30 Community Highlights: Cider Days to Fiber Festival. Sphagnum Bog to Tinsmithing.
Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!
Featured learning highlight this week: The Eastern States Exposition and the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association present the 5th Annual Fiber Festival of New England at the Mallary Complex this weekend. Come learn about fiber art by watching demonstrations and seeing work by local crafters. There will also be a fleece sale, a “make it with wool” competition, vendors, a fashion show, and more. Those who like fiber and textiles will have fun at this festival! 413-205-5011. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)
Halloween Night ♦ STEM ♦ Ornithology ♦ Museum Adventures ♦ Aviation/Women’s Studies ♦ Film Studies ♦ Local Food ♦ Fiber/Textiles ♦ Natural History ♦ Nature Studies ♦ Historic Trade ♦ Living History ♦ Art Walk ♦ Art/Music History ♦ Homeschool ♦ Community Meal ♦ Educator Workshop ♦ Parent Workshops ♦ Parents’ Night Out ♦ Preschool Highlights
Learn Local. Play Local. is sponsored in part by:
Learn a new skill or discover a new interest at Amherst College’s Splash event on Saturday, November 15 from 9am-4pm in Converse Hall (100 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA). Splash gives middle and high school students an opportunity to take a courses on a variety of topics taught by Amherst College students. Do you like stand-up comedy? What about learning foreign languages? Splash courses range from the educational to the downright fun, with courses on topics like dance, how to use chopsticks, how to create the ultimate bucket list, cryptography, probability, game theory, ethics, film studies, psychology, and many others. This is a great opportunity for middle and high school students to further explore their interests or try something new. More information can be found on the Splash webpage. Registration is required.
Did you know that New York City is a hub for birdwatching? Despite being a bustling city of roughly 8.4 million people, New York City is a great place to watch for year-round and migratory birds. You can discover the fascinating world of New York City birding at a screening of Birders: The Central Park Effect, as part of Amherst Cinema’s “Science on Screen” series. The film, which will be shown on Wednesday, November 5 at 7pm, follows several birders as they search for and document the wild birds of Central Park. The documentary focuses not only on the city’s fascinating birds, but on the humans who devote their lives to searching for them, documenting them, and photographing them. After the film, Jeff LeBaron, the Christmas Bird Count Director at the National Audubon Society, will speak about the importance of Central Park to ornithologists and citizen science. Call Amherst Cinema at 413-253-2547 for more information. Amherst Cinema is located at 28 Amity Street in Amherst, MA. ($)
Owls are amazing creatures—come learn about their ways and try calling them using tapes on a half-mile walk after dark during an Owl Prowl at Bartholomew’s Cobble on Saturday, November 1, 7-9pm. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight. Please RSVP and get cost information by calling 413-229-8600 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA
Families are invited to explore the Smith College Museum of Art at their Free Family Fun @ My Museum event on Saturday, November 1 from 1pm-4pm. Tour the museum and get inspired by works on display, then get creative making your own fairy tale book! Sticking with the event’s theme of “Once Upon a Painting,” visitors can also listen to fairy tales, make fairy tale-inspired art, come dressed as a storybook character, and browse the Campus School’s book fair for some new favorite stories. Families can explore this great local museum through this fun-filled day of art-making, art-looking, and storytelling. Call the museum at 413-585-2760 for more information. The museum is located at Elm Street and Bedford Terrace, on the Smith College campus in Northampton, MA. (FREE)
The Clark Art Institute is offering a Freedom Family Day on Sunday, November 2, 1pm-4:30pm! This is a great chance to explore the newly-renovated museum and grounds for free with the whole family. There will be special events, including a family-friendly gallery talk, art-making projects, a calligraphy workshop, a graffiti wall, a sing-along with David Grover and Friends, and more. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
Learn about and celebrate the contributions women have made to aviation and aerospace engineering throughout history at the New England Air Museum’s 10th Annual Women Take Flight event on Sunday, November 2 from 10am-4pm. Discover important women in aviation throughout history by seeing reenactors tell their stories. Hear from women who are in the field today at panel discussions and presentations. At this inspiring event, you can meet corporate pilots, military flight officers, aerial photographers, Air Force service pilots, NASA engineers, inspection pilots, hurricane hunters, naval aviators, and more – all of whom are women! Learn about the many opportunities women now have in the aviation and aerospace industries and how, over time, they were able to earn these spots in a historically male-dominated field. Call NEAM at 800-623-3305 for more information. The museum is located at 36 Perimeter Road in Windsor Locks, CT. ($)
Aspiring filmmakers ages 5-18 can participate in YouthFilm, the Northampton Arts Council’s weeklong festival of films by local and regional youth, to take place February 16-20, 2015 at the Academy of Music Theater in Northampton. These short films will be screened on the Academy’s large screen, making this a truly unique and exciting experience for young filmmakers to showcase their work. Making films is a great form of communication and creative expression, because almost anything can be incorporated into a film – music, art, dance, science experiments, poetry… there are an infinite number of possible film ideas out there! Entry guidelines can be found on the YouthFilm webpage. Students who would like to participate should read the guidelines and have their films submitted by January 30 at 11:59pm.
Come experience the earliest feature-length animated film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), at the Berkshire Museum‘s Little Cinema on Thursday, November 6, 7pm. The film features live accompaniment by Ben Model, who will play the film’s score live for audience members. Older students interested in film and the history of film will enjoy this screening, as will younger children with audience skills. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)
Franklin County celebrates its plentiful apple harvest and the delicious batches of cider that follow at the 20th Annual Franklin County CiderDays this weekend! The event includes fun events and activities county-wide – including an apple pancake breakfast, wagon rides and orchard explorations, cider pressing, lots of tastings and demonstrations, and chances to learn about apple varieties, heirloom apples, organic orchards, and more! It’s a chance for families to develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the apple industry – and to drink endless cider! A full schedule can be found on the CiderDays website. Franklin County, MA.
The Eastern States Exposition and the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association present the 5th Annual Fiber Festival of New England at the Mallary Complex this weekend. Come learn about fiber art by watching demonstrations and seeing work by local crafters. There will also be a fleece sale, a “make it with wool” competition, vendors, a fashion show, and more. Those who like fiber and textiles will have fun at this festival! 413-205-5011. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($)
Older teens and adults can learn about bogs and local history with Mass Audubon on a Lily Pond Ghost Hike in Goshen on Saturday, November 1, 10am-2pm. Explore this fascinating sphagnum bog on an easy-to-moderate two-mile hike along the Old Post Road and learn about colonial-era ghosts that may still inhabit this interesting natural area. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. Loomis Road. Goshen, MA. ($$)
Explore Graves Farm with Mass Audubon on Sunday, November 2, 10am-12noon. Walk the Loop Trail and search for salamanders, insects, birds, and evidence of larger mammals like deer and moose. Play games along the way and learn how animals prepare for winter. This program is for all ages. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. Adams Road. Williamsburg, MA. ($)
Learn about early-19th Century medical practice and the the historic trade of tinsmithing with Jack Richman and Bill McMillen at Historic Deerfield on Saturday, November 1, 10:30am-4pm. Free with museum admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $
Performer and scholar Rob Velella will portray the great 19th century New England author in “Hawthorne: Shrouded in Darkness” in celebration of Halloween at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Saturday, November 1, 3:30pm. An appropriate Victorian tea for the holiday will be offered after the in-character dramatic reading. Velella’s portrayal (in costume) brings Nathaniel Hawthorne back from the dead – so to speak. Audience will be in for some surprises. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA ($$)
Follow the “decorated shoes” throughout the Village of Shelburne Falls to find a multitude of shops, galleries and restaurants participating in Shelburne Falls’ November Art Walk on Saturday, November 1, 5pm-8pm. Many of these establishments will be hosting new exhibits, artist receptions, studio demonstrations, and/or interactive art projects, and offering delicious treats. Gaze out over Salmon Falls and the glacial potholes, walk the Bridge of Flowers, and ride a historic trolley under the stars. 413-625-2526. Downtown. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)
The Worthington Historical Society presents “Remembering World War I,” a commemoration of World War I, 100 years later on Sunday, November 2, 2pm. This program features WWI-era music, poetry, and artwork, as well as excerpts from journals and memoirs by soldiers. Older students interested in history will enjoy learning about World War I and becoming immersed in the arts and music of the time. 413-238-0491. 6 Williamsburg Road. Worthington, MA. ($)
The Greenfield Public Library presents “The Beatles: Band of the Sixties” with Aaron Krerowicz as part of their First Wednesdays Speaker Series on Wednesday, November 5, 6pm-8pm. The talk focuses on the history and music of The Beatles. Best for older students interested in music and history. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
Wednesday, November 5, is Home School Day at Old Sturbridge Village! The theme is “Preparing for Winter,” and students can learn about the ways New Englanders of the past got ready for the colder months. Learn about preserving foods, woolen items, threshing grain, smoking and salting meat, filling the woodshed, and more. There will be hands-on studios and activities throughout the day. Visiting Old Sturbridge Village is a fun and engaging way for kids to learn more about what life was like in the past in New England. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)
The South Hadley Lions Club is holding a Spaghetti Supper at The Egg & I/Roost Restaurant to benefit the South Hadley Historical Society on Monday, November 3, 4:30pm-6pm. This intergenerational community meal is a great chance to support a community resource while enjoying delicious food. Cost includes spaghetti and meatballs, salad, a roll, a beverage, and ice cream. $1 from each meal will be donated to the Historical Society. 26 Main Street. South Hadley, MA. ($)
Amherst Cinema is offering a free demonstration of their See-Hear-Feel-Film program on Sunday, November 2, 6pm-7pm. The program uses film to inspire creative writing and critical thinking in over 50 third grade classes in the Pioneer Valley. Students attend screenings of short films and clips from around the world in order to help them see the world from different perspectives. Students then discuss the films and work collaboratively to create, write, and present their own stories. If you are an educator and this program interests you, come to Amherst Cinema to learn more about it and the benefits it provides to children who participate, as well as scholarship opportunities, volunteer opportunities, and to learn whether or not this program would work for your students. No registration necessary. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
Dr. Patricia Martin will present a workshop for parents/caretakers on Healthy Tech Habits for Kids at the Agawam Public Library on Tuesday, November 4, 6:30pm-8pm. Learn how technology can help children with early literacy and education, and learn about the negative impacts technology can have on a child’s development. 413-821-0552. 750 Cooper Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)
Trans Youth Meet Up & TransParents Drop In Meeting at the Quaker Meeting House on Wednesday, November 5, 6-7:30pm. There will be games and socializing for trans youth in one space and another space for parents of trans youth to talk and connect. Parents can come with their children, youth can come with their parents, or feel free to come without a family member! Snacks and Pizza for all! email@example.com 413-774 7028 x799. 43 Center St. Northampton, MA (FREE)
The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a workshop for parents titled, “Why do they DO That?!,” as part of their Puzzle of Parenting series on Wednesday, November 5, 6pm-8pm. At this workshop, parents/caregivers can learn about the potential roots of their child’s challenging behaviors and learn how to better handle them. Childcare is available and a light supper is provided for parents and children. This two-part workshop runs on November 5 and 12 at Easthampton High School. Registration is required. 413-586-4998 x102. 70 Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
Dr. Sharon Saline will present on managing preschool behaviors from a developmental perspective at Gan Keshet Preschool at Congregation B’nai Israel on Wednesday, November 5, 7pm-8:30pm. Learn about the importance of understanding cognitive, social, and psychological aspects of child development. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA.
The fifth season of Culture and Cocktails continues at the Springfield Museums on Thursday, November 6, 5pm-8pm! This month’s event is “Artistic and Culinary Expressions.” There will be live music, entertainment, hors d’oeuvres, and more. You must be 21 or older to attend this event. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)
Preschool-aged children can learn all about magnets at the Wendell Free Library as part of a series of programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math on Saturday, November 1, 11am . This is a great chance to introduce young kids to STEAM topics! 978-544-3559. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE)
PJ Pals at LGA is offering an Autumn leaf walk for 3-5 year olds on Sunday, November 2, 10am-11:30am. Hunt for autumn leaves, play nature games, and do an art project at this fun event. 413-584-6622. 257 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA.
Come to the S. White Dickinson Memorial Library for a special storytime on Tuesday, November 4, 3pm, with Holyoke author Jason Lefebvre, who will read his children’s book, Too Much Glue, which is about a boy who uses too much glue. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)
Preschool-aged children can learn all about magnets at the Leverett Library as part of a series of programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math on Thursday, November 6, 3:15pm. This is a great chance to introduce young kids to STEAM topics! 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA.
Join the Berkshire Museum for WeeMuse Pajama Night on Friday, November 7, 5:30-7:30pm. Come to the museum in your favorite pajamas and listen to stories read by special guest readers, including Mary Pope Osborne, author of The Magic Tree House series! You can also read stories aloud, make picture book art, enjoy DJ music, and more. This fun story-filled event is in celebration of Family Literacy Month. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
Photo credit: (cc) Beth Reynolds/MOTT
Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Charlemont/Hawley, Chesterfield, Conway, Heath, Leyden, Montague, Montgomery, South Hadley and Shutesbury Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.