Weekly Suggested Events for October 30 – November 5, 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 30 – November 5, 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 Sunday, October 31, 2021. (Moved from: October 30). 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.
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.
The 27th Annual CiderDays will celebrate all things cider, apples, and orchards with the 2021 CiderDays Cider Trail, featuring local orchards and cideries in Western Massachusetts that you can drive to in the safety of your car. With over 20 venues on the trail, some will have special offerings, including cooking demos at Clarkdale Fruit Farms, apple and cider tastings at various orchards, special cider blend sale for hard cider making at Pine Hill Orchards, spectacular views, tastings and picnicking at West County Cider and New Salem Preserves and Cider, campfire and warm mulled cider at Cameron’s Winery and so much more. CiderDays takes place November 6-7, 2021. Check CiderDays.org often for new activities being offered.
The Hartsbrook School in Hadley, MA. Imagine a school that values and encourages the unique qualities of your child: The Hartsbrook School provides just that, with warmth and attentiveness. Beautiful outdoor classrooms, storytelling, music, and creative problem-solving lay the foundations for future learning and deep social connection. Children’s imagination and empathy are awakened through the rich curriculum. Walks in the woods, visits to the school’s farm animals, and tending the gardens develop an awareness of, and care for, the natural world. 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. Preschool ♦ Ages 2.9-6yrs. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org; 413-586-1908; www.hartsbrook.org.
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List of Weekly Suggested Events
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Thin Places
Among the ancient pre-Chcaristian communities of the British Isles, there was a term for special places where the veil between our world and the other was particularly thin. These so-called “thin places” were often sites of sublime natural beauty, islands, for example, or rocky mountain peaks. These are places where the individual soul is able to slip free from the historical and the contingent and enter the stream of the undying and eternal. Writers have used many words to describe this transcendent experience. For some, thin places are sites where the individual can truly be at peace. For others, it’s where we learn important things about ourselves. One thing is for certain, everybody has their own thin places. What’s yours? A particular bookstore or art gallery? Under a specific tree by the riverside or nearby park? A mysterious moss-covered boulder deep in the forest? A specific bench on Main Street? A cafe that illuminates your senses? The ways that these places work upon us are genuinely mysterious. We may never know why a particular place profoundly moves us.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Halloween-Based Learning
Halloween, like most celebrations, holds an abundance of learning opportunities for the curious-minded. Self-directed learners can explore the history of Halloween through the tradition of trick-or-treating and by learning about local haunted places. Interests in arts and crafts can guide learning by making Halloween pinatas, origami ghosts, and even costume design. Halloween also offers a learning lens through community service, hands-on science, language arts, food science, culinary arts, mythology, osteology, and so much more! Let this “spooky” celebration grab your curiosity and lead your learning this season!
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Day of the Dead
Diá de los Muertos is rich in history and traditions and can inspire learning through traditional celebrations and the making of alters that honor ancestry! Food traditions, including sugar skulls and Pan de Muerto (bread), can support an interest in confection arts and pastry arts. An interest in arts and crafts is supported by learning how to make paper marigolds, costumes, and make-up artistry.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Candy Chemistry
Use Halloween candy for mad science experiments in your home kitchen! Families can use Skittles to examine density, M&M’s are great for chromatography experiments, certain Lifesavers include a chemical combination that can produce sparks. Families can use a variety of other candies to explore scientific topics like density, melting points, and states of matter. The website Candy Experiments offers directions for lots of easy experiments, and kids can invent some of their own, too!
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Halloween Candy/ Manufacturing
Halloween candy is an excellent catalyst for learning about the history and manufacturing of candy! Families can learn why M&M’s “melt in your mouth, not in your hands,” how a candy factory supports a local economy, the history and difference between red and black licorice, and how Halloween’s most popular candy is manufactured!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Apple & Pumpkin Butters
November is the time of year for the slow rendering of both apple butter and pumpkin butter in your home kitchen. Gathering locally grown apples and pumpkins from nearby orchards, farm stores, and co-ops, lessons in the kitchen await self-directed learners! Discover the history of apple butter, how to make pumpkin butter, and the difference between apple pie and pumpkin pie spices. Get curious and research where these spices are naturally grown, their history and impact of culture, and other foods made to taste better with their introduction to different recipes.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2021
Self-Directed Learning: Cave Art
Thirty thousand years ago, during the Aurignacian period, early modern human beings in Europe experienced a period of rapid cultural growth. The earliest known examples of cave art were created around this time, as well as the oldest discovered musical instrument. Moreover, some of the examples of cave art suggest the first evidence of religion. There is no finer site for Aurignacian art and culture than the Chauvet cave in southern France. The walls of this ancient cave are covered with detailed drawings of horses, mammoths, lions, bears, and hyenas, made in black and red ochre. Most intriguing by far is the strange and mysterious image of a woman with the head of a buffalo. Surrounded by peculiar markings and unidentified bird-like creatures, this haunting image has led archeologists to speculate that this was an important ritual site.
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.