Suggested Events for January 6th – 12th, 2018

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Join us for our 10th Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! Here’s what one of our participants had to say last year about the swap: “I participated in this swap last year for the first time. I LOVED making the Valentine’s for my list of folks. I am not usually very excited about the mail but this event made me excited for the mail to come. This is such an uplifting way to celebrate a day that can be lonely sometimes. Thank you for this activity. Count me in again!” – Carla D. (Chicopee)

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.

Hilltown Families’ Annual Handmade Valentine Swap Turns 10!

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families’ Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past nine years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again!

Bulletin Board

Jan & Feb

Start the weekend off right with Amherst Cinema’s Family Films Series on Saturdays in January and February! From live action to animation and from classics to new releases, this diverse film lineup is sure to delight kids big and small. Witness the power of friendship in On Wheels on Jan 6, journey to the Arctic in Long Way North on Jan 13, enter a dream world in Napping Princess on Jan 20, and ease on down the yellow brick road in The Wiz on Jan 27. For tickets, more info, and February film titles visit:

Jan 13

The New England Air Museum will hold its first Open Cockpit Day for 2018 on Saturday, January 13 from 10am-4pm. Special activities include climb aboard experiences in historic aircraft; flight simulators; hands-on Build & Fly Challenges, and much more! A variety of aircraft will be open for visitors including the WWII era Republic P-47D, the Vietnam War era Bell UH-1B “Huey” helicopter, as well as supersonic jet fighters including the North American F-100 Super Sabre jet fighter and the Lockheed F-104C Starfighter. All activities are free with museum admission. For more info and directions, please visit or call 860-623-3305. The New England Air Museum is located in Windsor Locks, CT adjacent to Bradley International Airport.

Jan 20

Amherst Montessori School invites families to an Open House on Saturday, January 20th from 10am-12pm. Meet teachers and administrators, tour AMS’ beautiful school in South Amherst, and learn about the hands-on, child-lead Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. Amherst Montessori is a warm, safe, and supportive community that nurtures a lifelong love of learning. Learn more and register online at

Stoneleigh-Burnham School offers unique summer experiences for girls in riding, debate, dance, art and animation. Signature summer programs, hosted by expert faculty on a full-service campus, blend intensive skill development with summer camp fun and adventure. Camps emphasize the development of confidence, the acquisition of skills, and the discovery of new talents and abilities, and adhere to the same high standards set at Stoneleigh-Burnham during the academic year. Programs make use of the school’s outstanding facilities, and campers live in the dormitories with supervision from resident faculty and dorm parents. Registration is now open. Visit, email, or call 413-774-2711 x256.

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

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

January 6th – 12th, 2018


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, January 6, 2018

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 This week, we’ll enjoy a “New Year Dance Party” with Award-winning Peruvian-American bilingual kindie music phenomenon Twinkle. Twinkle brings all genres of dance music  -pop, electronic dance, rock, and hip-hop as she spins the hottest dance tracks for the kindie generation. 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, January 6, 10:30am
Get out of the cold for a bit with a heart-warming family film at Amherst Cinema. This series of family films features both classics and new favorites. “On Wheels” is the inspiring tale of a young man in a wheelchair, who goes off on a road trip unlike any other with his classmate to find her lost father. This acclaimed film celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the joys of friendship. For more information and to order tickets, please visit Amherst Cinema. Amherst, MA ($)

Saturday, January 6, 12:30-4pm
For millions in Latin America and elsewhere, the celebration of Christmas actually doesn’t end until the 12th day of Christmas, January 6th, known as ‘Epiphany’ or ‘Three Kings Day.’ This day commemorates the adoration of the infant Jesus by the Three Kings, or Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. According to legend, these three men travelled from Europe, Arabia, and Africa to pay homage to Jesus. The celebration of this holiday varies in different culture but in Mexico, it is celebrated by eating a mile long cake! Come join in this festival at the 18th Annual Three Kings Day Festival, hosted by Nueva Esperanza. There will be festive treats and donated gifts from the community toy drive. For more information visit Nueva Esperanza. Holyoke, MA (FREE)

Saturday, January 6, 1-4pm
Human beings have been using snowshoes for over 6,000 years and skis for more than 10,000! In fact, Otzi, the famous ‘iceman’ of the Alps, whose mummy had been preserved for 5,000 years when he was found in 1991, was wearing snowshoes when he died. The type of webbed snowshoes that most modern pairs are modelled on, however, was most likely developed by the indigenous people of North America. This winter come on up to Northfield Mountain for a special free skiing and snowshoeing clinic. No experience necessary, equipment provided. For more information and to register, please visit Northfield Mountain Recreation Center. This event is suitable for children ages 8 and above. Northfield, MA (FREE)

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

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 Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime – click here to select from over 10 years of archived shows!

Sunday, January 7, 10am-12pm
The Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of Northampton and Easthampton that features an incredible amount of biological diversity. The sanctuary contains forests, meadows, and marshlands. This event gives you the opportunity to experience and explore Arcadia in the winter. This gentle, relaxing walk will focus on seasonal changes, looking for animal tracks, and listening for bird songs. For more information and to register, please visit Mass Audubon. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Easthampton, MA ($)

Sunday, January 7, 1-4pm
Start the new year off on a positive note, at the Clark Art Institute. The new year is a wonderful time to reconnect with yourself and gain strength for the times ahead. This event celebrates new beginnings, inner strength, and positive reflection. There will be a guided gallery tour focusing on loving awareness. Visitors will also have the opportunity to attend an open studio and create works of art that celebrate their hopes and dreams for the new year. For more information visit Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, January 7, 1-4pm
In his 1941 State of the Union address, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, identified four basic freedoms that everybody in the world ought to be able to enjoy: freedom of worship, freedom of speech, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The Four Freedoms Coalition has been working locally in the Berkshire region to promote this ideal. Join the Four Freedoms Coalition for an afternoon of songs and spoken word celebrating solidarity and standing against discrimination and hatred. This event will also feature an open house where community members can connect with partner organizations and other groups supporting resilience and connectedness. For more information visit Songs and Sounds of Solidarity. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

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Monday, January 8, 2018

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

Storyhour & Playgroups: East Longmeadow, Pelham & Whately

Monday, January 8, 1:30pm
According to the American National Standards Institute, sound is defined as “(a) Oscillation in pressure, stress, particle displacement, particle velocity, etc., propagated in a medium with internal forces (e.g., elastic or viscous), or the superposition of such propagated oscillation. (b) Auditory sensation evoked by the oscillation described in (a).” This special edition of STEM storytime will focus on sound waves and how they work. For more information and to register, please visit West Springfield Public Library. This event is suitable for children ages 3-5. West Springfield Public Library. West Springfield, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

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.

Tuesday, January 9, 7-9pm
Are you interested in learning more about how racial issues and problems affect our area? And how community members can take action to create change? The Coming Together Project is a local initiative that seeks to understand how racism impacts our region. This event will feature a screening of short videos by comedian and Daily Show host Trevor Noah. As a native South African, Noah’s humorous and astute observations about race in America offer a unique perspective. Following the screening, audience members can participate in a discussion on some of the issues raised in the videos. For more information please visit Jones Library. Amherst, MA (FREE)

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

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.

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.

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.

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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Thursday, January 11, 2018

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

Storyhour & Playgroups: Agawam, Amherst, Athol, Belchertown, East Longmeadow, Florence, Gill, Greenfield, Hatfield, Huntington, Lee, Lenox, Millers Falls, Montague, Northampton, Sheffield, South Hadley, and Turners Falls.

Thursday, January 11, 6pm
For over a hundred years, Mountain Park in Holyoke was one of the regions most beloved places. In the late 19th century, it was purchased and developed into a resort featuring a casino, an amphitheater, and even a small zoo. A trolley ran to the summit of Mount Tom, where President William McKinley stated that the view was “the most beautiful in the world.” Since the 1980s, the park declined sharply and eventually was abandoned. It has recently been revitalized, thanks to the efforts of local entrepreneurs. Attend a screening of “Mountain Park Memories,” a film that celebrates the history of this local site. For more information please visit Gaylord Memorial Library. Gaylord Memorial Library. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

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Friday, January 12, 2018

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.

Friday, January 12, 4-8pm
Human beings have been making stained and colored glass for thousands of years. The ancient Eastern Mediterranean kingdom of Phoenicia was one of the first major centers of colored glass production and in time both the Egyptians and Romans excelled in this craft. Stained glass, as an artform, reached its peak in the medieval period, when it was used by European Christian churches to teach lay people about the bible. To this day, many of the most famous and beautiful pieces of stained glass can be found in cathedrals and churches. Come make your own stained glass style artwork inspired by the Edward Burne-Jones stained glass window on the third floor of the Smith College Art Museum. For more information visit Smith College Art Museum. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Friday, January 12, 7-9pm
During the dark days of winter, it is more important than ever to get out of the house for a bit. The Great Falls Discovery Center is hosting a monthly Coffeehouse evening featuring some of the best local musicians! This month treat yourself to the music of finger-guitar stylist Caleb Wetherbee. Wetherbee mixes both contemporary and traditional folk music, ballads, and solo guitar favorites in the style of Fats Waller. Wetherbee’s smooth baritone and six-string guitar are sure to sooth and enchant. For more information, please visit Great Falls Discovery Center. Turners Falls, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)

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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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