Suggested Events for November 18th – 24th, 2017

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

To find out about more event, be sure to visit our Suggest an Event Bulletin Board to see what our readers have recently shared! Have an event to share? Feel encouraged to self-post community events here at any time!

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program, or service-learning opportunity happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our Suggest An Event bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness, and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Click HERE to find out more.

Bulletin Board

Nov 18

Art Supporting Students – The annual Little Drummer Craft Fair returns to the Franklin County Technical School (82 Industrial Blvd) in Turners Falls on Saturday, November 18th from 9am-3:30pm. This juried craft fair features over 65 artists & craftspeople from throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond, presenting their unique handcrafted products. All proceeds help to fund scholarships for Franklin County Technical School students. Admission is free, free parking and completely ADA accessible. Lunch and baked goods available, prepared by FCTS culinary students.

Nov 18

Visit the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair, Saturday, November 18th 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 marionette performance by their Early Childhood teachers. Come experience the wonder that abounds at the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair! There is nothing else like it! Saturday, November 18th. 10:00am – 3:00pm, 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org

Nov 24-26

The Carle Museum Bookshop Holiday Sale! Shop local and save 15-50% off Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26 on unique toys, art supplies, and books signed by your favorite authors and artists. The museum has items for the whole family—picture book art t-shirts, tote bags, even Very Hungry Caterpillar socks and The Pigeon socks! They make it easy. Enjoy free parking. There is no admission price to shop in what Parents’ Choice calls “the very best bookstore for picture books in the entire world.” Become a member and save an additional 15% off. Save this weekend at The Carle – and give books – the gift that keeps on giving. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 W. Bay Road, Amherst, MA. www.carlemuseum.org

Dec 2

Saturday, Dec. 2nd: The Center School Open House: Rumpus & Yggdrasil, 9am-2:30pm. Center School, serving children 18 months – 14 years of age in Hampshire & Franklin counties will open its doors for their annual Rumpus & semi-annual Yggdrasil event. Classrooms will be open & teachers are all offering nature-based activities for all ages. Make a fairy house, print a t-shirt, create a power staff, & more. Meet teachers, parents, & students & learn about the Center School community, approach & philosophy. Visit their indoor, enchanted forest, Yggdrasil, complete with 9 magical realms including the Dragon Academy, Transfiguration, Archery, Sensorium, & more. Activities are free. All families are welcome. Rumpus Cafe offers snacks for purchase.

The Common School, serving children ages 3-12, is accepting applications for Fall 2018. The Common School’s mission is to develop strong academic and social skills while nurturing each child’s love of learning, respect and compassion for others, and a deep commitment to the natural world. The Common School provides admissions tours Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, please contact Dana Kadish, Director of Admissions at outreach@commonschool.org or visit their website at www.commonschool.org.

Add your class

Hilltown Families has put together an After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs Directory of classes and programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners and our directory makes it easier to find these gems while connecting families with resources that support their interests and education. — Have a class or program you’d like to include in our directory? Click here to find out how to have it added. New and updated opportunities are added throughout the year.

Add your school

Hilltown Families Preschool Directory: Are you looking for a preschool that fits your child’s personality and reflects your family’s values? Check out our growing Preschool Directory, covering all four counties in Western Massachusetts, and find the perfect place for your young one! — Have a school you’d like to include in this list? Click here to find out how to have it added.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business, 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 advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at at sales@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 18 – 24, 2017

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Cultural Itineraries | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Storyhour & Playgroups| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

  Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming 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. Steve Slater and Jenn Ekman are The Dilly Dallies. As parents themselves, they fully understand that children will listen to their music over and over again, therefore they approach their songwriting with the explicit intention of writing music that will be enjoyed by both parent and child. Whimsical, fun, catchy and relatable, The Dilly Dallies have a great sound that will appeal to children, and won’t annoy the parents. 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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Saturday, November 18, 9am-1pm
FARMERS’ MARKET/LOCAL FOOD/BEEKEEPING
The Pittsfield Farmers’ Market is kicking off their indoor season this Saturday! In addition to all the local vendors and craftspeople, at this event there will be a special presentation from the beekeepers at Luna Vista Honey. They will be sharing their skills and knowledge about beekeeping, especially focusing on how bees function in the winter and how to keep them warm and safe in cold weather. Bees are a vital part of local ecosystems and food production! This Saturday children can also enjoy face painting and balloon animals. 74 First Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 18. 9am-3:30pm
CRAFT FAIR
Art Supporting Students – The annual Little Drummer Craft Fair returns to the Franklin County Technical School (82 Industrial Blvd) in Turners Falls on Saturday, November 18th from 9am-3:30pm. This juried craft fair features over 65 artists & craftspeople from throughout the Pioneer Valley and beyond, presenting their unique handcrafted products. All proceeds help to fund scholarships for Franklin County Technical School students. Admission is free, free parking and completely ADA accessible. Lunch and baked goods available, prepared by FCTS culinary students. Turners Falls, MA

Saturday, November 18, 9:30am-4pm
ANIME/COMICS
The Springfield City Library will be hosting Chibiconn, a two-day event celebrating anime and comics. On Saturday, there will be a film festival from 9:30am-12:30pm, cosplay iron chef from 12:30-2pm, and drawing class with Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Comics from 2-4pm. Free snacks will be provided. It is recommended to register for this event ahead of time; you can register online at www.springfieldlibrary.org. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, November 18, 10am-12pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/ARCHITECTURE
The educational benefits of playing with blocks have been well known to developmental psychologists for years. Psychologist Rachel Keen argues that this type of free play is an excellent way to “encourage problem solving.” Blocks can improve motor and spatial skills, as well as creative thinking, and collaborative and social skills. At this Pop-Up Play Day, hosted by Berkshire Museum, children will have the opportunity to play with oversized, colorful architectural blocks. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA (FREE w/Museum Admission)

Saturday, November 18, 10-11:15am
YOGA
Yoga for Young Children at the Whately Library (ages 5-7). A story, some games, and an art activity will introduce yoga poses, breath work, inquiry and self-reflection to your young child. This fun class will offer structure with plenty of room for spontaneity with restorative poses for relaxation—all in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment. Please sign up to reserve your spot today by emailing, calling or stopping by. 413-665-2170. Whatley Library. S. Dickinson Memorial Library. 202 Chestnut Plain Ave. Whately, MA (FREE)

Saturday, November 18, 10am-12noon
ACTIVISM/TEEN GIRLS
Jo Comerford, National Campaign Director for MoveOn.org, presents her “Activism 101 (for Girls)” workshop for girls ages 12-16, focused around the question, “How can you create positive change when you can’t even vote?” Girls will learn how to plan, structure, and launch campaigns that can have an impact on the world around them. Learn how to set goals, brainstorm creative strategies and tactics, and measure success. Preregistration in requested. Complete workshop information is available at www.athenagirls.com. CLICK Workspace. 9½ Market Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, November 18, 10am-3pm
HOLIDAY FAIR
Visit the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair! Enjoy King Winter, roving musicians, unique crafts to make and buy, candle dipping, jump rope making, games, food, and pony rides. See the marionette performance by their Early Childhood teachers. Come experience the wonder that abounds at the Hartsbrook School Holiday Fair. 193 Bay Road. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 18, 10am-4pm
HORTICULTURE/FLOWERS
“Chrysanthemum” is a beautiful word for an equally beautiful family of flowers. The word is derived from the Greek words chrysos (gold) and anthemon (flower), though it refers to many different types of flowers in a range of colors and appearances. You can explore various chrysanthemums at The Botanic Garden of Smith College’s Fall Chrysanthemum Show. The Fall Mum Show has been a popular college and community tradition since the early 1900s and showcases the hybridizing experiments of the horticulture class. The show runs daily through November 19th. The conservatory will be open 10am-4pm daily and have extended hours 10am-8pm on Fridays. Parking info. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 18, 11am
FAMILY PERFORMANCE
David Grover is a Berkshires favorite who led Arlo Guthrie’s band for many years. David has performed and written with many talented musicians, including Pete Seeger and Doc Watson. His ability to connect with people of all ages creates a powerful sense of unity, and is a rousing crowd-pleaser. David will be performing accompanied by his daughter Jessica on bass. 413-997-4444. The Garage at the Colonial Theatre. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, November 18, 10:30-11:30am
PALEONTOLOGY/DINOSAURS
STEAM Adventure Club at the Gaylord Memorial Library this month is all about dinosaurs. Engaging children in dinosaur-related learning allows them not only to learn about the prehistoric beasts, but presents opportunities for lots of other types of learning as well. Learning to identify dinosaur species can help young children practice putting words to specific characteristics related to a species’ shape, size, and coloring, while for older learners, species identification serves as a means of understanding the role of each specific body part that distinguishes one type from the next – information that can help children to understand animal adaptations and evolution. Additionally, dinosaur studies supports children in learning about the climate- and landscape-related changes that the Earth undergoes over time. All ages welcome. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

DINOSAURS/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Visit the Springfield MuseumsDinosaur Hall – a permanent exhibit – with replicas of dinosaur skeletons, including some from creatures once found in the Connecticut River Valley. Another museum resource available to families year-round is Amherst College’s Beneski Museum of Natural History offers dinosaur-enthusiasts a look at what Amherst might have looked like when dinosaurs – rather than college students – roamed. In addition to dinosaur-related exhibits, the Beneski Museum’s collections include thousands of vertebrate and invertebrate specimens recovered using the same paleontological techniques used to unearth dinosaur fossils. Hampshire County.

Saturday, November 18, 1-4pm
CULINARY ARTS/CULTURAL HERITAGE
Packages of fresh or frozen tortellini are available at most American grocery stores; however, making your own tortellini is a fun, satisfying way to connect with your Italian heritage and to learn about food culture. Even if you are not Italian, you can come to the Italian Heritage Center and learn how to make this delicious food, fresh at home. Please bring an apron. Adults and children are welcome. Take home what you make. Call 860-305-1175 to request a registration form and to check seating availability. 56 Margaret Street. Springfield, MA. ($$)

GARDENING
By learning to save seeds, children can take an active role in helping beautiful, delicious, and fascinating varieties of fruits and vegetables stick around – in our gardens, on our plates, and in our bellies – for generations to come. And in doing so, they’ll get lots of solid hands-on experience with gardening, plant anatomy, and proper seed (and perhaps food) preservation techniques. A handful of upcoming community events offer valuable opportunities for families to learn about seed saving and to participate in community-based seed saving projects. In attending an event (or two, or three), families are sure to learn skills and information, and will be able to build a foundation of knowledge upon which to begin their own seed saving practices. Additionally, local organizations, Red Gate Farm Seed Bank and Hilltown Seed Savers, are local resources for seeds and seed-saving information, educational programs, and support for beginning seed-savers.

Saturday, November 18, 1-4pm
SEED SAVING/BOTANY
Once you’ve reaped the delicious benefits of a summer’s harvest, look further than your plate in order to find a purpose for what you’ve grown. Seed saving is a fantastic way to practice self sufficiency and resilience, and also helps to preserve plant varieties for years to come. In addition to the cultural and agricultural value of holding onto these plants (and their seeds), practicing seed saving at home is a great way to engage in hands-on science learning. You can learn more at the Hilltown Seed Saving Network’s 6th Annual Fall Seed Exchange! People of all levels of experience are welcome and you do not need to bring seeds to attend. The event will begin with a presentation, “Planting Seeds for Pollinators.” Out of concern for declining populations of native bee and butterfly species, Amy has created a local nursery focused on plants that serve the needs of pollinators by providing nectar, pollen and larval forage. The seed exchange will begin following presentation. Participants will have plenty of time to browse and help themselves to the dozens of home grown varieties of tomatoes, beans, kale, wildflowers, and many other crops, as well as to discuss growing and saving seed with seed growers and savers. Come with seeds or without; all are welcome. If you cannot attend the seed exchange but wish to drop off seed, do so any time after 12noon. 413-475-2692. Cummington Community House. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA (>$)

Saturday, November 18, 3pm
PERFORMANCE ART/CLOWNING
Piti Theatre’s Jonathan Mirin in Sammy and the Grand Buffet! Piti Theatre Co. brings their new all ages physical comedy to the Shea Theater – an American (Clown) in Paris, Sammy needs to prepare his boss’s restaurant for that evening’s Grand Buffet. He does his best with the To Do List but . . . it’s not easy being Sammy. Forty magic, music and happy accident-filled minutes later, the Grand Buffet will be served by our hero to an unusually adventurous group of local children traveling abroad. Sammy is inspired by Chaplin, Keaton, Calvin and Hobbes and the 1947 film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Performed by two time IRNE Award nominated actor Jonathan Mirin and written/directed by Mirin and Godeliève Richard in collaboration with Avner Eisenberg (aka Avner the Eccentric), considered one of the leading clowns in the U.S. Same day clowning/theatre workshops for adults (10:30 – noon) and young people ages 8 – 14 who want to be part of the show (1:30 – 2:30 pm). 1-800-838-3006. The Shea Theater Arts Center, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA ($)

Saturday, November 18, 4pm
CHILDREN’S LITERATURE/PERFORMANCE
Experience the Book Event: Matilda Reads Roald Dahl at the Greenfield Public Library. Celebrating the work of Roald Dahl, the GPL presents the 21st “Experience the Book” event for families, featuring actors as Dahl’s wonderful characters in a short play, followed by themed treats and crafts. Meet Matilda, the BFG, Charlie and Willy Wonka, and more friends from the whimsical world of Dahl. Sign up at the kids’ desk. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, November 18, 7pm
THEATER PERFORMANCE
Black Cat Theater presents Nunsense II: The second coming. This show could easily be subtitled “the rest of the story.” The sequel to the international hit musical NUNSENSE takes place approximately six weeks after the first “benefit performance.” The same five nuns are back on stage at Mt. Saint Helen’s School for what is billed as a “Thank You Program” for their supporters. You will also meet Sister Julia, the cook, and some of the Sisters who are teachers, as well as part of the Mt. Saint Helen’s student body. Since their first time out was such a success, they have decided that they should stick to their successful variety show formula. This time they are forced to work around the set dressing of “The Mikado” which is being presented the following week by the Hoboken Music Society on the Mt. Saint Helen’s stage. 413-563-6023. South Hadley High School. 153 Newton Street. South Hadley, MA ($)

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Click HERE to discover classes. Click HERE to find out about other community events. Click HERE to leave a comment about upcoming events.

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores of 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 select from over 10 years of archived shows!

RECIPES
Dinner
on Thanksgiving Day is a meal when extended family and friends come together to celebrate and share the harvest. It’s a holiday when we talk a lot about food, sharing cooking tips and family recipes. In year’s past we ask our readers to share what they serve for their Thanksgiving Dinner and to offer cooking tips, starting with kitchen tips on how to cook a turkey, followed by a request for favorite vegetarian dishes to cook up too. Read more in our post, Thanksgiving Dinner: Tips & Recipes.

Sunday, November 19, 10am
GRATITUDE/JEWISH TRADITIONS
PJ Preschool Pals Presents: Giving Thanks Everyday. Giving thanks is a value shared by many cultures. Explore Jewish traditions of gratitude and create beautiful gratitude jars – a ritual we can take to our dinner tables – on Thanksgiving and all year round. Every PJ Pals begins with play time in the Kindergarten classroom, songs, and stories, and concludes with a Tumble and Play session in our sunny multi-purpose room. Especially for ages 3-5 and their grownups – all are welcome. 413-584-6622. Lander Grinspoon Academy. 257 Prospect St. Northampton, MA (>$)

Sunday, November 19, 10am-noon
MINDFULNESS/INTERGENERATIONAL
Experience mindfulness meditation with the whole family in a warm, community environment. Mindfulness meditation is an effective way to reduce stress and Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley is inviting families to come celebrate with them, learn some mindfulness exercises, make art together, and enjoy snacks and music. Parents will also engage in a discussion on the theme of ‘friendship.’ During this discussion, childcare will be provided. mrhandsomelady@gmail.com. 116 Pleasant Street, Suite 242. Easthampton, MA (Suggested donation $)

Sunday, November 19, 10am-4pm
HORTICULTURE/FLOWERS
“Chrysanthemum” is a beautiful word for an equally beautiful family of flowers. The word is derived from the Greek words chrysos (gold) and anthemon (flower), though it refers to many different types of flowers in a range of colors and appearances. You can explore various chrysanthemums at The Botanic Garden of Smith College’s Fall Chrysanthemum Show. The Fall Mum Show has been a popular college and community tradition since the early 1900s and showcases the hybridizing experiments of the horticulture class. The show runs daily through November 19th. The conservatory will be open 10am-4pm daily and have extended hours 10am-8pm on Fridays. Parking info. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, November 19, 12:30-4pm
ANIME/COMICS
The Springfield City Library will be hosting Chibiconn, a two-day event celebrating anime and comics. On Sunday, there will be a trivia contest from 12:30-2pm, a costume contest from 2-3:30pm, and an art contest with prizes from 3:30-4pm. Free snacks will be provided. It is recommended to register for this event ahead of time; you can register online at www.springfieldlibrary.org. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA (FREE)

Sunday, November 19, 2pm
THEATER PERFORMANCE
Black Cat Theater presents Nunsense II: The second coming. This show could easily be subtitled “the rest of the story.” The sequel to the international hit musical NUNSENSE takes place approximately six weeks after the first “benefit performance.” The same five nuns are back on stage at Mt. Saint Helen’s School for what is billed as a “Thank You Program” for their supporters. You will also meet Sister Julia, the cook, and some of the Sisters who are teachers, as well as part of the Mt. Saint Helen’s student body. Since their first time out was such a success, they have decided that they should stick to their successful variety show formula. This time they are forced to work around the set dressing of “The Mikado” which is being presented the following week by the Hoboken Music Society on the Mt. Saint Helen’s stage. 413-563-6023. South Hadley High School. 153 Newton Street. South Hadley, MA ($)

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

ICE SKATING
People have been skating on ice for many hundreds of years, although this “early” skating was pragmatic rather than recreational. “Skate” is derived from the Dutch word “schaats,” which means leg bone, as the first skates were simply lengths of animal bone strapped to the bottom of boots. When wood, and then iron, blades were introduced as a replacement to bone, skaters gained more control and speed, and skating for sport and fun began to rise. Our local skating culture traces its roots to Scottish immigrants, who brought skates with them when they resettled in the U.S., and can be a great topic to explore on and off the ice while learning about world and New England culture and history. Find local skating resources in our post, 24 Ice Skating Rinks in Western Mass.

Monday, November 20, 6pm
WORLD HISTORY/LITERATURE
American Writers and the Great War with Barry Deitz at the Greenfield Public Library. Join local presenter Barry Deitz for American Writers and the Great War. Learn how some of our country’s greatest authors were impacted by World War I and how it influenced their fiction and their lives. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Cheshire, Easthampton, Florence, Gill, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hatfiled, Huntington, Lanesborough, Lee, Ludlow, New Salem, North Adams, Sheffield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Ware & West Springfield.

GARDENING
By learning to save seeds, children can take an active role in helping beautiful, delicious, and fascinating varieties of fruits and vegetables stick around – in our gardens, on our plates, and in our bellies – for generations to come. And in doing so, they’ll get lots of solid hands-on experience with gardening, plant anatomy, and proper seed (and perhaps food) preservation techniques. A handful of upcoming community events offer valuable opportunities for families to learn about seed saving and to participate in community-based seed saving projects. In attending an event (or two, or three), families are sure to learn skills and information, and will be able to build a foundation of knowledge upon which to begin their own seed saving practices. Additionally, local organizations, Red Gate Farm Seed Bank and Hilltown Seed Savers, are local resources for seeds and seed-saving information, educational programs, and support for beginning seed-savers.

VALUE-BASED ENGAGEMENT
Engaging in opportunities for collaborative consumption invites the acquisition of knowledge related to many themes through authentic use of community-based resources and community members. Emphasizing togetherness, opportunities for collaborative consumption are often intergenerational, allowing young community members to work alongside and learn from people of all ages, sharing skills, stories and knowledge. Additionally, collaborative consumption emphasizes cooperation, allowing families to learn how to work together and with others toward a shared goal of community resilience – the strength and cohesiveness to survive and thrive through challenges big and small. Read more about collaborative consumption in our post Collaborative Consumption: Learning How to be Resilient Supports Community-Based Education.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Athol, Becket, Belchertown, Bernardston, Cummington, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Erving, Granby, Greenfield, Huntington, Leverett, Monson, New Marlborough, North Adams, Northampton, Sheffield, Shelburne Falls, South Deerfield, Springfield, Turners Falls, Wendell, West Springfield, and Williamsburg.

COMMUNITY-BASED RESOURCES
Though western Massachusetts isn’t known as a sports mecca, it’s filled with communitybased resources for exploring sports and the history behind them. As the birthplace of at least two major sports and home to teams and clubs engaging in a great many more, the area offers a variety of ways to learn about sports of all kind. Read more in our post, Exploring Athletics and Sports History Through Community-Based Resources.

Wednesday, November 22, 1-2:30pm
COMMUNITY MEAL/SERVICE-BASED LEARNING
Join the Amherst Survival Center for their annual Community Thanksgiving Meal the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Amherst. If you’d like to volunteer to clean up or bring a prepared food dish, let Tracey know in advance by email at Tracey@amherstsurvival.org. But most importantly, join in for this community meal. Immanuel Lutheran Church. 867 N Pleasant St. Amherst, MA (FREE/VOLUNTEER)

Wednesday, November 22, 6pm
TREE LIGHTING/PLACEMAKING
Annual Tree Lighting at Monument Square on Main St. (between the First Congregational and First Baptist Churches). Come count down the seconds until the switch is thrown and thousands of twinkling lights adorn the downtown. As soon as Main Street lights up the Drury High School Band and Band Front will lead the way with festive songs for the North Adams Fire Department’s fire engine as it makes its way through downtown with Santa Claus. Santa and his helpers will bring gifts for the first 500 children. (Rain Date: Fri., Dec 1). Main Street. North Adams, MA (FREE)

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

RECIPES
Dinner
on Thanksgiving Day is a meal when extended family and friends come together to celebrate and share the harvest. It’s a holiday when we talk a lot about food, sharing cooking tips and family recipes. In year’s past we ask our readers to share what they serve for their Thanksgiving Dinner and to offer cooking tips, starting with kitchen tips on how to cook a turkey, followed by a request for favorite vegetarian dishes to cook up too. Read more in our post, Thanksgiving Dinner: Tips & Recipes.

NATURE-BASED SCAVENGER HUNT
BNRC’s self-guided scavenger hunt is here! Download their scavenger hunt and seek out special features on BNRC properties around the Berkshires and win a prize: Scavenger Hunt (PDF)

SELF-GUIDED HIKES
In Western MA we are so fortunate to have easy access to nature in our communities through local trails, nature preserves, and forests. This diversity of options inspires naturalists and conservation-minded enthusiasts to lead guided walks, hikes, and river paddling trips, teaching the richness of our local landscapes and biodiversity. Find our about guided & self-guided hikes and Vistas in our Sept/Oct Season edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA.

VALUE-BASED ENGAGEMENT
Engaging in opportunities for collaborative consumption invites the acquisition of knowledge related to many themes through authentic use of community-based resources and community members. Emphasizing togetherness, opportunities for collaborative consumption are often intergenerational, allowing young community members to work alongside and learn from people of all ages, sharing skills, stories and knowledge. Additionally, collaborative consumption emphasizes cooperation, allowing families to learn how to work together and with others toward a shared goal of community resilience – the strength and cohesiveness to survive and thrive through challenges big and small. Read more about collaborative consumption in our post Collaborative Consumption: Learning How to be Resilient Supports Community-Based Education.

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Storyhour & Playgroups: Amherst, Belchertown, Cummington, East Longmeadow, Easthampton, Florence, Granby, Great Barrington, Greenfield, Hadley, Housatonic, Longmeadow, Monson, Northampton, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Stockbridge, and Sunderland.

ICE SKATING
People have been skating on ice for many hundreds of years, although this “early” skating was pragmatic rather than recreational. “Skate” is derived from the Dutch word “schaats,” which means leg bone, as the first skates were simply lengths of animal bone strapped to the bottom of boots. When wood, and then iron, blades were introduced as a replacement to bone, skaters gained more control and speed, and skating for sport and fun began to rise. Our local skating culture traces its roots to Scottish immigrants, who brought skates with them when they resettled in the U.S., and can be a great topic to explore on and off the ice while learning about world and New England culture and history. Find local skating resources in our post, 24 Ice Skating Rinks in Western Mass.

Friday, November 24
BLACK FRIDAY ALTERNATIVE/MUSEUM ADVENTURES

The Carle Museum Bookshop Holiday Sale! Shop local and save 15-50% off Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26 on unique toys, art supplies, and books signed by your favorite authors and artists. The museum has items for the whole family—picture book art t-shirts, tote bags, even Very Hungry Caterpillar socks and The Pigeon socks! They make it easy. Enjoy free parking. There is no admission price to shop in what Parents’ Choice calls “the very best bookstore for picture books in the entire world.” Become a member and save an additional 15% off. Save this weekend at The Carle – and give books – the gift that keeps on giving. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 W. Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (SALE)

Friday, November 24, 10am-4pm
MYO GIFT
Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s that glassblowing was raised to the level of art. This weekend families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glass blower in the glass studio. This program is suitable for ages eight and up. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Road. Williamsburg, MA. ($$)

Friday, November 24, 10am-7pm
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Kick off the holiday season with the Springfield Museums! Starting at 11am is the Spirit of Springfield Big Balloon Parade, led by the giant Cat in the Hat balloon, the Spirit of Springfield parade will travel Main Street from Lyman Street to Locust Street at 11 am. Kick off the holiday season with the Springfield Museums. At 11am is the Spirit of Springfield Big Balloon Parade led by the giant Cat in the Hat balloon Travel from the parade to the Museums for a day filled with family-friendly, fun activities. See amazing gingerbread creations by local bakeries, schools, adults, and kids displayed along with festively decorated holiday trees, enchanting lights, and a backdrop of beautifully painted murals celebrating popular sci-fi and the wonders of astronomy. Meet the Grinch, the furry green recluse who lives above Whoville, sing carols, support interest with museum displays, and so much more. The Lighting of the Quadrangle happens at 5pm. The spectacular architecture and beautifully landscaped grounds of the Quadrangle will sparkle and shimmer against a dazzling outdoor lighting display. This festive holiday celebration features appearances by Santa Claus and the Grinch, rides on a fanciful train, performances of holiday music by the Sci Tech Band and special guests, visits to the Gingerbread in Space exhibition and free warm cider and cookies! 413-263-6800. Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA (FREE w/Museum Admission)

Friday, November 24, 4-9pm
HOLIDAY STROLL
Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls will once again kick off the holiday season. The popular annual “festival of lights” features thousands of luminaria lighting up the village filled with an eclectic variety of stores, galleries, and restaurants offering special holiday promotions, in-store treats, and holiday cheer. Vendors from across the valley contribute a rich assortment of items, including baked goods, maple products hand-crafted in the region, arts and crafts, delicious food, and hot drinks. The Iron Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic creating a pedestrian mall so shoppers can stroll back and forth across the Deerfield River enjoying events and shops on both sides of the river. At 5:15pm, shortly after the town officially lights up, the Parade of Lights will begin in Buckland across from Lamson Factory Outlet Store, featuring Santa, the Grinch and Max, Clifford, and the Snow Princess. The Parade marches down Conway Street, through the Village of Buckland and then crosses the Iron Bridge into Shelburne. Santa and Mrs. Claus continue to Santa’s Workshop at the Shelburne-Buckland Senior Center on Main Street. 413-625-2526. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chester, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Heath, Holyoke, Ludlow, Montague, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, Russell, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Ware, and Warwick Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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