Weekly Suggested Events for September 25 – October 1, 2021

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Hawks are migrating and apples are ready for picking! This week find events to support learning in Western Massachusetts.

Are you looking for things to do in western Massachusetts? Seeking place-based learning ideas? Are you a self-directed, life-long, and/or experiential learner? Are you curious or wanting to support the interests of your family? Our weekly Suggested Events list includes suggested learning ideas, resources, and fun events for all ages, each week!

Scroll down to discover featured events, learning opportunities, and educational videos to support learning from home. And be sure to subscribe to our free weekly eNewsletter so you never miss out!

Discover classes and in-person programming happening through out western Massachusetts!
FEATURED HIGH SCHOOL: Buxton School in Williamstown, MA

Buxton School is a small, progressive, and diverse boarding and day college preparatory school nestled in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Since 1928, their faculty and staff have delighted in welcoming students in grades 9-12 to their egalitarian community to inspire and nurture their academic, artistic, and social growth. Buxton is an all-gender college preparatory school in Williamstown, MA, and is hosting an Admissions Open House on Monday, October 11 at 10am for prospective families to learn more. RSVP: admissions@buxtonschool.org or call 413-458-3919. For more information about Buxton School, visit them online at buxtonschool.org.

Community Music School of Springfield
Springfield, MA

Community Music School of Springfield offers safe, weekly, in-person music classes for your youngest musician! Babies & toddlers and their parents/caregivers will love Little Notes, a class designed for bonding, brain development, fun, and musical connection with others. For your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten music lover, CMSS offers beginner classes in guitar, piano, Suzuki violin, and bucket drumming. No instruments or experience is required as your child is introduced to the instrument while collaborating and having fun with the others in their small group. Each class is taught by expert musicians committed to helping your little one develop a lifelong love for music and creativity. Enrolling is easy, and payment plans are available.

The Academy of Music Theatre
Florence & Holyoke, MA

Register now! Youth Fall Classes at the Academy of Music Theatre are open for enrollment. Come sing and dance in musical theater classes for ages 6-8, 9-11, and 13-18.

Classes will be held at Pine Box Studios in Florence and at El Mercado in Holyoke on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings starting October 19th.

For more information, visit www.aomtheatre.com.

Stoneleigh-Burnham School

Greenfield, MA

Founded in 1869, Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS), an independent boarding & day school for girls in grades 7-12, has been a part of the Pioneer Valley for more than 150 years. SBS attracts dynamic students from more than 12 states and over 12 countries and is known for its powerful academics, debate & public speaking, performing & visual arts, and equestrian programs. SBS was the first girls’ school in New England to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and is the only secondary school in the U.S. to offer the British Horse Society Certification program. SBS’s boarding tuition is now 10% less than the national average while their day tuition is 17% less than the national average. For more information: 413-774-2711; sbschool.org.

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List of Weekly Suggested Events


ORNITHOLOGY/MIGRATION. 9am. Hawk Watch with Southwick Public Library at Blueberry Hill in Granville, MA 

ORNITHOLOGY. 9-11am. Birding with Berkshire Natural Resources Council at Basin Pond. Lee, MA. 

FARMERS’ MARKET. 9am-1pm. There are so many lessons to be learned and information to share at a farmers’ market. Every Saturday is the Pittsfield market, the first teen-run market in the region. Get curious (and hungry) and bring the kids! Pittsfield Farmers’ Market. First Street Common. Pittsfield, MA. 

ANIMAL STUDIES. 9am-3pm. Annual National Alpaca Farm Days at Forever Free Alpaca Farm. 110 Powell Rd, Cummington, MA. 

FALL FESTIVAL. 9am-6pm. Fall Festival at The Apple Place. 413-348-9628. 540 Somers Rd. Rt. 83, East Longmeadow, MA. 

HERITAGE/LIVING HISTORY. 9:30am-5pm. Fall Folks Festival at Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd, Sturbridge, MA. 

BOOK SALE/FUNDRAISER. 9:30am. Book Sale at Becket Athenaeum. 413-623-5483. 3367 Main St, Becket, MA. 


CRITICAL THINKING/PLAY. 10am. Boardgames on the Patio at the Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. 

ORNITHOLOGY/MIGRATION. 10am. Hawk Migration at Blueberry Hill with Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Blueberry Hill, Granville, MA. 

ECOLOGY. 10:30am. “Life Around the Lake.” Insects that live in and around the lake are the focus of this week’s topic. Learn about the many insects that are born in the lake. Find out which ones go to dry land as adults and which ones live their whole lives there. Meet at Bray Lake. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. 

FAMILY GAMES. 10:30am. Outdoor Games at the Gaylord Memorial Library. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. 

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT/MAGIC. 10:30am. Jungle Jim’s Tales from the Balloon Magic Show at the Hubbard Memorial Library. 413-583-3408. 24 Center St, Ludlow, MA. 

SHAKER HERITAGE. 11am-6pm. Country Fair. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA. 

NEW ENGLAND TRADITIONS. 11am-6pm. Corn Maze at the The Apple Place. 413-348-9628. 540 Somers Rd. Rt. 83, East Longmeadow, MA.  

INTERGENERATIONAL/UPCYCLE. 11am. Recycled Art Workshop at the Milne Public Library. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. 

COMMUNITY CELEBRATION. 12-6pm. Celebrate East Longmeadow at Leahy Field, East Longmeadow, MA. 

ANIMAL STUDIES. 12:30pm. Chow Time at the Berkshire Museum Aquarium. Learn about turtles, fish, and even a blue-tongued skink, as well as conservation efforts and the eating habits of fish, amphibians, and reptiles. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. 

LOCAL HISTORY/CLIMATE CHANGE. 12:30pm. Climate Change in Williamstown. Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time, but to understand the climate system and what may be in store for us, we need to understand the past climate. Weather observations made in Williamstown over the last two hundred years give us a record of “pre-industrial” climate, before anthropogenic (caused by human activity) global climate change resulting from the industrial revolution and widespread burning of fossil fuels. This presentation will cover the mechanics of climate change, how we can use long-term weather records like those collected in Williamstown, and what the next century might bring for the region. Milne Public Library. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. 

HIKING. 1pm. “Hike to Goat Peak.” This one-hour hike travels on the MM Trail to Goat Peak. The pace travels moderately as participants observe flora and fauna on the way, with a fire tower as an additional viewing spot. The terrain is relatively easy with some moderately strenuous stretches. Bring water and bug spray. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. 

MUSIC STUDIES/UKULELE. 1pm. Learn to Play Ukulele at the Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. 

MUSIC STUDIES/DRUMMING. 1pm. Drum to the Beat with Otha Day at Becket Athenaeum. 413-623-5483. 3367 Main St, Becket, MA. 

MUSIC STUDIES/WIND ENSEMBLES. 2pm. Bandtoberfest: Wind Ensembles Family Concert with UMass Amherst Department of Music and Dance on the Amherst Common. Amherst, MA. 

ECOLOGY/GARDENING. 3pm. Pollinator Garden Tour of The Spruces Pollinator Plantings with members of Bee Friendly Williamstown, hosted by Milne Public Library. Williamstown, MA. 

HISTORY. 3:30PM. Learn some history with the talk, “The Gibson Girl: A Gilded Age Icon,” at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. 

ART STUDIES/COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT. 3-8pm. Florence Night Out. North Main Street. Florence, MA. 

ANIMAL STUDIES. 4pm. Learn about Eurasian Eagle Owls, Armadillos, and Kinkajous at the Animal Adventures Program at the Eastfield Mall. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Rd, Springfield, MA. 

SUKKAH. 5:30pm. Juggling in the Sukkah Party at Beit Ahavah, The Reform Synagogue of Greater Northampton. 413-587-3770. 130 Pine St, Florence, MA. 

ANIMAL STUDIES/ECOLOGY. 6:30-8pm. Signs of Beavers at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA. 

MUSIC STUDIES. 7pm. A Night of Rock, Folk, and Jazz at the Palmer Historical Cultural Center. 413-289-9295. 2072 Main St, Three Rivers, MA.

Self-Directed Learning:

Sat., Sept 25 @ 3pm. Pollinator Garden Tour with members of Bee Friendly Williamstown.

Self-Directed Learning:

Sat., Sept 25 @ 9am. Hawk Watch with Southwick Public Library at Blueberry Hill in Granville, MA


COMMUNITY SERVICE. 9am-12pm. Clothing Drive at the M. N. Spear Memorial Library. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Rd, Shutesbury, MA. 

ANIMAL STUDIES. 9am-3pm. Annual National Alpaca Farm Days at Forever Free Alpaca Farm. 110 Powell Rd, Cummington, MA. 

LOCAL FOOD. 10am–2pm. Easthampton Farmers’ Market. 2350 Payson Ave., Easthampton, MA.  

NATURAL HISTORY. 10am & 2pm. Easy walking tour with a Park Interpreter. Discover the mysteries of Natural Bridge with short stories that enliven and highlight this unique park. Once the site of a major marble quarry, it is also home to North America’s only white marble dam. The feature attraction of this tour is the “Natural Bridge,” a marble arch spanning a gorge and carved centuries ago by melting glaciers. This tour offers one of the best places in New England to witness the amazing effects of glaciation! Suitable for all ages. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, and bring a water bottle. Rain cancels. 20-30 minute duration. Natural Bridge State Park. 413-663-6392. McAuley Road, North Adams, MA. 

ORNITHOLOGY. 10:30am. “Birding for Beginners.” This one-hour program helps beginners to learn the basics of birding. The use of bird guides, lists, and binoculars to learn about the local feathered inhabitants of Mt. Tom. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. 

SHAKER HERITAGE. 11am-6pm. Country Fair. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA. 

NEW ENGLAND TRADITIONS. 11am-6pm. Corn Maze at the The Apple Place. 413-348-9628. 540 Somers Rd. Rt. 83, East Longmeadow, MA. 

ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY. 12pm. Tom Ricardi’s Birds of Prey at Apex Orchards. 413-625-2744. 225 Peckville Rd. Shelburne, MA. 

ORNITHOLOGY/BIRDS OF PREY. 1pm. Family program: “Hawk Watch.” Learn about hawks and their migration and all the obstacles they go through to survive it. After a brief intro, families hike to Goat Peak to search for migrating hawks in this 90-minute program. Bring binoculars. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. 

LIBRARY/OPEN HOUSE. 1pm. Celebration Open House at the Erving Public Library. 413-423-3348. 2 Care Dr, Erving, MA. 

LOCAL HISTORY. 1-4pm. The Shelburne Historical Society museum, library, and archives are housed in the architectural gem that was the Arms Academy in the historic district of Shelburne Falls. The Museum houses collections and exhibits pertinent to Shelburne, the Mohawk Trail, the industrial history of the Falls, and more. Support learning about local history with this seasonal resource located at 33 Severance Street. Shelburne Falls, MA.

MINDFULNESS. 3pm. Ways of Knowing Through the Senses: A Nature Experience at the W. E. B. Du Bois Library. 413-545-2623. 154 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA. 

MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ & BLUES. 4pm. Live concert at the Hatfield Town Hall Park 59 Main St, Hatfield, MA.

Self-Directed Learning:

Sun., Sept 26 @ 9am-3pm. Annual National Alpaca Farm Days at Forever Free Alpaca Farm. 110 Powell Rd, Cummington, MA.

Self-Directed Learning:

Sun., Sept 26 @ 12pm. Tom Ricardi’s Birds of Prey at Apex Orchards. 413-625-2744. 225 Peckville Rd. Shelburne, MA.


PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Western MA  

GEOLOGY/LOCAL RESOURCES: There are several local resources for learning through geology for junior geologists and their parents. Read all about it in our post, 4 Outdoor Adventures for Exploring Geology and Local History. 

GARDENING. 9:30am-4:30pm. Learn about the Native American practice of planting corn, beans, and squash together at the Native American Three Sisters Garden at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA. 

PLAYGROUP. 10am. Pick-up playgroup at Stanley Park’s sandbox area. Make not only sandcastles but also new friends at this weekly self-directed playgroup. Stanley Park. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Ave, Westfield, MA.  

PreK PLAYGROUP. 10am. Join the Easthampton Family Center at Nonotuck Park. 1 Daley Field Rd, Easthampton, MA. 

HOMESCHOOL SOCIAL. 11am. Pick-up playgroup and social hour for homeschool families. Dufrenes Park. Taylor St, Granby, MA.

LOCAL HISTORY/SHAKER. 11am-5pm. A living history museum in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, Hancock Shaker Village brings the Shaker story to life and preserves it for future generations. Share your love of history, agriculture, and design with your children or grandchildren as our costumed interpreters engage them in various activities. Farming was at the heart of all Shaker communities. Through agricultural experimentation and wise use of technology, the Shakers made their farms into models of efficiency and innovation. Hancock Shaker Village is still a working farm today, with vegetables, herbs, and a barn full of livestock. Hancock Shaker Village. 413-443-0188. 1843 W Housatonic St, Pittsfield, MA. 

NATURAL SCIENCE. 1pm. Children ages 10-14 are invited to explore Mt. Tom with this hiking program. Each week participants will take a 1-2 hour hike on a different trail to discover what’s happening in the world of nature. Bring water and bug spray. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. 

COMICS/TEENS. 3:45pm. Comics Club for Teens with the Springfield City Library (Virtual)

Self-Directed Learning:

Self-Directed Learning:


PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Western MA  

ORNITHOLOGY. 8-10am. Bird Walks with Mass Audubon at The Mount. Learn skills to bird by sight and sound, and tips for exploring different habitats in search of swallows, woodpeckers, thrushes, and warblers. Mass Audubon naturalists lead the walks and love sharing their passion for birds with others. Walks last two hours and depart from the main parking lot near The Mount’s ticket booth. Bring binoculars. The Mount. 413-551-5111. 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA. 

NATURE CRAFTS. 10:30am. This fun, creative one-hour program will allow children ages 6-9 a chance to make a beautiful craft inspired by nature. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA. 

FARMERS’ MARKET. 1:30-6:30pm. Northampton Tuesday Market is a vibrant downtown market with the best in local fruits and vegetables, local prepared foods, and the occasional local craft. Entertainment most weeks. Northampton Tuesday Farmers’ Market. 413-320-4799. 1 Kirkland Ave, Northampton, MA. 

GRAPHIC NOVELS/LITERATURE. 4pm. Youth Graphic Novel Book Club at the Lenox Library. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. 

ANIME/TEENS. 4-6pm. Outdoor Anime Club, a club for middle & high schoolers who are fans of anime & manga! Meet every Tuesday afternoon under tents on the library lawn to watch on their big portable flatscreen, gab about anime, try out your cosplay, & eat snacks. Hubbard Memorial Library. 413-583-3408. 24 Center St, Ludlow, MA. 

LOCAL HISTORY/INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES. 6:30pm. “All His Land Is To Be Mine”: Norwottuck Leader Umpanchela and the 17th Century Connecticut Valley, hosted by the Storrs Library (Virtual) 

CULINARY ARTS. 6:30pm. Cookbook Club: “In the Green Kitchen” by Alice Waters at the Southwick Public Library. 413-569-1221. 95 Feeding Hills Road. Southwick, MA.


PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Western MA  

PreK PLAYGROUP. 10am.  Pick-up playgroup at the Dow Pavillion playground. Great for kids ages 2-5 to meet up with other families and to make new friends. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA. 

PreK/NATURE-BASED LEARNING. 10-11:30am. Garden Sprouts at Berkshire Botanical Garden. Children ages 3-5 investigate the surroundings, helping to care for the garden and learn about the natural world through hands-on exploration. Flowers, planting, insects, and harvesting are just a few of the themes they will investigate. Sessions include activities such as crafts, stories, scavenger hunts, and nature walks designed to introduce young children to the wonders of nature in a fun and welcoming environment. Garden Sprouts is for children ages 3-5 accompanied by a caregiver. Berkshire Botanical Garden. 413-298-3926. 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge, MA. 

ARTS & CRAFTS. 11am & 2pm. Crafts at Amelia Park Children’s Museum. 413-572-4014. 29 S Broad St, Westfield, MA. 

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES. 4pm. Berkshire Natural Resources Council will share trails and reserves you can visit during the 2021 harvest and foliage season, including a few can’t-miss longtime beloved spots for autumn outings. (Virtual) 

LEGOS. 6:30pm. Think you have what it takes to be a LEGO Master Builder? Dan Steininger will talk about how he became a LEGO Master Builder, the process of building large-scale models, and how LEGO can change lives. There will be demonstrations, audience participation (aka LEGOs), and Dan’s wacky sense of humor. For children ages 7-12 and their families at the Westfield Athenaeum. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. 

NATURAL HISTORY. 7pm. Historic Northampton’s co-director and naturalist Laurie Sanders will take the long view of Hawley Street, from the era of Glacial Lake Hitchcock to the present. During this zoom presentation, she’ll cover both the natural history changes over time as well as highlight some of the important people, businesses, and events that influenced today’s look at one of Northampton’s oldest byways. (Virtual) 

CLIMATE CHANGE. 7pm. The Agawam Public Library will host a Panel Discussion: Resilience and Preparedness in a Changing Climate (Virtual) 

Self-Directed Learning:

Self-Directed Learning:

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Online and in-person events and resources shared above are done so as a courtesy and not as an endorsement. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm information, age appropriateness, registration requirements, safety protocols, and associated costs.

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Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Agawam, Amherst, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont/Hawley, Chester, Chesterfield, Chicopee, Colrain, Dalton, Deerfield, Easthampton, Gill, Goshen, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Heath, Hinsdale/Peru, Holyoke, Huntington, Leyden, Montgomery, Mt. Washington, New Salem, Northern Berkshire, Northfield, Palmer, Pelham, Plainfield, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Southampton, Springfield, Tolland, Tyringham, Westhampton, Windsor, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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