Hilltown Families

Celebrated in Spanish-speaking cultures around the world (and in many communities in western Massachusetts), Three King's Day celebrates the biblical arrival of the kings in Jerusalem, bearing gifts for the baby...

Five questions to get you curious about the origin of winter holiday customs and the traditions your family celebrates.

During the holiday season many around you communities and neighborhoods host special events that gather everyone together in the spirit of friendship, community and wonder. It’s a great way to discover...

A fun holiday tradition, caroling events are wonderful intergenerational events that explore choral music with your family and friends. With many songs sung during the holiday seasons rich in history, there...

In Western Massachusetts there are many places one can explore the beautiful evergreens and winter pines that create our enchanting forests. Like Thoreau, bring along a nature journal...

Some of our holiday traditions today are a result of folklore and myth. For example, the contemporary Christmas tree has an interesting past with a story and history that has...

Where does the Christmas tree come from? Did you know that the origin of the Christmas tree has roots in ancient Norse paganism from Northern Germany? Learn more about the...

Did you know Christmas wasn't always celebrated on December 25th? Get the whole story behind the holiday.

During the holiday season, gift-giving is considered a traditional aspect of our seasonal celebrations. Instead of purchasing a gift, gift givers can also look to the domestic arts, crafts, and...

Take the challenge this year by shopping local and non-commercial during the holiday season. The abundance of craft fairs and open studios happening in the area featuring handmade products by local...

Making a zine is a rewarding, creative process and can certainly be a part of your gift giving plans for the holidays. Need some inspiration for your zine-making adventures? We have...

Makerspaces inspire creativity! These community places provide the space to combine science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM!) in order to make and create. They are like an...

An age-old skill, knitting provides us with some of our most treasured warm clothes. Learning the art of knitting can not only help to provide warmth, but can lead to explorations...

Tis becoming to season to pay special attention to spreading kindness to those around us! Families can spread kindness by sharing homemade foods with neighbors, and can expand this activity to...

Step back in time to a simpler day when holiday celebrations involved cooking over an open fire and illuminating homes with candlelight – the holiday season offers opportunities to experience celebrations...

Today, the traditional Thanksgiving meal is a celebration of the harvest season. The dinner table features the autumn bounty produced by local farms. Customary foods often included in Thanksgiving meals include...

Massachusetts was a central part of the United States’ early formation. As one of the original colonies, many of the patriots that participated in the Revolutionary War were from Massachusetts....

During the American Civil War, poet Walt Whitman spent time visiting hospitalized soldiers wounded on the battlefield. He traveled with soldiers from one hospital to another and visited wounded soldiers...

Living history programs and events in Western Massachusetts happen all year round and include local historical re-enactors portraying the life of New Englanders centuries ago at encampments and school programs. ...

November 11th is Veterans Day, a national holiday that honors American veterans of all wars. The original date has great historical significance - the armistice that ended World War I was...

Veterans Day, a national holiday celebrated every year on November 11th, provides communities with the opportunity to learn about and offer appreciation for the service provided by military veterans. November...

It’s that time of year when the fall harvest begins to wane and a golden light fills the landscape, shining on the incredible bounty that is about to enter our homes...

In New England, a common cured meat was dried and salted cod. Like the prosciutto in Italy, the cod in New England was traditionally dried and salted. When the cod...

Food preservation is an ancient practice rooted in our human history. In fact, one of the oldest forms of food preservation is the drying of food.

The harvest is a time for making jams and fruit butters! Making jam can be an intergenerational activity that allows for skill-sharing between family members and across generations. It’s a...

Think about this: How did the early American diet change according to the seasons? What kind of food preparation techniques can you use to eat and live more seasonally? How are these techniques...

Local Hauntings Hauntings and history go together because ghosts are often traditionally seen as apparitions that once lived and therefore represent a past not entirely forgotten because it crosses realms and...

Cemetery Tours An experiential way to learn about local history while satisfying an intrigue for ghost stories is to participate in a guided cemetery tour. With some local cemeteries pushing their...