Suggested Events for October 11th-17th, 2014

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Over the last few years I have participated in the Big Brother/Big Sister organization located in Amherst. Every week I spend some time with my little brother (a 13 year old boy from Northampton) and we always check Hilltown Families to see what’s going on. We’ve learned a lot about what’s going on in our community and have benefited immensely.” – Dennis Caraher (Northampton, 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.

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Bulletin Board

Oct 11

Enjoy the magic of live theatre and the power of imagination with Bonnie Duncan’s Squirrel Stole My Underpants: A Poignantly Silly Adventure Tale for Families on Saturday, Oct 11 at 11am & 1pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. A lonely girl is sent outside to hang up the laundry and keep herself busy. The moment her back is turned, a mischievous squirrel appears, steals her favorite piece of clothing and runs off. When she gives chase, she finds herself lost in strange lands and an entire world emerges from her laundry basket. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased in advance at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling 413-658-1126.

Oct 11

Oak Meadow Open House is Saturday, Oct. 11, from 11 am to 1 pm, at 132 Main St. Brattleboro, VT. Join Oak Meadow for this fun, annual event! Learn about their progressive, creative, experiential homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12. Speak with teachers and college and educational counselors, browse curriculum materials, network with other homeschooling families. Enjoy crafts, music, and refreshments for kids of all ages. FREE and open to anyone who’s interested in learning more about homeschooling. Open House will be held in their new, though incomplete, offices in the renovated historic Brooks House in downtown Brattleboro. Help them imagine the possibilities their new space holds! For more info, visit www.oakmeadow.com

Oct 11 & 12

The 2014 Ashfield Fall Festival (Ashfield, MA) will take place up and down Ashfield’s Main Street on October 11-12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days – rain or shine. The annual festival offers craft and art exhibits by more than 50 exhibitors, locally-grown and prepared foods, live music and dancing, face-painting and other children’s activities, and book and tag sales. Admission is free. Parking is available in lots east of the town center on Route 116 (attendants collect donations for the Ashfield Citizens’ Scholarship Fund).The Festival also hosts the Ashfield Agriculture Commission’s annual Giant Pumpkin and Tallest Sunflower contest. For more information: www.ashfieldfallfestival.org.

Oct 12

Sukkot Harvest Festival! Sunday, Oct 12, 1-4 at Abundance Farm, 253 Prospect Street in Northampton. In celebration of the fall harvest, Abundance Farm is holding a Sukkot Harvest Festival for all ages, open to the public. Activities will include apple cider pressing, a smoothie-making bicycle blender, honey extraction, fermentation workshop, heritage wheat exhibition, wood-fired cob oven, herbal medicine making, nature arts and crafts and more. Delicious food and beverages from local farms and artisans including a falafel cart! Featuring live music from Brian Bender & Little Shop of Horas. Suggested donation $5 per person. For more information contact info@abundancefarm.org or 413-584-3593 x203. Find “Sukkot Harvest Festival” on Facebook.

Oct 17

Levellers Press, the publishing wing of Collective Copies, a thirty-year-old worker co-operative in Amherst, Massachusetts, has announced the publication of Building Co-operative Power: Stories and Strategies from Worker Co-operatives in the Connecticut River Valley. There will be a book release reading, signing and celebration on Friday, October 17 at 7 p.m., at Collective Copies’ Off the Common Bookshop at 71 South Pleasant Street, Amherst. At 6 p.m. Levellers Press celebrates its fifth anniversary as a publishing company. The public is invited.

Oct 18

Common School Children’s Carnival takes place on Saturday, October 18, from 10am-2pm in Amherst. (Rain location: Amherst Middle School.) Join the School for an old fashioned, family-friendly event. There will be games, prizes, activities, great food and fabulous entertainment. From Bounce House to Cake Walk to Live Music, there will be something for everyone. Open to the public. Free Admission. The Common School is located at 521 South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA. Find out more at www.commonschool.org.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 11th-17th, 2014

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, October 11th, 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. Suzi Shelton returns to guest DJ, this time with her daughter, Emma, with a Falling into Fall Episode. 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, October 11, REGISTRATION DEADLINE – EDUCATOR WORKSHOP: Early childhood educators (ages 3-7) are invited to attend the Growing Up Wild: Exploring Nature with Young Children Professional Development Workshop at The Big Backyard Pre-School on October 25 from 9am-3:30pm. Learn how children can engage with nature more and what activities can be facilitated and why they are beneficial. Call to register by October 11. 413-667-0232. 94 County Road. Huntington, MA. $$

Saturday, October 11, 8am-11am – PHOTOGRAPHY: Adults and teens can join naturalist John Green at Mass Audubon for a workshop on Photographing Fall Colors at Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. Learn techniques that will help you become a better nature photographer. Green will also discuss the ethics of photographing nature. Older students interested in nature photography will benefit from this program. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. Adams Road. Williamsburg, MA. $$$

Saturday, October 11, 9am-1pm – RIVER CLEAN-UP: Join Wild and Scenic Westfield River for “Tidying the East Branch Trail.” Bring gloves, shovels, clippers, lunch, and your enthusiasm and work with others to help clean up this trail along the River. A great community service experience for older students! Call for questions and to sign up. 413-623-2070. River Road. Chesterfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, October 11, 10am-12:30pm & 1pm-3:30pm – SEWING/COMMUNITY SERVICE: The Storrs Library needs helping sewing bags for their bagshare program! The Library’s bagshare program has been around for four years, and in that time they have kept over 6,000 disposable plastic bags out of the environment. Come learn to sew and get creative making fun new bags for the bagshare program. Call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, October 11, 10am-2pm – SEWING/COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help promote sustainability in your community by sewing reusable bags for The Bagshare Project and the Old Creamery Co-op. Come to the Community Sewing Center in the basement of the Community House to improve your sewing skills and participate in this ongoing community service project. All ages and abilities welcome. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, October 11, 10am-2pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Cushman Common celebrates with Cushman Village’s Old Home Day! There will be live music, games, jugglers, hula hooping with Hoop Joy, crafts, antique vehicles, pies, a historical scavenger hunt, and more. The festival supports the efforts of Save Historic Cushman and is fun for all ages. Rain date 10/12. Pine Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, October 11, 10am-3pm – HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: Look Park’s Pumpkin Festival is on October 11! Come enjoy carnival games, a bounce house, face painting, balloon animals, pumpkin painting, and more. A fun Halloween celebration for the whole family! 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA.

Saturday, October 11, 10am-5pm – STEM: Spark!Lab is the Berkshire Museum‘s new hands-on creative laboratory, designed to engage kids in the process of innovation. It opens on October 11 with activities that challenge visitors to solve problems through their own resourcefulness. Kids can do activities like experiment with wind tunnels, invent new moving vehicles, and more, all relating to science, technology, engineering, and math. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $

Saturday, October 11, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 80th annual Harvest Festival takes place October 11 and 12. The festival has family fun, great food, craft vendors, a farmers’ market, tag sales, a bounce house, cider pressing, hayrides, animals, face painting, and so much more! Free admission for kids 12 and under. Proceeds benefit the Garden’s education program. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. >$

Saturday, October 11, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Ashfield Fall Festival takes place 10/11 and 10/12 from 10am-5pm, rain or shine. There will be food, crafts, art, music, dancing, face-painting, kids activities, pumpkin games, and much more! Town Common. Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 11, 10am-5pm – SCARECROWS: Families can spend time being creative together at the Atkins Farms scarecrow workshop, every Saturday and Sunday through October 19. All ages can work together to make goofy or spooky scarecrows at this fun workshop! Materials included in cost. 413-253-9528. Route 116 & Bay Road. Amherst, MA. $

Saturday, October 11, 10:15am-9pm – FILM FESTIVAL: The Northampton International Film Festival takes place the weekend of October 10-12 at the Academy of Music Theatre. There will be screenings of a variety of films through the weekend – check the schedule for synopses and to check age-appropriateness (the majority of films are best for older students). Studies of international film can be a great way to introduce kids to studies of modern culture in foreign countries. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. $$$

Saturday, October 11, 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, October 11, 10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC TRADE: Learn about the historic trade of cabinetmaking with Craig Farrow at Historic Deerfield. Farrow will demonstrate how 18th-century New Englanders made furniture. Free with museum admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $

Saturday, October 11, 11am & 1pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Bonnie Duncan presents, “Squirrel Stole My Underpants: A Poignantly Silly Adventure Tale for Families,” at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on October 11. The performance is about a girl who goes to hang her laundry outside when her favorite piece of clothing is stolen by a mischievous squirrel. She chases the squirrel and gets lost in strange lands. Come to the Carle to see this exciting performance! Tickets available in advance. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. $

Saturday, October 11, 11am-1:15pm – HISTORY: Columbus Day Weekend is the Berkshires’ bi-annual Coaching Weekend! This weekend celebrates the Gilded Age tradition of coaching – taking rides through the countryside in fancy carriages (or “coaches”) led by teams of horses. Each coach is ridden by men and women dressed in period clothing, and every day of the weekend brings the group to a new Berkshire location! On October 11, see them at the Elm Court Estate. 413-298-3119. 310 Old Stockbridge Road. Lenox, MA.

Saturday, October 11, 11am-3pm – DINOSAURS: Learn about dinosaurs with Jurassic Roadshow around Holyoke (near the canal, Children’s Museum lawn, Carousel, Town Hall, Holyoke Heritage State Park Visitors’ Center) on October 11. Kids and adults can learn about fossilization and climatic history; they can study rocks and minerals under a microscope; and do dinosaur crafts and puzzles. All ages will love these fun and educational dinosaur events, exhibits, and activities all around town. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, October 11, 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, October 11, 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, October 11, 11:30am-1pm – POETRY: Hear Spanish language poetry by local poets at the Indian Orchard Branch Library in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. This family-friendly poetry reading is great for all ages! 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Indian Orchard, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 11, 12noon-1pm – LIBRARY FUN: Kids are invited to a Teddy Bear Picnic at Forbes Library on October 11. Bring your favorite stuffed animal and come to the library for snacks, games, songs, and fun. Sign up at the children’s desk. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 11, 12noon-3pm – ARCHITECTURE: Tour of Holyoke City Hall with PassportHolyoke. Come along for a trip back in time to Holyoke City Hall. Listen to a brief history of the builder and architect of City Hall, the City of Holyoke, its people and its industries over the years. See the murals in the Council Chambers and the magnificent stained glass windows of the Grand Ballroom. Tours run about 45 minutes and are on the hour at 12, 1, and 2pm. Handicapped accessible. Park behind City Hall and meet at the Dwight Street entrance. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 11, 12:30pm-4pm – HIKING: Kids ages 10 and up can hike to Rose Ledges with Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. See beautiful fall colors, explore 19th-century stone quarries, and search for signs of wildlife. Call for more information and to pre-register. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 11, 1pm-2:30pm – LITERACY: The East Longmeadow Public Library is offering a six-session literacy series with Tom McCabe for families with children ages 6 and up. Call ASAP to register for the program. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 11, 1pm-3pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Sleep and parenting consultant Beth Grams Haxby is offering a workshop for parents entitled “Sleep for Expectant Parents” at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital Center for Midwifery Care. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, October 11, 1:30pm – DANCE/CRAFTS: Join the Wistariahurst Museum for “Flora and Fun in the Wistariahurst Gardens: Performance by the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet.” There will be a fairy-inspired ballet performance at sites around the gardens. There will also be fairy craft activities, like fairy crown or magic wand making. Performances take place at 1:30pm and 3pm, and visitors can do craft activities at 2pm & 3:30pm. Performance is free, but crafts are >$. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, October 11, 2pm – STORIES/MAGIC: Elementary school-aged children are up are invited to the Forbes Library for an afternoon of spooky stories, mysterious objects, and haunting tales with magician Greg McAdams. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, October 11, 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, October 11, 2pm – STORYTELLING: Park Hill Orchard presents a storytelling event with Gail N. Herman. All ages are welcome to come hear or tell short stories (5 minutes or less) relating to growing up, Halloween, or the theme of “before I knew better.” 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, October 11, 2pm – COMICS: Young fans of comics and graphic novels can come to Kids Comic Con at the Odyssey Bookshop on October 11! Author/cartoonist Ben Hatke will present his Zita the Spacegirl books, and cartoonist Zack Giallongo will present his newest book, Stratford Zoo Presents Macbeth. They will discuss their books, writing/illustration methods, and more. Kids who love comics will love this special event! 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

Saturday, October 11, 3pm – HALLOWEEN: Learn about the history of Frankenstein at Western Gateway Heritage State Park‘s “It’s Alive!: A History of Frankenstein” lecture. 413-663-6312. 115 State Street. North Adams, MA.

Saturday, October 11, 3-5pm – ARCHITECTURE: Tour of the United Congregational Church of Holyoke with PassportHolyoke. Tour the acoustically and architecturally renowned Skinner Chapel and the main sanctuary of this beautiful church. Tours will take place at 3pm and 4pm. Please enter by the Maple Street door. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, October 11, 4pm-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Discover some interesting bits of local history at the Stockbridge Library’s final Cemetery Tour of the season – “The Cemetery’s Story: It’s Life and Times.” Come to Stockbridge Cemetery to learn about the history of the cemetery, including early issues and concerns surrounding the cemetery, how space was added, what townspeople thought of its care, and its role in the first village beautification society. These cemetery tours are a fun way to learn about the history of Stockbridge! 413-298-5501. Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. >$

Saturday, October 11, 5pm-8pm – ART WALK: Explore Easthampton’s local art scene at this month’s Art Walk. This is a fun evening out that lets you see work by talented local artists and experience some of the great art-related opportunities Easthampton has to offer! The theme of this month’s Art Walk is “Know Thy History,” and there will be historic tours, oral history presentations, exhibitions, and more as part of this special event. There will be tons of great activities around town, all relating to art, poetry, local history, fall, and Halloween. More information can be found on the Art Walk Easthampton website. 413-527-8278. Downtown. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, October 12th, 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, October 12, TBA – ART/SKILLSHARE: Grow Food Amherst and Cushman Scott Children’s Center are holding a Celebration of Chalk Art at All Things Local Cooperative Market. All ages can come decorate the sidewalk outside the store and learn how to make outdoor chalk. 413-259-3149. 104 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA.

Sunday, October 12, 10am-2pm – HIKING/LOCAL HISTORY: Join Mass Audubon and Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center for a ghost town storytelling hike at Tamarack Hollow. Learn about local history by exploring 19th Century cellar holes, stone walls, an old dairy farm, and what’s left of the Babbitt Axe factory. Search for “witches butter” and “dead man’s finger fungus.” The hike is one-way and moderate – best for teens and adults. Registration required. 413-584-3009. 1515 Savoy Hollow Road. Windsor, MA. $$

Sunday, October 12, 10am-4pm – LIVING HISTORY: Living history at the Medieval Faire at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox! The historic Jacobean-Revival estate in Lenox will revert to days gone by when chivalry and armored tournaments were a way of life. Organized by The Barony of Bergenthal, a branch of the Society of Creative Anachronism, one of the world’s largest medieval living history organizations, the day will include exciting displays of archery techniques, medieval arts, crafts and clothing, a Flemish Renaissance couture fashion show, performances, live music, food vendors, and more. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA ($)

Sunday, October 12, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 80th annual Harvest Festival takes place October 11 and 12. The festival has family fun, great food, craft vendors, a farmers’ market, tag sales, a bounce house, cider pressing, hayrides, animals, face painting, and so much more! Free admission for kids 12 and under. Proceeds benefit the Garden’s education program. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road. Stockbridge, MA. >$

Sunday, October 12, 10am-5pm – FALL FESTIVAL: The Ashfield Fall Festival takes place 10/11 and 10/12 from 10am-5pm, rain or shine. There will be food, crafts, art, music, dancing, face-painting, kids activities, pumpkin games, and much more! Town Common. Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, October 12, 10am-5pm – SCARECROWS: Families can spend time being creative together at the Atkins Farms scarecrow workshop, every Saturday and Sunday through October 19. All ages can work together to make goofy or spooky scarecrows at this fun workshop! Materials included in cost. 413-253-9528. Route 116 & Bay Road. Amherst, MA. $

Sunday, October 12, 10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC TRADE: Learn about the historic trades of gunsmithing and tailoring with Leonard Day and Henry Cooke at Historic Deerfield. They will demonstrate how guns and military uniforms were made in the past. Free with museum admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $

Sunday, October 12, 11am-1:50pm – HISTORY: Columbus Day Weekend is the Berkshires’ bi-annual Coaching Weekend! This weekend celebrates the Gilded Age tradition of coaching – taking rides through the countryside in fancy carriages (or “coaches”) led by teams of horses. Each coach is ridden by men and women dressed in period clothing, and every day of the weekend brings the group to a new Berkshire location! On October 12, see them at the Norman Rockwell Museum. 413-298-3119. Route 183. Stockbridge, MA.

Sunday, October 12, 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, October 12, 11:30am-9pm – FILM FESTIVAL: The Northampton International Film Festival takes place the weekend of October 10-12 at the Academy of Music Theatre. There will be screenings of a variety of films through the weekend – check the schedule for synopses and to check age-appropriateness (the majority of films are best for older students). Studies of international film can be a great way to introduce kids to studies of modern culture in foreign countries. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. $$$

Sunday, October 12, 12noon-3pm – ARCHITECTURE: Tour of Historic Fairfield Avenue with PassportHolyoke. This tour will point out some of the architectural features of Queen Anne homes and some of the personalities who helped build and make this street so special. Tours are on the hour at 12, 1, and 2pm. Wear comfortable walking shoes and meet on the island near Northampton St. and Fairfield Ave. Rain or shine. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Sunday, October 12, 1-4pm – HARVEST FESTIVAL: In celebration of the fall harvest, Abundance Farm is holding a Sukkot Harvest Festival for all ages, open to the public. Activities will include apple cider pressing, a smoothie-making bicycle blender, honey extraction, fermentation workshop, heritage wheat exhibition, wood-fired cob oven, herbal medicine making, nature arts and crafts and more. Food and beverages from local farms and artisan. Featuring live music from Brian Bender & Little Shop of Horas. 413-584-3593 x203. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA (>$)

Sunday, October 12, 1pm-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about the history of water-powered mills in Colrain at the Colrain Historical Society. This informative exhibit will be open to the public in the Pitt House Barn and would be interesting to older students who want to learn more about local and/or industrial history. Main Street. Colrain, MA.

Sunday, October 12, 1:30pm-4pm – SERVICE-BASED LEARNING: Join Greening Greenfield at Greenfield Energy Park Volunteer Day on October 12. Community members of all ages can engage in service-based learning by helping to prepare the Energy Park flower gardens for this fall’s final event and for this coming spring. The day kicks off with an orientation tour, and then volunteers can help out with the garden project. Bring gloves, buckets, tools, or whatever you can, and come for the whole time or just stop by! Email nhazard@worldsustain.net for more info and to RSVP. Miles Street. Greenfield, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Sunday, October 12, 2pm-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Join the Buckland Historical Society for their Colonial Day celebration on October 12 at the Wilder Homestead! Visit the 1775 Wilder Homestead and sample activities from the colonial era. There will be open hearth cooking, oxen, basket making, weaving, spinning, quilting, folk painting, 1700s music, cider pressing, Morris dancers, and more. All ages will love learning about colonial times at this fun celebration! 413-625-9763. 129 Route 112. Buckland, MA. >$

Sunday, October 12, 3pm-5pm – MUSIC: The Clark Art Institute is offering a free concert by the Dover Quartet at Williams College’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on October 12. The quartet, which includes two violinists, a cellist, and a violist, will perform three string quartets by local composer Stephen Danker. Those who like stringed instruments will enjoy this free concert. 413-458-2303. 54 Chapin Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, October 13th, 2014

Columbus Day

Monday, October 13, 10am-1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Kids ages 8 and up (with an adult) can explore the Mill River and Connecticut River Oxbow with Mass Audubon on a Wild Rice and Fall Foliage Canoe trip. Enjoy the fall foliage, learn which trees change to which color, learn to identify wild rice, and look for other wetland species. This is a fun canoe trip for a parent/caretaker and child to enjoy this fall! Registration is required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. $

Monday, October 13, 11am-1:15pm – HISTORY: Columbus Day Weekend is the Berkshires’ bi-annual Coaching Weekend! This weekend celebrates the Gilded Age tradition of coaching – taking rides through the countryside in fancy carriages (or “coaches”) led by teams of horses. Each coach is ridden by men and women dressed in period clothing, and every day of the weekend brings the group to a new Berkshire location! On October 13, see them at The Mount. 413-298-3119. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA.

Monday, October 13, 2-4pm – PUMPKIN CARVING: Pumpkin carving at Chesterwood! Free with admission to Chesterwood, families can carve their own pumpkins for the season! Great reason to visit Chesterwood before it closes for the season. 413-298-3579 x25216. 4 Williamsville Road. Stockbridge, MA. $

Monday, October 13, 5:30pm – SUKKOT: Celebrate Sukkot with Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy at their Pizza in the Hut event. Sukkot is a Jewish holiday, during which those who observe eat in a sukkah, which is a walled structure covered with plant material. There will be a pizza, soup, and salad dinner followed by a Sukkot Carnival. This Sukkot event is fun for all ages! Reservations are appreciated. 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street. Longmeadow, MA. $

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Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 6pm-7:45pm – KNITTING: The Storrs Library is offering a Newbie Knitters class, which runs for six weeks starting on October 14. Beginner knitters can sign up for this class and learn the basics like casting on, binding off, purling, and more. Those who take the class will make a scarf as their first project. Best for older students interested in learning how to knit. Call to register. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA.

Tuesday, October 14, 6pm-8pm- HALLOWEEN CELEBRATION: Teens and tweens can come to the Carnegie Library for Zombie Fest! Learn zombie survival skills, learn how to disguise yourself as a zombie, and enjoy zombie snacks! 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 14, 6:30pm – LITERACY: Kids ages 5-10 can improve their reading aloud skills by reading to Hachi the Listening Dog at the Jones Library. Dogs are great audiences for young readers because they are a nonjudgmental audience. Call or stop by the children’s desk to sign up for a 20-minute time slot. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, October 14, 7:30pm – LOCAL FOOD/COMMUNITY MEAL: The Williamsburgh Historical Society presents a talk by Hatfield author Russell Steven Powell, who will read from his book, Apples of New England. Learn about New England’s heirloom apple varieties and their discovery, growing, and selling throughout the history of New England. There will be apples available to taste. Come at 6:30pm and bring a dish to the Historical Society’s potluck supper. 4 North Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION)

Tuesday, October 14, 8pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Bay Path University is screening Disney’s Maleficent (2014; rated PG), about the vengeful fairy and Sleeping Beauty. Pre-registration is recommended. 413-565-1066. 588 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, 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, July 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)
  • 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE every Tuesday for a playgroup at Egremont Elementary School. 413-499-4809. Pittsfield, 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: 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 – PLAYGROUP: South Berkshire Kids is offering a Brain Builder Play and Learn Group at the Mason Library every Tuesday. Kids ages birth to age 5 can come read, sing, play, and talk, with a focus on STEM concepts and early literacy. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, 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 15th, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 3:30pm – CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Kids can visit the Chicopee Public Library to hear Jonathan Hall read Oh Toto, Where Did You Go?, the sequel to Toto the Tornado Kitten, a true story about a kitten that survived the 2011 tornado in western Massachusetts. Enjoy hearing the story read aloud and meet Toto himself! 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 15, 3:30pm-4:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids of all ages can come make their own stained glass at the Lenox Library on October 15. This is a fun chance for kids to make something that can decorate their home! 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 15, 5pm-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Northampton Public Schools, Northampton/Hadley CFCE, Sunnyside Child Care, Northampton Parents Center, and Northampton Area Pediatrics have come together to offer a series of free Parent Cafés for parents and guardians of young children in the Northampton area. Families will eat dinner together, then children are cared for while parents meet for the Café. Here parents can discuss all aspects of parenting and gather support from one another as they face the challenges of raising children. Parent Cafés are great for parents because they provide a supportive and welcoming environment in which to discuss and learn about parenting. Childcare and dinner are provided. The Cafés occur on October 15 and 22. Call or email emailbblack@northampton-k12.us to register or for more info. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, October 15, 7:30pm – ARCHAEOLOGY/TEXTILES: Professor Elizabeth Wayland Barber will present, “The Mummies Speak: Why We Dress the Way We Do,” at Smith College’s Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts on October 15. Dr. Barber has spent over twenty years researching the origin and development of textiles in Europe and the Near East. Older students interested in history, archaeology, textiles, and fashion will enjoy this lecture, which is full of fascinating information. 413-585-2787. 122 Green 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. $
  • 9am-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. 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 – 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 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)
  • 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 16th, 2014

Thursday, October 16, 10am – FIRE STATION TOUR: Families can join Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. for a tour of the North Adams Fire Station. See firefighter gear, sit in a fire truck, learn about fire safety, how to fight fires, and more. Call to register. 413-664-4821. American Legion Drive. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 16, 4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: October 16th is Third Thursday in Turners Falls! This month’s theme is “Crows and Co-Ops,” and there will be activities like scarecrow building at the Great Falls Discovery Center, improvisational dance, a screening of the documentary Food for Change: The Story of Cooperation in America, and more. There is something for all ages at this fun event, which highlights some of the awesome things Turners Falls has to offer. 413-230-9910. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, October 16, 5pm-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/HALLOWEEN: Upstreet Pittsfield’s family friendly street festival, 3rd.Thursdays, happens every third Thursday through October! This Thursday’s theme is “Halloween.” Come celebrate and explore Pittsfield while participating in fun activities, watching performances, eating great food, and getting excited for Halloween! 413-499-9348. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Thursday, October 16, 7pm – FILM/LOCAL HISTORY: Ventfort Hall presents “Ventfort Films: A Berkshire Connection,” a series focusing on films that are in some way connected to the Berkshires. This week, come see Seven Keys to Baldpate (1935), which was written by Earl Derr Biggers, who resided in the Berkshires. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $)

Thursday, October 16, 7:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Professor John Demos will present a talk on the history of Longmeadow and the Deerfield Raid of 1704 at the Williams Middle School auditorium on October 16. Older students interested in local history can learn more about important events in Logmeadow’s history at this program. 413-565-4181. 410 Williams Street. Longmeadow, 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)

  • 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-12midnight – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum is open late – until 12midnight – every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the College’s academic year. Avoid the crowds and check out the museum’s exhibitions, gift shop, and cafe during these special late hours. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: South Berkshire Kids is offering a weekly playgroup at the Richmond Consolidated School. 413-464-5095. 1831 State Road. Richmond, 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-11am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE at the Berkshire Athenaeum for a weekly Play and Learn group. 413-499-4809. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, 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-11:30am – STORYTIME: Join the Emily Williston Memorial Library for storytime every Thursday! There will be snacks, stories, and crafts. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, 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 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 17th, 2014

Friday, October 17, 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 17, 3:30pm – FARM TOUR: Learn about local food, apples, and apple products with Berkshire Co-Op Market on a family-friendly tour of Hilltop Orchards. All ages can attend this fun and informative tour, which includes a hayride, a cider production tour, and more. This is a great chance for families to learn about cider production and some of the other ways apples can be used this time of year. 413-528-9697. 508 Canaan Road. Richmond, MA.

Friday, October 17, 3:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids ages 10 and up can come make cool duct tape creations at the Forbes Library on October 17. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 17, 5:30pm-8:30pm – HAUNTED TRAIN RIDE: Look Park’s train becomes haunted this Halloween season! Kids 5 and up can enjoy this fun and spooky haunted train ride around the park. Cancelled in case of rain. Runs 10/17-10/19 and 10/24-10/26. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street. Florence, MA. >$

Friday, October 17, 5:45pm & 7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: You may know about Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, but did you know that it’s considered to be haunted? Come see for yourself on one of The Mount’s ghost tours. The tour will take you through the stables and the main house, where you will learn about and even witness the property’s haunted creaks and footsteps. Not recommended for children under 12. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 413-551-5100. 2 Plunkett Street. Lenox, MA. $$

Friday, October 17, 6pm – COOPERATIVES: Join Collective Copies as they celebrate the fifth anniversary of Levellers Press. After the celebration, at 7pm, authors Janelle Cornwell, Adam Trott, and Michael Johnson will talk about their book, Building Cooperative Power: Stories and Strategies From Worker Co-Operatives in the Connecticut River Valley. Older students interested in cooperative business models and local business will enjoy this talk. 413-256-6425. 71 South Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 17, 6pm-8pm – SPOOKY SAFARI: The Zoo in Forest Park hosts an evening of trick or treat for families in a fun and safe environment. Come in costume and stop around the zoo for sweet treats, games, raffles, prizes, and more. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

Friday, October 17, 7pm – HAUNTED HISTORY: Storrowtown Village  hosts  “Tales From Haunted New England” in the Meetinghouse at the Big E. It is said that there are a thousand ways to die, and it appears as though our ancestors have explored almost all of them. Al and Betsy McKee, of the Association for Gravestone Studies, will discuss the causes of death recorded on gravestones in the Connecticut River Valley from the 18th and 19th centuries during this spooky event inside the Village’s historic church.  Cause of death recorded on gravestones is fairly rare, but the McKees have found and photographed hundreds of examples, from dramatic accidents to heartbreaking tragedies.  In this candlelit presentation, the couple will explore gravestone carving as forensic research and address the mysterious questions behind carving – why did some carvers record the cause of death on a gravestone? Was it meant to serve as a cautionary tale or was it just the 18th century version of magazine headlines?  The McKees, both in the medical field, became interested in the subject after moving into a home in Longmeadow, Mass., built by gravestone carver Hermon Newell around 1801. Now in its 25th year, families are encouraged to join in this fun and bewitching tradition of Halloween in Storrowton’s unique and eerie setting. 413-205-5051.  1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. >$

Friday, October 17, 7-10pm – INTERGENERATIONAL DANCE: Intergenerational dance at the Chesterfield Community Center. Fiddler Katherine First and band Kitchen Party along with dance caller Gretchen Burdick will get folks moving, dancing, and laughing at this event co sponsored by the Chesterfield Cultural Council and the Chesterfield Council on Aging. All ages welcome. 400 Main St. Chesterfield, MA (>$)

Friday, October 17, 7pm – CONCERT: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center presents a performance by Black Violin, a group consisting of a violinist, violist, and DJ. They perform an exciting blend of hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music, and use their classical instruments to play modern music with a classical flair. All ages will enjoy this energetic concert! Tickets available in advance. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. $$

Friday, October 17, 7pm – THEATER: Ja’Duke Productions presents a performance of The Addams Family this October. This musical comedy is based on the comic strip, television shows, and film of the same name. Come enjoy this musical about the typical yet unconventional Addams Family! Tickets available in advance. 413-863-0001. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. $

Friday, October 17, 7:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Sheffield Historical Society is hosting a presentation by Lisa Johnson of the Stanley-Whitman House (in Farmington, CT) titled, “In a Preternatural Way: 17th Century Witchcraft in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts,” in Dewey Hall. Johnson will discuss the hysteria surrounding witchcraft that swept across western New England a generation before the Salem Witch Trials. This presentation is a great chance for older students to learn more about the history of witchcraft in New England. 413-229-2694. Route 7. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, October 17, 8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The Premier Swing Band will perform at Workshop13 Cultural Arts and Learning Center on October 17. Have fun dancing and grooving to jazz and swing music from the 1930s, as well as contemporary music. Call for more information. 413-277-6072. 13 Church Street. Ware, MA. (DONATION)

Friday, October 17, 8pm – THEATER: The Exit 7 Players present a production of Young Frankenstein, based on the hilarious movie by Mel Brooks, in honor of Halloween. The movie the play is based on is rated PG-13, so this performance may not be appropriate for kids 13 and under. Tickets available in advance. 413-583-4301. 37 Chestnut Street.Ludlow, MA. $$

Friday, October 17, 8pm – THEATER: The Academy of Music presents Nobody’s Girl, a screwball comedy about Mildred E. Walker, a woman who worked at the Academy of Music in the 1940s and was promoted to run the theater when manager Frank Shaughnessy was called to serve in World War II. Controversy surrounded the promotion – the Academy’s lessees attempted to fire Walker on the grounds that a woman could not and should not manage a theater. This production, for which the Academy commissioned local playwright Harley Erdman, offers a look into the fascinating past of the Academy, Northampton, and the United States as a whole. This performance would be best for older students and adults interested in local history and theater. Tickets available in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, 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 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 – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, 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)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers can attend storytime every Friday at Griswold Memorial Library. Come for stories, crafts, and a snack. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – SEWING/COMMUNITY SERVICE: Parents/caregivers and their babies, ages 0-15 months, can come to “Welcome Baby” every Friday at the Storrs Library. This program, run by Pathways for Parents, is all about the importance of reading, music, and interactive play. Call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, 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. 413-749-6232. 50 Castle Street. Great Barrington, 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 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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