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!
Whole Children in Hadley, MA, is pleased to offer a Virtual & In-Person Winter Program for school-age kids and teens. Their 6-week program will be offered Monday through Saturday, January 10 – February 19, 2022 and will include a full roster of virtual classes and a selection of in-person classes, including photography, theater, Joyful Chorus, Friendship Band, and more! Price: $125 for six weeks of unlimited classes! For more information, visit wholechildren.org/class-schedule or call 413-585-8010.
Give the gift of a clean home this holiday season with GreenLove Eco Cleaning! Get 30% off a Gift Certificate with their Holiday Special, available to purchase on their website through 12/31/21. GreenLove’s fully insured and bonded team offers greener, healthier lifestyle services to their community as part of the greater sustainability movement and focuses on building resilient communities through fair pay, healthy lifestyle education, and family-first values. This past year marked their 11th year in business, and after coming through last year’s pandemic, they are stronger than ever! The GreenLove Team is currently working on transitioning to a worker-owned cooperative model in early 2022. Sign up for a cleaning at www.greenloveclean.com.
When we tell positive stories about our lives, engaging our inner wisdom, we cultivate the possibility for new ideas to emerge by shifting our perspective towards what works. If you’re feeling stuck in any area of your life and seeking changes in the new year, take time for yourself to clarify your focus, flip your perspective, dream, and design your way into the new year. The weekend of Jan 8 & 9, 2022, experienced facilitator & coach Anne Ditzler will host a customized, online retreat using Appreciative Inquiry to embrace challenges while exploring creative ways to use your insights. This two-day retreat takes place via Zoom from 1-5:30pm. Registration deadline: Dec 29. Cost: Sliding scale. For more info, visit ditzlercoaching.weebly.com.
Are you looking for a unique gift for a child in your life? The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA, invites you to Give the Gift of Reading! For just $25 a month, the child that you enroll will receive a handpicked book based on the age, interests, and reading level that you provide. From newborns to young adults, no child is too young or too old to join! Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with their Gift of Reading Coordinator at email@example.com for more information. Odyssey Bookshop. 413-534-7307. 9 College Street, South Hadley MA.
Starlight’s Musical Spectacular will celebrate 15 years of bringing youth musicals to the community on Saturday, January 8, 2022, @ 1pm! Starlight’s Youth Theatre alumni will join current students at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton to perform songs from Les Miserable, Annie, Oliver, Wizard of Oz, Bye Bye Birdie, Into the Woods, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Starlight Express, and many more. Ticket prices: $22/adults, $18/seniors & students. For tickets, go to www.aomtheatre.com. More info: www.starlights-youth-theatre.com.
Did you know that the Academy of Music Theatre presents a fully staged youth musical every year? Come hoot and holler with them in Oklahoma! – part of the “Getting to Know Rodgers and Hammerstein” series. Open to ages 9-16, no experience necessary. Rehearsals start on January 4, 2022, and run on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week from 5-7pm at the Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA. The final performances will be on March 10 & 11, 2022. Visit aomtheatre.comand click “Academy Youth Productions” under the Youth Programs menu to register. Email Education Director, Susan Dillard, with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEATURED PEDIATRIC OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Sensory SpOT East Longmeadow, MA
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.
The Bement School, founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield, MA, is a co-educational day and boarding school serving 200 students from kindergarten through grade 9. While Bement is scheduling individual campus tours in person, a series of virtual open houses are offered from January 11-13, 2022. 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 one of the open houses.
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.
Many contemporary Christmas icons have commercial roots. From Coca-Cola’s Santa Claus to Aebersold & Bell’s Elf on a Shelf. This holiday season, examine the history behind the commercialization of Christmas, and then compare and contrast with icons and traditions based on different cultures and values. Begin with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, first appearing in a booklet published by the department store chain Montgomery Ward, compared with reindeer’s traditional heritage.
In the colder months, when we’re bundled up inside, sleeping under a pile of blankets, and scuffling about our homes in socks and slippers, we might find that we often encounter electrical shocks when we touch doorknobs or tiny bolts of “lightning” emitted from blankets as we toss about to get warm and comfortable. Static electricity is to blame! This phenomenon is the perfect opportunity to learn about the physics of electricity and why we get tiny shocks more often in the winter than in the summer months.
STORYTIME/ LITERACY. 4:30 pm. Stuffed Animal Storytime. Kids up through age five are invited to snuggle up with your favorite stuffed animal to hear stories and songs with the Jones Library. To register: email@example.com. (Virtual)
Self-Directed Learning: Music Studies/Gamelan Music
Did you know that Gamelan music is the traditional musical ensemble of the islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia? In the Javanese language, the word “gamelan” means “to strike with a mallet,” and if you’ve ever had the chance to hear this amazing music, you’ll know why: the ensemble is made up almost entirely of percussive instruments! According to Indonesian mythology, the gamelan was created thousands of years ago by an ancient king who invented the gong to summon the gods. The impact of this beautiful music has been felt worldwide, and several well-known Western composers were so struck by it that they incorporated elements of gamelan into their music.
GEOCACHING. 1-2:30pm. Looking for a fun way to engage your tech-savvy kids with the natural world? Try geocaching (JEE-oh-cash-ing)! This outdoor activity combines hiking with a tech-aided treasure hunt. Join Kathy Gwozdz of Berkshire Geobash to learn the basics, then head out on the trail to test out new skills. Can you find the hidden treasure? Beginners are welcome! No experience or digital device is necessary. Download the free geocaching.com app and bring your digital device to participate fully. FREE. For all ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Dress appropriately for winter weather; hiking poles and traction devices for boots (or snowshoes) are recommended. Trails may be snow-covered, icy, or muddy. Bring drinking water and a snack. Meet at Visitor Center. Inclement weather cancels. 413-499-4262. Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.
The Matryoshka or nesting doll, is a distinctly Russian handicraft. Incorrectly referred to as “babushka dolls,” matryoshka were first created by Russian craftsmen in the late 19th century, and often portray characters from Russian folklore or Soviet history. It is unknown where the inspiration for the doll originally came from, though the first matryoshka artists were heavily influenced by traditional crafts and dolls from China and Japan. The Japanese, Seven Lucky Gods nesting doll, for example, may be an early instance of the matryoshka.
Games are universal. Every human community in history has had some game played by children and adults. When you think about it, it’s no surprise that in addition to fun, games teach us a lot about positive social interactions. Games teach problem-solving, dramatically increase communication skills, foster cooperation, and reduce stress. Establishing a family game night can also be a great way to build new family traditions while supporting learning at home.
HIKING. 1-2:30pm. Enjoy a brisk winter trail hike. Suitable for families with children able to walk one to three miles on an easy to moderate trail. Be prepared for the weather, dress in layers, and wear sturdy snow boots. Hiking poles and traction devices for boots (or snowshoes) are recommended. Trails may be snow-covered, icy, or muddy. Bring drinking water and a snack. FREE. For all ages. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at Visitor Center. Inclement weather cancels. 413-499-4262. Mount Greylock State Reservation, 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA.
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.
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.