Weekly Suggested Events for October 22-28, 2022

Home > Suggested Events > Weekly Suggested Events for October 22-28, 2022
With Halloween around the corner, our list of events is full of spooktacular opportunities to learn, celebrate, and connect with community!

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!

It is MICAfest time! Tickets are on sale now. Catch three days of live performances of dance, music, poetry, comedy, theater, and more! See local favorites Rythea Lee, Lisa Bastoni, Happier Valley Comedy, Christa Joy, Sherine Khatoun, and Rebirth. 40+ artistic mothers performing and showcasing visual artwork by artists such as Angela Zammarelli, Loretta Kane, and Procheta Olsen. Celebrating the creativity of mothers and primary parents, this year’s inaugural MICAfest takes place at Northampton Center for the Arts at 33 Hawley from October 28-30, 2022. Plus! All proceeds from ticket sales go directly to pay artist stipends and fund future programs to support amazing mom-artists. Get your tickets now! Questions? Email hello@experiencemica.org

Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA, celebrates the opening of Winter Festival: Solstice Celebration! from Nov 12-Jan 8, featuring a performance by award-winning musician Paul Winter on Saturday, November 12. The concert begins at 5:30pm in the Berkshire Museum’s Little Cinema. Premium tickets include reserved theater seating in prime locations. General admission tickets include access to available theater seats upon arrival. Doors open at 5pm. Following the concert, join others in the second-floor galleries in the Winter Festival exhibits for a reception. See Santa Classics by Philadelphia-based artist Ed Wheeler and Hoots Holiday: A Solstice Tale! Reserve your tickets online at berkshiremuseum.org.

Imagine a school that values and encourages the unique qualities of your child: The Hartsbrook School provides just that, with warmth and attentiveness. Beautiful outdoor classrooms, storytelling, music, and creative problem-solving all lay the foundations for future learning and deep social connection. Children’s imagination and empathy are awakened through the rich curriculum. Walking in the woods, visiting the school’s farm animals, and tending the gardens develop an awareness of, and care for, the natural world. Begin your exploration with a tour to learn more about their early childhood program.
Preschool ♦ Ages 2.9-6yrs
For more information: admissions@hartsbrook.org; 413-586-1908 x116; www.hartsbrook.org.

Hilltown Sleddogs is home to a team of Alaskan Husky Sled Dogs in Western MA. The past three winters, they lived in Alaska, mushing the 750-mile Serum Run Expedition in 2020, 300-mile Summit Quest Race 2021, and winter camping on the Skwetna River & Denali Highway in 2022. Marla BB has stories to share at School, After School & Homeschool ProgramsDemonstrations, and Festivals! She wrote a storybook about her travels w/her team. Sign up for Vacation Day & Summer Sled Dog Camps now. Each child gets their own sled dog & each dog gets their own kid! Dog Yard Tours & Rig Rides are available Fall & Spring. Clinics on “How to Mush” are offered with your dog or theirs. Learn to Cani-cross, Bikejor, Scooter & Skijor. They do Birthday Parties too!

The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-PG. For over 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and student leadership. Visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River in Charlemont, MA, and learn more from students and faculty at their Open House on Sunday, October 23rd, from 1-3pm. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Pre-register for their Open House on their website: www.charlemont.org

Campus School of Smith College will hold an open house on Thursday, November 3, from 8:30-10:30am. At the lab school of Smith College, hands-on learning sparks intellectual engagement, research findings inform modern methods, and transformative relationships enrich masterful teaching. Campus School of Smith College is a kindergarten through sixth-grade elementary school located in the heart of Northampton, MA. Affordable tuition and financial aid are available. RSVP 413-585-3270 or call to schedule a visit. Learn more at campus-school.smith.edu.

FEATURED EVENTS
River Valley Co-Op
Northampton & Easthampton

The Common School

River Valley Co-op is offering a wide range of FREE community workshops and classes this Fall. Most of these will take place virtually, but they will hold a number in person at one of their locations in the Pioneer Valley. Hosted by various western MA teachers, business owners, authors, and community leaders, classes cover a range of topics such as time management, fermenting your own veggies, soil ecology, yoga, and much more! There are even workshops and classes designed specifically for families with young children – yoga for kids, pumpkin seed savings, natural dyes, and more. To see the complete list of workshops and to register, visit www.rivervalley.coop.

Nikki Gardner Photography is offering a 1-day Pop-Up fundraiser event—featuring fun 15-minute Holiday Family Sessions. Think family portraits full of personality and connection photographed on a snow-white background. Check family portraits and holiday gifts off your list now. When: Saturday, November 12, 9am-4pm, 15-minute sessions Where: Anne T. Dunphy School (inside the school gym), 1 Petticoat Hill Road, Williamsburg, MA. Cost: $175 and include five digital files: A non-refundable deposit of $50 saves your session date/time, and $125 is due at the session.
To book your session, visit 
www.nikkigardnerphotography.com/holiday-family-session-pop-up, or email 
nikki@nikkigardnerphotography.com
with questions.

FEATURED COUPLES THERAPY
Couples Therapy, Inc.
Cummington, MA

Couples Therapy
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 SCHOOL
The Bement School
Deerfield, MA

The Bement School

The Bement School, founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield, is a day and boarding school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Applications for fall 2023 are being accepted now. Attend an open house to learn more about the school! Contact the admission office at admit@bement.org with questions or schedule a campus tour.

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 22, 2022

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

🦅 ORNITHOLOGY. 8-10am. Fall Birding Workshop – Sort through the secretive, sulky sparrows that stop over to feast on leftover seeds from the year. Participants will spend part of this program learning sparrow identification by sight and sound, while participants will spend the rest of the time searching for these striped birds as they move quickly through the old vegetation. Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, 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.

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. 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 HISTORY/ HIKE. 9am-4pm. Lost Towns of the Quabbin – Join David Gallup on this hike back to the 19th century and discover the once-thriving community of Dana – one of the four towns lost when the area was flooded to form the Quabbin Reservoir. On this four-mile round trip walk, participants will journey on an old road through the open forest, with stops to explore the region’s history and wildlife. Once at Dana Commons, participants will examine the cellar holes, stone walls, sidewalks, and streets of this town frozen in time. Hosted by Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Quabbin Quabbin Park. Belchertown, 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.

⭐️ COMMUNITY SERVICE. 9:30am-12:30pm.  Canoe Meadows Volunteer Day – Sacred Way Trail Stewardship at Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. 413-637-0320. Holmes Rd, Pittsfield, 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

⭐️ WOODWORKING/ HISTORY. 10am. Historic Trade Demonstration: Architectural Woodworking  – Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

⭐️ CEMETERY/ LIVING HISTORY. 10am. A Walking Tour of Bridge Street Cemetery – Get to know your historical neighbors in a walking tour of Bridge Street Cemetery. “Meet” past Northampton residents, including: Revolutionary War patriot Joseph Hawley; Samuel Bartlett of witchcraft accusation fame; Indigenous spinner and weaver Sally Maminash; Sylvia Church, a woman who was enslaved in Northampton; and a family who were all killed in the Mill River Flood. Along the way, examine changing artisanry and symbolism of gravestone design. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

🚒 FIRE DEPARTMENT/ OPEN HOUSE. 10am-1pm. Fire Department Open House – Bring the kids to meet Smokey the Bear and local firefighters while learning how to prevent fires. Come with questions and learn about this essential service to our communities. Easthampton Public Safety Comples. 413-527-4200. 32 Payson Ave. Easthampton, MA. 

🎃 HALLOWEEN. 10am-2pm. Jack O’ Lantern Decorating Party – Simple Gifts Farm. 413-230-3262. 1089 N Pleasant St., Amherst, MA.

🍁 FALL FESTIVAL. 10am-2pm. Rowe Fall-apalooza – Hosted by the Rowe Town Library, celebrate the fall with a cemetery tour with the Rowe Historical Society and a chili Cook-Off at the library. Kids’ Halloween crafts and vintage decorations too. Rowe Town Library. 413-339-4761. 318 Zoar Rd. Rowe, MA.

⭐️ HIKING/ LOCAL HISTORY. 10am-2:30pm. Keystone Arch Bridges Guided Group Hike – Led by Western Mass Hilltown Hikers. Meet at Chester Elementary School. 325 Middlefield Road, Chester, MA.

CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/ INTERACTIVE MUSEUM. 10am-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.

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.

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.

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.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-5pm. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art – A museum devoted to the art of picture books, especially children’s books. The Carle’s picture-book exhibitions showcase various artists, themes, and styles. Their three galleries host six original shows a year, so there is always something new! In addition to exploring art in the galleries, drop into the art studio to experience the creative joy of making art; explore new picture books, and rediscover old ones in their library. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, 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/ 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.  

🎨 ART STUDIES/ EARLY CHILDHOOD. 10:30am. All Together with Art – Connect with a little one in your life through art! Join other families in the galleries for a talk about objects created as symbols of protection, and then make art to take home. This program is designed for children 4–8 years old, and caregivers are encouraged to participate. Williams College Museum of Art. 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA.

📚 LIBRARY ADVENTURES/ STORYTIME. 11am. Story Time with Mr. Dave – Children and their adults are invited to listen to stories and sing songs with Mr. Dave and his puppets. Belding Memorial Library. 413-628-4414. 344 Main St, Ashfield, MA.

🍁 HARVEST FESTIVAL. 11am-3pm. Harvest Fest – Downtown Springfield Harvest Fest. Springfield, 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.

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

🎃 COMMUNITY FESTIVAL/ PUMPKINS. 12-8pm. Great Falls Fest – Downtown Turners Falls. Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.

🎭 THEATER STUDIES. 1pm & 6pm. Romeo & Juliet – Presented by the Greenfield Players in partnership with the Greenfield Recreation Department at Energy Park. 50 Miles St. Greenfield, 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.

WORLD LANGUAGE/ SPANISH. 1:30-3:30pm. Spanish Conversation Group – Do you know Spanish and would like to talk to other Spanish speakers? Did you take Spanish in High School and want to improve your skills? Are you just interested in learning another language? This fun one-hour bi-monthly class will help to expand your vocabulary and give you practice in this beautiful language. Westfield Athenaeum. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA.

🎃 HALLOWEEN. 3pm-8pm. Hampden’s Family Spooktacular – Trunk or Treat, fall festivities, and a lit pumpkin pyramid display for families. Memorial Park. Hampden, MA 

🎶 HALLOWEEN/ MUSIC STUDIES. 4pm. Eekappella! A Halloween A Capella Concert – Come to a festive musical celebration on the beautiful grounds of Historic Northampton and enjoy songs by the Northamptones, the Smith College Chamber Singers, Groove, Smiffenpoofs, Smithereens, Vibes, Noteables, and the Mount Holyoke Nice Shoes! With special guests Celebrations Dance Company. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

🔥 TRUNK OR TREAT/ BONFIRE. 5pm. Huntington Annual Bonfire & Trunk or Treat -The night will start with the town’s annual Trunk or Treat by the Huntington MA Recreation Committee. There will be live music, food, a bonfire, and more. A special trunk setup will be put on by Agawam Paranormal, with none other than Casper having some spooky fun. Takes place at The Huntington Public Library. 413-512-5206. 7 E Main St, Huntington, MA.

🚂 HALLOWEEN/ TRAIN RIDE. 5-9pm. Haunted Train Ride and Lights Display at Look Park – The ride is designed for children five and up. The first hour has the calmest rides, and the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies do not chase after the train. This time is best suited for kids who may most likely be scared. As the night progresses and it gets dark, the creatures begin to run after the train and pop out of the dark! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

🔭 ASTRONOMY/ STARGAZING. 5-10pm. Star Gazing at Notchview with Arunah Hill Natural Science – Observe stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae, and other deep space objects. Arrive at dusk and stay as long as you like. The length of observing time will depend on how clear the sky will be and when particular celestial objects appear. Telescopes will be set up on-site with Arunah Hill amateur astronomers who will focus on night sky objects, provide information, and answer questions in a relaxed discussion format. Meet at the Visitor Center lodge. Dress warmly for chilly evenings and wear appropriate footwear for outdoor activity. Notchview. 413-684-0148. 83 Old Route 9, Windsor, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Halloween STEM

In the spirit of the Halloween season’s creepy, gruesome, and vaguely terrifying elements, why not engage in some similarly creepy, gruesome, and relatively terror-free hands-on science experiments! From candy chromatography and glowing drinkables to flying ghosts and gooey eyeballs, check our post, Halloween Season Inspires Hands-On Science, to discover Halloween science ideas that connect to numerous science concepts and promote hands-on learning.

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2022

FEATURED SCHOOL
The Academy at Charlemont
Charlemont, MA

The Common School
Open House: Sunday, October 23rd, from 1-3pm.

The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-PG. For over 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and student leadership. Visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River in Charlemont, MA, and learn more from students and faculty at their Open House on Sunday, October 23rd, from 1-3pm. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Pre-register for their Open House on their website: www.charlemont.org

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

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.

NEW ENGLAND HISTORY. 9:30am-4:30pm. Historic Deerfield – Founded in 1952, Historic Deerfield is an outdoor museum that interprets the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley. Visitors can tour twelve carefully-preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850 and explore world-class collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts on display in the authentic period houses; as well as the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, a state-of-the-art museum facility featuring exhibitions and a visible storage area. Support interests in history through the lens of architecture, New England antiques, arts and crafts needlework, ironware and basketry, cooking and baking, gardening, textiles, fashion, furniture, and much more! Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ PASTRY ARTS. 10am. Halloween Cookie Decorating– Le Petit Oiseau Bakery. 48 Meadow Ln, Ashfield, MA.

⭐️ GUNSMITHING/ HISTORIC TRADE. 10am-4pm. Historic Trade Demonstration: Gunsmithing – Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

JEWISH CULTURE/ HISTORY. 10am-4pm. Yiddish Book Center – Learning about Jewish culture and history often leads parents and children to conversations about their family’s history, culture, and traditions. Part of The Center’s mission is to offer engaging learning opportunities for curious visitors of all ages who come to the expansive, sunny museum designed to resemble a shtetl (Eastern European Jewish small town), which sits in an apple orchard adjacent to the Hampshire College campus. Visitors don’t need to be able to read or speak Yiddish to enjoy the Center—although, by the visit’s end, they’ll realize they probably knew more Yiddish words than they thought (noshschmooze, and shlep are all Yiddish words commonly used in English), and leave knowing even more. Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA.

⭐️ HISTORY/ MEDICINE. 10am-4pm.  Historic Trade Demonstration: Medical Practices – Learn about historical medical practices at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, 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.

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.

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.

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/ 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.

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.

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

CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/ INTERACTIVE MUSEUM. 12-4pm.  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.  

⭐️ 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.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 12-5pm. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art – A museum devoted to the art of picture books, especially children’s books. The Carle’s picture-book exhibitions showcase various artists, themes, and styles. Their three galleries host six original shows a year, so there is always something new! In addition to exploring art in the galleries, drop into the art studio to experience the creative joy of making art; explore new picture books, and rediscover old ones in their library. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

🎃 HALLOWEEN. 1-3pm. Halloween at the Y! – Families are invited to come dressed in their best costumes and “trick or treat” around the YMCA Gym during this free family event! Activities include DJ Lazer Chicken with spooky dancing! An inflatable obstacle course. Gymnastics Center will be open for free play! Open to all families in the community. Franklin County’s YMCA. 413-773-3646. 451 Main St, Greenfield, 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.

🎭 THEATER STUDIES. 2pm. Romeo & Juliet – Presented by the Greenfield Players in partnership with the Greenfield Recreation Department at Energy Park. 50 Miles St. Greenfield, MA. 

🥁 MANUFACTURING/ DRUMS. 2-4pm. Noble & Cooley Drum Factory Presentation and Tour – The NCCHP museum was founded in 2007 to preserve & incorporate the rich history of Granville and the surrounding areas. The museum is housed within the historic buildings of the Noble & Cooley drum factory. In 1852, the manufacturing of toy drums began in Granville, followed by the construction of a factory for manufacturing marching drums for the Union Army during the Civil War. Still, their main business continued to be the production of toy drums. In the 1980s, the company entered the professional drum market, producing a highly regarded single-ply solid shell snare drum using an original steam bending machine from the nineteenth century. Noble & Cooley Drum Factory. 42 Water Street, Granville, MA.

ART STUDIES/ GALLERY. 2-5pm. Hampshire College Art Gallery – The Hampshire College Art Gallery is a dynamic space for contemporary art and collections-based exhibitions, uniting innovative curatorial approaches with a focus on teaching and learning. Families can visit the gallery to check out traditional exhibitions, along with more interactive programs. Many objects in their small, eclectic permanent collection were donated when founders first built the college, so there are among them some quintessentially “’60s” artworks, alongside fine art photography. The gallery is located in the Harold F. Johnson Library Building, Ground Floor, on the campus of Hampshire College. 893 West Street. Amherst, MA.

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ RAG SHAG PARADE. 4-6pm. Halloween Bash – Chesterfield Recreation Committee hosts the town Halloween Bash with a rag shag parade stepping off at 4pm from the town offices, followed by Trunk or Treat in the community center parking lot from 5-6pm. Chesterfield, MA.

🚂 HALLOWEEN/ TRAIN RIDE. 5-9pm. Haunted Train Ride and Lights Display at Look Park – The ride is designed for children five and up. The first hour has the calmest rides, and the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies do not chase after the train. This time is best suited for kids who may most likely be scared. As the night progresses and it gets dark, the creatures begin to run after the train and pop out of the dark! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Haunted History

Towns across Western Massachusetts have tales of haunted historic buildings, ghost sightings, and supernatural suspicions that lead people to wonder whether a place is haunted or not. Haunted tales are sometimes rooted in actual events or historical accounts from people of the past and can add to the lore of a place. Find out about cemetery tours and local hauntings in our Sept/Oct Season edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western MA while supporting interests in history, paranormal activity, architecture, psychology, and physiology.

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MONDAY, OCTOBER 24, 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.

JEWISH CULTURE/ HISTORY. 10am-4pm. Yiddish Book Center – Learning about Jewish culture and history often leads parents and children to conversations about their family’s history, culture, and traditions. Part of The Center’s mission is to offer engaging learning opportunities for curious visitors of all ages who come to the expansive, sunny museum designed to resemble a shtetl (Eastern European Jewish small town), which sits in an apple orchard adjacent to the Hampshire College campus. Visitors don’t need to be able to read or speak Yiddish to enjoy the Center—although, by the visit’s end, they’ll realize they probably knew more Yiddish words than they thought (noshschmooze, and shlep are all Yiddish words commonly used in English), and leave knowing even more. Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, 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.

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.

ART STUDIES/ GALLERY. 10:30am-4:30pm. Hampshire College Art Gallery – The Hampshire College Art Gallery is a dynamic space for contemporary art and collections-based exhibitions, uniting innovative curatorial approaches with a focus on teaching and learning. Families can visit the gallery to check out traditional exhibitions, along with more interactive programs. Many objects in their small, eclectic permanent collection were donated when founders first built the college, so there are among them some quintessentially “’60s” artworks, alongside fine art photography. The gallery is located in the Harold F. Johnson Library Building, Ground Floor, on the campus of Hampshire College. 893 West Street. Amherst, MA.

🎶 MUSIC STUDIES/ UKULELE. 7pm. Ukulele Play Along – Julie Stepanek leads a lively group of ukulele aficionados in music and song at the M. N. Spear Memorial Library. Register by emailing library.director@shutesbury.org. 10 Cooleyville Rd, Shutesbury, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Masks

Halloween is a great time of year to use masks as your lens into learning about cultural heritage through the use of masks in ceremonies and festive celebrations, costume design and theatrical performance, and even illness and medicine

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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 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.

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. 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

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. 

MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-3pm. 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.

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.

JEWISH CULTURE/ HISTORY. 10am-4pm. Yiddish Book Center – Learning about Jewish culture and history often leads parents and children to conversations about their family’s history, culture, and traditions. Part of The Center’s mission is to offer engaging learning opportunities for curious visitors of all ages who come to the expansive, sunny museum designed to resemble a shtetl (Eastern European Jewish small town), which sits in an apple orchard adjacent to the Hampshire College campus. Visitors don’t need to be able to read or speak Yiddish to enjoy the Center—although, by the visit’s end, they’ll realize they probably knew more Yiddish words than they thought (noshschmooze, and shlep are all Yiddish words commonly used in English), and leave knowing even more. Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. 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.

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.

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. 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.

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. 

FAMILY TIME. 3:30pm. Monthly Family Game Time – Play games and meet other families! Enjoy collaborative games like Snug as a Bug and Busy Town, as well as turn-taking games like Spot It!, Hiss, and Zingo. Games are a great way to build communication skills, problem-solving, and brain development. It’s also an enjoyable way to promote family time. This Monthly Family Game Time is geared toward families with children ages 3-8 years old. Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Jack O’Lanterns

Called “pompions” by the first European colonists, pumpkins were a food essential to winter survival – and they were grown in many more varieties than they typically are today. The custom of carving pumpkins into Jack O’Lanterns was introduced to American culture by Irish immigrants, influencing our cultural landscape to this day. Traditionally carved from root vegetables, including turnips and potatoes, new hybrids of pumpkins are grown specifically for carving. For today’s self-directed learning module, follow your curiosity and learn about history, folklore, culture, food, and artisan techniques through the lens of jack-o-lanterns!

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2022

PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Hilltowns & Pioneer Valley

PLAYGROUP. Northampton Parents Center  

PLAYGROUPSSouth 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.

NEW ENGLAND HISTORY. 9:30am-4:30pm. Historic Deerfield – Founded in 1952, Historic Deerfield is an outdoor museum that interprets the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley. Visitors can tour twelve carefully-preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850 and explore world-class collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts on display in the authentic period houses; as well as the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, a state-of-the-art museum facility featuring exhibitions and a visible storage area. Support interests in history through the lens of architecture, New England antiques, arts and crafts needlework, ironware and basketry, cooking and baking, gardening, textiles, fashion, furniture, and much more! Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, 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. 

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.

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.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-4pm. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art – A museum devoted to the art of picture books, especially children’s books. The Carle’s picture-book exhibitions showcase various artists, themes, and styles. Their three galleries host six original shows a year, so there is always something new! In addition to exploring art in the galleries, drop into the art studio to experience the creative joy of making art; explore new picture books, and rediscover old ones in their library. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

JEWISH CULTURE/ HISTORY. 10am-4pm. Yiddish Book Center – Learning about Jewish culture and history often leads parents and children to conversations about their family’s history, culture, and traditions. Part of The Center’s mission is to offer engaging learning opportunities for curious visitors of all ages who come to the expansive, sunny museum designed to resemble a shtetl (Eastern European Jewish small town), which sits in an apple orchard adjacent to the Hampshire College campus. Visitors don’t need to be able to read or speak Yiddish to enjoy the Center—although, by the visit’s end, they’ll realize they probably knew more Yiddish words than they thought (noshschmooze, and shlep are all Yiddish words commonly used in English), and leave knowing even more. Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. 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.

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.

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.

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.

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ STORY & CRAFT TIME. 10:30am. Halloween Craft and Story Time – South Hadley Family Center. 413-283-7594. 7 Woodbridge St, South Hadley, 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. 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.

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

📚 GRAPHIC NOVEL WORKSHOP. 5pm. Kids Graphic Novel Workshop Spooktacular – Ever wonder what goes into making a graphic novel? Join Colleen AF Venable, award-winning creator of the Katie the Catsitter graphic novel series, for a night of comics, drawing, and spooky storytelling. Kids will learn the basics of cartooning, how to create their own characters, and ways to fold paper to make miniature books, and will walk away with their own handmade Halloween-themed mini-graphic novel. This event is intended for kids ages 8-12 and does not require advance sign-ups. North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church St, North Adams, MA. 

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ RAG SHAG PARADE. 6:30pm. Easthampton’s Annual Halloween Parade – Come dressed in your Halloween best! The parade starts off at Maple Street School promptly at 6:3 pm by way of a Fire Engine! The parade route will be cottage street, then a turn onto Williston Ave, where the parade will end at Easthampton High School. 7 Chapel Street. Easthampton. MA.

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 botany, chemistry, dendrology, and ecology through the lens of fall foliage!

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7, 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.

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.

NEW ENGLAND HISTORY. 9:30am-4:30pm. Historic Deerfield – Founded in 1952, Historic Deerfield is an outdoor museum that interprets the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley. Visitors can tour twelve carefully-preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850 and explore world-class collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts on display in the authentic period houses; as well as the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, a state-of-the-art museum facility featuring exhibitions and a visible storage area. Support interests in history through the lens of architecture, New England antiques, arts and crafts needlework, ironware and basketry, cooking and baking, gardening, textiles, fashion, furniture, and much more! Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, 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. 

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.

JEWISH CULTURE/ HISTORY. 10am-4pm. Yiddish Book Center – Learning about Jewish culture and history often leads parents and children to conversations about their family’s history, culture, and traditions. Part of The Center’s mission is to offer engaging learning opportunities for curious visitors of all ages who come to the expansive, sunny museum designed to resemble a shtetl (Eastern European Jewish small town), which sits in an apple orchard adjacent to the Hampshire College campus. Visitors don’t need to be able to read or speak Yiddish to enjoy the Center—although, by the visit’s end, they’ll realize they probably knew more Yiddish words than they thought (noshschmooze, and shlep are all Yiddish words commonly used in English), and leave knowing even more. Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. 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.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-4pm. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art – A museum devoted to the art of picture books, especially children’s books. The Carle’s picture-book exhibitions showcase various artists, themes, and styles. Their three galleries host six original shows a year, so there is always something new! In addition to exploring art in the galleries, drop into the art studio to experience the creative joy of making art; explore new picture books, and rediscover old ones in their library. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, 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.

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.

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.  

🎶 MUSIC CLASS. 10:30am. Caregiver & Child Music Class at the Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA.

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ PreK. 10:30am. Halloween Story Time and Trick or Treat – Lenox Library. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, 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.

CRAFT TIME. 3-6pm. Drop-in Craft for Kids 5+ at the Gaylord Memorial Library. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. 

CRAFT TIME. 3-6pm. Drop-in Craft for Kids 5+ at the Gaylord Memorial Library. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA.

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ TRICK OR TREAT. 4-6pm. Halloween at the Basketball Hall of Fame – Come in costume for free, safe trick or treating. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 1000 Hall of Fame Ave. Springfield, MA.

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ TRUNK OR TREAT. 5-7pm. Trunk or Treat – Join us for our inaugural Trunk or Treat! Happening the same evening as the BHS Humanities Club Monster Mash, it will be a night of Halloween Fun! Belchertown High School. 142 Springfield Rd. Belchertown, MA.

🎨 ART STUDIES/ DOCUMENTARY. 6pm. Film and Art: Zurbarán and His Twelve Sons – This documentary (2020, 72 minutes) explores the meaning of Jacob and His Twelve Sons, a series of thirteen canvases painted by Francisco de Zurbarán in Seville around 1640. Traveling with them to the Meadows Museum, The Frick, and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, learn how the canvases, probably commissioned for a cathedral in the Americas, disappeared for a century until they were acquired at auction by the London merchant James Mendez. A few years later, in 1756, a significant gesture in support of English Jews was made by Bishop Richard Trevor of Durham, who obtained the paintings and hung them in his dining room at Auckland Castle, where they have returned and remained. Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, MA.

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

🎭 THEATER STUDIES. 7:30pm. Black Playwrights: 50th Anniversary Special Event – The UMASS Department of Theater marks its 50th anniversary with an evening celebrating Black theater-makers whose bold work has appeared on our stages. We will honor Black creativity with staged readings and a conversation on Black creativity, past, present, and future. Check back for the full details of artists whose works will be presented in this celebration. Umass Curtain Theater. Amherst, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Ghost Stories

Halloween is just days away, and there are a plethora of picture books featured at your local library that tell stories about ghosts, skeletons, scarecrows, pumpkins, and trick-or-treat adventures. Reading picture books with children has numerous embedded learning opportunities, including literacy, emotional development, and the history behind autumn iconsCheck our list of Halloween-inspired tales and cozy up with your kids or grandkids for a not-so-spooking evening of ghost-eques stories.

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2022

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.

NEW ENGLAND HISTORY. 9:30am-4:30pm. Historic Deerfield – Founded in 1952, Historic Deerfield is an outdoor museum that interprets the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley. Visitors can tour twelve carefully-preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850 and explore world-class collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts on display in the authentic period houses; as well as the Flynt Center of Early New England Life, a state-of-the-art museum facility featuring exhibitions and a visible storage area. Support interests in history through the lens of architecture, New England antiques, arts and crafts needlework, ironware and basketry, cooking and baking, gardening, textiles, fashion, furniture, and much more! Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, 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. 

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.

JEWISH CULTURE/ HISTORY. 10am-4pm. Yiddish Book Center – Learning about Jewish culture and history often leads parents and children to conversations about their family’s history, culture, and traditions. Part of The Center’s mission is to offer engaging learning opportunities for curious visitors of all ages who come to the expansive, sunny museum designed to resemble a shtetl (Eastern European Jewish small town), which sits in an apple orchard adjacent to the Hampshire College campus. Visitors don’t need to be able to read or speak Yiddish to enjoy the Center—although, by the visit’s end, they’ll realize they probably knew more Yiddish words than they thought (noshschmooze, and shlep are all Yiddish words commonly used in English), and leave knowing even more. Yiddish Book Center. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. 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.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-4pm. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art – A museum devoted to the art of picture books, especially children’s books. The Carle’s picture-book exhibitions showcase various artists, themes, and styles. Their three galleries host six original shows a year, so there is always something new! In addition to exploring art in the galleries, drop into the art studio to experience the creative joy of making art; explore new picture books, and rediscover old ones in their library. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

🎃 AGRICULTURE/ CELEBRATION. 1-5pm. Pumpkinfest – Whitney’s Farm Market & Garden Center. 413-442-4749. 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.

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ TRICK OR TREAT. 4:30-6pm. Trick or Treat – nbCC’s 3rd Annual Downtown Trick or Treat is back! Grab your broomstick and fly down downtown to partake in this spooktacular event. Local businesses on and around Main Street will be giving out candy or having a fun activity! Look for the ghost in storefronts for participating businesses. Downtown North Adams. Main St, North Adams, MA  

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ TRUCK OR TREAT. 5pm. Trunk or Treat – What’s both scary AND sweet? Trunk or Treat at HCC! Instead of going house to house, trick-or-treaters go “trunk to trunk” for candy or other treats as they visit cars decorated for a frighteningly fun Halloween. Free and open to the public. Holyoke Community College. 413-538-7000. 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA.

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ TRUNK OR TREAT. 5-7pm. Drive-through Truck or Treat – Haunted drive-through, Halloween treats, and live music! Hadley Safety Complex. 15 East Street. Hadley, MA.

PLACEMAKING/ CREATIVE ECONOMY. 5-8pm. Greenfield Arts Walk. On every last Friday of the month, downtown Greenfield comes alive in a celebration of the local creative community. The Greenfield Arts Walk is a town-wide event featuring a cohort of local arts organizations. Downtown Greenfield, MA. 

🎃 HALLOWEEN/ TRAIN RIDE. 5-9pm. Haunted Train Ride and Lights Display at Look Park – The ride is designed for children five and up. The first hour has the calmest rides, and the ghosts, ghouls, and zombies do not chase after the train. This time is best suited for kids who may most likely be scared. As the night progresses and it gets dark, the creatures begin to run after the train and pop out of the dark! Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

🎃 HALLOWEEN. 6-7:30PM. Stockbridge Halloween Parade & Pumpkin Walk-About – The parade steps off at 6pm from the library. Fall treats, jack o’lanterns, Halloween storytime, crafts, and more. Stockbridge Library. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA.

🦇 ANIMAL STUDIES. 6:30pm. Things That Go Bump In The Night: Nocturnal Creatures Family Workshop – Ever wonder what goes bump in the night? Explore nocturnal creatures with environmental educator Monya Relles. Participants learn via hands-on activities, games, and a craft at the end. Get cozy around the campfire and sip some hot cider. Costumes are encouraged. This program won’t be scary and is suitable for families with children ages 5-9. Bullitt Reservation. 413-628-4485. 332 Bullitt Road, Ashfield, 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.

🎃 HALLOWEEN PARADE. 7pm. Halloween Parade – Downtown Pittsfield, MA.

🎭 THEATER STUDIES. 7:30pm. Black Playwrights: 50th Anniversary Special Event – The UMASS Department of Theater marks its 50th anniversary with an evening celebrating Black theater-makers whose bold work has appeared on our stages. We will honor Black creativity with staged readings and a conversation on Black creativity, past, present, and future. Check back for the full details of artists whose works will be presented in this celebration. Umass Curtain Theater. Amherst, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: National Cat Day (Oct 29)

Statistically speaking, black cats and kittens don’t fare well at shelters. Rather than bringing bad luck, they tend to have some bad luck of their own and are the least adopted cats in U.S. shelters year-round. There’s no definitive reason for this, but animal rescue organizations believe a combination of superstition, dark kennels, and the brightly colored coats of other cats could all be partially to blame. October 29 is National Cat Day, and with Halloween around the corner, families who are considering adding a new furry friend to their household should consider seeking out a black cat – they’ll offer all of the snuggles and playtime that come with cats of any other color. Plus, you’ll be ensuring that they don’t spend excess time in a shelter waiting for a family or, even worse, being euthanized. 

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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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