Weekly Suggested Events for October 16-22, 2021
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!
SUGGESTED EVENTS: OCTOBER 16-22, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING IDEAS
COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Featured Events, Resources, & Opportunities
[CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER]
Art in the Field Family Program,
October 16, 2021, 1–3pm. [CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER] Location: Smith College Museum of Art and tent on Seelye Lawn in Northampton, MA (between Neilson Library and SCMA). Free, drop-in, no registration required. Masks welcomed and encouraged. Enjoy an afternoon of outdoor artmaking, scavenger hunts, and special guests from Lifting Spirits Miniature Therapy Horses. Art featuring horses can be found on every floor of the museum. How did each artist bring the animals to life through movement, creative use of color, and even interesting textures? Create an artful interpretation of horses using cardboard and patterned papers and then go on a scavenger hunt for equine art in the museum. Happy trails! In case of rain, organizers will cancel this event.
Calling all ghosts, goblins, vampires, and witches! Latin GRAMMY award-winning artist and children’s book author, MISTER G, will be hosting his annual Halloween Fiesta concert outdoors at The Common School in Amherst (521 S. Pleasant Street). Showtime is 11am on Saturday, October 30, 2021. (Rain date: October 31). Special guest stars include percussionist Marcos Carreras and his students from the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts. Come ready to dance and sing along to MISTER G’s spooky, original, bilingual songs. The concert is made possible by the generosity of local businesses and major sponsors, River Valley Co-op and the Community Foundation of Western MA. Admission is FREE and costumes (for kids and adults!) are encouraged.
Beautiful outdoor classrooms, deep academic inquiry, music and art in everyday learning, active land stewardship, and a culture of compassion: that is the Hartsbrook School. During this time of uncertainty, Hartsbrook has provided students with a grounding and nurturing foundation every day. Discover how meaningful a school experience can be and enjoy a vibrant, active parent community. PreK thru high school. Begin your exploration with an individual Zoom meeting. Call 413-586-1908 x116 to schedule your appointment and imagine the potential for your child. The Hartsbrook School is located at 193 Bay Road in Hadley, MA. For more information, visit online at www.hartsbrook.org.
FEATURED MUSIC SCHOOL
Community Music School of Springfield
Community Music School of Springfield invites you to take a trial music lesson this fall! Discover how music lessons encourage students of all ages to harness their creativity, grow as learners & connect with a music-loving community. Lessons at CMSS are offered virtually & in-person by professional teaching artists who help each student meet their unique goals. Their registration team can also walk you through renting or purchasing your instrument. Prelude Preschool of the Arts, also located at CMSS’ historic downtown Springfield location, has a few slots in their arts-integrated early learning program. Visit online or give them a call to learn more: 413-732-8428. Enrolling is easy, and payment plans are available.
FEATURED HOMESCHOOL PROGRAM
Art Adventure Camp
You’re invited to Art Adventure Camp! Join for a 4-week homeschool program for 6-11-year-olds in Sharona Color’s beautiful Easthampton art studio. This class is great for kids who like to try a little bit of everything. Each week students will explore different mediums and techniques, including painting, drawing, fiber art, and collage. Children are sure to come home with a renewed sense of confidence, special artworks, and new friends. Camp runs November 2-23, 2021 from 10am-12pm. Space is limited to 10 students. Sign-ups are now open. Receive a 10% discount by using the code: “HILLTOWN” at checkout now through 10/22/21.
West Chesterfield, MA
Kids & Canines! Balto & Togo! Topaz & Trixie! Serum Run & Iditarod! What do these all have in common? Sled Dogs & Working Dogs. Siberian Huskies & Alaskan Huskies Life Saving Run by Dog Team to Nome & Thrilling Race by Dog Team to Nome. Dogs who love kids & kids who love dogs! All can be found at Hilltown Sleddogs with Musher, Marla BB & her 16 huskies. They spent the last 2 winters in Alaska, mushing 750 miles from Nenana to Nome on the Serum Run Trail. Then racing 300 & 200 miles on the Yukon Quest Trail in preparation for Iditarod. Slide show, video, & children’s book presentation is available for classrooms, assembly programs, educational demonstrations & fairs indoors or outdoors. Homeschool programs are offered too. Always with these dogs! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-296-0187; www.hilltownsleddogs.com.
FEATURED TEEN THEATRE PROGRAM
Valley Playwright Mentoring
Valley Playwright Mentoring (VPM), Piti Théâtre Company’s program for teens, presents “Podcasts 2.0” on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at 6pm! Now rehearsing online, VPM gives young actor-playwrights the chance to craft scenes based on stories from their lives. Listen to the teens give each scene/podcast context, and then hear the premiere over Zoom. VPM is an afterschool theatre program for teens ages 13 and up and is accepting registrations for teens interested in participating in this year’s group, which begins in November 2021. No previous theatre experience is required! Learn more about the program and sign-up for the Podcast 2.0 Premiere at ptco.org/vpm.
The Academy at Charlemont
The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-12. For 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and a variety of student leadership opportunities. Visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River and meet faculty, students, and admissions staff at an Open House on Sunday, October 24th from 1-3pm. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Find details and Open House registration here.
The Bement School
The Bement School, founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield, is a co-educational day and boarding school serving 200 students in kindergarten through grade 9. While Bement is scheduling individual campus tours in person, a series of virtual open houses are offered. To learn more about the upper school (grades 6 through 9) join the October 26 event or October 28 to learn about the lower school (kindergarten through grade 5). A member of the admission office and faculty will share what makes Bement an incredible education. Registration is required. Zoom invitations will be sent upon registration. Applications for fall 2022 are being accepted now. Contact the admission office at email@example.com with questions or to register for an open house.
See Your Ad Here
Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 25,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: firstname.lastname@example.org. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.
List of Weekly Suggested Events
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Cemeteries
With some local cemeteries pushing their 400th birthday, western Massachusetts’ burying grounds are filled with opportunities for hands-on community-based learning. Through self-guided tours and seasonal events, families can explore local cemeteries to deepen their understanding of community history. Read more in our post, Cemeteries Support Learning about Local History & New England Culture.
Sunday, October 17, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Spider Season
Spiders may not be a popular animal to study, but there is much to learn from these eight-legged neighbors; plus, they’re everywhere in the early autumn, otherwise known as spider season! Learning about the different species of spiders is one place to start. With a field guide in hand (or an online arachnid group), stop to take the time to learn about spiders in their natural habitat, seeking answers to questions like, “What kinds of webs do they spin?” and “How are they beneficial to gardens and ecosystems?” For today’s self-directed learning module, spiders spin a web of interests that connect us to place through amazing arachnids. Here are a few questions and interests to lead the way: Why are we afraid of spiders? (Psychology!) How do spiders spin their webs? (Vibrations!) Can spiders fly? (Yes, sort of, thanks to physics!)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Pumpkin & Winter Squash Harvest Season
Pumpkins and winter squashes are a traditional harvest in New England. In Western Massachusetts, you’ll find locally grown varieties being sold at roadside stands, co-ops, and local farms this time of year. Memories of pumpkin games at town festivals, the smell of winter squash baking with cinnamon and nutmeg, and gourds decorating dining room tables and front porches conjured up a connection to place through the seasons. In today’s self-directed learning module, let’s use this local harvest to guide our learning about art, science, and culinary arts.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Mapping Skills/Local History
While old maps are interesting on their own, they provide an excellent entry point for local history studies. The Massachusetts State Department of Education includes local history in its frameworks for third-grade social studies. Still, local history is a topic anyone can learn about at varying depths by self-directed learners of all ages. Read more in our post, “Maps of Massachusetts: Supporting Social Studies & Local History.”
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Seeds
Seeds and their pods appear not only in our natural landscape this time of year, but they also fill our social scenery. Stalks of corn are bundled together with scarecrows as autumn decorations. Pinecones are scented with cinnamon and sold in stores. Sheaves of wheat are gathered with a variety of seed pods and sold as bouquets. Indian corn is hung on doors or added to centerpieces. Illustrations of acorns adorn circulars in the mail or accent classrooms. — But the influence of seeds isn’t always so evident. They often reside in liminal spaces, waiting to be discovered, eager to release their fullest potential, and do not know doubt. Never has a maple tree sprung from where an acorn has been planted. This autumn, let seeds lead and teach valuable life lessons while revealing their social impact and historical significance. Read our post, “Mindful Engagement through the Seasons: Seeds,” and support your interest in fiber arts, plant biology, world history, candy, slavery, food history, snack foods, and theater history.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Costumes
Halloween is a holiday that invites us to tell stories through costumes, allowing us to engage in fantasy and role-playing for at least a single night. Traditional costumes for Halloween include ghosts, zombies, iconic monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein, werewolves, etc.), and harvest icons (scarecrows, pumpkins, corn, etc.). Still, costumes, in general, can span the genres of history, reality, and culture. With interest in costumes being one many families consider this time of year, today’s self-directed learning module offers lessons in puppetry, indigenous cultures, history, film studies, costume design, storytelling, fashion design, and much more! Let costumes be your catalyst for learning today!
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Classical Music
One of the best ways to pique children’s interest in classical music is simply through exposure. By combining symphony performances and concerts with an exploration of musical instruments, community-based educational resources, and close listening to recorded classical music, families can support children in gaining a deepened awareness of what defines classical music. The spooky season of Halloween is an excellent opportunity to introduce kids to select performances, like Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens and Funeral March of a Marionette by Gounod. Additionally, families can listen to classical music at home or in the car – beginning with the classical music episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show. Families can test out activities for expanding listening time to keep kids excited about classical music! Check local resources for upcoming performances open to the public this time of year, including Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, and the Pioneer Valley Symphony.
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.
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.