Suggested Events for October 27th – November 2nd, 2018
If 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.
Serving 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.
After-School Classes & Enrichment Programs
Our community is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and life-long learners. We have put together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts throughout the school year. Many of these programs aren’t just for kids, so to all the adults out there – feel encouraged to pursue your interests and honor your callings through these enrichment classes, too!
If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.
Awaken your child’s capacities! Without rush and deeply rooted, Hartsbrook provides an inspired, authentic curriculum within a nurturing community. Teachers support students on their unique journey towards balance, confidence, self-determination, and making a difference in the world. Come experience the school for yourself at The Hartsbrook School’s Fall Open House, 10 am to noon on Saturday, November 3rd. PreK through high school. Student work will be on display and teachers will be available for your questions. All ages welcome. 193 Bay Road, Hadley. 413-586-1908. www.hartsbrook.org
WGBY Kids Fan Day at the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. puts popular educational TV programming front-and-center with a full day of activities. With over a dozen education-focused community organizations — not to mention live PBS KIDS characters Daniel Tiger, Curious George, and The Cat in the Hat — public television station WGBY is hosting a PBS KIDS fan fair that showcases award winning educational content and provides a family-friendly day of creativity and fun. You’ll enjoy live kids’ music, animals, delectable treats courtesy of local partners, sessions with children’s authors, and creativity stations. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wgby.org/fanday.
Accepting applications for Fall 2019. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 225 students in kindergarten through grade 9. At Bement, the innovative educational approach and rigorous curriculum prepare students well for competitive secondary schools and to tackle the challenges of life. Students work hard, learn to overcome obstacles, persevere with joy and optimism, develop a strong sense of self, and find ways to help others. Children and adults at Bement work together to create a community where all members cultivate mutual respect and understanding within the school and the world. For info on how to arrange a campus visit, call 413-774-4209 or visit www.bement.org.
Reach thousands of families in the region with our 2018-2019 directory! Reserve your space. Our community is rich in after-school learning opportunities to supplement the interests of our children, teens, and life-long learners. We are putting together a directory of after-school & weekend classes and enrichment programs happening across Western Massachusetts to be published on our web site later this month and featured throughout the school year. If you have a class or program you would like to have included in our directory, contact us at email@example.com to learn about our advertising options and sponsorship packages.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOIN 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 email@example.com.
LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
October 27th – November 2nd, 2018
Saturday, October 27th, 2018
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. HFVS Happy Haunted Halloween Episode with guest hosts Mr. Singer and his 10-year-old nephew, Connor Thomas Martin, is an hour of fun, silly, spooky, songs that celebrate one of children’s very favorite holidays, HALLOWEEN! Mr. Singer plays some of his original spooky tunes and reads a story about Mary Shelley the teenaged author of Frankenstein, as well as playing a song by his friends in the Deep Fried Pickle Project. Connor tells stories of what scares him and what he does about it and gives a little tutorial on the eery sounding musical saw. It’s a rock-n-roll Halloween radio fun show that will get the whole clan psyched about HAAALLLLLOOOOWWWEEEEENNNN!!! 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, October 27, 10am-2pm
Did you know that, originally, it was turnips rather than pumpkins that were carved for Halloween? In the British isles, turnips, or sometime rutabagas, were carved into frightening faces, lit with candles, and placed on window sills to ward off evil spirits and faeries, which are known to travel abroad at this time of year. Folklorists have also speculated that jack o’ lanterns were originally meant to represent the souls of those who are trapped in Purgatory. Carve your own jack o’ lantern this Saturday at the Berkshire Athenaeum! Pumpkins provided, as well as cider and apples. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Saturday, October 27, 10am-4pm
What could epitomize the spirit of the season better than an enchanted hayride through a fragrant hilltop apple orchard? Apex Orchards, in partnership with the Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts, is hosting a magical fairy tale adventure ride, featuring witches, pirates, and fairies. Fun for all ages! Apex Orchards. Peckville Road, Shelburne, MA ($)
Saturday, October 27, 10am-4pm
The modern concept of ghosts and spirits owes much to the work of Swedish philosopher Emmanuel Swedenborg. In 1749, Swedenborg wrote: “When someone’s body can no longer perform its functions in the natural world in response to the thoughts and affections of its spirit (which it derives from the spiritual world), then we say that the individual has died. This happens when the lungs’ breathing and the heart’s systolic motion have ceased. The person, though, has not died at all. We are only separated from the physical nature that was useful to us in the world. The essential person is actually still alive. I say that the essential person is still alive because we are not people because of our bodies but because of our spirits.” For many of the thinkers of the Enlightenment it made perfect sense that if we are made up of body and spirit, when the body dies, the spirit remains. Thus, the belief in ghosts and spirits that we could communicate with or even see was widespread in Christian communities in the United States and Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Quakers and the Shakers were no exception to this. Learn about how the Shakers celebrated Halloween with a day filled with ghost stories, face painting, and trick or treating! Hancock Shaker Village. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Saturday, October 27, 10am-5pm
Enjoy a full day of fun and educational Halloween-themed activities at Springfield Museums annual Monster Mash! All day long the museum will be filled with art projects, animal demonstrations, film screenings, puppet shows, and more. Springfield Museums. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Saturday, October 27, 11am
There is a broad range of funerary customs around the world. One of the most striking is the sky burial, practiced among many Tibetans, Mongols, and other central Asian communities. According to the teachings of Vajrayana Buddhism, which many of these communities subscribe to, the soul leaves the body upon death and is reborn again in a new form. Thus the corpse is regarded as an empty vessel. In the custom of sky burial, the body is cut into smaller pieces and then placed on a barren hillside, to be eaten by vultures and other scavengers. For the Buddhists, this practice is a way to dispose of a dead body in the most generous possible way, that is to say, allowing it to become food for other creatures. Sky burial also teaches the importance and transience of life. In a more practical sense, this custom developed in regions where the ground was rocky and frozen, making burial impossible, with very little lumber, making cremation far too costly. Evidence of sky burial has also been found at Gobekli Tepe, a Turkish site dating back over ten thousand years, and at Stonehenge, dating back around four thousand years. Given the Christian belief in the resurrection of the physical body on judgement day, it was important in Christian communities for the body to be kept whole. Autumn is the perfect time to reflect of the cycles of life and death. Learn about the funerary practices of the early European settlers at this guided tour of the old burial ground at Historic Deerfield. Historic Deerfield. 80 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)
Saturday, October 27, 5-9pm
Celebrate Halloween with an evening full of spooky train rides at Look Park! Early train rides are best for younger children, ages 5 and above, but as the night progresses, ghouls begin to emerge from the shadows and run after the train. Visitors can also enjoy snacks and hot cider. This is a great Halloween activity for the whole family. For more information, please visit Haunted Train Ride. Look Park. 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA ($)
Sunday, October 28th, 2018
7-8am – 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!
Sunday, October 28, 12-3pm
This Sunday, Halloween is coming to downtown Amherst! The 50th Annual Halloween Fest will feature trick or treating at participating businesses, a costume parade through town, and a haunted house. Put on your silliest, spookiest costume and come out and celebrate with the Amherst community. Downtown Amherst. Amherst, MA (FREE)
Sunday, October 28, 1:30-3:30pm
Japanese violinist and educator Shinichi Suzuki once wrote: “I want to make good citizens. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart.” The method, which is named after Suzuki, is built on the fundamental premise that children naturally learn from their environment. Thus, if one creates a musical environment for a young child, the child will naturally learn music. Stemming from this belief, the Suzuki method involves saturating children in a musical community by frequently attending classical music recitals, making friendships with other music children, and listening to music at home, and beginning these practices from birth. In the Suzuki method, many children begin playing instruments as young as 3 years old. This Sunday, Northampton Community Music Center will be holding a free Spooky Suzuki concert! Northampton Center for the Arts. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA (FREE)
Sunday, October 28, 1:30-4pm
The old saying “one person’s trash is another’s treasure” really is true. You never know how an old clothing item may call out to another. As far as you know, your future favorite shirt or jacket may be collecting dust at the back of someone’s closet at this very moment, just waiting to be discovered. Come on out this Sunday for an All Sizes Clothing Swap! Bring down your old, unwanted clothes. Jones Library. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Sunday, October 28, 3-5pm
Irish and Celtic mythology and folklore is filled with ghosts and spirits and magical creatures but perhaps none is as famous as the ‘banshee.’ Literally translated as “fairy woman,” the banshee is known to appear as a woman in a grey cloak and green dress, with long wild hair, and bloodshot eyes from weeping. The traditional role of the banshee is to mourn the impending death of any who is unlucky enough to see her. In some cases, the appearance of the banshee is cautionary, a warning not to proceed along the current course. Debra Cowan and Tim Van Egmond will be performing songs and telling ghost stories from Celtic folklore this Sunday. Pioneer Valley Cohousing. 120 Pulpit Hill Road, Amherst, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Sunday, October 28, 5-7:30pm
Come celebrate Halloween and do some trick or treating colonial style! Old Sturbridge Village will be welcoming trick or treaters this Sunday and offering a variety of fun historical Halloween activities. Take a hayride, listen to ghost stories, and enjoy the warm glow of a bonfire. Old Sturbridge Village. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA ($)
Monday, October 29th, 2018
Monday, October 29, 6:30-7:30pm
EDUCATION/SELF DIRECTED LEARNING
The radical idea of self-directed learning is becoming more and more popular. Many of the 20th centuries most brilliant educational minds from Piaget to Friere to Montessori have argued that learning occurs best when it is naturally driven by the curiosities and passions of the individual learner, rather than through an imposed universal standard. Don’t miss this evening with self-directed learning advocate Blake Boles! Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, October 30th, 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, October 30, 7-8pm
Are you an amateur paranormal investigator? Do you just love spine tingling ghost stories? If so, you won’t want to miss this evening with paranormal researcher Jeff Belanger. The host of TV’s “New England Legends,” Belanger has studied paranormal phenomena for years and will be sharing some of his most fascinating stories and secrets. This event is appropriate for children ages 13 and above. Adams Free Library. Adams, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, October 31st, 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.
Wednesday, October 31, 3-5pm
PLACEMAKING/TRICK OR TREATING
It’s time again for the annual Downtown Northampton Trick or Treat! Put on your costumes and head downtown. Participating businesses will be marked by orange and teal posters. For more information, visit Downtown Northampton Trick or Treat. Northampton, MA (FREE)
Wednesday, October 31, 4-5:30pm
Join the Greenfield community in celebrating Halloween with an afternoon of trick or treating. Select businesses in downtown Greenfield will be participating and don’t forget to stick around for the Halloween parade! Events like this remind us how much we have to be thankful for in our community. Downtown Greenfield. Greenfield, MA (FREE)
Thursday, November 1st, 2018
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, November 1, 10am
EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT/PLAYGROUP
Looking for a fun morning activity for children ages 3 to 5? Preschool Play and Learn at the Berkshire Athenaeum has got you covered! Sing songs, play games, and tell stories. This event is designed for children ages 3 to 5 but siblings are welcome to attend. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
Friday, November 2nd, 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, November 2, 7-9pm
Carl Jung’s Red Book is both an intimate look into the soul of the man and the most complete articulation of his philosophy. After breaking with Sigmund Freud in 1913, Jung embarked on an intense period of self exploration. Historically, scholars have debated how to interpret Jung’s mental state during this period. Some have suggested that he was experiencing a nervous breakdown, but it seems much more like that, as Jung himself wrote, this was meant to be a creative project from the beginning. In any case, for the next four years, Jung meticulously analyzed his own psyche and the figures and myths that arose spontaneously from within it. Essentially seeking to put himself into a visionary trance, Jung attempted, during this period, to allow his dreams and other fantasies to come into the light, as it were. The ultimate goal was to allow the conscious mind to fade away and bring the subconscious world of dreams into waking life. Looking back on this period at the end of his life, Jung remarked that it was the most challenging and important thing he had ever done. Everything that followed in his life and work, he said in an interview in 1957, flowed from that experience of conjuring forth the inner visions of his soul: “My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life.” Among the many visions, figures, and symbols, which Jung identified within himself during the Red Book period, the figure of the dragon is recurring. John Peck, co-translator of the Red Book, will be discussing Jung’s dragon visions and the role of the dragon in his work. This is an amazing opportunity for any fan of Carl Jung to hear a talk by one of the foremost Jungian scholars in the world! Seelye Hall 106. Smith College. Northampton, MA (FREE)
Friday, November 2, 7:30pm
If you’ve got an astronomy fan at home, this is the event for you! Smith College astronomy professor James Lowenthal will be providing telescopes and discussing stars, planets, and galaxies. Providing both a scientific and cultural perspective, professor Lowenthal will also be talking about some of the myths and legends that other cultures relating to stars and the sky. This is the perfect way to get an introduction to astronomy and stargazing or deepen your astronomical knowledge. This event is recommended for children ages 8 and above. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 845 West Street, Amherst, MA (FREE)
Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Belchertown, Buckland, Chicopee, Hadley, Plainfield, Shelburne, Westhampton, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.