Upcoming Community Events

A sampling of free community events happening in the next few weeks!


Holiday Movie Matinée: The Grinch Saturday, December 21st

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: Woodbury Room, Jones Library, Amherst
Bring the whole family for a free screening of this 2018 remake of a holiday classic!

The Grinch attempts to undermine the annual Christmas celebration at Whoville with the help of his loyal dog and reindeer. He disguises himself as Santa Claus and tries to steal all the presents, but his cover is threatened by an earnest young girl. Featuring the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Tristan O’Hare, Scarlett Estevez, and Angela Lansbury. This film is rated PG

Saturday, December 21, 7am & 3:30pm: The Umass Amherst Sunwheel has attracted tens of thousands of visitors who wish to learn about solar and lunar cycles. Sunwheels, circular stone structures, are designed such that the stones line up with the locations on the horizon of the rising and setting Sun during solstices and equinoxes. You can witness this event during the Winter Solstice while also learning about the seasons, the phases of the moon, the story behind the building of the sunwheel, and more. Bring questions and dress appropriately. The gatherings last about one hour and are held in all weather except rain or blizzards. UMass Amherst Sunwheel. South of McGuirk Alumni Stadium, just off Rocky Hill Road, one-quarter mile west of University Drive.
Saturday, December 21, 5:30-8:30pmThe word “yule” is originally derived from Old Norse, in which the word was used as a synonym for “feast” and as part of an alternative name for the god Odin. The word came to refer to the Germanic and northern European celebration of the Winter Solstice and when the region was Christianized during the Middle Ages, elements of the old rituals were incorporated in the holiday of Christmas, most notably yule singing, the yule log, and the Christmas ham. For communities all over the world, the shortest day of the year is met with great celebrations of light, food, and merriment. This solstice, come celebrate at Arcadia, with a bonfire, live music, and an illuminated path! Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.

Special Seasonal Storytime Monday, December 23rd

3:00 PM- 3:30 PM
Location: Children’s Room, Jones Library, Amherst
Thursday, December 26, 2-4pm: Playful Engineers: Traveling Makerspace. Playful Engineers teaching artist and engineering enthusiast Jay Mankita will present a hands-on workshop in which participants will have a chance to design, build, test, and play with Rube Goldberg “Machines”, and other chain reactions, connecting focused play with serious science. Participants learn through demonstration and play, exploring basic force and motion physics, as they build fun chain reactions with common toys and other ordinary materials. Jay brings lots of materials to work with, including dominoes, wood blocks, string, chain, pulleys, elastics, tinkier toys, k’nex, legos, tracks, ping-pong balls, clamps, connectors, bases, dowels, and magnets. For ages 5 and up. Forbes Library.
Friday, December 27, 2:30-3:15pm: Mr. Vinny’s Shadow Puppet Show, A very silly and very interactive show! Not the traditional stuff. Mr. Vinny is out in front with the audience using an old school overhead projector and his homemade shadow puppets. He and the kids play “What’s that Shadow” and tell stories like “The 12 Lil’ Pigs and the Big Bad Pineapple.” It’s the rowdiest Shadow Puppet show out there! Best for kids ages 3 + up. Forbes Library.
Makerspace Workshop (ages 8 & up) Saturday December 28th, 2019
2:00 PM-4:00PM
Location: Jones Library, Amherst



Saturday, December 28, 1-2pm: Rocking with the Fossils: A Family Program. Examine a simulated version of Dinosaur Footprints Reservation and make inferences about the trackmakers. Photos and investigations demonstrate what it takes to become a fossil and where they are most likely found. Make your own “fossil” to take home for children age 6-12 with their grown-ups, siblings, and curious adults. Meet inside the Great Hall. Great Falls Discovery Center.
Wednesday, January 1, 1-3pm: Enjoy a leisurely three-mile stroll down the Canalside Rail Trail and get the New Year started off on a Great Falls note. This family-friendly hike follows a gentle route. It provides an opportunity to discover the abundant natural, historical, and cultural features that make the Center and rail-trail such an amazing State Park! Be prepared for cold weather: dress in layers and wear winter boots. Dogs are welcome on leash. Afterward, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in the Discovery Center’s Great Hall. Meet at 1 p.m. in Great Hall. Hike begins at 1:15 p.m. Great Falls Discovery Center.
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