Weekly Suggested Events for October 1-7, 2022

Home > Suggested Events > Weekly Suggested Events for October 1-7, 2022
Learning through the lens of the seasons! October is rich in learning opportunities and family fun throughout Western MA.

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!

COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Amelia Park Children’s Museum. 413-572-4014. 29 S Broad St, Westfield, MA.

AGRICULTURE: Apex Orchards. 413-625-2744. 225 Peckville Rd. Shelburne, MA.

HERBALISM: Blazing Star Herbal School. Conway, MA.

LIVING HISTORY: Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

HIKING: Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA.

Inspired academics, gifted teachers, music and art in everyday learning, active land stewardship, and a culture of compassion: this is the Hartsbrook School. Whether exploring the nearby fields and stream or delving into deep inquiry, Hartsbrook students develop foundational learning skills that last a lifetime. Discover how meaningful a school experience can be, and enjoy a vibrant, active parent community. Now accepting applications for 2023-24, pre-K thru high school! For more information, call 413-586-1908 x116 to begin your exploration. Visit the school online at www.hartsbrook.org. Hartsbrook School is located at 193 Bay Road in Hadley, MA. 

Founded in 1975, Oak Meadow is a trusted education option for homeschooling and distance learning that supports your child and follows them wherever their heart leads. 

Leapfrog Programs presents, the 5th Annual Groundnut Gathering – Earth Living Skills Rendezvous on October 7-9, 2022, in the Hilltowns! Get outdoors with nature immersion opportunities this fall during this ancestral skills gathering 
in Montgomery, MA. Participants will come together on the land to learn and share timeless skills practiced by people on all continents, including animal tracking, hide tanning, friction fires, storytelling, and more! Leapfrog Programs also offers after-school and homeschool programs for K-8. Experience nature immersion and connection, learn foundational skills and routines, and begin a lifelong, meaningful relationship with many species and the land. To register or to learn more, visit leapfrogprograms.org.

FEATURED COUPLES THERAPY
Couples Therapy, Inc.
Cummington, MA

Marriage Retreats: In-person & Online

We are living in historically stressful times. Unfortunately, many families and marriages have struggled to navigate these difficult times. But did you know that science-based couples therapy is 70-92% effective for most motivated couplesDaniel Dashnaw is a Marriage and Family therapist AND one of the founders of www.couplestherapyinc.com, the most extensive science-based couples therapy practice in the United States. Daniel has been a Hilltown resident for over 20 years. Couples from around the world visit his secluded sanctuary in the deep woods of Cummington to roll up their sleeves and turn their marriages around. We live in tough times. Intimacy is hard. Can science-based couples therapy help your marriage? Email Daniel at daniel@couplestherapyinc.com to learn more. 

FEATURED EVENT
Housatonic Heritage Walks
Berkshire County, MA, & Litchfield County, CT

The Skating Club of Amherst
20th annual autumn “Housatonic Heritage Walks” on five weekends, starting the first weekend in September.

Housatonic Heritage Walks are FREE, guided interpretive walks to the most interesting historic, cultural, industrial, natural, and scenic sites in Berkshire County, MA, & Litchfield County, CT. These family-friendly free walks are offered on autumn weekends throughout September and early October. Explore with knowledgeable & local historians, naturalists, and environmentalists at sites within the Housatonic River Valley: tours of historic buildings and town centers, trail hikes, walks through industrial heritage sites, a canoe paddling trip on the Housatonic River, bike rides on quiet country roads that have a history, behind-the-scenes tours at performing arts venues, and strolls through formal gardens and estates. All ages & all people are invited. More info: Heritage-Hikes.org.

FEATURED EVENT
The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival
Orange, MA

The Skating Club of Amherst
October 1 & 2, 2022 from 10am-5pm!

The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival returns Oct 1 & 2! This popular family-friendly weekend is back and not to be missed. Held on a historic farm amid fall foliage, celebrate community and local living with two days of peace, love, and garlic! Fabulous music & performance on three stages; over 80 exhibitors featuring art, agriculture, healing arts, and local organizations; a terrific kids art tent & games for all ages; glorious garlic cuisine and chef demos; ample inspiration & workshops for a hopeful future. Family-friendly inflation-busting weekend admission! $10 adults, $5 students, seniors, EBT, kids 12 & under FREE! Visit www.garlicandarts.org for parking, shuttle, & full schedule of events. No pets. Follow on FB and Instagram. 

FEATURED PRESCHOOL
Prelude Preschool of the Arts
Springfield, MA

The Skating Club of Amherst
Prelude Preschool of the Arts offers full-day and half-day programming in Springfield, MA.

There’s still time to enroll your little one in an exceptional arts education offering an innovative and engaging curriculum for preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten age students. Prelude Preschool of the Arts, an arts-integrated preschool in Springfield, MA, provides a nurturing environment for children and families to explore, learn, and create. Offering a flexible, arts-centered preschool programming for ages 2.9-5, children are cared for by a dedicated team of expert artists, musicians, and educators within the walls of the treasured Community Music School of Springfield. To learn more, call 413-732-8428, or visit online at www.communitymusicschool.com.

FEATURED MUSIC SCHOOL
Berkshire Music School
Pittsfield, MA

Take a private lesson in person at BMS’s historic campus in Pittsfield or online.

Start the new school year off on the right note with lessons at the Berkshire Music School! Take a private lesson in person at BMS’s historic campus in Pittsfield or online from the comfort of your home. Private lessons may be arranged for 30, 45, or 60 minutes each week to meet the individual student’s needs. Interested in taking a music class with others? Try their fun Community Group Classes, offered on a pay-what-you-can basis! BMS private lessons and Community Group Classes are for students of all ages and levels. Check out why Berkshire Music School was named the Berkshire Eagle’s 2021 Best of the Berkshires “After-School Program.” For more info on how to register & class offerings, visit the BMS website:
www.BerkshireMusicSchool.org

See Your Ad Here

Partner with HIlltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 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.

2022 Class Directory

Class Directory

Discover virtual & adapted programming in our Class Directory for Western MA

2022 Preschool & Daycare Directory

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

List of Weekly Suggested Events

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2022

FEATURED EVENT
The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival
Orange, MA

The Skating Club of Amherst
October 1 & 2, 2022 from 10am-5pm!

The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival returns Oct 1 & 2! This popular family-friendly weekend is back and not to be missed. Held on a historic farm amid fall foliage, celebrate community and local living with two days of peace, love, and garlic! Fabulous music & performance on three stages; over 80 exhibitors featuring art, agriculture, healing arts, and local organizations; a terrific kids art tent & games for all ages; glorious garlic cuisine and chef demos; ample inspiration & workshops for a hopeful future. Family-friendly inflation-busting weekend admission! $10 adults, $5 students, seniors, EBT, kids 12 & under FREE! Visit www.garlicandarts.org for parking, shuttle, & full schedule of events. No pets. Follow on FB and Instagram. 

FEATURED EVENT
Housatonic Heritage Walks
Berkshire County, MA, & Litchfield County, CT

The Skating Club of Amherst
20th annual autumn “Housatonic Heritage Walks” on five weekends, starting the first weekend in September.

Housatonic Heritage Walks are FREE, guided interpretive walks to the most interesting historic, cultural, industrial, natural, and scenic sites in Berkshire County, MA, & Litchfield County, CT. These family-friendly free walks are offered on autumn weekends throughout September and early October. Explore with knowledgeable & local historians, naturalists, and environmentalists at sites within the Housatonic River Valley: tours of historic buildings and town centers, trail hikes, walks through industrial heritage sites, a canoe paddling trip on the Housatonic River, bike rides on quiet country roads that have a history, behind-the-scenes tours at performing arts venues, and strolls through formal gardens and estates. All ages & all people are invited. More info: Heritage-Hikes.org.

FEATURED EVENT
Connecticut Trolley Museum’s Pumpkin Patch

The Skating Club of Amherst
East Windsor, CT

Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, CT, will hold their popular Pumpkin Patch event every Sat & Sun, including Monday, Oct 10 until Oct 30. Pumpkin Patch is a family fun-filled adventure where families ride on a trolley car out to the pumpkin patch field, and each child can pick out a FREE sugar pumpkin. Back at the Museum, they can decorate pumpkins, enjoy hands-on crafts & the outside play area with SPOOKTACULAR Halloween activities. Tickets are also good for the Fire Truck Museum, housed on the same property as the Trolley Museum. Visit www.ct-trolley.org for hours of operation & to book your tickets. Admission is $14/adults, $13/seniors, $13/ages 12-17, $11/ages 2-11, and under 2 is free. 

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 7:30am-1:30pm. Amherst Farmers’ Market – Town Common. Amherst, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 8am-12:30pm. Greenfield Farmers’ Market – Since 1975, the Greenfield Farmers’ Market has provided fresh, locally grown produce, animal products, artisanal goods, and handcrafted items. Court Square. Greenfield, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 8am-1pm. Northampton Farmers’ Market – Gothic Street. Northampton, MA.

NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE. 8am-11pm. The Big E – Each year, more than 1.6 million people travel to Eastern States Exposition’s grounds for New England’s grandest fair: The Big E! This 17-day event provides a one-of-a-kind tactile experience in which visitors can celebrate the season and enjoy the region’s sights, sounds, and flavors. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Ave. West Springfield, MA.

FAMILY RADIO: 9-10am. Hilltown Family Variety Show. WXOJ 103.3FM Northampton, MA. (Radio)

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 9am-1pm.Ashfield Farmers’ Market – Fresh produce, meat, bread, and plants on the Town Common. Ashfield, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 9am-1pm.The Pittsfield Farmers Market – The first teen-run market in the region! Shoppers will find fresh, local, and seasonal foods & products, along with live music, chef demos, workshops, and children’s activities. Town Common. Pittsfield, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 9am-1pm. Great Barrington Farmers’ Market – Lots of vendors. Freshly grown and produced foods, ready to eat or take home, flowers, plants, and more! 18 Church Street. Great Barrington, MA. 

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 9am-1pm. Williamstown Farmers’ Market – A setting for community gathering and interaction with local growers, artisans, producers, bakers, and food-makers sharing a wealth of knowledge and skills about local agriculture and production. Spring St. Williamstown, MA.

CORN MAZE/ HERITAGE. 9am-5pm. Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm with activities, games, and amusements to entertain the entire family. Ride on a horse-drawn wagon, fire the mighty potato cannons, pick out your own Halloween pumpkin, and stay for lunch at the Corn Cafe, serving farm-fresh food all day. 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA.

📚 LITERACY/ FUNDRAISER. 9am-12pm. Book Sale & Fall Festival – Enjoy food, music, puppets, and games on the lawn. Arrive early for their book sale. Tilton Library. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA.

FOOD HISTORY/ PIES. 9:30am-4pm. Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration: Pies – Autumn is a great time to bake pies. Seasonal ingredients like pumpkin, squash, and apples are readily available. Pies were a highlight of the season; a common dish served as part of the meal. They were savory or sweet—sometimes with surprising flavor combinations. See them baked without the convenience of a modern oven, learning about history through the lens of food at the Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

HISTORIC TRADES. 10am. Historic Trade Demonstration: Coopering – Learn about the craft of making wooden casks and barrels. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

LITERACY/ STORYTIME. 10am. Fall Storytime – Greenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

📚 LITERACY/ FUNDRAISER. 10am. Book Sale – Stock up on winter reads and books & A/V materials to support your interests … all while raising funds for the Montague Public Libraries. Arrive early to secure a place in line. Takes place at the Carnegie Library. 201 Ave. A. Turners Falls, MA.

LOCAL HISTORY. 10am-12pm. The Ashfield Historical Society Museum – Visit a general store, pottery, photography, and products. Learn about the history of education in Ashfield and citizens who served in local conflicts and wars. And much more! 413-628-0001.457 Main St. Ashfield, MA. 

📚 LITERACY/ FUNDRAISER. 10am-2pm.  Book Sale and Open House – Arrive early for the best selection of used books to support The Huntington Public Library. 413-512-5206. 7 E Main St, Huntington, MA.

CORN MAZE. 10am-5pm. Get lost in a corn maze, a classic New England tradition! Hicks Family Farm. 1299 Route 2 E. Charlemont MA.

NATURAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: 10am-5pm. The Beneski Museum of Natural History – One of New England’s largest natural history museums, featuring three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display. Step inside the museum, and you’ll find: Dramatic displays of fossil skeletons, from fish to dinosaurs to Ice Age megafauna, an extraordinary collection of local dinosaur footprints, geological specimens and immersive exhibits that tell the history of the local landscape through geologic time, including when dinosaurs inhabited the area, and dazzling mineral specimens from around the world and meteorites from beyond Earth. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

⭐️ ART STUDIES/ CYANOTYPE. 10:30am. Art and Nature: Cyanotype Workshop for Families – In this workshop, participants use leaves and flowers to create a photographic image without a camera! The magical cyanotype process, developed in 1852, will help participants make graphic blue and white prints on paper. The workshop will begin by reading a story about Anna Atkins, a 19th-century girl raised to be a scientist who created the first photographic book using the cyanotype process. All materials are included. Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 10:30am-3pm. Holyoke Farmers’ Market. 164 Race St, Holyoke, MA.

⭐️ ART STUDIES/ OPEN STUDIOS. 11am-5pm. Hilltown Open Studio Tour – Over twenty artists who have chosen the beautiful and historic Western Massachusetts Hilltowns as a place to live and work, will be opening their workspaces to visitors. Local artists will offer art demonstrations and a full slate of food and drink opportunities from unique Hilltown artists and producers. Hilltowns, MA.

🎃 AGRICULTURE/ CELEBRATION. 11am-5:30pm. Pumpkinfest – Whitney’s Farm Market & Garden Center. 413-442-4749. 1775 S State Rd, Cheshire, MA.

MUSIC STUDIES/ JAZZ. 11:15am-6:30pm. Northampton Jazz Festival. Northampton, MA.

⭐️ TEXTILE ARTS/ HISTORY. 12-4:30pm. Weaving Wonder: The Art and Craft of Making Cloth – Families are invited to visit Historic Deerfield’s History Workshop and have fun with weaving: use their small floor loom to learn the basic steps of making a piece of cloth or craft a bright and beautiful woven wall hanging to take home. Everyone can become a weaver! Apply your new knowledge and skills to explore woven textiles in their collection! Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

ANIMAL STUDIES/ CANINE. 1pm. Library Dog Show – Dickinson Memorial Library. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 1-5pm. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum – Located on the Mount Holyoke College campus, this Museum is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country, dedicated to providing firsthand experience with works of significant aesthetic and cultural value. The Museum offers pre- and post-visit educational materials designed for kids of all ages to maximize their learning potential while exploring the galleries and connecting art with their personal experiences, including walking and activity guides and educator resources. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA.

ARTISAN SKILLS/ STAINED GLASS. 2pm. Stained Glass Jewelry/Trinket Box – This class is designed to teach students the skills they need to do stained glass art at home or continue using the makerspace for other projects. Participants will be taught how to use all the tools/equipment to create a hinged-lidded box. LaunchSpace. 978-633-5131. 131 W Main St Suite 342, Orange, MA.

MUSIC STUDIES/ BAND. 2pm. Bandtoberfest: Family Concert on the Common – A family-friendly outdoor musical celebration of autumn featuring the UMass Wind Ensemble and Symphony Bands. Takes place on the Amherst Common. Amherst, MA.

⭐️ SENSE OF PLACE/ CONNECTICUT RIVER. 2pm. Canal Investigation Station – How has Turners Falls’ location–along a bend of the Connecticut River–impacted its history? What is the Indigenous heritage of this community? Which industries thrived along the Turners Falls Canal? Who worked in the Canal’s factories? What were their lives like? How does the Canal affect local wildlife? What is the future of the Canal District? How will new development impact the community? Stop by the DCR station, visit staff, and walk away with a better sense of where you are and those who came before you. The Canalside Rail Trail is chock full of stories about the past-–fish, barges, steamships, paper, cutlery, cotton, and hydroelectricity. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

PARANORMAL. 7pm. Ghost Tours – Do ghosts live at Storrowton? Find out about paranormal investigations in the Village, then take a guided tour of the museum buildings with Village staff and volunteers hearing stories of unexplained occurrences. Storrowton Village Museum. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue, West Springfield, MA.

MORE EVENTS: Discover more events on Hilltown Families’ Facebook page.

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Self-Directed Learning: Bluejays & Crows

Bluejays and American crows fill the early soundscape with their jeers and caws, warning one another of migrating broad-winged hawks overheard. The grey squirrel’s kuks & quaas can be heard from the branch-highway of oak, aspen, and maple trees they scurry upon as these deciduous trees slowly begin to drop their leaves. These are some of the sounds and movements of late summer and early autumn. Paying attention to our soundscape changes as we move through the seasons anchors us in the present moment and allows for investigation and appreciation. Take the time to stop and observe, seeing what thoughts and curiosities arise when you pay attention to your soundscape. Why are bluejays so quiet in the summer but not in the fall? How does the fall hawk migration influence their behavior? Can you tell the difference between a male and a female bluejay? How about crows? Do you know how long they live? Let these questions lead your learning this week, following your interests and connecting with the seasonal changes and behaviors of native species.

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2022

FEATURED EVENT
The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival
Orange, MA

The Skating Club of Amherst
October 1 & 2, 2022 from 10am-5pm!

The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival returns Oct 1 & 2! This popular family-friendly weekend is back and not to be missed. Held on a historic farm amid fall foliage, celebrate community and local living with two days of peace, love, and garlic! Fabulous music & performance on three stages; over 80 exhibitors featuring art, agriculture, healing arts, and local organizations; a terrific kids art tent & games for all ages; glorious garlic cuisine and chef demos; ample inspiration & workshops for a hopeful future. Family-friendly inflation-busting weekend admission! $10 adults, $5 students, seniors, EBT, kids 12 & under FREE! Visit www.garlicandarts.org for parking, shuttle, & full schedule of events. No pets. Follow on FB and Instagram. 

FEATURED EVENT
Housatonic Heritage Walks
Berkshire County, MA, & Litchfield County, CT

The Skating Club of Amherst
20th annual autumn “Housatonic Heritage Walks” on five weekends, starting the first weekend in September.

Housatonic Heritage Walks are FREE, guided interpretive walks to the most interesting historic, cultural, industrial, natural, and scenic sites in Berkshire County, MA, & Litchfield County, CT. These family-friendly free walks are offered on autumn weekends throughout September and early October. Explore with knowledgeable & local historians, naturalists, and environmentalists at sites within the Housatonic River Valley: tours of historic buildings and town centers, trail hikes, walks through industrial heritage sites, a canoe paddling trip on the Housatonic River, bike rides on quiet country roads that have a history, behind-the-scenes tours at performing arts venues, and strolls through formal gardens and estates. All ages & all people are invited. More info: Heritage-Hikes.org.

FEATURED EVENT
Connecticut Trolley Museum’s Pumpkin Patch

The Skating Club of Amherst
East Windsor, CT

Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, CT, will hold their popular Pumpkin Patch event every Sat & Sun, including Monday, Oct 10 until Oct 30. Pumpkin Patch is a family fun-filled adventure where families ride on a trolley car out to the pumpkin patch field, and each child can pick out a FREE sugar pumpkin. Back at the Museum, they can decorate pumpkins, enjoy hands-on crafts & the outside play area with SPOOKTACULAR Halloween activities. Tickets are also good for the Fire Truck Museum, housed on the same property as the Trolley Museum. Visit www.ct-trolley.org for hours of operation & to book your tickets. Admission is $14/adults, $13/seniors, $13/ages 12-17, $11/ages 2-11, and under 2 is free. 

FAMILY RADIO: 7-8am. Hilltown Family Variety Show. WXOJ 103.3FM Northampton, MA. (Radio)

NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE. 8am-10pm. The Big E – Each year, more than 1.6 million people travel to Eastern States Exposition’s grounds for New England’s grandest fair: The Big E! This 17-day event provides a one-of-a-kind tactile experience in which visitors can celebrate the season and enjoy the region’s sights, sounds, and flavors. 413-737-2443. 1305 Memorial Ave. West Springfield, MA.

CORN MAZE/ HERITAGE. 9am-5pm. Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm with activities, games, and amusements to entertain the entire family. Ride on a horse-drawn wagon, fire the mighty potato cannons, pick out your own Halloween pumpkin, and stay for lunch at the Corn Cafe, serving farm-fresh food all day. 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA.

FIRE & SAFETY. 10am-2pm. Northampton Fire Rescue Open House – The station will be open for view tours, safe education, touch-a-truck, police K9s, and comfort dog. Learn about this local resource, how they serve our community, and career opportunities serving your community. Light refreshments served. 26 Carlon Drive. Northampton, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ LOCAL CRAFTS. 10am-2pm. Belchertown Farmers and Artisans Market – Small New England town with local-based farmers supplying freshly harvested produce, animal products, and artisan crafts. Town Common. Belchertown, MA.

⭐️ ⭐️ FALL FESTIVAL. 10am-4pm. Festival of the Hills – Annual small-town fall festival! Originally started in 1962, back after a two-year hiatus. Includes craft fair, bake sale, live music, kids activities, art exhibit, skillet toss, and more. Conway, MA.

ENTOMOLOGY/ BUTTERFLIES. 10am-4:30pm. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory – An 8000 square-foot tropical conservatory with nearly 4000 free-flying tropical and native butterflies from all over the world. Learn about butterflies along with exotic reptiles, frogs, fish, birds, and insects! Ask about their guided tours. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

CORN MAZE. 10am-5pm. Get lost in a corn maze, a classic New England tradition! Hicks Family Farm. 1299 Route 2 E. Charlemont MA.

LITERATURE/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-5pm. The Emily Dickinson Museum – The collection at the Museum contains more than 8,000 artifacts, including family objects such as artwork, textiles, furniture, dinnerware, and other household items. Comprised of two historic houses in the center of Amherst, the Museum is associated with the poet Emily Dickinson and family members during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Through primary source material, support an interest in this local author, sparking a deeper understanding of her life and landscape. Emily Dickinson Museum. 413-542-8161. 280 Main St, Amherst, MA.

NATURAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: 10am-5pm. The Beneski Museum of Natural History – One of New England’s largest natural history museums, featuring three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display. Step inside the museum, and you’ll find: Dramatic displays of fossil skeletons, from fish to dinosaurs to Ice Age megafauna, an extraordinary collection of local dinosaur footprints, geological specimens and immersive exhibits that tell the history of the local landscape through geologic time, including when dinosaurs inhabited the area, and dazzling mineral specimens from around the world and meteorites from beyond Earth. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

⭐️ ART STUDIES/ OPEN STUDIOS. 11am-5pm. Hilltown Open Studio Tour – Over twenty artists who have chosen the beautiful and historic Western Massachusetts Hilltowns as a place to live and work, will be opening their workspaces to visitors. Local artists will offer art demonstrations and a full slate of food and drink opportunities from unique Hilltown artists and producers. Hilltowns, MA.

🎃 AGRICULTURE/ CELEBRATION. 11am-5:30pm. Pumpkinfest – Whitney’s Farm Market & Garden Center. 413-442-4749. 1775 S State Rd, Cheshire, MA.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/ HIKING. 12pm. Navin Family History Housatonic Heritage Hike – Join the Western Mass Hilltown Hikers and Tom Hoffman of the Washington Historical Commission for a hike through the historic 16,000-acre October Mountain State Forest. W Branch Rd, Washington, MA.

TEXTILE ARTS/ HISTORY. 12-4:30pm. Weaving Wonder: The Art and Craft of Making Cloth – Families are invited to visit Historic Deerfield’s History Workshop and have fun with weaving: use their small floor loom to learn the basic steps of making a piece of cloth or craft a bright and beautiful woven wall hanging to take home. Everyone can become a weaver! Apply your new knowledge and skills to explore woven textiles in their collection! Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

⭐️ MYO BIRD FEEDER. 1pm. Making a Bird Feeder – Make a simple bird feeder while learning about attracting birds and how to use specific seeds. Organizers will provide seeds along with milk cartons for the feeder construction. Mt. Tom State Reservation Stone House Visitor Center. 413-527-4805. 125 Reservation Rd, Holyoke, MA.

⭐️ ⭐️ COMMUNITY CELEBRATION. 1pm. 66th Annual Fall Foliage Parade: Holidays on Parade in North Adams, MA.

LOCAL HISTORY. 1pm. Visit the Bernardston Museum – Visit the Bernardston Museum and explore the artifacts of the town’s history from its creation. Does your family have a history in the town that you would like to explore? Do you have relics related to the town that you would like to have preserved for future generations to appreciate? Visit and explore your history together. 20 Church St, Bernardston, MA.

MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 1-4pm. First Sunday Free – Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 1-5pm. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum – Located on the Mount Holyoke College campus, this Museum is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country, dedicated to providing firsthand experience with works of significant aesthetic and cultural value. The Museum offers pre- and post-visit educational materials designed for kids of all ages to maximize their learning potential while exploring the galleries and connecting art with their personal experiences, including walking and activity guides and educator resources. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA.

HILLTOWN HISTORY/ MUSEUM. 2-4pm. Kemp-McCarthy Museum in Rowe, MA – Families can learn all about the history of life in the Hilltowns at the Kemp-McCarthy Museum, the town of Rowe’s fantastic resource for learning about local history! Its permanent exhibits include an antique store filled with goods that were really for sale. It also consists of an early 1900’s schoolroom, a collection of clothing worn by both children and adults, a music room filled with antique instruments, and an exhibit that focuses on the material culture and pastimes of early 20th-century Hilltowners. Kemp-McCarthy Museum. 282 Zoar Road in Rowe, MA.

MORE EVENTS: Discover more events on Hilltown Families’ Facebook page.

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Self-Directed Learning: Honey Harvest

Come early autumn, most local honey has been harvested. You can find sweet amber bottles (sometimes with a slice of honeycomb) at co-ops, farmers’ markets, and roadside farm stands. Follow interests in world culture, culinary arts, confectionery art, conservation, geometry, and entomology through the lens of honey! Let the end of the honey harvest lead your learning for this week.

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MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2022

PLAYGROUP. Northampton Parents Center.

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 

BOTANY. 9am-4pm. There is much to see at the Smith College Botanic Garden. You can spend many hours exploring the Lyman Plant House exhibitions, the Lyman Conservatory plant collections, the Campus Arboretum, and Campus Gardens. The Botanic Garden of Smith College. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane. Northampton MA.

PLAYGROUP. 10-11am. For ages 0-5 at the Meekins Library. Call to register: 413-345-6015. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. 

PLAYGROUP. 10am. Pick-up playgroup at the Dow Pavillion playground. Great for kids ages 2-5 to meet up with other families and to make new friends. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-4pm. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum –  Ventfort Hall is an imposing Jacobean Revival-style mansion built in 1893 for Sarah Morgan, the sister of J. P. Morgan. It was one of the approximately seventy-five so-called “Cottages” built in Lenox in the late 19th century when the village became a popular Gilded Age resort. The museum can support interests in history and architecture, photography, film, art, and botany. Photography and film students can test their skills in the house, finding interesting areas to photograph. Art students are welcome to find a spot they enjoy and sketch, paint, and/or interpret the site as it fits their interests and studies. History classes may compare and contrast the architectural elements of Ventfort Hall with observations in their community. Botany students can investigate and identify trees and plants on the property that are of the era. And much more! Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

MORE EVENTS: Discover more events on Hilltown Families’ Facebook page.

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Self-Directed Learning: Apple Season

Apples, one of the earliest (and most delicious) signs of fall, have been an essential part of New England agriculture for centuries. McIntosh apples are undeniably the most iconic of New England’s apples and makeup over two-thirds of the region’s apple crop! Macs and countless other delicious and fascinating varieties of apples are grown at orchards across western Massachusetts. Families can enjoy this year’s apple crop by visiting an orchard to pick or purchase a bushel. Participate in the tradition of apple-picking and support local agriculture! Check with these local apple orchards for picking conditions and opportunities this year: Park Hill Orchard (Easthampton), Outlook Farm (Westhampton), Bear Swamp Orchard & Cidery (Ashfield), Quonquont Farm (Whately), Clarkdale Fruit Farms (Deerfield), and Bashista Orchards (Southampton). Before heading out, learn about the history of the apple pie, and then while visiting these properties, take a picnic lunch and read Robert Frost’s “After Apple-Picking” and William Cullen Bryant’s “The Planting of an Apple-Tree.”

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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2022

PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Hilltowns & Pioneer Valley

PLAYGROUP. Northampton Parents Center 

PLAYGROUPS. Family Center & Playgroups in Franklin County 

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in south Berkshire County 

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in north Berkshire County

BOTANY. 9am-4pm. There is much to see at the Smith College Botanic Garden. You can spend many hours exploring the Lyman Plant House exhibitions, the Lyman Conservatory plant collections, the Campus Arboretum, and Campus Gardens. The Botanic Garden of Smith College. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane. Northampton MA.

PLAYGROUP. 9:30-11:30am. School-readiness program for ages 3-4yo + caregiver. Engagement with young children is modeled through songs, books, circle time, literacy activities, StoryWalks, crafts, STEM activities, free play, cooperative games, take-home activities, and outdoor play. Hilltown Family Center. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA

⭐️ NATURE-BASED LEARNING. 10am. Mountains to Rivers: A Hitchcock Center Program for Children and their caregivers at the Whately Library. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

PLAYGROUP. 10am Pick-up playgroup at Kendrick Park. Great for kids ages 2-5 to meet up with other families and to make new friends. Kendrick Park. E Pleasant St, Amherst, MA. 

NATURAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: 10am-4pm. The Beneski Museum of Natural History – One of New England’s largest natural history museums, featuring three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display. Step inside the museum, and you’ll find: Dramatic displays of fossil skeletons, from fish to dinosaurs to Ice Age megafauna, an extraordinary collection of local dinosaur footprints, geological specimens and immersive exhibits that tell the history of the local landscape through geologic time, including when dinosaurs inhabited the area, and dazzling mineral specimens from around the world and meteorites from beyond Earth. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.

ENTOMOLOGY/ BUTTERFLIES. 10am-4:30pm. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory – An 8000 square-foot tropical conservatory with nearly 4000 free-flying tropical and native butterflies from all over the world. Learn about butterflies along with exotic reptiles, frogs, fish, birds, and insects! Ask about their guided tours. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

MUSEUMS ADVENTURES. 10am-5pm. Springfield Museums – The Springfield Museums uses art, history, science, and Dr. Seuss to explore our shared connections and unique perspectives to promote engagement, literacy, and learning. Located in the heart of downtown Springfield, the Springfield Museums offer access to five world-class museums, including the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, all under a single admission. The museums are community-based educational resources that can support interests and education in art studies, natural history, STEM, astronomy, zoology, geology, paleontology, ecology, history, and, of course, Dr. Seuss. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

PLAYGROUP. 10:30am. For ages 0-5 at the Edwards Public Library. Call to register: 413-345-6015. 30 East Street, Southampton, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 11am-5pm. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum – Located on the Mount Holyoke College campus, this Museum is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country, dedicated to providing firsthand experience with works of significant aesthetic and cultural value. The Museum offers pre- and post-visit educational materials designed for kids of all ages to maximize their learning potential while exploring the galleries and connecting art with their personal experiences, including walking and activity guides and educator resources. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA.

STE(A)M/ PreK. 1pm. Pre-School STEAM Program. Learn how to inspire your kids to engineer, create, design, explore, and build at home. Becket Athenaeum. 413-623-5483. 3367 Main St, Becket, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 1:30-6:30pm. Grow Food Northampton Tuesday Market – Held behind Thorne’s Marketplace, next to the parking garage. 99 Armory Street. Northampton, MA. 

MORE EVENTS: Discover more events on Hilltown Families’ Facebook page.

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Self-Directed Learning: Hawk Migration Season

Autumn is the season of Hawk migration. But Hawks aren’t the only bird of prey you can spot migrating this month. According to Mass Audubon, “Most numerous is the broad-winged hawk, which at times can be seen in flocks, or kettles, of hundreds, occasionally thousands of birds, “boiling” high into the sky. The next most commonly seen early fall migrants are the feisty sharp-shinned hawk, American kestrel, osprey, northern harrier (marsh hawk), and turkey vulture.” This seasonal phenomenon can be a catalyst for learning about ornithology and meteorology. Knowing the differences between different raptors and how weather patterns impact migration conditions support interests and education and can also help us connect to seasonal changes through native species and local habitats. Learn more about hawk migration, what to listen for, and other raptors of the world to compare and contrast with these videos.

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2022

PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Hilltowns & Pioneer Valley

PLAYGROUP. Northampton Parents Center  

PLAYGROUPSSouth Berkshire County. 

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in north Berkshire County.

PreK/ MUSIC MOVEMENT. 10am. Wednesday Morning Music & Movement with Miss Janet at the Tilton Library. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA. 

PLAYGROUP. 10-11am. For ages 0-5 at St. Philip’s Church Parish Hall. Call to register: 413-345-6015. 126 Main St., Easthampton, MA.

BOTANY. 9am-4pm. There is much to see at the Smith College Botanic Garden. You can spend many hours exploring the Lyman Plant House exhibitions, the Lyman Conservatory plant collections, the Campus Arboretum, and Campus Gardens. The Botanic Garden of Smith College. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane. Northampton MA.

PLAYGROUP. 10am. Pick-up playgroup at Stanley Park’s sandbox area. Make not only sandcastles but also new friends at this weekly self-directed playgroup. Stanley Park. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Ave, Westfield, MA. 

NATURAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: 10am-4pm. The Beneski Museum of Natural History – One of New England’s largest natural history museums, featuring three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display. Step inside the museum, and you’ll find: Dramatic displays of fossil skeletons, from fish to dinosaurs to Ice Age megafauna, an extraordinary collection of local dinosaur footprints, geological specimens and immersive exhibits that tell the history of the local landscape through geologic time, including when dinosaurs inhabited the area, and dazzling mineral specimens from around the world and meteorites from beyond Earth. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.

ENTOMOLOGY/ BUTTERFLIES. 10am-4:30pm. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory – An 8000 square-foot tropical conservatory with nearly 4000 free-flying tropical and native butterflies from all over the world. Learn about butterflies along with exotic reptiles, frogs, fish, birds, and insects! Ask about their guided tours. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-6pm. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) – One of the world’s liveliest centers for making and enjoying today’s most evocative art. With vast galleries and a stunning collection of indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, MASS MoCA embraces all forms of art: music, sculpture, dance, film, painting, photography, theater, and new, boundary-crossing works of art that defy easy classification. MASS MoCA offers various participatory learning opportunities, including hands-on art-making classes and docent-guided tours. A must-visit for families is Kidspace, a child-centered art gallery and hands-on studio that offers in-depth art education. Visit the ArtBar, a hands-on studio space in Kidspace, to make art or take a project home with you. MASS MoCA. 413-662-2111.1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA.

NEW PARENT GROUP. 10:30am & 1pm. Beyond Birth groups meet weekly. New babies birth-6mos are at 1pm and older babies 6mos-1 yr are at 10:30am. Amherst, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 11am-5pm. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum – Located on the Mount Holyoke College campus, this Museum is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country, dedicated to providing firsthand experience with works of significant aesthetic and cultural value. The Museum offers pre- and post-visit educational materials designed for kids of all ages to maximize their learning potential while exploring the galleries and connecting art with their personal experiences, including walking and activity guides and educator resources. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 2-6pm. Florence Wednesday Farmers Market – Florence Business and Civic Center Parking Lot. Florence, MA. 

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 2-6pm. The Great Falls Farmers Market – Held in historic downtown Turners Falls. Vendors may change weekly and include local produce, products, crafts, and activities. Peskeomskut Park. Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

PLAYGROUP. 3:30-4:30pm. For ages 0-5 at Goshen Town Hall. Call to register: 413-345-6015. 42 Main St., Goshen, MA.

⭐️ GRAVEYARDS/ HISTORY. 5:30pm. Reading the Gravestones of Old New England – The graveyards of old New England hold many poetic messages in the epitaphs etched into the gravestones, each a profound expression of emotion, culture, religion, and literature. Join author John G.S. Hanson in this irresistibly fascinating presentation that summarizes the religious context of the times and reflects on how the language and literature chosen for these epitaphs express conflicted and evolving attitudes toward life, death, and eternity. Hosted by the Otis House Museum. (Online)

MORE EVENTS: Discover more events on Hilltown Families’ Facebook page.

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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 botanychemistrydendrology, and ecology through the lens of fall foliage!

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2022

PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Hilltowns & Pioneer Valley

PLAYGROUP. Northampton Parents Center  

PLAYGROUPS. Family Center & Playgroups in Franklin County 

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in south Berkshire County 

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in north Berkshire County 

BOTANY. 9am-4pm. There is much to see at the Smith College Botanic Garden. You can spend many hours exploring the Lyman Plant House exhibitions, the Lyman Conservatory plant collections, the Campus Arboretum, and Campus Gardens. The Botanic Garden of Smith College. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane. Northampton MA.

PLAYGROUP. 10am. For ages 0-5 at St. Philip’s Church Parish Hall. Call to register: 413-345-6015. 126 Main St., Easthampton, MA.

PLAYGROUP. 10am Pick-up playgroup at Kendrick Park. Great for kids ages 2-5 to meet up with other families and to make new friends. Kendrick Park. E Pleasant St, Amherst, MA. 

NATURAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: 10am-4pm. The Beneski Museum of Natural History – One of New England’s largest natural history museums, featuring three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display. Step inside the museum, and you’ll find: Dramatic displays of fossil skeletons, from fish to dinosaurs to Ice Age megafauna, an extraordinary collection of local dinosaur footprints, geological specimens and immersive exhibits that tell the history of the local landscape through geologic time, including when dinosaurs inhabited the area, and dazzling mineral specimens from around the world and meteorites from beyond Earth. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.

ENTOMOLOGY/ BUTTERFLIES. 10am-4:30pm. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory – An 8000 square-foot tropical conservatory with nearly 4000 free-flying tropical and native butterflies from all over the world. Learn about butterflies along with exotic reptiles, frogs, fish, birds, and insects! Ask about their guided tours. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA. 

MUSIC CLASS. 10:30am. Caregiver & Child Music Class at the Meekins Library. 413- 68-7472. 2 Wiliams St, Williamsburg, MA.

NEW PARENT GROUP. 10:30am & 1pm. Beyond Birth groups meet weekly in both Northampton (Thurs) and Amherst (Wed)! New babies birth-6 mos are at 1pm and older babies 6 mos to 1 year are at 10:30am. Northampton & Amherst, MA.  

ARTS & CRAFTS. 11am & 2pm. Crafts at Amelia Park Children’s Museum. 413-572-4014. 29 S Broad St, Westfield, MA.

ART STUDIES. 11am-4pm. Smith College Museum of Art (SCMA) – SCMA is recognized as a leading academic museum. Their collection comprises 27,000+ objects, representing the diversity of art and material culture across periods and geographies. Visitors can discover artworks from across periods and geographies in their permanent collection galleries and temporary exhibitions, engaging people with first-hand experiences of art, artists, and museum practice. The museum’s collection ranges from ancient Greek vases to contemporary video art. The works in their permanent collection galleries are regularly rotated, so there’s something new to see each time you visit. Special exhibitions highlight a dynamic range of artworks and artists. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 11am-5pm. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum – Located on the Mount Holyoke College campus, this Museum is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country, dedicated to providing firsthand experience with works of significant aesthetic and cultural value. The Museum offers pre- and post-visit educational materials designed for kids of all ages to maximize their learning potential while exploring the galleries and connecting art with their personal experiences, including walking and activity guides and educator resources. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 12-5pm. Westfield Farmers’ Market – Locally grown agricultural products and hand-made crafts in a festive community atmosphere. Held on the lawn of the Episcopal Church of the Atonement, 36 Court St., Westfield, MA.

⭐️ STEM/ LEGOS. 3pm. LEGO Club at Gaylord Memorial Library. 413- 38-5047. 47 College Street. Sout Hadley, MA.

⭐️ STEM/ LEGOS. 3:30pm. LEGO Club at Westhampton Public Library. 413- 27-5386. 1 N d, Westhampton, MA.

⭐️ OUTDOOR ADVENTURES. 4:30pm. Early Evening Paddle at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. 413- 84-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA.

⭐️ PARENTING WORKSHOP. 5:30pm. Parenting Neurodiverse Kids & Teens: How to Be Less Stressed & Help Your Kids Thrive at the Lenox Library. 413- 37-0197. 18 M in Street. Lenox, MA.

⭐️ LIVING PRESENCE/ HISTORY. 6pm. Indigenous Lifeways, Loss, and Renewal at the Falls at Great Falls Discovery Center. 413- 63-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

⭐️ CULINARY ARTS. 6:30pm. October Spice Club, Hibiscus Flower at the Gaylord Memorial Library. 413- 38-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

ROLLER SKATING. 7-9:30pm. Interskate 91. 413-586-8344. 367 Russell Street, Hampshire Mall, Hadley, MA.

MORE EVENTS: Discover more events on Hilltown Families’ Facebook page.

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Self-Directed Learning: Seed Saving

Once you’ve reaped the delicious benefits of a summer’s harvest, look to your dinner plate to find a purpose for what you’ve grown. Seed saving is a way to practice self-sufficiency and resilience and also helps to preserve plant varieties for years to come. In addition to the cultural and agricultural value of holding onto these plants (and their seeds), practicing seed saving at home is a great way to engage in hands-on science learning, supporting interests in botanygardeningliteracy, and food security. Read more in our post, Seed Capital Provides Return for Nature-Based Education.

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2022

Leapfrog Programs presents, the 5th Annual Groundnut Gathering – Earth Living Skills Rendezvous on October 7-9, 2022, in the Hilltowns! Get outdoors with nature immersion opportunities this fall during this ancestral skills gathering 
in Montgomery, MA. Participants will come together on the land to learn and share timeless skills practiced by people on all continents, including animal tracking, hide tanning, friction fires, storytelling, and more! Leapfrog Programs also offers after-school and homeschool programs for K-8. Experience nature immersion and connection, learn foundational skills and routines, and begin a lifelong, meaningful relationship with many species and the land. To register or to learn more, visit leapfrogprograms.org.

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

BOTANY. 9am-4pm. There is much to see at the Smith College Botanic Garden. You can spend many hours exploring the Lyman Plant House exhibitions, the Lyman Conservatory plant collections, the Campus Arboretum, and Campus Gardens. The Botanic Garden of Smith College. 413-585-2740. 16 College Lane. Northampton MA.

CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/ INTERACTIVE MUSEUM. 9am-4pm.  The Children’s Museum – Dedicated to enhancing children’s educational and cultural awareness through the arts, sciences, and the world around them. The Museum’s participatory exhibits and educational programming invite children and adults to interact and enjoy learning and self-discovery while at play. Young children almost always want to start on the Curvy Climber. And then, throughout the Museum, there are several other activities that older children might spend more time with, including the Legos Table, The Magna Tile Table, Maxi Rollways, and the Imagination Playground. There is also a state-of-the-art World of Motion room that stimulates children and adults’ curious minds. This room is STEM-based and encourages learning and play. Discover more at The Children’s Museum at Holyoke. 413-536-7048. 444 Dwight St, Holyoke, MA.

PLAYGROUP. 10am. Pick-up playgroup at Stanley Park’s sandbox area. Make not only sandcastles but also new friends at this weekly self-directed playgroup. Stanley Park. 413-568-9312. 400 Western Ave, Westfield, MA. 

FIBER ARTS/KNITTING. 10am. Knitting Club at Old Creamery Co-op. 413-634-5560. 445 Berkshire Trail, Cummington, MA.

NATURAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: 10am-4pm. The Beneski Museum of Natural History – One of New England’s largest natural history museums, featuring three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display. Step inside the museum, and you’ll find: Dramatic displays of fossil skeletons, from fish to dinosaurs to Ice Age megafauna, an extraordinary collection of local dinosaur footprints, geological specimens and immersive exhibits that tell the history of the local landscape through geologic time, including when dinosaurs inhabited the area, and dazzling mineral specimens from around the world and meteorites from beyond Earth. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.

ENTOMOLOGY/ BUTTERFLIES. 10am-4:30pm. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory – An 8000 square-foot tropical conservatory with nearly 4000 free-flying tropical and native butterflies from all over the world. Learn about butterflies along with exotic reptiles, frogs, fish, birds, and insects! Ask about their guided tours. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

⭐️ ART STUDIES/ DRAWING. 10:30am. Drawing Closer: Supernatural at the Clark Art Institute. 413- 58-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, MA.

CORN MAZE/ HERITAGE. 11am-5pm. Mike’s Maze at Warner Farm with activities, games, and amusements to entertain the entire family. Ride on a horse-drawn wagon, fire the mighty potato cannons, pick out your own Halloween pumpkin, and stay for lunch at the Corn Cafe, serving farm-fresh food all day. 23 South Main Street. Sunderland, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 11am-5pm. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum – Located on the Mount Holyoke College campus, this Museum is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country, dedicated to providing firsthand experience with works of significant aesthetic and cultural value. The Museum offers pre- and post-visit educational materials designed for kids of all ages to maximize their learning potential while exploring the galleries and connecting art with their personal experiences, including walking and activity guides and educator resources. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA.

GRANDPARENTING SUPPORT. 1pm. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Tea Time, every 1st & 3rd Friday of the month, with Community Action’s Family Center. 413-475-1555. 90 Federal Street, Greenfield, MA.

🎃 AGRICULTURE/ CELEBRATION. 1-5pm. Pumpkinfest – Whitney’s Farm Market & Garden Center. 413- 42-4749. 1775 S State Rd, Cheshire, MA.

LOCAL FOOD/ AGRICULTURE. 2-6:30pm. Shelburne Falls Farmers’ Market – Drop by for fresh, local vegetables from local growers. Purchase fresh, homemade treats. Pick up local, pasture-raised eggs and meat, and find hand-spun wools and other hand-made gifts. Every week, they will have musicians playing on the green. Families are invited to dance, play, eat or relax and enjoy a Friday evening together. Main and Water Streets. Shelburne Falls, MA.

MUSIC STUDIES/ DRUMMING. 6:45pm. The Hilltown Intergenerational Drum Circle – All ages and beginners are welcome to this biweekly drum circle, led by Rosie Fanale. Call to confirm before heading over. Shelburne Senior Center. 413-625-8470. Shelburne Falls, MA.

⭐️ PERFORMANCE/ PUPPETS. 7pm. Adventures in Greenwood – Join the creatures of Skeleton Crew Theater for an adventure through the magical Greenwood. Ja’Duke Theater. 413- 63-0001. 110 Industrial Blvd, Turners Falls, MA.

🏈 SPORTS/ HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. 7pm. Home Varsity Game V. Hoosac at Frontier Regional School. 413- 65-2118. 113 Main St, South Deerfield, MA.

MORE EVENTS: Discover more events on Hilltown Families’ Facebook page.

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Self-Directed Learning: Caterpillars

Tomato hornwormTent CaterpillarMonarch CaterpillarYellow Woolly Bears. These are New England caterpillars’ names, many of us know, which is limited when considering that there are 20,000 different species of known caterpillars around the world! In the late summer and early autumn, searching for caterpillars in veggie gardens, meadows, and trees’ leaves before turning autumnal colors can be a catalyst for learning about botany, entomology, and ecology. Getting curious and asking “why-what-how-who” questions is an excellent place to start! Why is this caterpillar on this plant? How did it get there? What is its defense mechanism? Who is it protecting itself from? How does the caterpillar turn into a butterfly? Is it a butterfly, or is it a moth? When will it metamorphoseSketch or photograph your discoveries. Search for answers online or ask a local naturalist. Understanding the nature and behavior of native species helps strengthen a sense of place by reading our landscape through flora and fauna surrounding us and how everything fits into seasonal patterns.

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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, Becket, Bernardston, Buckland, Chester, Chicopee, Colrain, Cummington, Easthampton, Goshen, Granby, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Heath, Hinsdale/Peru, Huntington, Leyden, Montgomery, Mount Washington, Northern Berkshire, Orange, Otis, Palmer, Pelham, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Tolland, Tyringham, Westhampton, Windsor, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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