Weekly Suggested Events for November 20-26, 2021

Home > Suggested Events > Weekly Suggested Events for November 20-26, 2021
Holiday season arrives this week with Thanksgiving + learning opportunities through the lens of food, heritage, and habitat!

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!

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity Hosts 2021 Gingerbread Build at Home! Register a team by 12noon on Wednesday, December 1, and pick up your gingerbread kit on Saturday, December 4. Contestants will have six days to construct their dream confectionery dwellings and submit three photos to gingerbread@pvhabitat.org by Thursday, December 9 at midnight. Log in Saturday, December 11 at 3pm for a live virtual award ceremony. A minimum donation of $100 is required per team; additional fundraising is encouraged! For more information and to register, go to www.pvhabitat.org/events/gingerbread-buildQuestions? Contact Amy Landry at amy@pvhabitat.org. Thank you for supporting the building of real houses for real families in western Massachusetts.

South Hadley, MA

Saturday, November 20 @ 1pm (FREE)

Join the Odyssey Bookshop for a live, in-person event on Saturday, November 20, 2022, at 1pm with Kristen Nordstrom, author of STEM picture book Mimic Makers: Biomimicry Inventors Inspired by NatureShe will be in conversation with Dr. Al Crosby and Dr. Duncan Irschick from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, two of the ten real-life inventors featured in the book. The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the community meeting room at South Hadley Public Library. Register by clicking here.

Pioneer Valley Ballet performs The Nutcracker
Northampton, MA

December 10-12, 2021 in Northampton, MA

Pioneer Valley Ballet returns with the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel through the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. This production is a treasured community event that features dancers from across the Pioneer Valley performing roles ranging from sparkling snowflakes to the tiniest reindeer. A one-hour performance, live on stage December 10-12, 2021 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Perfect for families of all ages. General admission seating. Reserve your tickets and view the health & safety policy at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

Community Music School of Springfield
Springfield, MA

Buy 4 private music lessons & get 1 free!

Creativity, self-expression, and the joy of music are gifts that last a lifetime, so the Community Music School of Springfield is making music lessons easy & affordable for your loved one this holiday season. All of their packages for private music lessons feature buy-4 get-1-free pricing, the choice of virtual or in-person instruction, and perfect match teachers. Ordering online or over the phone is easy & they can deliver gift certificates via email or mail. You choose the length of the lesson (30, 45, 60 min.), and the recipient selects the instrument & time that works best for their schedule when they redeem their gift package. Start date for lessons is Jan 2022. Learn more or purchase today! communitymusicschool.com/gifts 413-732-8428.

Sensory SpOT
East Longmeadow, MA

Registering now for 2022!

At Sensory SpOT, children explore ways to foster the growth of their emotional well-being, a strong mind-body connection, & strengthen their foundational skills necessary for learning. They create a positive learning environment that builds on your child’s strengths to allow them to flourish and grow their skills. Located in East Longmeadow, MA, Sensory SpOT offers individualized & group-based occupational therapy services and wellness groups for children provided by a Licensed Occupational Therapist and/or Occupational Therapy staff. Sessions are 45-60 mins. They are registering now for January 2022 SpOT and Wellness groups. Space is limited & registration required for services. Visit sensoryspotma.com for info & registration.

Four Winds School
Gill, MA

Four Winds School in Gill, MA, is now accepting applications from 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students for the current school year and Fall 2022. The Four Winds curriculum provides a balance between focused training in basic academic skills and the freedom for students to explore their interests. Teacher and student work together to design an individualized academic program based on these evaluations and the student’s learning style. Visit Four Winds School at fourwindsschool.info to learn more. 

Giving Tree School
Gill, MA

Outdoor Program.

Preschool ♦ Ages 2.9-5
For more information: givingtreeschool.org, admin@givingtreeschool.org, or call 413-863-9218.

Celebrate the whole child! The Giving Tree preschool program is thoughtfully designed to support young children’s social-emotional growth, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills. Students enjoy ample outdoor exploration and playtime each day in their rambling and rugged Outdoor Classroom. Only 15 minutes from downtown Greenfield, set among the woods and pastures of Gill. Giving Tree is committed to fostering active, hands-on early learning experiences that are playful and purposeful, laying the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. Licensed by EEC and accredited by NAEYC & HighScope. Sliding scale tuition.

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Partner with HIlltown Families!

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: swildfield@hilltownfamilies.org. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.

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List of Weekly Suggested Events



SHOP LOCAL/ CRAFT FAIR. 9am-3pm. 10th Annual Craft & Vendor Fair at Easthampton High School 70 Williston Ave. Easthampton, MA. 

SHOP LOCAL/ CRAFT FAIR. 9am-2pm. Holiday Craft Fair at the Williamsburg Grange Hall 10 Main St, Williamsburg, MA. 

BOARDGAMES. 10am. Boardgames at the Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. 


HABITAT/ HIKING. 10am-1pm. Fauna & Flora Hike at the Dorothy Rice Sanctuary with Tamarack Hollow, co-sponsored by the Peru Library. Register: aimee@gaiaroots.com Peru, MA. 

ART STUDIES/ INTERGENERATIONAL. 10am-12pm. Family Art Studio: Fantastic Beasts at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires. 413-298-5252. 13 Willard Hill Rd. Stockbridge, MA. 

LOCAL HISTORY/ APPLES. 10am-5:30pm. Apples have an important history in Deerfield. Learn about this history through the lens of apples at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.  


ART STUDIES. 11am. Art Chats at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. 

STEM/ 3D PRINTING. 11am. Intro to 3D Printing at Make-It Springfield. 413-342-1681. 168 Worthington St, Springfield, MA. 


ANIMAL STUDIES. 12:30pm. Chow Time at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.


THEATER STUDIES. 1pm. Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at UMass Bowker Auditorium (Stockbridge Hall). 413-545-0111. 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA. 

PUPPETRY/ TEENS. 1-4pm. Foam Sculpted Puppets at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires. 413-298-5252. 13 Willard Hill Rd. Stockbridge, MA. 

SUSTAINABILITY/ SEED EXCHANGE. 2pm. Hilltown Fall Seed Exchange at Pettingill Memorial Park. Cummington, MA. 

PUERTO RICAN FOOD TRADITIONS. 2pm. Learn to make coquito at La Diáspora. 234 Exchange St Chicopee, MA. 

HOLIDAY/ TREE LIGHTING. 3:30pm. Tree Lighting at Yankee Candle Village. 877-636-7707. 25 Greenfield Rd, South Deerfield, MA. 

THEATER STUDIES. 7pm. Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at UMass Bowker Auditorium (Stockbridge Hall). 413-545-0111. 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA. 

THEATER STUDIES. 7-9pm. Low Budget High School Play at Holyoke Public Schools. 500 Beech St, Holyoke, MA. 


Self-Directed Learning: Fashion History/Aprons

When you think of an apron, you might think of a homemaker wearing one while cooking for the holidays or a white chef apron worn by the cook at your favorite restaurant. Historically, people wore aprons for much more than just cooking. There were fancy taffeta aprons worn as a social status by women hosting guests, aprons made of wool for scullery maids that were fire retardant, and occupational aprons made of leather or heavy canvas in which men wore at work. Aprons can be a lens to learn about cultural heritage through the life stories of the homemakers who wore them. They can also support interests in textile arts, sewing, art history, and fashion.


Self-Directed Learning: Language Arts/Zines

Zines (short for magazine or fanzine) are self-published books that include different media forms: collage, illustrations, comic strips, and words.  A zine can be a book of poetry or a story, it can be a guide book or a collection of fairy tales – the sky’s the limit!  Zines can also be photocopied and bound so that you can produce multiple copies. Making a zine is a rewarding, creative process and can undoubtedly be a part of your gift-giving plans for the holidays while supporting interests in language arts, literary art, paperarts, and self-publishing.



PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Hilltowns & Pioneer Valley 

PLAYGROUPS. Family Center & Playgroups in Franklin County 

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in south Berkshire County 

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in north Berkshire County 

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

AVIATION HISTORY. 10am-3pm. Homeschool Days at the New England Air Museum. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Rd, Windsor Locks, CT. 

PLAYGROUP. 10am. Learn n’ Play Indoor Playgroup at the West Springfield Public Library. 413-736-4561. 200 Park St, West Springfield, MA. 

LOCAL INDIGENOUS HISTORY & CULTURE. 10am-5pm. Muh-he-con-ne-ok: The People of the Waters That Are Never Still, on view at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. 

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

TEXTILE ARTS/ CROCHET. 11am. Crafty Crochet Club at Make-It Springfield. 413-342-1681. 168 Worthington St, Springfield, MA. 

HISTORY/ THANKSGIVING. 7pm. Myth Busting Thanksgiving. Kisha James (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah and Oglala Lakota) will be debunking the settler narrative of Thanksgiving that remains pervasive in our classrooms and communities. The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A. (Virtual) 

FOOD STUDIES/ FERMENTATION. 7pm. Fermentation Journeys with Sandor Katz and Ann Yonetani (Virtual)


FILM STUDIES/ JAPANESE ANIME FILMS. 7:30pm. Anime and Art Film Series: Weathering With You with Williams College Museum of Art at Images Cinema, 50 Spring St., Williamstown, MA. 

MUSIC STUDIES/ WIND ENSEMBLE. 7:30-9pm. Wind Ensemble Fall Concert at John M. Greene Hall. 413-584-2700. 60 Elm Street, Northampton, MA.


Self-Directed Learning: 3D Printing

3D printing, a type of industrial robot which can synthesize three-dimensional objects for a variety of purposes, is one of the most exciting technological, scientific, and creative innovations of recent years. Local libraries and other learning centers have begun to support an interest in engineering, technology, and creativity by housing 3D printers and providing demonstrations of the technology.


Self-Directed Learning: Numerical Systems

By exploring number systems, families can help children to solidify their own understanding of the numerals and place value of our own familiar base ten number system. From binary code and Roman numerals to a lost 13th-century cipher and a zero-less system from 300 BC, number systems from around the world can lead to fascinating explorations of numerical representations and place value. Support interests in science, technology, engineering, and math by learning about numerical systems in our post, Explorations of Number Systems Support Strong Mathematical Skills.


Self-Directed Learning: Thanksgiving Food Traditions

How did the small wild cranberry, known as sasumuneash by the Wampanoag Native American people, become the plump berry we serve up every Thanksgiving? Get curious about the origin of the foods served during Thanksgiving and the traditions passed down from generation to generation. Learn about the evolution of foods like corn on the cob, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, and of course, turkey by using your Thanksgiving meal as a catalyst for learning about agriculture, pastry arts, and history.



Self-Directed Learning: Generosity & Gratitude

November is a month of generosity, with gestures of abundance played out through our community landscape. Nature is generous, leaving our open fields and meadows with a plethora of grass and wildflower seeds feeding wildlife in the winter and delivering a promise to summer pollinators. The cultivated land is generous, delivering a cornucopia of locally grown food from the late harvest. People are generous, volunteering and spreading kindness during the holiday season. Family and friends are generous, sharing recipes and stories during holiday dinners. And the community is generous, creating a shared history together during annual community meals. During this month there are at least two common threads that run through these gestures of generosity. The first of which is food! Integrating community engagement opportunities centered around food with curiosity and compassion can help to strengthen our connection to place by being fully present in the moment and open to those with whom we share our lives… and our meals! Read more in our post, November: A Month of Generosity.


FOOD HISTORY/ COOKING. 9:30am-4:30pm. See how our hearth cooks prepare traditional Thanksgiving dishes using hearth cooking methods at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA. 

CRAFT FAIR. 10-4pm. Annual Seconds Sale at Snow Farm-New England Craft. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Rd, Williamsburg, MA. 

ARTISAN TRADE/ POTTERY. 10am-4pm. Stephen Earp will demonstrate the craft of making redware pottery at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA. 

MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-5pm. Holiday Happenings at Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. 

LOCAL INDIGENOUS HISTORY & CULTURE. 10am-5pm. Muh-he-con-ne-ok: The People of the Waters That Are Never Still, on view at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA.  

LOCAL HISTORY/ APPLES. 10am-5:30pm. Apples have an important history in Deerfield. Learn about this history through the lens of apples at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA. 

MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ ASTRONOMY. 10am-7:30pm. Museum of the Moon, art & science come together in a radiant installation at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. 

MYO GIFT. 12:30-4:30pm. Hand-Made Gift Making at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA. 

HIKE. 1-2:30pm. Family nature walk at Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. 

BOOK SALE. 4pm. Stock up at the Arms Library. 413-625-0306. 60 Bridge St., Shelburne Falls, MA. 

HOLIDAY STROLL. 4-9pm Moonlight Magic in downtown Shelburne Falls, MA. 

HOLIDAY LIGHTS. 5-11pm. Bright Nights at Forest Park. 300 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA.


Self-Directed Learning: Handmade Holiday Gifts

Take the challenge this year by shopping local and non-commercial during the holiday season. The abundance of craft fairs and open studios happening in the area featuring handmade products by local artists and artisans make it easy to find that special something when looking for a gift of any kind. Handmade wood or glass ornaments, hand-knitted scarves, upcycled accessories, one-of-a-kind prints and stationary… our region is filled with a robust creative economy filled with amazing artisans! From handmade soap to mason jar lanterns to gardening kits, there are also limitless simple homemade gift ideas you and your kids can make to give this holiday season.

Weekly eNewsletter

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.