Suggested Events for Feb 11th-17th, 2012

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

Northampton's 2nd Annual Ice Art Festival happens this Friday, Feb. 10th as part of Northampton Arts Night Out. See sculptures being made during the day on Friday and enjoy them Friday night and throughout the weekend. (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

Flywheel Saturday Morning Music PartyOn Saturday, February 11th from 10am – MUSIC/PANCAKES – The first in a series of Saturday Morning Music Party events kicks of at Flywheel with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain, and DJ Youthelectronix for a family dance party. This series is presented by Flywheel, Hilltown Families and The No Nap Happy Hour. 413-527-9800. 43 Main St. (Old Town Hall). Easthampton, MA (FREE)

Then later on Saturday, February 11th from 12:30-3:30pm – VALENTINES/HISTORY: Create your own Victorian-inspired valentines today at the Wistariahurst Museum!  The museum will have antique valentines on display for participants to view and gain inspiration from.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

In the evening on Saturday, February 11th from 5-8pm - COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Easthampton’s annual Fire and Ice celebration takes place tonight!  It’s during the town’s monthly Art Walk event, and along with galleries being open across town, there will be ice sculptures all over town, street performances, and live music!  Families can see art created by local artists and enjoy the pop-up winter street art.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

Parents' Night Out ticket giveaway for Valentine's Day to see Ruth Moody at the Iron Horse in Northampton, MA! Deadline to enter to win: 02/10/12 by 7pm (EST)

On Sunday, February 12th from 10am-12noon – CREATIVE FREE PLAY: The Cummington Family Center is hosting a valentine-themed potluck and box play event for families today!  Bring a dish to share, and then enjoy creative free play using a collection of boxes big and small.  Kids can exercise their creativity by building and creating- boxes are great for free play, and it’s a totally non-commercial activity!  33 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, February 12th from 2-5pm – FATHER/DAUGHTER VALENTINE BALL: Dads and granddads can take the special daughters and/or granddaughters in their lives to Longmeadow Parks and Recreation’s annual Father-Daughter Valentine’s Ball! Dress up in your fanciest clothes and enjoy a fun afternoon of holiday-themed music, dancing, decorations, and treats! Perhaps dads and daughters can learn a few dances together before the event. Takes place at the Community House. 413-565-4160. 735 Londmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter to win tix to the Winklepicker Festival's Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco at the Ashfield Town Hall followed by an after-party with The Primate Fiasco. Deadline to enter to win: 02/15/12 by 7pm (EST)

On Saturday, February 18th from 9am-1pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Spend the day outside learning about animal tracking, botany, and how animals adapt for survival during the winter today at the Guyette Farm with the Franklin Land Trust!  Naturalist John Foster will lead the exploration. Registration required.  413-625-9151.  Gloyd Street.  Plainfield, MA.  (FREE)

On Sunday, February 19th from 3-5pm – FAMILY DANCE: Families are invited to Laurel Park for live music, traditional country dancing, singing and some games, all led by an experienced caller, for families with little ones. 413-230-7037. 2 Laurel Park. Northampton, MA (>$)

BULLETIN BOARD

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: 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, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061  www.bement.org.

Jennifer Van Beckum writes, “There are currently 2-3 openings in my home-based Waldorf Childcare Program in Florence, ½ or full day options.  The program is based on rhythm, a love of nature, the protection of childhood, and the belief that the caregiver should surround the children with the love and happiness which will help their capacities unfold and flourish.  Our days include creative play, crafts, painting, baking, and gardening, circle time, story time, outdoor play and rest time.  Warm, home-made, nutritious snacks and lunch are served.  I have 20 years experience as an Early Childhood Teacher and am also a Certified Simplicity Parenting Group Leader.  For more information call Jennifer Van Beckum: 413-586-0596 or email: javanbeckum@iglide.net.”

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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Feb 11th—Feb 17th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Feb 11th 2012

My family recently relocated to Western Mass and I am LOVING Hilltown Families - so many great ideas for weekend activities, I just wish the weekends were longer! Katie DeBeer (South Hadley)

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: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. This week Charity Kahn will host our Valentine’s Show! – 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.

8am-12noon – ICE FISHING: School aged kids can participate in the Children’s Ice Fishing Derby today on Ashfield Lake!  There will be prizes for fish caught legally during the derby.  Ice fishing has historically been an important part of rural New England culture during the winter!  Kids can learn how to ice fish and can gain appreciation for the tradition.  If your kid isn’t interested in doing their own fishing, they can visit the derby to observe and learn from others.  413-625-4400.  Ashfield, MA.

9am-2pm – GIRLS IN SPORTS: Springfield College celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day today!  Girls in grades K-6 can visit the school and take part in sports and exercise workshops, and they’ll get to meet the Springfield College women’s basketball team, too!  (There’s an opportunity to see a game after the event as well.)  National Girls and Women in Sports Day is not only a way for girls to learn more about sports, it’s a way for kids to learn new and exciting ways to get active and an opportunity for them to see real life examples of successful female athletes.  Registration requested.  413-748-3756.  263 Alden Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) 

9am-2pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Winter Farmers’ Market in the basement of Thornes. Food, live music and art. Northampton, MA (MARKET)

9:30-11:30am – PRESCHOOL FAIR: Learn more about preschool options available within the local community today at a preschool information fair hosted by the South Hadley Family Center and South Hadley Network for Children!  Parents can meet representatives from local preschools and gather information in order to make the right choice for their child.  Takes place at All Saints’ Episcopal Church.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – VALENTINE/HISTORY: Visit Old Sturbridge Village this weekend for special Valentine’s Day activities!  Families can learn about the history of exchanging valentines, as well as the process of preparing chocolate for consumption and the dishes and drinks it was used for during the 19th century!  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10-11am - PARENT WORKSHOP:  Parents of kids ages 1-5 can attend a potty-training class hosted by Baystate Medical Center today!  The class teaches parents and kids about potty training and ways to approach the topic (as well as ways to adjust schedules to accomodate new potty users’ needs) in a fun, kid-friendly way.  Registration required.  800-377-4325.  361 Whitney Avenue.  Holyoke, 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: MUSIC/PANCAKES – The first in a series of Saturday Morning Music Party events kicks of at Flywheel with a pancake breakfast, screening of Pancake Mountain, and DJ Youthelectronix for a family dance party. This series is presented by Flywheel, Hilltown Families and The No Nap Happy Hour. 413-527-9800. 43 Main St. (Old Town Hall). Easthampton, MA (FREE)

10am-12noon – VALENTINES: Kids can make a valentines-themed hat and enjoy a fun performance today at UMass!  Sponsored by the Amherst Family Center, the event begins with art-making from 10-10:45.  At 11, families can enjoy the Hoopoe Show, a one-man performance made up of pantomime, illusions, silent comedy, magic, and balloon art.  Takes place at the UMass Student Center.  413-545-0865.  280 Hicks Way.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am-12noon – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: During the winter, we put on sweaters and jackets, and turn on the heat in our homes.  What do animals do to keep warm, though?  Kids can learn all about the many different adaptations that animals use in order to survive the coldest times of year.  The event includes lots of fun activities!  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

10am-12Noon: FAMILY DANCE PARTY – There will be a family dance party with DJ Joan Holliday from 93.9 FM The River at the Northampton Center for the Arts. Families from throughout the Pioneer Valley will don their dancing shoes at this benefit for Nonotuck Community School. Come join kids of all ages under the disco ball and groove to a mix of classics, new tunes, and kids favorites at this all-for-the-family dance party!  413-586-5996. 17 New South Street, 3rd Floor. Northampton, MA ($) 

10am-2pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Visit the Amherst Winter Market at Amherst Middle School . 170 Chestnut St. Amherst, MA. (MARKET)

10am-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Today is Winter Trails Day at Notchview (rescheduled from 1/7/12)!  Snowshoes and trail passes are available for two hours blocks, there are skiing lessons for anyone who wants to learn, skis can be rented, and there will be a guided snowshoe hike!  Get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.  413-684-0148.  Old Route 9.  Windsor, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – VALENTINE/CRAFT FAIR: This year’s Handmade With Love craft fair takes place today!  Check out great items made locally by artists, craftsmen, bakers, etc.  The best Valentine’s gifts are those made locally!  116 Pleasant Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (MARKET)

10:30 and 11:30am – PUPPETS: See a puppet production of, “Mashenka and the Bear” this morning at Matrushka Toys and Gifts!  The show tells the story of a young girl in Russia who must cleverly outsmart a bear in order to find her way home.  The show is appropriate for kids ages toddler-kindergarten.  413-528-4015.  309 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Do you know how to identify fox tracks?  How about deer tracks?  Learn about identifying animal tracks during the winter months today at the Great Falls Discovery Center!  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-11:30 – VALENTINES: Kids can make valentine crafts today at the Mason Library!  There will be lots of different holiday-inspired crafts, including the chance to make cards for local nursing home residents!  Registration requested.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

11am-12noon – YOUTH EMPOWERMENT: The Youth Action Coalition is a kid-led community action and community service group- kids can join, develop goals, and work together to create and accomplish community projects!  Find out more about the group and join today at the Hatfield Library.  Children’s librarian will supervise.  YAC allows kids to become empowered, as they will learn that they have the power to create change within their community.  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

11am-8pm – ART ADVENTURES: Free Day at MASS MoCA. Along with the museum’s exhibits will be special events just for FREE Day, including an elevator music festival, mermaid parade, art making, tours, and a dance party! 800-662-2111. 1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA. (FREE)

12:30-3:30pm – VALENTINES: Create your own Victorian-inspired valentines today at the Wistariahurst Museum!  The museum will have antique valentines on display for participants to view and gain inspiration from.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

1pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Kids can spend time outdoors and learn all about animal tracking today at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary!  There are tons of animals around, even when it’s cold out- learn how to identify which ones have been paying visits to your yard!  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

1pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: That Long Tall Sword is performing at the Eric Carle Museum today!  The group will perform traditional English long sword dances- learn about an interesting tradition from across the pond.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

1pm-6pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Amherst’s annual Winterfest celebration takes place today!  There will be all kinds of outdoor activities, including sledding (if it snows!), live music, wagon rides, a chili cook off, cross country skiing (lessons, demos, and treks), a family ice sculpture competition, dog sledding demos, a bird watching walk, frisbee toss contest, and, of course, the cardboard classic- a competition of homemade cardboard sleds!  It’s great fun for the whole family, and is a way to connect with and celebrate community during the winter.  Takes place at Cherry Hill Golf Course.  413-253-0700.  Montague Road.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

2pm – MUSICAL/FILM: Screening of the musical, “Oliver!” at the Barrington Stage Company.  This adaptation of Charles Dicken’s “Oliver Twist” was an Academy Award Winner for Best Picture in 1968. 413-236-8888. 30 Union St. Pittsfield, MA (>$, Kids FREE)

2pm – HOCKEY: Pond hockey is an important part of winter in many New England comunities.  This weekend, there’s a 24-hour pond hockey marathon at the Big E!  Kids and adults can sign up for the event, which ends at 2pm on Sunday the 12th.  The event celebrates hockey- the playing of the game as well as its cultural and historical significance in Western Massachusetts.  Registration required.  413-739-4725.  Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  ($$)

2pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Older students interested in supplementing their studies of snakes can join Tom Tyning at the Berkshire Athenaeum for “Fabulous Berkshire Snakes!”  This will be a video presentation with no live snakes and is family friendly.  Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

2 or 3:30pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Enjoy great kid-friendly music from the Hampshire Young People’s Chorus this afternoon at the Eric Carle Museum!  413-685-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

2 or 7pm – FILM: The Berkshire Museum’s Little Theater is screening this year’s Oscar-nominated short films today!  The films all cover different topics- some are funny, some thought provoking.  Kids interested in making movies or in film studies can learn about the art of shorts!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (<$)

2:30pm – ART ADVENTURES: Kidspace at MASS MoCA will have a Mermaid Parade.  Kids of all ages are invited to dress up as animals and legends of the sea and come join in the fun.  413-664-4481. 1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA. (FREE)

5-8pm - COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Easthampton’s annual Fire and Ice celebration takes place tonight!  It’s during the town’s monthly Art Walk event, and along with galleries being open across town, there will be ice sculptures all over town, street performances, and live music!  Families can see art created by local artists and enjoy the pop-up winter street art.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

5:15-9pm – FUN NIGHT: Pioneer Gymnastics hosts a Valentine’s Fun Night tonight!  Kids ages 3.5 and older can enjoy a night games like dodgeball (with a foam ball), hide and seek, and more.  It’s a great way for kids to get active, and parents can enjoy some time alone while their kids play!  Registration required.  413-525-1291.  45 Maple Street.  East Longmeadow, MA.  ($)

5:45-9:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/KIDS FUN: Amherst College hosts a night of fun for kids tonight!  Parents can drop kids off at the school’s athletic complex and enjoy a night to themselves, while kids can participate in fun sports clinics, games, and a chance to see a men’s hockey game.  Dinner provided, kids in grades K-5 welcome.  The event is run by the college’s student-run athletics teams, and is also a fundraiser.  West Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

6pm – POTLUCK: Cook up something tasty and made with local ingredients for a community local foods potluck tonight!  Practice cooking with your kids while making delicious local foods even tastier.  Takes place at the First Congregational Church.  413-628-4613.  Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm - MUSIC STUDIES: There will be a recital of North Indian Classical Vocal Music in the Earl Recital Hall, Sage Hall at Smith College.  Older students with audience skills can supplement their music and cultural studies. Campus Map. Northampton, MA (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6:30pm - MUSEUM ADVENTURES/TEA PARTY: Dress in your best hat at head to the Clark for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!  The event will feature delicious treats, great music, and, of course, the fantastic hats of those in attendance, and celebrates a new way of looking at art at the Clark!  There will be live music from the Primate Fiasco, and visitors will have the chance to check out the museum’s two new exhibits.  413-458-0524.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($$)

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Sunday, Feb 12th, 2012

"Hilltown Families reminds me to leave the dishes in the sink, let the dirty laundry sit for another day and instead enjoy the weekend with my family. So far our adventures inspired by Hilltown Families have included strawberry picking, a Mister G concert, and a Paintbox Theater performance." - Celeste Palladino (Northampton, MA)

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.

9:30am-4pm - VALENTINE/HISTORY: Visit Old Sturbridge Village this weekend for special Valentine’s Day activities!  Families can learn about the history of exchanging valentines, as well as the process of preparing chocolate for consumption and the dishes and drinks it was used for during the 19th century!  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-12noon – CREATIVE FREE PLAY: The Cummington Family Center is hosting a valentine-themed potluck and box play event for families today!  Bring a dish to share, and then enjoy creative free play using a collection of boxes big and small.  Kids can exercise their creativity by building and creating- boxes are great for free play, and it’s a totally non-commercial activity!  33 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

10am-12noon – ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: What happens when you recycle a bottle?  How does a seed turn into a plant?  Kids can learn all about caring for the environment and the effects of everything that they do (good and bad) today at the Sinai Academy of the Berkshires.  413-442-4360.  199 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm - MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Amelia Park Children’s Museum is a great place for families to visit!  The museum has lengthened hours on the weekend, and it’s full of fun exhibits for kids to explore and learn from!  413-572-4014.  29 South Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  ($)  ♦

10:30am-12:30pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Women are invited to be part of a birth circle!  The event is for intergenerational and for all mothers, not just those who have given birth recently.  Celebrate motherhood and share stories of birth with other women!  Takes place at Shelburne Falls Yoga.  413-522-3949.  1 Deerfield Avenue.  Shelburne Falls, 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.  (<$ – Check out a museum pass from your local library to get in for free.) ♦

Suggest Event

“We live at the intersection of three counties, so it’s great to have a source of information that covers them all (and more!).” - Emmy Howard & James Markham (Plainfield, MA)

11am-6pm – SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

11:30am-3pm – DOG SHOW: Berkshire Community College hosts the 11th annual Not Your Average Dog Show!  The event features dogs of all kinds (purebred status not required!) competing it many different categories.  There will also be a chili cook-off, where local eateries will enter their own delicious recipes for you to taste!  The event benefits the Berkshire Community College Fund, which provides scholarships to students. 413-441-0191.  1350 West Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (DONATION)

1pm – ART: Beads, Bisque, and Beyond hosts a weekly art session for kids! Kids’ Club gives kids an opportunity to exercise their creativity and to experiment with new mediums, like yarn painting, bubble painting, clay modeling, and more! 413-442-9300. 141 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

1-2:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($) ♦

1-3pm - CHESS: An informal Chess Club is beginning at the Lilly Library. Participants are encouraged to supplement existing chess boards by bringing their own too. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (FREE) ♦

1:30pm - FAMILY FUN: Families can enjoy many different activities this afternoon at JFK Middle School!  As part of Northampton Recreation’s Fabulous February, there will be swimming from 1:30-2:30, valentine cookie decorating from 2:30-3, and a magic show with Ed Popielarcyk at 3!  Registration suggested.  413-587-1040.  100 Bridge Road.  Florence, MA.  (<$)

2pm – FILM: Circus Smirkus is one of the best traveling youth circuses in the world!  See the documentary “Circus Dreams,” which tells the circus’ story, today at the Academy of Music.  The film tells the story of a year in the life of the 12-18 year old performers who make up the circus- learn all about performing and what circus life is like.  The film’s director will speak after the film.  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

2-3:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($) ♦

2-5pm – VALENTINES/FATHERS & DAUGHTERS: Dads and granddads can take the special daughters and/or granddaughters in their lives to Longmeadow Parks and Recreation’s annual Father-Daughter Valentine’s Ball!  Dress up in your fanciest clothes and enjoy a fun afternoon of holiday-themed music, dancing, decorations, and treats!  Perhaps dads and daughters can learn a few dances together before the event.  Takes place at the Community House.  413-565-4160.  735 Londmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  ($)

3pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CONCERT: Hear incredible Latin-inspired classical music today at the Wistariahurst Museum!  Aventuras Latinas: TANGO! showcases Latin American composers and dancers, the main attraction being composer Heitor Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5, a piece requiring eight cello players!  This is a fascinating event for those interested in world and classical music.  Older kids with audience skills can learn a lot from the concert- if they’re already musicians, they can learn about how different world cultures influence classical music.  Young musicians will also learn more about international composers, too!  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

5pm – POTLUCK: Prepare a delicious dish featuring local food to bring to a community local foods potluck dinner!  Celebrate all things local- cook with something you grew and canned or froze, meat you hunted, or foods from the farmers’ market.  Call for directions.  413-522-5932.  Conway, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6:30pm – VALENTINE/CHOCOLATE TASTING: The Old Creamery Co-op is hosting a chocolate tasting, just in time for Valentine’s Day!  You’ll get to taste many different types of chocolate and will learn about the health benefits of chocolate, cacao and chocolate production, chocolate politics, and more!  RSVP required.  413-634-5560.  445 Berkshire Trail.  Cummington, MA.  ($) 

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Monday, Feb 13th, 2012

"Hilltown Families helps us shake off the winter blues by getting Valentines in the real mail." - Helene Leue (Ashfield, MA)

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 3-5 can be part of a Read and Play group this morning at the Adams Youth Center!  Kids will read a story, play, and do activities all centered around the story.  They’ll even get a copy of the book to keep!  Call to register.  413-664-4821.  20 East Street #4.  Adams, MA.  (FREE)

5:30-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Family Resource Center presents, “Responding vs. Reacting: Effecting Parenting,” a workshop for parents designed to teach parents strategies for building children’s self esteem, understanding child development, the use of consequences in discipline, teaching children to self-manage their behavior, and more!  This workshop is a great way to learn new ideas and theories.  Takes place at Lanesborough Elementary School.  Call to register.  413-664-4821.  188 Summer Street.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – VALENTINE/STORYTIME: Enjoy a special valentine story and holiday-related craft activity tonight at the Westhampton Library!  This event is great for working parents who can’t take kids to storytime during the day.  413-527-5386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Join other moms-to-be for a drop-in support group- explore and discuss pregnancy, birth, and post-partum.  Parents can learn from others and share their own experiences.  Takes place at Shima Boutique.  413-346-1055.  65 Main Street. North Adams, MA.  (DONATION)

MONDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 9:15-11:15am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at Berkshire Trail Preschool! Main Street. Cummington, 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)
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: The Meekins Library is now offering a facilitate playgroup every 2nd & 4th Monday of the month! The playgroup will include arts & crafts, story time, and other fun activities for kids and their grown-ups! 413-268-7472. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦

MONDAY STORYTIMES

  • 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)

MONDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:30-12:30 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 12:30-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

MONDAY ONGOING

  • 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, Feb. 14th, 2012

“Just wanted to let you know that my two sons have really enjoyed the Valentine Exchange! They are delighted each day to run to the mailbox and find a little surprise waiting for them! We made a valentine tree and put all of the valentines from our new friends on it! They also loved creating their own valentines, so much so that they chose to forego the usual store bought ones in favor of making their own for their school parties! Thanks so much for including us! This was a wonderful community outreach project! Blessings!” - The Allen Family

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

10:30am - PUPPET SHOW: Talking Hands Theatre will join the Northampton Family Center on Valentine’s Day for “The Little Red Hen” Puppet Show. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. (basement). Northampton, MA (Donation)

1-2:30pm – NATURE: Sheep Hill hosts a nature class for pre-schoolers!  Kids can enjoy a story and activities include a walk outside to observe and examine the winter landscape.  Kids will learn about how plants and animals adapt for and survive the winter.  413-458-2494.  671 Cold Spring Road.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

3:15-4:30pm – LEGOS: LEGO enthusiasts can build masterpieces, test out a LEGO zipline, and play LEGO games this afternoon at the Westhampton Library!  There are LEGOS at the library, but kids can bring their own to share if they would like.  413-527-5386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

4:30-6pm – VALENTINE DINNER: Bring your family to the Easthampton Community Center Valentine Dinner.  They will be serving up baked ham, mashed potatoes, carrots, and pastries. 12 Clark Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)

7:30pm – VALENTINE/STORYTIME: The Storrs Library will host a Valentines Day celebration with a love story, Valentine sewing craft and snack. Register: 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5:45-8pm – VALENTINE/FILM: Parents can spend the evening watching a fun, romantic movie tonight- for free, and not far from home!  The Westfield Athenaeum is screening, “Chocolat,” in honor of Valentine’s Day. There will chocolate and sparkling cider for all. 413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – DINNER SHOW: Celebrate Valentine’s Day by seeing a great show!  Ruth Moody, formerly of the Wailin’ Jennys and The Duhks, is performing at the Iron Horse tonight!  413-584-0610.  20 Center Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

7:30pm – VALENTINE/FILM: Amherst Cinema presents a special screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” for Valentine’s Day!  It’s a love story (of course), and features Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

TUESDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 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) ♦

TUESDAY STORYTIME

  • 9:30 and 11am – STORYTIME: Westfield Athenaeum hosts Little Ones Library Time. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, 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: Toddler storytime at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: For pre-schoolers and toddlers at the Lanesborough Public Library. 413-442-0222. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, 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)
  • 6pm – STORYTIME: Drop-in pajama storytime at the Agawam Library! 413-789-1550. 750 Cooper Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE) ♦

TUESDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:45-12:45 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 1-3pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

TUESDAY ONGOING

  • 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) ♦
  • 9:30-11:15 – GRANDPARENTS: Weekly group at the Amherst Family Center for grandparents through June- connect with other grandparents and talk about issues of parenting grandchildren or helping children parent. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:45-11:15am – BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: Amherst Family Center hosts a breastfeeding group for families. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-3pm – BOWLING: Special rates for Homeschool Bowling today!  413-525-7198.  168 Shaker Road.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (<$)
  • 10am – BREASTFEEDINGSUPPORT: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a breastfeeding group for mothers at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – RHYME TIME: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School hosts Rhyme Time this morning at Matrushka Toys!  Designed for kids who are infants, crawlers, or toddlers, the program involves finger play, fun rhymes, circle games, and puppets and is lead by early childhood teachers.  413-528-4015.  309 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm - NEW MOTHERS CIRCLE: Cradle hosts a gathering of moms and babies in a comfortable and supportive environment. Share your experiences with other moms and bond over the transformations that come with motherhood. 413-341-5282. Thornes Marketplace, 3rd Floor. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 3pm – CRAFTS: Craft Club at the Hatfield Library! There’s a new activity every week. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3-4:30 – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Liberty Branch Library. 413-263-6849. 773 Liberty Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 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, Feb 15th, 2012

“We look forward to getting your newsletter! It always helps us plan our weekend family adventures. Thank you!” - Crista and Eric Yagjian (Guilford, Vermont)

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

12:30-2pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn about the causes for some of young childrens’ behaviors and strategies for behavior management!  Hosted by the Collaborative for Educational Services, the event takes place at Warren Elementary School.  413-570-3061.  51 Schoolhouse Drive.  Warren, MA.  (FREE)

6-7pm – STORYTIME: Get your kids dressed for bed and attend a special pajama storytime at the Haskins Center!  The event features the fun children’s book, Llama, Llama, Red Pajama – there will be llama-themed activities and every kid will get their own copy of the book to read at home.  Registration required.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – LANGUAGES: Did you know that the Milne Library’s online resources include language-learning tools?  Learn more tonight at an informational meeting!  Featured this month is Transparent Language (formerly Before You Know It), a language-learning program that includes 90 world languages.  413-458-5369.  1095 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services hosts a workshop for parents on the development of sexuality in children, “You Showed Each Other What?!”  Signs can begin when kids are in pre-school – learn about what to expect and how to handle your child’s development.  Takes place at Easthampton High School.  413-570-3061.  70 Williston Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

WEDNESDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 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: At the Westhampton Library, every second and fourth Wednesday.  413-527-5386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, 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) ♦
  • 10:30-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The second Wednesday of every month at the Edwards Library!  413-527-9480.  30 East Street.  Southampton, 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) ♦

WEDNESDAY STORYTIMES

  • 9:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Agawam Public Library. 413-789-1550. 750 Cooper Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30 and 11:30 – STORYTIME: Fantastic Fours and Fives at the Westfield Athenaeum! 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Tales and Tunes at the Northfield Library! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Westhampton Library! 413-527-4386. 3 South Road. Westhampton, 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) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (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) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – 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) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: At the Cushman Library! Stories, crafts, snack. 413-413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, 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) ♦

Ice Skating in Western MAWEDNESDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10-11:50am - ICE SKATING: Homeschool ice skating time at Foote Arena! Learn to skate or just practice. 413-664-8185. 1267 South Church Street. North Adams, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 10:30-12:30am – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 12-2pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)
  • 12:30-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)

WEDNESDAY ONGOING

  • 9:30am-12noon – FARM ADVENTURE: Red Gate Farm hosts Homeschool Halfdays on most Wednesdays. The event includes farm exploration both in and out of doors. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 9:45-11:15 – NEW MOTHERS: New and expecting mothers group with MotherWoman at the Amherst Family Center. Share experiences and get help with adjusting to motherhood. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 12noon-3pm – BOWLING: Special rates for Homeschool Bowling today!  413-525-7198.  168 Shaker Road.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (<$) ♦
  • 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. (<$)
  • 1-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Crane Museum of Papermaking to learn about the history of papermaking at Crane since the early 1800’s. Located on the banks of the Housatonic River, the building itself is a museum! This is a great opportunity to learn about local history. If you can’t make it today, the museum is open all weekdays during the same hours. 413-684-2600. 30 South Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 2:30pm – CHESS: Play chess at the Pelham Library!  Practice your own skills or teach a friend.  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3-4:30pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the East Springfield Branch Library. 413-263-6840. 21 Osborne Terrace. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Indian Orchard Branch Library. 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4:30pm - PUPPET SHOW/SING-ALONG: Puppeteer and musician Anna Sobel of Talking Hands Theatre invites families to join her at The Yellow Sofa on Wednesday afternoons for an hour of fun! There will be music and puppets that kids ages 1-5 will enjoy. 413-585-5877. 24 Main Street. Northampton, MA (>$
  • 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, Feb 16th, 2012

“I have been looking toward Hilltown families’ website with surprise and happiness because it never lets us down. A Huge THANK YOU to you!” - Elizabeth Nutting

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Goshen Library hosts facilitated playgroup every 1st and 3rd Thursday.  413-230-8552.  42 Main Street.  Goshen, MA.  (FREE) ♦

7:30pm – HISTORY/THEATER: Old Deerfield Productions is presenting the premier of the new folk opera, “Truth,” which tells the story of former slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.  Kids with audience skills can supplement studies of American History by seeing the show.  Seeing the show could be a great way to start a family dialogue about abolition and how it fits into the larger topic of human rights.  Takes place at the Academy of Music.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

THURSDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 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)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Goshen Library hosts facilitated playgroup every 1st and 3rd Thursday.  413-230-8552.  42 Main Street.  Goshen, MA.  (FREE) ♦

THURSDAY STORYTIME

  • 9:30 and 11am – STORYTIME: Terrific Twos and Threes at the Westfield Athenaeum! 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, 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) ♦
  • 10:30-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The fourth Thursday of every month at the Edwards Library!  413-527-9480.  30 East Street.  Southampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come and enjoy stories and songs with Julie Stepanek at the New Salem Library on Thurs. through January 26. 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., 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 – STORYTIME: Storytime at the Griswold Memorial Library! Stories, craft, and snack. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, 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) ♦
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime tonight at the Monson Library! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦

THURSDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:45-12:45 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 12:30-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

THURSDAY ONGOING

  • 9:30-11:15 – GRANDPARENTS: Weekly group at the Amherst Family Center for grandparents through June- connect with other grandparents and talk about issues of parenting grandchildren or helping children parent. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30pm – MOVIE: Monson Library has kids’ movie time! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, 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. (<$)
  • 3:30-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Brightwood Branch Library. 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5-7pm – KNITTING: Dottie’s Coffee Lounge host a beginner’s knitting group every Thursday. All ages and experiences welcomed. 444 North Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
  • 5:30-7pm – CHESS: The Monson Library’s chess club meets on the 4th Thursday of every month. Kids in middle school and older can participate! 413-287-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Friday, Feb 17th, 2012

“I often share ideas with my students’ parents and use them for my own family. I always check on Friday for the weekend ideas.” - Margaret Betts (Greenfield, MA)

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

9-11am or 1:30-2:30pm – PALEONTOLOGY: The second grade at Berkshire Trail Elementary School has constructed a giant model dinosaur!  Bring your budding paleontologist to the school to learn all about dinos from the students.  413-634-5327.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

10am – THEATER: Young kids (pre-k to 2nd grade) will love the show, “Twinkle, Twonkle!”  Being performed at the Umass Fine Arts Center today, the show is a fun story about two kids who adventure in outer space.  The show uses characters from nursery rhymes and science (including the big bang theory) to teach kids about what they see in the sky at night.  413-545-2511.  151 President’s Drive.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

10-10:30am – ART: Visit the Eric Carle Museum for Materials Play in the Morning, a program where kids can experiment with art making in new and nontraditional mediums that are not only great for creativity but are fun to play with!  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (<$) ♦

6pm – CONCERT: Celebrate Valentine’s Day (a bit late) and and community togetherness tonight by seeing Touissant the Liberator and Gaia Roots perform!  Hosted by Holyoke CRUSH and the Holyoke Community Center, the show takes place at the United Congregational Church.  395 High Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

6pm – CHILDREN’S CONCERT: The Friends of Hadley Preschool present Roger Ticknell and Friends in concert at Hadley Elementary School!  The show is a great multicultural presentation for families.  413-584-5011.  21 River Drive.  Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-7:30pm – STORYTIME: Get the kids dressed for bed, and then head to Shutesbury Elementary School for pajama storytime!  Kids can bring cuddly friends (bears, bunnies, blankets, pillows, etc.) to snuggle with while they listen to stories.  There’s even a fun activity to do after!  978-544-5157.  West Pelham Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Moms to be and new mothers can join facilitator Jessie Groneman for a birth circle at Green River Yoga!  This event is an opportunity for mothers to share their experiences, gather advice, and bond with others experiencing (or about to experience) motherhood.  158 Main Street, Suite 6.  Greenfield, MA.  (<$)

7pm – BASKETBALL: Support Baystate Children’s Hospital and watch a great game of basketball all in one night!  The Springfield Armor hosts a night of great basketball and family fun- and half of all proceeds will be donated to Baystate Children’s Hospital! Aside from supporting a great cause, families can teach kids about sportsmanship and higher level athletics by attending the  game.  413-746-3263.  1277 Main Street.  Springfield, MA. ($)

7:30pm – HISTORY/THEATER: Old Deerfield Productions is presenting the premier of the new folk opera, “Truth,” which tells the story of former slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth.  Kids with audience skills can supplement studies of American History by seeing the show.  Seeing the show could be a great way to start a family dialogue about abolition and how it fits into the larger topic of human rights.  Takes place at the Academy of Music.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Williams College hosts a planetarium show for families tonight!  Lead by students, the show can teach kids about retrograde planetary motion, locations of nearby galaxies, the mythology behind zodiac symbols, and more!  413-597-2188.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

FRIDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 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)
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at Whole Children! 413-587-1471. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, 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: At Lanesborough Elementary School! 413-443-0027. Summer Street. Lanesborough, 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) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Greenfield YMCA hosts an indoor obstacle course playgroup for kids 7 and under! Kids can play and move throughout a series of play-obstacles (tunnels, foam blocks, etc.). 413-475-1543. 451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Gateway Family Center hosts special learning playgroups for young children and their parents!  Babies and their parents will learn baby sign language and play with other families.  Parents of toddlers can take part in “playshops” like cooking, art projects, and games.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, 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) ♦
  • FRIDAY – 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Greenfield YMCA hosts an indoor obstacle course playgroup for kids 7 and under!  Kids can play and move throughout a series of play-obstacles (tunnels, foam blocks, etc.).  Takes place on the first and third Fridays of each month.  413-475-1543.  451 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 11am- BABY GROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦

FRIDAY STORYTIMES

  • 9:30am - SPANISH STORYTIME: Forbes Library hosts Spanish storytime- great for Spanish speaking families or kids learning the language. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, 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) ♦

FRIDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:30-12:30 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 1-3pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)
  • 8-9:50pm – ICE SKATING: Teens and families will enjoy a DJ ice skating session at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available.413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

FRIDAY ONGOING

  • 10-10:30am – ART: Visit the Eric Carle Museum for Materials Play in the Morning, a program where kids can experiment with art making in new and nontraditional mediums that are not only great for creativity but are fun to play with! 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 10am – MOVIE: Pre-school movies at the Berkshire Ahtenaeum! Usually 20-30 minutes. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:15am – ESL: Amherst Family Center hosts an ESL group- families can connect withother ESL families and work on language acquisition and parenting skills together. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Pine Point Branch Library. 413-263-6855. 204 Boston Road. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-4pm - MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The KidSpace at Mass MoCA is open today- explore an exhibit designed just for young people and make some art of your own! 413-664-4481. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 3:15-4:45pm – KNITTING: Drop-In Stitches knitting group at the Storrs Library. Grades 4+, all abilities welcome. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4-4:45pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Red Gate Farm hosts Young Farmers- a chance help out with afternoon chores including egg collection! 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6-7pm – BABY SIGN LANGUAGE: Sign Loud and Clear presents an info session on the benefits of baby sign language! Babies are sometimes able to begin communicating via sign language before they are able to communicate verbally- learn how to start signing with your baby! Takes place at Baystate Medical Center. Springfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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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1 Comment

  1. February 12, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Monday, Feb 13th

    5:30-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Family Resource Center presents, “Responding vs. Reacting: Effecting Parenting,” a workshop for parents designed to teach parents strategies for building children’s self esteem, understanding child development, the use of consequences in discipline, teaching children to self-manage their behavior, and more! This workshop is a great way to learn new ideas and theories. Takes place at Lanesborough Elementary School. Call to register. 413-664-4821. 188 Summer Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)

    Wednesday, Feb 15th

    12:30-2pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn about the causes for some of young childrens’ behaviors and strategies for behavior management! Hosted by the Collaborative for Educational Services, the event takes place at Warren Elementary School. 413-570-3061. 51 Schoolhouse Drive. Warren, MA. (FREE)

    6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services hosts a workshop for parents on the development of sexuality in children, “You Showed Each Other What?!” Signs can begin when kids are in pre-school – learn about what to expect and how to handle your child’s development. Takes place at Easthampton High School. 413-570-3061. 70 Williston Avenue. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

     


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