Suggested Events for December 29th, 2018 – January 4th, 2019
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.
Each week, Hilltown Families taps into your interests and values and gives you the chance to connect with others who want to explore them. By highlighting the learning opportunities that are embedded in the everyday events, activities, and spaces that make up our communities, sharing this information with families via our extensive online network, and supporting your participation in engaging and meaningful ways, together, we are building connections that shape and change lives and communities.
The beautiful fact is, we can’t do any of this without you. It all comes back to you and your engagement. During this season of gratitude and giving, we are inviting you not only to get out and have some fun while you learn, we’re inviting you to invest in the organization that helps make that possible. Hilltown Families is in the process of redesigning our website and planning new in-person programming for the Spring. We will bring you seasonally-based mindfulness events and workshops for learners of all ages and backgrounds at our founder, Sienna Wildfield’s, new space, Curly Willow on the Westfield River. But we need your help. Please support what you love by donating what you can to Hilltown Families. Consider making it a monthly contribution. For less than what you spend on a cup of coffee, you can make a big difference in the lives of families – just like yours – throughout Western MA! We thank you!
Our Saturday Morning Music Party Series is BACK!
On New Year’s Day (Jan 1st), Hilltown Families, the Flywheel Arts Collective, and the Easthampton Family Center are continuing the beloved ‘Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! This year, we are starting off this family series on New Year’s Day, January 1, with a First Day Morning Music Party from 10am-12noon in Easthampton, MA. Come enjoy a breakfast bash featuring free pancakes and fruit, along with an awesome dance party for all ages! It takes place at Flywheel Arts Collective in Easthampton’s old Town Hall. This event is a fundraiser for the organizers, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun!
Plus, this year, we’ll be collecting donations of new toys and toiletries to donate to the YWCA of Western MA. This activity came out of one Hilltown Families grandma who wants to get her grandson into the habit of joyful giving at a young age. We think that more really is merrier and decided to open it up to the whole Hilltown Families community! Please join our family in expressing the value of generosity by developing a practice of giving as individuals, with our neighbors, to our communities. You bring the toys and toiletries and we’ll sort, package, and deliver them to the YWCA of Western MA, which, for over 150 years, has provided shelter, support services, and tools for self-sufficiency for women and girls in our community.
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.
Hilltown Families is now partnering with local businesses and organizations throughout Western MA to help parents connect with the right venue for their kid’s birthday party. The Best Birthday Party Venue Directory will debut on January 1st, 2019. We would like to invite your venue to join our stellar team of spaces that are partnering with us to reach new customers and make birthdays throughout Western MA more fun for everyone! A 1-Year membership in the Best Birthday Party Venue Directory is $150. We have a special discount advertising package for folks who would like to take the promotion of their space to the next level, too! To add your venue, email Hilltown Families’ Director, Courtney Supple-Benoit, at firstname.lastname@example.org to get set up quickly and easily!
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
December 29th, 2018 – January 4th, 2019
Saturday, December 29th, 2018
9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. This week, The Hilltown Family Variety Show brings you a Peace, Love, and Intention Episode with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn! 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, December 29, 10am – 11am
Saturday Storytime: Hedgehogs! Emily Wayne and Doodle the Hedgehog made a special appearance at the Westhampton Fall Festival back in October, and the Westhampton Public Library is pleased to announce he and Emily will return for a special Saturday storytime on 12/29 at 10am. Come meet Emily and Doodle, listen to books read aloud about hedgehogs, and make some wonderful hedgehog artwork to take home! Westhampton, MA (FREE)
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.
Sunday, December 30th, 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, December 30, 4pm
Queer + Trans Yoga is focused on building community as well as physical and emotional resources. Each meeting will include meditation and movements inspired by themes often drawn from Yogic and Buddhist traditions. The class aims to be accessible to all bodies and experiences with a focus on building the wisdom of compassion for yourself and your community rather than on any particular physical accomplishment. If you show up just to lay on your mat, breathe, and be among your community, that’s great. The class is donation-based. Greenfield, MA (Donation Requested, $)
People have been skating on ice for many hundreds of years, although this “early” skating was pragmatic rather than recreational. “Skate” is derived from the Dutch word “schaats,” which means leg bone, as the first skates were simply lengths of animal bone strapped to the bottom of boots. When wood, and then iron, blades were introduced as a replacement to bone, skaters gained more control and speed, and skating for sport and fun began to rise. Our local skating culture traces its roots to Scottish immigrants, who brought skates with them when they resettled in the U.S., and can be a great topic to explore on and off the ice while learning about world and New England culture and history. Find local skating resources in our post, 24 Ice Skating Rinks in Western Mass.
Monday, December 31st, 2018
Monday, December 31, 10am-4pm
A contemporary New England tradition, First Night is celebrated throughout the region but began in Massachusetts with Boston hosting the first First Night in 1975. Today, towns all over New England celebrate the new year with community festivities including live music shows, gallery openings, art activities, performances and more. In Western Massachusetts, several towns host First Night celebrations as a way to connect community, support the local economy, and preserve the local history that makes this region unique and special. This special First Night event is especially for children and features a wide variety of exciting, fun activities, even including a New York City-style ball drop! For more information and a complete list of events, please visit Holyoke First Night Jr.. Holyoke, MA ($)
Monday, December 31, 12pm
A contemporary New England tradition, First Night is celebrated throughout the region but began in Massachusetts with Boston hosting the first First Night in 1975. Today, towns all over New England celebrate the new year with community festivities including live music shows, gallery openings, art activities, performances and more. In Western Massachusetts, several towns host First Night celebrations as a way to connect community, support the local economy, and preserve the local history that makes this region unique and special. Northampton, in particular, organizes a large First Night celebration that includes a full schedule of events and activities. The beloved fireworks show begins at 6:15, followed by the iconic ball drop at midnight. For a complete list of events, visit First Night Northampton. Northampton, MA (FREE)
Monday, December 31, 6-10:30pm
A contemporary New England tradition, First Night is celebrated throughout the region but began in Massachusetts with Boston hosting the first First Night in 1975. Today, towns all over New England celebrate the new year with community festivities including live music shows, gallery openings, art activities, performances and more. In Western Massachusetts, several towns host First Night celebrations as a way to connect community, support the local economy, and preserve the local history that makes this region unique and special. Come celebrate First Night in Orange with hayrides, ice sculptures, fireworks, and musical performances! For more information please visit Starry Starry Night. Orange, MA (FREE)
Tuesday, January 1st, 2019
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 1, 10am-12pm
PLACEMAKING/NEW YEAR’S DAY
Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Morning Music Party’ series for another year with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing, and diversions for kids! This year we are starting off this family series on New Year’s Day,January 1, with a morning music party. The morning begins with a complimentary breakfast of homemade pancakes, juice, and fresh fruit. There will be plenty to go around – and you’ll need it to fuel your moves for what some have called the “best ever dance party before noon!” DJ Youthelectronix will be on the ones and twos, spinning your favorite hits! Save on the babysitter and dance away the first morning of the new year! For more information visit Hilltown Families.
These Morning Music Parties are a fundraiser for Flywheel, EFC, & Hilltown Families, with a “pay what you can” admission to attend with your family. So much cheaper than a night out on the town and just as much fun!
During the January event, we will be collecting donations of new toys and toiletries to donate to the YWCA of Western MA. This activity came out of one Hilltown Families grandma who wants to get her grandson into the habit of joyful giving at a young age. We think that more really is merrier and decided to open it up to the whole Hilltown Families community! Please join our family in expressing the value of generosity by developing a practice of giving as individuals, with our neighbors, to our communities. You bring the toys and toiletries and we’ll sort, package, and deliver them to the YWCA of Western MA, which, for over 150 years, has provided shelter, support services, and tools for self-sufficiency for women and girls in our community. February and March will feature craft activities for young and old led by Johanna, the new director of the Easthampton Family Center. Subscribe to Hilltown Families weekly eNewsletter to stay up-to-date on new and exciting events. Easthampton, MA (SUGGESTED DONATION)
Monday, January 1, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
FIRST DAY HIKE
First Day Hike on January 1st, 1-3 pm Enjoy a leisurely two-mile stroll down the Canalside Rail Trail and get the New Year started off on a Great Falls note. This family friendly hike follows a gentle route and provides an opportunity to discover the abundant natural, historical, and cultural features that make the Great Falls Discovery Center and rail trail such an amazing State Park! Be prepared for cold weather: dress in layers and wear winter boots. Dogs are welcome on leash. Afterward, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in the Discovery Center’s Great Hall, sponsored by our Friends Group. Sign in at the Discovery Center’s Great Hall at 1:00 p.m. Hike will begin at 1:15 p.m.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019
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, January 2, 5pm – 8pm
INTERGENERATIONAL & QUEER COMMUNITY BUILDING / CULINARY ARTS
Ring in the New Year with Pride! Enjoy a dinner, dancing, and raffle prizes. All proceeds benefit the Rainbow Supper Club! The Rainbow Supper Club is a program of WestMass ElderCare in partnership with the Holyoke Council on Aging & Senior Center. All LGBTQ+ individuals (ages 60+), as well as younger partners, friends, AND allies are invited to attend! Dinner will be served at 5:30pm, dancing will go until 8pm. The menu includes Shrimp Cocktail, Tomato Florentine Soup, and your choice of: Filet of Sole w/Beurre Blanc or Chicken Cordon Bleu w/Supreme Sauce, and Boston Creme Pie for dessert. Connect with the organizers prior to the event to accommodate dietary restrictions and food allergies. Reservations are required. Please either call WestMass ElderCare’s Nutrition Department at (413) 538-9020, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a message on the Meetup page – Rainbow Supper Club of Holyoke (https://www.meetup.com/Rainbow-Supper-Club-of-Holyoke/). $6 voluntary, suggested, confidential donation for individuals ages 60+ (and your partners, spouses, etc.) – $9 fee for guests under 60 (If you can give more, please do!) No one turned away for lack of funds. This event takes place at the Holyoke Council on Aging, 291 Pine St, Holyoke, MA (Suggested Donation, $).
Wednesday, January 2, 4pm – 9pm
If you’re passing by on your way to the great Turbo Fest juggling gathering in Quebec, stop in and stretch your legs and throw things at each other for a few hours! This is an extended version of the New England Center for Circus Arts’ (NECCA) normal Wednesday night Juggle Jam, hosted by the one and only Tony Duncan. There is no fee, but a donation of any size is always appreciated. 10 Town Crier Dr, Brattleboro, Vermont (Suggested Donation).
Though western Massachusetts isn’t known as a sports mecca, it’s filled with community–based 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.
Thursday, January 3rd, 2019
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 3, 7pm – 9pm
MINDFULNESS PRACTICE / COMMUNITY BUILDING
A Sangha is a community of people who gather to practice mindfulness meditation. This Florence-based sangha includes creativity practices and community council to empower you and others to emanate peace, creativity, and wisdom into the world. Children over 10 yrs are welcome. Classes are donation-based, $10-$20. Art supplies provided. Find the group at Sanctuary Studio, 140 Pine St., Florence, MA ($).
Friday, January 4th, 2019
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 4, 10:15am – New Parents Gallery Talk. Informal, guided gallery talk. Parents with pre-toddlers. Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA
Friday, January 4, 5:30-8:30pm. Winter Solstice Celebration and Forest Luminaria Walk at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Easthampton, MA.
Friday, January 4, 7pm
CONCERT / MUSIC STUDIES / FUNDRAISER
Start your year red-hot with an afrobeat + afropunk + afrofunkadelic dance experience in downtown Northampton’s Union Station. In its second year of programming, the World Music Collider is thrilled to announce a US debut show for South Africa’s BCUC. This group’s innovative new Soweto stylings exploded internationally in 2017. In 2019, they’re bringing their Africangungungu experience to the Americas, starting right here in Western Mass. Net proceeds and good vibes from this party go to Girls on the Run Western Massachusetts!
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.