Weekly Suggested Events for November 19-25, 2022

Home > Suggested Events > Weekly Suggested Events for November 19-25, 2022
The holiday season arrives this week with Thanksgiving + learning opportunities through the lens of food, heritage, and habitat!

Are you looking for things to do in western Massachusetts? Seeking place-based learning ideas? Are you a self-directed, life-long, and/or experiential learner? Are you curious or wanting to support the interests of your family? Our weekly Suggested Events list includes suggested learning ideas, resources, and fun events for all ages, each week!

Scroll down to discover featured events, learning opportunities, and educational videos to support learning from home. And be sure to subscribe to our free weekly eNewsletter so you never miss out!

Join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for two Family Music Concerts on Saturday, November 12! Tom Knight and In the Nick of Time come together to celebrate the release of new music, with a family concert at 10:30 am and then again at 1:00 pm. Guaranteed to be a rockin’ good time for all! Cost: $8 / $7.50 Museum Members. Then, on Saturday, November 19, the Happier Family Comedy Show will perform at 3pm. Geared for kids ages 5-12, this program is high-energy and family-friendly. Cost: $10 Adults ($9 Museum Member) $5 Youth ($4.50 Museum Member) Children under 5 are free. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is located at 125 W. Bay Road in Amherst, MA. Purchase tickets at www.carlemuseum.org

The Connecticut Trolley Museum’s Annual Winterfest & the Tunnel of Lights begins Nov 25 and will be held from 5-9pm on Fri-Sun nights through Dec 23. Additionally, the Museum will be open from Dec 26-30. Halls are decked both inside & outside. Trolley cars transport guests down a tunnel of lights as they sing traditional Christmas Carols with their trolley car operators. For an open-air view of the “Tunnel of Lights,” enjoy a sleigh car lit up with holiday lights. The Visitor Center is decorated as a Winter Wonderland with model train layouts & lights galore. Admission: $15-$20. Ticket sales must be made in advance: www.ct-trolley.orgOther events include Picture with Santa on 11/25 & Storytime Trolley with Santa & his Elf on 12/3 & 12/10.

It’s that time of year again! Join Hilltown Land Trust for the 18th annual Gorge après Gorge 5k Trail Run and Free Family Fun Walk on Sunday, November 27, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, at the Chesterfield Gorge in West Chesterfield. Runners & walkers use a well-marked course with a beautiful view of the Westfield River. Hot beverages round off this event, which awards handmade hats to the winners & a locally baked cookie medal to all race participants. Family Fun Walk begins at 9:30am (Suggested donation: $15). 5k Trail Run begins at 10:30am [$25 ($30 day of)]. Discounts are available for Hilltown Land Trust members, Trustees members, and families! Free for runners under 10. Learn more & register:  www.hilltownlandtrust.org/gorge-apres-gorge

Smith Vocational High School in Northampton offers a FREE training program in Culinary Arts to prepare students over 18yo to work in the restaurant industry as entry-level prep cooks or line cooks. Students will also complete a 40-hour paid externship. Possible employment opportunities will exist in area restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes, and other environments where food prep is required. To qualify, students must be unemployed/underemployed, complete all required documentation with Smith Voc Career Center, pass a CORI/SORI test, and be a resident of Western MA. Classes begin January 17 & end June 13, 2023. Open house on December 14 from 4-5:30pm. Contact Lorena Turner, Adult Ed Director, for more info 413-587-1414 x3530.

On ThursdayDecember 8 at 9:30am, the Smith College Museum of Art, partnering with Northampton Public School’s Early Childhood Center, is pleased to offer this second in a series of thematic stroller tours. The December 8 Stroller Tour theme is LIGHT. This event, for caregivers with infants in tow, is designed to connect caregivers and build community through art. Register here: https://bit.ly/3haOmnq. Drop-ins welcomeSmith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA. [Image: James Wells Champney, Boon Companions (detail), 1879. Painting.]

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.

The Movement Observation in Children and Adolescents (MOCA) and miniMOCA studies are research projects to improve the measurement of physical activity using wearable sensors. Participation is easy. Your child does their normal activities while they wear two small activity trackers, and researchers record them with a video camera during four 1-hour sessions. UMass MOCA research staff comes to participating families and works around their schedules. Anyone from 6 months to 20 years old can participate. Receive a $40 to $60 Target Gift Card for participating. Contact John Sirard on how to get involved. Email: jsirard@umass.edu. Phone: 413-545-7898. Or, scan the QR code or click HERE for the study description and eligibility questions.

Valley Playwright Mentoring

Valley Playwright Mentoring is an afterschool theatre program for teens ages 13 & up. Starting with improv games and moving on to story prompts and devised theatre techniques, teens develop a repertoire of scenes based on stories from their lives and then decide which ones to make into their own show! Remote and in-person options. No previous theatre experience is required. Participants create a performance or podcasts based on stories from their lives and share them with the community. Listen to actors talk about their experiences and hear their podcasts at ptco.org/vpmTeens who complete the program receive a $200 stipend. Space is limited to 12 participants per group. Questions? Email Jonathan at jonathan@ptco.org or call 508-439-2069.

Celebrating its 50th year, Pioneer Valley Ballet presents The Nutcracker, an annual favorite at The Academy of Music in Northampton. Each year, PVB’s Nutcracker is reinvented by Artistic Directors Maryanne Kodzis and Thomas Vacanti, celebrating the history of the company and the tradition of Clara’s magical story. In addition to PVB dancers and local community members, this year’s performance will feature guest artists from Carolina Ballet for the first time since 2019. Join them as they celebrate 50 years of Pioneer Valley Ballet! On Friday, December 9, there will be a Sensory Safe performance at 4pm and PVB’s 50th Anniversary Performance at 6:30pm. Weekend Performances December 10 & 11 at 1pm & 4:30pm Purchase tickets at aomtheatre.com

Students interested in saving time and money can earn three college credits in just 11 days during the Holyoke Community College Wintersession. Wintersession is the perfect opportunity to complete college prerequisites and lighten spring course loads for students who want to earn college credit during the January break. Registration is due by Dec. 28, 2022, for classes that begin on Dec. 29. Holyoke Community College credits are affordable, and you can take your credits with you. (Many of their classes easily transfer to other institutions. Check-in with your receiving college or university for details.) hcc.edu/wintersession

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. Concerned about cost? Learn about financial aid on November 22 and how to apply for aid. Contact the admission office at admit@bement.org with questions and to receive the Zoom link for the seminar.

FEATURED PRESCHOOL
The Giving Tree
Gill, MA

The Giving Tree
Outdoor Program.

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

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

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. 

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, NOVEMBER 19, 2022

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

📻 FAMILY RADIO SHOW. 9-10am. Hilltown Family Variety Show with Guest DJ(s), Todd’n’Tina – Todd’n’Tina guest DJ the Hilltown Family Variety Show with an hour of family fun and share their collective knowledge of “all things agriculture!” Tina shares stories about growing up on a farm in Illinois, while Todd tells “tall tales” about his pet pig and (unproven) theories on gene splicing. It’s another “can’t miss” episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show! Valley Free Radio. 103.3FM Northampton, MA (Broadcast)

WINTER FARMER’S MARKET. 10am-1pm. Greenfield Farmers’ Winter Market – Discover what’s available from local farmers in the winter, from bread to jam, roots to fiber art. Takes place at the Second Congregational Church. 16 Court Square. Greenfield, MA

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

🛍 SHOP LOCAL/HANDMADE. 10am-4pm. Hilltown Artisans Guild Holiday Show – Hilltown Artisans Guild hosts local artists and craftspeople from the Hilltowns, including fine art, pottery, photography, cards, jewelry, hand-crafted woven & wood items, and much more! Shop locally at the Worthington Town Hall. 413-238-4418. Worthington, 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.

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.

🧚‍♂️ CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/ FAIRY HOUSES. 10:30am. Fairy Houses – Do you know a young person who believes in fae folk? Come build a fairy house! They can browse a buffet of recycled and natural materials, including cardboard, egg cartons, paper towel rolls, moss, feathers, pine cones, and more! Carnegie Public Library. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

LITERACY/ STORYTIME. 10:30am. Library Storytime – Story and craft activities. Becket Athenaeum. 413-623-5483. 3367 Main St, Becket, 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.

🙏 ARTS & CRAFTS/ MINDFULNESS. 11:30am. Thanksgiving Craft: Gratitude Jars – Drop in to make a pretty, easy craft about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Decorate a jar in colors of the season, then bring home a pack of “I Am Thankful For” cards. During Thanksgiving dinner, have everyone contribute something they are grateful for into the jar, or fill out a card every day until Thanksgiving with something you feel thankful for, and then share your collection at Thanksgiving dinner. Hubbard Memorial Library. 413-583-3408. 24 Center St, Ludlow, MA.

🌱 BOTANY/ GARDENING. 1pm. Hilltown Fall Seed Exchange – Annual seed swap with vegetable, herbal, and flower seeds. Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite seeds to share with the community! Hosted by the Hilltown Seed Saving Network at the Cummington Community House. 33 Main St., Cummington, 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.

🌸 MYO GIFT/ PAPERCRAFTS. 2pm. Upcycled Kusudama Flowers – Learn how to make beautiful paper flowers using discarded book pages and other upcycled materials with Japanese origami techniques. All materials are provided, but feel free to bring your own old books or other accent pieces to make your flowers uniquely yours. Ages 12yo-Adults. Space is Limited. Advance Registration Required. Sunderland Public Library. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA.

🎥 FILM STUDIES/ NATIVE AMERICAN. 6-8pm. Film Screening of “The Cherokee Word for Water” – A story of the transformative power of culture and community, based on the real events that led to the election of the first modern female chief of the Cherokee Nation. A discussion will follow the film. Mount Holyoke College. Zowie Banteah Cultural Center. 50 Park St. South Hadley, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Fashion History/Aprons

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

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2022

📻 FAMILY RADIO SHOW. 7-10am. Hilltown Family Variety Show with Guest DJ(s), Todd’n’Tina – Todd’n’Tina guest DJ the Hilltown Family Variety Show with an hour of family fun and share their collective knowledge of “all things agriculture!” Tina shares stories about growing up on a farm in Illinois, while Todd tells “tall tales” about his pet pig and (unproven) theories on gene splicing. It’s another “can’t miss” episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show! Valley Free Radio. 103.3FM Northampton, MA (Broadcast)

🥕 WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET. 10am-2pm. Easthampton Farmers’ Market – Winter farmers’ markets provide a fresh and colorful oasis during the winter months, reminding us that farm-fresh foods of all kinds are still available despite the blustery, snow-drift-covered fields that surround us. Connecting to the local food chain year-round is healthy for your body, your family, and your community, and it can be educational as well! Exposing children to the vast array of foods available from winter farmers’ markets can help them recognize that there are many different methods for growing and producing food while connecting them from where their food originates. Eastworks. 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA.

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

🛍 SHOP LOCAL/HANDMADE. 10am-4pm. Hilltown Artisans Guild Holiday Show – Hilltown Artisans Guild hosts local artists and craftspeople from the Hilltowns, including fine art, pottery, photography, cards, jewelry, hand-crafted woven & wood items, and much more! Shop locally at the Worthington Town Hall. 413-238-4418. Worthington, 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.

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.

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.

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.

🕎 HANUKKAH. 12-5pm. Hanukkah Craft Market – Featuring- klezmer, amulet making, tarot reading, massage, pickles, knishes, babka (traditional Jewish Pushcart foods), stunning prints, hanukkah cards, Jewish Music CDs and band Merch, Judaica, delicious elixirs and healing herbal remedies. Takes place at Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St, Northampton, 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.

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.

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.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Language Arts/Zines

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

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2022

PLAYGROUP. Northampton Parents Center.

PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Hilltowns & Pioneer Valley   

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in south Berkshire County   

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in north Berkshire County 

PLAYGROUPS. Home. City. Families. in Springfield

PLAYGROUP. 8:30-11am. Hilltown Family Center Infant & Toddler Play Group – Starting with Infant Playgroup at 8:30am and families with children 9mo-5yo joining at 9:45am. Families are welcome to eat breakfast at 8:30am for a nominal cost. Takes place at R.H. Conwell Elementary School. 413-667-2203 x311. 147 Huntington Rd, Worthington, MA.

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

🌟 LIVING HISTORY/ HOMESCHOOL. 10am. Living History Day with Ware Community Homeschool Co-op at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, 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. 7:30pm. Wind Ensemble Fall Concert – The Smith College Department of Music presents the Wind Ensemble Fall Concert: Impressions and Awakenings. Under the direction of Meghan MacFadden, the Smith College Wind Ensemble presents a concert of contemporary and traditional wind band repertoire. Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall. 51 College Ln, Northampton, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Technology/3D Printing

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

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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2022

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. Concerned about cost? Learn about financial aid on November 22 and how to apply for aid. Contact the admission office at admit@bement.org with questions and to receive the Zoom link for the seminar.

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

PLAYGROUPS. Home. City. Families. in Springfield

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.

GRANDPARENTING SUPPORT. 4-6pm. Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group – A group for grandparents actively parenting their grandchildren. A safe and confidential space to share similar experiences with other grandparents. All groups are on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month. Free pizza and childcare provided. Questions or to register: 413-663-7588. Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. 61 Main Street. Ste 218. North Adams, MA. 

🎨 ART STUDIES/ WATERCOLOR. 6-8pm. Classic Monochromatic Watercolors: Still Life In Sepia – A one-session workshop focused on the application of watercolors using just one color. In this class, participants will create a still-life composition only using sepia watercolor paint. By the end of the workshop, students will have a better knowledge of how to build value and achieve contrast for a stronger, more dramatic painting. Each student will have a small completed painting to take home to enjoy or gift this holiday season! Berkshire Art Center. 413-298-5252. 13 Willard Hill Rd. Stockbridge, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Math/Numerical Systems

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

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2022

PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Hilltowns & Pioneer Valley

PLAYGROUP. Northampton Parents Center  

PLAYGROUPSSouth Berkshire County. 

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in north Berkshire County.

PLAYGROUPS. Home. City. Families. in Springfield

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.

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.

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.

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.

🍽 COMMUNITY MEAL. 12-3pm. Amherst Survival Center Community Fall Meal – Celebrating Native American Heritage and Giving Thanks to the Community. Served in the dining room and also as a to-go meal. All are welcome. Amherst Survival Center. 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road, North Amherst, MA.

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

🎄 PLACEMAKING/ TREE LIGHTING. 5:30pm. North Adams Annual Tree Lighting – As soon as Main Street lights up, the Drury High School Band and Band Front will lead the way with festive songs for the North Adams Fire Department’s fire engine as it makes its way through downtown with Santa Claus. Santa and his helpers will bring gifts for the first 500 children. 413-664-6180. North Adams, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Food Studies/Thanksgiving Meal

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Generosity & Gratitude

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

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2022

The Connecticut Trolley Museum’s Annual Winterfest & the Tunnel of Lights begins Nov 25 and will be held from 5-9pm on Fri-Sun nights through Dec 23. Additionally, the Museum will be open from Dec 26-30. Halls are decked both inside & outside. Trolley cars transport guests down a tunnel of lights as they sing traditional Christmas Carols with their trolley car operators. For an open-air view of the “Tunnel of Lights,” enjoy a sleigh car lit up with holiday lights. The Visitor Center is decorated as a Winter Wonderland with model train layouts & lights galore. Admission: $15-$20. Ticket sales must be made in advance: www.ct-trolley.org. Other events include Picture with Santa on 11/25 & Storytime Trolley with Santa & his Elf on 12/3 & 12/10.

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.

📚 LITERACY. 9:30am. Pajama Family Storytime at the Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA.

🦃 FOOD HISTORY. 9:30am-4pm. Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration: Thanksgiving Dishes – Come and see how cooks prepared traditional Thanksgiving dishes on the hearth and over the fire. Learn about the history of harvest celebrations and the evolution of the American Thanksgiving holiday. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

🎅 SANTA. 10am-12pm. Santa’s Arrival at Hotel Northampton. Northampton, MA.

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

🌟 MYO HOLIDAY GIFT. 10am-4pm. Make a Simple Gift: Family Program – Get started on your holiday shopping by making a special handmade gift, a simple ornament crafted with a wooden template, colorful feathers, and your imagination at the 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.

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.

🎄 MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-5pm. Holiday Happenings at the 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.

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.

🚶‍♂️ OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/ WALKING. 1-2:30pm. Go Green on Black Friday Walk – Connect with nature and local history with a leisurely walk along the Canalside Rail Trail. The walk is about three miles long on a level paved surface. Makes for a leisurely stroll for adults and children ages eight and up. Be prepared for cold weather, and dress in layers. Wear sturdy shoes and bring water. The walk begins at the front entrance to the Great Falls Discovery Center. Inclement weather or icy trail conditions cancels. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

🎄 CHRISTMAS/ LIVING HISTORY. 2-8pm. Christmas by Candlelight – Experience old cherished traditions and create new ones as you celebrate the season during Christmas by Candlelight at Old Sturbridge Village! Explore the beautifully decorated Village, watch a nightly lighting ceremony, stroll through the Christmas Tree Trail and Christmas Wish Bridge, watch demonstrations of classic Christmas projects, visit with Santa, taste samples of sweet treats, enjoy live music and storytelling, and so much more. Old Sturbridge Village. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Rd, Sturbridge, MA.

🛍 HOLIDAY STROLL. 4-9pm. Moonlight Magic – A celebration of light, community, family, friends, local small businesses, and area artisans/makers. Shelburne Falls, 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. 

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Handmade Holiday Gifts

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

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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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