Suggested Events for Dec 31st-Jan 6th, 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

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

Western MA Family Friendly Events for New Year's Eve

On Saturday, Dec 31stNEW YEAR’S EVE: There are a number of activites families can enjoy for New Year’s Eve together, including First Night Northampton and Holyoke. We have featured five family friendly New Year’s Eve events here, or you can scroll down to see all that’s happening on the last day of 2011.

On Sunday, Jan 1stNEW YEAR’S DAY: Start 2012 of with a First Day Hike with the family in Williamsburg, Goshen or Lanesborough!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

On Saturday, Jan 7th from 10am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Look for wildlife tracks and learn to identify who the visitors have been today in the Hoosac Range! The Bekshire Natural Resources Council is hosting a morning of outdoor exploration where kids can learn about the critters they share the region with. Route 2. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

On Sunday, Jan 8th at 3pm – MARIONETTE SHOW: The Tanglewood Marionettes perform “The Dragon King” at Berkshire Trail Elementary School! The show tells the tale of a wise grandmother who ventures to the bottom of the sea to find the dragon king and convince him to return to land- it is colorful and visually stimulating! Sponsored by the Cummington Family Center. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (DONATION)

BULLETIN BOARD

HEALTH & WELLNESS PROGRAM: Start the New Year off right with a commitment to your family’s health & wellness! Beginning Jan 24th, Craig Fear of Pioneer Valley Nutritional Therapy will be offering a 12-week group wellness/weight loss program rooted in local and traditional foods in Easthampton. GET AT THE ROOTS isn’t just about weight loss, it’s about getting the body healthy without dieting or calorie restriction. It can help parents not only with their own health issues but also with their children’s health. Many kids health issues such as ADHD, obesity, depression & allergies can be helped via nutrition. Anyone with a chronic health challenge will benefit! For more info visit www.pvnutritionaltherapy.com. Contact craig@pvnutritionaltherapy.com 413-559-7770.

APPLICATIONS WELCOMED: Accepting applications for fall 2012. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 245 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts daily. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, our upcoming Kindergarten Open Houses, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061 www.bement.org.

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.

JOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including DIY posts, seasonal cooking, and community-based educational opportunities. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

ADOPTIVE FAMILIES TOGETHER: AFT is a supportive network of adoptive parents who share combined experiences and information to strengthen their families and adoptions. Services include; facilitated monthly support groups for adoptive parents, foster parents, pre-adoptive parents as well as adult adoptees and birth parents, educational trainings, online discussion list, books and pamphlets, and workshops for adopted children. For more informationcontact Lori Baeumler 617-587-1522 or lbaeumler@mspcc.org.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Dec 31st- Jan 6th, 2011

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Dec 31st, 2011

"Starting out the winter season participating in the Nutcracker at the Academy Theater (Northampton), then seeing friends at the various community events during the winter months... the Silver Chord Bowl and Really Big Show, First Night (if its not too cold), and other local offerings." - Karin Perlman (Northampton, 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: This week we will be rebroadcasting our New Year’s Peace Episode. 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.

9am-4:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Visit Bartholomew’s Cobble for a day of adventuring outdoors! Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can’t explore and enjoy the landscape. If there’s snow, you can snowshoe, but if not, just go for a hike! 413-229-8600. Weatogue Road. Sheffield, MA. (<$)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Old Sturbridge Village has plenty of activities to offer to keep families busy while school’s out! Visit the village to experience the 1800’s- there will be hands-on activities, demonstrations, and performances all day long! If it’s cold enough, you can skate on the village’s pond (BYO skates)! Learn about what life in New England was like during winter in the 1830’s! Supplement school history curriculum or do your own family learning adventure. 508-347-3362. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

10am-4pm – FIRST NIGHT, JR.: Holyoke’s First Night, Jr. celebration takes place today! Families can enjoy live music, magic, free admission to the Children’s Museum, a visit to the Merry-Go-Round, ice sculptures, and a ball drop (earlier in the day, just for little ones!). Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

11am-1pm – NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY: Kid’s countdown to noon at Chandlers Restaurant. Great food, party favors and sparkling apple cider to toast with. Live music and a sing-a-long too! Reservations recommended: 413-665-1277. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($)

11am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: SHOW Circus Spectacular presents a circus show at the Berkshire Museum as part of Under the Big Top, the museum’s special Christmas Tree exhibit! There will be fantastic performances of acrobatics, juggling, and contortion. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

11am-12noon – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Forest Park’s Zoo on the Go will be at the Huntington Library today with tons of animals for kids to meet and learn about! 413-667-3506. 7 East Main Street. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

12noon-10pm – GAMES & PLAY: Celebrate the new year with a day of role-playing games and sword play! There will be rounds of Magic the Gathering, Neflheimer, roleplaying games, and more. Takes place at Western Mass Family Golf. Call to register. 249 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. ($$)

12Noon-12Midnight – FIRST NIGHT: Celebrate New Year’s in Northampton all day. Over 20 different studios and businesses in downtown Northampton participate in the event, offering a wide variety of venues for showcasing art! Family-friendly highlights of the event include a performance from A2Z’s yo-yo team at the Academy of Music, a parade through downtown with the Offbeat Drumming Ensemble and Hooping Harmony, and an acrobat performance from SHOW Circus Studio. Fireworks at 6:15pm, which can be seen from almost anywhere in town! Northampton, MA ($)

12:30pm – AQUARIUM ADVENTURE: Watch aquarium residents have lunch today at the Berkshire Museum! The museum’s aquarium is home to tons of types of marine life. Kids can learn about sea creatures and think about the food chain as they learn what different types of fish eat. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

1-1:50pm – ICE SKATING: Parent + Tot skate takes place this afternoon at Amelia Park Arena. This session is less crowded and much calmer than a regular open session. 413-568-2503. 21 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. (<$)

1:30pm – STORYTIME: Visit the Springfield Central Library for storytime! 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

6pm – NEW YEAR’S EVE: Ring in the New Year at Elmer’s Store with a community jam session, delicious appetizers, tapas, and desserts as well as drinks of all kinds. The party lasts as long as the guests do! 413-628-4003. 396 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. ($)

6-10:30pm – FIRST NIGHT: 16th Annual Starry Starry Night celebrates New Year’s Eve int he heart of downtown Orange with live music, dancing, hayrides, giant puppet parade and fireworks! Orange, MA (FREE)

10pm - NEW YEAR’S EVE: Celebrate New Year’s at Jiminy Peak. The event begins with fireworks, followed by a torchlight parade down the mountain. Start a new family tradition! 413-738-5500. 37 Corey Road. Hancock, MA.

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Sunday, Jan 1st, 2011 – HAPPY NEW YEAR

“The winter is a perfect time to explore culture and the outdoors in our community. We love to head out for a snowshoe hike (leisurely, so the kids can keep up) and then treat everyone to hot chocolate at a local diner, followed by a visit to the local library, Mass Moca’s Kidspace & the Clark Museum (free in the winter). Now there’s a winter day (10 am to 3 pm!)” - Cecilia Hirsch

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. – This week we will be rebroadcasting last year’s holiday show hosted by guest DJ, Charity Kahn of Charity and the JAMBand. It’s a holiday show about light, love, community and music!

10am – FIRST DAY HIKE: Celebrate the new year enjoying the crisp, cold air on a hike! The adventure begins in flat woodlands, then continues on to Mass Audobon’s O’Neill Hill and will take 1.5 hours. Following the hike, you can enjoy soup, hot drinks, and treats at a neighbor’s home. Meet at the Dunphy School. 413-268-7523. Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Mass MoCA is open today! There are guided tours at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. The museum also has KidSpace, a gallery with exhibitions just for kids. 413-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. ($)

10:30am – FIRST DAY HIKE: Department of Conservation and Recreation will ring in the New Year with its annual First Day Hikes at the DAR State Forest. Meet at the Day-use Parking Lot at the Warming Hut. 78 Cape Street (Rte. 112). Goshen, MA (FREE)

11am-2pm – NATURE ADVENTURE: Learn what creatures visit your backyard during the day and night today with Earthwork Programs! This is a great event for teens and older, and is for anyone from beginner to expert. Dress warmly! Conway, MA. ($)

11am-4pm – ROLLER SKATING: Interskate 91 South hosts a New Year’s Day family skate – enjoy family-friendly music and a fun afternoon of skating. 413-543-3991. 2043 Boston Road. Wilbraham, MA. ($)

12-5pm – ROLLER SKATING: Celebrate the new year with an afternoon of warm, indoor skating at Interskate 91! This afternoon is a family skate, which means skating is low-pressure and the atmosphere is family friendly. Skills that kids learn while roller skating/blading transfer to ice skating- it’s great practice! 413-586-2737. 367 Russell Street (Hampshire Mall). Hadley, MA. ($)

1pm – FIRST DAY HIKE: Go on a hike at Mt. Greylock State Reservation to celebrate the new year! The First Day Hike is great for families (kids 7+)- it’s guided by a ranger, and will follow an easy 1.8 miles of the Bradley Farm Trail. It takes about 90 minutes- dress for the weather! Call to register. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA.(FREE)

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Monday, Jan 2nd, 2011

"The friendly winter spirit makes it easy to strike up conversations with strangers sledding, skating at Lossone Rink (Easthampton), x-country skiing, and during snowy walks in the woods. We enjoy getting to know acquaintances better with playdates, potlucks, sing-a-longs, and artwalks. We often do some major snow sculpting and invite neighbors and friends to come play!" - Lissie Fein (Easthampton, MA)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Wear a yellow hat (home-make your own for added fun!) to the Norman Rockwell Museum and get $2 off admission! The museum is showing an exhibit of illustrations from the Curious George series by Margaret and H.A. Ray. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

11am-3pm – WINTER CLASSIC: Amelia Park Arena’s Winter Classic is today! There will be special parent and tot public skating (slower pace means low pressure for beginners!), a screening of the NHL’s Winter Classic on the rink’s big screen, and a barbecue to enjoy during the game. 413-568-2426. 21 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. ($)

5-8pm – BENEFIT: Did you hear about Turners Falls for a future skate park! They’re raising funds at Hope & Olive tonight to raise money to build this concrete park at Unity Park. This is their first big fundraising event and all are welcome to the Soup & Games Night. There will be a buffet of foups & breads, and a bit more. 413-774-3150. 44 Hope Street. Greenfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

As always, please double check events before heading out. Because of Winter School Vacation schedule, some of these events BELOW might not be happening this Monday:

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)
  • 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, Jan 3rd, 2011

"My children’s school holds many beautiful festivals that celebrate the season, along with the areas Sturbridge village and Springfield’s museums. We do a lot of sledding and shouting in joy followed up by hot chocolate with marshmallows. We often take take trips with friends to ski and go tubing too!" - April Albrecht (Belchertown, MA)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Wear a yellow hat (home-make your own for added fun!) to the Norman Rockwell Museum and get $2 off admission! The museum is showing an exhibit of illustrations from the Curious George series by Margaret and H.A. Ray. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

As always, please double check events before heading out. Because of Winter School Vacation schedule, some of these events BELOW might not be happening this Tuesday:

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, Jan 4th, 2011

Ice Skating in Western MA10am-12noon – HOMESCHOOL ICE SKATING: Foote Arena hosts a special homeschool skating time! The session will start out with a lesson with the rink director for those interested, and then there will be free skate time after to play and practice. This is a great low-pressure way to help your kids learn the basics so that they can enjoy skating this winter even more! Parents welcome, too. 413-664-8185. 1267 South Church Street. North Adams, MA. (<$)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Wear a yellow hat (home-make your own for added fun!) to the Norman Rockwell Museum and get $2 off admission! The museum is showing an exhibit of illustrations from the Curious George series by Margaret and H.A. Ray. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

6-7:30pm – PARENT SEMINAR: The Collaborative For Educational Services is hosting a parent workshop titled, “You Showed Each Other What?!” tonight at the South Hadley Public Library. The seminar will teach parents about what to expect for normal sexual development in preschool aged children and how to differentiate between normal development and signs of abuse. Call to register. 413-570-3061. 27 Bardwell Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) – CANCELLED

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. (<$)
  • 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, Jan 5th, 2011

"We love to x-country ski, snowshoe and skate as a family and with friends. Also going to try downhill this year, with friends as well! Winter bonfires are fun, with hot cider and hot chocolate, and stargazing on crisp, clear nights." - Mimi Kaplan (Haydenville, MA)

7:50-12:30 – HOMESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: The Academy at Charlemont invites homeschool families interested in enrolling their children in school to visit the school today! Families can attend morning meeting, an academic class, and one class in studio art or music in order to learn about the way that the school operates and its values. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of students (and former homeschoolers!) and faculty during lunch. Registration required. 413-339-4912. 1359 Route 2. Charlemont, MA. (FREE)

8:30-10:30am – OPEN HOUSE: The Bement School is having a kindergarten open house for parents with kids who will be starting school in September of this year. The event includes a campus tour, a chance to observe a kindergarten class, and a Q+A session with teachers and administrators. Registration suggested. 413-774-7061. 94 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Wear a yellow hat (home-make your own for added fun!) to the Norman Rockwell Museum and get $2 off admission! The museum is showing an exhibit of illustrations from the Curious George series by Margaret and H.A. Ray. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

12:15pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: Images of birds of prey appear in the artwork of many different cultures around the world. The Springfield Museums are offering a program this afternoon as part of the Museums a la Carte series where visitors can learn about four different birds of prey and their significance within four different cultures. Great for homeschooling students! 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5-8pm – FUN & GAMES @ SPRINGFIELD MUSEUM: This month’s installment of the Springfield Museums’ Culture and Cocktails series is titled, “It’s All Fun and Games!” The event takes place within the new Hasbro GameLand, an exhibit that teaches visitors about the history of games in American culture and also the thinking and learning behind the basics of many classic games. 800-62507738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. (<$)

7:30pm – TALK AT OLD CREAMERY: Author Christian McEwan (author of “World Enough and Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down) speaks tonight at the Old Creamery! Besides writing books, she has written for the Nation and Village Voice, and has also taught poetry and creative writing. She will speak about creativity and creating a calmer, slower life (the topic of her book). 413-634-5560. 445 Berkshire Trail. Cummington, MA.

EVERY THURSDAY

  • 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: Williston Memorial Library hosts storytime! With each month comes a new seasonal theme. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, 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, Jan 6th, 2011

"Whenever we get cabin fever, we go x-country skiing with friends or hiking if there’s no snow. It’s great to get fresh air and to actually feel warm outdoors on a cold but sunny day when you’re exercising." - Eugenie Wu (Shutesbury, MA)

9:30am – BREASTFEEDING – La Leche League of Northampton meets first Friday of every month. Topics cover breastfeeding benefits, nutrition and weaning, home care of your infant, and support. 413-570-0684 150 Main St. 3rd Floor. Northampton, MA (FREE)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Wear a yellow hat (home-make your own for added fun!) to the Norman Rockwell Museum and get $2 off admission! The museum is showing an exhibit of illustrations from the Curious George series by Margaret and H.A. Ray. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. (<$)

10:15am – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Clark has a special gallery tour for parents with little ones! Front carriers and strollers are permitted in the galleries- kids who are pre-toddler can come with parents. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Williamstown, MA. (<$)

10:30am – MUSIC & MOVEMENT: The Chicopee Library hosts a Music & Movement program for all kids (0-5yo) who like to move, sing & dance! Drop in. 413-594-1800. 449 Font Street. Chicopee, MA (FREE)

6-7pm – GAMES: Do your kids play Dungeons and Dragons? Are they interested in learning to play? Are they even just curious to see what it’s all about? You can learn tonight at a D+D meet up group at the Huntington Public Library! D+D is a fantasy role-playing game with many facets- players gather knowledge, solve puzzles, and resolve conflict together while playing out their roles. 413-413-667-3506. 7 East Main Street. Huntington, MA. (FREE)

6:30pm – SNOWSHOE HIKE: Families with older child can snowshoe in the moonlight at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. Snowshoes available to rent. Hot cocoa and snacks follow this 2-mile hike. Must pre-reg. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA ($)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: See the stars through the telescope at the Springfield Museums! Find constellations and learn to identify stars. If it’s cloudy, there will be a planetarium show. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, 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) ♦
  • 11am-4pm - MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The KidSpace at Mass MoCA is open today- explore an exhibit designed just for young people and make some art of your own! 413-664-4481. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, 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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