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Interest Groups

Together, we create community. Northampton Neighbors Interest Groups are formed and run by members: Hikers, walkers, knitters, readers, gardeners, and more bring us together to explore and share our passions. Join a NN Interest Group or start one of your own. The sky’s the limit!

To join an Interest Group below, contact the group’s leader. If you don’t see one that fits your interests, we invite you to share your curiosity and talent with others. It’s easy. We’ll provide the help you need to get your Interest Group organized. Contact Maureen Flannery, Interest Group Coordinator, at to get started.

Bibliophiles Fiction Group

We meet monthly on Zoom to discuss books old and new, chosen by the group. Book titles are announced several months in advance,and free copies are usually available through Forbes Library. If you're interested in joining us—or in starting another book group—please contact Emily.

Leader: Emily Weir,

The Biography Book Group

The Biography Book Group meets monthly online, usually on the fourth Wednesday from 2:30 to 4:00 pm, to discuss books roughly in the category of biographies, including autobiographies and memoirs. Books will be recommended by group members and selected by vote. Discussions will be moderated by the person who recommended the book.  In some cases, the moderator may wish to give a brief commentary or provide some background reading pertinent to the discussion.

Leader: David Herships,

 Blue Sky Book Group

The Blue Sky Book Group is currently full.  We meet monthly for an hour and a half on Friday afternoons. Members are especially interested in fiction and historical fiction, but other genres are definitely on the table. The host of the month manages a process of book selection soliciting input from the rest of the group. We are meeting in person and respecting everyone's judgment about participation in the group with the current Covid-19 situation and other health considerations in mind. 

Leader: Helen Seidler,

Food Interest Group (FIG)

Celebrate and explore the joys of everything culinary with your fellow foodies! FIG meets quarterly to celebrate the food of the season from 4:30-6:30 pm. We get together for themed potlucks in members’ homes or outings to local restaurants. How can food make our lives even sweeter? Let us know what you think! New members get a complimentary fig recipe!

Leader: TBD

Friday Challenging Hiking Group

Want to enjoy the outdoors and get aerobic exercise in good company? If you’re eager to hike 2-4 miles on rolling hills or something steeper, please join us. Total ascent is often 600-700 feet. We explore attractive trails, all less than 30-45 minutes’ drive from Northampton. We meet every week on Fridays throughout the year, mornings at 10 am in warm weather, afternoons at 1 pm in cold weather. We usually meet at the trailhead. We sometimes informally arrange carpools to drive together. We are, and want to stay, in pretty good condition for seniors. Hikers must be fully vaccinated. We averaged 8-10 hikers per hike before the pandemic; now, who knows?

Leader: Bob Adams,

Gardeners Group

We meet monthly on a Friday at 10:30 AM between April and October.   We meet at members’ gardens where we take a tour of the garden guided by the gardener and also discuss gardening and plant issues, including discussion of house plants.  Our members are a terrific resource for each other.  We invite you to join us.

Leaders: Julie Abramson,

Monday Walking Group

The Monday Walking Group excursions are on flat, stable surfaces in conservation areas in Northampton and nearby communities. The walks avoid hilly terrain. Walks are generally located no more than a 30-minute car trip from Northampton. During our outings we walk approximately 1-4 miles in about 1-3 hours. Each person walks at her/his own pace and walks only as far as they wish. There is no obligation to complete the walk or walk a certain distance. Current photo by Judith B. Cameron. Read more.

Leader: David Herships,

Neighbors’ Book Group

Membership is currently full. Contact Melissa Greenspan if you are interested in joining the waiting list. Or, start another book group!

Have fun and stretch your mind with a great, lively group of thinkers. The Neighbors' Book Group typically meets on the third Thursday of each month from 2:00-3:30.  We discuss a wide array of books. No genre is off limits! Members recommend book titles and lead discussions. Book selections are announced several months in advance.  

Leader: Melissa Greenspan,


Biking for Recreation, Exploration, Connection welcomes
bicycle enthusiasts who enjoy recreational biking on the rail trail and quiet
back roads. This group is intended for bicyclists who can average about 10
mph and who are interested in doing between 10 to 20 miles of riding, with a
short break. Read more.

Leader: David Arbeitman,
Co-leader: Rich Baker, or 763-772-5700

Social Contract Bridge Group

And the game is afoot. The Bridge Group now meets Wednesdays at the Northampton Senior Center. Players of all levels are welcome in our friendly group. If there is enough interest, we may add a class for novices. To participate, you must be a member of the Senior Center, and you must have re-registered since the pandemic started. You must also show proof of vaccination. Masks are optional, but highly recommended due to the age and health of some players.

It is never too late to learn to play bridge, and it is a great way to maintain your memory and enjoy time with new friends.
Leader: Gary Drimmer,, 312-316-9088


Spanish Conversation Interest Group

Open to Northampton Neighbors members. This group offers Spanish learners and Spanish speakers the chance to practice through conversation. The group will meet on Sundays from 7-8 pm by Zoom (for now). Conversation can be on any topic!  Please contact the facilitator to get more information and sign up.

Se está formando un nuevo grupo para ofrecer a los estudiantes de español y a los hispanohablantes la oportunidad de practicar a través de la conversación. El grupo se reunirá los domingos de 7 a 8 p. m. por Zoom (por ahora). ¡La conversación puede ser sobre cualquier tema! Póngase en contacto con el facilitador para obtener más información e inscribirse.

Facilitator: Rachael Naismith,, 413-530-3863.

Note: Northampton Neighbors Interest groups are member-driven. Each group is responsible for decisions about format and content.