Weekly Suggested Events for October 23-29, 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 23-29, 2021
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING IDEAS
COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Featured Events, Resources, & Opportunities
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.
The Ski and Winter Gear Sale, held annually by the Amherst Historical Society & Museum, returns on October 30, 2021, from 9am-2pm, under the big tent at 67 Amity Street, in downtown Amherst, with deals and choices so big – it is scary! Proceeds benefit the museum. Shoppers can choose from a vast selection of new and used downhill, cross-country skis, ski poles, helmets, snowshoes, boots, skates, snowboards, outdoor clothing (including jackets, gloves, mittens, and hats), all in adult and youth sizes. This event will observe strict safety guidelines with periodic cleaning of surfaces and social distancing measures in place. Masks are required. Costumes are appreciated! For information visit, their website: amhersthistory.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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to register for an open house.
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.
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: email@example.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.
List of Weekly Suggested Events
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2021
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Self-Directed Learning: Halloween STEM
In the spirit of the Halloween season’s creepy, gruesome, and vaguely terrifying elements, why not engage in some similarly creepy, gruesome, and relatively terror-free hands-on science experiments! From candy chromatography and glowing drinkables to flying ghosts and gooey eyeballs, check our post, Halloween Season Inspires Hands-On Science, to discover Halloween science ideas that connect to numerous science concepts and promote hands-on learning.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2021
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Self-Directed Learning: Haunted History
Towns across Western Massachusetts have tales of haunted historic buildings, ghost sightings, and supernatural suspicions that lead people to wonder whether a place is haunted or not. Haunted tales are sometimes rooted in actual events or historical accounts from people of the past and can add to the lore of a place. Find out about cemetery tours and local hauntings in our Sept/Oct Season edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA while supporting interests in history, paranormal activity, architecture, psychology, and physiology.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2021
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Self-Directed Learning: Masks
Halloween is a great time of year to use masks as your lens into learning about cultural heritage through the use of masks in ceremonies and festive celebrations, costume design and theatrical performance, and even illness and medicine.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2021
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Self-Directed Learning: Jack O’Lanterns
Called “pompions” by the first European colonists, pumpkins were a food essential to winter survival – and they were grown in many more varieties than they typically are today. The custom of carving pumpkins into Jack O’Lanterns was introduced to American culture by Irish immigrants, influencing our cultural landscape to this day. Traditionally carved from root vegetables, including turnips and potatoes, new hybrids of pumpkins are grown specifically for carving. For today’s self-directed learning module, follow your curiosity and learn about history, folklore, culture, food, and artisan techniques through the lens of jack-o-lanterns!
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2021
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Self-Directed Learning: Autumn Foliage
Autumn in Western Mass is when nature literally takes center stage; a destination visitors outside the area flock to because of the gorgeous dynamism of the season. The trees and their changing foliage are excellent connectors for kids (in a sense, they connect to themselves!) to the outdoors and their sense of place. In this change lies fantastic community-based educational opportunities tied to art and science. Read our post, Autumn Leaf Collecting Supports Art & Science, to see how you can get your kid hooked on fall by collecting, creating, and learning in their backyards, local parks, and nature conservation areas! Also, check out these videos to support learning about botany, chemistry, dendrology, and ecology through the lens of fall foliage!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2021
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Self-Directed Learning: Ghost Stories
Halloween is just days away, and there are a plethora of picture books featured at your local library that tell stories about ghosts, skeletons, scarecrows, pumpkins, and trick-or-treat adventures. Reading picture books with children has numerous embedded learning opportunities, including literacy, emotional development, and the history behind autumn icons. Check our list of Halloween-inspired tales and cozy up with your kids or grandkids for a not-so-spooking evening of ghost-eques stories.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2021
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Self-Directed Learning: National Cat Day
Statistically speaking, black cats and kittens don’t fare well at shelters. Rather than bringing bad luck, they tend to have some bad luck of their own and are the least adopted cats in U.S. shelters year-round. There’s no definitive reason for this, but animal rescue organizations believe a combination of superstition, dark kennels, and the brightly colored coats of other cats could all be partially to blame. October 29 is National Cat Day, and with Halloween around the corner, families who are considering adding a new furry friend to their household should consider seeking out a black cat – they’ll offer all of the snuggles and playtime that come with cats of any other color. Plus, you’ll be ensuring that they don’t spend excess time in a shelter waiting for a family or, even worse, being euthanized.
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.