Suggested Events for November 22nd-28th, 2014

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is a great community centered organization which helps children take the important aspects of education into consideration… It has most definitely enriched my life by showing me what is a true sense of community and UNITY.” Meghan Keegan (Ware, 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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Hilltown Families’ Event

Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event takes place this Saturday, November 22nd from 10am-1pm in Northampton—a one of a kind FREE event for families to volunteer together while educating children about important social issues and the value of community service. Through service-based learning, together we can generate 600 hours of community service in a single morning that support human services, education and children’s welfare support organizations in our region. With a Community Passport in hand, families can travel to five different stations with hands-on activities for kids of all ages, ranging from creating art for elders to tools that support literacy. (Registration for this event has ended.)

Bulletin Board

Nov 22

Art Supporting Music – The Little Drummer Craft Fair returns to the Franklin County Technical School in Turners Falls on Saturday, November 22, 9am-4pm. This juried craft fair features over sixty-five artists and craftspeople from throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond, presenting their unique handcrafted products. All proceeds benefit the FCTS Music Department and award-winning Drumline. Support the annual FCTS food drive – bring 2 canned goods for the food drive and receive a ticket to a special raffle drawing. Free admission and free parking, ADA accessible. Lunch items, baked goods available, prepared by our culinary students. 82 Industrial Blvd, Turners Falls, MA. www.facebook.com/littledrummercraftfair

Nov 22

The Common School: Community, collaboration, social justice, intrinsic motivation, deep understanding, diversity, inclusivity, environmental education- Come learn how these words are put into action at their fall Open House, Saturday, November 22, from 10am-12noon. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 120 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. Questions? Contact Director of Admissions, Dana Kadish at outreach@commonschool.org or visit www.commonschool.org.

Nov 22

Visit the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair, Saturday, November 22nd in Hadley, MA! Enjoy King Winter, roving musicians, unique crafts to make and buy, candle dipping, jump rope making, games, food, and pony rides. See the performance, The Mouse Bride: A Marionette Show, performed by the Early Childhood staff. Come experience the wonder that abounds at the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair! There is nothing else like it! Saturday, November 22nd. 10:00am – 4:00pm, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org

Every Sat

Find locally-grown food and live music every Saturday from 9am – 2pm at the Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market. Four vegetable farms offer organic greens, root vegetables, and winter squash all season long. Apples, cranberries, cheeses, meats, eggs, breads, ferments, mushrooms, pastries, chocolates, maple syrup, honey, herbs, cold-pressed juices, and prepared foods from over 25 farms and food producers add to the mix. Bring your family by the market every Saturday through April 18th at Smith Voke, 80 Locust Street, Northampton (Route 9 between downtown Northampton and Florence Center). Food Stamps/SNAP accepted. Subscribe to the market’s newsletter at www.nohowintermarket.com/subscribe or contact nohowintermarket@gmail.com for more information.

Nov 28

Start the holiday season off right with the Springfield Museums! On Friday, November 28, the Museums will present their Holiday Wonderland Celebration from 10am–5pm, with loads of family activities, a performance of Hansel & Gretel by the National Marionette Theatre, and the opening of this year’s Adventures in Gingerbread exhibit, all free with museum admission. That evening, it’s a touch of old New England at the annual Lighting of the Quadrangle from 5–7pm. The evening lighting ceremony is FREE and open to the public, and includes free hot cocoa and cookies, carriage rides, music, and an appearance by St. Nick himself! For more information, visit www.springfieldmuseums.org or call 413-263-6800 ext. 488.

Open House Dec 1

Gan Keshet (Rainbow Garden) Jewish Community Preschool Open House: Monday, Dec 1 from 9:30-11am (Snow date, Mon., Dec. 8) at 253 Prospect St., Northampton, MA. Come visit with your child and meet their experienced staff. The Preschool offers: Part/Full Day Options; flexible scheduling; Farm/Garden Based Activities; and a Summer Program. Ask about HGF Right Start Grant- your family could be eligible to receive $1000-2000 towards your child’s tuition! The preschool values diversity and welcome all families in the community. Contact Preschool Director, Wendy Stein at 413-584-3593 x204 or gan.keshet@cbi.northampton.org. For more info visit online: www.cbinorthampton.org; www.facebook.com/Gan.Keshet.Jewish.Community.Preschool.

On Wednesday, December 10th, Hilltown Families will be will be participating in Valley Gives! As we enter our 10th year, this will be our 1st Annual Appeal Campaign, asking you to support us with a financial donation so that we may continue to support education through community engagement through this communication network you have grown to love and depend upon. We are inviting folks to be a part of our virtual STREET TEAM, helping us spread the word about our participation in Valley Gives and rallying support on our behalf. Join us in this exciting campaign! Email Sienna at swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org for information on how to get involved. Want to learn more about the vision and mission of Hilltown Families? Check out this TEDx Talk: Supporting Education Through Community Engagement. — And mark your calendars, DEC 10, for an exciting day of giving through Valley Gives!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your holiday event, 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
November 22nd-28th, 2014

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Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, November 22nd, 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. Award-winning artists, Demi Mays and David Kisor (from GROWING SOUND) play and talk about meaningful songs in their lives, starting with childhood favorites, and include songs they have written and perform that promote hope, optimism, friendship and more. They also tell the story of “The Farmer Who Lived a Very Steady Life.” 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 over 7 years!

Saturday, November 22, 9am-12noon – TRAIL WORK: Help Williamsburg Woodland Trails and Mass Audubon remove invasive bittersweet vines at Graves Farm Sanctuary on November 22. Older teens can help out with this important work, which will teach them the importance of both volunteer work and conservation. Dress warmly and bring tools if you can. 413-584-3009 x811. Adams Road. Haydenville, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, November 22, 9am-4pm – SHOP LOCAL/HANDMADE: The Little Drummer Craft Fair returns to the Franklin County Technical School. This juried craft fair features over sixty-five artists and craftspeople from throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond, presenting their unique handcrafted products. Shop local & handmade for the holidays while supporting local education. 82 Industrial Blvd. Turners Falls, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, November 22, 9am-4pm – MYO GIFTS/CARDS: The Friends of the Westfield Athenaeum are offering a holiday card workshop for all skill levels. Learn the basics of card making and simple, elegant techniques so you can make your own holiday cards this year. This is a great opportunity to learn a new skill and give out handmade cards/gifts for the holidays. Pre-registration is required. 413-262-4934. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, November 22, 10am-11am – NATURE STUDIES: It’s never too early to get your child interested in nature and the outdoors – parents/caregivers of children toddler-aged and younger can join Mass Audubon for their “First Child in the Wood” infant/toddler walk at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Come prepared to have fun outdoors, learn about nature, and meet other kids and caregivers. This is a great way to get your young child introduced to nature! Call to register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA. $

Saturday, November 22, 10am-12noon – OPEN HOUSE: The Common School will be hosting an open house. The Common School provides a progressive integrated learning experience for children ages 3-12. Play in their classrooms, meet their teachers, chat with current parents, and tour their beautiful campus situated amongst 120 acres of conservation land on Larch Hill in Amherst. Light refreshments provided. 413-256-8989. 521 S Pleasant St. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Saturday, November 22, 10am-1pm – NATURE STUDIES: Discover the unique boreal forest ecology of Tamarack Hollow with Aimee Gelinas. This forest, at 2,000-feet elevation, features interesting evergreen trees and plants, including balsam fir, red spruce, Christmas fern, and others. In addition to discovering these unique boreal forest characteristics, you will get to see cellar holes from the 1800s! This is a moderate, three-mile hike that is best for older teens and adults. Please register in advance. 413-584-3009. Savoy Hollow Road. Windsor, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 22, 10am-2pm – BIKE SALE: The Holyoke Urban Bike Shop (HUBS) is having a bike sale at the Lou Parent Center on November 22. Come by for second-hand kids bikes – all at a great low price! Bikes make great holiday gifts, and they promote staying active year-round. Come to the sale and check it out! 413-534-5631 x114. 171 Pine Street. Holyoke, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, November 22, 10am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Stock up on some delicious local food for Thanksgiving at the Great Barrington Holiday Farmers’ Market at Monument Valley Middle School! Here you can find local veggies, apples, bread, cheese, meat, yarn, and more. There will also be music, food, and activities for kids. Come support local farmers and artisans at this special holiday market! 413-528-0041. Monument Valley Road. Great Barrington, MA. (MARKET)

Saturday, November 22, 10am-3pm – HIKING/LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about an early Dutch settlement in Peru, MA with Mass Audubon on November 22. Older students and adults can learn about the colonial land grant of Partridgefield, which was settled primarily by Dutch pioneers. They created a self-reliant farming community and made their home in western Massachusetts. Learn about these families and some oddball characters who lived on the land for more than four generations. The hike is four miles off-trail. Registration is required. 413-584-3009. Peru, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 22, 10am-4pm – ART SALE/MYO GIFTS: Snow Farm’s annual seconds sale takes place on weekends throughout November – there’s new art every weekend! Stop by to see what’s there and get a jump start on holiday shopping. Shop local and handmade for the holidays! There will even be an opportunity to make your own glass ornaments ($$). 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Road. Williamsburg, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, November 22, 10am-4pm – HOLIDAY FAIR/MYO GIFTS: The Hartsbrook School’s Holiday Fair is November 22! Come by for live music, demonstrations, a puppet show, activities, a marketplace full of handmade Waldorf crafts, and hands-on opportunities to make your own holiday gifts. Get unique, handmade holidays gifts at this event while spending time with family and friends. 413-584-3198. 193 Bay Road. Hadley, MA.

Saturday, November 22, 10:30am-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Kids ages 3-6 and their families are invited to Great Falls Discovery Center for their Winter Preschool Series. Enjoy stories, crafts, and nature-related activities. Kids will learn about different types of animals each meeting. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

Saturday, November 22, 10:30am-11:30am – PARENT-CHILD PROGRAM: The Storrs Library is holding a Dads and Donuts event for kids and their dads. Spend quality time together enjoying coffee, donuts, stories, and crafts. Call to register. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 22, 10:30am & 5pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CULTURAL STUDIES: The Clark Art Institute presents two performances by Japanese shamisen (a three-stringed instrument) players on November 22. At 10:30am, hear Fujii Hirokazu perform a 20-minute piece in the Kyushu regional jiuta style (FREE), and at 5pm, hear nagauta and gidayu styles performed by chanters, shamisen players, and a traditional nihon buyo dancer ($$). These performances can introduce all ages to traditional Japanese music and instruments. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, November 22, 11am – MUSIC/DANCE/CULTURAL STUDIES: WOFA – PVPA African Drum and Dance Co. will be at the Westhampton Public Library on November 22. They will perform West African dance and drumming and will discuss their recent trip to Guinea. All ages can learn about West African culture at this program. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA.

Saturday, November 22, 11am – STEAM: Preschool-aged children can have fun with LEGO and Duplo at the Erving Public Library as part of a series of programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. This is a great chance to introduce young kids to STEAM topics! 413-423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 22, 11am-12noon – ANIMAL STUDIES: Learn all about bears in Massachusetts at the Berkshire Museum with Ralph Taylor of Fish and Wildlife. In conjunction with the exhibition, “Lions & Tigers & Bears: Through the Lens with National Geographic,” Taylor will discuss the history of black bears in the state. He will talk about their behaviors, habits, history, and their population boom – since the 1970s, the population has increased from about 100 to roughly 4,000. Older students interested in animals can learn about these fascinating mammals at this presentation. Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, November 22, 11am-1pm – 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 “Home for the Holidays.” 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, November 22, 1:30pm-3pm – ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: The Massachusetts PipeLine Awareness Network is holding a walk along the proposed Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline project in Ashfield to raise awareness about the pipeline and the communities and natural areas it would affect. The hike in Ashfield is 1.5 miles and goes through wooded areas. This hike would be best for older students and adults interested in learning more about the pipeline project and the areas it would affect. Email Josh Morse at Franklin Land Trust to RSVP – jmorse@franklinlandtrust.org. 413-625-9151. Baptist Corner Road & North Bear River Road. Ashfield, MA.

Saturday, November 22, 2pm – PUPPETRY: See Leo Lionni’s stories come to life at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Picture Book Theatre will perform Tico and the Golden Wings and Geraldine the Music Mouse with puppets and dancers. Fans Lionni’s work will love these unique performances! Tickets available in advance. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Saturday, November 22, 2pm-4pm – ART/PAINTING: Join artist Gregory John Maichack for “Sublime Sunflowers: How to Pastel Paint Like the Masters” at Grace Hall Memorial Library. This pastel painting workshop for adults older teens (14+ with adult, 18+ unaccompanied) is appropriate for all skill levels and is a great opportunity to learn the art of pastel painting or improve your technique. Learn about the old masters – Van Gogh, Monet, and Georgia O’Keeffe. This free workshop is a wonderful opportunity for older teens and adults to learn the art of pastel painting. Call to register. 413-862-3894. 160 Main Road. Montgomery, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 22, 2:30pm – FOOD HISTORY: Join the Amherst Historical Society at the Jones Library for “Forgotten Drinks of Colonial New England,” with Corin Hirsch. Hirsch will discuss what New Englanders drank in colonial times, when the water was unsafe for drinking. Learn about the origins and flavors of these drinks, what they were made from, and who drank them. New England’s abundance of apples, sugar, molasses, berries, and hops led to lots of ales, beers, wines, ciders, and spirits being produced and consumed by New Englanders in colonial days. These drinks and their popularity also led to the opening of many inns and taverns. This talk would best for older students adults. Interested adults (21+) can attend a tasting of some of these drinks at the Simeon Strong House at 4pm or 6pm – tickets ($$) must be purchased in advance. The lecture itself is free and open to the public. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA.

Saturday, November 22, 4pm-5:30pm – AUTHOR TALK/HISTORY: Author Tim Weed will discuss his new book, Will Poole’s Island at the World Eye Bookshop on November 22. Older students interested in colonial New England can hear Weed discuss his book, his research, and new perspectives on Thanksgiving. 413-772-2186. 156 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, November 22, 6:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Come to the 2nd Annual Williamstown Pie Potluck on November 22 at Sheep Hill. The Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation and the Williams Sustainable Food and Agriculture Program are hosting this event, which features a pie demonstration, contest, and tasting. Bake a pie or come to learn about pies and enjoy tasting them at this fun and delicious community event! Registration is suggested. 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, November 22, 7pm – THEATER: Black Cat Theater presents a production of Bye Bye Birdie at South Hadley High School. The play is about a famous singer who is about to join the Army, and one final publicity stunt before he goes. 153 Newton Street. South Hadley, MA. ($$)

Saturday, November 22, 7pm – STORYTELLING: Join the Dickinson Memorial Library for Tellabration, a storytelling event for teens and adults with Onawumi Jean Moss, Davis Bates, and Christine Fontaine. Enjoy hearing stories told aloud and hear music by Patter Field and Ted Thornton. Tellabration is a worldwide storytelling event that takes place annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Come hear talented storytellers share stories at this fun event. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 22, 7pm – MUSIC STUDIES: The Williams College Department of Music presents a performance by the Williams Gospel Choir in Chapin Hall on the Williams campus. Students interested in singing and music will enjoy this free concert, which is a great chance to hear live gospel music. 413-597-3131. 62 Chapin Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 22, 7:30pm – THEATER: Bay Path University’s fall musical is Once On This Island, based on Rosa Guy’s 1985 novel My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl. The play, which also incorporates elements of Romeo and Juliet and The Little Mermaid, tells the story of a peasant girl who uses the power of love to bring together people of different social classes. Tickets available in advance. 413-565-1307. 588 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Saturday, November 22, 8pm – MUSIC STUDIES: “Fall for Beethoven” with the Smith College Orchestra on November 22 in Sweeney Concert Hall. The concert features works by Beethoven, Grieg, and Gonoud, and a performance of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto, performed by soloist Liza Stepanova. Students interested in classical music will enjoy this performance. 413-585-2787. Green Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Sunday, November 23rd, 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, November 23, 10am-1pm – NATURE STUDIES: Explore the DAR State Forest with Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center. This moderate hike will have you searching for plants and trees to identify and will teach about the State Forest’s ecology. Best for older students and adults. Email aimee@gaiaroots.com for more info or to register. Goshen, MA.

Sunday, November 23, 10am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Stock up on some delicious local food for Thanksgiving at the Williamstown Holiday Farmers’ Market at the Williams College Towne Field House! Here you can find local veggies, apples, bread, cheese, meat, yarn, and more. There will also be music, food, and activities for kids. Come support local farmers and artisans at this special holiday market! 413-528-0041. Latham Street. Williamstown, MA. (MARKET)

Sunday, November 23, 10am-4pm – ART SALE: Snow Farm’s annual seconds sale takes place on weekends throughout November – there’s new art every weekend! Stop by to see what’s there and get a jump start on holiday shopping. Shop local and handmade for the holidays! There will even be an opportunity to MYO glass ornaments ($$). 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Road. Williamsburg, MA. (SALE)

Sunday, November 23, 1pm-3:30pm – SKI SALE: The Berkshire Trails Nordic Ski Club’s annual cross-country ski and clothing sale happens at Notchview on November 23. Cross country skis, boots, poles, and clothing for kids and adults will be for sale. There are knowledgeable skiers at the sale who can also help with your questions about adult equipment and kids’ equipment. If you are interested in donating equipment, it can be dropped off at Notchview on November 22 from 2pm-4pm. Proceeds from the sale go to the Berkshire Trails Nordic Ski Club. Route 9. Windsor, MA. (SALE)

Sunday, November 23, 1pm-4pm – EDIBLE PLANTS: Adults and older teens interested in wild edible plants and medicinals can join Earthwork Programs for a Wild Edibles and Medicinal Plants immersion workshop. Learn how to identify wild edibles and medicinals so they can be safely prepared and consumed. Those who are interested in learning about the many uses of some of our native plants would benefit from this workshop. Call for more information and to register. 413-340-1161. Northampton, MA. ($$)

Sunday, November 23, 2pm – THEATER: Black Cat Theater presents a production of Bye Bye Birdie at South Hadley High School. The play is about a famous singer who is about to join the Army, and one final publicity stunt before he goes. 153 Newton Street. South Hadley, MA. ($$)

Sunday, November 23, 2pm – THEATER: Bay Path University’s fall musical is Once On This Island, based on Rosa Guy’s 1985 novel My Love, My Love; or, The Peasant Girl. The play, which also incorporates elements of Romeo and Juliet and The Little Mermaid, tells the story of a peasant girl who uses the power of love to bring together people of different social classes. Tickets available in advance. 413-565-1307. 588 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Sunday, November 23, 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema is screening Kiss Me Deadly (1955), a film noir detective movie directed by Robert Aldrich. Students can learn about film noir at this screening. Best for older teens and adults. Tickets available in advance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Sunday, November 23, 2pm-4pm – SKILLSHARE: Adults and older teens with knife experience can learn about improving their knife skills at Grow Food Amherst‘s Sustainability Sunday workshop. Chef Bill Collins will present on choosing the correct knife, as well as proper slicing, chopping, peeling, and dicing techniques. This workshop takes place at All Things Local Cooperative Market. 413-259-3149. 104 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, November 23, 4pm – MARINE BIOLOGY: The Springfield Public Forum presents a talk by marine biologist Edith Widder at Symphony Hall on November 23. Dr. Widder’s research focuses on deep sea luminescence and she pioneered optical techniques that allow us to see deep sea creatures more clearly. Her work helped capture the first-ever video footage of the giant squid. All ages will enjoy hearing Dr. Widder speak about her adventures and achievements in the field of marine biology. 34 Court Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, November 23, 5pm – CHRISTMAS: Kick off the holiday season with Yankee Candle Village at their tree-lighting ceremony, complete with Christmas carols. More information and other Yankee Candle holiday events are listed on their website. 877-636-7707. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, November 23, 5pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: Learn about classical Indian music with Veena Chandra, Devesh Chandra, and Williams College music students who have studied the sitar and tabla. This is a great opportunity to hear this beautiful music and learn about it at the same time. Takes place in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall. 413-597-2127. 54 Chapin Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, November 24th, 2014

Monday, November 24, 3:30pm GAMES: Minecraft fans can come play together at the Forbes Library‘s Minecraft Club! Bring your login and a laptop if possible, and have fun playing Minecraft with others. Registration is required. 413-587-1010. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, November 24, 7pm – DANCE STUDIES: See the world-renowned Russian ballet company Bolshoi Ballet perform The Pharoah’s Daughter on the big screen at Amherst Cinema. The performance was filmed live and will be screened at the Cinema for dance lovers of all ages. Tickets available in advance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($$)

ONGOING FOR MONDAY (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 – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 8 and under can attend a playgroup at the Meekins Library the first and third Monday of each month. Enjoy stories, games, crafts, and more at this fun playgroup. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – KNITTING: The Sunderland Public Library has a knitting group on Mondays. The group is open to knitters of all levels and ages. Great intergenerational activity to do with young homeschoolers. 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-11am – PLAYGROUP: Join the Pittsfield CFCE for “Fun on the Farm” every Monday at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. 413-499-4809. 780 Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA.
  • 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.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Come to Books and Babies at the East Longmeadow Public Library every Monday. Kids ages 2 and under can hear stories, see fingerplays, and have fun together. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, 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)
  • 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)

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Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 9:30am-11am & 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Agawam Public Schools are hosting a parent cafe about “Parent Holiday Survival Tips.” 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, November 25, 5:30pm-7:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Learn how to make book art at Edwards Public Library! Ages 8 and up can join book artist Cathy Thibodeau for a workshop on how to make book art just by folding the pages of a book. Please bring a 100-150 page hardcover book that you would like to repurposes – participants will be making books with a paw print design. These folded books would make a cool gift for the holidays! Space is limited; please sign up. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, November 25, 7pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema is screening Kiss Me Deadly (1955), a film noir detective movie directed by Robert Aldrich. Students can learn about film noir at this screening. Best for older teens and adults. Tickets available in advance. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Tuesday, November 25, 7pm-8:30pm – SUSTAINABILITY: The Westhampton Public Library‘s Grown in Westhampton program focuses on permaculture this month. Community members can come to the library to discuss their food and energy sustainability projects, experiences, notes, and plans for the future. Older students interested in sustainability and permaculture can learn from this monthly gathering. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, 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-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-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for young kids ages birth-preK at theDickinson Memorial Library with Deb Wood features fun toys and more! Every Tuesday. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, 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.
  • 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)
  • 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)

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Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, TBA – TREE LIGHTING: Kick off the holidays at the North Adams Tree Lighting Ceremony and Hometown Holidays! There will be live music by the Drury Band, a visit from Santa, and other holiday fun. Bring the whole family and enjoy this beautiful display of lights. Main Street. North Adams, MA.

Wednesday, November 26, 1pm-2:30pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: The Amherst Survival Center is hosting a community Thanksgiving meal at Immanuel Lutheran Church on November 26. Celebrate the holiday with community members, family, and friends of all ages. All are welcome and you do not need to bring anything, but if you would like to make a large Thanksgiving dish, please email tracey@amherstsurvival.org to find out what to make. 413-549-3968. 867 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, November 26, 5pm-9pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun!  Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display.  More information and a schedule available here.  Runs until the New Year.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$

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)
  • 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-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.
  • 6pm-8pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Knack‘s Work-on-it Wednesdays are back for November and December. There will be open studio every Wednesday and you can come work on some handmade holiday gifts. 413-529-0126. 116 Pleasant Street #126. Easthampton, 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. $

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Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Hilltown Family Variety Show Thanksgiving Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn — Playlist/VideoPodcast

Thursday, November 27, 9:30am-4pm – THANKSGIVING/HISTORY: Spend Thanksgiving at Old Sturbridge Village and learn about Thanksgiving customs of the 19th Century. See turkeys roasting, watch the costumed interpreters enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with 19th-century dining customs, and learn about Native American foodways with the Indian Doctress. If you’re looking to do something a little different ths Thanksgiving, this is a unique and educational way to spend the holiday! 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Thursday, November 27, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun!  Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display.  More information and a schedule available here.  Runs until the New Year.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Community Thanksgiving Meals & Volunteer Opportunities:

  • AmherstNot Bread Alone Soup Kitchen offers a community meal on Thanksgiving Day, in addition to weekend and Wednesday meals. Anyone and everyone is welcome to be part of the holiday celebration, or any other meal! Located on the lower level of the First Congregational Church. 413-548-1271. 165 Main Street.
  • ChicopeeLorraine’s Soup Kitchen offers a Thanksgiving community meal at the Knights of Columbus Castle of Knights, and all are welcome! Additionally, the kitchen offers meals to the community every weekday at 5pm. 413-592-5928. 1599 Memorial Drive.
  • Greenfield – Celebrate Thanksgiving and support The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts at The People’s Pint’s second annual Thanksgiving for the People. Traditional Thanksgiving dinner will be served at 2pm, is open to anyone and is free of charge. Donations will be collected for The Food Bank. 413-773-0333. 24 Federal Street.
  • Northampton – Located at Edwards Church, the MANNA Soup Kitchen generally offers a community Thanksgiving meal, and offers evening meals on Wednesdays and lunch on Saturdays year-round. 413-584-1757. 297 Main Street.
  • Great BarringtonThe Guthrie Center hosts a Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day for those in need or who are alone or without family. Doors open at 12:30pm and dinner starts at 1pm. Space is limited and participants should call to reserve space. 413-528-1955. 2 Van Deusenville Road.
  • Springfield –  Each year The Springfield Rescue Mission has a Thanksgiving Banquet, serving thousands of meals in the days surrounding Thanksgiving.  This provides a place where hungry and homeless men, women and families take part in a family-style holiday gathering, receiving a complete Thanksgiving meal in a warm, loving environment. The Mission hosts a Thanksgiving Meal Delivery, Thanksgiving Community Dinner and a Thanksgiving Community Breakfast. Volunteers are needed and will help prepare the Thanksgiving dining room and serve the dinner meal for residents and the public followed by clean up. They are also in need of food donations. 413-732-0808. 19 Bliss Street.

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Friday, November 28th, 2014

Friday, November 28, 9:30am-4pm – THANKSGIVING/HISTORY: Spend Thanksgiving weekend at Old Sturbridge Village and learn about Thanksgiving customs of the 19th Century. Watch a 19th-century shooting match, in which local villagers would compete for bragging rights and prizes – an old New England Thanksgiving tradition. There will also be an opportunity to learn about the history of Thanksgiving. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($$)

Friday, November 28, 9:30am-4:30pm – HOLIDAY GIFTS: Join Historic Deerfield for some thoughtful gift giving this holiday season – handcraft a special gift at the museum (free with museum admission – $$) and participate in the Community Action Holiday Gift Program. This is an opportunity for museum visitors to donate gifts to teens and kids ages 18 and under who might not otherwise receive any presents. Please donate toys, books, gift cards, and helpful items like tape and wrapping paper. The gift drive runs from November 28 through December 14 and is an opportunity to help young community members have a more joyous holiday season. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA.

Friday, November 28, 10am – SANTA: Skip Santa at the mall and head to Amelia Park Children’s Museum to see Santa arrive by helicopter! The spend time in the museum rather than the malls! 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA

Friday, November 28, 10am-12noon – SANTA: Welcome Santa to town at the Hotel Northampton!  See Santa arrive at the hotel on a firetruck and stay for activities, refreshments, and a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  413-584-3100.  36 King Street.  Northampton, MA.

11am, 12noon & 1pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Zoo on the Go will be at Sunderland Public Library with an educational program that brings live animals, artifacts, and other educational materials. Program for ages 0-5 at 11am; 6-11yrs at 12noon; and tw/eens at 1pm. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Friday, November 28, 10am-4pm – ART SALE: Snow Farm’s annual seconds sale takes place on weekends throughout November – there’s new art every weekend! Stop by to see what’s there and get a jump start on holiday shopping. Shop local and handmade for the holidays! There will even be an opportunity to MYO glass ornaments ($$). 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Road. Williamsburg, MA. (SALE)

Friday, November 28, 10am-5pm – AVIATION/HOLIDAYS: The New England Air Museum is holding their annual Santa visit and behind-the-scenes event the day after Thanksgiving. Come to the museum to meet Santa and pose for photos with him in front of some historic aircraft. Visitors can also tour the museum behind-the-scenes – check out the research library collection, restoration projects, and tons of vintage aircraft. Great for all ages, especially those interested in aviation! 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. Windsor Locks, CT. ($)

Friday, November 28, 10am-5pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Springfield Museums’ annual event to welcome the holiday season is here! “Holiday Wonderland and Lighting of the Quadrangle” begins at 10am, with special exhibitions, performances, and hands-on art activities. Then, at 5pm, the Museums and the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden light up to welcome Santa Claus to town. There will be live music and carols, hot chocolate, snacks, and horse-drawn wagon rides. The Lighting of the Quadrangle (5pm-7pm) is free and open to the public, while the Holiday Wonderland (10am-5pm) is free with museum admission ($$). 1-800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA.

Friday, November 28, 10am-5pm – FESTIVAL OF TREES: Join the Berkshire Museum on a wildlife expedition through the galleries with this year’s “Festival of Trees 2014 On Safari.” This  annual holiday event will feature more than 100 twinkling, tantalizing holiday trees decorated to evoke an exotic safari adventure. Visitors can expect to see lots of wonderful trees with animals incorporated into the designs – from cuddly stuffed animals to themes focused on the out-of-doors and wildlife. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Rte. 7. Pittsfield, MA (MUSEUM ADMISSION)

Friday, November 28, 10:30am-12:30pm – ICE SKATINGSmead Skating Arena is open for public skating.  Get the kids moving and skate off that pumpkin pie & extra serving of stuffing! Skates included with cost. 413-781-2599.  1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)

Friday, November 28, 10:30am-4pm – HISTORIC TRADE: Learn about paper marbling and redware pottery with Regina and Dan St. John, and Stephen Earp, at Historic Deerfield. Free with museum admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. ($)

Friday, November 28, 11am – HOLIDAY PARADE: The Spirit of Springfield’s annual Tower Square Parade of the Big Balloons is today!  This exciting parade takes place the day after Thanksgiving every year and features many large inflatable balloons.  The parade serves as an exciting way to welcome Santa Claus to town for the holiday season, and usually attracts up to 70,000 spectators!  Main Street.  Springfield, MA.

Friday, November 28, 2pm & 3pm – PUPPETRY: See Leo Lionni’s stories come to life at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Picture Book Theatre will perform Tico and the Golden Wings and Geraldine the Music Mouse with puppets and dancers. Fans Lionni’s work will love these unique performances! Tickets available in advance. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (>$)

Friday, November 28, 2-4pm – ICE SKATINGCollins/Moylan Arena is open for public skating. Bring the in-laws from out of town and enjoy time together on the ice! Skates included with cost. 413-772-6891.  41 Barr Avenue. Greenfield, MA ($)

Friday, November 28, 3-5pm – ICE SKATING: Fitzpatrick Skating Arena is open for public skating. Forget about shopping… get your kids on the ice and work those bodies, rather than your credit card at the malls! 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA ($)

Friday, November 28, 4pm-9pm – HOLIDAY WALK: The annual Moonlight Magic will be kicking off the holiday season in the village of Shelburne Falls! See the Lighting of the Village, meet Santa, hear local vocalists and instrumental groups, purchase from street vendors, go on trolley rides, and more. A great post Thanksgiving holiday tradition! Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Thursday, November 27, 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun!  Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display.  More information and a schedule available here.  Runs until the New Year.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Friday, November 28, 7:30-9:20pm – ICE SKATING: The UMass Mullins Center hosts a public night skate with HITS 94.3! Hit the ice to popular music and enjoy an evening moving around with your friends and family. 413-545-3001.  200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  >$

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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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