Suggested Events for January 5th-11th, 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

Northfield Mountain host Winter Trails Day this weekend. Winter Trails Day involves almost 100 resorts and Nordic Centers nationwide, and gets thousands of families out on the snow each year! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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, January 5th from 1-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Celebrate Winter Trails Day at Northfield Mountain!  Families (with older children) can learn to snowshoe and/or cross country ski, and will get to explore the location’s beautiful trails!  Skiing workshops will begin at 1, 2, and 3pm, and snowshoeing workshops will begin at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30pm.  Please arrive 30 minutes before your workshop’s start time in order to get fitted for gear. Pre-registration required. 800-859-2960.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, January 6th at 3pm – MARIONETTES: The Cummington Family Center hosts the Tanglewood Marionettes production of, “Hansel and Gretel!”  The classic tale of children lost in the woods will be portrayed using beautiful marionette puppets and intricate backdrops.  The show will take place at Berkshire Trail Elementary School.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (DONATION)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Chris Smither is performing in Ashfield on Saturday, January 19th and Hilltown Families has two pairs of tickets to giveaway for a PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT! Deadline: Jan 17th by 11:59pm (EST).

Saturday, January 12th from 1-4:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Snowshoe the trails at Northfield Mountain with naturalist Kim Noyes!  Families can romp through the woods and learn about ways to find animal tracks (particularly porcupines) and look for clues to the area’s past land use.  Kim will share with families information about using animals signs to identify wildlife, and there will be cocoa around a campfire once the hike is done!  Call to register.  800-859-2960.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE, snowshoe rentals extra)

We’re giving away an amazing CD collection of our top 11 family albums released this past year. Deadline to enter is: Jan 19, 2013 by 11:59pm (EST).

Sunday, January 13th at 1pm – CRAFTING MATERIALS SWAP: Ashfield Needles and Threads is hosting a crafting materials swap at the Ashfield Congregational Church. Bring fabrics, yarn, needles, pattern… plus ideas and encouragement! Clear out some of your clutter while enabling another’s creative genius. Leave with ingredients & ideas for some terrific new projects for the New Year. Enjoy connecting with folks who share your interest as well as with folks who can help you learn a new craft. Bring the kids! All are welcome to come pick out materials whether they have some to donate or not. Main Street. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Hilltown Families 5th Annual Handmade Community Valentine SwapHandmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for the 5th Annual Hilltown Families Handmade Community Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in Western MA.

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.

Jan 16

On Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 6-7:30pm, the Montessori School of Northampton (51 Bates St.) will hold an open house for parents of preschool and elementary students who are interested in applying for admission for next fall. Participants will have an opportunity to visit the school’s Children’s House (preK-K), Lower Elementary (grades 1-3), & Upper Elementary (grades 4-6) classrooms, & meet staff.  Demos of materials. Refreshments served. The school will be expanding its offerings next fall, expanding its 3 day-per-week program for 2-year-olds to full-time, & adding a new Children’s House classroom with more half-time openings for children ages 3-4 & a second Lower Elementary classroom for children ages 6-9. For more info call 413-586-4538.

Accepting applications for fall 2013. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning & living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, upcoming Kindergarten Open Houses, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061 www.bement.org.

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT OR OPEN HOUSE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program 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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 5th, – 11th 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Ice skating at UMass Mullins Center, snow shoeing to the Northfield Mountain Chocolate Pot, and pond hockey and sledding wherever we can!” – Rebecca Chambers (Amherst, 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.  Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

9am-2pm – SKI AND SKATE SALE: The Crocker Farm PTO is hosting Amherst Lions Club’s  2nd Annual Ski and Skate sale this weekend, Fri-Sun!  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)

9am-4:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Bartholomew’s Cobble with the Trustees of Reservations’ yearly Hot Chocolate Saturdays series!  Visitors can hike, snowshoe, and/or 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)

9:30-11am – PUPPETS: Visit the Hatfield Library for a morning of puppets!  Kids can practice creating characters, piecing together stories, and playing cooperatively.  Perfect for letting young imaginations run wild!  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am and 12:30pm – AUDITIONS: The Pioneer Valley Ballet will present a beautifully choreographed stage-version of The Little Mermaid this April, and local kids are invited to audition to be a part of the show!  No dance experience in necessary.  10:30 audition is for boys and girls ages 5-7, and 12:30 audition is for ages 8-12.  Takes place at the Pioneer Valley Ballet studio at Eastworks.  116 Pleasant Street Suite 155.  Easthampton, MA.

11am-12:30pm – THEATER: Spectrum Playhouse hosts, “Just Like Mary,” a family variety show with Linda Peck!  The show is part of the theater’s First Saturday series.  20 Frankin Street.  Lee, MA. (FREE)

11-4pm - OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Celebrate Winter Trails Day at Northfield Mountain!  Families (with older children) can learn to snowshoe and/or cross country ski, and will get to explore the location’s beautiful trails!  Skiing workshops will begin at 1, 2, and 3pm, and snowshoeing workshops will begin at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30pm.  Please arrive 30 minutes before your workshop’s start time in order to get fitted for gear. Pre-registration required. 800-859-2960.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

1-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE/COMIC BOOK ART: 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)

2-3:45pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum screens Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days this afternoon!  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – HISTORY: Learn all about the 150-year-old history of the Emancipation Proclamation at Western Gateway Heritage State Park today!  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building 4.  North Adams, MA.  (<$)

3:30-5pm – CHESS CLUB: The Jones Library hosts a Chess Club for youth ages 7yo and older with Andy Morris-Friedman in the Amherst Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity St. Amherst, MA (FREE)

7pm – ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES/FILM: The Berkshire Museum Little Cinema will screen “Chasing Ice.” This award-winning film is National Geographic photographer James Balog’s documentary of the Arctic with breathtaking imagery that tells of the Earth’s changing climate.  Balog’s videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. A beautiful film to supplement environmental science studies.  Find out more about the film at www.chasingice.com. (1hr 15mins, not rated) 413-443-7171.  39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA.  (>$)

7:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Amherst High School students present the annual Cabaret!  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.

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Sunday, January 6th, 2012

“Holyoke has done a great job making over Community Field. They’re supposed to have ice skating and hot chocolate in the winter.” – Christa Figueroa (Holyoke, 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. 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.
-4pm - OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/ICE SKATING: Celebrate the opening of Community Field’s winter fun!  Skate on the refrigerated ice patch (skate rentals available), go for a snowshoeing adventure, and warm up with some hot cocoa!  1 Community Field Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

12:30-2:30pm – TEEN/SOCIAL JUSTICE: Teens interested in exploring the history of social justice movements (and/or Jewish history) can learn about the Kosher Meat Boycott and its place in the American Labor Movement this Sunday.  Participants will focus on learning about the key ideas of the movement (related to work and time), Jewish ethics, and relevant Jewish cultural history.  The workshop is designed for Jewish teens, but is open to those of any religious or cultural background interested in supplement their learning.  Takes place at Temple Israel.  27 Pierce Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – MARIONETTES: The Cummington Family Center hosts the Tanglewood Marionettes production of, “Hansel and Gretel!”  The classic tale of children lost in the woods will be portrayed using beautiful marionette puppets and intricate backdrops.  The show will take place at Berkshire Trail Elementary School.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (DONATION)

3 & 7pm – PERFORMANCE: Amherst High School students present the annual Cabaret!  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.

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)

7pm – ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES/FILM: The Berkshire Museum Little Cinema will screen “Chasing Ice.” This award-winning film is National Geographic photographer James Balog’s documentary of the Arctic with breathtaking imagery that tells of the Earth’s changing climate.  Balog’s videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. A beautiful film to supplement environmental science studies.  Find out more about the film at www.chasingice.com. (1hr 15mins, not rated) 413-443-7171.  39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA.  (>$)

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Monday, January 7th, 2012

1:30 & 7pm – ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES/FILM: The Berkshire Museum Little Cinema will screen “Chasing Ice.” This award-winning film is National Geographic photographer James Balog’s documentary of the Arctic with breathtaking imagery that tells of the Earth’s changing climate.  Balog’s videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. A beautiful film to supplement environmental science studies.  Find out more about the film at www.chasingice.com. (1hr 15mins, not rated) 413-443-7171.  39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA.  (>$)

3:30-5pm – COOKING: Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy is hosting Cooking With Parents and Grandparents – a workshop where kids and their grown-ups can learn traditional shabbat recipes!  Families can learn kid-friendly ways to make challah, potato knishes, and other treats.  Funded by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.  Registration requested but not required.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS (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.)

  • 9:30-11:30am – 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)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the South Hadley Family Center. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: At the MN Spear Memorial Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013! 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Williamstown Youth Center! Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires. 413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue. Williamstown, 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) ♦
  • 10:30am-12:20pm – ICE SKATING: Smead Arena offers a public skating session this morning – great for families with kids who are still learning to skate, daytime skating sessions offer low-key and less crowded ice time. Open ice times take place at the same time Monday-Friday. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (<$)
  • 2:30-5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Meekins Library’s Teen/Preteen Time takes place this afternoon! Teens can visit the library to hang out with friends, work on homework, play games, use computers, and check out awesome new books, movies, and music. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30-4:30pm – BREAK DANCE: Learn to break like a b-boy! The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly break dance class, taught by Joshua McHugh, accomplished dancer and dance teacher. 413-499-9348. 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – ANIME: The Springfield Central Library hosts Anime and Manga Club on Monday afternoons! Kids enthusiastic about the popular Japanese style of animation and cartooning can visit the library to read new manga and watch great anime! 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-7pm – SCRABBLE: Enjoy an evening of friendly Scrabble at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center! Open to anyone ages 8+, the game night offers families an opportunity to practice fair play and basic sportsmanship while allowing kids to expand their spelling, vocabulary, and basic practical math skills. Sponsored by Bobbie Halig and Jenny and Adam Hersch. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires holds gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6-7pm – MUSIC: Learn to drum, Afro-Carribbean style! The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly drum class, lead by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots. Drums available to borrow. 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time! Basketball equipment will be provided by Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20. Runs through 11/12. 413-565-4163. 95 Grassy Gutter Road. Longmeadow, MA. ($) ♦

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Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

6pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Frank Grindrod of Earthwork Programs will share strategies for preparing your family for an emergency tonight at River Valley Market.  Participants will learn what things are best to have on hand, and what strategies to have prepared for a variety of emergencies, including a power outage, extreme weather, being lost in the wilderness, etc.  Registration required, space is limited.  413-340-1161.  North King Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (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)
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: At Farmington River Preschool for kids 5 and under, sponsored by the Community Health Coalition. 413-664-0104. 555 North Main Road. Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30 or 11am – STORYTIME: The Westfield Library hosts storytime for kids 6 months – 3 years today. Registration required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, 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)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center! 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: It’s Baby Day at the South Hadley Family Center! 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Berkshire Athenaeum! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Dickinson Library! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10-11am - PARENT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a mother’s group for Spanish-speaking moms at Brightwood Health Center. 413-796-8365. 380 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Preschool playgroup learning experiences at the Haskins Center! Takes place on the lower level. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: At the Greenfield Library. 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) ♦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) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: At the Lanesborough Library! Stories, crafts, and music for all ages. 413-499-5981. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am-12:15pm – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a Postpartum Support Group for mothers. The group is a safe space for those adjusting to motherhood and is lead by trained facilitators. Takes place at Berkshire Children and Families. Childcare available. 413-253-8990. 220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Visit the Great Falls Discovery Center for Kidleidescope, an environment-themed program for kids! Interactive learning opportunities and crafts always included. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Springfield Central Library’s preschool storytime takes place this morning. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: The Lenox Library offers storytime for kids 18 months-3 years. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, 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) ♦
  • 3-5pm – TEEN: It’s Teen Tuesday at the Chicopee Library – visit for a new activity every week. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – PARENT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a support group for young mothers and expecting women between the ages of 13 and 19. Group meetings are held bi-weekly and are drop-in. Babies welcome! Takes place at Mercy Care Holyoke. 413-886-0410. 306 Race Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the gym at the Abbot School. 56 North Country Road. Florida, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – BREASTFEEDING: The La Leche League of North/Central Berkshires meets every third Tuesday at The Montessori School of the Berkshires. 21 Patterson Road. Lenox Dale, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30-8pm – MUSIC: The Berkshire South Regional Community Center hosts a free ukulele group tonight! Beginners and kids without any knowledge of music reading can join in – the class will teach basic chord progressions and styles of playing from around the world. Registration requested but drop-in is OK. Sponsored by Bobbie Hallig and Jenny and Adam Hersch. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

9-10:30am – OPEN HOUSE: LGA Schechter hosts a community tour for prospective parents.  Visit classrooms. Speak with current parents, students, teachers and administrators. Learn what an LGA education is all about. 413-584-6622.  257 Prospect St.  Northampton, MA (FREE)

9:45am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore the Housatonic Flats Reserve with the Berkshires Natural Resources Council – the area is a protected floodplain forest, and provides a unique and interesting area to experience.  Call to register.  413-449-0596.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – TECHNOLOGY: The Westfield Athenaeum is offering a special Nook petting zoo today!  Families can try out the devices and learn about some of their features – trying out a Nook can be helpful if you’re thinking about buying one!  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE) 

6:30-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn more about the Brain Gym program with Childcare of the Berkshires!  The program focuses on utilizing movement to promote brain stimulation, and parents will learn about the basic principles that the program focuses on.  Takes place at Abbott Memorial School.  Registration required.  413-664-4821.  56 North County Road.  Florida, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – MUSIC/HISTORY: Sing along to traditional southern worksongs with Max Godfrey and Friends at Williams College!  The collection of songs included were originally created by prisoners, but have been rediscovered by agricultural workers and are sung to make hard labor more bearable.  Most follow a simple call-and-repeat format, and are, as a result, quite easy to participate in and learn quickly.  Godfrey works to search through recordings in order to share them with people in order to keep up the musical tradition.  The event will include dinner, and lots of music!  Students of any age will love singing along, and the event can be tied in with studies of the history of rural America and American agriculture.  Takes place in Goodrich Hall.  Registration requested. 413-597-4277.  863 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

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 10th, 2013

OPEN HOUSE: Bement School hosts open house. 413-774-7061. 94 Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA (FREE)

9:30-11am – PRESCHOOL FAIR: The Northampton Parents Center is having its annual Preschool Fair at the Parents Center in the lower level of Edwards Church. Representatives from local Northampton based preschools (and a few from neighboring towns) will be on hand to answer questions. Corner of Main & State St. (entrance on State St.) Northampton, MA (FREE) [Snow date: 1/17]

6:30-7:30pm – DOCUMENTARY/CONSERVATION: The Trustees of Reservations screen, “The Work of 1000,” at the Wistariahurst Museum!  The film is about environmental pioneer Marion Stoddart’s work to restore the Nashua River after years of pollution from industrial manufacturing.  Stoddart, along with communities along the river and the Trustees of Reservations, helped to lobby successfully for the Massachusetts Clean Water Act, and helped to set a standard for treatment and respect of bodies of water.  Stoddart will be in attendance to share her experiences firsthand and answer questions.  Great for older students (grades 4+) learning about conservation and community organizing.  Pair with a family reading of Lynne Cherry’s book, A River Ran Wild, which tells the natural and human-impacted history of the river alongside beautiful illustrations.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – WORKSHOP: The Valley CDC is hosting a four-part workshop series for first-time homebuyers!  There are a lot of benefits to participating if you’re about to buy your family’s first home – the certified class will help families get access to special loan programs, will teach participants how to access money for down payments and closing costs, and will share information about many other parts of home shopping and the legal processes that come with home-buying.  Registration required, and space is limited.  Takes place at Florence Savings Bank’s main branch.  413-586-5855 ex 16.  85 Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

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 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 11th, 2013

5-8pm – ART: Northampton Arts Night Out

6pm – FILM/HISTORY: The MIFA Theater screens the documentary, “After the Factory,” in the Great Banking Hall at the South Hadley Falls Bank and Trust Building.  The documentary examines how the cities of Detroit, Michigan and Lodz, Poland have dealt with sustaining their populations and re-strengthening their post-industrial economies.  Both cities have rich and interesting histories, and the film fits well with studies of American and European history.  The film is also relevant for studies of local history, as the city of Holyoke is facing similar issues.  A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit restoration of the Victory Theater.  56 Suffolk Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

6:30-8:30pm – TWEEN/TEEN DANCE: Berkshire South Regional Community Center hosts a Winter Wonderland Semi-Formal New Year’s Dance for youth ages 11-14yo. Dress up in your fancy pants (no jeans or sneakers) and dance into the evening.  15 Crissey Road.  Great Barrington, 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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