Suggested Events for February 9th-15th, 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

This weekend, 1,410 handmade tokens of community & friendship will be circulating through the USPS to be distributed throughout the four corners of Western MA as part of the 5th annual Handmade Valentine Swap!  Thank you to all of the families who joined us this year!  It was another great swap!

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

[RESCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10th] 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. Snow date: Sunday, February 10th at 10am.

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

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.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Hilltown Families and the Berkshire Theatre Group have partnered up to offer a free family 4-pack of tickets to one lucky family to The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater on Tuesday, February 19th at 2pm, at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA!

ART RECEPTION:  Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit of Life and Landscape in Western MA is currently being shown at the Forbes Library’s Hosmer Gallery!  There will be an artist reception on Wednesday, February 13th from 6-8pm, a chance to view the images featured here on Hilltown Families over the years, meet the artist, and reflect on what it means to live, work, and play here in Western MA.  The show’s vibrant images showcase some of the best – and most beautiful – parts of life unique to our area, and celebrate local culture and values.  413-587-1013.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Children’s Theater at Williston Northampton performs “Wondrous Tales of Old Japan,” and Hilltown Families has a family 4-pack of tickets to giveaway for the opening day!

KIDS ICE FISHING DERBY IN THE HILLTOWNS: Ashfield Rod &  Gun Club’s annual children’s ice fishing derby.  This year’s annual children’s ice fishing derby will be held on Saturday, February 16th on Ashfield Lake, from 8am to 12Noon.  All school age children are invited to attend and take part in this fun event.  Prizes will be awarded. After the fishing derby there will be a spaghetti lunch held at Sanderson Academy ($5 for adults).  Following the lunch a presentation will be given by Tom Ricardi on birds of prey. For more info call Joe Miraglia 413-628-4400, or Ken Magdycz 413-634-5585. Ashfield, MA (FREE)CHILDREN’S CONCERT: Johnny Appleseed, The Legend and Truth, will be performed, among other works, by Jane Yolen, accompanied by musicians at the Smith College Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall on Saturday, February 16th. Northampton, MA (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

Feb 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.

Feb 16

Sunnyside Child Care Presents: “Hot Choco LA LA LA.” Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Mister G! “Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar…Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” – The Washington Post. “Mister G is the musical equivalent of a tasty chocolate bar infused with a spicy chili kick!” -Scholastic Family and Children. Warm up with yummy hot chocolate, coffee, and pizza. Chill out by doing art with your friends. Join Sunnyside on Saturday February 16th from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine St. Florence MA). Tickets just $5 per person ($20 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. www.sunnysidekids.org

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 9th-15th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

“Make a batch of Hot Cocoa to go, pack some snacks & sleds and head to the closest hill with a group of friends for a sledding party!” – Susan Clark

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. – Children’s book author and musician Johnette Downing and Grammy Award winning producer Scott Billington offer a carnival of Louisiana roots music; a showcase of Cajun, New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, Zydeco, Brass Band and Jazz music by Louisiana artists.  -Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

Many events are being cancelled or postponed for Saturday. Click on the banner to read updates and to share updates.

8-11am – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Fill up on pancakes to benefit the Colrain Central School’s 5th and 6th grade trip to Washington DC!  22 Jacksonville Road.  Colrain, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

8:30am-5pm – CRAFTS: Visit the craft table at the Westfield Athenaeum to make a masterpiece using special materials!  No registration required – just drop-in while selecting some new books to read.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

9-11am – PLAYGROUP: The Montessori School of the Berkshires is hosting a special parent-child playgroup for kids up to age 5.  Kids 16 months-3 years and explore and play in the Toddler Room, and kids ages 3-5 can enjoy the Children’s House, where toys, learning materials, and more will be readily available for lots of exciting, educational play.  Snack, music, and stories included.  Registration requested.  413-637-3662.  55 Pittsfield Road.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

[POSTPONED UNTIL MARCH] – 9am-1pm – COMMUNITY BUILDING: What would Greenfield look like 10-20 years from now in an ideal world?  Share your vision today at a workshop to help kick-off the development of the Greenfield Comprehensive Sustainable Master Plan!  Parents and mature high school students can participate in the event to share their ideas, hopes, and visions for the future of Greenfield.  Many community issues will be discussed, including transportation, housing needs, economic development, and the preservation of natural resources.  Refreshments provided!  Takes place at Three Rivers Charter School.  413-774-5667.  248 Colrain Road.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

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

[CANCELED SATURDAY, HAPPENS SUNDAY] 9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go together like peanut butter and jelly!  Learn about the history of chocolate – bean to bar – and Valentine’s Day traditions today at Old Sturbridge Village.  Families can make their own valentines and meet the local women responsible for the tradition of sharing cards on Valentine’s Day.  The tradition began with handmade cards, and grew into an entire company!  There will also be demonstrations of chocolate processing and the making of a hot, spiced chocolate drink.  Families can also learn a 19th century recipe for chocolate cake!  There will, of course, be the usual opportunities to learn about life in early New England that Old Sturbridge Village offers.  Families can supplement studies of American history and culture by visiting the village, and make their visit fun and holiday-related by learning about Valentine’s Day traditions!  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

[CANCELLED] 10am – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Clark hosts a special art-making workshop and gallery tour for pre-schoolers and their parents!  Dress to get messy – this week’s theme is color and shape.  Kids can gain inspiration from some art displayed in the galleries and will be able to use materials to create their own masterpieces.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.

[POSTPONED] 10-11am  – HISTORY: The Berkshire Museum presents, “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery,” the second 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.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission) 

[RESCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10th] 10am-12noon: DANCE PARTY: 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. 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. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) – Snow date: Sunday, February 10th at 10am.

[RESCHEDULED TO MARCH 9th] 10am-12noon – ANIMAL STUDIES: Families can learn all about bird banding today at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary!  There will be banding demonstrations going on throughout the morning, so feel free to drop in whenever is convenient.  There will be demonstrations of proper use of mist nets – used to catch birds for banding – as well as the proper handling of small birds.  Before visiting, do a family study of the scientific purpose of bird banding – you’ll appreciate the demonstrations even more!  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, MA.  (<$)

[POSTPONED TO MARCH] 10am-1pm – PRESCHOOL FAIR: The Springfield Area MOMS Club is hosting a preschool fair today!  Families can visit to find out about the numerous preschools in the Springfield area, and the Forest Park Zoo on the Go will be on hand with creatures to meet!  Takes place at Trinity United Methodist Church.  361 Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE) 

[POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE] 10am-2pm – BOOK SALE: Find some new books to read while the weather stays cold!  The Worthington Library is hosting a book sale today at Worthington Town Hall.  160 Huntington Road.  Worthington, MA.  (SALE)

[RESCHEDULED TO SUNDAY, FEB 10th] 10am-4pm – CRAFTS: Need to get something for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day?  Shop the Handmade With Love craft and gift market!  The event takes place in Eastworks, and will feature everything from handmade jewelry to bath products, home decor to textiles – all made with locally sourced and/or repurposed materials.  116 Pleasant Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (MARKET)

[POSTPONED TO A LATER DAY] 10am-4pm – CRAFTS: Don’t let your kids grow up to be JPEGs!  The Pelham Library is hosting a day of scrapbooking.  ring your  photos, album, paper, memorabilia, glue, pens and a lunch or snack and  work with others to put together your photos with the stories that go with them.  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA (FREE)

[CANCELED] 10:30am – MUSIC HISTORY: The Jones Library hosts Quattro Cor: From the Forest to the Concert Hall – A History of the Horn.  The program – which is for ages 4-10 – will share a basic, kid-friendly history of how the horn changed from being used as an outdoors instrument for hunting and military use to being featured in classical music.  There will be live music and horns to see, too!  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Kids can learn some basic cooking skills this morning at Chandler’s Restaurant!  This special class will teach kids how to execute a basic recipe, and will give them some practice with kitchen skills like measuring, following a recipe, and doing basic math.  Families will be able to learn about the proper utensils to use and simple techniques to make foods more delicious, too!  Registration required.  413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA.  ($$)

[MOVED TO 2pm] 11am-12noon – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Visit the Berkshire Museum to learn all about bats!  This special program accompanies the museum’s new exhibit, “Bats: Out of the Cave and Into the Night,” and includes opportunities for families to try out Bat-Bot, and to try out a mock extinction activity.  Takes place on the second Saturday of each month, through May.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

11am-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Visit MASS MoCA today – for free!  Along with the usual opportunities to learn about (and make) modern art by visiting the museum’s galleries, there will be special performances, tours, and workshops today, too!  Families can learn all about the many works of art housed at MASS MoCA  by taking tours which will be held throughout the day.  Visitors ages 16 and older can take part in a dance workshop with Batsheva Ensemble (bring water and a towel!).  The day ends with a family-friendly psychedelic Latin dance party featuring the sounds of Brooklyn’s Chicha Libre!  Tickets to the show cost extra for those over 12.  413-662-2111.  Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE) – As of Friday afternoon, organizers say it’s still on, but please double check before heading out.

12noon – MOVIE: The The Forest Park Library is screening, “Trouble With the Curve,” a PG-13 movie that is great for families with older children.  Free popcorn!  413-263-6843.  380 Belmont Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

[RESCHEDULED TO SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16th] 12noon-3pm – HISTORY: How did New Englanders keep their food cold and enjoy cool drinks during the summertime, before the invention of refrigerators?  With ice, harvested from local lakes and ponds!  Watch (and help with, if you choose!) a traditional ice harvest on Nashawannuck Pond today – the event will allow visitors to learn about the annual harvests that were once an important winter activity in New England, and will teach them about the many different instruments used to cut the ice and how they were transported.  Perfect for families interested in local history, or as a supplement to studies of life and culture in early America.  Observe from the ice, or from the observation deck.  Parking is available in the muicipal lot.  50 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

[POSTPONED TO LATER DATE] 12:30-2:30pm – VALENTINES: The Palmer Historical and Cultural Center is offering a workshop on vintage valentines today!  Participants will learn about the history of valentines (the roots of which are local!), see images of antique and vintage valentines, and make their own historically-inspired handmade cards.  Registration requested.  413-289-9295.  2072 Main Street.  Palmer, MA.  (<$)

[RESCHEDULED TO MARCH 17th] 1pm – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Local children’s author Jarrett Krosoczka and musician Jef Czekaj have teamed up for the most exciting and musical book reading that the Eric Carle Museum has ever hosted!  The two will use a combination of punk rock, rap, and drawing to share stories!  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA (FREE with museum admission)

[RESCHEDULED TO SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16th] 1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Norman Rockwell Museum’s newest exhibit is filled exclusively with locally made art – and it’s all from high school-aged artists!  The annual Berkshire County High School Art Show is returning for its 27th year at the museum, and features work from local students in a variety of media, including paint, sculpture, and drawing.  Families can meet the artists whose work is being shown, and budding artists are invited to a lecture by James Warhol (nephew of pop artist Andy Warhol).  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA. 

[RESCHEDULED TO SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 10th] 1-6pm – WINTER FESTIVAL: Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride, race down a hill in a cardboard box, play some frisbee (winter style!), watch fireworks, taste chilis entered in the chili cook-off, a marvel at ice sculptures, and practice your cross-country ski skills today at Winterfest Amherst!  The annual event takes place at the Cherry Hill Golf Course, and features tons of exciting winter-themed family activities.  Beat cabin fever and spend the day outdoors!  413-256-4071.  323 Montague Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE, $)

2pm – FILM: The Clark is screening Lawrence of Arabia as part of the Widecreen Wonders film series!  A tale of the Middle East during World War I, the film won seven Oscars!  It’s a must-see for any film enthusiast.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – PERFORMANCE: Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School students present, “Manden Diata: The Lion King of Mandingue,” at the Academy of Music!  The show is the world premier of the stage version of the story, written by valley artist Kabisko Kaba.  PVPA’s African dance troupe WOFA! will be featured in the show, as well.  413-584-9032.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

2-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: The Berkshire Natural Resources Council is hosting an animal tracking expedition at Steepletop!  Explore the area – abundant with signs of wildlife – on foot or by snowshoe, if you like!  Participants will learn to tell the difference between cat and dog tracks, and will learn the best places to find tracks and other signs of animals.  Meet at the Old Inn on the Green to carpool.  413-499-0596.  Route 57.  New Marlborough, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – VALENTINES: Make your own unique valentines this afternoon at the Berkshire Co-Op!  Kids can use a variety of found objects to create collage-style cards, and can even make their own hidden messages using a special scratch-off paint!  413-528-9697.  42 Bridge Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

3-4:30pm – LEGOS: Let your creativity run wild at the Jones Library’s monthly LEGO Club meeting!  Kids can practice design skills, work on cooperation while collaborating with other visitors, and, for younger kids, practice basic motor and matching skills.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

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.  (FUNDRAISER)

[RESCHEDULED TO FEBRUARY 16th] 5-8pm – ART WALK: Easthampton’s 5th annual Fire and Ice Art Walk takes place tonight!  The event features, of course, beautiful and interesting artwork by local artists and locations throughout town, and will also offer exciting wintery activities for families.  There will be a bonfire at Nashawannuck Pond from 5-6:30pm, luminaries, live music, poetry readings from 6:30-7:30 at participating Art Walk locations, and a collaborative community art project titled, “For the Love of Easthampton, Valentines for the City,” will be taking place at city hall for families to participate in!  413-527-8278.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE) 

7-8:30pm – ASTRONOMY: What do you see in the night sky?  Learn about the constellations that you can find above you tonight at Northfield Mountain!  The program will take place both inside and out, and will teach participants not only how to find and identify constellations, but some of the stories behind them, too!  Registration required.  800-859-2960.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm – MOVIE: Pothole Pictures screens Never Cry Wolf at Memorial Hall!  The movie is a story of a man studying wolves in the Canadian tundra, and shares lessons on humans’ role in the greater ecosystem of the planet.  Live music from Daniel Hales and the Frost Heaves begins at 7pm.  413-625-3052.  51 Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (>$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6-9pm – IRISH MUSIC: The Blackburn Inn hosts an evening of traditional Irish music tonight!  Local group Banish Misfortune will play reels, waltzes, and airs!  413-238-0144.  144 Huntington Road.  Worthington, MA. 

8pm – THEATER: Mill City Productions presents Almost, Maine, a story of love in a fictional small-town community.  The residents of the remote town in which the show takes place fall miraculously in and out of love as the Northern Lights sparkle above!  Takes place at Mill City Theater in Building 4N of Western Gateway Heritage State Park.  State Street.  North Adams, MA.  ($)

• Return to Top


Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!

“I live in Goshen MA: check out our library, all welcome; visit DAR State Forest for trails and roads to explore, snowshoe and cross-country ski; everyone who can walk can snowshoe! Make snow cream: mix 5-6 c. fresh fluffy snow with cream and maple syrup, add vanilla, stir well–and enjoy!! Enjoy what only winter can offer, put a smile on your face, and spring will come sooner.” – Alison Bowen (Goshen, 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.

DAWN – ICE FISHING DERBY: The Williamsburg Road and Gun Club is hosting their annual ice fishing derby today at the DAR State Forest!  Participants have until 2pm to check in their fish, and there will be prizes awarded to those with largest fishes.  If families don’t want to participate, they can visit the derby to learn about the New England tradition of ice fishing!  Cape Street.  Goshen, MA.  (<$)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Chocolate and Valentine’s Day go together like peanut butter and jelly!  Learn about the history of chocolate – bean to bar – and Valentine’s Day traditions today at Old Sturbridge Village.  Families can make their own valentines and meet the local women responsible for the tradition of sharing cards on Valentine’s Day.  The tradition began with handmade cards, and grew into an entire company!  There will also be demonstrations of chocolate processing and the making of a hot, spiced chocolate drink.  Families can also learn a 19th century recipe for chocolate cake!  There will, of course, be the usual opportunities to learn about life in early New England that Old Sturbridge Village offers.  Families can supplement studies of American history and culture by visiting the village, and make their visit fun and holiday-related by learning about Valentine’s Day traditions!  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-4pm – CRAFTS: Need to get something for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day?  Shop the Handmade With Love craft and gift market!  The event takes place in Eastworks, and will feature everything from handmade jewelry to bath products, home decor to textiles – all made with locally sourced and/or repurposed materials.  116 Pleasant Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (MARKET) – [Rescheduled from Saturday, Feb 9th.]

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

11:30am-3pm – DOG SHOW: Pooches of all shapes and sizes strut their stuff today at Berkshire Community College in the 12th annual Not Your Average Dog Show!  There are lots of non-traditional categories for pups to compete in, including mystery mutt, best trick, most beautiful eyes, “earresistable” ears, and more.  Dog lovers of all ages will love spectating at this event.  Takes place at BCC’s Sanderson Field House.  1350 West Street.  Pittsfield, MA.

12noon-2pm – VALENTINE’S DAY: The Randall Boys and Girls Club holds their annual father-daughter dance this afternoon!  Girls can attend with dads, step-dads, uncles, grandfathers, and friends – it’s a great way to make memories and bond with male role models!  413-583-2072.  91 Claudia’s Way.  Ludlow, MA.  ($)

1pm – AUTHOR TALK: Author Mac Barnett and illustrator Jon Klassen will talk about their collaborative work for Extra Yarn at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art today!  Families can learn about how the Caldecott Honor book’s story was developed, and can even register to win their own copy (register online before the event!).  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

1-3pm – VALENTINES: Use antique valentines for inspiration at a valentine-making workshop at the Wistariahurst Museum!  There will be plenty of materials on hand, along with Victorian poetry and sayings to embellish your artwork with.  Registration suggested.  413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

1-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Snowshoe with the Trustees of Reservations at Peaked Mountain!  If there isn’t enough snow, a hike will take place instead.  Snowshoes available for rent with registration.  413-532-1631.  Butler Road.  Monson, MA.  ($)

1-4pm – GARDENING: Do you have seeds left over from last year?  Want to expand your collection to prepare for this year’s garden?  Visit Greenfields Market today for the Cabin Fever Seed Swap!  You can trade leftover seeds from past years’ purchases or trade seeds that you have saved yourself.  The idea is to help the community diversify their garden contents without having to buy many new packs.  413-773-9567.  144 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

1-6pm – WINTER FESTIVAL: Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride, race down a hill in a cardboard box, play some frisbee (winter style!), watch fireworks, taste chilis entered in the chili cook-off, a marvel at ice sculptures, and practice your cross-country ski skills today at Winterfest Amherst!  The annual event takes place at the Cherry Hill Golf Course, and features tons of exciting winter-themed family activities.  Beat cabin fever and spend the day outdoors!  413-256-4071.  323 Montague Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE, $) – Rescheduled from Saturday, February 9th.

1:30pm – MUSIC HISTORY: The Springfield Museums host a lecture titled, “Les Paul’s New Sound: Re-Imagining the Electric Guitar in 1950’s America,” featuring Smith College professor Steve Waksman.  The talk will teach visitors about the role that Les Paul’s music played in the changing sound of American music during the mid-20th century.  Also featured will be Quinnipiac University professor John Thomas, who will share his process of x-raying vintage guitars to examine their craftsmanship.  Great for older students interested in music, music history, and cultural studies and ties into the current exhibit, GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World. 800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

1:30-3:30pm – ADAPTIVE ICE SKATING: Fitzpatrick Arena is hosting monthly adaptive skating events!  There will be ice sleds available, as well as walkers, and those in wheelchairs can bring their chairs right out onto the ice!  Non-adaptive ice skating is welcomed too, and there will be some simple games for all to participate in.  413-545-5758.  575 Maple Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – MARDI GRAS: Celebrate Mardi Gras and Carnival together at Mardival!  The Academy of Music hosts this special performance, featuring the Expandable Brass Band, Samba SA, and the Jaimoe Jasssz Band with special guests Samirah Evans and Duke Robillard.  The event will share New Orleans-style jazz and Brazilian music to celebrate the annual celebration of Carnival in New Orleans and Rio de Janero.  800-838-3006.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($$)

2pm – VALENTINES: The Odyssey Bookshop is hosting a Valentine’s Day storytime and crafting party today!  Hear a special story and exercise your holiday-themed creative genius.  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

2-3:30pm – WEAVING: See a display of needlework in the Springfield Central Library’s Wellman Hall, and then work on your own crochet and hand-weaving skills!  All skill levels are welcome, but young weavers/crocheters/knitters should be mature and able to interact with adults easily.  Guidance will be offered for beginners.  BYO materials.  413-263-6828.  220 State Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

2-3:50pm – ICE SKATING: Join the Cummington Family Center for a field trip to the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink.  Great chance to connect with other families with young children while having fun ice skating! 413-664-8185. 1267 Church St. North Adams, MA. (>$)

2-4pm – LIBRARY APPRECIATION: The Meekins Library hosts, “Love for Your Library,” a Valentine-themed party where the community is invited to show their love for Meekins!  Come dressed as your favorite book character, do a scavenger hunt, make valentines, and decorate a delicious cookie.  Twelve fantastic meals are part of the winter raffle. Buy five tickets for five dollars and stand a chance to win one of eleven wonderful spreads.  413-268-7473.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)

5:30-8pm – COMMUNITY SING: Visit Earthdance for an evening of singing and movement with center co-founder Penny Schultz!  Bring an item to share for a potluck dinner after the sing (7-8pm).  All ages and abilities welcome!  252 Prospect Street.  Plainfield, MA.  (FREE)

• Return to Top


Monday, February 11th, 2013

WEDNESDAY IS THE LAST DAY 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

6pm – STORYTIME: Get dressed for bed and head to the library for a special pajama storytime!  The Westfield Athenaeum is offering parents a night off from reading – BYO teddy bear or blanket.  Call to register.  Ages 2-4.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, 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. ($) ♦
  • 6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) offers a drop in support group for pregnant women and their support team to explore the different aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Hosted at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 7pm – MOTHER SUPPORT: MotherWoman bi-monthly meetings at Cradle, 3rd floor of Thornes Marketplace.  413-341-5282.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time! Basketball equipment will be provided by Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20. Runs through 11/12. 413-565-4163. 95 Grassy Gutter Road. Longmeadow, MA. ($) ♦

• Return to Top


Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY 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

10am-5pm – SCIENCE: Students from Pittsfield High School and Taconic High School present their projects for the Science and Innovation Fair at the Berkshire Museum today!  Approximately 170 students have participated in preparation for the event, and 80 collaborative projects will be displayed.  Visitors can learn about the projects and ask questions about the young scientists’ methods and processes, and will also get free admission to see the museum’s exhibits.  Students can be inspired by the projects that they see, and the high schoolers can serve as role models for independent work and scientific inquiry.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

3-4:30pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Mardi Gras is coming up – prepare for the celebration by making a mask at the Forest Park Library!  There will be feathers, beads, glitter, and more to make beautiful, unique masks with – express yourself, cajun-style!  413-263-6843.  380 Belmont Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – VALENTINE’S DAY: Visit the Sixteen Acres Library this afternoon for a special Valentine tea!  Kids ages 5-8 and their parents can learn about different kinds of tea and have some treats (including chocolate milk in place of tea, if they prefer!) – and there will be a special edible craft, too!  Wear a fancy hat or don one borrowed from the library.  Registration required. 413-263-6858.  1187 Parker Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

4-5:30pm – VALENTINES: Still need to make some last-minute valentines?  The Williston Library children’s department is hosting a pre-Valentine’s Day celebration that will include card and craft making, and a performance of “Little Bear’s Valentine” by Emily’s Players.  413-529-1605.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – LIBRARY SCIENCE: Interested in learning more about the many different e-readers available?  Did you know that you can borrow books electronically from your library?  Learn more tonight at the Agawam Library!  Cynthia Laino of CWMARS will be on hand to answer families’ questions about choosing the right e-reader (and in what situations it makes a good alternative to books) and finding library resources.  Registration requested.  413-798-1550.  750 Cooper Street.  Agawam, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6-9pm - VALENTINE’S: The Art Garden is hosting an adult valentine-making workshop.  They will provide inspiring and whimsical examples, personalized guidance, and a plethora of materials for you to create your own one-of-a-kind valentines and/or a set of block-printed cards.  No prior art experience is necessary.  413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA ($$)

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) ♦

• Return to Top


Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

LAST DAY TO 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

10am-12noon –  OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Look for tracks and other signs of wildlife today at Mt. Greylock with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council!  The 2-4 mile expedition will take about 2 hours, but is relatively easy.  Hikers can see a new beaver lodge, and can wander through some of the many game trails created by the wildlife who call the mountain home.  An excellent supplement to studies of local biodiversity and natural resources!  413-499-0596.  Gould Road.  Adams, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – READING: Read and review new books at the East Forest Park Library!  The library has a special system where families can use star stickers to share what they think of a book with other families – share your opinion and help future readers choose good books!  413-263-6836.  122 Island Pond Road.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – ART RECEPTION: Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit of Life and Landscape in Western MA is currently being shown at the Forbes Library’s Hosmer Gallery!  Tonight’s opening reception is a chance to view the show, meet the artist, and reflect on what it means to live, work, and play here in Western MA.  The show’s vibrant images showcase some of the best – and most beautiful – parts of life unique to our area, and celebrate local culture and values.  413-587-1013.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

7-8pm – ART/CULTURAL STUDIES: Learn about the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities of the Bardo Mandala, a piece of Tibetan artwork, at UMass’ Augusta Savage Gallery.  The piece will be interpreted along with a selection of photographs from the Newark Museum’s collection.  The gallery is located in the New Africa House.  Infirmary Way.  Amherst, 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. ($) ♦

• Return to Top


Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Spend a day back in time during school vacation week, Feb. 18-22!  Storrowton Village – the Big E’s very own 19th century village – is offering a unique opportunity for kids to dress in period clothes and learn firsthand about early New England culture and customs.  Kids can spend time as students in the village’s schoolhouse, and will learn games and crafts often done by the area’s first settlers from eastern Massachusetts.  The one-day program takes place on February 20th or 21st from 10am-3pm.  Contact the village at 413-205-5051.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.  ($$)

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Send students off for a full day of wintry science at the Flying Cloud Institute!  On Thursday, February 21st from 9am-3pm, the institute hosts Winter Science Day – kids will learn about everything from why the roads are salted in a storm to what tracks they might be most likely to find in their own backyard.  Open to grades 2-6 – back lunch, and bring clothes for spending time outside!  413-229-3321.  New Marlborough, MA ($$)

10am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Silly children’s book The Gruffalo – about a mouse’s adventures in the woods – comes alive on stage in musical form today at UMass’ Bowker Auditorium!  The Gruffalo – a musical performance straight from London – provides fun songs, lots of laughs, and some small scares for kids ages 3+ and their adults.  Read the book at home before seeing the show and compare the two afterwards!  413-545-2116.  University Drive.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Chapel Brook with the Trustees of Reservations and learn to identify moss and lichen species!  The 1-2 hour hike will include lots of stops for observation and identification practice, so bring any interesting field guides or other resources if you’d like!  413-628-4485.  Williamsburg Road.  Ashfield, MA.

11am-3pm – CREATIVE FREE PLAY: The Berkshire Museum and Pop-up Adventure Play offer families a special opportunity for creative free-play throughout (and just before) school vacation week!  10 Days of Play brings a roomful (literally!) of materials to build anything a child’s heart desires – cardboard boxes abound, along with necessary items like scissors and duct tape.  Families can build castles, mazes, space ships, and other fantastic creations together, allowing kids to exercise their creativity, take part in non-commercialized educational play, and work on skills for cooperation and collaboration.  Kids can play at the museum multiple times, too- every day brings a new adventure.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

[RESCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28th DUE TO ILLNESS] 12noon-12midnight: DANCE-A-THON: Dance away and raise money for It Takes a Village with a twelve hour dance-a-thon at the Cummington Community House.  Maureen Shea will provide music, mats for stretching, and props for the young and the not-so-young.  The dance floor will be open for all ages!  Come for ten minutes, stay for two hours: you choose.  Bring your sweeties or simply bring yourself. 413-634-5431. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

1pm: MUSIC/MOVEMENT: Free demo class of Music Together, a music & movement program, at the home of Sondra Lewis, director of Springfield Music Together. RSVP. 413-667-3231. 12 Main Street, Huntington, MA (FREE)

3pm – FOOD/HISTORY: Hold your pinky high – it’s time for a fancy tea at Ventfort Hall!  In honor of Valentine’s Day, the museum is hosting a special tea-tasting event, where visitors can learn about the history of specific tea blends, as well as the origins of teas and recent changes in the tea market.  Special emphasis will be placed on the history of the JP Morgan blend, a special tea commissioned by JP Morgan himself – it was his favorite!  Best for older students with some background in world history and basic economics, the event will help students learn about world trade, and the changes in food sourcing and sales throughout American history.  BYO teacup!  Victorian high tea to follow the tasting.  413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

3-4pm – TEEN: Craft yourself silly at the Westfield Athenaeum!  Teen craft time will feature fun materials that visitors can use to make something special for someone (after all, it’s Valentine’s Day!), or just to make something for themselves.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

5:30pm – LIBRARY APPRECIATION: Give your library the greatest Valentine of all – some new books!  Families can choose books to donate to the Stockbridge Library – in exchange, name plates will be created to honor each patron’s donation.  Families can choose from books of all genres and reading levels.  Choose some family favorites to make sure that other families can enjoy them, too!  There will be holiday treats and crafts for kids.  413-298-5501.  46 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5:30-8:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Spend Valentine’s evening at MASS MoCA – there will be tours, gift-making, romantic games, and couples yoga.  End the evening with dinner at Lickety Split!  The Kidspace will offer kids’ programming, and parents can drop off kids for their own special Valentine’s evening, including crafts, dinner, and lots of other fun activities.  Space limited!  413-662-2111.  Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  ($$)

7pm – FILM: Celebrate Valentine’s Day by seeing a screening of Casablanca at Amherst Cinema!  Well known as one of the greatest love stories from the golden age of film, the movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman as lovers forced to choose between love and virtue in Africa during World War II.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, 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) ♦

• Return to Top


Friday, February 15th, 2013

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.

10am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Preschoolers can become track-finding nature detectives this morning at the Hitchcock Center!  The Winter Wonderland Detectives program will teach young children to look for tracks in winter, and will include a track-themed storytime and a track-finder guide making activity.  Animal-themed snack included.  Registration required.  413-256-6006.  525 South Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

11am-12:50pm – ICE SKATING: The Mullins Center is offering special homeschool ice skating on Fridays – visit the arena to practice skating skills, and to skate in an environment that is less crowded (and lower pressure) than regular public skating hours.  Call to check before heading out to skate!  Skate rentals are free. 413-545-3001.  200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

11am-3pm – CREATIVE FREE PLAY: The Berkshire Museum and Pop-up Adventure Play offer families a special opportunity for creative free-play throughout (and just before) school vacation week!  10 Days of Play brings a roomful (literally!) of materials to build anything a child’s heart desires – cardboard boxes abound, along with necessary items like scissors and duct tape.  Families can build castles, mazes, space ships, and other fantastic creations together, allowing kids to exercise their creativity, take part in non-commercialized educational play, and work on skills for cooperation and collaboration.  Kids can play at the museum multiple times, too- every day brings a new adventure.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

6:30-8pm – VALENTINE’S DAY: Parents and their kids 10 and under can enjoy an evening out at a special parent/child Sweetheart Dance!  Hosted by Northampton Recreation, the dance will have live (family-friendly) DJ music, crafts, games, and treats.  Takes place at the Florence Civic Center.  Register by February 12th.  90 Park Street.  Florence, MA.  (<$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7:30-9:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Lee’s Cabin Fever Festival begins today!  Spend the night out at Spectrum Playhouse – the Royal Berkshire Improv Troupe will perform, promising lots of laughs.  413-394-5023.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, 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. (<$) ♦

• Return to Top

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: