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Of all of the subjects that are taught in elementary school, math can be the hardest one to explore creatively at home; however, Halloween presents an opportunity for some fun informal at-home math studies, including basic logic, data collection, and statistical analysis…

In the spirit of the creepy, gruesome, and vaguely terrifying elements of the Halloween season, why not engage in some similarly creepy, gruesome, and relatively terror-free hands-on science experiments! From candy chromatography and glowing drinkables to flying ghosts and gooey eyeballs, click here for 8 Halloween science ideas which connect to numerous science concepts and promote hands-on learning.

Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link

Monsters, ghosts, aliens, wizards, and magical librarians all make an appearance in Pretty Monsters, a multi-genre book of short stories by local Northampton author, Kelly Link. In her first book written specifically for a young adult audience, Link demonstrates her ability to blend elements of fantasy, magical realism, and horror together. The overarching thread of this enchanting collection is Link’s skillful voice. The author’s writing seems to be strongly influenced by fairy tales, a factor which gives her unique narratives a sense of familiarity even as they dazzle readers with imaginative twists and turns.

Halloween in Western Massachusetts: 2016 Find out about all the Halloween happenings throughout Western MA with Hilltown Families comprehensive list of Halloween activities happening for families. Saturday, October 22, 2016 Sunday, October 23, 2016 Monday, October 24, 2016 Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Wednesday, October 26, 2016 Thursday, October 27, 2016 Friday, October 28, 2016 Saturday, October 29, 2016 Sunday, October 30, 2016 Monday, October 31, 2016 As with all of our suggested… Read More

Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.

Funded in part by Mass Humanities, Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a NEW bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.

By emphasizing place-based exploration through humanities inquiry, these cultural itineraries connect residents of all ages to their place, helping to shape a more comprehensive understanding of our cultural identity, heritage, and history. This contributes to establishing meaningful relationships between young people and elders, and more active citizens.

With these FREE downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history and a strengthened sense of place. Click through to download a free 38-page PDF!

Use Halloween as a catalyst for learning about local history, strengthening reading skills, music studies, and giving back through service-based learning and acts of kindness!

Hilltown Families and Mass Appeal (a weekday, hour-long lifestyle program on NBC) have teamed up to offer a live monthly segment on WWLP 22News! Each month, Hilltown Families’ Founder & Executive Director, Sienna Wildfield, joins Mass Appeal hosts to talk about ways to engage in your community while supporting the interests and education of your children (and yourselves!).

This monthly segment continued on Thursday, October 22nd, 2015. This month Sienna and Ashley talked about using Halloween as a catalyst for learning through community-based educational events and resources…

From monster eggs and flying ghosts to osmosis and convection, Halloween themes can inspire some fantastic (and icky) seasonally themed hands-on science activities. Using easy-to-find materials, families can explore scientific concepts in the spirit of the season!

Along with the excitement of Halloween’s costumed capers, the fall holiday brings with it opportunities for learning about local history. Exploring some of the area’s historic landmarks and downtown districts through a ghost-oriented lens can add some excitement into an investigation of community history, and spooky stories are an excellent hook for engaging children in studies of local history!

Find out about all the Halloween happenings throughout Western MA with Hilltown Families comprehensive list of Halloween activities happening for families. We will be adding to this list as Halloween approaches, so check back often!

Let Halloween candy be a catalyst towards service-based learning this year! Post-Halloween, families can donate candy to Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to members of the military deployed overseas. Deployed members of the military don’t have access to many of the same comforts that they might at a base on US soil, and Halloween candy can be a special treat for them. On November 1 a collection will be taking place in Easthampton. Invite your kids to participate and talk with them about ways to show kindness towards people that support their community, both locally and far away.

Find out about all the Halloween happenings throughout Western MA with Hilltown Families comprehensive list of Halloween activities happening for families. We will be adding to this list as Halloween approaches, so check back often!

Our list of weekly Suggested Events is up with community events and learning opportunities for this weekend and next week. Want to have your event, class, school, museum or business featured through the Hilltown Families network? Email us to find out how you can support the work of Hilltown Families through featured sponsorship and enhanced publicity options…

We have 80 highlights just for this weekend, and about 100 more for next week! Halloween brings out the goblins and libraries, museums and community centers are pulling out all the stops to get you and your family out in costume to engage with your community while learning, reading and celebrating all things New England. Now you have the hard task of trying to pick which community event to participate in!

Halloween candy can be donated or repurposed for educational and scientific value by donating to members of the military deployed overseas to candy science experiments…

Hilltown Family Variety Show Halloween Episode… Great music for the season, including “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead” by Ella Fitzgerald, “Wolfman” by Recess Monkey, “Boris The Spider” by The Who, “The Cottleville Crickety Bridge” by The Hobo Nickels, “Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo, and many many others! Listen anytime to the podcast…

Get ready for Halloween! Hilltown Families comprehensive list of Halloween family fun is up with nearly 100 events for families in Western MA… ranging from pumpkin carving to costume contest, rag shag parades to zombie scarecrows, a witches ball to ghost tours!

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these… Read More

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: November 3rd – 16th, 2012 Halloween always seems to mark the beginning of the holiday season with Thanksgiving just around the corner. In between Halloween and Thanksgiving is Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. Families can join students from Berkshire Community College (BBC) for a Diwali celebration in Lee in mid-November as they share several traditions from this holiday. Early this month, Native American culture is also… Read More

Hurricane Sandy and Halloween Offer Learning Opportunities Online Hurricane Sandy might have schools closed while we await her arrival, but the learning can continue at home (so long as you have power!). Check out these online resources to brush up on math, chemistry, physiology, language arts and world & local history: MATH After you’ve battening down the shutters and have prepared your home & family for Hurricane Sandy (and still have power),… Read More

Listen to the Podcast: HALLOWEEN EPISODE with GUEST DJ ANDY Z Saturdays from 9-10am & Sundays from 7-8am October 27th & 28th, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA It’s Howling Halloween with guest DJ. award-winning family music recording artist and performer, Andy Z. Listen along as Andy Z takes you on a musical tour of all things All Hallow’s Eve. Andy’s special set will include both… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these… Read More

Amy Dryansky shares two not-so-spooky poems for Halloween in her column, “One Clover & A Bee” Poems for Families to Learn & Love.” Many of the poems she looked at when deciding which ones to feature explored that space where spooky crosses over to scary, but these two found that sweet spot where we might get goose bumps, , but know we can always turn the lights on…

Kids love the spook and scare of Halloween! Here are ten picture books that prickle the spine, rattle the funny bone and charm the candy right into our hands for families to read together tonight!

Listen to the Podcast: HALLOWEEN EPISODE Saturdays from 9-10am & Sundays from 7-8am October 20th & 21st, 2012 WXOJ LP – 103.3 FM – Valley Free Radio Northampton, MA Archived Podcasts ♦ Subscribe to Podcast Radio ♦ Facebook ♦ Twitter The Citizens of Halloween – “This is Halloween” [Nightmare Before Christmas] The Candy Band – “Monsters” [Calling All Kids] Vintage Commercial: Remco’s Baby Laugh A-Lot Ella  Fitzgerald – “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead”… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these… Read More

Berkshire County Highlights for Families: Oct 20th-Nov 2nd, 2012 The leaves have peeked and now enters Halloween in the Berkshires. Trick-or-treating and rag shag parades happen all through out the region, but Berkshire County will play host to several annual Halloween traditions, including MCLA’s 18th annual Boo Bash in North Adams, Pittsfield Halloween Parade, the Pumpkin Walk-About in Stockbridge, and Washington’s Pumpkin Walk. Other fun events not to miss in Berkshire County… Read More

Halloween Costume Safety Tips Halloween is an exciting time of year for kids (and grown-ups!). To help ensure they have a safe holiday, here are eight tips the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests for keeping kids safe in their costumes: Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame. Consider adding reflective tape or… Read More

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast. SUGGEST AN EVENT If you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these… Read More

Halloween in Western Massachusetts: 2012 131 Listings and Still Counting… Find out about all the Halloween happenings throughout Western MA with Hilltown Families comprehensive list of Halloween activities happening for families. We will be adding to this list as Halloween approaches, so check back! • Saturday, Oct. 13th – Friday, Oct. 19th, 2012 • Saturday, Oct. 20th – Friday, Oct. 26th, 2012 • Saturday, Oct. 27th – Wednesday, Oct. 31st, 2012 As… Read More

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