Weekly Suggested Events for November 4-10, 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 self-directed learning. And be sure to subscribe to our free weekly eNewsletter so you never miss out!
SUGGESTED EVENTS: NOVEMBER 4-10, 2023
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING IDEAS
Featured Events, Resources, & Opportunities
The Arts and Industry Building is hosting its 31st annual Open Studios and Holiday Sale the weekend of November 11-12 from 10am-5pm. This event offers a chance to shop locally and support handmade craftsmanship. This year’s event is the grandest yet, with over 70 artists, vendors, and organizations participating. You can discover a diverse range of products from some of the area’s finest, including paintings, jewelry, pottery, fashion items, crafts, and much more. The venue is at Brushworks Arts & Industry, 221 Pine Street, Florence, MA. For those interested in a sneak peek or online browsing, visit brushworksopenstudios.com. Come and celebrate the spirit of creativity and artistry while shopping local and handmade for the holidays!
It’s that time of year again! Join Hilltown Land Trust for this year’s 19th annual Gorge Après Gorge 5k Trail Run & Free Family Fun Walk on Sunday, November 26, at the Chesterfield Gorge. Runners and walkers use a well-marked course with a beautiful view of the Westfield River. Hot beverages and a potluck round off this event, which awards handmade hats to the winners and a locally baked cookie medal to all participants. The Chesterfield Gorge Reservation is located on River Rd in West Chesterfield, MA, off of Ireland St. Family Fun Walk is at 9:30am (Free, $15 suggested donation). 5k Trail Run is at 10:30am ($25 or $30 day of). Discounts are available for Hilltown Land Trust members, Trustees members & families! Free for runners under 10.
In June of 2021, the Center School in Greenfield, MA, moved to a beautiful brand new building on 30 acres of land to explore. Valley families are drawn to the Center School’s approach, weaving justice, joy, collaboration, innovation, and love into a unique educational experience. Admissions season is underway, and the school is booking more tours than ever. If you’re looking for a school where kids are immersed in 21st-century curriculum and the timeless world of nature and play essential to childhood, visit www.centerschool.net to learn more and book an in-person tour today! For more information, email Lauren Obregón, Director of Admissions and Outreach, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
River Valley Co-op
Northampton & Easthampton, MA
River Valley Co-op is offering a variety of FREE community workshops and classes this Fall. Some will take place online, and some will be held in person at one of their locations in Northampton or Easthampton. Hosted by various local teachers, business owners, authors, and community leaders, classes cover a range of topics such as the benefits of medicinal veggies and herbs, personal health and wellness, and more! To see the full list of workshops and to register, visit www.rivervalley.coop.
The Bement School
The Bement School, founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield, MA, is a day and boarding school serving 225 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Applications for Fall 2024 are being accepted. Attend an Open House to learn more about the school. Contact the admission office email@example.com with questions and to schedule a campus tour. For more information, visit online at www.bement.org.
FEATURED OPEN HOUSE
Stoneleigh-Burnham School (SBS) invites prospective students and their families to attend their upcoming Open Houses on November 10th, 2023, and 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 MIDDLE SCHOOL
Four Winds School
Four Winds School is an independent middle school where students in grades 6 through 8 learn at their own level & pace. Its small size & focus on social skills, mental health, and social justice create a safe learning environment for individuals of any race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious affiliation. In addition to acquiring valuable life skills, students at Four Winds School develop self-confidence, time management abilities, and, most importantly, the capacity to acquire knowledge. An Open House is scheduled for Nov 14 from 3:30-5pm. Open Houses offer prospective families the opportunity to visit the facility, engage with the educators, and connect with current and former families. More info at www.fourwindsschool.info
FEATURED MUSIC SCHOOL
Community Music School of Springfield
Make music with the Community Music School of Springfield (CMSS)! CMSS offers high-quality music instruction for students of all ages and levels with flexible scheduling and a choice of online or in-person learning. Whether you’re just starting or are a seasoned musician, CMSS takes the time to match you with a teacher who will connect with you while helping you accomplish your personal musical goals. Offering instruction in over 30 instruments and voice, their registration team can help you decide whether to rent or purchase your instrument. Getting started is easy – your future music lesson is just a click or a phone call away! For more information, call 413-732-8428 or visit online at www.communitymusicschool.com.
Give the gift that keeps on living this holiday season: Sled Dogs! Vacation Day Sled Dog Camps, November 24, December 27 & 28, 2023 10am-3pm, $100. Kids get their own sled dog for the day to love, hug, play & mush with:) Summer 2024 Sled Dog Camps are online now too. “Best camp—My son had the most amazing day, did not want to leave and can’t wait to return!!”…Get Gift Cards for a Dog Yard Tour & Ride on the Canine Roller Coaster on wheels through New Year’s. Drive a 2 Dog Team on snow & meet sweet Alaskan Huskies! Give a Birthday Party or Team Building Event with the Hilltown Sleddogs. Homeschool & School Presentations are available. Marla will read her Serum Run Storybook & show slides, videos & bring the dogs that mushed across Alaska!
See Your Ad Here
Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of Weekly Suggested Events
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Food Studies/Apple & Pumpkin Butters
As November unfolds, it’s time to indulge in the slow process of making delicious apple butter and pumpkin butter in your home kitchen. You can gather locally grown apples and pumpkins from nearby orchards, farm stores, and co-ops and explore the wonders of cooking with your family in the kitchen. You can also learn about the history of apple butter, how to make pumpkin butter and the differences between the spices used in apple pie and pumpkin pie. Be curious and research where these spices are naturally grown, their history, cultural significance, and how they can enhance the taste of various other recipes.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Daylight Saving
As per the tradition of “Spring ahead, fall back,” we will again change our clocks by an hour due to daylight saving time. By examining the history of daylight saving time, we can understand that this practice is closely linked to human history. Understanding the reasons behind the changes in sunlight that drive daylight saving time can provide new insights into history, economics, and the study and measurement of time, also known as horology.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Food Studies/Apple Cider Donuts
The apple cider donut is a delicious symbol of autumn, capturing the season’s essence with every bite. Its comforting blend of cinnamon and nutmeg and apple sweetness intensified by cider make these sugary delights a seasonal staple. The science behind their deliciousness is fascinating; the acidity in the cider interacts with the baking agents, creating a unique texture and crumb. Furthermore, the physics of frying apple cider donuts results in a perfect contrast between a crispy exterior and a moist interior. These donuts are believed to originate from traditions associated with apple harvest festivals, and they connect us to local orchards and farmers by featuring ingredients sourced locally. They’re more than just sweet treats; they are a seasonal experience that brings people together to appreciate autumn’s deliciousness!
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Agriculture/Cruciferous Plants
After the first frost, you can find an abundance of tasty cruciferous plants like brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage in your local food co-ops and farmers’ markets. It’s always a good idea to seek out locally grown varieties and get creative in the kitchen with your kids. Encourage their curiosity by asking questions and looking for answers online to support their learning. For instance, ask questions like “How do brussels sprouts grow?” “Why is kale sweeter after the first frost?” “What are the different types of cabbage?“
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Food Studies/Bread & Butter
Warm bread straight out of the oven with a generous schmear of butter is comfort food for many. Learning how to bake your bread and make your butter takes this comfort food and elevates it to much more. Full of embedded learning opportunities, baking bread and making butter can support learning about food history, pastry arts, science, world culture, nutrition, food art, and much more!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Food Studies/Peanut Butter
November is National Peanut Butter Month! This versatile food item can be used in various ways, making it the perfect opportunity to support learning in different areas. Whether you’re interested in the nutritional value of peanut butter, the process of growing and harvesting peanuts, the history of peanut butter, how it’s manufactured, or even the art of making delicious peanut butter pastries, National Peanut Butter Month has something for everyone to explore and learn.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Plant Studies/Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums symbolize autumn in New England and provide many learning opportunities. Their blooming signifies the arrival of fall and can be used to teach about seasonal cycles. Botany studies can be supported by learning about their unique photoperiodism, their flowering in response to shorter days, and exploring genetics through the diversity of their colors and forms. Discussions in history and cultural studies can revolve around the flower’s symbolic use in worldwide traditions, comparing them to local customs. Environmental science studies can examine mums’ role in their native ecosystems and their use in sustainable gardening, given their pest-repellent properties. Chrysanthemums serve as a seasonal resource that intertwines science, art, and cultural studies, highlighting the interconnectedness of nature and human society.
Online and in-person events and resources shared above are done so as a courtesy and not as an endorsement. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm information, age appropriateness, registration requirements, safety protocols, and associated costs.
Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Agawam, Amherst, 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.