Suggested Events for Dec 10th-16th, 2011

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

Where do you get your local Christmas Tree/Hanukkah Bush? Click on the image to read recommendations for local farms made by our readers... and add one of your own! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program 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 events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business or announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout Western Massachusetts while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Enter to win a yearlong family membership to The Trustees for 2012 plus two adult stickers for cross-country skiing at Notchview in Windsor for the 2011-12 season. Deadline: 12/24.

On Saturday, Dec 10th in Hampshire Co. from 10am-12Noon – TOY SWAP: The Northampton DPW & the ReUse Committee is sponsoring a Holiday Toy Exchange of clean gently used working toys and sports equipment at the Smith Vocational HS cafeteria. Parents without their kids are invited to join. Toys can be dropped off on 12/9 from 5-8pm and the day of from 9-10am.  All left over toys will be donated to charity. BYO bag. 413-587-1059. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

An all day on Saturday, Dec 10th in Franklin Co. from 10am-6pm – MYO CRAFTS/ART: There are fun art activities for kids happening all day today at the ArtSpace.  Kids can do portraits, help color a canvas, or do a sculpey or junk art workshop (registration required).  413-772-6811.  15 Mill Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

In the afternoon on Saturday, Dec 10th in Hampden Co. from 1-3pm - VICTORIAN CRAFTS: The Wistariahurst Museum hosts an afternoon of Victorian holiday crafts for families!  You can make a clove-decorated pomander, Christmas crackers, and paper lanterns, and you’ll learn about what a Victorian Christmas was like!  Registration required.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

And towards the end of the day on Saturday, Dec 10th in Berkshire Co. from 3-8pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Take a holiday stroll today in Great Barrington!  There will be all kinds of family activities, including childrens’ crafts, music all over town, a gallery walk, tree lighting, and fireworks!  Downtown Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, Dec 11th in Franklin Co. at 2pm – SOLSTICE/YULE PERFORMANCE: See “Welcome Yule” tonight, a show full of music and dance to drive the dark away!  Fun for the whole family.  Takes place at the Shea Theater.  413-863-2281.  71 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  ($)

And in Berkshire Co. on Sunday, Dec 11th at 2pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Mill City Productions host Fireside Yuletide, a dramatic reading of many different holiday stories, and there will be carols and holiday treats!  Building 4 North.  Western Gateway Heritage State Park.  North Adams, MA.  (<$)

Scroll down to see our complete list of Weekly Suggested Events for the entire week, with nearly 80 event listings to choose from!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Next Saturday, Dec 17th at 6:30pm – SOLSTICE CELEBRATION: Celebrate the solstice at the Magical Roundhouse.  Celebrate the season by sharing stories about holding onto light and love during the darkest part of the year.  This is a community event, and is also pat of Colrain’s 250th birthday celebrations- stories about the community in Colrain will be featured!  This event is a way to introduce your family to solstice celebrations and a way to foster togetherness within the community.  Bring a snack to share and something to donate to the Franklin Area Survival Center.  413-625-5140.  68 Van Nuys Road.  Colrain, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

BALLET: Pioneer Valley Ballet is proud to present its 33rd annual production of the Nutcracker, an enchanting, classic ballet production at the landmark Academy of Music Theatre on Dec 9, 10, 11. All tickets are reserved seating and available online and in person at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Senior & MTA member discounts available in person only. To purchase tickets, please call the Pioneer Valley Ballet at 413-527-6363, or the Academy of Music box at 413-584-9032 x105, or visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com. All shows have discounted high school & college student RUSH seats available 1/2 hour prior each performance at the box office window. RUSH seats are restricted to upper balcony only.

CHILDREN’S BOOK & CD RELEASE PARTY: Local artists Amy Meltzer and Felicia Sloin celebrate the release of their new works The Shabbat Princess and Zeh Hayom with a festive family event. Read-aloud, concert, craft, havdallah, bagels and cake. Saturday, December 10 5:30 – 7:30, at Congregation Bnai Israel 253 Prospect Street Northampton. All are welcome. Free of charge.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

Kristen Rhodes of Leeds, MA writes, “Looking to start a playgroup for my 4yo son. If your child is 3-6 & you are looking for a homeschooling playgroup, contact me!  I’m hoping to get together up to 5 mornings a week (9:30-11). My son has a severe peanut allergy so the group would need to be peanut free. I am willing to host, provide activities, & snacks (just let me know of food allergies/special diets) or we could meet at a peanut free facility if the group prefers…  Pretty much I’m looking for an alternative for preschool as he is in much need of play with other children & cannot attend most playgroups due to his severe allergy, I have a background in early childhood & wouldn’t mind facilitating. Anyone is interested in brainstorming some type of playgroup, let me know!”

The Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture writes, “Buy local… Christmas trees and holiday decorations!  Locally grown trees, wreaths, roping, and cemetery boxes are available now at farms and farm stands across the Valley. Make a family excursion of choosing and cutting a tree, or pick one that’s all ready to go. Either way, local trees, wreaths and greenery are fresh and long-lasting, and they smell good, too. Decorate your house while feeling good about your carbon footprint and your support for the local economy! See our list of local farms that sell holiday greenery.”


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Dec 10th-16TH, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Dec 10th, 2011

"It’s so wonderful to be able to check the Hilltown Families emails and website for non-commercial events/playgroups, etc. You are an amazing resource!” - Maxine Oland of Belchertown, MA

6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Ashley Albert of The Jimmies Guest DJs the Hilltown Family Variety Show this week! Ashley will be spinning tunes by Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Smithereens, Granvile Williams Orchestra, The Drifters, The Ramones, The Enchanters and songs off of her new holiday CD, Mama Said Nog You Out. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.  – Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you want. Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast too.

8:30am & 10:30am – SANTA: Have breakfast with Santa this morning at Scanlon Hall at Westfield State!  Reservations strongly suggested.  413-572-5449.  577 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.

9am-11am – SANTA: Santa is going to make a pre-Christmas visit to Cummington today!  Stop by the gazebo to say hello and make some requests for Christmas. Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

9:30-3:30pm – LOCALLY MADE FAIR: Heath’s second annual artisan fair takes place today!  It’s an opportunity to buy locally produced goods from farms and artisans, and is also a fundraiser for the school’s natural science programming.  18 Jacobs Road.  Charlemont, MA.  (MARKET)

10am-6:15pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: 6th annual holiday celebration, “A Special Day in Northfield.” The event is a non-commercial community holiday celebration that offers families an opportunity to explore, be creative, and enjoy what Northfield has to offer! Local artists and antiques stores will be open, too, so if you want to do any holiday shopping, you can shop locally and/or handmade. 413-498-5921 or 413-498-2414. Free parking behind 105 Main Street. Northfield, MA (FREE)

10am-8:30pm – CAROLING: The first ever annual Lenox Caroling Festival begins today!  There are events and performances taking place all day, including sing-alongs and performances from talented groups.  Lenox, MA.  (<$)

10am-12Noon – TOY SWAP: The Northampton DPW & the ReUse Committee is sponsoring a Holiday Toy Exchange of clean gently used working toys and sports equipment at the Smith Vocational HS cafeteria. Parents without their kids are invited to join. Toys can be dropped off on 12/9 from 5-8pm and the day of from 9-10am.  All left over toys will be donated to charity. BYO bag. 413-587-1059. 80 Locust Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

10am-12noon – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Forests are full of signs of wildlife- learn how to identify them today at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary!  Kids will play games and do a craft on the topic, then head outside to practice what they’ve learned.  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

10am-12Noon – STEM PLAYGROUP: Join The Greenfield Family Center for a playgroup with a STEM focus.  Kids 6yo and younger and participate in interactive activities around science, technology, engineering and math. 413-475-1553. 90 Federal St. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

10am-12noon - ANIMAL STUDIES: Visit the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to learn about bird banding and to help with data collection!  413-637-0320.  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, MA (<$)

10am-1pm – MYO CRAFTS: Youth Center, Inc. hosts a make-and-take craft fair for kids!  Santa and Rudolf will visit at noon.  Crafts range in price and difficulty.  413-743-3550.  20 East Street.  Adams, MA.  (<$)

10am-1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Hike the Boulders, a beautiful part of the Appalachian Trail!  Lean about how plants and animals prepare for winter, and enjoy what may be the last of the snow-free weather.  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  Dalton, MA.  ($)

10am-6pm – MYO CRAFTS/ART: There are fun art activities for kids happening all day today at the ArtSpace.  Kids can do portraits, help color a canvas, or do a sculpey or junk art workshop (registration required).  413-772-6811.  15 Mill Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-12:30pm – MOTHER/DAUGHTER: Moms and daughters can decorate holiday cookies together this morning at the Top Floor Learning Center at the Palmer Library!  Space is limited, registration required.  413-283-3330.  1455 North Main Street.  Palmer, MA.  ($)

10:30am-2pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: The Great Falls Discovery Center’s Second Saturday children’s series takes place today!  The theme is the solstice, and how the lack of light affects animals!  Learn how the change in light changes animal habits (and makes some of them hibernate!).  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

11am-3pm – SANTA: Santa Claus is at the Springfield Museums today!  He’ll be in the Gingerbread Fantasy exhibit.  After you meet him, you can do crafts- lead by a helpful elf- and vote for your favorite gingerbread house!  413-263-6800.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

12noon-3pm – HOLIDAYS: Longmeadow High School students are offering parents a chance to get some local holiday shopping done, kid-free!  Kids can be dropped of for an afternoon of holiday-themed crafts, dancing, music, and more at the Storrs Library.  Registration requested, payment is a donation to the Longmeadow Food Pantry.  413-565-4182.  693 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (DONATION)

12:30-3:30pm – SANTA: Santa Clause is going to visit the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round today and next Saturday!  Stop by and say hello, then have a treat and make a special holiday card.  413-538-9838.  221 Appleton Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

12:30-4:30 – MYO CRAFTS/TEENS: Teens and tweens (12+) can create their own unique, handmade wrapping paper using potato stamps (that they’ll learn to make!) or create greetings cards and envelopes from old calendars today at Art and Soul!  Make your holidays a bit greener, and learn some new art techniques!  413-498-0000.  75 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm and 4:30pm – NUTCRACKER: The Pioneer Valley Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music!  This classic ballet is beautiful and enchanting- kids of all ages will love it.  413-584-9032.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

1-3pm - VICTORIAN CRAFTS: The Wistariahurst Museum hosts an afternoon of Victorian holiday crafts for families!  You can make a clove-decorated pomander, Christmas crackers, and paper lanterns, and you’ll learn about what a Victorian Christmas was like!  Registration required.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

2pm – VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS – The Rowe Historical Society will host a Victorian Christmas Gala with Victorian toys, tree, caroling, and holiday treats. 413-339-4238. 282 Zoar Road. Rowe, MA (>$)

2-4pm – CHESS: Play chess at Forbes Library!  All ages and abilities welcome.  If you have your own chess set, bring it with you!  413-587-1011.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦

2pm and 7pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Mill City Productions host Fireside Yuletide, a dramatic reading of many different holiday stories, and there will be carols and holiday treats!  Building 4 North.  Western Gateway Heritage State Park.  North Adams, MA.  (<$)

3pm – SOLSTICE/PUPPETRY: Solstice, a puppetry piece to be performed at the UMass Fine Arts Center for the whole family. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, MA ($)

3-8pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Take a holiday stroll today in Great Barrington!  There will be all kinds of family activities, including childrens’ crafts, music all over town, a gallery walk, tree lighting, and fireworks!  Downtown Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

3:15pm – MYO CRAFTS: Kids can hear snowflake-themed stories (with beautiful illustrations!) and make their own snowflakes at the Great Barrington library.  Afterward, the dancing gingerbread man will lead you into town to join the Holiday Stroll festivities.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

4-8pm – SANTA: Take a ride on Santa’s train at Look Park!  Meet Santa in his workshop and enjoy a ride through a magical winter wonderland.  Mrs. Claus and the elves will be there too.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (DONATION)

4:30pm – SANTA: As part of the Great Barrington Holiday Stroll, Santa will be at the Triplex Cinema to greet kids. Warm up and enjoy fresh popcorn and hot cider! Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

5pm – CHORUS: Hear men’s and women’s choirs from the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge perform holiday music at Magnificat, the annual seasonal concert!  413-298-3137.  4 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (<$)

5pm – HOLIDAY PERFORMANCE: The annual holiday Extravaganza is today at the Sandisfield Arts Center!  There will be short plays, live music, dancers, and even a glow in the dark hula hoop performance!  413-258-4100.  5 Hammertown Road.  Sandisfield, MA.  (<$)

5-8pm – ART WALK: Art Walk Easthampton is held the “Second Saturday” of the month. Locations across the city showcase visual, music and performance art in an energetic sampling of local, regional and national talent. All events are free. Parking is free. Art Walk Easthampton is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Easthampton Cultural Council and the support of Mantis Graphics which makes our large, yellow banners. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

5-8pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Light Up the Holidays takes place tonight at the Dalton CRA!  413-624-0260.  400 Main Street.  Dalton, MA.  (FREE)

5-9pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Forest Park is lit up for the holidays!  There are tons of interesting, intricate, and intriguing light displays to be seen inside of Bright Lights, the park’s holiday exhibit.  Get in the holiday spirit!  413-733-3800.  Route 83.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

5:30-7:30pm – BOOK/MUSIC RELEASE PARTY: Celebrate the release of two great new Jewish kids items- “The Shabbat Princess,” a book by local author (and Hilltown Families Contributing Writer) Amy Metzler, and Zeh Hayom, a CD by local musician Felicia Sloin!  There will be a reading, concert, and a havdallah service.  413-737-4313.  253 Prospect Street.  Nothampton, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – HOLIDAYS: Have dinner with Santa tonight at St. Mary’s School.  There will be caroling and tons of holiday cheer!  413-243-1079.  Orchard Street.  Lee, MA.  ($$)

6pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Valley Festival Brass presents a holiday benefit concert!  The group will play holiday favorites and there will be a sing-a-long.  Benefits the Amherst Survival Center.  First Congregational Church.  165 Main Street.  Amherst, MA.  (DONATION)

6pm – VICTORIAN CAROLING: Enjoy singing traditional holiday carols with the period-costumer Victorian Singers of Saint James Place!  There will be carols sung by all, and some sung by just the choir.  Dress for the weather- it takes place outside, and is part of Great Barrington’s Holiday Stroll event. Main and Taconic Streets.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – HOLIDAY FAMILY DANCE PARTY: Whole Children hosts a holiday dance party tonight!  Guests are asked to dress in semi-formal attire (no jeans!) while getting their holiday groove on.  Sensory room will be open for kids under 3, and kids over 13 can come without an adult.  413-585-8010.  8 River Drive.  Hadley, MA.  ($)

7:30pm – SOLSTICE/YULE PERFORMANCE: See “Welcome Yule” tonight, a show full of music and dance to drive the dark away!  Fun for the whole family.  Takes place at the Shea Theater.  413-863-2281.  71 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  ($)

3pm – SOLSTICE/PUPPETRY: Solstice, a puppetry piece to be performed at the UMass Fine Arts Center for the whole family. 151 Presidents Drive. Amherst, MA ($)

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Sunday, Dec 11th, 2011

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

“Hilltown Families is where I check (often!) for info on activities and events to do with my daughter where we can learn, enjoy, and sometimes create. Without this comprehensive weekly resource, I doubt I’d know about many of these events that keep us connected to the landscape without structured, commercialized time.” - Stacy Calabretta (Goshen, MA)

10am – FAMILY SING-A-LONG: Enjoy delicious brunch at Paul and Elizabeth’s accompanied by a fabulous family concert from The Nields!  “Eat, Sing, and Be Merry” has music and sing-a-longs for all ages.  413-527-9393.  Thornes Marketplace.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

10am-3pm - LOCAL/HANDMADE MARKET: Holy cow!  It’s a holiday market!  Williams College’s first ever Holy Cow market takes place today.  It’s a celebration of locally produced art, crafts, and food.  39 Chapin Hall Drive.  Williamstown, MA.  (MARKET)

10am-4pm – LOCAL/HANDMADE CRAFT FAIR: Buy some great gifts and see excellent locally made crafts today at the 7th annual Stars and Skulls Crafty Craft Fair!  Hosted by Pioneer Valley Roller Derby, the fair is an alternative indie craft show.  You’ll see great handmade gifts that you can’t find anywhere else!  162 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.  (MARKET)

11am – SANTA: Have brunch with Santa this morning at the Lenox Community Center!  Housatonic Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

11am-3pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY/SEWING: Sew holiday gift bags with Bagshare today!  You don’t have to stay the whole time, drop-in visitors are fine.  Check out the project’s new space in the basement of the Cummington Community House.  413-634-5354.  33 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

11:30am – COMMUNITY CAROLING: Go caroling all over the community!  The event begins with a potluck lunch at St. John’s Corner in Ashfield, then heads to Poet’s Seat and finally the Buckley Nursing Home.  413-369-0240 or 413-625-9680.  Ashfield, MA; 259 High Street, Greenfield, MA; 95 Laurel Street, Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-3pm – SANTA: Santa Claus is at the Springfield Museums today!  He’ll be in the Gingerbread Fantasy exhibit.  After you meet him, you can do crafts- lead by a helpful elf- and vote for your favorite gingerbread house!  413-263-6800.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

12noon-6pm – MYO CRAFTS/ART: Visit the ArtSpace for fun holiday crafts and performances throughout the afternoon.  Kids can paint or make holiday cards (registration required for the card workshop), watch a circus performance, hear live jazz music, or make Santa pins!  413-772-6811.  15 Mill Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – NUTCRACKER: The Pioneer Valley Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music!  This classic ballet is beautiful and enchanting- kids of all ages will love it.  413-584-9032.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

1-2:30pm – CIRCUS ARTS: It’s Circus Sunday today!  Pantomime artist Jody Scalise will teach a workshop on juggling, pantomime, balancing feathers on your nose, and how to be funny!  Takes place at the ArtSpace.  413-772-6811.  15 Mill Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (<$)

1-3pm – SANTA: Santa will be at the Senior Center greeting kids.  Families can enjoy snacks, DIY crafts and meeting neighbors. Route 143. Chesterfield, MA (FREE)

4:30pm – NUTCRACKER: The Pioneer Valley Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Academy of Music!  This classic ballet is beautiful and enchanting- kids of all ages will love it.  413-584-9032.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

2pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Mill City Productions host Fireside Yuletide, a dramatic reading of many different holiday stories, and there will be carols and holiday treats!  Building 4 North.  Western Gateway Heritage State Park.  North Adams, MA.  (<$)

2pm – SOLSTICE/YULE PERFORMANCE: See “Welcome Yule” tonight, a show full of music and dance to drive the dark away!  Fun for the whole family.  Takes place at the Shea Theater.  413-863-2281.  71 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  ($)

3pm – CHORUS: Berkshire Lyric presents, “Noel Sing We: Music of the Season.”  Performances by Berkshire Lyric, Blanfield Children’s Chorus, and the Taconic High School Chorus.  St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.  413-499-0258.  Park Square.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

3pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: See “The Snow Queen” at CityStage!  The show is adapted from a Hans Christian Andersen story, and tells the tale of a young girl’s journey to rescue her cousin from the Snow Queen.  Ages 5+.  413-788-7646.  1 Columbus Center.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

3pm – INTERFAITH SING-A-LONG: Sing your heart out this afternoon at an interfaith sing-a-long presented by Faith United Church and Suzuki Talent Education Partnership!  The event will include international holiday music including some for Three Kings’ Day as well as Chanukah.  52 Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – HANNUKAH PUPPETS: Talking Hands Theater presents, “The Mystery of Hannukah Harry,” a fun and educational Hannukah-themed puppet show.  413-442-4360.  26 Broad Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – FAMILY THEATER: Castle Hill Theatre Company presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at the New Stage Performing Arts Center!  Fun for the whole family.  413-418-0999.  55 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

3-5:30pm – LOCAL/HANDMADE CRAFT FAIR: There’s an affordable craft fair taking place today- every item is under $20, and is handmade by local artists and craftsman!  This event helps make buying local and handmade easier.  413-634-5591.  33 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (MARKET)

4-8pm – SANTA: Take a ride on Santa’s train at Look Park!  Meet Santa in his workshop and enjoy a ride through a magical winter wonderland.  Mrs. Claus and the elves will be there too.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (DONATION)

5-9pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Forest Park is lit up for the holidays!  There are tons of interesting, intricate, and intriguing light displays to be seen inside of Bright Lights, the park’s holiday exhibit.  Get in the holiday spirit!  413-733-3800.  Route 83.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

7pm – CHORAL: Christmas Vespers at The Williston Northampton School. Part of the school’s Cultural Identity Series, there will be singing by the Vespers Choir with the sharing of personal stories and scriptural readings spread throughout. Held at the Phillips Stevens Chapel. 45 Park Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

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Monday, Dec 12th, 2011

“This site is my first “go-to” for all things for kids to do. It is the site I go to first when planning my week and the information via Facebook makes it even easier to find out what’s going on and read what other parents are thinking about pressing issues. Thanks!” - Valerie Gintis (Northampton, MA)

10:30-11:30am – KIDS’ CONCERT: Lui Collins is performing at the Northampton Parents Center this morning!  It’s a fun and interactive show from a valley favorite.  Basement of Edwards Church.  297 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – MEET THE AUTHOR: Local author Rachel Gugler will do a reading and book signing this afternoon at Cup and Top Cafe!  Enjoy delicious treats and warm drinks from the cafe while you hear the Gugler’s new book, “Sometimes I am Messy, Sometimes I am Neat.”  413-585-0445.  1 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (<$)

6pm – STORYTIME: Hop into your jammies, grab your blankie or teddy bear, and head to the Westhampton Library for pajama storytime!  413-527-5386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Smith College’s jazz and wind ensembles perform a concert full of family holiday favorites!  Enjoy some hot chocolate while you listen.  Sage Hall.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY MONDAY

  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Play and learn this morning at Broad Brook Playground, hosted by the Family Resource Center. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10am- STORYTIME: The Shutesbury Library’s story hour is this morning. Enjoy an hour of stories, songs, games and crafts. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Community Network for Children hosts story hour at the MN Spear Memorial Library- kids 0-5 (with caregivers) can enjoy stories, songs, and craft activities! 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Bring babies ages 12-14 months to Wee Ones Storytime at the Indian Orchard Branch Library! 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Mother Goose on the Loose at the Orange Library! Rhymes, songs, finger play, stories, and more! 978-544-2495. 49 East Main Street. Orange, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Forbes Library hosts Storytime with Ellie this morning. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon!  Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure!  413-625-2782.  14 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)
  • 2:30-5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Meekins’ Teen/Tween Scene is this afternoon. Hang out at the library and check out some new books, music, or DVD’s. You can also play a game on the Wii, get help with your homework, or do some arts and crafts. Snacks provided. 413-268-7472. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm – LEGOS: Does your kid love LEGOS? Try out LEGO BrikWars, a wargaming system that takes ordinary building blocks and turns them into a game of strategy and destruction. Takes place at Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30-5:30pm – CREATIVE DANCE: Johnny-Jump-Ups creative dance for kids 6-8yo with Grasshoppa Dance at the Cummington Community House Auditorium. Practicing improvisation, making dances and learning choreography. Drop-in welcomed through Dec 19th. 413-634-5431. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA ($)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – LEGOS: The Central Library hosts LEGO Club tonight! Kids in grades 1-5 are invited to experiment with architecture and create a masterpiece. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – SING-A-LONG: Families are invited to the Montague Center Library for a community sing-a-long with librarian/musician Linda Hickman. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, Dec 13th, 2011

“Hilltown Families has given me numerous ideas, destinations, and events to participate in with my infant twins. It has been an invaluable resource that motivates us to get out and explore together!” - Stephanie Allen (Greenfield, MA)

3-4pm - MYO CRAFTS/TEENS -Kids 10-18yo can make Ojos de Dios (God’s Eyes), yarn weavings that originates from the Huichol peoples of western Mexico. Discuss the history and cultural implications of the craft while make one of your own. Snack and supplies provided.  978-249-9515. 568 Main Street Athol, MA (FREE) – Can’t make it? Find out how to MYO Ojos de Dios at home (Beginner version. Advanced version.) and read more about its history… and take a look at these amazing renditions by Jay Mohler.

6-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Attend “Small Screen, Big Impact” tonight, a workshop for parents on the affects of TV, computers, and video games on kids’ learning.  Childcare available.  Hosted by the Palmer-Monson Family Network.  413-570-3061. 4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY TUESDAY

  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Interactive Literacy and playtime at the Sunderland Elementary School for preK kids. All welcomed. 413-475-1553. 28 Old Amherst Rd. Sunderland, MA (FREE)
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a pre-school play-and-learn group in the after school room at the Haskins Center for kids ages 2.5-5! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)♦
  • 5:30-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a gym group at Florida Elementary School! There will be free play, circle time, and a snack. 413-664-4821. 56 North Country Road. Florida, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Lilly Library hosts Kulp Memorial Storytime- it’s a lap sitting hour for kids newborn-18 months old. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Public Library hosts Pre-School Story Hour. There will be stories, songs, and fingerplay for little ones and they caregivers. 413-587-1011. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Milne Library! 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to storytime at the Central Library! There will be stories, songs, and a craft. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler storytime takes place at the North Adams Library this morning! 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – SINGING: Wendy will lead “Sing with Your Baby” at the Jones Library (large meeting room). 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11am - TODDLER TIME: Lilly Library hosts Toddler Time in the Kids’ Room. Little ones can hear stories, do crafts, sing, and play games. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:45pm - LIBRARY CLUB: The Millers Falls Library offers a weekly drop-in club for kids of all ages with stories, art and crafts. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA (FREE)
  •  9:15-10:30am – YOGA: Drop off the kids at school then come enjoy a yoga class at the library. Yoga teacher Kellie Finn teaches yoga this morning at the Meekins Library. This is a fun class for those at any level. Call beforehand to check on available space. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm - NEW MOTHERS CIRCLE: Cradle hosts a gathering of moms and babies in a comfortable and supportive environment. Share your experiences with other moms and bond over the transformations that come with motherhood. 413-341-5282. Thornes Marketplace, 3rd Floor. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon!  Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure!  413-625-2782.  14 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)
  • 6:30pm – BINGO: The Hinsdale Lions Club hosts Bingo every Tuesday evening. Though it’s generally an adult game, your kids can come too for a fun intergenerational evening. If they’re learning to count, they can get some great practice matching numbers on your card. Doors open at 5, and dinner is available inexpensively beforehand. 413-655-2973. Maple Street (Route 143). Hinsdale, MA. (<$) ♦

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Wednesday, Dec 14th, 2011

“I have been receiving emails from Hilltown Families for over a year and now rely on them, and the website, for the kind of news, events and products that I am particularly interested in. Thank you for providing this resource!!” - Pamela Cobb (Leeds, MA)

4-5:30pm – TEEN: Decorate holiday cookies at Teen Central at the Central Library!  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: How do/will you talk to your kids about sex? Trained sex educator Meg Baker will lead a workshop for parents on discussing sex and healthy relationships with your children. 413-341-6494. 2 Conz Street #42 (Maplewood Shops). Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

7pm – CONCERT: The Boston String Quartet brings their Christmas show to North Adams!  They’ll perform “A Celtic Christmas Extravaganza” at the Minerva Performing Arts Center.  The show includes tons of Irish and Celtic music.  Kids with audience skills can gain an appreciation for a different type of holiday music.  617-875-7851.  1288 Massachusetts Avenue.  North Adams, MA.  ($$)

EVERY WEDNESDAY

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center- downstairs in the Unitarian Meeting house. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Cummington Family Center playgroup in the rear of the Cummington Community House. 33 Main St. Cummington, MA (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children holds playgroup for kids ages 0-5 at Erving Elementary School! There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities. 978-544-5157. 28 Northfield Road. Erving, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Wendell Free Library hosts the Community Network for Children’s playgroup for kids ages 0-5. There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities. 978-544-5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12Noon: PLAYGROUP – Baby Hour at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Sunshine Story Time for preK kids at the Greenfield Public Library. Reading, singing and play intertwine as Kay Lyons leds a fun half hour of story time followed by play time. Lover Level in the LeVanway Meeting Room. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: The Mason Square Library hosts pre-school storytime! 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: Stories, activities, crafts and music at Carnegie Library. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue “A” Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 10:15am: STORYTIME: The Chesterfield Public Library has a children’s story hour. 413-296-4735 Route 143. Chesterfield(FREE) ♦
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME: The Meekins Library hosts pre-school storytime this morning. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Milne Library! 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is this morning at the North Adams Library! 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 2-5 can attend storytime at the Monson Library this morning! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Visit the Leverett Public Library for the Community Network for Children’s story hour! Kids ages 0-5 can enjoy stories, hands-on science activities, and art projects! 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Hop into your pajamas and visit the East Longmeadow Library for Pajama Night Storytime before bed. For kids ages 3-6. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square #2. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon!  Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure!  413-625-2782.  14 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)
  • 3:30-4:15pm: CREATIVE DANCE: Green Leaves creative dance for kids 3-5yo with Grasshoppa Dance at the Cummington Community House Auditorium. An introduction to dance concepts, body & spatial awareness, dancing with music and with each other. Drop-in welcomed through Dec 21st. 413-634-5431. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA ($)
  • 4-5pm: CREATIVE/CONTEMPORARY DANCE: The Big Cats creative dance and contemporary technique for kids 9-12yo with Grasshoppa Dance at the Cummington Community House Auditorium. Exploring the fundamentals of contemporary dance, developing improvisation & choreography skills. Drop-in welcomed through Dec 21st. 413-634-5431. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA ($)
  • 4:45-6pm – KNITTING: Is your yarn all knotted? Do your needles refuse to behave? Get some help (or, if you’re a skilled knitter, offer support) at Forbes Library’s Knitting Clinic. Knitters of all ages and abilities are welcome- no pattern problem is too big or small. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6pm – SUPPORT GROUP: Treehouse hosts a New Moms Group where new mothers can connect with other moms and babies can spend time with other babies. Intended for moms with babies 6mos and under. 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Thursday, Dec 15th, 2011

10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP FOR ADOPTIVE FAMILIES: Families who’ve adopted kids who are 4yo or younger can be a part of Adoption Journeys’ adoptive families playgroup, which takes place on the third Thursday of each month.  Call to register.  413-320-4680.  Florence, MA.  (FREE) 

12:15-1:15pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Bring your preK kids to the Holiday Concert in the Boland Theatre in the Koussevitzky Arts Center at Berkshire Community College.  The concert will feature the BCC Jazz Ensemble, the BCC Chorale and the BCC Dance classes. There will also be a carol sing.  413-236-4703. Berkshire Community College 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE, OPEN TO PUBLIC)

12:15pm – NATIVE AMERICAN HISTORY: Learn about the native people of the Springfield area today at the Springfield Museums.  Writer Dana Benner presents a lecture on the culture of the Agawam indians.  Great accompaniment to a homeschool unit focused on native cultures or as a follow-up to learning about the real history behind Thanksgiving.  Best for older kids.  800-725-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

3:30-5pm – JEWISH COOKING: Make gelt on a stick, veggie menorahs, and Chanukah cookies tonight at Cooking With Parents II, a program offered by the Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy.  The event is a hands-on intergenerational cooking workshop where families can make kid-friendly holiday foods!  RSVP requested.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

6-9pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: North Adams is encouraging local shopping this holiday season by offering fun activities on Thursday nights!  Visit downtown for local shopping, as well as fun activities like face painting, live music, holiday crafts, visits from Santa, and more!  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – COLLEGE INFO: CollegeAccess is providing an information session for parents and teens on the college process.  You can learn all about applying, financial aid, and how to pay for college.  413-259-3223.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

EVERY THURSDAY (Click HERE to suggest a free weekly playgroup, storytime or support group)

  • 9:30-11am - SUPPORT GROUP:The Amherst Family Center hosts a family support group! There is childcare for kids under 6, a well as snacks, and parents can meet and talk with other parents in a supportive, positive environment. There will be occasional guest speakers, as well as field trips, crafts, poetry, and more! There is free transportation available from Northampton. 413-834-3344. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Music class starts at 11am most Thursdays. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Baby playgroup for pre-walking children with the Cummington Family Center. Located in the rear of the Cummington Community House. 3 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)
  • 10am – MUSIC/MOVEMENT: PreK kids welcomed to join Tom Carrol and Laurie Davidson at the Millers Falls Library (through 12/29). 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 9:45am – STORYTIME: The Central Library hosts toddler storytime this morning! 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Visit the Sixteen Acres Library for pre-school storytime! 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Public Library hosts Pre-School Story Hour! There will be stories, songs, and fingerplay for little ones and they caregivers. 413-587-1011. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Meekins Library with Rochelle. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Lilly Library with Lisa. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Take kids to storytime this morning at the Emily Williston Memorial Library! 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Jones Library in the Children’s Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is today at the Lilly Library! 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come and enjoy stories and songs with facilitator, Julie Stepanek, at the New Salem Library on Thurs. through Dec. 15th. 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., MA (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Visit the Hatfield Library for story hour! 39 Main Street. 413-247-9097. Hatfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30pm – STORYTIME: Martha Speaks storytime takes place today at the Brightwood Branch Library- kids can learn about the power of words through stories about dogs, crafts, and more! 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon!  Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure!  413-625-2782.  14 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)

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Friday, Dec 16th, 2011

“We love keeping up with family events all around Western Mass. We have found so many interesting places to go and met great people along the way!! No other place like it.” - Eileen Hamel (Southampton, MA)

1pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Hampshire Regional High School’s band presents a holiday concert at the Westhampton Library!  413-527-5386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – COMMUNITY CAROLING: Intergenerational caroling this evening!  Sing carols at the homes at the Claire Teague Senior Center.  RSVP requested.  413-528-1919 ex 141.  917 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

4-8pm – SANTA: Take a ride on Santa’s train at Look Park!  Meet Santa in his workshop and enjoy a ride through a magical winter wonderland.  Mrs. Claus and the elves will be there too.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (DONATION)

5-9pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Forest Park is lit up for the holidays!  There are tons of interesting, intricate, and intriguing light displays to be seen inside of Bright Lights, the park’s holiday exhibit.  Get in the holiday spirit!  413-733-3800.  Route 83.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

6-7:30pm – SHABBAT: Beit Ahavah hosts a musical shabbat!  Vegetarian dinner offered.  Performers are Daphna Rosenberg and Navot Ben Barak from Nava Tehilah Ensemble.  RSVP required.  413-587-3770.  130 Pine Street.  Florence, MA. 

7pm – FAMILY THEATER: Castle Hill Theatre Company presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at the New Stage Performing Arts Center!  Fun for the whole family.  413-418-0999.  55 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

7pm – FAMILY THEATER: The New Renaissance Players present “It’s A Wonderful Life” at the Shea Theater!  Enjoy this unique theatrical production of the classic movie.  413-863-2281.  71 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  ($)

EVERY FRIDAY

  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Shutesbury Elementary School for the Community Network for Children’s playgroup! Kids ages 0-5 can take part in stories, motor skills play, and art activities! 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center- downstairs in the Unitarian Meeting house. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Gross motor activities at the Sunderland Elementary School gym for preK kids. All welcomed. 413-475-1553. 28 Old Amherst Rd. Sunderland, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Infants, toddlers, and their caregivers are invited to Crawl Talk at the East Longmeadow Library. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square #2. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)♦
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Lanesborough Elementary School for gym group! 413-443-0027. Summer Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORY/CRAFT: Stories, songs and crafts for preK kids and their guardians. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)
  • 10-10:45am - SIGN LANGUAGE STORYTIME: The Westfield Athenaeum hosts sign language storytime this morning. Kids can sign, sign, and read along to stories- there will be lots of movement, music, and of course, American Sign Language. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: Kids 2-3.5 years old can go to storytime at the East Forest Park Branch Library! 413-263-6836. 122 Island Pond Road. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Brightwood Branch Library hosts storytime for kids ages 2-3.5. 413-23-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME: Bring littlest ones to the Monson Library for stories, songs, and fun! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Great Falls Discover Center hosts a story hour for kids 3-6yo. Held the 4th Friday of every month. 413-863-3221 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORY/CRAFT: Preschoolers can take part in story/craft time this morning at the Sunderland Public Library. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: PreK story hour with snack and crafts at the Griswold Memorial Library. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Lap-sit story hour for kids 3yo and younger at the Greenfield Public Library for Mother Goose on the Loose. Kay Lyons leads a half hour of structured story time, followed by 15 mins of visiting time. Kids will enjoy movement games, rhythm and song as Kay reads and leads the group with puppets and hand rhymes. Lower Level in the LeVanway Meeting Room. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon!  Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure!  413-625-2782.  14 Depot Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)
  • 6:30-8:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: GROW and MotherWoman host a postpartum support group for mothers in need of a supportive space to share, receive help, and grow. The group takes place at the Community Room. 413-822-6043. 48 Elizabeth Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Milham Planetarium at Williams College hosts an observatory show tonight! The planetarium’s Zeiss Skymaster can show phases of the moon, retrograde motions of planets, temperatures of planets and stars, the location of nearby galaxies, and more! The show is entertaining and also a great learning opportunity. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 8:30pm-12:30am - COMMUNITY DANCE: Dance Spree is a community family-friendly (and barefoot!) dance event – kids of all ages are welcome to attend with guardians. Great way to get moving! 25 Main Street, 4th Floor (above Fitzwilly’s). Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦

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