Suggested Events for December 29th, 2012-January 4th, 2013

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in Western Mass, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families 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/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Saturday, Dec. 29th 11am and 2pm - CHILDREN’S THEATER: Berkshire Children’s Theater presents, “Pinkalicious!” at the Berkshire Museum!  The show is a musical stage adaptation of the book of the same name, and is about a little girl learning how to exercise her self control!  Pinkalicious loves anything pink, but her special favorite are pink cupcakes – and, despite her parents cautioning, she eats so many that she turns pink!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

Sunday, Dec. 30th from 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Springfield MuseumsWacky Week comes to an end today, as kiddos head back to school tomorrow.  Special events and activities for the day include a chance to make silly finger puppets, family science adventures (11am-2pm), New Year’s mask-making, and a performance from BubbleMania!  BubbleMania: Effervescent Entertainment is filled with comedy and wit, and will teach audience members all about the amazing magic of bubbles – all to a soundtrack of swing music!  800-625-7738.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, January 5th from 1-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Northfield Mountain host Winter Trail Days for families with older children interested in trying snowshoeing and/or cross country skiing for the first time.  Free 45 minute clinics are being offered to first time skiers or who have never tried to ski. Equipment provided.  Pre-registration required by calling 1-800-859-2960.  99 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA (FREE) 

Sunday, January 6th at 6:30pm – THREE KINGS DAY: Celebrate Three Kings Day at the 40th annual caroling event at the Red Lion Inn!  The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception will lead visitors in Christmas carols on the steps of the inn, and the event will also include treats for all.  413-298-3691.  30 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Jan 5

Pioneer Valley Ballet will present its spring production of The Little Mermaid on April 6th and 7th at Northampton’s historic Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton, MA. Auditions will be held at the PVB studio at the Eastworks Building (116 Pleasant St.) in Easthampton on Saturday, January 5th for boys and girls ages 5-12yrs. Roles include pearls, crabs, sea horses, starfish and water sprites No dance experience necessary. Please visit www.pioneervalleyballet.org for registration information and audition times, or call the studio at 413-527-6363. Dancers with pointe experience, please contact the studio for additional audition schedules.

Jan 9

Interested in Jewish education? Looking for a progressive school with stellar teachers, vibrant community, and a values-based curriculum? Come to LGA Schechter’s Community Tour for Prospective Parents on Wednesday, January 9th, 9-10:30am. Visit classrooms. Speak with current parents, students, teachers and administrators. Learn what an LGA education is all about! Contact Principal Marcia Holden at mholden@lgaschechter.org or call 413-584-6622 to RSVP — or set up an individual tour on another day. Lander Grinspoon Academy is a Jewish day school located at 257 Prospect St. in Northampton, MA. For more info visit www.lgaschechter.org.

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT OR VACATION WEEK CAMP: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your holiday event, open house, afterschool class, homeschool program, community celebration, workshop, school, or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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

Hilltown CDC is hosting a Community Development Forum on Monday, Jan 14 at 1pm at their offices in Chesterfield, MA. Hilltown residents are invited to come discuss housing needs, senior center needs and a variety of social service needs including the Hilltown Elder Network, the Health Outreach Program for Elders, the Food Pantry, and needs for young families including Child Care subsidies and Families Together. Do you have concerns about, compliments for or ideas on how to improve any of these programs in the Hilltowns? Do you have new ideas to share that could be developed further? All ideas are welcome. RSVP to Dave at 413-296-4536 x118 by Jan. 9. If you are unable to attend, you can still send feedback via email to davec@hilltowncdc.org.

Catherine Wolkowicz writes, ” A hilltown family has a personal connection to the tragedy in Sandy Hook. I have a connection. My sister, her first grade son and husband live there. They were lucky. If there is such a thing for any child who attends Sandy Hook Elementary School.” … Read Catherine’s letter to our community and about the Sandy Hook First Grade Survivors Fund she has established.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 29th, 2012 – January 4th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

“I am a great fan of the Hilltowns, especially Worthington. Hilltown Families helps keep me connected on things that are affordable to do.” – Catherine Salisbury (Plainville, 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.  – HFVS producer Sienna Wildfield and co-host (5yo) host a rebroadcast New Year’s Day episode with music about both world and inner peace for the New Year.  Music by Babtunde Olatunji, Cat Stevens, Elizabeth Mitchell, Sweet Honey in the the Rock, Michelle Shocked, Pete Seeger and many other amazing musicians. – Story: Fawnie Byer reads “Peace Feather Story” off of Peace in the World Smiling-Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

9am-4:30pm - OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Bartholomew’s Cobble with the Trustees of Reservations – the yearly Hot Chocolate Saturdays series begins this week!  Visitors can hike, snowshoe, and/or cross-country ski at the Cobble (weather depending, of course), and end their excursion with a cup of cocoa in the visitor center.  Families can practice looking for signs of birds and mammals, and can explore the changes that have taken place to the landscape since winter set in.  413-229-8600.  Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  (FREE with admission)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Old Sturbridge Village is open for school vacation!  Kids get free admission, and families can enjoy a host of historic and seasonal activities, including (weather-dependent) sledding and skating!  There will also be indoor performances of all sorts, crafts demonstrations, and hands-on activities for kids.  Families can learn about life in early New England, and the many different skills and resources that 1830’s life required.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  (KIDS FREE, $)

10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: It’s Wacky Week at the Springfield Museums – meaning that there are lots of extra activities and performances for kiddos who have been home from school!  Today’s activities include making magic scratch glasses, creating New Year’s masks, family science adventures (11am-2pm), and a performance by Dinoman Dinosaurs!  Dinoman will take the audience on a trip through the Mesozoic era, using magic, mayhem, and spectacular props.  800-626-1138.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

10:30am – LEGO CLUB: The Sunderland Library has a Lego Club meeting today! Children ages 6yo+ and their adults can come and practice their engineering and architectural skills while getting creative and sharing their inventions.  Limited space. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA (FREE)

11am and 2pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Berkshire Children’s Theater presents, “Pinkalicious!” at the Berkshire Museum!  The show is a musical stage adaptation of the book of the same name, and is about a little girl learning how to exercise her self control!  Pinkalicious loves anything pink, but her special favorite are pink cupcakes – and, despite her parents cautioning, she eats so many that she turns pink!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

11am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Mass MoCA is open and offering lots to see and do for families during school vacation!  The KidSpace will be open, and there will be museum tours (for older students) at 11am and 3pm, as well as a special tour of the Sol Lewitt exhibit at 1pm.  Families can explore the museum galleries and learn about the many different pieces exhibited!  413-662-2111.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

1-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Make your own comic book art at drop-in workshops at the Norman Rockwell Museum!  The museum is currently hosting an exhibit of comic book art by Alex Ross, and the activities included in the workshops will give kids a chance to create their own comic book-style artwork.  Superheroes will be roaming the museum, too – be sure to visit the galleries to find them!  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

2-3:30pm – SWIMMING: Take a dip in the heated pool at Wilderness Adventures!  Families welcome to enjoy the special holiday vacation pool party (young children must be potty trained).  Registration required.  413-569-1287.  526 College HIghway.  Southwick, MA.  ($)

2pm & 7:30pm  – HOLIDAY PERFORMANCE: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Eric Hill and presented for the second time at The Colonial Theatre. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

3pm – COMMUNITY SING: Join Berkshire Lyric in singing Handel’s Messiah - a popular and beautiful piece, perfect for celebrating the holiday season.  Takes place at the First United Methodist Church.  Don’t sing?  Just listen!  413-499-0258.  27 East Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (DONATION)

3pm – MARIONETTES: Puppeteer Carl Sprague will present a marionette production of the classic Brothers Grimm tale, “Hansel and Gretel” at Ventfort Hall. After the show, kids can meet the antique puppets used in the show at a Victorian Tea, and there will also be an opportunity to learn about the puppeteer’s methods. 413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($) 

5-11pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Forest Park is still lit up for the holidays for Bright Nights!  Visit to see the beautiful and elaborate Bright Lights displays, and enjoy an evening out in the crisp winter air.  413-733-3800.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6:30-8pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Bring your sweetheart or good friend to Hilltop Orchards, home of Furnace Brook Winery, for a full moon snowshoe trek and bonfire.  There will also be wine tasing and live entertainment following a 1.5 hour guide trek through the woods.  Snowshoe rentals available too.  RSVP 800-833-6274. 508 Canaan Rd. Richmond, MA ($$)

8pm - LIVE MUSIC: Celebrate New Years Eve a few days early at the Arts Block!  The Roger Salloom Band, Charles Neville, and Jessica Freeman will play a fantastic show at Brick Wall Bistro.  413-774-0150.  289 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  ($$)

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Sunday, December 30th, 2012

“Hilltown Families has every option to relieve boredom or engage happily with our community. I can’t tell you how many wonderful events I’ve attended with my three kids that I may have otherwise missed out on! Thanks for the service.” – April

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. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Old Sturbridge Village is open for school vacation!  Kids get free admission, and families can enjoy a host of historic and seasonal activities, including (weather-dependent) sledding and skating!  There will also be indoor performances of all sorts, crafts demonstrations, and hands-on activities for kids.  Families can learn about life in early New England, and the many different skills and resources that 1830’s life required.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  (KIDS FREE, $)

10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The Springfield MuseumsWacky Week comes to an end today, as kiddos head back to school tomorrow.  Special events and activities for the day include a chance to make silly finger puppets, family science adventures (11am-2pm), New Year’s mask-making, and a performance from BubbleMania!  BubbleMania: Effervescent Entertainment is filled with comedy and wit, and will teach audience members all about the amazing magic of bubbles – all to a soundtrack of swing music!  800-625-7738.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

11am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Mass MoCA is open and offering lots to see and do for families during school vacation!  The KidSpace will be open, and there will be museum tours (for older students) at 11am and 3pm, as well as a special tour of the Sol Lewitt exhibit at 1pm.  Families can explore the museum galleries and learn about the many different pieces exhibited!  413-662-2111.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

12noon-1:30pm – KAYAKING: Learn to kayak with Wilderness Adventures!  Since it’s cold outside, kayaking will take place in an indoor heated pool.  Open to ages 8-12.  Registration required.  413-569-1287.  526 College Highway.  Southwick, MA.  ($$)

12noon – 2pm – YOUTH EXHIBIT: Opening reception for  a group exhibit titled Places We Live, Play & Learn: Narratives of Life by Western MA Youth Photographers, comprising of 20 Western MA youth ages 10-18. All are welcomed to an opening reception at the Community House Gallery.  Youth participants in this group exhibit were encouraged to explore, document and share their connections to their hometowns through photographic images and an accompanying narrative. Combined, the pieces together reflect and communicate how these participating youth view and understand their local history, culture and/or community values, as well as the significance of the physical spaces surrounding them.  33 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)

1-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Make your own comic book art at drop-in workshops at the Norman Rockwell Museum!  The museum is currently hosting an exhibit of comic book art by Alex Ross, and the activities included in the workshops will give kids a chance to create their own comic book-style artwork.  Superheroes will be roaming the museum, too – be sure to visit the galleries to find them!  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

2pm & 3pm – MARIONETTES: Puppeteer Carl Sprague will present a marionette production of the classic Brothers Grimm tale, “Hansel and Gretel” at Ventfort Hall. After the show, kids can meet the antique puppets used in the show at a Victorian Tea, and there will also be an opportunity to learn about the puppeteer’s methods. 413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($) 

2pm & 7:30pm  – HOLIDAY PERFORMANCE: Berkshire Theatre Group presents its annual community production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted by Eric Hill and presented for the second time at The Colonial Theatre. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA ($$)

4pm – COMMUNITY SING: Join your voice in a community sing of Handel’s Messiah at the Village Congregational Church.  The Cummington Philharmonic Orchestra will play, and there will be featured soloists as well.  413-634-5320.  32 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

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Monday, December 31st, 2012

New Year’s Eve

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Old Sturbridge Village is open for school vacation!  Kids get free admission, and families can enjoy a host of historic and seasonal activities, including (weather-dependent) sledding and skating!  There will also be indoor performances of all sorts, crafts demonstrations, and hands-on activities for kids.  Families can learn about life in early New England, and the many different skills and resources that 1830’s life required.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  (KIDS FREE, $)

10am-4pm - FIRST NIGHT, Jr.: Enjoy performances, music, museum adventures, merry-go-round rides, and more today as part of Holyoke’s First Night, Jr., a special family celebration to ring in the new year!  Popular magician Ed Popielarczyk will share illusions, there will be live ice-carving, families can get unique balloon sculptures created, the merry-go-round will be offering unlimited rides, and there will be lots of other special guests and events.  Mayor Alex Morse will even do a New York-style ball drop!  413-356-5438.  Dwight Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

11am – NEW YEARS: Celebrate New Years Eve as a family at a kid-friendly time of day!  Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle is hosting a special daytime New Years celebration, where kids will get celebratory noisemakers, can enjoy interactive entertainment from guitarist Tom Carroll, and can participate in a just-for-fun apple cider toast!  Call for reservations.  800-243-1776.  25 Greenfield Road.  South Deerfield, MA. ($$)

11am-12noon – MAGIC: The Berkshire Museum hosts magician David Hall for a special New Year’s magic show!  Hall performs amazing magical illusions, and is helped by magical bunny, Hocus.  (Meet Hocus after the show!)  Tickets include museum admission.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

11am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Mass MoCA is open and offering lots to see and do for families during school vacation!  The KidSpace will be open, and there will be museum tours (for older students) at 11am and 3pm, as well as a special tour of the Sol Lewitt exhibit at 1pm.  Families can explore the museum galleries and learn about the many different pieces exhibited!  413-662-2111.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

12noon-12midnight - FIRST NIGHT: Northampton’s First Night provides endless opportunities for family fun today!  The 12-hour event features a wide variety of performances at spaces throughout town.  Families can see puppet performances, learn about numerous types of music and instruments, watch local youth share their skills in a talent show, see incredible feats of physics performed by the A to Z yo-yo team, watch family-friendly theater, and dance along to local favorites for kids and adults.  The event is sponsored by the Northampton Center for the Arts, and raises money to help support the center’s programming.  Families must purchase buttons (which serve as tickets to any and all of the events) to wear throughout the night.  413-584-7327.  Northampton, MA.  ($$)

2:30-8pm – FIRST NIGHT: Wilbraham will celebrate New Year’s Eve as part of their 250th Celebration.  There will be live music, food, entertainment, and fireworks! Wilbraham, MA (FREE)

5-11pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Forest Park is still lit up for the holidays for Bright Nights!  Visit to see the beautiful and elaborate Bright Lights displays, and enjoy an evening out in the crisp winter air.  413-733-3800.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

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

8pm-1am – HISTORY: Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation – and celebrate, the new year, too! – with historical reenactments, celebration, and more!  Taking place at the Sovereign Bank building, the city of Springfield’s unique new year’s celebration will be hosted by the Peter Brace Brigade, and will feature historical reenactors, dressed in period clothing and Civil War uniforms.  There will also be music, treats, and celebratory champagne for adults.  Tickets available at the Springfield Armory, the Mason Library, and the Springfield Republican, as well as other locations in the city.  1350 Main Street.  Springfield, MA. ($$)

10pm – NEW YEARS EVE: Jiminy Peak is celebrating the new year with a beautiful torchlight parade down the mountain as soon as the ski lifts close.  The parade will be followed by fireworks over the mountain.  413-738-5500.  37 Corey Road.  Hancock, MA.  ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

9pm – NEW YEARS EVE: Ring in the New Year at Popcorn Noir’s Glitter Ball!  The restaurant will be open at 5pm, but the party doesn’t start until 9!  Live DJ music will begin at 10pm, providing the perfect soundtrack for the fun-filled bash.  There will be tarot card reading, gogo dancers, hula hooping, costumes, and more!  413-529-4647.  32 Cottage Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

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Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

New Year’s Day

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Old Sturbridge Village is open for school vacation!  Kids get free admission, and families can enjoy a host of historic and seasonal activities, including (weather-dependent) sledding and skating!  There will also be indoor performances of all sorts, crafts demonstrations, and hands-on activities for kids.  Families can learn about life in early New England, and the many different skills and resources that 1830’s life required.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  (KIDS FREE, $)

10:30am - FIRST DAY HIKE: Celebrate the new year at the DAR State Forest!  Meet at the warming hut for a short, family-friendly hike.  413-268-7098.  78 Cape Street.  Goshen, MA.  (FREE)

11am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Mass MoCA is open and offering lots to see and do for families during school vacation!  The KidSpace will be open, and there will be museum tours (for older students) at 11am and 3pm, as well as a special tour of the Sol Lewitt exhibit at 1pm.  Families can explore the museum galleries and learn about the many different pieces exhibited!  413-662-2111.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

1pm – FIRST DAY HIKE: Commune with nature as you enter the new year – explore the Pittsfield State Forest on a First Day Hike with the Mass DCR.  The 45-minute trek will follow the Tranquility and Hawthorn trails – dress warmly, and bring your dog if you’d like!  Meet at the State Forest Ski Lodge.  413-499-4263.  1041 Cascade Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – HISTORY: Ring a bell to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation!  Churches throughout the Pioneer Valley will be letting the beautiful sound of bells ring out through the crisp air in remembrance of Lincoln’s landmark policy to end slavery – celebrate in your own home by ringing bells and learning together about the history surrounding the proclamation and the changes that it brought to the country. Pioneer Valley, Western MA (FREE)

5-11pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Forest Park is still lit up for the holidays for Bright Nights!  Visit to see the beautiful and elaborate Bright Lights displays, and enjoy an evening out in the crisp winter air.  413-733-3800.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

10:30-11:30am – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts Kids Create!, a special hands-on look at art for preschoolers and their accompanying adults.  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (With the beginning of the New Year, ongoing events may change their schedules.  While we are confirming and updating over the next couple of weeks, please confirm before heading out to these suggestions.)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer-Monson Family Network hosts infant and toddler play group! 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Bi-weekly in the community room at Becket Town Hall, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-664-0104. 65 Walker Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Lenox Community Center, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-644-0104. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am or 1:30pm – STORYTIME: Fantastic Fours and Fives takes place today at the Westfield Library! Registration is required for storytime. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center! 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: At the South Hadley Family Center. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:45-11:15am – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts, “Getting Real about Motherhood,” a support group designed to help mothers share the stress and adjustments of motherhood and work to find ways to feel renewed, valued, and energized. Takes place at the Amherst Family Center, in the basement of the Unitarian Society. Childcare available. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Wendell Free Library hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 978.544.5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime at the Westhampton Library! 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am - PARENT GROUP: Enjoy coffee and a chat with other parents at the Westhampton Library – stop in after dropping kids off at school through the end of Sept.! 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Sunshine Storytime! 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – ART: The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts, “Creating Together: A Parent-Child Experience,” an art workshop featuring a gallery tour and hands-on art making. Each week brings a new theme and art style to explore. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183 Stockbridge, MA. ($) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: In the gym at Erving Elementary School, hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413- 423-3326. 18 Northfield Road. Erving, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: Hosted by the Mason Library – also includes stories, songs, and crafts. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the New Marlborough Library, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-644-0104. 1 New Marlborough-Great Barrington Road. New Marlborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: At the Leverett Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30: SINGING: Sing with Your Baby with Wendy happens at the Jones Library. For preK kids and younger, and their parents/caretakers. Takes place in the Woodbury Room. Runs through Dec. 18. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity St. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 11-11:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler Time with Stephanie at the Forbes Library! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – GYMNASTICS: Whip City Gym hosts homeschool open gymnastics! The event is not a formal class, but offers kids unstructured play time physical activity amongst true gymnastics equipment. Great for kids interested in gymnastics, dance, or cheerleading, and gym playtime can also help kids work on balance and coordination. Takes place through the school year. 413-569-3231. 320 College Highway. Southwick, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 1-3pm – CHESS: Drop-in chess games in the mezzanine at Forbes Library. All ages, BYO chess set or borrow one. Playing chess can help kids develop logic and analytical skills. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc. 413-323-8728. 66 State Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30pm – LEGOS: The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts LEGO Club on the third Wednesday of each month. Kids can use LEGOs to experiment with basic principles of architecture, physics, and design. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ♦ (FREE)
  • 3-5pm – MOVIE: The Mason Library screens classic films every Wednesday afternoon! The “Mason Matinee” is best for tweens/teens and adults – call to find out what’s playing. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:30pm – STORYTIME: The Ramsdell Library hosts Time for Tots, and special story, craft, etc. time for littlest kiddos. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:50-4:30pm – ICE SKATING: Visit Fitzpatrick Arena for an afternoon of skating! The rink offers daily public skating sessions at the same time, Monday-Friday. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 4pm – CHESS: Visit the East Longmeadow Library for some afternoon chess! Playing chess can help kids develop analytical skills and logic. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: At the Cushman Library! 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-7:30pm – KNITTING: The Wednesday Night Knitters meet tonight at the Cushman Library! Knitters with any level of experience are welcome to join – bring a project to work on! No formal instruction is offered, but if help is needed, there will be many experienced knitters on hand. Great intergenerational opportunity for kids learning how to knit. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Sing your heart out with Berkshire Sings!, a community singing group at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Singers of all abilities welcome (adults, too) to sing pop, jazz, folk, showtunes, and more. Sponsored by Bobbie Hallig and Jenny and Adam Hersch. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time! Basketball equipment will be provided by the Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20. 413-565-4163. 95 Grassy Gutter Road. Longmeadow, MA. ($) ♦

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Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Test your knowledge of Springfield history at a trivia-themed Culture and Cocktails event at the Springfield Museums!  Visitors can also explore the Wood Museum of Springfield History’s newest exhibit, titled, “The John F. Kennedy Experience!”  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (With the beginning of the New Year, ongoing events may change their schedules.  While we are confirming and updating over the next couple of weeks, please confirm before heading out to these suggestions.)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Health Coalition hosts Toddler Steps Playgroup at the CHP building. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30 or 11am – STORYTIME: Westfield Athenaeum hosts Terrific Twos and Threes – storytime for kids ages 2 and 3! Registration required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: The Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys and Girls Club hosts playgroup this morning, including snack, stories, playtime, music, and crafts. 413-583-3527. 488 Chapin Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center! 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC CLASS: The Northampton Parents Center is open this morning! Thursday mornings feature music class at 11a with Felicia Sloin or Tom Knight (alternating weeks). Located in the basement of Edwards Church. 413-582-2636. Main and State Streets. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Music and Movement Group meets at the Millers Falls Library! 413-863-3214. 23 Bridge Street. Montague, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Springfield Central Library hosts storytime for kiddos 6 months-3 years. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – SUPPORT GROUP: Longmeadow Rec Dept hosts a New Moms Group at the Greenwood Center! 413-794-5515. 231 Maple Road. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: At the Williston Memorial Library! Stories, snacks, and more. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Preschool story time at the Jones Library in the Children’s Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity St. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Lenox Library offers storytime and crafts for kids 3-5 years old. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC CLASS: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Thursday morning music classes will be from 11 to 11:30 am with Felicia Sloin and Tom Knight alternating weeks. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: At the Hatfield Library, just for preschoolers! 413-547-9237. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires holds gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-3pm – PLAYGROUP: Baby playgroup at the Forbes Library! In the children’s room with Judy. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a post-partum support group for mothers with babies up to a year old. Childcare available. Takes place at Midwifery Care of Holyoke. 413-534-2700. 230 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc. 413-323-8728. 66 State Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5-8pm – ART WALK: On the first Thursday of every month, the Amherst Art Walk takes place. Families can enjoy arts and culture, entertainment, shopping and dining. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 6-10pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Visit the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College! It’s home to a large variety of natural wonders, including the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks and lots of exhibits on local natural history. 413-542-2165. 11 Barrett Hill Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Sing some chanteys and bar songs at the Brewmaster’s Tavern- and order some delicious food and drinks while you sing! Takes place on the first and third Thursdays of each month. 4 Main Street. 413-268-7741. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Friday, January 4th, 2013

6-9pm – SKI AND SKATE SALE: The Crocker Farm PTO is hosting Amherst Lions Club’s  2nd Annual Ski and Skate sale this weekend!  Visit to score some great new-to-you gear to fit your growing family’s winter outdoors needs.  There will be experts on hand to help families match gear to their specific sizes, abilities, and needs – ensuring excellent purchases!  413-256-6857. Crocker Farm Elementary School. 280 West Street.  Amherst, MA.  (SALE)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Visit the Springfield Museums for Stars Over Springfield, an exciting skygazing event at the museums’ observatory!  Hosted by the Springfield Stars Club, the event will help kids learn about the things that they see in the sky every night.  In case of overcast weather, a planetarium show will be presented instead.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

7:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Amherst High School students present the annual Cabaret beginning tonight and running through the weekend. The show features a variety of exciting, entertaining talent, and table service is available for the purchase of special cabaret treats.  413-362-1700.  21 Matoon Street.  Amherst, MA.

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

8pm – CONCERT: Yes, Maria, Yes!  You can see the David Wax Museum tonight at the Colonial Theatre!  The group – named one of the best acts at the 2011 South by Southwest festival – plays a fusion of Mexican folk, American roots, and indie rock.  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (With the beginning of the New Year, ongoing events may change their schedules.  While we are confirming and updating over the next couple of weeks, please confirm before heading out to these suggestions.)

  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: In the gym at Shutesbury Elementary School, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • F9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At Whole Children, for little ones up to age five. 37 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – MOVIE: The Berkshire Athenaeum shows short kids’ movies every Friday morning. Call to check what’s playing! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building. 413-527-5496. Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am - SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a postpartum support group for mothers with babies up to a year old at the Community Action Family Center. Childcare available. 413-475-1566. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: On the first and third Fridays of each month, the YMCA of Greenfield hosts Jump Into Fitness playgroup! Lots of fun physical activity. Snack provided. 413-475-1543. 451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: The Mason Library hosts Young Children’s Storytime this morning! 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: For little ones at the Pelham Library! 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Monson Library’s baby group takes place this morning – kiddos ages 0-2 and their caregivers can visit for stories, songs, and playtime. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Heath Library offers bi-weekly storytime throughout the fall. 413-337-4934. 1 East Main Street. Heath, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Griswold Memorial Library! 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – PLAYGROUP: The Haskins Center hosts baby group! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the community room at the Lanesborough Town Hall. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – AQUARIUM ADVENTURE: Meet an animal at the Berkshire Museum! Friends from the aquarium will be shared, and kids can learn all about them through stories and activities. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 11-11:40am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Mother Goose on the Loose, a special lap-sit story hour for kids under the age of 3. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11-12:50: ICE SKATING: There will be an ice skating session at the Mullins Center for homeschoolers through June ’13. Some skate sessions can be bumped due to UMass ice hockey, so call to confirm before heading out. 413-230-6516. UMass Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA (>$)
  • 7-10pm – TWEEN: Kids in grades 6-8 can enjoy a fun night out with friends at the Greenwood Center! Hosted by Longmeadow Rec Dept, the event features DJ dance music, and will be supervised by adults. Dress code is the same as school, and students must sign in before entering. Takes place on the second and fourth Friday of each month. 413-565-4163. 231 Maple Road. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Williams College’s Milham Planetarium offers free shows on Friday evenings! Using the planetarium’s Zeiss Skymaster, Williams students will teach visitors about all sorts of astronomical phenomena, including phases of the moon, retrograde planetary motion, varying colors/temperatures of stars, constellations and zodiac signs, and more! Reservations recommended but not required. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 8:30pm-12:30am – DANCE: Dance the night away at Dance Spree, a family-friendly, substance free, barefoot community night of dancing! Kids of all ages are welcome, but young children must be accompanied by adults. Takes place on the 4th floor of the Fitzwilly’s building. 25 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦

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