Weekly Suggested Events for September 30 – October 6, 2023

Home > Suggested Events > Weekly Suggested Events for September 30 – October 6, 2023

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

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

COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES

FEATURED EVENT

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with Grace Lin at The Carle on Saturday, September 30 from 10am-3pm! Activities include a Reader’s Theater and Draw-Along with Grace Lin (space limited; registration recommended), a book signing, story times, and art activities. The event is free with Museum admission. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for the schedule. The Carle is located in Amherst, MA at 125 W. Bay Road.

FEATURED JOB OPENING

Davenport Child Care, located in the center of Chesterfield, MA, is hiring full and part-time toddler and preschool teachers. Davenport Child Care is a not-for-profit daycare and early education center that serves as a cornerstone in the community, providing quality early education and care for local children. Offering a nurturing environment plays a pivotal role in shaping young minds and serving families. As the only full-day, center-based program located in the Hilltowns for children aged one month to kindergarten, it is a vital resource for the Hilltown community. For more information on these open teacher positions, email Therese at trenscot@verizon.net or call 413-296-4785.

FEATURED DANCE CLASSES

Stoneleigh-Burnham School offers an afterschool Community Dance Program for local students ages 5-18. Their program provides a variety of dance classes, including modern, ballet, and jazz. Participants will be able to learn alongside SBS students and participate in three annual performances. Middle and high school Community Dance students learn alongside Stoneleigh-Burnham School students and have the opportunity to take part in three performances over the course of the year. Modern, ballet, and jazz classes meet on weekdays, excluding Wednesdays, which are reserved for young dancers ages 5-11. A complete schedule for their Community Dance Program can be found at sbschool.org/hilltown-danceFor more information: hdescavich@sbschool.org; 413-475-1671.


Trolleyfest will be held at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum on Saturday, September 30, from 11am-5pm. The event will celebrate the history of Trolley No. 10 with trolley and pump car rides, as well as speeder rides – a fan favorite this year! Children can enjoy wooden and electric train playsets, plus Morse code and blacksmith demos. Guests can enjoy special activities such as Trolley Era re-enactors, a quilt sale, and railroad movies. For a nostalgic feel, visitors can try hands-on activities like cider & butter making, weaving, and historical games. All-day passes are available for $5 for adults, $3 for ages 6-17, and free for those under 6. The event will be held at 14 Depot St, Shelburne Falls, MA—more info at www.sftm.org.

Celebrate the 25th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival, Sept 30/Oct 1, 2023, in Orange, MA. Delight in this family-friendly event, set amid fall foliage on a historic farm. Wander among 100 exhibitors featuring art, farm products, healing arts, & community groups. Enjoy music, performances, & spoken word across three stages. Fabulous food vendors plus chef demos. Free kids’ art-making tent & garlic games for all! Orange is the New Green! Local living workshops, EV displays, & only 2 bags of trash for 8,000 attendees. Special: $5 half-price admission for the weekend; kids 12 & under free. EBT, WIC, & ConnectorCare cardholders free. No pets; service animals only. Travel info, advance tickets, full details: www.garlicandarts.org


The 2nd Annual 3-Ring Ruckus Spectacular benefiting CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County will be held at the Florence Civic Center in Florence on Saturday, October 14, from 11am-3pm. The Ruckus features a Craft Fair, First Responders Olympics, and Dazzling Family Entertainment – it’s a real Ruckus! Enjoy Craft VendorsGames featuring a First Responders Picnic Olympics with local firefighters, police, and emergency responders competing in tug-of-war, three-legged races & dance contesta corn shucking contesta 50/50 raffle, and Family entertainment with the Pioneer Valley Jump Rope Team, live music by Grayson Ty & Companyfood trucks, family-friendly crafts activities, and more! Contact: Susan Nicastro, snicastro@chd.org.


Barnfest is Fabric of Life’s biggest community event of the year! The whole family will enjoy live demonstrations of glass blowingbirds of prey, sheep shearing, processing flax to linenbroom making, logging with oxen, and sawing on a portable sawmill. Bring your hand tools for sharpening, weave a cattail doll, make an apron from your favorite t-shirt, create an upcycled instrument, try a ukulele or fiddle, hone your fiddle skills, or build a Hugelkulture bed. Weave on a loom, take a free horse drawn wagon ride, join us for a parade led by a local brass band, enter a raffle, bid in a silent auction, enjoy a community supper, and stay for live after-dinner music and contra dancing! Please leave pets at home. www.fabric-of-life.org


Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS) invites prospective students and their families to attend their upcoming Open Houses on October 9th, November 10th, 2023, or January 15th, 2024. SBS is a boarding and day school for girls in grades 7-12 and postgraduate, located in Greenfield, MA. Attendees can participate in person or virtually and will have the opportunity to witness how the girls at Stoneleigh-Burnham lead every classroom discussion, athletic team, and club. The school aims to showcase the transformative power of a Stoneleigh-Burnham education. Interested individuals can register for an Open House by visiting sbschool.org/open-house.

FEATURED CLASSES
Whole Children and Milestones
Northampton, MA

Whole Children and Milestones’ goal is to create an inclusive environment where every child, teen, and adult is successful and valued for who they are, no matter their abilities or disabilities. They offer a diverse roster of after-school and Saturday classes, including yoga, art, cooking, theater, video games, and much more. Classes emphasize social skills, self-advocacy, and just plain fun. Visit their new location at 11 Village Hill Rd. in Northampton or choose from online classes. Whole Children and Milestones are filling a vital need by creating classes where the hard work of skill-building is made social and fun for people of all abilities and by creating a supportive and caring community for parents. For more info: info@wholechildren.org; 413-585-8010; www.wholechildren.org

FEATURED MUSIC SCHOOL
Downtown Sounds Music School
Northampton, MA

Downtown Sounds Music School provides music education for a wide variety of instruments. They offer in-person and online lessons seven days a week for guitar, piano, voice, bass, drums, percussion, ukulele, brass and woodwind instruments, mandolin, and more. Whether students are just starting, looking to expand their abilities, or learning to play a favorite song, their teachers are passionate about working with students of all ages to meet their musical goals! For more information: lessons@downtownsounds.com; 413-586-0998; downtownsounds.com.


Berkshire Music School (BMS) private lesson and Community Group Class registration is now open! Start the new school year off with weekly private lessons, available in all band and orchestral instruments, as well as voice and theory, which may be arranged for 30, 45, or 60 minutes each week. Interested in exploring your passion for music with others? BMS Community Group Classes are a wonderful opportunity to try something new while having fun with your peers. Classes are available in a variety of topics for all levels and ages and are offered on a pay-what-you-can basis. For more information on how to register, class offerings, and our new tiered payment option, visit the BMS website: www.berkshiremusicschool.org

FEATURED BALLET SCHOOL
Pioneer Valley Ballet
Easthampton, MA

Pioneer Valley Ballet provides classes, performances, and outreach programs to cater to all levels of expertise. They prioritize technique, inclusivity, and artistry to create well-rounded performers and appreciative audiences. The institution also offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into ballet productions to showcase the collaborative efforts that bring artistic visions to life on stage. Pioneer Valley Ballet offers year-round pre-professional ballet training, community classes for children, teens, and adults, as well as performance opportunities for dancers of all ages and levels of ability. To register for classes, visit their website.  For more information: 413-527-6363; www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

FEATURED THEATER PROGRAM
Barrington Stage Company
Education Programs
Pittsfield, MA

The Barrington Stage Company Education Department offers fun and creative outlets for young people. The unique KidsAct! & TeensAct! programs are back for spring break and summer for ages 7–14. These programs focus on building acting and performance skills through ensemble work to create original musical plays. The renowned, award-winning Playwright Mentoring Project meets weekly from October to April in Pittsfield or North Adams. Experienced mentors guide participants to develop and perform an original play based on stories and experiences from their lives. PMP creates a brave and welcoming space where young people can share important ideas and generate exciting, relevant theatre that will be performed for their peers. For more information: education@barringtonstageco.org; 413-997-6117; www.bsceducation.org

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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: hilltownfamilies@gmail.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.

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List of Weekly Suggested Events

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2023

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with Grace Lin at The Carle on Saturday, September 30 from 10am-3pm! Activities include a Reader’s Theater and Draw-Along with Grace Lin (space limited; registration recommended), a book signing, story times, and art activities. The event is free with Museum admission. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for the schedule. The Carle is located in Amherst, MA at 125 W. Bay Road.


Trolleyfest will be held at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum on Saturday, September 30, from 11am-5pm. The event will celebrate the history of Trolley No. 10 with trolley and pump car rides, as well as speeder rides – a fan favorite this year! Children can enjoy wooden and electric train playsets, plus Morse code and blacksmith demos. Guests can enjoy special activities such as Trolley Era re-enactors, a quilt sale, and railroad movies. For a nostalgic feel, visitors can try hands-on activities like cider & butter making, weaving, and historical games. All-day passes are available for $5 for adults, $3 for ages 6-17, and free for those under 6. The event will be held at 14 Depot St, Shelburne Falls, MA—more info at www.sftm.org.

Celebrate the 25th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival, Sept 30/Oct 1, 2023, in Orange, MA. Delight in this family-friendly event, set amid fall foliage on a historic farm. Wander among 100 exhibitors featuring art, farm products, healing arts, & community groups. Enjoy music, performances, & spoken word across three stages. Fabulous food vendors plus chef demos. Free kids’ art-making tent & garlic games for all! Orange is the New Green! Local living workshops, EV displays, & only 2 bags of trash for 8,000 attendees. Special: $5 half-price admission for the weekend; kids 12 & under free. EBT, WIC, & ConnectorCare cardholders free. No pets; service animals only. Travel info, advance tickets, full details: www.garlicandarts.org

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

The Skating Club of Amherst
21th annual autumn “Housatonic Heritage Walks” on five weekends, starting the first weekend in September.

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

HIKING TRAIL. Sunrise-Sunset. Golden Hill Town Forest – Embark on a day hike at Golden Hill Town Forest for an immersive educational experience in natural history, ecology, and the changing seasons, fostering a deeper appreciation for the interplay between nature and human culture. Lee, MA.

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

ART STUDIES. 9am-5pm. Mead Art Museum. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA.

NEW ENGLAND HISTORY. 9:30am-4:30pm. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

🐴💗 ANIMAL WELFARE. 10am-12pm. Meet the Animals – Whip City Animal Sanctuary is a great place to learn about animal welfare. Families can visit on weekends to meet & interact with rescued and surrendered animals. Visiting the sanctuary is an invaluable opportunity for all ages to gain knowledge about animal care and well-being. The sanctuary is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating animals, and offers opportunities for those interested in biology, animal husbandry, veterinary medicine, or animal welfare. Weekend visitors can ask questions about animals in their care and how they can support the work of the sanctuary. Run by volunteers, admission is free. Donations welcomed. Whip City Animal Sanctuary. 232 Montgomery Road, Westfield, MA

🚲🌟 HISTORY/ BIKE RIDING. 10am-2pm. A Tweed Ride to Benefit Historic Northampton – A Tweed Ride is being organized to honor Northampton’s rich history and vibrant present, with all proceeds going to benefit Historic Northampton. Attendees are encouraged to dress in vintage clothing and ride their classic bicycles for a lovely 4-mile trip along the city’s contemporary bike paths. This family-friendly event provides a fun way to discover Northampton’s picturesque routes while celebrating the sophistication of the past, making it an enriching experience for teachers, history buffs, and families who appreciate a mix of old and new. Be sure to register with Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

🍂🎃 FALL FESTIVAL. 10am-4pm. The Huntington Fall Festival  – There will be live music, kids activities, face painting, pumpkin painting, and a petting zoo. In addition, there will be food vendors, crafters, and an apple press demonstration with free samples. Takes place in downtown Huntington, MA. 

CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/ INTERACTIVE MUSEUM. 10am-4pm. 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. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.

ART STUDIES. 10am-5pm.  The Clark Art Institute – Featuring a diverse collection of American and European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, The Clark offers a variety of learning opportunities that allow visitors to engage with art and culture in different ways. Guided tours and talks provide in-depth knowledge about the museum’s collections and exhibitions, while workshops and classes offer hands-on engagement. Interactive exhibits provide dynamic and immersive learning experiences. Can’t make it to the museum? Their digital resources, such as online exhibitions, virtual tours, and educational videos, enable visitors to learn about art and culture from their homes. Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, MA.

MUSEUMS ADVENTURES. 10am-5pm. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

ART STUDIES/ SCULPTURE. 10am-5pm. Chesterwood. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

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

🍼🧸 FAMILY SUPPORT. 10:30am. Franklin County Community Baby Shower – Families are invited to join a morning event on the Greenfield Town Common where various family support agencies will be present to provide helpful information and resources for expectant parents. Attendees can also receive free baby supplies, clothing, gear, books, formula, and more. There are no requirements regarding residency or income to participate in the event, as everything is completely free. Takes place on the town common in Greenfield, MA.

🧭🗺 MAP SKILLS/ ECOLOGY. 11am. Geocaching 101 – Have you heard of geocaching? It’s like a treasure hunt where people hide “caches” and share their coordinates online. It’s great for families and helps improve map-reading and navigational skills. Geocaching teaches about local ecology, history, and culture and nurtures appreciation for maps and spatial thinking. Learn more this weekend at Mount Greylock Visitor Center. Lanesborough, MA.

RIVER ECOLOGY/GEOLOGY. 11am. 1:15pm. & 3pm. Heritage Riverboat Cruises – Join Heritage Riverboat Cruises for a 12-mile guided river cruise along the Connecticut River. This scenic journey will take you through the French King Gorge, where you can marvel at the natural beauty and learn about the region’s geological wonders and diverse ecosystems. During the cruise, knowledgeable guides will share insightful information about the river’s history, wildlife, and environmental conservation efforts. From identifying native bird species to understanding the river’s role in shaping the landscape, this experience promises to be both educational and enriching. 800-859-2960. 144 Pine Meadow Road, Northfield, MA.

🍎🦉 AGRICULTURE/ ORNITHOLOGY. 11am-4pm. Wildlife Weekend – Join Apex Orchards for their Wildlife Weekend among the orchards. Learn about Birds of Prey with Tom Ricardi, ride on a tractor through the orchard, pick your own apples, watch donuts being made, and enjoy tasty autumn treats. Apex Orchards. 413-625-2744. 225 Peckville Rd. Shelburne, MA.

ART STUDIES. 11am-4pm. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

🍂🎨 ART STUDIES/ OPEN STUDIOS. 11am-5pm. Hilltown Open Studio Tour – Experience the beauty of Western Mass’s Hilltowns during peak leaf season by taking a picturesque journey through scenic byways. Immerse yourself in the vibrant art world with over 20 studio locations opening their doors to showcase the crafts of painters, potters, jewelry makers, sculptors, and printmakers. Each studio offers a unique environment as a backdrop for these crafts. Enhance your experience by indulging in local delicacies from restaurants, food trucks, and fresh offerings of beer and cider. Participate in enlightening demonstrations and be entertained by live performances each afternoon. Begin your journey at the Tour Hub located at Cummington Community House. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA.

🎶🎺 MUSIC STUDIES/ JAZZ. 11:30am-9pm. Jazz Fest Day – The Northampton Jazz Festival is a wonderful experience, offering a musical treat and a valuable educational platform. Jazz is a genre of music with its roots in African-American communities in New Orleans during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a testament to cultural resilience and creativity. The festival is more than just a showcase of performances; it provides an opportunity to explore jazz’s historical, cultural, and technical aspects. Attendees can interact with jazz musicians, offering them a unique and immersive learning experience that will help them understand jazz’s evolution, diverse styles, and socio-cultural significance. The festival raises essential questions for learners, such as how jazz has evolved over the years and the societal and cultural influences that have contributed to its sound and structure. Takes place in downtown Northampton, MA.

🍂🎃 FALL FESTIVAL. 12-4pm. Harvest Cultural Festival – A day full of culture, fun, and delicious food, including live music, dance, a farmer’s market, and activities for kids.Takes place at La Finca. 413-535-1789. 24 Jones Ferry Road. Holyoke, MA. 

🎉🌟 FESTIVAL LATINO. 12-6pm. Festival Latino of the Berkshires –The Festival Latino of the Berkshires is celebrating its 27th year and paying homage to Hispanic Heritage Month. This event aims to showcase the diverse and rich cultures of Latino, Hispanic, and Latinx communities. Attendees can enjoy folkloric dances, admire traditional costumes, and indulge in authentic cuisine amidst the picturesque Berkshires. This family-friendly event is free of charge, but donations are welcome to ensure its return next year. It provides a unique opportunity for educators, families, and lifelong learners to immerse themselves in Hispanic heritage. Takes palce at the Great Barrington Town Hall Park & St. James Place. Great Barrington, MA.

🎶🎻 MUSIC STUDIES/ PLACEMAKING. 1pm. Easthampton Porchfest – Easthampton is hosting its first-ever Porchfest, inviting everyone to enjoy a day of free concerts in the New City neighborhood. This festival, which began as a grassroots movement highlighting the power of music, has gained recognition worldwide and transformed neighborhoods into live concert venues. As Easthampton embraces this global tradition, residents and visitors can look forward to an immersive experience featuring local artists’ performances, fostering community connections. The event’s aim is to bring people together, bridging public and private spaces, and encouraging neighborly interactions. Following a day filled with music and camaraderie, attendees can join an afterparty to celebrate Easthampton’s vibrant spirit. Easthampton, MA.

🎉💥 COMMUNITY CELEBRATION. 1pm. Northfield 350th Parade & FireworksNorthfield, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 1-5pm. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA.

⚔️🌟 LOCAL HISTORY/ MANUFACTURING. 2pm. At Sword’s Point: A History of Trade Unions in the Machine Tool Industry in Franklin County – Historian Tom Goldscheider will present the rich history of Franklin County’s precision steel tool manufacturing industry. The skilled workers of this industry led the world for generations, and attendees will learn about the captivating story of their organized democratic trade union. Unfortunately, this group became a target in a national political campaign, leading to a remarkable confrontation in Greenfield and neighboring towns. Observers from across the country were amazed by this event, which will be discussed in detail during the talk. This presentation offers a unique understanding of local history intertwined with national narratives, making it an excellent educational opportunity for history enthusiasts and the broader community. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

ICE SKATING. 4-5:50pm. Public Ice Skate – Ice skating is not only a fun activity but also an opportunity to explore physics concepts. Skaters glide over the ice by reducing friction, using their weight and momentum to move forward. As they spin, they demonstrate angular momentum conservation, and jumps showcase conservation of energy. Understanding how forces and motion interact can enhance one’s appreciation for the sport and the laws of physics that govern it. Ice skating sessions for the public at UMass Mullins Center. Skate rentals are provided.UMass Mullins Center. 413-545-3040. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA.

🎶🌟 PERFORMANCE ART. 4pm. BlackBox Ensemble: The Sound of Space Between Us – “The Sound of Space Between Us” presents a harmonious blend of sound and movement within the distinct Clark’s grounds environs. Curated by the visionary Annie Nikunen and Leonard Bopp, this site-specific performance invites attendees to explore the nuanced relationship between individuals and the ecosystem, both on communal and personal scales. As choreographic agents, the musicians interact dynamically with dancers and the audience, seamlessly transitioning between prearranged sequences and spontaneous improvisations. The event showcases compositions by luminaries such as Annie Nikunen, Meg Stuart, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and more, paired with the masterful choreography of Nikunen and Joelle Santiago. It promises educators and enthusiasts an immersive journey into interdisciplinary artistry. Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, MA.

🎳💥STEM/ BOWLING. 4-11pm. Candlepin Bowling – Bowling is a STEM-heavy sport that teaches us about physics, geometry, engineering, and math. It’s a fun and informative hands-on scientific experience. It’s also a great activity for the entire family! Explore candlepin bowling at the Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley. 413-625-6179. 43 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Fiber Arts/Sewing

Which came first, the button or the buttonhole? Learning to sew is not just about creating garments, mending tears, or reattaching buttons; it’s an enriching educational experience packed with self-directed learning opportunities. Individuals can improve their precision and fine motor skills through the art of stitchingDrafting patterns introduces them to foundational concepts of geometry and spatial understanding, while fabric selection teaches them about textiles and material science. Sewing projects require problem-solving skills, especially when modifying designs or adjusting fits. Understanding the history and evolution of sewing techniques can also provide valuable cultural insights! Sewing is a hands-on method of combining integrative learning with practical skills.

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SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2023

Celebrate the 25th Annual North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival, Sept 30/Oct 1, 2023, in Orange, MA. Delight in this family-friendly event, set amid fall foliage on a historic farm. Wander among 100 exhibitors featuring art, farm products, healing arts, & community groups. Enjoy music, performances, & spoken word across three stages. Fabulous food vendors plus chef demos. Free kids’ art-making tent & garlic games for all! Orange is the New Green! Local living workshops, EV displays, & only 2 bags of trash for 8,000 attendees. Special: $5 half-price admission for the weekend; kids 12 & under free. EBT, WIC, & ConnectorCare cardholders free. No pets; service animals only. Travel info, advance tickets, full details: www.garlicandarts.org

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

The Skating Club of Amherst
21th annual autumn “Housatonic Heritage Walks” on five weekends, starting the first weekend in September.

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

HIKING TRAIL. Sunrise-Sunset. Golden Hill Town Forest – Embark on a day hike at Golden Hill Town Forest for an immersive educational experience in natural history, ecology, and the changing seasons, fostering a deeper appreciation for the interplay between nature and human culture. Lee, MA.

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

🌳 BOTANY/ TREES. The Hahn-Warner Arboretum offers – An excellent resource for learning about botany, trees, and conservation efforts. The arboretum features 30 species of trees, providing a diverse and rich environment for exploring dendrology. Visitors can learn about the different types of trees, their growth patterns, and how they are affected by environmental factors such as weather and pollution. A self-guided visit to the arboretum can support a broad range of learning goals related to botany, ecology, and environmental science. Hahn-Warner Arboretum. Mosier Street. South Hadley, MA.

ART STUDIES. 9am-5pm. Mead Art Museum. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA.

NEW ENGLAND HISTORY. 9:30am-4:30pm. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

🐴💗 ANIMAL WELFARE. 10am-12pm. Meet the Animals – Whip City Animal Sanctuary is a great place to learn about animal welfare. Families can visit on weekends to meet & interact with rescued and surrendered animals. Visiting the sanctuary is an invaluable opportunity for all ages to gain knowledge about animal care and well-being. The sanctuary is dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating animals, and offers opportunities for those interested in biology, animal husbandry, veterinary medicine, or animal welfare. Weekend visitors can ask questions about animals in their care and how they can support the work of the sanctuary. Run by volunteers, admission is free. Donations welcomed. Whip City Animal Sanctuary. 232 Montgomery Road, Westfield, MA

🍂🎃 FALL FESTIVAL. 10am-1pm. Fall Fest -Deerfield Elementary School PTA is hosting its second annual Fall Fest, which will include fall-themed crafts, tug of war, food trucks, face painting, and a game of chicken poop bingo! Takes place at the Deerfield Elementary School. 21 Pleasant St. South Deerfield, MA.

🍂🎃 FALL FESTIVAL. 10am-3pm. The Huntington Fall Festival  – There will be live music, kids activities, face painting, pumpkin painting, and a petting zoo. In addition, there will be food vendors, crafters, and an apple press demonstration with free samples. Takes place in downtown Huntington, MA. 

HISTORIC HOME/ LITERATURE. 10am-3pm – Herman Melville at Arrowhead – Immerse yourself in the literary world of Herman Melville at Arrowhead, the historic home where he penned his timeless masterpiece, Moby-Dick. Located in the picturesque Berkshires, Arrowhead offers a captivating glimpse into the life and works of one of America’s greatest authors. Explore the rooms where Melville crafted his iconic stories, stroll through the scenic grounds that inspired his imagination, and learn about his literary legacy through engaging exhibits and guided tours. From the captivating history of the house to the insights into Melville’s creative process, a visit to Arrowhead is an educational journey that will ignite your love for literature and deepen your understanding of this literary genius. Take advantage of the opportunity to step into the world of Herman Melville at Arrowhead. Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. 413-442-1793. 780 Holmes Rd, Pittsfield, MA.

🍂🎃 FALL FESTIVAL. 10am-4pm. Festival of the Hills – As autumn arrives, the Festival of the Hills takes place, showcasing the community’s spirit, heritage, and natural beauty. The festival’s log-splitting and skillet-toss competitions are particularly popular, providing lighthearted competition and paying tribute to the region’s agricultural and logging past. These contests hold a special significance for festival-goers and offer insight into Conway’s cultural fabric. As the leaves change color, these competitions add another element to the festival’s already diverse array of crafts, music, and local produce. Not only do these unique contests entertain, but they also raise funds for scholarships, making the Festival of the Hills a truly enriching event. Takes place at the town field in the historic center of Conway, 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. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

ART STUDIES. 10am-5pm.  The Clark Art Institute – 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, MA.

NATURAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: 10am-5pm. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.

ART STUDIES/ SCULPTURE. 10am-5pm. Chesterwood. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

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

RIVER ECOLOGY/GEOLOGY. 11am. 1:15pm. & 3pm. Heritage Riverboat Cruises – Join Heritage Riverboat Cruises for a 12-mile guided river cruise along the Connecticut River. This scenic journey will take you through the French King Gorge, where you can marvel at the natural beauty and learn about the region’s geological wonders and diverse ecosystems. During the cruise, knowledgeable guides will share insightful information about the river’s history, wildlife, and environmental conservation efforts. From identifying native bird species to understanding the river’s role in shaping the landscape, this experience promises to be both educational and enriching. 800-859-2960. 144 Pine Meadow Road, Northfield, MA.

🍎🐛 AGRICULTURE/ ENTOMOLOGY. 11am-4pm. Wildlife Weekend – Join Apex Orchards for their Wildlife Weekend among the orchards. The UMass Fernald Entomology Club will be attending with an assortment of live bugs to observe and interact with, as well as some preserved specimens for viewing. Other activities include a ride on a tractor through the orchard, pick your own apples, watch donuts being made, and enjoy tasty autumn treats. Apex Orchards. 413-625-2744. 225 Peckville Rd. Shelburne, MA.

ART STUDIES. 11am-4pm. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

🍂🎨 ART STUDIES/ OPEN STUDIOS. 11am-5pm. Hilltown Open Studio Tour – Experience the beauty of Western Mass’s Hilltowns during peak leaf season by taking a picturesque journey through scenic byways. Immerse yourself in the vibrant art world with over 20 studio locations opening their doors to showcase the crafts of painters, potters, jewelry makers, sculptors, and printmakers. Each studio offers a unique environment as a backdrop for these crafts. Enhance your experience by indulging in local delicacies from restaurants, food trucks, and fresh offerings of beer and cider. Participate in enlightening demonstrations and be entertained by live performances each afternoon. Begin your journey at the Tour Hub located at Cummington Community House. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA.

MUSEUMS ADVENTURES. 11am-5pm. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

🐄🐈  RELIGIOUS STUDIES/ ANIMAL WELFARE. 11:15am. The Blessing of the Animals – The Blessing of the Animals is a tradition that honors the connection between humans and animals, originally from Christian customs. It’s observed around St. Francis of Assisi’s feast day, who taught the interdependence between humans and animals. The ceremony is celebrated worldwide and reminds us of the importance of respecting and protecting animals. Takes place at St. John’s Episcopal Church. 413- 628-4402. 6 South Street. Ashfield, MA.

ICE SKATING. 12-1:50pm. Public Ice Skate – Ice skating is not only a fun activity but also an opportunity to explore physics concepts. Skaters glide over the ice by reducing friction, using their weight and momentum to move forward. As they spin, they demonstrate angular momentum conservation, and jumps showcase conservation of energy. Understanding how forces and motion interact can enhance one’s appreciation for the sport and the laws of physics that govern it. Ice skating sessions for the public at UMass Mullins Center. Skate rentals are provided.UMass Mullins Center. 413-545-3040. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA.

CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/ INTERACTIVE MUSEUM. 12-4pm.  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. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

🪨🗺 GEOLOGY. 2pm. The Geology of Gill and Vicinity -Join Professor Emeritus Richard Little in a fascinating exploration of the geological history of Gill and its surrounding areas. In his insightful 25-minute film titled “The Geology of Gill and Vicinity – The Best Place in the World to Study Geology,” attendees will travel through time and unravel the mysteries surrounding the creation and dissolution of Pangea, the region’s native dinosaurs, enigmatic armored mud balls, the history of Lake Hitchcock, and the puzzling deep holes of the Connecticut riverbed. After the screening, Prof. Little will showcase intriguing rock samples and offer an informative tour of the Center’s Rock Garden. This event is a must-attend for educators, students, and geology enthusiasts seeking to enrich their understanding of the area’s unique geological narrative. Great Falls Discovery Center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 1-5pm. 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.

🎶🧘 MUSIC STUDIES/ MINDFULNESS. 4pm. Cymbal Sound Bath – Experience the soothing and rejuvenating sounds of a Cymbal Sound Bath with Matt Samolis, an expert in the field since 1987. He uses a unique “steel cello” made of mounted cymbals and tuned steel rods to create a harmonious and meditative environment. Attendees are captivated by the other-worldly sounds, offering a chance for parents, educators, and life-long learners to immerse themselves in the timeless art of sound. With a background in renowned institutions such as New England Conservatory and Berklee, Matt’s performance promises to be an unforgettable acoustic experience. Takes place at the Wendell Meetinghouse. 1 Morse Village Road. Wendell, MA.

🎳💥STEM/ BOWLING. 4-6pm.Candlepin Bowling – Bowling is a STEM-heavy sport that teaches us about physics, geometry, engineering, and math. It’s a fun and informative hands-on scientific experience. It’s also a great activity for the entire family! Explore candlepin bowling at the Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley. 413-625-6179. 43 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Food Studies/Cranberries

Have you ever considered the significance of cranberries in the cool, marshy landscapes of New England? These berries have thrived there for thousands of years and are an essential part of the region’s culinary, ecological, and cultural heritage. The unique habitat of a cranberry bog, where sandy and peat-rich soil provides a perfect breeding ground, is not only for growing and harvesting cranberries but also a haven for diverse wildlife. The Indigenous people were the first to harvest these berries, using them in pemmican—a high-energy blend of fat, protein, and the tart berry. Later, European settlers quickly recognized their culinary and commercial potential, making them a staple at Thanksgiving tables. However, cranberries are versatile and can be used in many recipes, including cranberry walnut bread or a refreshing cranberry punch. A visit to a cranberry bog or trying out a new recipe is a great way to celebrate the rich heritage of the berry’s vibrant hue during a New England autumn.

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MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2023

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.

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/ SCULPTURE. 10am-5pm. Chesterwood is a historic site and former home of the sculptor Daniel Chester French, a renowned American sculptor best known for creating the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Guided tours and interactive exhibits provide historical context and help visitors appreciate sculpture as an art form and its place in history. Learn about French’s life and work, analyze and interpret the sculptures on display, consider the historical and cultural context of the art, draw inspiration from the natural surroundings, and discuss your thoughts and ideas with your family while developing a deeper understanding of the artistic process. Chesterwood. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

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

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

MAKERSPACE. 2-4:30pm. Makerspace Collaboratory Drop-In – The East Forest Park Branch Makerspace is a place you can visit for free to use their selection of equipment to create, craft, tinker, and experiment! From traditional crafts to digital tinkering. The East Forest Park Makerspace is your place to create, invent, and learn. Each week there is a drop-in project or two based on a theme. All ages. East Forest Park Branch. 413-263-6836. 136 Surrey Road. Springfield, MA. 

🥖🍞 NUTRITIONAL ANTHROPOLOGY/ SOURDOUGH. 6:30pm. Sourdough Starter Workshop – Baking sourdough is a blend of science, art, and culture. Caring for the starter connects you with ancient traditions and the intricacies of microbial ecosystems. Precise temperature and hydration levels are key to achieving a tangy taste and perfect rise. Kneading and baking create a meditative connection to culinary history. The final loaf is a fusion of science, art, and human experience, offering a deliciously educational journey. Learn more at the Westhampton Public Library. 413-527-5386. 1 N Rd, Westhampton, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Naturalist Skills/Journaling

Nature journaling is a captivating practice that combines art, science, and personal reflection, enabling individuals to connect more deeply with the natural world. It encourages a keen sense of observation and wonder, becoming a record of these discoveries. Nature journals document the changing seasons, the appearance and behavior of flora and fauna, and the journaler’s emotional response to nature. How might sketching a bird or noting the color variations in a landscape enhance your understanding and appreciation of the environment? By committing observations to paper, not only do memories get solidified, but patterns can emerge, leading to greater insights about local ecosystems. As an exercise in mindfulness and environmental education, nature journaling offers a profound way to deepen one’s relationship with the Earth, fostering knowledge and admiration. Will your next walk inspire an entry?

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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2023

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

BIKE RIDINGHUMANITIES. Dawn-Dusk. Discover the wonders of nature on the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, a scenic path in the Berkshires. This versatile trail stretches over 11 miles and offers a range of outdoor activities all year round. You can hike or bike through breathtaking landscapes, serene waterways, and lush forests. The trail is equipped with informative signs and markers that reveal the region’s cultural and natural history, allowing visitors to learn more about the area. Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. 413-499-7003. Cheshire, MA. 

BOTANY. 9am-4pm. 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.

ART STUDIES. 9am-5pm. Mead Art Museum. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, 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.

COMMUNITY SERVICE. 10am-12pm. Walk-In Volunteer Day – Mumbet’s Freedom Farm is a black and brown-led farm and community sanctuary that offers families a unique opportunity to volunteer their time. Families can join the farm’s volunteer activities, from planting and harvesting crops to caring for the animals and tending to the gardens. Named in honor of Elizabeth ‘Mumbet’ Freeman, an African-American woman who was enslaved in Massachusetts until she sued for and won her freedom in court in 1781, the farm is a beacon of hope for the local community, providing a space for healing and connection and offering a chance to learn, grow, and create a better world for all. Mumbet’s Freedom Farm. 896 S Undermountain Rd. Sheffield, MA.

MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-3pm. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street. Lenox, MA.

NATURAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: 10am-4pm. Beneski Museum of Natural History. 413-542-2165. Amherst College. 11 Barrett Hill Dr, Amherst, MA.

JEWISH CULTURE/ HISTORY. 10am-4pm. 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.

MUSEUMS ADVENTURES. 10am-5pm. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

ART STUDIES. 10am-5pm.  The Clark Art Institute – 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

ART STUDIES. 11am-4pm. 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.

MAKERSPACE. 2-4:30pm. Makerspace Collaboratory Drop-In – The East Forest Park Branch Makerspace is a place you can visit for free to use their selection of equipment to create, craft, tinker, and experiment! From traditional crafts to digital tinkering. The East Forest Park Makerspace is your place to create, invent, and learn. Each week there is a drop-in project or two based on a theme. All ages. East Forest Park Branch. 413-263-6836. 136 Surrey Road. Springfield, MA. 

🌟🌟 LIVING HISTORY/ LOWELL MILLS. 6-7:30pm. Lowell Mill Girl Reenactment – Come and witness Sharon Kenndy’s captivating performance as “Mary Margaret O’Connell: Lowell Mill Girl, 1847.” Mary Margaret, who started working in the Lowell Mills when she was only 15 years old, will share with the audience her life story filled with vivid details of growing up in “the Acre” in Lowell. She will recount tales of chasing pigs through the streets, the ingenious use of an empty flour barrel by her father to build a chimney for their humble abode, and her mother’s job washing floors in the grand Yankee houses “across the bridge.” Join us on a journey to the past and immerse yourself in the world of Sharon Kenndy’s Lowell Mill Girl. Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Weather Folklore

The Woolly Bear (Pyrrharctia isabella), with its distinctive bands of black and reddish-brown, is more than just a fuzzy caterpillar—it’s a harbinger of winter in many North American folklores. As you stroll through New England’s autumnal landscapes, have you ever wondered about the age-old belief that the width of the Woolly Bear’s bands can predict the severity of the upcoming winter? Legend has it that wider brown bands indicate a mild winter, while broader black ones suggest a harsher one ahead. But what’s the science behind this? While studies have explored this folklore, no concrete evidence supports the caterpillar’s predictive prowess. Instead, factors like age and species variations more likely account for the band differences. Beyond folklore, did you know that these caterpillars have a unique survival mechanism? They can freeze solid, only to thaw and continue their lifecycle in spring! It’s a blend of nature’s marvel and cultural tales. So, the next time you spot a Woolly Bear, ponder this: is it a weather prophet or merely a testament to nature’s resilience?

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WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2023

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

HIKING TRAIL. Sunrise-Sunset. Golden Hill Town Forest – Embark on a day hike at Golden Hill Town Forest for an immersive educational experience in natural history, ecology, and the changing seasons, fostering a deeper appreciation for the interplay between nature and human culture. Lee, MA.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/ HIKING & WALKING. 9am-4pm. Mount Holyoke Range State Park – Come and explore the magnificent Mount Holyoke Range State Park and witness its diverse landscapes and natural wonders. The park boasts towering peaks, lush forests, streams, and breathtakingly beautiful wetlands. Stroll along the well-marked trails and learn about the park’s ecological significance and the many plant and animal species that call it home. Interpretive displays and guided tours showcase the park’s rich cultural history. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike to the summit of Mount Holyoke or a leisurely walk along one of the park’s scenic paths, you’re in for an educational experience that will deepen your understanding and appreciation of the region’s natural and cultural heritage. 413-253-2883. 1500 West St., Amherst, MA.  

BOTANY. 9am-4pm. 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 at Holyoke. 413-536-7048. 444 Dwight St, Holyoke, MA.

ART STUDIES. 9am-5pm.Mead Art Museum. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA.

NEW ENGLAND HISTORY. 9:30am-4:30pm. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-4pm. 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. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street. Amherst, MA.

NATURAL HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: 10am-4pm. 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. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

ART STUDIES. 10am-5pm.  The Clark Art Institute – Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South St., Williamstown, 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/ SCULPTURE. 10am-5pm. Chesterwood is a historic site and former home of the sculptor Daniel Chester French, a renowned American sculptor best known for creating the sculpture of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Guided tours and interactive exhibits provide historical context and help visitors appreciate sculpture as an art form and its place in history. Learn about French’s life and work, analyze and interpret the sculptures on display, consider the historical and cultural context of the art, draw inspiration from the natural surroundings, and discuss your thoughts and ideas with your family while developing a deeper understanding of the artistic process. Chesterwood. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-6pm. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) – 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. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 11am-5pm. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA.

🎳💥STEM/ BOWLING. 4-6pm.Candlepin Bowling – Bowling is a STEM-heavy sport that teaches us about physics, geometry, engineering, and math. It’s a fun and informative hands-on scientific experience. It’s also a great activity for the entire family! Explore candlepin bowling at the Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley. 413-625-6179. 43 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA.

🪡🧵 FIBER ARTS/ SEWING. 5:30pm. Make Your Own Bag! For Teens –Libraries are using sewing to engage teenagers. Tilton Library is hosting a workshop that teach basic skills and promote creativity and self-reliance. Teens learn about environmental impact and sustainability by upcycling materials. They gain valuable life skills and make 3D utility items. Handmade bags showcase their skills, resourcefulness, and capability. Tilton Library. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Dendrology/Oak Trees

In New England, oak trees are vital to the environment and provide valuable learning opportunities. Various species like white, red, and black oak contribute to biodiversity and support local wildlife through their acorns. Additionally, oaks have significant historical relevance in shipbuilding and architecture. These trees are also living classrooms, offering hands-on education in botany, ecology, and history. The growth rings of oaks reveal past climate conditions, while their presence in folklore enriches cultural understanding. As a multidimensional educational resource, parents and educators can ask children questions like, “How do oaks adapt to their environment?” or “What historical uses have been found for oak wood?” to encourage learning and exploration.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2023

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

HIKING TRAIL. Sunrise-Sunset. Golden Hill Town Forest – Embark on a day hike at Golden Hill Town Forest for an immersive educational experience in natural history, ecology, and the changing seasons, fostering a deeper appreciation for the interplay between nature and human culture. Lee, MA.

BOTANY. 9am-4pm. 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 at Holyoke. 413-536-7048. 444 Dwight St, Holyoke, MA.

ART STUDIES. 9am-10pm. Mead Art Museum – Search for secret doors in a seventeenth-century paneled room. Puzzle over a cuneiform inscription that praises a powerful Assyrian king. Marvel at a hanging sculpture spinning in a still gallery. Visitors to the Mead Art Museum do so much more than see objects—at the Mead, art is experienced, investigated, and explored. The Mead offers a world of resources for connecting art across countless cultures, mediums, and eras, set on Amherst College’s beautiful main quadrangle and flanked by a fascinating, stand-alone stone steeple. Mead Art Museum. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, 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.

COMMUNITY SERVICE. 10am-12pm. Walk-In Volunteer Day – Mumbet’s Freedom Farm is a black and brown-led farm and community sanctuary that offers families a unique opportunity to volunteer their time. Families can join the farm’s volunteer activities, from planting and harvesting crops to caring for the animals and tending to the gardens. Named in honor of Elizabeth ‘Mumbet’ Freeman, an African-American woman who was enslaved in Massachusetts until she sued for and won her freedom in court in 1781, the farm is a beacon of hope for the local community, providing a space for healing and connection and offering a chance to learn, grow, and create a better world for all. Mumbet’s Freedom Farm. 896 S Undermountain Rd. Sheffield, 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. 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. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

ENTOMOLOGY/ BUTTERFLIES. 10am-4:30pm. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

MUSEUMS ADVENTURES. 10am-5pm. Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

ART STUDIES/ SCULPTURE. 10am-5pm.  Chesterwood. 413-298-3579. 4 Williamsville Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-6pm. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) – 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.  

RIVER ECOLOGY/GEOLOGY. 11am. 1:15pm. & 3pm. Heritage Riverboat Cruises – Join Heritage Riverboat Cruises for a 12-mile guided river cruise along the Connecticut River. This scenic journey will take you through the French King Gorge, where you can marvel at the natural beauty and learn about the region’s geological wonders and diverse ecosystems. During the cruise, knowledgeable guides will share insightful information about the river’s history, wildlife, and environmental conservation efforts. From identifying native bird species to understanding the river’s role in shaping the landscape, this experience promises to be both educational and enriching. 800-859-2960. 144 Pine Meadow Road, Northfield, 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. 413-538-2245. 50 College Street, South Hadley, 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. 

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Food Studies/Garlic

Autumn is the season to plant garlic in New England! Have you ever wondered how garlic became a culinary sensation? Its strong taste and numerous health benefits have been cherished for centuries. Despite originating in Central Asia, how did this unassuming bulb entwine itself so profoundly into the culinary traditions of countless cultures across the globe? Historically, garlic has been pivotal in various traditions, from ancient Egyptians swearing oaths on garlic bulbs to medieval Europeans believing it warded off evil spirits. Yet, beyond folklore and flavor, garlic holds potential health benefits and is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Have you ever pondered the chemistry behind its signature scent? When garlic is crushed, it releases allicin, which is responsible for its aroma and health properties. Next time you savor a garlicky dish, consider the heritage, science, and culture encapsulated in every bite. Curious to experiment? Why not try growing or roasting your own to unlock garlic’s full spectrum of flavors?

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2023

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 [

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/ HIKING. 9am-4pm. Mount Greylock  -Mount Greylock is the highest peak in Massachusetts, standing at 3,491 feet. It offers diverse ecosystems, from forests to alpine meadows, and is home to many plant and animal species. Visitors can also explore its rich cultural heritage through Bascom Lodge and the War Veterans Memorial Tower. Hiking, picnicking, and guided tours offer a chance to experience the wonders of Mount Greylock. Mount Greylock Visitor Center. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, 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.

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/ HIKING & WALKING. 9am-4pm. Mount Holyoke Range State Park – Come and explore the magnificent Mount Holyoke Range State Park and witness its diverse landscapes and natural wonders. The park boasts towering peaks, lush forests, streams, and breathtakingly beautiful wetlands. Stroll along the well-marked trails and learn about the park’s ecological significance and the many plant and animal species that call it home. Interpretive displays and guided tours showcase the park’s rich cultural history. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike to the summit of Mount Holyoke or a leisurely walk along one of the park’s scenic paths, you’re in for an educational experience that will deepen your understanding and appreciation of the region’s natural and cultural heritage. 413-253-2883. 1500 West St., Amherst, MA.  

CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/ INTERACTIVE MUSEUM. 9am-4pm.  The Children’s Museum at Holyoke. 413-536-7048. 444 Dwight St, Holyoke, MA.

ART STUDIES. 9am-5pm. Mead Art Museum. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA.

NEW ENGLAND HISTORY. 9:30am-4:30pm. 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. 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. 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. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

ENTOMOLOGY/ BUTTERFLIES. 10am-4:30pm. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. 413-665-2805. 281 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA.

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

AGRICULTURE/ SCULPTURE. 10am-6pm. Art in the Orchard – Easthampton is home to “Art in the Orchard,” an orchard-based gallery of outdoor sculptures and installation art to peruse with family. Bringing “Culture into Horticulture,” the orchard features the work of artists whose work is brought to life amongst the apple trees and changing landscape as we move from summer to fall. The trail is an excellent destination for a family visit. Walking in the good air, high-minded sculpture, exceptional views, pick-your-own apples. Many people make an afternoon of it, bringing a picnic basket and lounging among the trees. Park Hill Orchard. 413-527-6186. 82 Park Hill Road. Easthampton, MA.

ART STUDIES/ MUSEUM ADVENTURES. 10am-6pm. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) – 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.

RIVER ECOLOGY/GEOLOGY. 11am. 1:15pm. & 3pm. Heritage Riverboat Cruises – Join Heritage Riverboat Cruises for a 12-mile guided river cruise along the Connecticut River. This scenic journey will take you through the French King Gorge, where you can marvel at the natural beauty and learn about the region’s geological wonders and diverse ecosystems. During the cruise, knowledgeable guides will share insightful information about the river’s history, wildlife, and environmental conservation efforts. From identifying native bird species to understanding the river’s role in shaping the landscape, this experience promises to be both educational and enriching. 800-859-2960. 144 Pine Meadow Road, Northfield, 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. 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.

🎳💥STEM/ BOWLING. 6-11pm. Candlepin Bowling – Bowling is a STEM-heavy sport that teaches us about physics, geometry, engineering, and math. It’s a fun and informative hands-on scientific experience. It’s also a great activity for the entire family! Explore candlepin bowling at the Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley. 413-625-6179. 43 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA.

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

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Self-Directed Learning: Botany/Moss & Lichen

The forest floor and tree trunks are home to mosses and lichens, which play essential roles in their respective ecosystems. Despite their unassuming appearance, these tiny life forms engage in symbiosis and contribute to the survival of other species. Lichens, for instance, are not solitary organisms but rather a combination of fungi and algae. They facilitate soil formation, provide moisture, and serve as a food source for various species. Mosses, on the other hand, serve as bioindicators for air quality and soil health, thanks to their leafy-green elegance. Curious about how they survive without roots? Mosses absorb water and nutrients directly through their leaves, while lichens have been used for centuries in dyes and traditional medicines. Next time you stroll through a forest, take a moment to appreciate these small but impactful organisms. Can you identify their different types? What other plants and animals thrive because of them?

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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, Bernardston, Buckland, Goshen, Greenfield , Hadley, Heath, Huntington, Lee, Montgomery, Northern Berkshire, Orange, Pelham, Plainfield, Rowe, Shelburne, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Southampton, Springfield, Tolland, Washington, Westhampton, Windsor, and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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