Suggested Events for February 2nd-8th, 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

Ice Sculpture in Northampton

Northampton Center for the Arts writes: “Art celebrates ice one more time, as the third annual Northampton Ice Art Festival gets underway on Friday, February 8, 2013. The public is invited to witness the creation of fabulous ice sculptures that will grace a dozen downtown locations. Work starts at 10 am on the day of the event, and completed pieces will highlight Northampton’s “Arts Night Out,” 5pm-8pm. The icy masterpieces remain on display throughout the weekend—longer, if the weather cooperates.” 10 artists will carve 12 ice sculptures along the streets during Arts Night Out. Download a map here, (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 community development work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Friday-Sunday, February 1st-3rdWINTER FESTIVAL: The city of Greenfield’s annual Winter Carnival takes place all weekend, featuring an incredibly wide variety of wintry family-friendly events, both inside and out!  Highlights include the annual Sleigh Bell Run, a snowshoe trek, public skating, women’s hockey game.  Saturday is Family Fun Day, meaning that there will be lots of exciting indoor events at the Greenfield Youth Center all day long!  There will be a special performance featuring Jack Golden at 10am, a LEGO competition, face painting, crafts, games, and more.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE, $)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Hilltown Families & Flywheel Arts Collective present a Saturday Morning Music Party, a breakfast bash featuring dancing, performances and diversions for kids! Flywheel kicks off the first of two installments of the Saturday Morning Music Party at 10am on February 9th, 2013 at their headquarters in the town hall building at 43 Main Street in Easthampton, MA. This event is free and open to families and kids of all ages. Following breakfast, there will be a screening of a classic episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, an 80s-era, cult-classic kids’ television show. After the show, kids join DJ Youthelectronix for the best ever dance party before noon.

By special arrangement with Hilltown Families, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox is pleased to offer our readers a rare opportunity to take in a classic Shakespearean performance paired with a guided tour backstage. On Friday, Feb. 15th at 10am, schools and homeschooling families are invited to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tina Packer Playhouse, followed by a backstage guided tour where participants can learn how the process of theatre is crafted in the costume shop, prop studio, and production workshop. Tickets for this package are only $8/person and a Study Guide for educators is available to download before attending. To reserve discounted tickets, contact Alexandra Lincoln, and let her know you are a Hilltown Families reader: 413-637-1199 x131. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox. www.Shakespeare.org.

VOTE FOR HILLTOWN FAMILIES! As Hilltown Families enters its eighth year, celebrate the past seven with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2013! Best Blog is listed under the Information Age” category Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 13th. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? Spread the word & share the ❤ love! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

BULLETIN BOARD

Jan 26

On Sunday, Feb 3rd Greenfield Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2 to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4 enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects lead by Center School teachers. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks and more. Kindergarten through 5th grade classes will be open for touring. Admissions information available. All activities are free. www.centerschool.net Birds of Prey Open House, K-5th, Sun. Feb. 3, 1-4pm. Greenfield Center School is now accepting applications for fall 2013.

Feb 2, 9, 16, & 23

Come to Chandler’s Restaurant in South Deerfield for a Fancy Nancy luncheon on Feb. 2nd and 16th at 11am. Dress fancy for the luncheon while a special guest reads Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor. Full kids menu will be available with cupcakes for dessert! Make your reservations soon for Kid’s Cooking Class on Sat., Feb. 9th at 10:30am. $25/child includes lunch, instruction & lunch for one accompanying adult. Space is limited. Turn February vacation into a tropical vacation at our Winter Luau for the kids on Sat., Feb. 23rd at 11am. Full kids menu will be available along with some great specials and summery drinks! Crafts, games & Hawaiian music are on the agenda. Come dressed in your tropical finest! Reservations are requested: 413-665-1277.

Win a pair of tickets for a Parents’ Night Out to the WinklePicker Festival Mardi Gras Ball with music by Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Feb 16 at 8pm at the Ashfield Town Hall. Deadline to enter for a chance to win: 02/12/13 by 11:59pm (EST)..

Feb 15-17

Celebrate the amazing food, festive music & vibrant culture of New Orleans at the 2nd Annual WinklePicker Festival, Feb. 15-17 in Ashfield! It’s a weekend-long Mardi Gras party – costumes, dancing, gumbo and all! This year they’re throwing not one but TWO Mardi Gras Balls. Saturday afternoon it’s a Family Ball with The Primate Fiasco, and that night, a Grown-Ups Ball with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. Sunday lineup: afternoon conversation/performance by Charles Neville & an evening concert with Eilen Jewell. Take a “Cooking New Orleans” class with Chef Carlos Neville, and enjoy authentic New Orleans dinners at Elmer’s, and a Sunday Gospel Brunch too. Advance tickets and more information at WinklePickerFest.com or call 413-638-4003.

Winklepicker Family-Friendly Mardi Gras Ball with The Primate Fiasco! Win a family 4-pack of tickets and shake off the winter blues at the Ashfield Town Hall during a winter afternoon of family-friendly creole fun on Feb 16 at 2pm! Deadline to enter to win: 02/12/13 by 11:59pm (EST).

Feb 16

WinklePicker Festival “Cooking New Orleans” Class: Learn to cook authentic New Orleans cuisine with Chef Carlos Neville, of Susan Spicer’s top New Orleans restaurant, Bayona! Chef Carlos, son of Neville Brother Charles Neville, and a longtime culinary school pastry and baking tutor, will teach you to cook like the biggest chefs do – sublimely. His food is absolutely the best New Orleans food outside that city. The class will be held Saturday, February 16th from 10am – 12:30pm, upstairs at Elmer’s Store, 396 Main St, Ashfield. Just come as you are, all materials needed are included. Capacity is limited; advance registration is strongly recommended. $65/class. Tickets are at Elmer’s Store and www.WinklePickerFest.com, or call 413-628-4003.

Join Sheep Shares Yarn & Fiber CSA and be a part of a local fiber farm. Yarn and/or fiber shares are shipped in spring and fall. Springdelle Farm is a 220 acre sheep farm located in Shelburne’s bucolic Patten District. The farm hosts special events for CSA members: Shearing Day Celebration (April); Strolling of the Sheep (June); Fiber Foliage & Friends (October). CSA has been featured in the Valley Advocate and Massachusetts Preview Magazine. For details visit www.foxfirefiber.com or email: barb@foxfirefiber.com.

Thursdays

Having a Baby? Our Experts Help You Understand Your Options. The staff at Cooley Dickinson’s Childbirth Center know parents lead busy lives. That’s why organizers offer a childbirth education series held weekday evenings and weekends. Each series provide answers to questions about labor, birth, newborn care, breastfeeding, and more. Download the Having a Baby flyer here or register at www.cooley-dickinson.org/events. Baby is here. Now what? Once baby is born, parents don’t know what to expect. Join Beyond Birth, a group of new parents and babies up to four months old, at Cooley Dickinson Hospital Thursdays from 1–3 pm. A parent education specialist guides the group and answers questions. All are welcome no matter where you gave birth.

February

Cup & Top in Florence, MAFebruary is Cup and Top Cafe’s birthday month and it’s turning 7! To celebrate, every day in February, the cafe’s 77th customer will receive a $7 coupon to Cup and Top Cafe. It’s Cup and Top’s way of saying thank you for supporting a family friendly cafe where parents can meet to enjoy fair trade, organic coffee, and delicious food sourced from local farms, while their children enjoy themselves in the creative play space. So stop by Cup and Top Cafe in February, enjoy a treat, browse the walls and shelves adorned by local artists, and give yourself a chance to win! Cup and Top Cafe is located at 1 N. Main Street in Florence. See more at www.cupandtop.com.

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
February 2nd – 8th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

I have 4 must do activities. 1.) Pot Hole Pictures in the Shelburne Town Hall (Loony Tunes air for a Friday and Saturday night during the winter). 2.) Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley, candle stick pins, and you can bring your own pizza. 3.) Northfield Mountain Cross Country Ski Area, rental equipment available and lessons, it is awesome. 4. Greenfield Ice Rink (Collins-Moylan Skating Arena), public skate, it is a must that my kids learn to skate, that’s what makes us New Englanders!” – Emily S. (Shelburne, MA)

6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. – This week in honor of Black History Month we will be rebroadcasting our Underground Railroad Episode (it’s really good!) -Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

8:30am-5pm – CRAFTS: Happy Groundhog Day!  There will be drop-in Groundhog Day-themed crafts all day today at the Westfield Athenaeum.  413-562-6158.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

9am-2:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Hartsbrook School is offering a first aid and CPR course, which will include both traditional and natural remedies.  CPR training will take place from 9-11am.  The first aid portion of the course, covering life-saving skills for critical situations as well as treatments for minor injuries and illnesses, will take place after the CPR training.  Register for CPR alone, or CPR and first aid.  413-775-3320.  Bay Road.  Hadley, MA.  ($$$)

9am-5pm – RAILROAD SHOW: The annual Amherst Railroad Society Railroad Hobby Show takes place this weekend at the Big E, and contains everything related to rail travel, from real life railroad pieces to scale models and extensive hobby train set-ups.  There will be displays from railroad historical societies, hobby builders, suppliers, and more – the event has something for everyone, whether you’re new to studying railroads and model trains of a seasoned enthusiast!  Families can learn about the history of rail travel, and the numerous types of trains and their uses.  Kids can also learn about the history of railroad use in the area, and will learn about how their community has changed over the years.  413-267-4555.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)

9am-8pm – WINTER FESTIVAL: The city of Greenfield’s annual Winter Carnival takes place all weekend, featuring an incredibly wide variety of wintry family-friendly events, both inside and out!  Highlights of today’s many events include the annual Sleigh Bell Run, a snowshoe trek, public skating and a Pioneer Valley Vipers women’s hockey game (both at Collins-Moylan Arena).  Today is also the carnival’s Family Fun Day, meaning that there will be lots of exciting indoor events at the Greenfield Youth Center all day long!  There will be a special performance featuring Jack Golden at 10am, a LEGO competition, face painting, crafts, games, and more.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE, $)

9:30am-3pm – SPORTS: Girls in grades 3-8, as well as older women, can learn about and try new sports at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ National Girls and Women in Sports Day event!  There will be separate workshops for kids and adults, all of which will teach girls and women about participating in sports and the many different athletic opportunities available to them.  The event celebrates the female presence in athletics, and young participants will learn about the hard work that it takes to be a higher level athlete.  Registration required.  Takes place in the college’s campus center gym.  413-662-5000.  672 Church Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Learn all about winter transportation in early New England at Old Sturbridge Village’s Antique Sleigh Rally!  Along with the daily opportunities to learn all about life during the 1830’s and hands-on activities and crafts, there will be horse-drawn sleigh rides, special tours, and, of course, the sleigh rally!  Dozens of antique sleighs will be brought to the village to be showcased and to race across the snow-covered fields at the village.  Families will learn about the many different styles of sleighs and what each one was used for, and will be able to watch the sleigh drivers participate in races.  As you visit, think about how winter transportation has changed over time!  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10-11am  – HISTORY: The Berkshire Museum presents, “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery,” the first in a two-part lecture series featuring author Barbara Krauthamer.  The presentation will use historic images (including the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, Sojourner Truth, abolitionist conventions, and more) to examine what the freedom granted by the Emancipation Proclamation really looked like in the years just after its implementation.  Older students can pair the event with studies of American history and civil rights – gaining a critical understanding of the implications of the historic proclamation can help students better understand the roots of race-related conflicts and inequalities.  The second lecture will take place at the same time on Saturday, February 9th.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

10am-1pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The Greenfield Winter Fare Farmer’s Market takes place today at Greenfield High School!  Today’s market – filled with lots of locally grown and produced foods and other items – will also feature lots of workshops on food, sustainability, and self-sufficiency, as well as a barter market where families can trade their home-grown or homemade goods for other delicious and interesting foodstuffs!  Celebrate local food and add some new flavors to your family’s food.  1 Lenox Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (MARKET)

10am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Stock up on local food and celebrate CISA’s Week of Winter Fare at the Amherst Winter Market!  There will, of course, be a wide variety of local foods to choose from, as well as workshops on food preservation and sustainable living, fun for kids, music, and more!  Takes place at Amherst Regional Middle School.  170 Chestnut Street.  Amherst, MA.  (MARKET)

10am-11:30am - MYO VALENTINES: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!  Sign up to take part in the Eric Carle Museum’s Valentine-making party, which will take place in the museum’s art studio.  If you missed the Art Garden’s valentine-making event, sign up for this one to prepare for the Hilltown Families Valentine Swap!  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

10:30-11:45am – MYO VALENTINES: Make your own Valentines at the Mason Library!  There will be lots of materials for making beautiful cards, and other crafts, too.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES: It’s Groundhog Day!  Celebrate at the Great Falls Discovery Center by learning about the winter habits of the shadow-searching creatures, and make a guess about whether or not winter will last for six more weeks!  There will be stories and crafts, best for ages 3-6.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

11am-12noon – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Visit the Berkshire Visual and Performing Arts Center to learn all there is to know about shadow puppets with Dr. Marmalade!  Presented by Nutshell Playhouse, the event is part of BVPAC’s Family First Saturday Series.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-3pm – HISTORY: Attend an old-fashioned ice harvest at the Old Shop Pond at the Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation.  Dennis Picard, director of Storrowton Village, will teach visitors about the historic practice of cutting ice from the pond to store for the year.  The museum will show a short video about the history of ice harvesting in New England on loop, so that visitors throughout the day can learn even more about winter life in early New England!  860-668-2928.  42 Water Street.  Granville, MA.  (DONATION)

12:30-3:30pm – WRITING/HISTORY: Youth interested in writing can take part in a young writers’ workshop today at the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum!  Local author Jana Laiz will present her book, A Free Woman on God’s Earth, which tells the story of Mumbet Freeman – a Massachusetts slave who won her freedom in a landmark court case.  413-743-7121.  67 East Road.  Adams, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is hosting a workshop for parents and educators titled, “Eight Things You Cannot Teach Your Children.”  Facilitated by Dr. Michael Thompson, school consultant and clinical psychologist, the presentation will share interesting and useful information for anyone working with (or parenting) children.  PDP’s available for teachers.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

2pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Stay out of the cold and watch a family movie at the Westfield Athenaeum!  Today’s screening is, “The Adventures of Tin-Tin,” featuring the beloved children’s character, his canine sidekick, and many of the other classic characters from the book series.  413-562-6158.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

2-6pm – MYO VALENTINES: Make your own valentines this afternoon at Art Party!  Handmade cards filled with love are the very best kind – show off your creativity by making a card to share.  116 Pleasant Street, Suite 249.  Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

3pm – PUPPET SHOW: The New Marlborough Library celebrates “Take Your Child to the Library!” Come by to see Dr. Marmalade and her “Emerge-And-See” Wagon show. 413-229-6668.  1 Mill River-Gt. Barrington Road. Mill River, 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)

4-7pm - FAMILY NIGHT OUT: Enjoy dinner, dessert, and a show tonight – it’s Family Fun Night at the Northampton Parents’ Center!  Families can enjoy some playtime, bring items for a potluck dinner, and have dessert from GoBerry before a concert by Rooster Feet at 5:30!  Rooster Feet is a collaboration between popular children’s musicians Jay Mankita and Peter Siegel – fun for all ages!  The center is located in the basement of Edwards Church.  297 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

6:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Watch “Frankenweenie” tonight at Shutesbury Town Hall!  BYO comfy seat.  413-259-1213.  1 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (<$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7:30pm – JAZZ: Enjoy an evening of classic jazz at the Gateways Inn Restaurant!  The event is a fundraiser for the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School’s high school, and will feature local musicians!  413-528-8833.  51 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

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Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

“Hearty breakfast at Elmer’s (Ashfield, MA) followed by a stroll through Three Sisters Sanctuary (Goshen, MA). Then head to the Old Creamery (Cummington, MA) to warm up with a delicious mug of French hot cocoa.” – Sienna Wildfield (West Chesterfield, 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.

8am-3pm – WINTER FESTIVAL: Today is the last day of Greenfield’s Winter Carnival!  Start out the day by having breakfast with Frosty, then continue celebrating all day long with sledding, a snow sculpture contest, a community tug of war, a demonstration of sled dog racing, hay rides, music, and more – all at Beacon Field!  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-5pm – RAILROAD SHOW: The annual Amherst Railroad Society Railroad Hobby Show takes place this weekend at the Big E, and contains everything related to rail travel, from real life railroad pieces to scale models and extensive hobby train set-ups.  There will be displays from railroad historical societies, hobby builders, suppliers, and more – the event has something for everyone, whether you’re new to studying railroads and model trains of a seasoned enthusiast!  Families can learn about the history of rail travel, and the numerous types of trains and their uses.  Kids can also learn about the history of railroad use in the area, and will learn about how their community has changed over the years.  413-267-4555.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)

10am-5pm – ART: Celebrate the opening of glass artist Noah Rockland’s new glassblowing studio!  Families can learn about the art of glassblowing, watch demonstrations, and learn about the many classes and workshops that the studio will offer in the future!  Demonstrations will take place at 10:15am, 12noon, 2pm, and 4pm.  There will be lots of locally handmade glass items for sale in the studio’s shop, too – pick up something handmade for yourself or get a unique, locally made, gift!  17 North Leverett Road.  Montague, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-4pm – WINTER FESTIVAL: Williamstown’s annual Snowfest celebration takes place this afternoon at the town field house and ice arena.  The event includes tons of fun family activities, and benefits the Williamstown Youth Center, a valuable community resource!  There will be a caricature artist creating crazy portraits of families,lots of arts and crafts projects for kids, a bounce house and inflatable obstacle course (challenging but fun!), and skating on fresh ice at the arena.  49 Latham Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($$)

1-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Field Farm for Winter Wildlife Day at Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation.  Dress warmly to trek around the farm, searching for signs of wildlife and learning about how the many creatures who call the farmlands home survive during the winter months.  Bring snowshoes or skis if you wish.  Warm up after your adventure by toasting marshmallows over a campfire!  413-532-1631.  671 Cold Spring Road.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

1-4pm – OPEN HOUSE: Greenfield Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House Come from 1-2 to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4 enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects lead by Center School teachers. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks and more. Kindergarten through 5th grade classes will be open for touring. 413-773-1700. 71 Montague City Road. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

1-4pm – GARDENING: The Hilltown Seed Saving Network presents, “A Garden Variety Forum,” at the Cummington Community House!  The event is a gathering of home gardeners, where ideas for veggie growing can be shared!  The focus will be on seeds, and the varieties that grow best under what conditions.  Since nobody can try every single type, this is a useful event for gardeners to learn about new varieties and to share their knowledge.  New gardeners (parents or older students with discussion skills) can also use the event as a way to gather information for the upcoming gardening season.  413-358-6919.  33 Main Street.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – CONCERT: Smith College’s John M. Greene Hall will be filled with the sounds of the best of college a capella this afternoon!  The Northampton Arts Council’s annual Silver Chord Bowl will feature groups from Smith College, Northeastern, the University of Connecticut, Yale, Tufts, NYU, and Berklee College of Music, as well as non-collegiate special guests, the Northamptones.  Families will love the unique sound that each group has, and can learn to better understand a capella music by listening to a sampling of well-performed pieces.  413-587-1269.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($$)

2-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY/BOOK READING: Local author Sarah Kilborne will read from American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, the Man Who Turned Disaster into Destiny.  The book tells the story of Skinner’s life, and offers much information about the history of local silk production, and Haydenville’s recovery from the 1874 flood.  Takes place at the Meekins Library.  413-268-7473.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – ART HISTORY: Celebrate the launch of The Clark Museum’s European Paintings Catalogue with a reading of some of the most interesting histories included in the catalogue.  Older students interested in art history can learn about works from different periods and cultures, and will learn about the catalogue, which serves as a great resource for learning about everything from individual paintings to styles of painting to entire centuries worth of art.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

6:30pm – MYO VALENTINES: Kids ages 8-14 can learn basic drawing and print-making techniques with local artists!  These skills can be used to create unique and beautiful handmade valentines!  Registration required.  Takes place at Town Hall, hosted by MN Spear Library.  413-259-1213.  1 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)

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Monday, February 4th, 2013

3:30-5pm – COOKING: The Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy (LYA) is hosting a special cooking class for kids and their adults.  Called “Cooking with Parents and Grandparents,” the class will teach kids how to make traditional foods eaten at Purim, like chocolate hamam hats and shaloch manos.  Kids will also be able to make their own graggers and get their faces painted!  Registration requested.  413-567-8665.  1148 Converse Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

5:30pm – TEEN: Teens deal with a lot of new responsibility and difficult social issues as they grow, and it can often be difficult to communicate with adults about these challenges.  Parents and guardians of teens, as well as teens themselves, are invited to attend Teens Talk About Tough Topics tonight in the Lighthouse at the Pittsfield Boys and Girls Club.  The workshop is a teen-lead forum where attendees can hear about communication issues from a youth perspective and learn tips and tools for strengthening relationships and building communication skills.  Pizza will be served!  413-442-6948.  16 Melville Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – SCIENCE STUDIES: Older students can learn about the science behind the human sense of smell at the OEB Science Cafe!  The event will take place at Esselon Cafe, and will be lead by UMass graduate student Tom Eiting will explain his work researching how nasal passages work and how smell is perceived in the brain.  99 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – MOTHER SUPPORT: MotherWoman is now at Cradle!  Tonight is the first of the new bi-monthly meetings.  Cradle is located on the third floor of Thornes Marketplace.  413-341-5282.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS (As always, 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. (<$)
  • 11am – 12:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: There is a new MotherWoman group forming in the Hilltowns! Today is the first meeting, which will take place at St. John’s Corner. The support group is for pregnant and postpartum mothers, and childcare is available for kids up to age 4. Meetings will be weekly. 413-625-6948. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 2:30-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Toddler group (siblings welcomed) at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 2:30-5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Meekins Library’s Teen/Preteen Time takes place this afternoon! Teens can visit the library to hang out with friends, work on homework, play games, use computers, and check out awesome new books, movies, and music. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30-4:30pm – BREAK DANCE: Learn to break like a b-boy! The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly break dance class, taught by Joshua McHugh, accomplished dancer and dance teacher. 413-499-9348. 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 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. ($) ♦
  • 6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) offers a drop in support group for pregnant women and their support team to explore the different aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Hosted at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time! Basketball equipment will be provided by Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20. Runs through 11/12. 413-565-4163. 95 Grassy Gutter Road. Longmeadow, MA. ($) ♦

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Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

3:30pm – TEEN: Make a colorful bookmark out of paint chips at the Springfield Library!  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: South Berkshire Kids is offering a parent workshop titled, “Don’t Pop Your Cork!”  The workshop, featuring Jeanine Fitzgerald, will discuss strategies for self-care for parents – parenting can be exhausting and trying at times, and often parents forget (or don’t have time) to take care of themselves.  Parents will learn strategies for creating whole family wellness – including themselves.  Takes place at Community Health Programs.  Pre-registration required for childcare.  413-464-5095.  444 Stockbridge Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – COSMOLOGY: Where did the universe come from?  Learn about its origins tonight with cosmologist Lawrence Krauss at Williams College.  Best for older students, the talk will cover recent developments in the field of particle physics, as well as ideas behind why there is something in the universe instead of nothing!  Takes place at Bronfman Auditorium.  413-597-4277.  Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (As always, 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) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – 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)
  • 4pm – READING: Do you ever wish that you could recommend your favorite books to other library visitors? The Forest Park Branch Library invites Forest Park Reads, a special series where families can read new books (or chapters of books) and then rate them using a star system so that other library visitors can choose great new things to read! Takes place on the fourth Tuesday of each month. 413-263-6843. 380 Belmont Avnue. Springfield, 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, February 6th, 2013

3:30-5:30pm – CONCERT: The Mt. Holyoke College Music Department presents flutist Andrea Kapell Loewy, principal in the Acadania Symphony, in concert!  Students with audience skills can learn about the unique sound of this beautiful wind instrument.  Takes place at Pratt Hall.  College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (As always, 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) ♦
  • 2:30-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Toddler group (siblings welcomed) at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, 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, February 7th, 2013

10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Start out your Wednesday with some fresh air – hike Petticoat Hill with the Trustees of Reservations!  The theme of the hike is edible plant identification, and the hike will stop a few times along the way for observations.  Bring a field guide and a camera if you want!  Meet in the parking lot.  413-628-4485.  Petticoat Hill Road.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)

12:15pm – HISTORY: Learn about the history of slavery in the Connecticut River Valley today at the Springfield Museums’ Museums a la Carte lecture, featuring Amherst College Professor Robert Romer.  During the 1700’s, it was commonplace for important, prominent people to own slaves – even ministers!  Older students can learn how the practice of slave-holding affected the history of their community.  Takes place in the Davis Auditorium at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

4-6pm – TEEN: The Springfield City Library hosts an afternoon of gaming for teens – bring your friends, and try out some games for Wii and PS2.  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – SPELLING BEE: The second annual Westfield city-wide spelling bee, Words With Friends, takes place tonight!  Students from all of the city’s fifth grade classrooms have participated in preliminary bees, and this final event will include two top spellers from each school!  Takes place in the Savignano Auditorium in Westfield State’s Wilson Hall.  413-572-6345.  333 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5-8pm – CULTURE/FOOD: Enjoy an indulgent night of wine and chocolate at the Springfield Museums!  There will be wines to taste, chocolates to try, and delicious chocolate hors d’ouevres, as well as guest speaker Donald Williams, a professional wine buyer!  Purchase tickets in advance.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (As always, please confirm before heading out to these suggestions.)

FEATURED: 12noon-1pm: PILATES: BYOBaby! A Pilates Mat Class for Moms and Babies – modified to accommodate for fussiness! Drop-in class with Anneliese Mordhorst at The Pilates Studio. 104 Russell St. 413-586-3504. Hadley, MA ($15/class)

  • 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) ♦
  • 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)
  • 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) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – TALES AND TUNES: At the New Salem Public Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013! 978-544-5157. 23 South Main Street. New Salem, 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) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: At the Hatfield Library, just for preschoolers! 413-547-9237. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Baby group (siblings welcomed) at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, 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) ♦
  • 12noon-1pm: PILATES: BYOBaby! A Pilates Mat Class for Moms and Babies – modified to accommodate for fussiness! Drop-in class with Anneliese Mordhorst at The Pilates Studio. 104 Russell St. 413-586-3504. Hadley, MA ($15/class)
  • 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, February 8th, 2013

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY/HOMESCHOOL: Families can do hands-on activities to learn about early New England life today at Old Sturbridge Village!  The village’s winter homeschool day today will feature a variety of special workshops for all ages, in addition to the daily opportunities to explore the village, meet historical re-enactors, and learn all about 1830’s culture and practices.  Some of the workshops offered today include learning to make a kitchen grater using tin-working techniques, open hearth cooking, and studying the language of fans and dance etiquette.  Registration suggested.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

2:30pm: HISTORY –  Learn about the powerful images that Norman Rockwell created during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Norman Rockwell Museum’s Curator of Education Tom Daly will share the stories behind the creation of such paintings as “The Problem We All Live With,” “Murder in Mississippi,” and “New Kids in the Neighborhood,” and Rockwell’s dedication to civil rights throughout his career. 413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

4:30-7:30pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: American Legion Post 124 is hosting a spaghetti dinner to benefit the March of Dimes!  Enjoy a delicious Italian meal and help to raise money for a great cause.  38 Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  ($)

5:30-7:30pm – ART: Artspace Community Arts Center is currently hosting an exhibition of work from teens at ten local high schools – the show is made up of 2D and 3D works in a variety of different mediums.  Tonight, the gallery is hosting a reception for the teen artists!  Visit to see their work and to learn about their process and inspiration.  413-772-6811.  15 Mill Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

5:30-8pm – ICE ART FESTIVAL: Tonight is Northampton’s monthly Arts Night Out, and also the third annual Northampton Ice Art Festival!  Artists and sculptors will take to the streets beginning at 10am, and will chip and carve away at their ice blocks until they have created beautiful masterpieces!  The carvings can be found throughout downtown Northampton, and families can visit the downtown locations participating in Arts Night Out to see great art by local artists while searching for the sculptures!  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

5:30-8pm – FAMILY NIGHT OUT: Celebrate Mardi Gras with C3 Deerfield!  The group is hosting a special family dance party tonight at the South Deerfield Congregational Church.  Costumes are definitely welcome, and kids can get their faces painted during the party!  There will be mask-making activities, too.  Bring a potluck finger food to share!  71 North Main Street.  South Deerfield, MA.  (<$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

8pm – JAZZ: New Orleans’ own legends the Preservation Hall Jazz Band are playing The Clark tonight!  Playing both Dixieland and traditional jazz, the group represents the historic Preservation Hall’s decades-long musical tradition.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($$$)

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (As always, 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. (<$) ♦
  • 11-11:40am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Mother Goose on the Loose, a special lap-sit story hour for kids under the age of 3. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11-12:50: ICE SKATING: There will be an ice skating session at the Mullins Center for homeschoolers through June ’13. Some skate sessions can be bumped due to UMass ice hockey, so call to confirm before heading out. 413-230-6516. UMass Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA (>$)
  • 2:30-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Toddler group (siblings welcomed) at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 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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