books, from historic banned books to the modern-day removal of identity studies materials in Arizona and LGBT-themed children’s books in public schools and libraries. Readers of all ages can learn a lot from this presentation on intellectual freedom. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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. $
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 2-3 ½ every Wednesday OR Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 11:15am – STORYTIME: The Wilbraham Public Library holds a weekly storytime for ages 3 ½-5 every Thursday. There will be fun stories and crafts. 413-596-6141. 25 Crane Park Drive. Wilbraham, 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 – SKILLSHARE/CRAFT GROUP: The Haberdashery holds a Chat ‘n Do every Thursday at 5:30pm. Bring a project you are working on and chat with others, hash out ideas, ask advice, offer tips, and more. This is a good opportunity for intergenerational skill sharing! 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street. Easthampton, 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 26th, 2014

Friday, September 26, 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 26, 10:45am-11:30am – PLAY TIME: Kids ages 2.5-5 can attend a Preschool Tea Party at the Hatfield Public Library. It’s early dismissal day, so come and get dressed up as a pirate prince or princess! 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 26, 2pm-5:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Are you getting excited for Halloween? Whitney’s Farm Market will be holding Pumpkin Fest every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 26th! Stop by for u-pick pumpkins, hay rides, a corn maze, a scavenger hunt, a petting zoo, and much more. Pumpkin Fest is fun for the whole family and will you get into the Halloween spirit. 413-442-4749. 1775 S State Road. Cheshire, MA.

Friday, September 26, 3:30pm – GAMES: Ages 8 and up can enjoy Wii games with friends at the West Springfield Public Library. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, September 26, 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 26, 4pm – BOOK GROUP: Harry Potter fans in third grade and up can come to the Dickinson Memorial Library for a Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix book discussion, trivia, activities, and a snack. Come to the library on 9/27 at 1pm for a screening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007; rated PG-13). 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.

Friday, September 26, 6:30pm – ART: The ArtSalon is an event in which established and emerging local artists present on their work and ideas in the Pecha Kucha format (20 slides that are 20 seconds each). Come see the presentations, meet the artists, and talk about art in Ashfield Community Hall. Artists include Beverly Duncan (botanical illustration), Peter Kitchell (public art), Beckie Kravetz (masks), Maya Machin (ceramics), and Jim Murphy (oil painting). Older teens with a serious interest in art could learn a lot at these fascinating and unique presentations. 521 Main Street. Ashfield, MA, (>$ SUGGESTED DONATION)

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)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents’ Center is holding a weekly playgroup in Hadley every Friday at Whole Children. 413-582-2636. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, 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-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: The Chicopee Public Library holds a weekly Music and Movement program for kids ages 5 and under every Friday. Come have fun moving, singing, and dancing. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Young kids can attend a weekly storyhour at the Pelham Library every Friday. Come enjoy stories and crafts. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 12noon-1pm – CLOTH DIAPERS: Simple Diaper and Linen is offering a Cloth Diaper 101 workshop at Life Works Studio. Come learn the ins and outs of cloth diapering and get information on Simple Diaper and Linen’s new diaper service in Southern Berkshire County. Every Friday in September. 413-749-6232. 50 Castle Street. Great Barrington, 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: 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. $
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – BOOK GROUP: 2nd and 3rd graders who love reading can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s Kid Book Club every Friday. Kids can hang out together, recommend books to one another, do book-related activities, and enjoy a pizza dinner. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – BOOK GROUP: Tweens in grades 4-6 can attend the Hatfield Public Library‘s B-Tween the Lines Book Club every Friday. Kids can hang out together, recommend books to one another, do book-related activities, write reviews, interview authors, and enjoy a pizza dinner. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, 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. $$
  • 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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