Suggested Events for Feb 25th-March 2nd, 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

Maple Sugar Season is arriving 2 weeks early this year! Trees are being tapped, sap is being boiled and many sugar shacks will be serving up breakfast as early as this weekend (most start serving next weekend). Click on the photo for a list of Sugar Shacks in Western MA. Give them a call to see when they will be boiling and serving up their sweet harvest! Take the kids and enjoy breakfast together as a family! (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

Ice Skating in Western MASaturday, February 25 at 11:30am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Gustafer Yellowgold performs live today at MASS MoCA!  It’s a live/animated show for kids that parents will enjoy too- the New York Times described it as a combination of Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss.  413-662-2111.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

Later in the day on Saturday, February 25 from 5-8pm - FIRE & ICE: Red Gate Farm hosts Fire and Ice tonight!  Bring your own sled for sliding down the hill, then warm up at a bonfire afterward!  There will be food and a grill for cooking, as well as hot cocoa and s’mores for dessert.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (<$) [READ THIS UPDATE]

Sunday, February 26 from 12:30am-3pm in Franklin Co. - LOCAL HISTORY: In 1704, the English settlement of Deerfield was raided by a group of Pocomtuck Indians and French settlers.  Visit Deerfield today to learn about the controversy surrounding the event and the effect that it had on the area.  The Indian House will be open all day, and there will be historical re-enactors sharing stories about the event and what happened to Deerfield afterwards.  Kids can learn about the history of the settlement of the Pioneer Valley, and information that they learn can help them in developing a more sensitive view of the events that took place during the settlement of New England.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

Family concert with Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem in Northampton on March 3rd. Deadline to enter to win is 02/29/12 by 7pm (EST).

Sunday, February 26  at 1pm in Hampden Co. - FAMILY ADVENTURE: Holyoke is hosting a Amazing Race-style event for families!  Beginning at Heritage State Park, the race requires that families follow clues and visit locations near the park in order to finish the race!  There are great prizes available and the race offers families a chance to learn more about Holyoke!  413-552-3363.  221 Appleton Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Family concert with UNCLE ROCK at Flywheel in Easthampton on Saturday, March 10th at 10am. Presented by Hilltown Families, No Nap Happy Hour Series and Flywheel.

Saturday, March 3rd from 10am-3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: It’s Free Family Day at the Smith College Museum of Art today!  Explore the galleries and enjoy hands-on art and music making!  A trip to the museum can teach kids about art within a family-friendly setting.  413-585-2760.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, March 4th from 12noon-5pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE/SEWING: Help BagShare today by participating in an afternoon of sewing!  Today is bag repair day- old bags that are beginning to tear or get worn out will be patched and sewn back together.  It’s okay if you don’t know how to sew- you can learn!  Kids can help out, too, as long as they’re old enough to use a sewing machine (use your own discretion).  Takes place at the Cummington Community House.  413-634-5591.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

CHILDCARE OPENINGS: Little Bear Learn & Care, a high quality childcare program serving the Greater Easthampton Area, has limited openings available in their infant and two year classrooms. Offering childcare for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, Little Bear’s welcoming family atmosphere and creative free play environment supports the critical brain-building development of a child’s first five years of life, building a foundation of valuable social/emotional adeptness for later learning. Through basic sign language, modeling and role playing, Little Bear encourages the development of healthy communication skills. To schedule a visit or to find out more about current openings, call 413-203-1776, or visit online at www.littlebearlearnandcare.com.

HILLTOWN IDOLS: Coming soon: Hilltown Idols! An adult & child karaoke competition/fundraiser for the Cultural Arts Committee (CAC) of the Williamsburg Schools. Auditions are Sat., 3/3, with the Final Performance on Sat., 3/10 at 7pm at the Dunphy School in Williamsburg. The competition is open to children & adults from near and far! There are four competition groups: Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, & Adults. Prizes will be awarded to winners. Entry fee for contestants in Grades 3-12 is $5.00 & $25.00 for adults. Register by 3/2! Tickets for audience members on 3/3 are $2/individual or $5/family for the day. Tickets for the Final Performance on 3/10 are $5(Ages 3-18), $10(Adults), or $20 per family. See sites.google.com/site/hilltownidols for details.

SUMMER CIRCUS ARTS CAMP: SHOW Circus Studio announces three rings of Circus Summer Camp for children ages 6-15 this August in Easthampton: Aug 6-10, 13-17 & 20-24. These three week-long camps will run from 9am-3pm each day and will cover all aspects of circus including trapeze, fabric, juggling, balancing, acrobatics, partnering, human pyramids, stretching, strength, & circus games/activities. Each week of camp will end with a performance for friends & family on the last day. A great way to spend your summer! Cost: $250/week. For registration & more information please visit: www.showcircusstudio.com/Programs.html & click on Circus Camps.

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.

MUSIC AT THE LIBRARY: The Springfield Library is offering free concerts in the Rotunda beginning Feb 26 at 1pm with the sweet sounds of Jesse Doane, whose original & improvisational Celtic harp music has the power to relax & inspire. Bring the entire family to enjoy the monthly hour-long performances featuring different types of music, including classical, popular, and ethnic improvisations presented by local, professional musicians. Other performers & Sunday dates include: Meadow Flutes on March 25, Carol Hutter String Quartet on April 22, & Dixieland Stomp on May 27. In addition, the New England Winds, a division of the USAF Band of Liberty, will play in the Rotunda on Wed, June 6 at 6:30pm. Please call the Central Library at 413-263-6828 x213 for more info.

FARM TO SCHOOL: The 2nd statewide MA Farm to School Convention will be held on March 15, at Old Sturbridge Village! Sessions will run from 9-4:45. Registration at 8:15 & attendance includes a lunch featuring locally sourced ingredients. This full-day convention will feature leaders in the farm to school movement providing info on everything from creating school gardens to overcoming barriers to local foods procurement to the growing partnerships between schools & community farms. Come hear how inspiring food service directors, educators, farmers, advocates, & students are building connections between cafeterias, dining halls, classrooms, & farms in MA, & learn what you can do to further those connections. Register at www.massfarmtoschool.org/convention.htm


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Feb 25th—March 2nd, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

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


Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Feb 25th 2012

"Hilltown Families helps us to cast a wider net when we are looking for activities during school vacation or on the weekends. Often we find sweet little buried gems that would otherwise have escaped our notice… Thanks for being here." - Sarah Rankin (Greenfield, 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: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. This week Mo Phillips will be our guest DJ. – 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-2pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Winter Farmers’ Market in the basement of Thornes. Food, live music and art. Northampton, MA (MARKET)

9am-5pm – BOTANICAL STUDIES/ORCHIDS: The Amherst Orchid Society’s spring orchid show takes place this weekend at Smith Vocational High School!  The show is filled with beautiful orchids of many different varieties- visit the show to learn more about the plants, as well as botany in general.  80 Locust Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

9am-5pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site- visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history.  Also, this week there are special programs for families for school vacation!  Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more!  413-734-8551.  1 Armory Square.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am – FAMILY CONCERT: The Westfield Athenaeum host storyteller/folk singer Tim Van Egmond today for kids ages 4yo+. Pre-register: 413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA (FREE)

10-11am – PUPPETS: Tom Knight is performing a puppet show at Hatfield Elementary School this morning!  The show is designed for pre-school aged kids and their families and is sponsored by the Collaborative for Educational Services.  413-586-4998.  33 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Learn to track wildlife and trek through the frozen woods today at Alford Springs!  Kids will get some exercise and fresh air and learn how identify tracks and other sign of wildlife.  Mountain Road.  Alford, MA.  (FREE)

10am-12noon – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Visit Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary to learn about animal tracking!  Kids will learn to look for and follow animal tracks.  There will be games, crafts, and time outside.  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  127 Coombs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

10am-2pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Visit the Amherst Winter Market at Amherst Middle School.  New England Wild Edibles will be bringing shitake mushrooms to the market! 170 Chestnut St. Amherst, MA. (MARKET)

10am-4pm – WINTERFEST: North Adams’ Winterfest takes place today!  There are events and activities taking place all day across the city- the most prominent of these being the ice carving that will take place downtown throughout the day!  The Winterfest Chowder Contest takes place from 12noon-2pm (because what New England festival is complete without chowder!), and there will be wagon rides, face painting, a children’s concert, art activities, and more throughout the day!  413-664-8718.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am – FAMILY CONCERT: Beethoven’s Wig performs at the Jones Library. If you’re not familiar with Beethoven’s Wig, this Grammy Award nominated  group lead by Richard Perlmutter will open the doors into the world of master composers and classical music to your kids like no other! 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)

10:30am-12:30pm – STORYWALK: The North Adams Public Library has arranged a storywalk through downtown North Adams!  It will be around until March 3rd for families to visit anytime, but this morning there is a special craft at the library accompanying the story Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett.  413-662-3133.  74 Church Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-2pm – ARBORICULTURE/PLANT STUDIES: Trees can be identified even when they have no leaves!  During the winter, trees have buds already.  Kids can learn to identify trees based on their buds today at the Great Falls Discovery Center!  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

11am-1pm – CRAFTS: Have you ever wondered how swirly printed paper gets made?  Kids can make their own using marbles and paint this afternoon at the Hubbard Library!  413-583-3408.  24 Center Street.  Ludlow, MA.  (FREE)

11am-5pm – TAG SALE: ART Works is going mobile!  They’re closing their space and creating a van with which to visit locations and bring arts programming into communities.  They’re holding a tag sale this weekend to sell their excess materials, furniture, and more!  Families can acquire great materials for kids to create with while supporting a great cause.  413-256-1205.  Main Street.  Amherst, MA.  (SALE)

11:30am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Gustafer Yellowgold performs live today at MASS MoCA!  It’s a live/animated show for kids that parents will enjoy too- the New York Times described it as a combination of Yellow Submarine and Dr. Seuss.  413-662-2111.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

11:30am-12:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents interested in learning about cloth diapering (the no-pins-required kind!) can attend a workshop at Treehouse this morning!  Cloth diapers aren’t the same ones your parents used anymore- they’re easier to use and more practical.  RSVP requested.  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

11:30am-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: In 1704, the English settlement of Deerfield was raided by a group of Pocomtuck Indians and French settlers.  Visit Deerfield today to learn about the controversy surrounding the event and the effect that it had on the area.  The Indian House will be open all day, and there will be historical re-enactors sharing stories about the event and what happened to Deerfield afterwards.  Kids can learn about the history of the settlement of the Pioneer Valley, and information that they learn can help them in developing a more sensitive view of the events that took place during the settlement of New England.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

12noon – FILM: The Academy of Music has been hosting a kids’ film festival (KidsBestFest) all week- today marks the end of the event!  Films made by local kids will be shown all day, with themes progressing in maturity as  the day goes on.  This is a great opportunity to see work by budding local filmmakers and to see the possibilities of amateur filmmaking!  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

12:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/ANIMAL TRACKING: Learn about animal tracking today with James McNaughton of Adventure In and Out!  Kids can learn about animals found locally and how to identify signs of visiting critters during the winter.  The event includes time indoors and out.  Registration required.  Takes place at Town Hall.  413-259-1213.  1 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)

2-3:30pm – MOVIE: It’s Love Bug Movie Week at the Westfield Athenaeum!  Today’s movie is the last of the series, Herbie Goes Bananas, in which Herbie the beloved VW Beetle ventures to Brazil for a road race.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA. (FREE)

3:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Children’s Theater presents, “The Phantom Tollbooth” this afternoon at the Williston Theater.  The show is full of adventure and fun- there’s even a talking dog!  413-529-3434.  19 Payson Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

5-8pm - FIRE & ICE: Red Gate Farm hosts Fire and Ice tonight!  Bring your own sled for sliding down the hill, then warm up at a bonfire afterward!  There will be food and a grill for cooking, as well as hot cocoa and s’mores for dessert.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (<$) [READ THIS UPDATE]

5-8pm – ST. PATTY’S DAY: St. Patrick’s Day is coming up!  Celebrate the Irish holiday tonight at the Greater Easthampton Pulaski Club!  There will be live music from the Bill Eagan Band, as well as live Irish dancers!  Proceeds from the event help fund the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Holyoke.  79 Maple Street.  Easthampton, MA.  ($$)

6-8pm – FAMILY DANCE: Dance the night away as a family at the Holyoke YMCA!  There will be family-friendly music appropriate for all ages- families are asked to bring a snack to share.  413-534-5631.  171 Pine Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

7-9pm – ICE SKATING: North Adams’ Winterfest wraps up this evening with a skating party at the Vietnam War Memorial Ice Arena!  There will be live DJ music, food, and fun activities and games.  Families can practice their skating skills and enjoy a night out together!  413-664-8718. 1267 Church Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm – CONCERT/GERMAN VESPERS: The Arcadia Players present, “Abendmusik,” a concert consisting of traditional German vespers music.  Abendmusik traditionally was a series of concerts given in Lubeck, Germany on Sunday evenings during Advent.  The concert offers kids a way to learn about international and traditional music.  Best for kids with audience skills.  Takes place at the Abbey Chapel at Mt. Holyoke College.  College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  ($$)

7:30pm – CONCERT/CHORAL MUSIC: Families can hear choral music by groups from all of the five colleges today at the Five College Choral Festival!  Kids can learn about classical music performance and vocal performance and combine the show with music studies.  Takes place at John M. Greene Hall.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6:30-10:30pm - MARDI GRAS: Celebrate Mardi Gras tonight at the Garden House at Look Park!  Sponsored by River Valley Market, the party includes live music from the Lil Orphans Cajun Express and Samirah Evans and Her Handsom Devils, as well as delicious Cajun food from the co-op’s Quarry Cafe.  413-584-2665.  330 North King Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($$)

7:30-10:30pm – DANCE: Dance the night away at the Lenox Community Center!  There will be live DJ music and a cash bar, and proceeds benefit the Lenox Food Pantry.  Housatonic Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($)

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Sunday, Feb 26th, 2012

"I love reading reading about the ‘goings on’ around us… it gives us more options than just chores and TV on the weekends in the winter. kudos to Hilltown Families!" - Amanda Saklad (Belchertown, 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.

10am-4pm – ORCHIDS/BOTANICAL STUDIES: The Amherst Orchid Society’s spring orchid show takes place this weekend at Smith Vocational High School!  The show is filled with beautiful orchids of many different varieties- visit the show to learn more about the plants, as well as botany in general.  80 Locust Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

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.  (<$) ♦ 

11am-5pm - TAG SALE: ART Works is going mobile!  They’re closing their space and creating a van with which to visit locations and bring arts programming into communities.  They’re holding a tag sale this weekend to sell their excess materials, furniture, and more!  Families can acquire great materials for kids to create with while supporting a great cause.  413-256-1205.  Main Street.  Amherst, MA.  (SALE)

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 – PARENT WORKSHOP: Are you interested in learning more about baby-wearing?  Treehouse hosts a workshop this morning on learning to use a MotherWrap and the benefits of babywearing!  RSVP requested.  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

12:30am-3pm - LOCAL HISTORY: In 1704, the English settlement of Deerfield was raided by a group of Pocomtuck indians and French settlers.  Visit Deerfield today to learn about the controversy surrounding the event and the effect that it had on the area.  The Indian House will be open all day, and there will be historical re-enactors sharing stories about the event and what happened to Deerfield afterwards.  Kids can learn about the history of the settlement of the Pioneer Valley, and information that they learn can help them in developing a more sensitive view of the events that took place during the settlement of New England.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm - FAMILY ADVENTURE: Holyoke is hosting a Amazing Race-style event for families!  Beginning at Heritage State Park, the race requires that families follow clues and visit locations near the park in order to finish the race!  There are great prizes available and the race offers families a chance to learn more about Holyoke!  413-552-3363.  221 Appleton Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

1-3pm – CRAFTS: Magic Wings Butterfly Sanctuary has fun activities for kids on Sunday afternoons!  Today, kids can get their faces painted after visiting and learning about the butterflies that live at Magic Wings.  413-665-2805.  281 Greenfield Road.  South Deerfield, MA.  (<$)

1:30-4:30pm – FAMILY FUN: Northampton Recreation is hosting a fun family afternoon as part of Fabulous February!  There will be ice cream and games of bingo beginning at 1:30, then open swim time beginning at 2:30.  Younger kids can practice matching and identifying numbers by playing bingo, and kids of all ages (and adults!) can get some great exercise  and swimming practice for summer during pool time.  413-587-1040.  100 Bridge Road.  Florence, MA.  (<$)

1:35pm – MOVIE SCREENING/SENSORY FRIENDLY: Cinemark in Hadley will screen “The Secret World of Arrietty” to provide families with sensory disabilities an opportunity to screen a film in a sensory friendly environment.  367 Russell Street. Hadley, MA ($)

2pm – PERFORMANCE: The Northampton Center for the Arts’ 21st annual Really Big Show takes place today at the Academy of Music! The event features local bands and musicians and is entertaining for all ages.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

2-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: What happens to insects and water critters during the winter?  Join DCR rangers today at Mt. Tom State Reservation for outdoor adventures and a chance to learn about what’s alive amongst the ice, snow, and brown plants.  413-584-6788.  125 Reservation Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

2-5pm – INTERGENERATIONAL STORIES: Join with other community members from Williamsburg and Haydenville to talk about experience, memories, and traditions within the community throughout your life.  Meekins Library archivist Daria is running the event, and its open to anyone of any age.  Great intergenerational learning opportunity- kids can learn about local history firsthand by listening to older residents.  413-268-7472.  2 Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)

2:15-3:15pm – OPEN GYM: Community Network for Children hosts open gym time at the Greenfield YMCA. 978-544-5157.  451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

3:30-5:30pm – FAMILY CONTRA DANCE: Montague Family Dance happens at the Montague Grange.  A fun intergenerational community dance for families to learn folk dances from around the world. Paul Rosenberg will be the caller with live music.  For all ages, 2-102.  Main Street. Montague, MA ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – OSCARS: Watch the Oscars tonight at a party hosted by Images Cinema at the Red Herring!  There will be special 20’s-themed drinks, DJ music during commercial breaks, and more!  Formal attire encouraged- be as fancy as the people you’ll see on tv!  413-458-1039.  46 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

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Monday, Feb 27th, 2012

"Hilltown Families keeps us busy doing all sorts of fun and amazing things every weekend… and there’s no time left for winter blues!" - Erin Klett (Greenfield, MA)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: The Children’s Museum in West Hartford is hosting a special homeschool day tomorrow, February 28th.  Along with the chance to explore to museum’s exhibits, the event features special learning opportunities for kids of all ages.  Workshop topics include water quality and cleanliness for 5-7yo, chemistry and flame for 8-10yo, the physics of catapults for 11-13yo, planetarium shows for all ages, and more!  860-231-2830.  950 Trout Brook Drive.  West Hartford, CT.  ($)

10-11:30am – FARM ADVENTURE: Take kiddos to Red Gate Farm for Mornings on the Farm!  They’ll get to meet the animals, and do hands-on activities centered around a farm-related theme.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, 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 will have tons of fun at the Family Resource Center’s playgroup this morning!  There will be storytime, art activities, and circle time- all centered around a book.  Every family will get their own copy of the book to keep after!  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – CONCERT: The Majestic Theater is hosting “Music for Melissa,” a benefit concert for a local family dealing with their child’s multiple sclerosis- an illness whose treatment is quite expensive.  The concert features tons of local musicians who regularly play at the Majestic.  Music is family appropriate and supports a great cause.  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)

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. 28th, 2012

"Great source of info re/ local events, across counties (unlike newspapers), beautifully presented. Thank you!" - Alison Bowen (Goshen, 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)

3:15-4:30pm – LEGOS: The Westhampton Library is hosting a special LEGO playtime for kids today!  There are some sets at the library, but kids can bring their own to share if they have favorite building pieces.  LEGOs are great fun for kids, and help them learn about basic architecture, physics principals (gravity and balance), etc. and are great practice for younger kids’ fine motor skills development.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

4:30pm – HISTORY/WOMEN STUDIES: Betty Sharpe, Five College Women’s Studies Research Associate and Independent Scholar, will have a presentation on 19th century women’s experience of end-of-life caring in Western MA for older students interested in Women’s Studies.  There will be dramatic readings of letters from Harriet Beecher Stowe and Ellen Tucker Emerson, exploring how their traditional roles in hospice care as these skills passed from generation to generation, creating intimate mother-daughter experiences. 413-538-2275. Five College Women’s Studies Research Center at Mount Holyoke College. 83 College Street. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

5:30-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents of young children are invited to a workshop on the importance of sleep and strategies for helping kids sleep better!  The workshop takes place at the Wendell Free Library and is hosted by Erving School Union #28.  There is free dinner and childcare beginning at 5:30 and discussion will begin at 6.  978-544-5157.  7 Wendell Depot Road.  Wendell, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – SCRABBLE: Scrabble is a great game for kids working on reading and writing skills- it’s challenging practice for both vocabulary and spelling skills.  The Monson Library hosts Scrabble night on the fourth Tuesday of each month!  All ages welcome.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Bridge Street School is hosting a panel discussion for parents on many topics of concern for parents of children with special needs, including what to expect from an IEP, whether or not kids are eligible for public services, and how to best advocate for your child.  Intended for parents of kids who are not yet in school, this event can help parents find answers to many questions relating to their kid beginning school!  413-587-1471.  2 Parsons Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8pm - PARENT WORKSHOP: The Hadley Public Schools PTO presents, “Food and Behavior: Can it Really Make a Difference?” in the elementary school library. Sarah Patton, LICSW will facilitate a conversation on how food affects the behavior of kids and what families can do.  All are welcome to attend. 413-584-1859. 21 River Drive. Hadley, MA (FREE)

6:30-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Greenfield Center School is hosting a film and discussion series for parents on raising kids in a media-saturated world. The film screened tonight will be Mickey Mouse Monopoly.  Produced by Northampton’s Media Education Foundation, the film addresses issues of commercialization and how they relate to children and the experience of childhood.  Discussion will follow the film.  Those interested in Hilltown Families’ events on the topic of creative free play for kids within a commercialized world should attend this (or other) event!  413-773-1700.  71 Montague City Road.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

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 29th, 2012

"Hilltown Families helps us shake off the winter blues by giving us lots of ideas for fun, interesting, engaging, and community-minded events happening all over the valley!" - Mimi Kaplan (Haydenville, MA)

HAPPY LEAP DAY!

10am – ASTRONOMY/THEATER: The Mahaiwe presents, “London’s Tall Stories-Twinkle Twonkle,” a story of the adventures of two kids as they travel through the galaxy with stories of the universe and stars. For kids 3-7yo. 413-644-9040 x105. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, 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)

4-6pm - PARENT WORKSHOP: “Ready for Kindergarten!” will be offered to families with kids ages 0-5yo for a hands-on session about the stages of early childhood development. Free toys and materials will be distributed. Presented by Springfield Early Care and Education Partnership (SECEP) & Springfield Public Schools, Parent Information Center at the Dorman School. 20 Lydia Street. Springfield, MA (FREE)

5:30-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Tonight is the first week of a 12-week series of workshops for parents hosted by the Family Resource Center.  The workshops, called The Parenting Journey, provide a safe space for parents to admit that parenting is incredibly difficult and reflect on childhood memories and past experiences that have helped to frame who they are as parents.  Transportation and childcare are available.  Call to reserve a space!  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – LABYRINTHS: Celebrate the leap year by learning about and venturing through a labyrinth!  Do you know the difference between a maze and a labyrinth?  Learn tonight at Hart Yoga Studio.  Visitors will learn about labyrinth patterns, the special meaning of the leap year, and the special uses of labyrinths in every day life!  Registration requested.  413-625-2800.  1 Ashfield Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA. (Donation)

7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Owl and Raven hosts a workshop on talking about sex.  Open to all, the workshop will be run by a trained sex educator.  Any topics you want to discuss or ask questions about are okay- get advice on talking to kids of all ages about sex, learn what to do when teens become sexually active, and more.  413-341-6494.  2 Conz Street #42 (Maplewood Shops).  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

7pm - SUSTAINABLE FOOD: Visit Williams College tonight for, “Vermont Foodways: Listening to History for a Sustainable Future.”  The event will provide a look at the potential for sustainable food systems in Vermont based on past agricultural practices and system developments.  Hosted by folklorist Gregory Sharrow, the talk will utilize audio field recordings to help illustrate points made.  From the talk, older students can learn about the state of local food production, as well as the effects that past methods have had and will have on the future of local food.  Great supplement for studies of agriculture and sustainability.  Takes place at Griffin Hall.  844 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

7-8:30pm – SING-A-LONG: Join in a community sing-a-long (using the book Rise Up Singing) at Normal Hall in Laurel Park!  Kids of all ages can participate- bring a copy of the book if you have one.  North King Street.  Northampton, 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) ♦
  • 4:45-6pm – 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, March 1st, 2012

"I only recently found out about Hilltown Families, however I check it regularly to see what’s going on all over Western Mass. It is a great resource. I have been to many great events that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. My kids are grown, but I have shared events with friends with kids." - Mariana Luz (Shelburne Falls, 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)

5-8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Enjoy a Celtic-themed night out at the Springfield Museums!  The event includes cocktails, as well as live music from Zoe Darrow and the Fiddleheads, Irish-inspired bites, and demonstrations from museum employees!  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

7-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is hosting a workshop for parents on the development of sexuality in children.  Parents can learn about normal development and what to expect to see in their kids!  Takes place at Clapp Library.  Registration requested.  413-570-3061.  19 South Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE)

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, March 2nd, 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)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS

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)

9:30-11am – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn about the importance of sleep this morning at Bridge Street School with Beth Grams Haxby.  The workshop offers parents a chance to learn new information, as well as share their own strategies for getting kids to sleep.  413-587-1471.  2 Parsons Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – HOMESCHOOL DAY/HISTORY: Old Sturbridge Village’s Homeschool Day is today!  Kids can sign up for hands-on workshops and see demonstrations of cooking down sap, making maple sugar, and using maple sugar in cooking!  It’s a great way for kids to learn about both local history and maple syrup production!  8–733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday today at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum!  There will be a Dr. Seuss book reading with the mayor of Westfield at 10am, birthday cake at 11am, and face painting, crafts, treats, and more happening all day!  413-572-4014.  29 South Broad Street.  Westfield, 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)

12:15-12:45pm – HISTORY: The Amherst History Club hosts a monthly BYO lunch and lecture series!  Today’s topic is the life of Orra White Hitchcock from 1847-1850.  The event is best for older students, and offers a look into the specifics of the history of the community.  Takes place at the Strong House.  67 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

4-4:45pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Your kids can be farmers for an afternoon at Red Gate Farm!  Young Farmers takes place today- kids will get to help out with end-of-day farm chores, meet the animals, and more!  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – THEATER: The Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts presents Legally Blonde: The Musical at Greenfield High School!  The show is about Elle Woods, a determined sorority girl who makes her way to Harvard Law School to win back her boyfriend.  413-863-0001.  1 Lenox Avenue.  Greenfield, MA.  ($)

7-11pm – COMMUNITY DANCE: Dance the night away at a family dance party hosted by Northampton Family Fourth!  The event is a fundraiser for the 4th of July events, and will include delicious food, raffles, and live music from the Mike Hooker Experience.  Takes place at the Look Park Garden House.  North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  ($)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Visit the Springfield Museums tonight for Stars Over Springfield!  Hosted by the Springfield Stars Club, the event will allow kids a chance to learn about what they see above them in the sky each night!  In case of bad weather, there will be a planetarium show.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

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 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Red Gate Farm writes, “Change of Plans! Spring has come early this year (for now) and so the weather has forced us to changed plans. With no more snow remaining on our sledding hill and high winds expected for tomorrow, we will be instead having: Breakfast for Dinner and Movies for the Whole Family In the warmth of our program building we will be serving pancakes, sausages and fresh farm eggs – all complimented with delicious maple syrup made here on the farm. There will also be fruit, orange juice, cocoa, coffee and tea. For entertainment, we will be showing a variety of short, entertaining movies that are fun for the whole family. Possibilities include Wallace and Grommet, Pixar animated shorts, selections from the Ashfield Filmfest and much, much more.”


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