Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
The theme of the show is the seasons. Here in the northeast, each season is very different. We have leaves changing in the autumn, snow in winter, the new green that happens in the spring, and the warm, fun activities of summer before it starts all over again. In this episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, Tom Knight guides listeners through the different seasons of a year, observing and appreciating what each season has to offer.

The theme of the show is the seasons. Here in the northeast, each season is very different. We have leaves changing in the autumn, snow in winter, the new green that happens in the spring, and the warm, fun activities of summer before it starts all over again. In this episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, Tom Knight guides listeners through the different seasons of a year, observing and appreciating what each season has to offer.

HFVS Seasons Episode
with Guest DJ, Tom Knight
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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!

FEATURED EVENT

The Amherst Business Improvement District and the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce cordially invite you to the Ever Annual Merry Maple tree lighting celebration on Friday, December 1, 2023, from 3-6pm on the Amherst Town Common. This event has been a cherished local tradition since 1966, when the first living tree was illuminated. Celebrate this time-honored tradition and enjoy a cultural mix of choral performances and the UMass Marching Band parade featuring Santa Claus arriving by a fire engine with the Amherst Fire Department. Take a peek behind the scenes at the Amherst Fire Station Open House, enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, and stay warm with hot cider, donuts, and s’mores around open firepits. Presenting sponsor: bankESB.

FEATURED EVENT

NightWood is an innovative and immersive sound and light experience set against the evening backdrop of Edith Wharton’s historic home. Wander the illuminated 3/4-mile route through the magical woods and gardens for an otherworldly experience that evokes wonder and awakens the imagination. Special pop-up dance performances are also planned this year, in addition to seasonal bites from Brook Farm. Kids 12 and under are free this year! NightWood occurs on select evenings through January 6, 2024, at The Mount in Lenox, MA. All ages are welcome to this outdoor walking tour. More information and ticket reservations at NightWoodLenox.org

FEATURED EVENT

It’s A 21st Century Nutcracker! Join The Center Dance in Amherst on Sunday, December 10, 2023 for an exciting spin on a wintertime classic! Dance styles from across the globe (and right next door!) set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. Curtains will rise in the Amherst Regional High School auditorium at 1pm and 5pm.Tickets are available online or at The Center Dance Studio (321 Main Street, in Amherst). A 21st Century Nutcracker. Let’s play with tradition!

FEATURED CHARTER SCHOOL

Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield, MA, is a small learning community grounded in EL Education practices where students’ sense of belonging and agency are nurtured. The school is accepting late applications for second semester enrollment in mid-January 2024. There are openings in grades 10 & 11, and small waiting lists in grades 7-9. The deadline for applications is Friday, December 15, 2023, at 9am (firm). If there are more applicants than available spaces, a lottery will be held the same day to determine who is offered a space and who will be placed on a wait list. Call 413-775-4577 (x105). A 2023-24 application is available on their website: www.fourriverscharter.org/admissions.php.

FEATURED WINTER BREAK CAMP

Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, MA, offers a hoot of a time with their Owl Day Camp during the winter break. From December 26-29, 2023, children ages 6-12 are invited to join this co-ed camp that offers a wide range of fun and educational activities. The campus will be transformed into a playground where kids can participate in various activities such as soccer, dodgeball, arts and crafts, music, movement, snow play, and sledding. The experienced staff will be there to guide them through all these activities. For more details and to secure a spot, contact Dave Garappolo at dgarappolo@sbschool.org.


Making Food Fun comes to the Quabbin region! CISA and Quabbin Harvest team up with local farms to celebrate the late harvest season in Orange. Taste apples and cider from Pine Hill Orchard. Test cheese from Thomas Farm and Round Table Farm. Taste and learn new recipes with a cooking demo from Nalini Goordial. Meet the farmers from Crooked Trail Farm, then say hello to Keith, the pig from Coolidge Hill Farm. Get moving with a movement-based obstacle course from The Dance Studio. This family event is free and open to the public at the Quabbin Harvest Co-op (12 N Main St.) in Orange, MA, on Saturday, December 2nd, from 10am-12pm—rain or shine! Kids of all ages are welcome! Parent resources and more! 


The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-12. For over 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and student leadership. Visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River and learn more from students and faculty at their Open House on Sunday, December 3rd, from 1-3pm. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Pre-register for their Open House: www.charlemont.org/open-house-registration.

Join CISA at Amherst Cinema on Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30pm for a Film Screening and Panel Discussion of Fantastic Fungi. Explore the mysterious subterranean world of mycelium and its fruit—the mushroom. Narrated by Brie Larson, the film shows how the mycelium network connects all humanity and the natural world, offering solutions to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges. After the film, CISA’s Claire Morenon will moderate a panel discussion with Julia Coffey of Mycoterra Farm, Hunter Linscott from Livingstone Mycology, and Paul Lagrèze of New England Wild Edibles. This event will be an opportunity to learn directly from local mycologists.


Pioneer Valley Ballet presents The Nutcracker, an annual holiday favorite at the Academy of Music Theatre, located in Northampton, MA. Each year, PVB’s Nutcracker is reinvented by Artistic Directors Maryanne Kodzis and Thomas Vacanti. Celebrate the history of the company with the tradition of Clara’s magical story. In addition to their own PVB dancers and members of the local community, they welcome guest artists from Carolina Ballet. Join PVB for this classic holiday tradition that all ages will enjoy! Performances are December 8, 9 & 10, 2023. The Friday 4pm performance is their sensory safe/family friendly show. Tickets are available at www.aomtheatre.com/event/the-nutcracker-3

Celebrate the holidays with music lessons at the Berkshire Music School (BMS) in Pittsfield, MA! The BMS Holiday Bundle includes four private 30-minute lessons, free instrument rental, and a reusable water bottle, all for $154. Interested in taking a music class with others? BMS’s fun Community Group Classes are offered on a pay-what-you-wish basis, with a new winter session beginning in January. BMS lessons and classes are offered for all levels, all ages, and all instruments. For more information on how to register, class offerings, and their new tiered payment option, visit the BMS website at www.BerkshireMusicSchool.org. Questions? Call 413-442-1411 or email Sarah at sprouty@berkshiremusicschool.org.


Students interested in saving time and money can earn three college credits in just 10 days during the Holyoke Community College Wintersession. Wintersession is the perfect opportunity to complete college prerequisites and lighten spring course loads for students who want to earn college credit during the January break. Registration is due by December 28, 2023, for classes that begin on December 29. Holyoke Community College credits are affordable, and you can take your credits with you. (Many of their classes easily transfer to other institutions. Check in with your receiving college or university for details.) hcc.edu/wintersession

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA) in South Hadley, MA, is now accepting applications for grades 7-12 for the 2024/25 school year. Application deadline: February 11, 2024. Lottery: February 16, 2024. PVPA is committed to supporting the artist in every student. Students from over 50 towns in grades 7-12 thrive in an arts-centered, creative, challenging learning environment. Join PVPA for an Open House and see why they are consistently voted one of the Best Charter Schools in the Valley! No tuition or audition is required. Apply online at
www.pvpa.org/admissions.
Questions? Email admissions@pvpa.org or call 413-552-1580 x228 for more information.

See Your Ad Here

Partner with HIlltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: hilltownfamilies@gmail.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More

Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
Charity and the JAMband's Thanksgiving episode is a gentle meditation on gratitude, generosity, love, and compassion. Through music and storytelling, Charity prompts us to reflect on the good things in our lives, from sunshine to our loved ones. The journey culminates in a vision for world peace. All ages can join in and enjoy this uplifting experience.

In this special Thanksgiving episode, Charity from Charity and the JAMband takes listeners on a gentle yet thought-provoking meditation focused on gratitude, generosity, love, and compassion. Through music and storytelling, Charity explores the many things we have to be grateful for in our lives. From the simple joys of sunshine and rain to the profound connections we share with friends and family, the episode encourages us to reflect on the good things in our lives. The journey culminates in a vision for world peace where everyone has enough food, shelter, community, and love. This holiday season, people of all ages can join in and enjoy this beautiful and uplifting experience.

HFVS Thanksgiving Episode
with Guest DJ, Charity Kahn
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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!

FEATURED EVENT

Experience a magical evening at Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls on November 24, from 4-9pm. This is an enchanting celebration of lights and community that you won’t want to miss! Families can participate in the Art Garden’s Paper Lantern Workshop on Nov. 17 & 18 to create their own paper lanterns, which they can carry during the Parade of Lights at Moonlight Magic. Dress up in your most imaginative Moonlight Magic-themed attire to make the night even more whimsical. Admission and parking are free, so take advantage of this opportunity to create magical memories that will last a lifetime. For more information on the Parade of Lights and all the other activities, shopping, and entertainment, visit https://linktr.ee/MoonlightMagicShelburneFalls.

FEATURED MUSEUM EVENTS

Making family plans for the holiday weekend? Head on over to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA! On Saturday, November 25The Rainbow Players perform Habitat Habitat: From the Animal’s Point of View. Using puppets, songs, and costumes, performers share what is happening to animal homes during climate change. Also, on November 25, get ready to rock! Local author Jason Perkins reads his debut picture book, Rock Stars Don’t Nap! On Sunday, November 26, local author Ilan Stavans reads The Mexican Dreidel, co-written with Linda Elovitz Marshall, which brings together Jewish and Latin American holiday traditions. Visit carlemuseum.org for more information. 

FEATURED MUSEUM SHOP

The Carle Museum Bookshop Holiday Sale! Shop local and save up to 15% off Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26, on unique toys, art supplies, and books signed by your favorite authors and artists. Their knowledgeable Shop staff can help you find the perfect gift. There is no admission price to shop in what Parents’ Choice calls “the very best bookstore for picture books in the entire world.” Plus, enjoy the Museum’s free parking. Become a member and save an additional 15% off. Save at The Carle Bookshop and feel good about your purchase – all proceeds support the Museum’s non-profit mission. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 W. Bay Road, Amherst, MA. www.carlemuseum.org

FEATURED EVENT

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.

FEATURED EVENT

The Amherst Business Improvement District and the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce cordially invite you to the Ever Annual Merry Maple tree lighting celebration on Friday, December 1, 2023, from 3-6pm on the Amherst Town Common. This event has been a cherished local tradition since 1966, when the first living tree was illuminated. Celebrate this time-honored tradition and enjoy a cultural mix of choral performances and the UMass Marching Band parade featuring Santa Claus arriving by a fire engine with the Amherst Fire Department. Take a peek behind the scenes at the Amherst Fire Station Open House, enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, and stay warm with hot cider, donuts, and s’mores around open firepits. Presenting sponsor: bankESB.

FEATURED CHARTER SCHOOL

Four Rivers Charter Public School in Greenfield, MA, is a small learning community grounded in EL Education practices where students’ sense of belonging and agency are nurtured. The school is accepting late applications for second semester enrollment in mid-January 2024. There are openings in grades 10 & 11, and small waiting lists in grades 7-9. The deadline for applications is Friday, December 15, 2023, at 9am (firm). If there are more applicants than available spaces, a lottery will be held the same day to determine who is offered a space and who will be placed on a wait list. Call 413-775-4577 (x105). A 2023-24 application is available on their website: www.fourriverscharter.org/admissions.php.


Experience Moonlight Magic at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum on November 24 from 4-8pm. Trolley Car #10 will be beautifully decorated and take families on a nostalgic ride under the moonlight and amid festive holiday lights from Salmon Falls to the Visitor’s Center. Families can enjoy warm beverages and cozy up in the museum’s Red Caboose. The museum’s gift shop offers a variety of holiday cards, tree ornaments, collectibles, and stocking stuffers that will please trolley enthusiasts & history buffs. Kids will love the wooden and electric trains at the visitor’s center. This annual event is a celebration of the rich history of the trolley car and a moment where the past and present come together. Visit www.sftm.org for more information.


Making Food Fun comes to the Quabbin region! CISA and Quabbin Harvest team up with local farms to celebrate the late harvest season in Orange. Taste apples and cider from Pine Hill Orchard. Test cheese from Thomas Farm and Round Table Farm. Taste and learn new recipes with a cooking demo from Nalini Goordial. Meet the farmers from Crooked Trail Farm, then say hello to Keith, the pig from Coolidge Hill Farm. Get moving with a movement-based obstacle course from The Dance Studio. This family event is free and open to the public at the Quabbin Harvest Co-op (12 N Main St.) in Orange, MA, on Saturday, December 2nd, from 10am-12pm—rain or shine! Kids of all ages are welcome! Parent resources and more! 


The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-12. For over 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and student leadership. Visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River and learn more from students and faculty at their Open House on Sunday, December 3rd, from 1-3pm. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Pre-register for their Open House: www.charlemont.org/open-house-registration.

Join CISA at Amherst Cinema on Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30pm for a Film Screening and Panel Discussion of Fantastic Fungi. Explore the mysterious subterranean world of mycelium and its fruit—the mushroom. Narrated by Brie Larson, the film shows how the mycelium network connects all humanity and the natural world, offering solutions to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges. After the film, CISA’s Claire Morenon will moderate a panel discussion with Julia Coffey of Mycoterra Farm, Hunter Linscott from Livingstone Mycology, and Paul Lagrèze of New England Wild Edibles. This event will be an opportunity to learn directly from local mycologists.


Pioneer Valley Ballet presents The Nutcracker, an annual holiday favorite at the Academy of Music Theatre, located in Northampton, MA. Each year, PVB’s Nutcracker is reinvented by Artistic Directors Maryanne Kodzis and Thomas Vacanti. Celebrate the history of the company with the tradition of Clara’s magical story. In addition to their own PVB dancers and members of the local community, they welcome guest artists from Carolina Ballet. Join PVB for this classic holiday tradition that all ages will enjoy! Performances are December 8, 9 & 10, 2023. The Friday 4pm performance is their sensory safe/family friendly show. Tickets are available at www.aomtheatre.com/event/the-nutcracker-3


Students interested in saving time and money can earn three college credits in just 10 days during the Holyoke Community College Wintersession. Wintersession is the perfect opportunity to complete college prerequisites and lighten spring course loads for students who want to earn college credit during the January break. Registration is due by December 28, 2023, for classes that begin on December 29. Holyoke Community College credits are affordable, and you can take your credits with you. (Many of their classes easily transfer to other institutions. Check in with your receiving college or university for details.) hcc.edu/wintersession

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School (PVPA) in South Hadley, MA, is now accepting applications for grades 7-12 for the 2024/25 school year. Application deadline: February 11, 2024. Lottery: February 16, 2024. PVPA is committed to supporting the artist in every student. Students from over 50 towns in grades 7-12 thrive in an arts-centered, creative, challenging learning environment. Join PVPA for an Open House and see why they are consistently voted one of the Best Charter Schools in the Valley! No tuition or audition is required. Apply online at
www.pvpa.org/admissions.
Questions? Email admissions@pvpa.org or call 413-552-1580 x228 for more information.

See Your Ad Here

Partner with HIlltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: hilltownfamilies@gmail.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More

Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
Join Guest DJ Flor Bromley for an hour of enchanting storytelling through songs and stories. From "Jack the Giant" to "Kitty," Flor will take you on a magical journey. The live retelling of "The Lion and the Mouse" makes it a memorable experience for the whole family.

Join Guest DJ Cowboy Andy on a unique and entertaining cooking adventure as he guides you through his “How To” cooking show, filled with humor, average recipes, and a few kitchen blunders. This episode is a delightful blend of music and culinary chaos, showcasing songs that celebrate the fun of cooking and the shared experiences that come with it. Get ready for a kitchen experience like no other!

HFVS Sharing Recipes Episode
with Guest DJ, Andrew Hunt of Cowboy Andy
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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!

FEATURED EVENT

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: Sunday, November 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!

FEATURED EVENT

November at The Carle is your place to meet authors and illustrators! On Saturday, November 18 meet award-winning creator Sydney Smith as he reads from his new book, Do You Remember?  Then, Sunday, November 19, join illustrator and educator Hanoch Piven in a family workshop where participants will use everyday materials to tell the story of their family. Learn more at www.carlemuseum.org 

FEATURED MUSEUM SHOP

The Carle Museum Bookshop Holiday Sale! Shop local and save up to 15% off Friday, November 24 through Sunday, November 26, on unique toys, art supplies, and books signed by your favorite authors and artists. Their knowledgeable Shop staff can help you find the perfect gift. There is no admission price to shop in what Parents’ Choice calls “the very best bookstore for picture books in the entire world.” Plus, enjoy the Museum’s free parking. Become a member and save an additional 15% off. Save at The Carle Bookshop and feel good about your purchase – all proceeds support the Museum’s non-profit mission. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, 125 W. Bay Road, Amherst, MA. www.carlemuseum.org

FEATURED EVENT

Experience a magical evening at Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls on November 24, from 4-9pm. This is an enchanting celebration of lights and community that you won’t want to miss! Families can participate in the Art Garden’s Paper Lantern Workshop on Nov. 17 & 18 to create their own paper lanterns, which they can carry during the Parade of Lights at Moonlight Magic. Dress up in your most imaginative Moonlight Magic-themed attire to make the night even more whimsical. Admission and parking are free, so take advantage of this opportunity to create magical memories that will last a lifetime. For more information on the Parade of Lights and all the other activities, shopping, and entertainment, visit https://linktr.ee/MoonlightMagicShelburneFalls.

FEATURED EVENT

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.

FEATURED PRESCHOOL

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: admissions@hartsbrook.org; 413-586-1908 x116; www.hartsbrook.org.


Experience Moonlight Magic at the Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum on November 24 from 4-8pm. Trolley Car #10 will be beautifully decorated and take families on a nostalgic ride under the moonlight and amid festive holiday lights from Salmon Falls to the Visitor’s Center. Families can enjoy warm beverages and cozy up in the museum’s Red Caboose. The museum’s gift shop offers a variety of holiday cards, tree ornaments, collectibles, and stocking stuffers that will please trolley enthusiasts & history buffs. Kids will love the wooden and electric trains at the visitor’s center. This annual event is a celebration of the rich history of the trolley car and a moment where the past and present come together. Visit www.sftm.org for more information.


The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-12. For over 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and student leadership. Visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River and learn more from students and faculty at their Open House on Sunday, December 3rd, from 1-3pm. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Pre-register for their Open House: www.charlemont.org/open-house-registration.


Pioneer Valley Ballet presents The Nutcracker, an annual holiday favorite at the Academy of Music Theatre, located in Northampton, MA. Each year, PVB’s Nutcracker is reinvented by Artistic Directors Maryanne Kodzis and Thomas Vacanti. Celebrate the history of the company with the tradition of Clara’s magical story. In addition to their own PVB dancers and members of the local community, they welcome guest artists from Carolina Ballet. Join PVB for this classic holiday tradition that all ages will enjoy! Performances are December 8, 9 & 10, 2023. The Friday 4pm performance is their sensory safe/family friendly show. Tickets are available at www.aomtheatre.com/event/the-nutcracker-3


Students interested in saving time and money can earn three college credits in just 10 days during the Holyoke Community College Wintersession. Wintersession is the perfect opportunity to complete college prerequisites and lighten spring course loads for students who want to earn college credit during the January break. Registration is due by December 28, 2023, for classes that begin on December 29. Holyoke Community College credits are affordable, and you can take your credits with you. (Many of their classes easily transfer to other institutions. Check in with your receiving college or university for details.) hcc.edu/wintersession

FEATURED PRESCHOOL
Giving Tree School
Gill, MA

Preschool ♦ Ages 2.9-5

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, admin@givingtreeschool.org, or call 413-863-9218.

See Your Ad Here

Partner with HIlltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More

Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
Join Guest DJ Flor Bromley for an hour of enchanting storytelling through songs and stories. From "Jack the Giant" to "Kitty," Flor will take you on a magical journey. The live retelling of "The Lion and the Mouse" makes it a memorable experience for the whole family.

Get ready for an enchanting hour of character-driven storytelling with Guest DJ Flor Bromley. She will bring to life a collection of songs and stories featuring a colorful cast of characters. From the giant adventures of “Jack the Giant” to the delightful “Kitty,” Flor will take you on a magical journey through music and storytelling. The live retelling of “The Lion and the Mouse” adds a special touch to this episode, making it a memorable experience for the whole family.

HFVS The Art of Storytelling Episode
with Guest DJ, Flor Bromley
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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!

FEATURED EVENT

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!

FEATURED EVENT

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!

FEATURED EVENT

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.

FEATURED PRESCHOOL

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: admissions@hartsbrook.org; 413-586-1908 x116; www.hartsbrook.org.

FEATURED SCHOOL

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 l.obregon@centerschool.net with any questions.


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.


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


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.

FEATURED PRESCHOOL
Giving Tree School
Gill, MA

Preschool ♦ Ages 2.9-5

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, admin@givingtreeschool.org, or call 413-863-9218.

FEATURED BUSINESS
Hilltown Sleddogs
Chesterfield, MA


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 SleddogsHomeschool & 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!

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.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More

Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
Join Musiquita, a bilingual family music band out of Queens, NY, as Guest DJs of the Hilltown Family Variety Show. In this episode, the wife/husband duo will share with listeners some of their family's favorite music in Spanish and English, as well as some originals. This music collection has played a significant role in their family's growth and evolution as a bilingual family in the USA.

Join Musiquita, a bilingual family music band out of Queens, NY, as Guest DJs of the Hilltown Family Variety Show. In this episode, the wife/husband duo will share with listeners some of their family’s favorite music in Spanish and English, as well as some originals. This music collection has played a significant role in their family’s growth and evolution as a bilingual family in the USA.

HFVS Bilingual Family Music Episode
with Guest DJs, Blanca Cecilia González and Jesse Elder of Musiquita
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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!

FEATURED EVENT

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!

FEATURED EVENT

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.

FEATURED SCHOOL

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 l.obregon@centerschool.net with any questions.


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, 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 admit@bement.org with questions and to schedule a campus tour.  For more information, visit online at www.bement.org.


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.


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


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.

FEATURED BUSINESS
Hilltown Sleddogs
Chesterfield, MA


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 SleddogsHomeschool & 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!

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.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More

Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
Join HFVS Guest DJ, Heidi Swedberg for a spooky musical journey filled with quirky and classic tunes, live Halloween ukulele performances, and a touch of flamenco flair. This episode is perfect for listeners of all ages who love silly and spooky tunes.

Join HFVS Guest DJ, Heidi Swedberg for a musical journey through the world of noises, monsters, and the boogie man. This episode is a delightful mix of classic tunes like Pete Seeger’s “Abi Yoyo” and quirky gems like “My Brother Makes the Noises for the Talkies” by Albert Whelan. With live Halloween ukulele performances and a touch of flamenco flair in “Story of the Cat and the Chicken,” Heidi Swedberg serves up a spooky and silly musical feast that will entertain listeners of all ages.

HFVS Musical Haunts & Monster Mash Episode
w/Guest DJ, Heidi Swedberg
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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!

FEATURED HIGH SCHOOL

Berkshire Waldorf High School is a college prep, independent, coed day school that aims to balance academic work with the arts. The school provides an education for adolescents that seeks truth, develops imagination, nurtures growth, fosters responsibility, and honors inner freedom in an atmosphere of academic excellence, artistic fulfillment, openness, and mutual respect. They are fully integrated into their community, using local resources such as libraries, artists’ studios, museums, and the outdoors. They welcome applicants who have a variety of talents & interests, who seek an education that will prepare them for university admissions and for lifelong learning. To schedule a visit, email admissions@berkshirewaldorf.com or 413-298-3800.

FEATURED SCHOOL

A school community that is intentional, a curriculum that inspires, and students that engage with land, animals, and nature: find it all at The Hartsbrook School. Whether exploring the nearby fields and stream, or delving into deep inquiry, Hartsbrook students develop academic curiosity that lasts a lifetime. Discover how vibrant and meaningful a school experience can be, both for students and parents alike. Now accepting applications for 2024-25, pre-K thru high school! Call 413-586-1908 x116 to begin your exploration. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org


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, 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 admit@bement.org with questions and to schedule a campus tour.  For more information, visit online at www.bement.org.


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.


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

Campus School of Smith College will hold an open house on Thursday, November 16, from 8:30-10:30am. At the lab school of Smith College, hands-on learning sparks intellectual engagement, research findings inform modern methods, and transformative relationships enrich masterful teaching. Campus School of Smith College is a kindergarten through sixth-grade elementary school located in the heart of Northampton, MA. Affordable tuition and financial aid are available. RSVP 413-585-3270 or call to schedule a visit. Learn more at campus-school.smith.edu.


A kind of magic happens when you bring together young people who love to write! This winter, Juniper Young Writers Online will offer the JYWO Winter Workshops, December 26-29, 2023. Guided Writing Labs will provide high school students, freshmen through seniors, with space to share their work and develop new writing projects. Their online curriculum is synchronous, dynamic, and participatory. Juniper’s write-alongs and write-ins provide an immersion in the writer’s life and an unforgettable week of wild invention. Applications are required for the JYWO Winter Workshops; click here to apply! App deadline: November 1. Acceptance is rolling until the program fills. Scholarships are available. Questions can be directed to juniper@umass.edu.


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.


Whip City Animal Sanctuary in Westfield, MA is a great place to learn about animal welfare. Families can visit on weekends from 10am-12pm 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. More info: 
www.whipcityanimalsanctuary.com

See Your Ad Here

Partner with HIlltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: hilltownfamilies@gmail.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More

Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
Award-winning musician and long-time friend of HFVS, Steve Weeks, is our Guest DJ this week! Join him in his woodshop as he works on his bike and shares a few family-friendly tunes.

Award-winning NYC singer/songwriter Suzi Shelton is back as our Guest DJ bringing with her a fun show that celebrates the beauty of autumn. From the gentle flutter of falling leaves to the vibrant hues of changing colors, Suzi weaves a tapestry of friendship, family, and even a hint of Halloween into her music. https://www.suzishelton.com/

HFVS Autumn Songs Episode
w/Guest DJ, Suzi Shelton
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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!

FEATURED HALLOWEEN EVENT

The Mill District General Store is hosting its Third Annual Fall Festival & Monster Mash on Saturday, October 21 (Rain Date: Sunday, October 22) from 12-4pm at 91 Cowls Road in Amherst, MA. Activities at this free event include scarecrow making (a $20 donation to The Hospice of Fisher Home), games, palm reading, pumpkin painting, live animals, live music from The Butterfly Swing Band, and a free buffet of pork or chicken sliders, salad, chips & salsa with your choice of General Store sauces. There will also be two costume contests, one for folks and one for dogs, with fabulous prizes. Costume wearing is encouraged. Contest Pre-Registration Link: https://wkf.ms/46CuL3T. Questions: generalstore@cowls.com

FEATURED MUSEUM

Out leaf peeping? Add some color to your trip and visit The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Books Art! Three galleries of beautiful picture book art, including the exhibition, Environmental Eric Carle. Attend a special book launch on Saturday, October 21, celebrating Michelle Markel and Barbara McClintock’s new book Tomfoolery! Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming-of-Age of Children’s Books. Make a habitat out of recycled materials in the Art Studio, enjoy an interactive storytime, watch a short film, or go on a scavenger hunt. And a stop in The Carle Bookshop is not to be missed! The Carle is located at 125 W. Bay Road in Amherst, MA. For more information on scheduled events, visit www.carlemuseum.org.

FEATURED HIGH SCHOOL

Berkshire Waldorf High School is a college prep, independent, coed day school that aims to balance academic work with the arts. The school provides an education for adolescents that seeks truth, develops imagination, nurtures growth, fosters responsibility, and honors inner freedom in an atmosphere of academic excellence, artistic fulfillment, openness, and mutual respect. They are fully integrated into their community, using local resources such as libraries, artists’ studios, museums, and the outdoors. They welcome applicants who have a variety of talents & interests, who seek an education that will prepare them for university admissions and for lifelong learning. To schedule a visit, email admissions@berkshirewaldorf.com or 413-298-3800.

FEATURED SCHOOL

A school community that is intentional, a curriculum that inspires, and students that engage with land, animals, and nature: find it all at The Hartsbrook School. Whether exploring the nearby fields and stream, or delving into deep inquiry, Hartsbrook students develop academic curiosity that lasts a lifetime. Discover how vibrant and meaningful a school experience can be, both for students and parents alike. Now accepting applications for 2024-25, pre-K thru high school! Call 413-586-1908 x116 to begin your exploration. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org


The Common School will hold its annual Children’s Carnival on Saturday, October 21, from 10am-3pm, on the school’s campus at 521 South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA. Open to the community, the Children’s Carnival will offer old-fashioned activities, games, food, and entertainment. Admission to the carnival is free. Some games and activities have a small fee. Breakfast, hearty lunches, and treats such as cotton candy and homemade baked goods. For more information, call 413-256-8989 or go to www.commonschool.org


The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-12. For over 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and student leadership. Visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River and learn more from students and faculty at their Open House on Sunday, October 22, 2023, from 1-3pm. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Pre-register for their Open House at www.charlemont.org/open-house-registration.


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.


A kind of magic happens when you bring together young people who love to write! This winter, Juniper Young Writers Online will offer the JYWO Winter Workshops, December 26-29, 2023. Guided Writing Labs will provide high school students, freshmen through seniors, with space to share their work and develop new writing projects. Their online curriculum is synchronous, dynamic, and participatory. Juniper’s write-alongs and write-ins provide an immersion in the writer’s life and an unforgettable week of wild invention. Applications are required for the JYWO Winter Workshops; click here to apply! App deadline: November 1. Acceptance is rolling until the program fills. Scholarships are available. Questions can be directed to juniper@umass.edu.


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.

Campus School of Smith College will hold an open house on Thursday, November 16, from 8:30-10:30am. At the lab school of Smith College, hands-on learning sparks intellectual engagement, research findings inform modern methods, and transformative relationships enrich masterful teaching. Campus School of Smith College is a kindergarten through sixth-grade elementary school located in the heart of Northampton, MA. Affordable tuition and financial aid are available. RSVP 413-585-3270 or call to schedule a visit. Learn more at campus-school.smith.edu.


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 admit@bement.org with questions and to schedule a campus tour.  For more information, visit online at www.bement.org.

See Your Ad Here

Partner with HIlltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: hilltownfamilies@gmail.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More

Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
Award-winning musician and long-time friend of HFVS, Steve Weeks, is our Guest DJ this week! Join him in his woodshop as he works on his bike and shares a few family-friendly tunes.

Step into Steve Weeks‘ woodshop for a unique and creative episode where he tunes up his while sharing family-friendly tunes that are perfect for both kids and adults. This show is all about the joy of working on projects together and appreciating the simple things in life. From Gustafer Yellowgold’s uplifting “Feel Your Shine” to Casper Babypants’ whimsical “Ducky is the Name of My Bike,” join Steve for a hands-on, musical adventure in his workshop.

HFVS Fall Bike Tune Up Episode
w/Guest DJ, Steve Weeks
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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!

FEATURED MUSEUM

Join the Smith College Museum of Art (SCMA) on October 13 as they relaunch SCMA’s Second Friday monthly program! Admission is free to all. Enjoy an evening of creativity at SCMA, with special extended hours until 8pm. From 4–7pm, drop in for art-making activities in the museum’s atrium; at 6pm, explore the galleries through guided conversations and enjoy light refreshments! Second Friday program themes include: October 13: Art and MultiplesNovember 10Art and Scale; and December 8: Art and Focus. Visit scma.smith.edu/calendar for more details!

FEATURED HIGH SCHOOL

Berkshire Waldorf High School is a college prep, independent, coed day school that aims to balance academic work with the arts. The school provides an education for adolescents that seeks truth, develops imagination, nurtures growth, fosters responsibility, and honors inner freedom in an atmosphere of academic excellence, artistic fulfillment, openness, and mutual respect. They are fully integrated into their community, using local resources such as libraries, artists’ studios, museums, and the outdoors. They welcome applicants who have a variety of talents & interests, who seek an education that will prepare them for university admissions and for lifelong learning. To schedule a visit, email admissions@berkshirewaldorf.com or 413-298-3800.

FEATURED SCHOOL

A school community that is intentional, a curriculum that inspires, and students that engage with land, animals, and nature: find it all at The Hartsbrook School. Whether exploring the nearby fields and stream, or delving into deep inquiry, Hartsbrook students develop academic curiosity that lasts a lifetime. Discover how vibrant and meaningful a school experience can be, both for students and parents alike. Now accepting applications for 2024-25, pre-K thru high school! Call 413-586-1908 x116 to begin your exploration. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org


Making Food Fun comes to Westfield! CISA and local farms will celebrate the harvest season with apples, pumpkins, and flowers. This family event is free and open to the public. Rain or shine, the fun takes place at the Westfield Bank Pavilion, next to the playground at Stanley Park in Westfield on Saturday, October 14 from 10am-12pm. Kids of all ages are welcome to get creative and make their own flower bouquets with Rooted Flowers of Agawam, decorate a pumpkin, and test apple varieties from Kosinski Farms of Westfield. Parent resources from Westfield Eats or the Healthy Incentives Program will be available. Free samples of cider and fall treats round out the morning’s offerings. More info: www.buylocalfood.org/event/fun-on-the-farm-edition


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


The Common School will hold its annual Children’s Carnival on Saturday, October 21, from 10am-3pm, on the school’s campus at 521 South Pleasant Street in Amherst, MA. Open to the community, the Children’s Carnival will offer old-fashioned activities, games, food, and entertainment. Admission to the carnival is free. Some games and activities have a small fee. Breakfast, hearty lunches, and treats such as cotton candy and homemade baked goods. For more information, call 413-256-8989 or go to www.commonschool.org


The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-12. For over 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and student leadership. Visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River and learn more from students and faculty at their Open House on Sunday, October 22, 2023, from 1-3pm. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Pre-register for their Open House at www.charlemont.org/open-house-registration.

Campus School of Smith College will hold an open house on Thursday, November 16, from 8:30-10:30am. At the lab school of Smith College, hands-on learning sparks intellectual engagement, research findings inform modern methods, and transformative relationships enrich masterful teaching. Campus School of Smith College is a kindergarten through sixth-grade elementary school located in the heart of Northampton, MA. Affordable tuition and financial aid are available. RSVP 413-585-3270 or call to schedule a visit. Learn more at campus-school.smith.edu.


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.


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.


A kind of magic happens when you bring together young people who love to write! This winter, Juniper Young Writers Online will offer the JYWO Winter Workshops, December 26-29, 2023. Guided Writing Labs will provide high school students, freshmen through seniors, with space to share their work and develop new writing projects. Their online curriculum is synchronous, dynamic, and participatory. Juniper’s write-alongs and write-ins provide an immersion in the writer’s life and an unforgettable week of wild invention. Applications are required for the JYWO Winter Workshops; click here to apply! App deadline: November 1. Acceptance is rolling until the program fills. Scholarships are available. Questions can be directed to juniper@umass.edu.


Community Music School of Springfield’s Children’s Chorus of Springfield (CCS) offers high-quality musical education and creative experiences to students in grades 1-12. Children’s Chorus of Springfield introduces young people to a wide variety of repertoire, languages, and cultures. CCS students will grow in confidence, have opportunities to collaborate, and perform within and outside of Springfield. CCS tuition is FREE for students enrolled in private lessons at CMSS and current Springfield & Holyoke residents. More info: www.communitymusicschool.com/our-programs/childrens-chorus

See Your Ad Here

Partner with HIlltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: hilltownfamilies@gmail.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More

Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
Daniel Martin and Stefani Rose are a husband and wife Kindie-Music duo better known as Martin and Rose Music. As this week's Guest DJ, Stefani will focus on social-emotional learning and discuss how music, dancing, singing, and songwriting can help us understand our "Big Feelings." She will share songs that have helped her and Daniel and their four kids boost the mood in their home and connect deeper as a family.

Guest DJs Amyliza de Jesus and Marla Vannucci of Brighter Light Brigade talk about all the different ways you can “Express Yourself!” As moms, mental health providers, and musicians/artists, they illustrate how important it is to show others how you feel and to let your inner light shine in whatever ways are uniquely you. Amy and Marla share the Peter H. Reynolds story The Dot and some of their favorite songs. They encourage and guide listeners to reflect on the story’s lessons and the messages in these songs and incorporate them into their own lives.

HFVS Express Yourself Episode with Guest DJ, Brighter Light Brigade
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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!

FEATURED MUSEUM

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has exciting programs and exhibitions for families throughout October! The Center Dance Studio returns 10/6 with their popular creative movement program, Word Play. On 10/8 illustrator R.W. Alley introduces his new book Firefighters to the Rescue!, and guests will meet a local firefighter! Move, sing, talk & explore materials during Open Book, Open Play (10/13) an interactive storytime for early learners. Attend a special book launch (10/21) celebrating Michelle Markel and Barbara McClintock’s new book Tomfoolery!: Randolph Caldecott and the Rambunctious Coming-of-Age of Children’s Books. The Carle is located at 125 W Bay Road in AmherstFor more info on scheduled events, visit www.carlemuseum.org.

FEATURED MUSEUM

Join the Smith College Museum of Art (SCMA) on October 13 as they relaunch SCMA’s Second Friday monthly program! Admission is free to all. Enjoy an evening of creativity at SCMA, with special extended hours until 8pm. From 4–7pm, drop in for art-making activities in the museum’s atrium; at 6pm, explore the galleries through guided conversations and enjoy light refreshments! Second Friday program themes include: October 13: Art and MultiplesNovember 10Art and Scale; and December 8: Art and Focus. Visit scma.smith.edu/calendar for more details!

FEATURED SCHOOL

A school community that is intentional, a curriculum that inspires, and students that engage with land, animals, and nature: find it all at The Hartsbrook School. Whether exploring the nearby fields and stream, or delving into deep inquiry, Hartsbrook students develop academic curiosity that lasts a lifetime. Discover how vibrant and meaningful a school experience can be, both for students and parents alike. Now accepting applications for 2024-25, pre-K thru high school! Call 413-586-1908 x116 to begin your exploration. 193 Bay Road, Hadley, MA. www.hartsbrook.org

FEATURED HIGH SCHOOL

Berkshire Waldorf High School is a college prep, independent, coed day school that aims to balance academic work with the arts. The school provides an education for adolescents that seeks truth, develops imagination, nurtures growth, fosters responsibility, and honors inner freedom in an atmosphere of academic excellence, artistic fulfillment, openness, and mutual respect. They are fully integrated into their community, using local resources such as libraries, artists’ studios, museums, and the outdoors. They welcome applicants who have a variety of talents & interests, who seek an education that will prepare them for university admissions and for lifelong learning. To schedule a visit, email admissions@berkshirewaldorf.com or 413-298-3800.


The Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual Harvest Festival happens October 7 & 8, from 10am-5pm in Stockbridge, MA. During these two days, the 24-acre garden undergoes a remarkable transformation into a vibrant hub for the celebration of community, the natural world, and our agricultural heritage. Offering an array of family-friendly activities, live music, a beer garden presented by Barrington Brewery, and a wide selection of regional artisan food and crafts vendors, the Harvest Festival has been a beloved tradition in the Berkshires since 1935. For more information, visit www.berkshirebotanical.org.


Making Food Fun comes to Westfield! CISA and local farms will celebrate the harvest season with apples, pumpkins, and flowers. This family event is free and open to the public. Rain or shine, the fun takes place at the Westfield Bank Pavilion, next to the playground at Stanley Park in Westfield on Saturday, October 14 from 10am-12pm. Kids of all ages are welcome to get creative and make their own flower bouquets with Rooted Flowers of Agawam, decorate a pumpkin, and test apple varieties from Kosinski Farms of Westfield. Parent resources from Westfield Eats or the Healthy Incentives Program will be available. Free samples of cider and fall treats round out the morning’s offerings. More info: www.buylocalfood.org/event/fun-on-the-farm-edition


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 them 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


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.


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.


The Academy at Charlemont is a community-oriented independent day school for grades 6-12. For over 40 years, Academy students have become engaged learners and articulate leaders through small classes, rigorous coursework, diverse electives in the arts and beyond, inclusive athletics, personalized advising, and student leadership. Visit The Academy’s campus along the Deerfield River and learn more from students and faculty at their Open House on Sunday, October 22, 2023, from 1-3pm. Generous financial aid and daily round-trip bus service from Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns are available. Ready to learn more about The Academy family for your family? Pre-register for their Open House at www.charlemont.org/open-house-registration.

Campus School of Smith College will hold an open house on Thursday, November 16, from 8:30-10:30am. At the lab school of Smith College, hands-on learning sparks intellectual engagement, research findings inform modern methods, and transformative relationships enrich masterful teaching. Campus School of Smith College is a kindergarten through sixth-grade elementary school located in the heart of Northampton, MA. Affordable tuition and financial aid are available. RSVP 413-585-3270 or call to schedule a visit. Learn more at campus-school.smith.edu.


Community Music School of Springfield’s Children’s Chorus of Springfield (CCS) offers high-quality musical education and creative experiences to students in grades 1-12. Children’s Chorus of Springfield introduces young people to a wide variety of repertoire, languages, and cultures. CCS students will grow in confidence, have opportunities to collaborate, and perform within and outside of Springfield. CCS tuition is FREE for students enrolled in private lessons at CMSS and current Springfield & Holyoke residents. More info: www.communitymusicschool.com/our-programs/childrens-chorus

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 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

See Your Ad Here

Partner with HIlltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: hilltownfamilies@gmail.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More

Home

Follow Your Interests!

Self-directed learning through the seasons! Explore your interests through a seasonal lens in Western Massachusetts!
Read More
Home
Daniel Martin and Stefani Rose are a husband and wife Kindie-Music duo better known as Martin and Rose Music. As this week's Guest DJ, Stefani will focus on social-emotional learning and discuss how music, dancing, singing, and songwriting can help us understand our "Big Feelings." She will share songs that have helped her and Daniel and their four kids boost the mood in their home and connect deeper as a family.

Daniel Martin and Stefani Rose are a husband and wife Kindie-Music duo better known as Martin and Rose Music. As this week’s Guest DJ, Stefani will focus on social-emotional learning and discuss how music, dancing, singing, and songwriting can help us understand our “Big Feelings.” She will share songs that have helped her and Daniel and their four kids boost the mood in their home and connect deeper as a family.

HFVS Big Feelings Episode with Martin and Rose Music
Listen Now
Read More
Home

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

See Your Ad Here

Partner with HIlltown Families!

Partner with Hilltown Families in your online advertising! Delivering your message each week to over 35,000 subscribers, web visitors, and social media followers each week, Hilltown Families can bring your message to thousands of families in Western Massachusetts. Serving the region since 2005, Hilltown Families is an award-winning, online communication network, recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” A trusted partner in your online marketing! To find out how we can partner together in your online marketing and outreach, contact us for info on our affordable options and packages: hilltownfamilies@gmail.com. Have an event, resource, or opportunity you’re ready to promote? Click HERE to submit your information.

Class Directory

Discover classes & enrichment programs in our Class Directory for Western MA

Preschool Directory

Find what you’re looking for in our Preschool & Daycare Directory for Western MA

Read More
%d