Suggested Events for March 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

Looking for a whiff of spring? Starting this Saturday, March 2nd, both Smith College Botanic Garden and Mount Holyoke College’s Botanic Garden spring flower shows open featuring hundreds of spring-blossoming bulbs! (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

Winter Bucket ListSaturday, March 2nd from 10am-4pm in Hampden CountyMUSEUM ADVENTURE: Happy 109th birthday, Dr. Seuss!  Celebrate today with the Springfield Museums, home of the Dr. Seuss sculpture garden.  Celebrations will take place all day long, including MYO Cat in the Hat bowties and birthday cards for Dr. Seuss, a chance to meet the Cat in the Hat himself, family science adventures, planetarium shows (additional charge), and a Dr. Seuss cake contest where visitors can vote for their favorite, most Seuss-est cake!  413-263-6800.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

Saturday, March 2nd at 10:30am in Hampshire CountyFAMILY PERFORMANCE: Grammy-nominated folk musician David Grover performs this morning at the Jones Library!  His beautiful music is unique amongst folk-style family music in that it speaks to people of all ages, and not just children.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, March 2nd at 1pm in Berkshire CountyMUSEUM ADVENTURE: It’s Family Curiosity Day at the Williams College Museum of Art!  Visit the museum to learn all about art – there will be gallery activities, artistic experiments, and lots of art projects!  413-597-3131.  15 Lawrence Hall Drive.  Williamstown, MA. 

Saturday, March 2nd from 11am-12:30pm in Franklin CountyLITERACY: Families with kids ages 6+ are invited to take part in a 6-week workshop series with professional storyteller John Porcino at the Dickinson Library!  Porcino will share beautiful children’s books with families, and the events are a celebration of stories – each week will focus on a new theme.  Registration required.  413-498-2455.  Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Mark Your Calendars: March 16th Hilltown Families & Flywheel present another Saturday Morning Music Party in Easthampton!

Next Saturday, March 9th from 9am-12pm in Hampshire County  – KIDS’ STUFF SWAP: Northampton Dept. of Public Works is holding a Kids’ Stuff Swap and Art Workshops, PopUp Artists’ Shop and Environmental Info table at Smith Vocational School. Pre-registration.  80 Locust St. Northampton, MA (FREE) 

Next Saturday, March 9th from 11am-2pm Berkshire CountyMAPLEFEST: Maple sugaring season has arrived once again, and Hopkins Memorial Forest host its annual celebration to usher in the new season. The celebration will allow people to both observe and take part in the maple syrup production process, from tapping a tree to checking out the finishing and bottling of the final product.  Participants will also be able to visit a working sugar house, assist with sap gathering, and taste the homemade syrup on pancakes and “sugar on snow.” In addition, there will be demonstrations of old-time evaporating methods, dating back to the pre-colonial era, as well as maple sugaring exhibits, videos, and more. Intersection of Bulkley Street & Northwest Hill Road. 413-597-4277. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Next Sunday, March 10th from 11am-3pm in Hampden County – MAPLE HARVEST DAY: Storrowton Village Museum’s 8th annual Maple Harvest Day  will showcase the history and lore of maple sugaring in the Gilbert Farmstead’s front yard with Sugar Maple tree tapping, sumac spile making and sap boiling over an open fire, to educate the public about the origin and legend of the tradition. Inside the historic home, docents will demonstrate 19th century open hearth cooking at the cozy kitchen fireplace as well as quilting and spinning wool. 413-205-5051. Eastern States Expo. West Springfield, MA (FREE) 

BULLETIN BOARD

March 3

Teen Social Justice Workshop: How Did Young People Lead the Drive for Workers’ Rights? Join Temple Israel (27 Pierce St.) in Greenfield on Sunday, March 3 from 12:30-2:30pm for the next in their series of teen social justice workshops exploring Jewish history and ethics. This week they will be learning about the essential role young people played in organizing the garment workers’ strikes in New York City. There will be history, study of Jewish ethical identity as expressed across the spectrum of religious observance, critical thinking activities and a special segment on learning Yiddish workers’ songs. Free and open to everyone. Refreshments will be provided. For more info contact Samantha Wood: cornerrobot@gmail.com. 413-522-3832

March 3

Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company at the Academy of Music Theatre, this Sunday, March 3rd, at 2pm. This vibrant performance will feature over 70 dancers of all ages as well as guest musicians Emerald Rae (a National Scottish Fiddle Champion) and Liz Simmons (a Honey Voiced Singer). Tickets are $12/adults, $10/seniors, $10/children and are available through the Academy of Music Theatre at www.academyofmusictheatre.com or by phone at 413-584-9032 ext. 105 (box office fees may apply). Join in the fun of the jigs and reels with your children at this toe tapping hand clapping afternoon of family fun!

March 9

Piti Theatre presents 4th Annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival on Sat., March 9 at Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls. Family show at 2pm with Piti’s “To Bee or Not to Bee,” leading U.S. mask artist Larry Hunt of Masque Theater, children’s mask parade, syrup tasting, free Real Pickles and more! Evening show at 7pm for ages 8+ with Masque Theater’s 20 mask variety show, juggling/comedy with national touring actor Jack Golden, brother-sister duo June and the Bee. Family show $5, Evening $12/$8 under 16. Fri., 3/8: paper pattern mask making workshop for grades K – 5, 4:30 – 5:30 pm at Mem. Hall. Children can be in next day’s mask parade. Sun. 3/9: Mask Movement for ages 15+ at Hart Yoga, 1-4pm. info@ptco.org, www.ptco.org/shows/syrup

Beginning Feb 25

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in our Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to our Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

Advertise your Summer Camp with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 24th, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

ADVERTISE HERE: 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.

MotherWoman is coming to the Hilltowns, offering two support groups to Hilltown mothers.  The first group meets on Mondays in Ashfield at St. John’s Corner House from 11am-12:30pm, offering a free, safe, confidential drop-in group for mothers of infants & young children a place to feel heard, valued, understood, nurtured and energized.  Expectant mothers welcome. Free childcare is available for children up to age four. Contact Anna Westley for more info at 413-625-6948. A second group will be hosted by the Cummington Family Center at the Cummington Community House on the 2nd Thursday each month from 10-11:30am.  Contact Stacey Mackowiak for more info at 413-634-8853.  More info on both at www.itavillage.com.

Volunteers wanted for Salamander Tunnel Maintenance Day in Amherst on a Saturday in March (determined by the weather). One of Amherst’s many claims to fame are the Henry St. amphibian tunnels, North America’s first, designed to direct spotted salamanders under the road, thus avoiding the tires of passing autos. All are invited to ready the tunnels for the annual spring migration. The Hitchcock Center for the Environment will be raking leaves, shoveling sand and debris, clipping brush, repairing plastic mesh fences, pounding in wooden stakes, and picking up litter and will have some tools and gloves available for families to help out (but please bring your own if you have them.). All ages are welcome! FREE • Please call 413-256-6006 to be added to the call/email list to volunteer.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 2nd-8th, 2013

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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

“Cross-country ski at Notchview in Windsor, go sledding at JFK Middle School (Northampton, MA), and in late winter, have breakfast at a maple sugar shack in the hilltowns.” – Mimi Kaplan

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. - Guest DJ Julianna Bright, the Portland based artist and musician and mom with the kids’ music moniker Cat Doorman gathers together a passel of tunes from her family’s record collection, dotting the playlist with a few tunes from her recent release Cat Doorman Songbook. Other songs hop from Andalusia to Paris, from the 1930’s through today with a common thread of playfulness and joy. - Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

10am-8pm – AUDITIONS: Youth ages 13-19 are invited to audition for Barrington Stage’s Youth Theater production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.  Auditions are by appointment only, and those interested in being part of the show should prepare at least 16 bars of two contrasting songs from published Broadway shows, and must also bring a headshot.  Auditions will take place at Barrington’s Stage’s mainstage.  413-499-5446.  30 Union Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

9-11am – PLAYGROUP: South Berkshire Kids, Community Healthy Programs, and the Montessori School of the Berkshires are offering families a special playgroup this morning!  Kids will enjoy playing with learning materials, making art, and enjoying music and stories.  413-637-3662.  21 Patterson Road.  Lenoxdale, MA.  (FREE)

9am-1pm – CRAFTS: Learn to do your own pisanski – a traditional Easter activity done in eastern Poland and Ukraine.  Pisanski is the art of dying eggs – but not with the usual cloudy dye tablets!  Pisanski eggs are made using wax and brilliant colored dyes in order to create beautiful and intricately decorated eggs that are true works of art.  Open to ages 12+, the workshop will be lead by local pisanski artist Carol Kostecki.  Hosted by the Wistariahurst Museum.  Registration required.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($$)

9am-3:30pm – CRAFTS: Make winter-themed crafts today at the Holyoke Public Library!  Crafts are drop-in and will be available as supplies last – try some sketch art or make a snowflake ornament!  413-322-5635.  Maple Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Old Sturbridge Village is hosting Native American Weekend!  Along with the village’s ongoing opportunities to learn about life and culture in early New England, this special weekend offers families a chance to learn about Native American history and cultural traditions, something often left out of studies of American history.  The village hosts Native American doctress Molly Geet, who will share winter stories and tales of Native American maple sugaring, snowshoeing, and more.  There will also be flute-making demonstrations, and demonstration of other traditional crafts and skills.  The event is a great way for families to supplement their studies of American history, and to build knowledge about the rich history of Native American traditions and their influence on the development of New England culture.  800-733-1830.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-12noon – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Take a snowshoe trek at Bartholomew’s Cobble!  Join the Trustees of Reservations in exploring the beautiful fields, forests, and streams of the cobble.  413-229-8600.  Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  ($)

10am-12noon – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: The Edwards Library hosts a Dr. Seuss birthday celebration for children of all ages.  There will be Seussian stories read by local moguls, arts and crafts to make and even a birthday cake and punch! 413-529-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA (FREE)

10am-12noon – FAMILY DANCE PARTY: Shake, rattle, and roll to some great tunes at the 2nd annual Family Dance Party at the Northampton Center for the Arts!  The event is a fundraiser for Nonotuck Community School, and will feature DJ Joan Holliday from 93.9 The River.  Great fun for families – start off the weekend on an exciting note!  17 New South Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

10am-1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Snowshoe through the Windsor Jambs State Forest with Mass Audubon and Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow!  The three mile trek will help participants learn about the unique ecology and landscape of the area.  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  Windsor, MA.  ($)

10am-2pm – ART: Artspace’s annual Pottery and More seconds sale takes place today at Greenfield High School!  The event is a great opportunity to view and buy some pieces from talented local artists and artisans.  Lenox Avenue.  Greenfield, MA.  (SALE)

10am-2pm – PREGNANCY:  Dani Fine Photography will be hosting an event to celebrate motherhood and pregnancy at their studio in Thornes Marketplace, featuring a dozen businesses, complimentary services, and samples.  Northampton, MA (FREE)

10am-3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Explore the art of Asia at the Smith College Museum of Art’s Free Family Day!  Families can visit the museum’s current exhibit, Collecting the Art of Asia, to learn about artistic techniques and traditions from a handful of Asian cultures.  There will be drop-in activities throughout the day, too!  It’s a great chance for families to learn about art appreciation and world cultures.  413-585-2760.  Elm Street at Bedford Terrace.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: Visit Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse for the botanic garden’s 2013 bulb show!  With a Mediterranean theme, the show features a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs, as well as other beautiful flowering plants and shrubs.  Families can learn about unique types of plants, and a visit to the show can be used to supplement studies of biodiversity and plant anatomy.  413-538-2116.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Happy 109th birthday, Dr. Seuss!  Celebrate today with the Springfield Museums, home of the Dr. Seuss sculpture garden.  Celebrations will take place all day long, including MYO Cat in the Hat bowties and birthday cards for Dr. Seuss, a chance to meet the Cat in the Hat himself, family science adventures, planetarium shows (additional charge), and a Dr. Seuss cake contest where visitors can vote for their favorite, most Seuss-est cake!  413-263-6800.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s annual spring bulb show begins today!  Visit the garden to see beautiful flowers and to learn about the growing process of bulbs.  Pair a visit to the show with a family study of how plants grow and compare seed growth to bulb growth.  413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

10:30am – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Grammy-nominated folk musician David Grover performs this morning at the Jones Library!  His beautiful music is unique amongst folk-style family music in that it speaks to people of all ages, and not just children.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

11am-12noon – KIDS’ PERFORMANCE: Bowey the Clown visits Spectrum Playhouse today!  Enjoy Bowey’s silly jokes and tricks.  413-394-5023.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.

11am-12:30pm – LITERACY: Families with kids ages 6+ are invited to take part in a 6-week workshop series with professional storyteller John Porcino at the Dickinson Library!  Porcino will share beautiful children’s books with families, and the events are a celebration of stories – each week will focus on a new theme.  Registration required.  413-498-2455.  Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

11:30am-1pm – NUTRITION: The Storrs Library hosts Kids Cuisine, a fun, nutrition-focused workshop where kids will learn about making healthy (yet still delicious!) choices about food.  Participants will get to prepare lunch and some snacks, too!  Admission is granted by a donation for the local food bank.  413-565-4181.  693 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (DONATION)

12noon-3pm – PROM PREP: Cenderelli’s Consignment Boutique is hosting a special event for teens preparing for prom season: “Prom for Pennies!”  The shop sells clothes of all kinds, but the focus for the event is the dress selection – families can buy gently used dresses on the cheap!  Recycled dresses are a practical way to go for prom – much cheaper than new dresses, and buying consignment is a great way to find unique, interesting clothes.  There will also be a raffle for prom-related prizes and information on prom-related services available locally.  413-540-0693.  480 Newton Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (SALE)

12noon-4pm – SOCIAL STUDIES: Have you ever wished that a book would converse with you, instead of just laying there waiting to be read?  What if checking out a book meant getting your questions answered rather than searching through pages?  Visit Williams College’s Human Library!  Instead of checking out books, patrons will check out actual people, who have been pre-designated to talk about specific topics – mainly based on unique life experiences.  Visitors to the library can check out their human books for 15-20 minutes each, and will be able to gain firsthand information from each interaction.  880 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

12:30pm – HIKE: Join DCR MassParks staff and Great Barrington Trails & Greenways volunteers for a guided hike along the Benedict Pond Loop Trail in Beartown State Forest. The hike is an easy 1.7 miles, about 1.5 hours in duration. For Ages 12 and up. Meet at the day-use parking lot near the boat ramp on Benedict Pond Road (off Blue Hill Road). 413-528-0904. Monterey, MA (FREE)

1pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: It’s Family Curiosity Day at the Williams College Museum of Art!  Visit the museum to learn all about art – there will be gallery activities, artistic experiments, and lots of art projects!  413-597-3131.  15 Lawrence Hall Drive.  Williamstown, MA. 

1-3pm – WINTER OPEN HOUSE: Kick off maple season at Sheep Hill’s Winter Open House!  Hosted by the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation, the event will feature a winter ecology hike, animal tracking, sledding and snowshoeing, seasonal crafts, and maple treats!  413-458-2494.  Cold Spring Road.  Williamstown, MA.  (<$)

1-3pm – DOG SHOW: Holyoke parks and Recreation’s second annual dog show – Hot Dogs on a Cold Winter Day – takes place today at Holyoke High School!  All local dogs, regardless of pedigree, are invited to participate, and families can attend the show to see the well-behaved pups compete for titles like Best Mystery Mutt, Best Dog Trick, and Most Obedient!  The event is part of Holyoke’s Winter Carnival – registration forms are available for competitors online.  413-322-5620.  500 Beech Street.  Holyoke, MA. 

2-3:45pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum screens the movie version of Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat this afternoon – celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday by watching the film!  Snacks and drinks provided.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – WOMEN’S HISTORY: Celebrate National Women’s History Month with Western Gateway Heritage State Park!  The park is offering a special program on women’s role in the field of science throughout history.  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building 4.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

4-6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Throughout history, communities have grown and changed all over the world as a result of their physical surroundings.  Our communities here in Western Massachusetts are not exception!  Tonight, families can learn about the history of the town of Conway’s relationship with the South River at Conway Town Hall!  The Historical Society and Historical Commission are presenting the talk, which will share lots of interesting information about the town’s past.  Discussion will follow.  413-369-4725.  5 Academy Hill Road.  Conway, MA.  (FREE)

4:30-5:30pm – FOOD: View beautifully decorated cakes and try out lots of different types of chili at the Holyoke Winter Carnival’s Chili Cook-off and Cake Decorating Contest!  Cakes will not be for tasting, but visitors can see the unique, beautiful, and creative designs that competitors have made.  Official judging of the contest will begin at 5:30pm.  Takes place at Gateway City Arts.  92-114 Race Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – FAMILY ACT OF KINDNESS: Show some support for a local family who lost their home to a fire – Bread Euphoria is hosting a benefit concert, featuring Vince Snyder and the Rocky Hill Band!  15% of the evening’s sales will be donated to the family, as well as proceeds from a silent auction and other donations.  Enjoy a great evening out and help a local family in need!  206 Main Street.  Haydenville, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

8pm – THEATER: Spring production at Bay Path College: Steel Magnolias, directed by Fred Sokol. The quintessential story of friendship and trust, Steel Magnolias serves up a southern slice of life. From weddings to divorces, babies to funerals, new beginnings to happy endings, they share each moment in their lives with grace, determination and perfectly coiffed hair. When tragedy strikes, it is to the familiar comfort of Truvy’s salon that the characters converge for solace and support. This is a terrific show for the entire family.  413-565-1307. Mills Theatre, Carr Hall. Longmeadow, MA ($)

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Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

“My 3 and 5 yr old daughters and I LOVE to warm up inside the Smith College greenhouses! The bulb show in March is refreshing and vibrant. It’s fun to be in the humid greenhouses while its a winter wonderland outside.” – Heather Johnson

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.

10am-12noon – AUDITIONS: Youth ages 13-19 are invited to audition for Barrington Stage’s Youth Theater production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr.  Auditions are by appointment only, and those interested in being part of the show should prepare at least 16 bars of two contrasting songs from published Broadway shows, and must also bring a headshot.  Auditions will take place at Barrington’s Stage’s mainstage.  413-499-5446.  30 Union Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

8:30am-3pm – SUGAR SHACK: South Face Farm’s sugar shack is open for the season!  Enjoy the best Sunday breakfast ever – a big plate full of pancakes, doused in delicious local maple syrup!  Learn about maple sugaring before visiting the shack to make the trip even more memorable.  413-628-3268.  755 Watson-Spruce Corner Road.  Ashfield, MA.  ($)

9-11:30am – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast this morning as part of Holyoke’s Winter Carnival!  Students in Dean Technical School’s culinary program will be whipping up endless piles of pancakes for all to enjoy.  413-244-6766.  1045 Main Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-5pm – WINTER FESTIVAL: With the Thunderbolt Ski Race this weekend comes ThunderFest, an annual winter celebration featuring food, music, and fun!  The event takes place at the visitors center in downtown Adams, and will feature live music all afternoon from the Northshire String Band (classic bluegrass) and the Rev Tor Band (original rock and covers).  Eight local vendors will provide delicious warm foods, and families can visit the new ski museum, warm up around a campfire, and participate in other fun activities.  4 Hoosac Street.  Adams, MA.  (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Old Sturbridge Village is hosting Native American Weekend!  Along with the village’s ongoing opportunities to learn about life and culture in early New England, this special weekend offers families a chance to learn about Native American history and cultural traditions, something often left out of studies of American history.  The village hosts Native American doctress Molly Geet, who will share winter stories and tales of Native American maple sugaring, snowshoeing, and more.  There will also be flute-making demonstrations, and demonstration of other traditional crafts and skills.  The event is a great way for families to supplement their studies of American history, and to build knowledge about the rich history of Native American traditions and their influence on the development of New England culture.  800-733-1830.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: Visit Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse for the botanic garden’s 2013 bulb show!  With a Mediterranean theme, the show features a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs, as well as other beautiful flowering plants and shrubs.  Families can learn about unique types of plants, and a visit to the show can be used to supplement studies of biodiversity and plant anatomy.  413-538-2116.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s annual spring bulb show begins today!  Visit the garden to see beautiful flowers and to learn about the growing process of bulbs.  Pair a visit to the show with a family study of how plants grow and compare seed growth to bulb growth.  413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

12:15-1:15pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Explore animal adaptations with the Hitchcock Center’s Helen Ann Sephton at the Leverett Library!  Kids will learn about the ways that animals have adapted in order to survive New England winters.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE)

12:30-2:30pm – TEEN: How did young people help to drive the movement for workers’ rights?  Learn about life as a young person in New York City during the garment workers’ strikes with Temple Israel.  The workshop will use a curriculum from the Jewish Women’s Archive, but teens are welcome to attend regardless of religious affiliation or level of Jewish education.  Great for teens interested in social justice and/or the role of youth and young adults in cultural change.  413-522-3832.  27 Pierce Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Mount Tom and learn about how plants and animals have adapted to survive to cold, snowy winter here in Massachusetts!  The program is sponsored by the Massachusetts DCR.  Meet at the Stone House Visitors Center.  413-584-6788.  Reservation and Christopher Clark Roads.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

1:30pm – DOMINOES: Dominoes are a great way to pass time, and playing the game can help kids work on matching and number skills.  Taken more seriously, dominoes can be a serious, competitive game!  Holyoke’s Winter Carnival includes a domino tournament – teams and/or individual players can sign up to participate in the fun but intense game!  Registration begins at 12noon, and the tournament takes place at the Salsarengue Restaurant.  413-320-3148. 392 High Street.  Holyoke, MA. 

2pm - CULTURAL STUDIES: Get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day this afternoon – the Academy of Music hosts Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company!  The group will be accompanied by Emerald Rae, a Scottish fiddle champion, and the performance is sure to provide lots of hand-clapping, toe-tapping traditional Irish entertainment.  413-584-9032.  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($$)

2pm – THEATER: Spring production at Bay Path College: Steel Magnolias, directed by Fred Sokol. The quintessential story of friendship and trust, Steel Magnolias serves up a southern slice of life. From weddings to divorces, babies to funerals, new beginnings to happy endings, they share each moment in their lives with grace, determination and perfectly coiffed hair. When tragedy strikes, it is to the familiar comfort of Truvy’s salon that the characters converge for solace and support. This is a terrific show for the entire family.  413-565-1307. Mills Theatre, Carr Hall. Longmeadow, MA ($)

2pm – FILM FESTIVAL: Miyazaki Festival. Throughout the month of March and into April, Amherst Cinema celebrates the singular storytelling vision of Hayao Miyazaki, with restored 35mm prints of his most treasured films, presented in their original Japanese with English subtitles.  Today they will screen “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” from 1984 (PG).  413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA ($)

4pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Cajun traditions and Italian food mix tonight at the Holyoke Winter Carnival’s spaghetti dinner!  Zydeco Connection will perform music straight from Louisiana, and the pasta will be plentiful.  Takes place at the Elks Lodge.  250 Whitney Avenue.  Holyoke, MA.  ($)

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Monday, March 4th, 2013

10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s annual spring bulb show begins today!  Visit the garden to see beautiful flowers and to learn about the growing process of bulbs.  Pair a visit to the show with a family study of how plants grow and compare seed growth to bulb growth.  413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: Visit Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse for the botanic garden’s 2013 bulb show!  With a Mediterranean theme, the show features a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs, as well as other beautiful flowering plants and shrubs.  Families can learn about unique types of plants, and a visit to the show can be used to supplement studies of biodiversity and plant anatomy.  413-538-2116.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

5:30-7pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Hope and Olive hosts Soup and Games Night tonight to benefit programming at the Montague Public Libraries!  Enjoy a delicious dinner, some great games, and help to support important community opportunities.  413-863-3214.  44 Hope Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (DONATION)

6pm – SCIENCE: Older students interested in interesting and obscure science can learn fascinating facts at OEB Science Cafe events!  This month’s topic is animal communication.  Hampshire College’s Sarah Partan will share information on everything from the meaning of squirrels’ tail waving to the challenges that urban birds face in mating.  Takes place at Esselon Cafe.  99 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

6-7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Wistariahurst Museum is hosting a lecture series on the history of transportation in the Pioneer Valley!  Tonight’s lecture is on the role of Westover Field in the Cold War.  Author Steve Jendrysik will speak about the three-decade relationship that local communities had with the US effort in the Cold War as a result of the Air Force’s presence in Western Massachusetts.  Best for older students, the event can help to supplement studies of modern American history.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

6-7pm – CHEMISTRY: The Williston Library is hosting their annual Chemistry Passport event tonight!  Kids can learn from Mt. Holyoke students all about electromagnetic radiation outside of the visible spectrum.  The workshop will include a look at infrared technology and its use in the field of art history and art restoration!  Registration required.  413-529-1605.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema screens, “Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer,” as part of the Jazz a la Mode Film Series!  The film tells the life story of the iconic jazz singer, whose unique style inspired an entire type of jazz to be born.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

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. ($) ♦
  • 6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) offers a drop in support group for pregnant women and their support team to explore the different aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Hosted at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 7pm – MOTHER SUPPORT: MotherWoman bi-monthly meetings at Cradle, 3rd floor of Thornes Marketplace. 413-341-5282. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time! Basketball equipment will be provided by Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20. Runs through 11/12. 413-565-4163. 95 Grassy Gutter Road. Longmeadow, MA. ($) ♦

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Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

10am-4pm – BOTANY: Visit Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse for the botanic garden’s 2013 bulb show!  With a Mediterranean theme, the show features a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs, as well as other beautiful flowering plants and shrubs.  Families can learn about unique types of plants, and a visit to the show can be used to supplement studies of biodiversity and plant anatomy.  413-538-2116.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s annual spring bulb show begins today!  Visit the garden to see beautiful flowers and to learn about the growing process of bulbs.  Pair a visit to the show with a family study of how plants grow and compare seed growth to bulb growth.  413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

6pm – FILM: The Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting a film series titled, “Cinema of Law: The Law as Seen by Hollywood Movies.”  The series will include well-known movies with law-related themes, each one introduced by a member of the Berkshire Bar Association.  Tonight’s screening is The Last Campaign, a documentary about a West Virginia Supreme Court justice’s 2004 campaign for re-election.  Best for older students interested in law!  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm - PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a parent workshop titled, “The Active Child.”  Taking place at the Palmer-Monson Family Network, the workshop is designed for parents with kids who are very energetic and high-spirited!  Parents will learn tips and tricks for dealing with children’s behavior, as well as strategies for creating a positive home environment!  Registration required.  413-570-3061.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, 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, March 6th, 2013

10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s annual spring bulb show begins today!  Visit the garden to see beautiful flowers and to learn about the growing process of bulbs.  Pair a visit to the show with a family study of how plants grow and compare seed growth to bulb growth.  413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: Visit Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse for the botanic garden’s 2013 bulb show!  With a Mediterranean theme, the show features a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs, as well as other beautiful flowering plants and shrubs.  Families can learn about unique types of plants, and a visit to the show can be used to supplement studies of biodiversity and plant anatomy.  413-538-2116.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts Kids Create, a special art-making event for preschool kids and their accompanying adults.  Kids can create masterpieces of their own, while helping their young brains to grow!  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  (<$)

6-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Author Bill Corbett offers parents advice on some of the challenging behaviors that kids present.  Titled, “Positive Solutions for Getting Children to Cooperate,” the workshop will offer tips, strategies, skills, and more.  Registration required.  413-637-3662.  21 Patterson Road.  Lenoxdale, MA.  (<$)

7pm – FILM FESTIVAL: Miyazaki Festival. Throughout the month of March and into April, Amherst Cinema celebrates the singular storytelling vision of Hayao Miyazaki, with restored 35mm prints of his most treasured films, presented in their original Japanese with English subtitles.  Today they will screen “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” from 1984 (PG).  413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA ($)

7pm – TEENS/DATING: A community event for teens to promote safe and healthy dating relationships takes place Monument Mt. Regional High School Auditorium. Deana’s Educational Theater will put on a one-woman play, The Yellow Dress, based on true stories of victims of domestic  violence, including a young woman from Massachusetts named Deana. The play  raises awareness about healthy and unhealthy relationships and helps to identify  the early warning signs of dating violence. This thought-provoking production  will move students and adults alike. 413-443-5951. 600 Stockbridge Rd. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Great Barrington Waldorf High School hosts an evening talk, “Keeping Ideals Intact,” with David Sloan.  Author of “Stages of Adolescents” and “Life Lessons: Reaching Teenagers through Literature,” David will speak about fostering the natural idealism of youth as an antidote to cynicism and apathy. 413-528-8833. Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Auditorium. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Tim Hope presents a talk for preschool parents and guardians, “Preschool Friendships: Supporting Your Child’s First Relationships.”  Happens at The Little Red Schoolhouse. 413-253-5259. Amherst College.  Amherst, MA

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6-8pm – FUNDRAISER: Spend the evening tasting delicious wine and microbrews (plus fancy sodas!) at Chandler’s Restaurant!  The event is a fundraiser for the Tilton Library, and will also feature appetizers and a silent auction.  Beverages will be provided by the South Deerfield Spirit Shoppe.  Advance tickets suggested – it’s a popular event!  413-665-4683.  25 Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA.  ($$)

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, March 7th, 2013

10am – PERFORMANCE: Chinese Theaterworks presents Toy Theater Peony Pavilion at UMass’ Bowker Auditorium!  The show is an adaptation of the 16th century Chinese epic, Peony Pavillion – re-worked and re-vamped.  The production combines traditionally dressed (and made-up) actors alongside beautiful and artistic puppetry.  413-545-2116.  University Drive.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: Visit Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse for the botanic garden’s 2013 bulb show!  With a Mediterranean theme, the show features a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs, as well as other beautiful flowering plants and shrubs.  Families can learn about unique types of plants, and a visit to the show can be used to supplement studies of biodiversity and plant anatomy.  413-538-2116.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s annual spring bulb show begins today!  Visit the garden to see beautiful flowers and to learn about the growing process of bulbs.  Pair a visit to the show with a family study of how plants grow and compare seed growth to bulb growth.  413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

11am-12:30pm – SCIENCE: Learn about changes in matter by studying food!  Kids in grades 2-7 can join in a Sprout Homeschool Science field trip to the kitchen at Whole Foods Market, where they will get to do three different delicious and scientifically fascinating activities related to changes in states and matter.  Registration required.  Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.  ($)

12:15pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Museums’ Museums a la Carte Lecture today features the Graveyard Girls, a group dedicated to sharing and understanding the rich history of cemeteries!  Today’s lecture will teach visitors about the art and symbolism found in cemeteries through a virtual tour of photographs.  The event will also compare modern burial rituals and markings with those of our ancestors.  Great for those interested in cultural history!  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

4:30pm – SCIENCE CLUB: Monson Library hosts a science club for kids ages 7-10yo.  This week they will be dissecting fresh frozen squid. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA (FREE)

5-8pm – ART WALK: Amherst monthly Art Walk happens the first Thursday of every month. Amherst, MA (FREE)

7pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema, along with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, screens, “A Place at the Table,” a documentary about hunger and food insecurity in the United States.  One in five children in the United States (and nearly 50 million others) don’t know where their next meal will come from on a regular basis.  The film follows three people from across the country – two children and one mother – who struggle with food insecurity, and helps to bring light to the issues that really contribute to hunger and the toll that it takes on society as a whole when we fail to provide for all.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

5pm – DINNER/WORKSHOP: The Gateway Regional School District and Gateway School-Based Health Center are partnering to bring a special evening of events to Gateway,  the district’s Annual Volunteer Dinner from 5-6:30pm followed by presentations on the Adolescent Brain. Two guest speakers will then give presentations on the developing teen brain. This topic has had considerable interest among parents over the past two years, as ImPACT testing has been implemented at Gateway among all student athletes, in accordance with a new law in Massachusetts. Huntington, MA (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

5-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Enjoy a cocktail at the Springfield Museums for the March installment of Culture and Cocktails!  This month’s event features a planetarium show, live music, and a chance to explore the GUITAR exhibit.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

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

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, March 8th, 2013

10am-4pm – BOTANY: Visit Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse for the botanic garden’s 2013 bulb show!  With a Mediterranean theme, the show features a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs, as well as other beautiful flowering plants and shrubs.  Families can learn about unique types of plants, and a visit to the show can be used to supplement studies of biodiversity and plant anatomy.  413-538-2116.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s annual spring bulb show begins today!  Visit the garden to see beautiful flowers and to learn about the growing process of bulbs.  Pair a visit to the show with a family study of how plants grow and compare seed growth to bulb growth.  413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

10am-4pm – BOOK SALE: The Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum are hosting a book sale!  Search through hundreds of books in every genre to find some great reads to take home while helping raise money for the library.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (SALE)

1:30-2:30pm – SCIENCE: MCLA hosts the Region I Massachusetts State Science Fair today – it’s a showcase of projects, investigations, and experiments all done by local high school students!  Families will learn about a wide variety of scientific principles and phenomena, and the projects will serve as a perfect example of self-directed work and academic initiative.  413-662-5222.  375 Church Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

4-7:30pm – ART: The Northampton Center for the Arts’ first ever art show made up entirely of works of art from students in Northampton’s public schools opens tonight!  The show includes 60 pieces created by students in grades K-8 at the city’s elementary and middle schools, in both 2- and 3-D!  Stop by the center to see the creativity and skill of young students.  413-584-7327.  17 New South Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

4:30-5:30pm – ART: Make and decorate your own mask in order to participate in the SYRUP Performing Arts Festival’s mask parade!  Families (including kiddos of any age able to make a mask!) can make their own unique and beautiful masks, and can show them off in the parade tomorrow (Saturday, 3/9).  Takes place at Memorial Hall.  51 Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)

7pm – THEATER: The Academy of Music Youth Production presents a theatrical adaptation of Norman Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth!  Whether or not your family has read the book, the show is sure to be entertaining – the characters go on a magical, wordplay-filled adventure into a curious land of opposites, synesthesia, and more.  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

7:30-8:30pm – ASTRONOMY: See the night sky like never before at Williams College’s Milham Planetarium!  Students will teach visitors about what they see in the sky every night and the changes that take place as the seasons change.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

8-11pm – DANCING: Buenos Aires comes to Holyoke tonight!  The Wistariahurst Museum hosts Tango! Milonga and Performance, a night of live music and dancing in the traditional Argentinian style.  Open to dancers of all levels.  Dress to the nines!  Tickets must be purchased in advance.  413-210-1097.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, 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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