Weekly Suggested Events for October 1-7, 2022
Are you looking for things to do in western Massachusetts? Seeking place-based learning ideas? Are you a self-directed, life-long, and/or experiential learner? Are you curious or wanting to support the interests of your family? Our weekly Suggested Events list includes suggested learning ideas, resources, and fun events for all ages, each week!
Scroll down to discover featured events, learning opportunities, and educational videos to support learning from home. And be sure to subscribe to our free weekly eNewsletter so you never miss out!
SUGGESTED EVENTS: OCTOBER 1-7, 2022
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING IDEAS
COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
Featured Events, Resources, & Opportunities
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.
The 5th Annual Groundnut Gathering
October 7-9, 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.
FEATURED COUPLES THERAPY
Couples Therapy, Inc.
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 couples? Daniel 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Housatonic Heritage Walks
Berkshire County, MA, & Litchfield County, CT
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.
The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival
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.
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
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:
See Your Ad Here
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: email@example.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.
List of Weekly Suggested Events
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2022
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.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2022
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.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2022
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.”
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2022
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.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Autumn Foliage
Autumn in Western Mass is when nature literally takes center stage; a destination visitors outside the area flock to because of the gorgeous dynamism of the season. The trees and their changing foliage are excellent connectors for kids (in a sense, they connect to themselves!) to the outdoors and their sense of place. In this change lies fantastic community-based educational opportunities tied to art and science. Read our post, Autumn Leaf Collecting Supports Art & Science, to see how you can get your kid hooked on fall by collecting, creating, and learning in their backyards, local parks, and nature conservation areas! Also, check out these videos to support learning about botany, chemistry, dendrology, and ecology through the lens of fall foliage!
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2022
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 botany, gardening, literacy, and food security. Read more in our post, Seed Capital Provides Return for Nature-Based Education.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2022
Self-Directed Learning: Caterpillars
Tomato hornworm. Tent Caterpillar. Monarch Caterpillar. Yellow 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 metamorphose? Sketch 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.
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, 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.