Suggested Events for September 27th-October 3rd, 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

“Your researchers of events and activities are outstanding and I believe unmatched in this area. I like the family emphasis; a wide variety of experiences engaging with the natural environment and cultural awareness are so enriching in a child’s growth.” – Josh Weinstein (Shelburne Falls, 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

Sept 27

Finger Painting Art Party for Kids with Author/Illustrator Kelly Light. Who Loves Art? LOUISE LOVES ART! And so does Odyssey Bookshop! This Saturday, September 27th, at 2pm, meet debut picture book author and illustrator, Kelly Light as she doodles and reads from her new book LOUISE LOVES ART. Chomp down on cupcakes and frolic with finger paints as you add your art to the Odyssey’s HUGE mural that will be on display in the children’s department. This event is free and great for kids 7 and under. Don’t forget to wear a smock. For more info visit www.odysseybks.com. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College Street, South Hadley, MA. 413-534 -7307

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.

Oct 4-5

Festival of the Hills (FOH) will move to Conway Grammar this year only. Sat, Oct 4; bake sale on town common 9-2. Art exhibit at the Library Sat & Sun, used book sale at Town Hall. Sun, Oct 5; bands 10-4; Michael Nix/Chris Devine-Zach Danziger-Art Steele-T.J/Peepers-Janet Ryan/ Straight Up. Children’s authors; David Costello/Holly Hobbie/Heidi Stemple/Amy Gordon/ Aimee Anderson signing books. Crafts/food/games/hand-made candy/raffle/fun demo’s/fried dough/maple cream/pressed cider. S.Conte WOW Express van. Hist Society will open Boyden School House 12-4. Parking at 116/Roaring Brook Rd. 10K adult, kids 1.2m on Roaring Brook Rd. Police will help all cross Rt116 to events. www.festivalofthehills.com, email mdzialo114@yahoo.com with questions.

Oct 5

Whole Children is kicking off their 10th anniversary with a Fall Festival & Open House at 41 Russell St. in Hadley, Oct 5 from 1-4pm. They welcome the community to help them celebrate a decade of groundbreaking and innovative afterschool programs with a free day of music, games, food, tours, & exciting classes for kids. The Festival will feature performances by the Friendship Band and Joyful Chorus, two of their inclusive performing arts groups. Local musician Jamie Kent will also be singing. There will be pumpkin decorating, candy corn bingo, henna tattoos, and lots more fun for kids. They will also be running demo classes for Kung Fu, Dance & Recess Games. This is a free event, open to all. Call 413-585-8010 or visit www.wholechildren.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 27th-October 3rd, 2014

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, September 27th, 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. Come join us as the Hilltown Family Variety show goes on the road with Steve Weeks.  We’ll be visiting the Dakotas, the gulf coast, the Great Smoky Mountains, Southern California, the Canadian maritimes and more as we hear from folks all across the country and discover what’s going on in their local communities.  Bring your map, buckle up, and tune in for a Hilltown Family Variety Show road trip!” 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 27, 5am – HIKING: Join The Trustees of Reservations at Peaked Mountain for a Sunrise Hike! Wake up early and bring the whole family to this beautiful annual hike – from the top of Peaked Mountain you can see the sun rise in three different states! Meet in the parking lot for coffee and doughnuts. 413-532-1631 x21. 43 Butler Road. Monson, MA. >$

Saturday, September 27, 8:30pm-4:30pm – MATH: The Greenfield Community College Math Club is hosting a Rubik’s Cube Tournament in the Dining Commons. Come watch or participate in this official World Cube Association tournament, which is a great setting for Rubik’s Cube solvers to solve the cube in front of others and see how fast people are. If you are new to competing, this webpage will be helpful. Call for more information. 413-775-1203. 1 College Drive. Greenfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: The Great Falls Discovery Center needs volunteers to help clean up the canal side bike path as part of the annual Source to Sea Clean Up happening on September 27. Volunteers play a huge role in helping to clean up the Connecticut River watershed, and this is your chance to be involved! The Source to Sea Clean Up is a great opportunity for kids and teens to get involved in a community service project with visible results – removing trash around the watershed will significantly improve its beauty and health. Call for more information or to register. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, September 27, 9am-2:30pm – CITIZEN SCIENCE/ECOLOGY: Participate in a super fun citizen science project on the East Branch of the Westfield River during Wild and Scenic’s Watershed Blitz! Walk in the river learning about and gathering data on newts, geology, frogs, dragonflies, erosion, bridges and culverts, fish biology, rare plants, birds, tracking, macro invertebrates, and invasive species. This citizen science project is a great chance to be involved in scientific data collection and will give you many opportunities to learn about the river. The event is rigorous and requires walking through the river for several miles. Please call to register and for the location. 413-623-2070. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 27, 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 27, 10am-1pm – HIKING: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a hike at their new Alford Springs trail. The trail is on the eastern edge of the reserve and consists of trails and wood roads, and is an easy hike. Feel free to pack a lunch to enjoy after the hike. 413-499-0596. Mountain Road. Alford, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 10am-2pm – BOOK SALE: The S. White Dickinson Memorial Library‘s Annual Book Sale takes place September 27 and 28. Come support the library and find great books and DVDs for all ages (think holiday gift giving too!). 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 10am-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL/FUNDRAISER: The 28th Annual Apple Harvest Crafts Fair and Children’s Festival takes place today on the Amherst Town Common. The Festival is a benefit for the Amherst Family Center, and features free admission, live entertainment, local food, craft booths, vendors, a petting zoo, games, pumpkin decorating, and much more! 413-545-0865. Town Common. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 27, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Hancock Shaker Village hosts an old-fashioned country fair September 27 and 28! The fair celebrates fall, and highlights many of the unique, interesting, and educational things that the village has to offer. There will be a farmer’s market featuring local goods, a display of antique tractors and engines, a quilt show (featuring both antique and newly made quilts), wagon and pony rides, heirloom tomato samples, and lots of fun activities for kids, including chicken races, crafts, Shaker games, and more! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $$

Saturday, September 27, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 35th annual Lenox Apple Squeeze and Harvest Festival runs September 27 and 28! Celebrate fall in the Berkshires with food, rides, live music, shopping, kids’ activities, and more at this lively street fair. 413-637-3646. Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Garlic and ArtsSaturday, September 27, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The smelliest festival around is happening September 27 and 28! Forster’s Farm hosts the 16th annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival – a celebration of local artists and artisans and locally-grown and locally-produced foods. The festival includes fun for family members of all ages – there will be live music throughout the day, cooking and other demonstrations, food and craft vendors, games, workshops, and more. 60 Chestnut Hill Road. Orange, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 10:30am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Join the Great Falls Discovery Center for Bike Path Bingo, a canal-side nature walk for kids! Kids will learn about the natural world using binoculars, field guides, and a fun game to test their observation skills. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 27, 10:30am-11:30am – PARENT-CHILD PLAYGROUP: The Family Resource Center is offering a “Dad and Me Gym Group” program on September 27 in the Haskins Center gym. Dads and kids (walking to age 5) can come for some fun morning gym activities, including riding, climbing, playing with balls, active play, circle time, and a snack. Drop-in anytime. 413-663-6593. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 27, 10:30am-4pm – BLACKSMITHING: Learn about the historic trade of blacksmithing with Rick Martin at Historic Deerfield. Martin will demonstrate blacksmithing techniques from the past in order to teach visitors about the trade. Free with museum admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 11am – STORYTELLING: Park Hill Orchard presents a storytelling event with Rona Leventhal. She will perform, “Travelin’ Shoes: A Multicultural Storytelling Extravaganza.” Come enjoy this fun program in a beautiful outdoor setting. Rain date 10/12. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 11am – VOLUNTEER/ANIMAL STUDIES: The Berkshire Humane Society’s “Humane Hero” program gives kids ages 10-14 the opportunity to volunteer at the Humane Society, learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership, learn how to be an advocate and educator, and learn how to effectively fundraise in order to create change in their community. The Humane Society is offering a Humane Hero workshop on endangered species. More information on becoming a Humane Hero can be found on the Berkshire Humane Society website. You can sign up anytime! 413-447-7878 x29. 214 Barker Road. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 11am – PUPPETS/NUTRITION: Kids ages 4-8 can learn about nutrition at a fun puppet show by Nicol Wander at the Jones Library. “Know Your Facts About Your Snacks” is all about food and healthy eating. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 27, 11am – CHEMISTRY: Be a mad scientist at the Berkshire Museum! Along with the help of the museum’s very own crazy chemist, kids can learn how to do exciting and surprising (and safe!) experiments with regular household materials. Kitchen Kaboom! is totally kid-safe, but adults must accompany participating scientists. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 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 27, 11:30am – INSECT STUDIES: You can get an up-close look at butterflies at the Berkshire Museum‘s screening of In the Company of Wild Butterflies. Learn about butterfly habits, habitats, natural history, mating, and more through this fascinating film. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 12noon-6pm – FESTIVAL: The Trustees of Reservations and Nuestras Raices are hosting a Harvest Festival at Land of Providence/La Finca on September 27. This community fall festival features activities for all ages, including food, live music, a DJ, tai chi, pumpkin painting, yoga, Zumba, and much more. Celebrate fall with your community and this fun event. Tickets available in advance. 413-532-1631 x10. Main Street. Holyoke, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 1pm – HISTORY: Learn about the Springfield Armory‘s historic weapons at a Blank Firing Demonstration. Visitors can see the weapons, hear the rifles blasting, and smell the burning gunpowder at this demonstration. Seeing the firing demonstration can teach students of all ages about historic weapons and what the Springfield Armory was used for in the past. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 1pm – MOVIE: Harry Potter fans in third grade and up can come to the Dickinson Memorial Library for a screening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007; rated PG-13). 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, September 27, 1pm – MAGIC: The Holyoke Public Library presents a magic performance by The Incredible Jonathan “Ice-Bird” Nelson. He has trained live doves to do outstanding things that you will need to see to believe. Those who like magic will enjoy this performance. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 1pm-4pm – BIKING/NATURE STUDIES: Older teens and adults are invited on a Back Road Bike Ride with the Kestrel Land Trust and naturalist John Body. Explore back roads from Florence to Williamsburg and learn natural history along the way. The ride is 11 miles round-trip and is only open to adults and older teens with experience riding on roads. Call to RSVP and learn meeting location. 413-549-1097. Florence, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 2pm – ARTS & CRAFTS/INSECT STUDIES: Make a butterfly-inspired work of art at the Berkshire Museum after visiting their Butterflies exhibit. Learn about these fascinating insects and then create a butterfly mask or butterfly puppet. This family-friendly art project encourages visitors to make connections between the exhibition the art they are creating. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 2pm – ARTS & CRAFTS/CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Kelly Light, author of the new book Louise Loves Art, will be at the Odyssey Bookshop for a finger painting art party! Enjoy cupcakes, finger painting, and doodling as you listen to passages of the book read aloud by the author. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 2pm-5pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The Franklin Land Trust‘s Annual Member’s Picnic takes place September 27. All are welcome to enjoy this potluck picnic with friends and community members. There will be hikes, hayrides, and live music by local band Free Range. This is a great opportunity to meet those involved with the Land Trust and spend time with community members and nature-lovers of all ages. Please call to RSVP as soon as possible. 413-625-9151. 38 Bardwells Ferry Road. Shelburne, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 3pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: Learn about Jewish history at Western Gateway Heritage State Park‘s “Jewish Heritage Treasures” lecture. 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, September 27, 5pm-7pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Come to the Hatfield Congregational Church for their annual Chicken Barbeque. Get some food to go or sit down and spend time with community members. Tickets available at the door. 413-247-9540. 41 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 6:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The Pelham Historical Society‘s Annual Harvest Supper and Pie Auction takes place September 27. Enjoy a traditional New England boiled dinner as Senator Stan Rosenberg auctions off pies. Community members of all ages can spend time together at this annual community supper. Space is limited; please call for reservations. 413-695-1797. Amherst Road & Route 202. Pelham, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 6:30pm-8:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Kids ages 8 and up can learn about our native bat species at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Learn about bat natural history and conservation, search for bats outside, do a bat craft, play a bat game, and more. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. $

Saturday, September 27, 6:30pm-9:30pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Celebrate the start of fall with Old Sturbridge Village at their Harvest Party and Kiln Firing. There will be a bonfire on the Common, live music, stories, hay rides, and the annual lighting of the Village’s 24-foot brick kiln. The festival is a fun way to kick off fall while learning about history. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. $$

Saturday, September 27, 7pm-9pm – CONCERT: Ben Grosscup will perform a free concert of songs of struggle and social critique at the Monterey United Church of Christ on September 27. Come hear contemporary folk songs in the tradition of Pete Seeger at this community concert that is open to all. 449 Main Street. Monterey, MA. (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

Saturday, September 27, 6pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Harvest Moon Realty’s 2014 Harvest Moon Fest is a fun evening out at Roscoe’s! Do something special for date night and come to the Harvest Moon Fest, which features the Highland Band, bocce, a bonfire, a tiki hut, a harvest menu, and a full bar with local beer. This is a great way to support a local realtor and restaurant. Call for more information. 413-354-2300. 30 Main Street. Chester, MA.

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Sunday, September 28th, 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 28, TBA – FUNDRAISER: The Food Bank of Western Mass is holding their 4th Annual Will Bike 4 Food Fundraiser on September 28. Participants may ride as individuals or in groups with co-workers, family, or friends, and can choose from 10, 25, 50, or 100 mile routes through the Pioneer Valley. Participants also must fundraise for their ride, since it is a benefit for the Food Bank. More information on routes, registration, fundraising, and more can be found on the Food Bank Website. 413-247-9738. 97 North Hatfield Road. Hatfield, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Sunday, September 28, TBA – SKILLSHARE: Grow Food Amherst is hosting a workshop with David Lovler on how to harvest fall beans and sprout them all winter. Learn how to make the most of your fall bean harvest at this informative workshop, which takes place at All Things Local Cooperative Market. Best for older students and adults. 413-259-3149. 104 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, September 28, 10am-2pm – BOOK SALE: The S. White Dickinson Memorial Library‘s Annual Book Sale takes place September 27 and 28. Come support the library and find great books and DVDs for all ages. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

Sunday, September 28, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The 35th annual Lenox Apple Squeeze and Harvest Festival runs September 27 and 28! Celebrate fall in the Berkshires with food, rides, live music, shopping, kids’ activities, and more at this lively street fair. 413-637-3646. Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Garlic and ArtsSunday, September 28, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The smelliest festival around is happening September 27 and 28! Forster’s Farm hosts the 16th annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival – a celebration of local artists and artisans and locally-grown and locally-produced foods. The festival includes fun for family members of all ages – there will be live music throughout the day, cooking and other demonstrations, food and craft vendors, games, workshops, and more. 60 Chestnut Hill Road. Orange, MA. $

Sunday, September 28, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Hancock Shaker Village hosts an old-fashioned country fair September 27 and 28! The fair celebrates fall, and highlights many of the unique, interesting, and educational things that the village has to offer. There will be a farmer’s market featuring local goods, a display of antique tractors and engines, a quilt show (featuring both antique and newly made quilts), wagon and pony rides, heirloom tomato samples, and lots of fun activities for kids, including chicken races, crafts, Shaker games, and more! 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street. Pittsfield, MA. $$

Sunday, September 28, 10am-6:30pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Join Grow Food Northampton for their Harvest Gathering on September 28. Come help out in the community garden from 10am-4pm, participate in a yoga workshop from 4pm-5pm, and enjoy live music and an intergenerational potluck supper from 5pm-6:30pm. Bring a dish to share (and your own utensils) and celebrate local food, farming, sustainability, and community and this fun event for the whole family. 413-584-0081. 140 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 28, 10:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Families can visit Natural Bridge State Park for a family hike! Come explore the park and learn about nature. This is a fun activity to get family members of all ages outdoors spending time together. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 28, 11am – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival is a Hawley tradition that happens every five years. The day features a pudding contest, in honor of the first-ever recorded event in Hawley, which was a pudding contest in 1780. The modern-day pudding contest rewards the most delicious pudding. There will be tours of Sidehill Farm and Headwater Cider at 11:15am, lunch at 12:30pm (donation to Sons and Daughters of Hawley), a pudding parade, music, and announcement of the contest winners. Community members are welcome to participate in the contest ($ entry fee to benefit Sons and Daughters of Hawley) or just come for the festivities! This unique community celebration is great for the whole family. 413-339-4747. East Hawley Road. Hawley, MA.

Sunday, September 28, 11am-3pm – FALL FESTIVAL: September 28 is the Windsor Historical Commission’s annual Pie Sale, Craft Fair, and Harvest Festival! There will be a chili and cornbread lunch, museum exhibits, craft vendors, a book sale, live music, and more. What a great way to kick off fall and celebrate Windsor! Email aimee@gaiaroots.com for more information. Route 9. Windsor, MA.

Sunday, September 28, 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 28, 12noon-2pm – SPORTS: Free soccer clinic for ages K-5th grade is taking place this Sunday in Northampton. The clinic is being run by the Northampton High School Key Club with NHS Varsity soccer players facilitating drills and games.  The Clinic will take place Sunday, September 28th from 12noon-2pm at Jackson Street School. If you have a ball & shin guards, bring them, but they are not necessary. Remember to bring water too! Some equipment and balls will be provided and given away. For registration, email Arlo Siegel at asiegel26@gmail.com or Liam Sullivan at liamsullivan98@gmail.com  It’s going to be a blast, make sure to be there! Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, September 28, 1pm – ART HISTORY: The Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is offering a docent-led “mini-tour” by Pat McCarthy titled, “American Art 1930: Three Artists, Three Paintings, Three Prints.” Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Sunday, September 28, 1pm-3pm – PLANT STUDIES: Learn about trees and shrubs at a nature workshop at Stanley Park, led by Dave Lovejoy. Discover some of New England’s common trees and shrubs on this walk around the park. 413-568-9312 x100. 400 Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 28, 1pm-4pm – GEOLOGY/HIKING: Learn about the Geology of Holyoke with The Trustees of Reservations at Little Tom Mountain and the Dinosaur Footprints. Hike to the summit of Little Tom and the Footprints while learning about the glacial and volcanic events that helped shape the Holyoke Range. This hike is moderately steep and may be best for older students with hiking experience. 413-532-1631. Route 5. Holyoke, MA. $

Sunday, September 28, 1pm-4pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Today is the Hopkins Memorial Forest Fall Festival at Williams College. Celebrate fall with woodworking demonstrations, apple butter and cider production, the canopy walkway, shake splitting, a crosscut saw competition, live music, kids activities, and more. The Festival is a fun and educational way to welcome fall to the Berkshires. 413-597-2346. Northwest Hill Road. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 28, 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema is screening It Happened One Night (1934; not rated) as part of their Strong Women Comedy Film Series. This 1934 comedy starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable won five Academy Awards! This is a great chance to see a classic comedy on the big screen. Tickets available in advance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, September 28, 2pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Discover the history of industry, hydropower, and old foundations with the Worthington Historical Society on a walk with David Whitcomb. Meet on Witt Hill Road and hear stories of the Ring brothers, their sledge factory, and their famous wagons. Best for older students interested in local history. 413-238-0491. 190 Witt Hill Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 28, 4pm – MUSIC STUDIES: The Mt. Holyoke College Music Department presents a concert of piano music for four-hands, with Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt. 413-538-2306. Lower Lake Road. South Hadley, MA.

Sunday, September 28, 6pm – HISTORY: There is evidence that not all stone walls were built in post-colonial times. Come to Bascom Lodge on September 28 to learn about these walls, and what evidence there is to prove that they were built in earlier times. Families can learn more about the unique history of stone walls in North America at this talk, presented by Matt Bua. Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, September 28, 6pm-7:30pm – PERFORMANCE/LITERATURE/MYTHOLOGY: Double Edge Theatre will perform an outdoor presentation on Don Quixote, Odysseus, and Shahrazad. They will use poetry, flying, humor, music, puppets, and visual arts to tell these tales, and will then discuss them after the show. Older students with an interest in literature, mythology, and performance arts will enjoy this lively outdoor performance, which takes place at Amherst College. 860-335-8421. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, September 29th, 2014

Monday, September 29, 4pm – CULTURAL STUDIES/FOOD STUDIES: Scholar and performer Yuko Eguchi will present a talk on the philosophy and symbols of the Japanese tea ceremony at Western New England University’s Clark Reading Room, located in the D’Amour Library. She will also perform “The Art of the Geisha” on September 30 at 7:30pm at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center’s Bowker Auditorium. Older students interested in Japanese culture will enjoy this talk and performance. 413-727-4269. 1215 Wilbraham Road. Springfield, MA.

Monday, September 29, 6pm – TEXTILES/LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about the textile industry and local history at the Wistariahurst Museum’s “Threads that Bind” lecture series. This week, Dennis Gleeson will present “The Cheney Brothers: Silk Manufacturing in Manchester, CT.” The talk focuses on the Cheney brothers, who were known for their world renowned silk mills in the mid-1800s, their innovative silk processing techniques, and their dedication to the community – they built schools, workers’ housing, a public library, and more. Older students interested in the rise and fall of the textile industry in New England may enjoy this lecture. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. $

Monday, September 29, 6pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: United Arc is offering a workshop for parents entitled “Basic Rights in Special Education.” This workshop provides families with an introduction to their rights and responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), MA Special Education Law, and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The goal of the workshop is to help parents and caregivers learn to be effective partners with their child’s school when deciding their child’s eligibility for special education and when planning, making decisions, and monitoring the child’s progress in school. A presenter from the Federation for Children with Special Needs will conduct the workshop. Call to RSVP. 413-774-5558 x1007. 294 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

Monday, September 29, 6:30pm-8pm – MUSIC STUDIES/HISTORY: Brian Gillie will perform “The Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll” at the Storrs Library on September 29. This fun, interactive presentation uses humor, costumes, props, sound bites, piano playing, impersonations, and more, in order to tell the history of rock and roll music. Older students interested in music history will enjoy this exciting presentation. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, 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 30th, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 9:30am-11am & 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Agawam Public Schools are hosting a parent cafe on delivering consequence. Childcare is available at the morning session only. Morning session takes place at Agawam Congregational Church (745 Main Street) and evening session takes place at Agawam Senior Center (954 Main Street). 413-821-0552. Agawam, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 30, 5pm-6:15pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: The Northampton Community Music Center, supported by the Xeric Foundation, will have a Northampton Community Children’s Choir, open to kids in grades 3-8 with unchanged voices. The choir will sing music that is representative of different cultures and ethnic traditions, and the participants will learn the fundamentals of harmony, rhythm, sight singing, and healthy vocal technique. The choir goes for 30 weeks, beginning on September 30. Children who are interested in singing and multicultural music would benefit from joining this choir! Registration is required. 413-585-0001.139 South Street. Northampton, MA.

Tuesday, September 30, 5:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Learn about the cuatro, a Puerto Rican instrument, at an illustrated talk by stringed-instrument expert William Cumpiano. Cumpiano will discuss the history, sound, and significance of the cuatro and its importance to Puerto Rican music and culture. This talk is sponsored by Holyoke Hispanic Heritage Month and takes place at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center. 100 Bigelow Street. Holyoke, MA.

Tuesday, September 30, 6pm – SWAP/GARDENING: Come to the Forbes Library’s back lawn for a plant, seed, and tool swap. This is a great chance to trade your plants, seeds, garden tools, and more for other garden related items. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, September 30, 7pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema is screening It Happened One Night (1934; not rated) as part of their Strong Women Comedy Film Series. This 1934 comedy starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable won five Academy Awards! This is a great chance to see a classic comedy on the big screen. Tickets available in advance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

Tuesday, September 30, 7:30pm – MUSIC/DANCE/CULTURAL STUDIES: The UMass Fine Arts Center presents a performance of “The Art of the Geisha” by Yuko Eguchi. She will perform traditional Japanese music and dance, called kouta and koutaburi, meaning “small songs” and “dance of small songs.” Older students interested in Japanese culture, music, and dance will enjoy this performance, which takes place in Bowker Auditorium. 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, October 1st, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, REGISTRATION – STORYTIME: Registration for the East Longmeadow Public Library‘s storytimes begins on October 1 at 9:30am (in person) or 10am (by phone) for East Longmeadow residents. There are several 7-week storytimes, beginning the week of October 6: Preschool Storytime, for ages 3 ½ to 6 runs Mondays at 1pm or Thursdays at 10am; Parents and Twos, for ages 2-3 ½ with a caregiver, runs Tuesdays or Wednesdays at 10:30am; and Shake, Rattle, and Read, for ages birth to 2 with a caregiver, runs Fridays at 10:30am. Non-residents may register starting on October 2. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 1, 10:30am-11:15am – LITERACY: You and your child can work together to develop pre-reading skills at the Lee Library’s “Every Child Ready to Read” workshop. The workshop is for kids birth-age through five years and runs every Wednesday from 10/1 to 10/29 (five meetings). The workshop includes a literacy workshop, storytime, and playgroup. This is a great chance to introduce your young child to the world of reading! Registration is required and you must register for the full five-week session. 413-464-5095. 100 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 1, 6pm-8pm – LOCAL HISTORY/GHOST STORIES: The Greenfield Public Library presents “Specter Brides and Headless Horsemen: The Ghosts of New England” with Barry Deitz as part of their First Wednesdays Speaker Series. The talk focuses on the ghostly tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, and others, as well as some of the haunted places in and around Greenfield. Best for older students interested in local history, literature, and ghost stories. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 1, 6pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents are invited to, “Why do they DO That?!“, a workshop offered by the Collaborative for Educational Services, as part of their Puzzle of Parenting series. This two-session workshop runs on October 1 and 8 at the Palmer Monson Family Network and examines what’s at the root of challenging behaviors and strategies on handling them. Registration is required and childcare is available. 413-586-4998 x102. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 1, 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Scott Noyes will present a two-part workshop on “Helping Children Develop Healthy Sleep Habits” at the Community Health Programs, Inc. campus on October 1 and 8. Noyes will discuss the effects of sleep deprivation on children’s mental and physical health and how inadequate rest impairs our thinking, our ability to handle stress, our immune systems, and our ability to moderate our emotions. Noyes will also give advice on how to help children establish and maintain healthy sleep habits. You may attend one or both sessions. Call for childcare information and to RSVP. 413-464-5095. 444 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 1, 7pm – SCIENCE/FILM: Amherst Cinema’s “Science on Screen” events pair science or science-fiction films with talks by actual scientists. Learn about physics, the Large Hadron Collider, and the Higgs boson at a screening of Particle Fever (2013), a documentary that follows six scientists as they launch the Large Hadron Collider and seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe. The scientists’ goal was to recreate the conditions that existed just after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson in order to determine the origin of all matter. UMass Physics Professors Carlo Dallapiccola, Stephane Willocq, and Ben Brau will be present to discuss the film and the topics it covers. Older students who want to learn more about physics and the universe will enjoy this screening and talk. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. $

Wednesday, October 1, 7pm-8:30pm – AUTHOR TALK: The Forbes Library’s Local History/Local Novelists Reading Series presents, “Strange Stories of Science! Bugs! Scandal! Fiction!” on October 1. Local authors Faith Deering, Peter Kobel, and Brian Adams will read from and discuss their books, which cover topics like insects, science, and climate change, and are both fiction and non-fiction. Older students interested in science, entomology, writing, and reading can learn a lot at this event. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 1, 7pm-8:30pm – MOVIE: Enjoy a screening of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982; rated PG) on the lawn of the Forbes Library! This classic movie is about a child who helps a friendly alien escape back home. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, 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 – FARMING/HOMESCHOOL: 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)
  • 1:15pm – STEM: The Carnegie Library is offering a science program for homeschoolers every Wednesday, October 1 through November 19. Homeschool students of all ages can come learn about science and participate in hands-on activities. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, 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.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime for kids ages 3-6 at the East Longmeadow Library. Runs every Wednesday evening. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 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, October 2nd, 2014

Thursday, October 2, 5pm-8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The fifth season of Culture and Cocktails kicks off on October 2 at the Springfield Museums! This month’s event is “Oktoberfest: The Art of the Brew.” There will be live music, beer samples from craft breweries, and German-inspired hors d’oeuvres. You must be 21 or older to attend this event. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Thursday, October 2, 5:30pm-7pm – PARENT-CHILD WORKSHOP: Parents and children (ages birth to kindergarten age) are invited to, “First Steps to Reading“, a workshop offered by the Collaborative for Educational Services, as part of their Puzzle of Parenting series. This workshop focuses on important pre-reading steps for children, like talking, playing, sharing books, and singing, and why they are important. Parents and children will do activities and exercises during the workshop, following a light supper. Takes place at the Ware Family Center and runs for four week from October 2 through October 23. Registration is required. 413-586-4998 x102. 49 Church Street. Ware, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 2, 5:45pm-7:45pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Westfield Athenaeum is offering a five-week class on how to make your own greeting cards. The class runs from October 2 through October 30 and will teach you how to make cards with both simple and elegant techniques. All materials are provided and this class is open to all skill levels. Registration is required for the full five-week session. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. $$$

Thursday, October 2, 6pm-8pm – FILM/HISTORY/HISPANIC HERITAGE: Kick off Hispanic Heritage Month at the Mason Square Branch Library with a screening of Chavez (2014; rated PG-13), which is about the civil rights and labor organizer Cesar Chavez. Teens and adults can learn about Chavez through this new biography film. Puerto Rican desserts will be served. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, 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-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Gateway Family Center is offering a drop-in “Baby Steps” program for infants 0-1 years, as well as their siblings and caregivers. Runs every Thursday. 413-667-2203 x3. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, 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. $
  • 10:15am – 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, October 3rd, 2014

Friday, October 3, 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, October 3, 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Join the Springfield Museums for “Stars Over Springfield,” an introductory astronomy talk and star viewing at the Science Museum’s observatory. The event is recommended for kids 8 and up, but younger children are welcome. If it is cloudy or rainy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of the live star viewing. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. >$

Friday, October 3, 8pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: The UMass Fine Arts Center presents a performance by Zakir Hussain, Kumaresh Rajagopalan, and Jayanthi Kumaresh. They will play Indian classical music on the tabla, violin, and veena. This is a unique musical experience that you don’t want to miss! 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, 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)
  • 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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