Weekly Suggested Events for November 26 – December 2, 2022

Home > Suggested Events > Weekly Suggested Events for November 26 – December 2, 2022
The last weekend of November is full of community-based learning opportunities and family events for holiday fun + memories.

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!

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

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.]

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.

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. Visit osv.org to learn more and purchase your tickets in advance.

Hancock Holiday Nights are back with more nights, lights, and wonder. Stroll outdoors across the farm at Hancock Shaker Village to view artist Joe Wheaton’s stunning video projections on several historic buildings, including the iconic Round Stone Barn and Brick Dwelling in Pittsfield, MA. Enter the kitchen of the Brick Dwelling and the Round Stone Barn to see stabled farm animals reminiscent of the first Nativity. Shop for holiday gifts, make simple crafts, and gather for festive spirits by the fire. See the season, and Hancock Shaker Village, in a whole new light. Takes place on select evenings throughout December from 5-8pm. Member discounts and free for children five and under. For info and to buy tickets, visit their website.

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 and learn more from students and faculty at their Open House on Sunday, December 4th, 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?
Preregister for their Open House online:  www.charlemont.org/open-houses-2022

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 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 26, 2022

FEATURED EVENT
Christmas by Candlelight
Old Sturbridge Village

Old Sturbridge Village

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. Visit osv.org to learn more and purchase your tickets in advance.

SHOP LOCAL/ HANDMADE. 8am-2pm. Northampton Artisan Fair at the Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA.

🥞 COMMUNITY MEAL/ SANTA. 8:30-10am. Breakfast with Santa – Guests can partake in breakfast with Santa, including pancakes, scrambled eggs, and other items, while meeting and greeting Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. Attendance to the breakfast also includes free admission to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield’s 22nd Annual Festival of Trees at MassMutual Center, featuring over 130 unique and beautiful trees donated by local businesses, organizations, families, and individuals. Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield. MassMutual Center. 413-787-6610. 1277 Main St, Springfield, MA.

📻 FAMILY RADIO SHOW. 9-10am. HFVS Fall Bike Tune-Up Episode with Guest DJ, Steve Weeks – Award-winning musician and long-time friend of HFVS, Steve Weeks, is our Guest DJ this week! Join him in his woodshop as he works on his bike and shares a few family-friendly tunes. Valley Free Radio. 103.3FM Northampton, MA (Broadcast)

🌟 LIVING HISTORY. 10am-4pm. Season of Thanks: Society of the 17th Century – Meet the Society of the 17th Century, a group of reenactors who will bring the historic Hall Tavern building to life with an incredible array of period arts, crafts, and trades that represent 17th-century English life, such as redware pottery, spinning, lace making, herbal lore, quill pen writing, wood carving, basket making, and arms and armor. Skilled reenactors invite hands-on involvement when appropriate. Also, enjoy open hearth cooking demonstrations and craft a gift with the help of a museum educator. The Visitor Center at Hall Tavern. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA. 

🛍 CRAFT FAIR. 10am-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.

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.

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.

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

🎁 MYO GIFT. 10:30am-12pm. Friendship Bracelets – Get started on your holiday presents by making colorful bracelets for your friends! The library will provide materials and instructions. Recommended for ages 5 -12. Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. 

🎭 THEATER/ LIBRARY ADVENTURES. 11am. Nutshell Playhouse presents “SpyJinks!” – Four intrepid spies and a parrot named Taco are on their first mission. Follow their adventures as they battle the ferocious Malumboosquito, sink up to their bellybuttons in quicksand, get unexpected help from a local llama, defy gravity, learn to speak backward, and a lot more silliness. Leverett Library. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Rd, Leverett, MA. 

🏂 OUTDOOR ADVENTURES. 11am-3pm. Cranberry Jam – Bousquet Ski Area. 413-442-8316. 101 Dan Fox Drive. Pittsfield, 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.

🏈 SPORTS/ COLLEGE FOOTBALL. 12pm. UMass Football Game – McGuirk Alumni Stadium. 413-545-2439. Stadium Dr, Amherst, MA.  

❄️ HOLIDAY STROLL. 12-6pm. Winter Light Night – Winter Light Night Artisan Fair in the Old Town Hall from 12-6pm, activities on the common from 3-6pm, with the official lighting at 5:30pm. Gingerbread house contest, music, hands-on art activities, s’mores, hot chocolate, and more!28 Park St, Belchertown, MA.

🗺 OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/ GEOCACHING. 1-3pm. Geocaching 101 – Looking for a fun way to engage your tech-savvy kids with the natural world? This outdoor activity combines hiking with a tech-aided treasure hunt. Join Kathy Gwozdz and members of Berkshire Geobash to learn the basics, then head out on the trail to test out new skills. Beginners welcome! All ages. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, 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.

⛸ OUTDOOR ICE SKATING. 1-10pm. The Ice Rink at MGM Springfield. One MGM Way. Springfield, MA.

🎄 HOLIDAY LIGHTS. 3-6pm. Winter Light Night on the Belchertown Common. Belchertown, MA.

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

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Pastry Arts/Holiday Baking 

The holiday season is a time we pay particular attention to spreading kindness to those around us! Families can spread kindness by sharing homemade foods with neighbors and can expand this activity to include studies of world cultures by baking foods enjoyed internationally! Read more in our post, Culinary and Pastry Arts: Handmade Holiday Gift Idea.

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2022

FEATURED EVENT
Christmas by Candlelight
Old Sturbridge Village

Old Sturbridge Village

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. Visit osv.org to learn more and purchase your tickets in advance.

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

👨‍🌾 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. 

🎁 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. 

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

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.

🎄FLORAL ARRANGING/ WREATHS. 11am-3pm. Wreath Making Workshop at the Leyden United Methodist Church. Leyden, 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.

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.

⛸ OUTDOOR ICE SKATING. 12-10pm The Ice Rink at MGM Springfield. One MGM Way. Springfield, MA.

📕 CHRISTMAS/ POETRY. 12:30pm. Book Talk: Twas the Night – The Art and History of the Classic Christmas Poem – Celebrate the bicentennial of the beloved American poem, “Twas the Night,” with the release of a new book. Meet Pamela McColl, the writer of new book Twas the Night: The Art and History of the Classic Christmas Poem. This program will take place in the Museum’s Crane Room, Santa Classics exhibition. Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South St, Pittsfield, 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.

🎄 TREE LIGHTING. 5pm. Holiday Tree Lighting – Join in for caroling as the town lights up the Tree for the Holidays. Whately Library. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

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

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Artisan Studies/ Glass Blowing 

Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Initially, the craft of blowing glass was used for practical purposes, like science instruments, table wear, and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s that glassblowing was raised to the level of art, led by German artist Hans Godo Frabel. Invite your kids to identify things made out of glass in your home and get curious about how it’s made and creative ways to create art with the medium of glass.

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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 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 

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.

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

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/ ART NOUVEAU. 10:30am. Homeschool Art Lab – Youth Services Librarian will introduce an art concept, read a short biography or related books about an artist, style, or concept, show a brief video, or share books or prints of an artist’s work. Participants will then have a chance to make art in that style. This month, learn about Gustav Klimt, pioneer of the Art Nouveau style, and then make art inspired by his work. Registration requested. Hubbard Memorial Library. 413-583-3408. 24 Center St, Ludlow, 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.

🖍 TEENS/ LIBRARY. 2:45pm. Podcasts and Pencils – Relax after a long day at school by coloring and listening to a podcast episode together! Open to teens ages 12-18. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA.

🏠 GINGERBREAD HOUSES. 5pm. Gingerbread House Making – Join library patrons for winter stories, followed by making “gingerbread” houses from graham crackers, candy, and frosting! Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

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

🎥 FILM STUDIES/ NATIVE AMERICAN. 6:30-8pm. Film Screening of Oheró:kon “Under the Husk” – This documentary follows two Mohawk girls on their journey to become Mohawk women. Together, they undertake a four-year rite of passage for adolescents, called Oheró:kon, or “under the husk.” The ceremony had been nearly extinct, a casualty of colonialism and intergenerational trauma; revived in the past decade by two traditional leaders, it has since flourished. Under the Husk is a personal story of a traditional practice challenging young girls spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically, shaping the women they become. A discussion will follow the film. Mount Holyoke College. Zowie Banteah Cultural Center. 50 Park St. South Hadley, MA.

🎶 MUSIC STUDIES/ UKULELE. 7pm. Ukulele Play Along at the M. N. Spear Memorial Library. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Rd, Shutesbury, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Botany/ Evergreens 

Do you know how many different native species of coniferous trees grow in your region? Do they only grow in northern regions, or are there species that grow in tropical areas? Let these questions be your catalyst for learning by becoming curious and searching for answers. One step towards finding answers might be to scout for different tree species in local forests and parks. Elect to go on a self-directed or guided tree id hike, bringing along a sketchbook, camera, and a field guide checked out from the library. Look for the different textures and patterns of evergreen needles and bark. Identify various sizes and shapes of cones and consider if they provide food for wildlife. Gather examples and create a nature table with a sampling of needles, cones, and bark, along with sketches from your outdoor hikes. Add specimens to your table throughout the winter as new-to-you species are discovered. Learn more in our post, “Mindful Engagement Through The Seasons: Evergreens.”

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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 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

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.

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.

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.

🌟 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.

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. 

🎶 MUSIC STUDIES/ HISTORY. 5:30pm. The Beatles – 50 Years Later – A respected musicologist once referred to The Beatles as “One of the most transforming entities of 20th-century music” and claimed that they forever changed the course of popular music. Is that likely true? Were they so much more than four rock’ n roll “mop tops”? And what made them such a strong force that their music is still popular more than 50 years later? In this single-session class, participants will explore the phenomenon that was The Beatles – their growth, originality, musical innovations, and lyric depth. Hosted by the East Longmeadow Public Library. (Virtual)

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Intergenerational/ Games 

Games are universal. Every human community in history has had some game played by children and adults. When you think about it, it’s no surprise that games teach us a lot about positive social interactions in addition to fun. Games teach problem-solving, dramatically increase communication skills, foster cooperation, and reduce stress. Establishing a family game night can also be a great way to build new family traditions while supporting learning at home.

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2022

PLAYGROUPS. Family Centers & Playgroups in Hilltowns & Pioneer Valley

PLAYGROUP. Northampton Parents Center  

PLAYGROUPS. Family Center & Playgroups in Franklin County 

PLAYGROUPSSouth Berkshire County. 

PLAYGROUPSFamily Center & Playgroups in north Berkshire County.

PLAYGROUPS. Home. City. Families. in Springfield

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

ART STUDIES. 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.

💻 STEM/ CODING. 4pm. Coding Club – Coding Club is a fun way to learn the basics of how to talk to computers with hands-on activities and games. Best for ages 8-12. Berkshire Athenaeum. 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA. 

⛸ OUTDOOR ICE SKATING. 4-10pm. The Ice Rink at MGM Springfield. One MGM Way. Springfield, MA. 

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

🔭 ASTRONOMY. 6pm. Nighttime Stargazing – Join Dr. Kevin Flaherty and students from the Williams College Astronomy Department for a night of stargazing outside on the front lawn of the Milne Public Library. A telescope will be available for looking at Jupiter (and its moons), Saturn (and its rings), as well as the Pleiades (and its beautiful blue stars)! Milne Public Library. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. 

🌟 FIBER ART/ WET FELTING. 6pm. Wet Felting: Vessels – This beginner-friendly wet felting workshop is an introduction to felting 3-D forms. This technique can be applied to making many other pouches, vessels, and bases for felted sculptures. Participants will be guided through this process in a tactile experience of material transformation. At the end of the workshop, participants will have a completed felted object and information about additional felting resources to take home. All materials provided. Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. 

🏀 SPORTS/ BASKETBALL. 7pm. UMass Women’s Basketball vs. Yale – Mullins Center. 413-545-3040. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA. 

🎶 MUSIC STUDIES/ GAMELAN MUSIC. 7:30-9:30pm. Gamelan Fall Concert – The Smith College Department of Music presents the Fall Gamelan Concert. Students and community members of the Smith College Gamelan Ensemble perform classical music from Central Java, Indonesia. The performance moves from serene and stately to lively and joyful, played on an array of bronze gongs, and drums and with ornate singing. Earle Recital Hall. 413-585-2787. 144 Green Street. Smith College. Northampton, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Textiles/ Wool & Fiber Art 

New England was the center of the American textile industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. We can still see the impact of this industry on the land, in the stone walls in the middle of the forests that were once cleared for merino sheep to graze, in the old mill buildings that we can find in nearly every town in the region. What better place to celebrate wool and fiber arts than locally here in Western MA? With the colder months upon us, warm wool is essential in New England, and fiber art activities like knitting and weaving often occur during these darker times. Let’s learn about local historythe science of woolshearing, weaving, manufacturing, and fiber arts through the lens of wool.

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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 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 

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

LITERACY/ STORYTIME. 3:30pm. Storytime with Julie – Storytime plus crafts and singing for children up to age 5. Tyler Memorial Library. 413-339-4335. 157 Main St, Charlemont, MA.

⛸ OUTDOOR ICE SKATING. 4-10pm. The Ice Rink at MGM Springfield. One MGM Way. Springfield, MA. 

PARENTING SUPPORT GROUP. 5pm. The Brick House Community Resource Center is hosting a parenting support group for any parents and guardians who want to connect. Free childcare. The Brick House. 413-800-2496. 24 3rd Street. Turners Falls, MA. 

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

🤟 BABY SIGN LANGUAGE. 6pm. Intro to Baby, Toddler, + Preschool Sign Language – Learn how you can enhance communication with your young child. Find out how American Sign Language (ASL) can help your child communicate before and during language acquisition. Hosted by Northampton/Hadley Family Connection. (Virtual)

🌟 HISTORY/ INDUSTRY. 7pm. Leverett Charcoal Industry – Leverett has one of the few brick charcoal kilns still standing in New England. Join the Leverett Historical Commission for a virtual exploration of the Howard family’s kilns and the history of the charcoal industry in Leverett. (Virtual)

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

💃 DANCE STUDIES. 8:30-10pm. Bare Bones Concert – The Smith College Department of Dance presents the Bare Bones Concert. This concert offers an exciting showcase of dances choreographed, performed, and produced by undergraduate students. Free and open to the public. Scott Gym Dance Studio. Smith College. Northampton, MA.

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

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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 time of year, 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, DECEMBER 2, 2022

Hancock Holiday Nights are back with more nights, lights, and wonder. Stroll outdoors across the farm at Hancock Shaker Village to view artist Joe Wheaton’s stunning video projections on several historic buildings, including the iconic Round Stone Barn and Brick Dwelling in Pittsfield, MA. Enter the kitchen of the Brick Dwelling and the Round Stone Barn to see stabled farm animals reminiscent of the first Nativity. Shop for holiday gifts, make simple crafts, and gather for festive spirits by the fire. See the season, and Hancock Shaker Village, in a whole new light. Takes place on select evenings throughout December from 5-8pm. Member discounts and free for children five and under. For info and to buy tickets, visit their website.

FEATURED EVENT
Christmas by Candlelight
Old Sturbridge Village

Old Sturbridge Village

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. Visit osv.org to learn more and purchase your tickets in advance.

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.

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.

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

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/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10:15am. New Parents Gallery Tour – New parents and caregivers are invited to bring their infants into the galleries for an informal, guided visit. The tour includes a unique look at the Clark’s permanent collection, featuring a rich array of works by artists such as John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, Berthe Morisot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Edgar Degas. This special program is best suited for adults with pre-toddlers. Strollers and front-carrying baby carriers are welcome. Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, 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.

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

⛸ OUTDOOR ICE SKATING. 1-10pm. The Ice Rink at MGM Springfield. One MGM Way. Springfield, MA.

🖼 ART STUDIES. 2pm. Tour of Mary Ann Unger exhibition – Join a tour of the exhibition “Mary Ann Unger: To Shape a Moon from Bone,” led by Unger’s daughter, artist Eve Biddle. The exhibition is a complete reconsideration of the multidisciplinary practice of Unger, one of the twentieth century’s great artists. Also, it features work by Biddle, an artist, and Unger’s daughter. Williams College Museum of Art. 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive. Williamstown, MA.

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

🎄 TREE LIGHTING. 5:45pm. Lenox Annual Tree Lighting in Lilac Park – The Lenox Community Center Chorus will gather in Lilac Park on Main Street to sing at 5:45pm. The tree will be lit at 6pm, followed by a photo op and a visit with Santa in the Gazebo. Make sure your little ones remember to bring a letter for Santa! Lilac Park. Main Street. Lenox, MA.

🎄 TREE LIGHTING/ HOLIDAY STROLL. 6pm. Tree Lighting Ceremony – The Taconic High School Chorus will perform a variety of carols around 5:45pm before the ceremony begins, Berkshire Hills Chorus will perform more carols once the tree has been lit, and Santa & Mrs. Claus will arrive following the tree lighting. Those planning to attend the ceremony are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the Christian Center’s food pantry. Otto’s Kitchen & Comfort, 95 East Street, will host a free Hot Chocolate Bar with all the fixings and a Photo Booth from 5-7pm, as well as part of the Downtown Festive Frolic. Pittsfield, MA.

💃 DANCE STUDIES. 6pm. Olga Dunn Dance Company performance of the Nutcracker Seedling – The Company will perform The Nutcracker Seedling & More!, followed by a meet and greet with the dancers. Stockbridge Library. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street, Stockbridge, 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.

🎪 CIRCUS ARTS/ HOLIDAY SHOW. 7:30pm. Cirque Musica: Holiday Wonderland – Cirque Musica: Holiday Wonderland is a must-see holiday event to usher in the magic of the season. Igniting joy and wonder, “Wonderland” is an all-new musical journey that will transport audiences to a magical land far away for a fun-filled, unforgettable holiday-themed show experience. The show blends the spellbinding grace and daredevil athleticism of today’s most outstanding circus performers with a musical mix of timeless seasonal favorites. Featuring the talented cast of Cirque Musica, spectators will be dazzled by the acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hijinks, and holiday cheer. Symphony Hall. Springfield, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Math Studies/ Numerical Systems 

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

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Weekly eNewsletter

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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