Weekly Suggested Events for November 11-17, 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 11-17, 2023
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING IDEAS
COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES & OPPORTUNITIES
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!
Support your local community this holiday season by shopping locally at The Mill District General Store & Local Art Gallery’s 3rd Annual Holiday Arts Market. The event is taking place on Saturday, November 18, 2023. (Rain date: Nov 19). The market is open from 12-4pm at 91 Cowls Road in Amherst, MA. With over 30 local vendors, you can find unique & thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. There will be a variety of handmade jewelry, paintings, drawings, greeting cards, toys, books, pottery, ornaments, body products, sculpture, and much more! You can shop both indoors and outdoors, and enjoy their cozy warming station, where you can also roast free s’mores. Don’t miss this opportunity to support local makers and crafters & spread holiday cheer!
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.
Imagine a school that values and encourages the unique qualities of your child: The Hartsbrook School in Hadley, MA, provides just that, with warmth and attentiveness. Beautiful outdoor classrooms, storytelling, music, and creative problem-solving all lay the foundations for future learning and deep social connection. Children’s imagination and empathy are awakened through the rich curriculum. Walking in the woods, visiting the school’s farm animals, and tending the gardens develop an awareness of, and care for, the natural world. Begin your exploration with a tour to learn more about their early childhood program. Ages 2.9-6yrs.
For more information: email@example.com; 413-586-1908 x116; www.hartsbrook.org.
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.
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.
Giving Tree School
Celebrate the whole child! The Giving Tree preschool program is thoughtfully designed to support young children’s social-emotional growth, problem-solving, and conflict resolution skills. Students enjoy ample outdoor exploration and playtime each day in their rambling and rugged Outdoor Classroom. Only 15 minutes from downtown Greenfield, set among the woods and pastures of Gill. Giving Tree is committed to fostering active, hands-on early learning experiences that are playful and purposeful, laying the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. Licensed by EEC and accredited by NAEYC & HighScope. Sliding scale tuition. For more information: givingtreeschool.org, email@example.com, or call 413-863-9218.
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. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.
List of Weekly Suggested Events
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Veterans Day
November 11 is Veterans Day, a national holiday that honors American veterans of all wars. The date has great historical significance, marking the armistice that ended World War I on November 11, 1918. Today, Veterans Day is a day to honor all who have dedicated themselves to serving our country in the armed forces. Massachusetts has played a crucial role in forming the United States from colonial and Revolutionary War times to our contemporary society, making it even more important to remember our soldiers from the past and present who have served our nation. On this annual day of remembrance, we can support learning and interests in music, history, and community service.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Food Studies/Nuts & Seeds
Your multigrain toast with a schmear of almond butter, that bowl of cornflakes with a splash of soy milk, and your favorite cup of joe are all examples of how seeds are a part of most meals. Wheat, nuts, corn, beans, coffee, and chocolate are all seeds and have had a significant social impact (think coffee shops, chocolate birthday cake, movie popcorn). You can see their influence along roadside stands at the end of the summer and with family recipes passed down through generations and featured during holiday meals. Read more in our post, Mindful Engagement through the Seasons: Seeds.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Nutritional Anthropology/Apple Cider
Dive into the rich traditions of apple cider that bridge humanity and nature. Explore the age-old practice of wassailing, a heartwarming ritual from the West Country of England where communities honor apple orchards. Originating from the ancient Anglo-Saxon greeting “wæs þu hæl,” meaning “be in good health,” wassailing involves singing to apple trees, presenting them with bread and cider offerings, and celebrating their bounteous gifts. Through the musical notes of the iconic wassailing song and the refreshing perspective of apple cider, learning through the lens of apple cider offers a profound understanding of the deep-rooted gratitude and reciprocity that traditional communities harbored for nature’s blessings. Exploring the traditions of apple cider emphasizes the importance of valuing nature’s gifts not merely as resources but as cherished connections with cultural traditions and agricultural practices.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: National American Indian Heritage Month
November is National American Indian Heritage Month, a time to honor the rich history and traditions of Native Americans. Originally, this celebration was only a one-day event to acknowledge the contributions of the first Americans to the development of the U.S. However, it has now expanded to a month-long commemoration. Those who are interested can find resources like educator guides, multimedia content, and a calendar of events at nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov. For information on the Indigenous communities in the Connecticut River Valley of western Massachusetts, visit nolumbekaproject.org. This month provides an opportunity to learn more about the diverse heritage of Native Americans and their lasting impact.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Fiber Arts/Wool
New England was the center of the American textile industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. We can still see the impact of this industry on the land, in the stone walls in the middle of the forests that were once cleared for merino sheep to graze, in the old mill buildings that we can find in nearly every town in the region. What could be a better place to celebrate wool and fiber arts than locally in Western MA? With the colder months upon us, warm wool is essential in New England, and fiber art activities like knitting and weaving often occur during these darker times. Let’s learn about local history, the science of wool, shearing, weaving, manufacturing, and fiber arts through the lens of wool.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Humanities/Storytelling
Storytelling has been a part of human culture since ancient times. It is believed that storytelling may have existed before language development, as many oral traditions relied on gestures and cave paintings to convey their stories. In indigenous Australian culture, storytelling is a devotional ritual connecting with the natural landscape. British author Bruce Chatwin described the Australian “Songlines” or “Dreaming-tracks” as a labyrinth of invisible pathways that crisscross the continent, created by the totemic beings of Aboriginal Creation myths. These beings wandered the continent, singing out the names of everything they encountered and thus bringing the world into existence. By telling these stories and songs that identify and affirm the land and the spirits, the world is kept together. Today, we can reflect on our stories and the kind of world they create. This holiday season, take the opportunity to share stories with your family and continue to explore the power of storytelling.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2023
Self-Directed Learning: Games
Games have been a part of human culture since the beginning of history. They are universal and have been played by children and adults in every culture. Games are not only fun but also teach us important skills for positive social interactions. They promote problem-solving, improve communication skills, encourage cooperation, and reduce stress. Having a family game night is a great way to establish meaningful traditions while supporting learning at home.
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.