Suggested Events for April 20th-26th, 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

Woodland wildflowers are starting to emerge! Can you find Bishop’s Cap, Nodding Trillium, Bloodroot or Dutchmen’s Breeches in your local woods? Look for guided walks your family can join in this spring, or check out a wildflower field guide from your local library and go on a wildflower hunt! (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.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event

Volunteer with your family to help local non-profits — a one of a kind event for families to volunteer together while educating children about animal welfare, conservation efforts and the value of community service.

On Saturday, May 4th from 10am-1pm: FAMILY COMMUNITY SERVICE EVENT: Join Hilltown Families for a Saturday morning of volunteering together with your family during our spring Family Community Service Event to be held at Leeds Elementary School. We will be offering seven volunteer stations for families to participate in hands-on service projects for ALL AGES that support animal welfare organizations, conservation efforts and food security. Find out more and preregister here: Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Event: May 4th! Northampton, MA (FREE)

SUMMER CAMP

Looking for a summer camp or program in Western MA? Check out our featured post, 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a list that will wow and dazzle you! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans!

BULLETIN BOARD

Apr 20

For Earth Day, just change the diaper you use. Thousands of cloth diapers will be changed around the globe to build awareness of the cloth diaper movement! Help create a new Guiness World Record for the most cloth diapers changed at one time! Sat April 20th. Doors open at 10am, change happens promptly at 11am. Everyone’s welcome! It’s FREE to attend. Door prizes, raffles, info tables, snacks, and plenty of cloth diapering tips, tools, and treasures to be had! Learn how-to cloth diaper if you are curious at heart! This is event is hosted by Simple Diaper & Linen at 418 Dwight St. in Holyoke (right across the canal from the Holyoke Children’s Museum). Please contact info@simple.coop with any questions, & visit the Facebook event page to register.

Apr 27

Ashfield Community PreschoolThe Ashfield Community Preschool invites you to join them for their annual open house on Saturday, April 27th 10am-Noon. This event is for families with young children age 2.9 – 5yo who are looking for quality care and small class sizes in the rural Hilltown of Ashfield, MA. Children who attend the preschool participate in a hands-on gardening program, growing sunflowers, pumpkins and blueberries. The preschool grazes the neighbors’ sheep and llamas in their pastoral setting and offers a six week summer program with walking trips to visit local Ashfield artists. Join their staff on April 27th and tour their facility and grounds. 103 Baptist Corner Road. Ashfield, MA. Call for more information 413-628-3248.

Apr 27

On Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10:30 AM to 12:00 noon, the Montessori School of Northampton (MSN) at 51 Bates Street, Northampton, will hold a family open house. All parents of toddler, preschool and elementary students interested in September 2013 admission are encouraged to attend. The school currently has full- and part-time openings available for fall 2013, including a new full day 3-day/week program for toddlers and a new half-day Children’s House (preschool) classroom. MSN enrolls students from ages 2 through 12 and is currently in its 36th year of fostering independent learners in a welcoming community. For information, please call (413) 586-4538 or visit www.northamptonmontessori.org.

May 5

Looking for an excuse to wear your superhero cape in public all while supporting students in our community with Intellectual and Development Disabilities (We don’t believe that you ever need an excuse to do this!)? Come on out to the Best Buddies Superhero Friendship Walk on Sunday morning , May 5th, 2013 in the beautiful setting of Look Park in Florence, MA. Best Buddies is an amazing organization that promotes inclusion and friendships between students with and without Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The event will feature musical performances by the students of Berkshire Hills Music Academy, Circus performances by students of Show Circus and so much more! Sign up at www.bestbudiesma.org/walk.

Spring

Join Crimson & Clover Farm in celebrating the spring! The Farm Education Collaborative will be leading a wide array of farm-based education programs this growing season at Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, MA. Whether you’re a parent wanting to share a morning with your young child on the farm or an aspiring farmer looking to work in the fields, there’s something for you at Crimson & Clover Farm this spring. Plant, harvest, tend to the animals, cook farm-fresh produce, explore and work together, and so much more! Financial aid is available to low-income families through Grow Food Northampton. For complete details and registration please visit their website – www.thefarmeducationcollaborative.org.

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 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.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your April vacation event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, community event,  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.

Hilltown Families is accepting applications for our Fellowship Program. The Fellowship will afford the opportunity to identify the place-based educational value of local events and the importance of community engagement while gaining a better understanding of how community based resources and local organizations can work together to create a network that promotes learning and sustainability of local resources. The program is a two year position open to students or graduates living in Western Massachusetts with an ability to attend weekly meetings in Northampton, MA. Hours per week 10-15. Stipend/Wage: $100/week.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 20th-26th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

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. -  Rebroadcast of our Weather Episode with Guest DJ, Alison Faith Levy of The Sippy Cups. - Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following  Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from 6 years of archived shows!

7:30am – ORNITHOLOGY: Enjoy an early morning bird watch with the Hoffman Bird Club!  Today’s Birding Beyond Your Backyard event will take place at Linear Park, where families will learn to search for waterfowl, migratory birds, and common field species.  Meet at the tennis courts.  Linear Park Road.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

8am – CITIZEN SCIENTIST: Help Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to re-stock salmon to the Connecticut River watershed, releasing salmon fry into the Connecticut River watershed!  The fry have been hatched as part of the effort to restore salmon populations in western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and are being released into numerous local streams and rivers throughout the spring.  Today’s release location is the middle branch of the Westfield River.  Meet at Gateway Regional High School to carpool to the release location.  508-389-6331.  Littleville Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE)

8am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Earth Day Cleanup!  Meet at the Masonic Lodge and volunteer for the morning cleaning up the environment.  Families welcomed.  Bring waterproof boots, work gloves, and a desire to help clean the environment! Meet at the Masonic Lodge. 413-572-6281. 72 Broad Street. Westfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

8:30am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/COMMUNITY SERVICE: Go on a spring bird and ecology hike at Sheep Hill. The Sheep Hill property has a variety of habitats to support a great diversity of nesting birds, including Eastern Bluebird, American Kestrel, Tree Swallow and Red-winged Blackbird. This is also a good time of year to see the migrating birds on their way from their overwintering sites to their northern nesting grounds.  After the hike, stay for a spring clean-up of the Sheep Hill grounds in preparation for the WRLF’s May 5th Sheep to Shawl festival and other spring events.  The clean-up will begin at approximately 10am.  Tools and refreshments will be provided.   Heavy rain cancels. 413-458-2494. Route 7 South. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

9-11am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Clean up Whately for Earth Day!  Bring the kids and pick up roadside litter debris.  Meet outside of the Town Hall (rain date: 4/21). Whately, MA (VOLUNTEER) 

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Families with children ages 10 and older are invited to the annual Meadows Spring clean-up at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary.  Working out in the field, wear work clothes and bring gloves & water. Pre-register. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road. Easthampton, MA (FREE) 

9am-12noon – SUSTAINABILITY: Don’t miss the next Reuse & Recycling Rally, the 3rd in a series of events sponsored by the Northampton DPW. Find new-to-you toys for the kids at the community tag sale, shred confidential papers, donate old baby equipment, recycle well-loved pants with holes in the knees and t-shirts with juice box stains for the textile drive, and bring by those hotel shampoos and conditioners from your family winter vacation to Florida to donate to the Hampshire County Interfaith Emergency Shelter. Contact Karen Bouquilion at 413-587-1059. Smith Vocational High School, 80 Locust St, Northampton. (FREE/FUNDRAISER)

9am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Trail work day with The Trustees of Reservations. Its time to walk the walk and climb the cliff. Join other friends of Chapel Brook for a morning of trail maintenance and some training in trail construction techniques. The Appalachian Mountain Club will offer free beginner climbing lessons after the work session. 413-684-0148. Williamsburg Road. Ashfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Clean up the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail! Families with children ages 8yo and older can assist with cleaning up the trail and landscaping. Call for exact location: 413-499-7003. Cheshire, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Chicopee State Park clean up!  Families with children ages 8yo and older can help plant flowers, spread mulch, stain picnic tables and do general trail maintenance.  Meet at the DCR Park Headquarters. 413-594-9416. 570 Burnett Rd. Chicopee, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Led a hand to The Trustees of Reservations sprucing up Peaked Mountain.  Bring work gloves, water & snack.  Call to pre-register. : 413-532-1631 x21. Butler Road. Monson, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-2pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Join the patrons of the Ramsdell Library for a day of cleaning up along the banks of the Housatonic River.  Meet at the library for an assigned route to clean-up. Pizza at the Brick House at noon for all volunteers. Screening of “Fold, Crumple, Crush” in the library theater at 2pm. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-4pm – FIBER ARTS: Winterberry Farm hosts Farm to Fiber, an event featuring 25 local fiber vendors!  Stock up on supplies to knitting, weaving, spinning, felting, etc.  413-458-3940.  21 Teawaddle Hill Road.  Leverett, MA.  (SALE)

9:30am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Families with older children can help clean up DAR State Forest.  Help prepare for the upcoming camping season by raking campsites & day use picnic areas.  Meet at the campground pavilion. 413-268-7098. Route 112. Goshen, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Old Sturbridge Village to learn all about 19th century life in New England – and to meet the new baby animals!  There are new lambs, with many more to come, and families can also meet chicks, cows, and other farm animals.  It’s the perfect time of year to visit the village!  Along with animals, there are lots of hands-on activities to take part in and make-and-take early New England crafts.  Families will learn all about the culture and history of early New England!  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-12noon – NATURE STUDIES: Can you find Bishop’s Cap, Nodding Trillium, Bloodroot or Dutchmen’s Breeches in your local woods?  These creatively named plants are just a few of the fascinating spring plants that can be found at Bartholomew’s Cobble!  Join the Trustees of Reservations for a guided walk through the cobble, and learn to identify early spring plants!  Registration required.  413-229-8600.  Sheffield, MA.  ($)

10am-12noon – NATURE STUDIES: Explore the Hopkins Forest this morning to learn about the various species of reptiles and amphibians who rely on the forest’s unique habitat in order to survive.  Thomas Tyning, a professor at Berkshire Community College, will lead the exploration and will teach participants to look for and identify common frogs, turtles, salamanders, and snakes.  There are a full 20 species of these creatures living in the forest!  Bulkley Street and Northwest Hill Road.  WIlliamstown, MA.  (FREE)

10am-2pm – EARTH DAY: West Springfield Environmental Committee is sponsoring an Earth Day Fair on the town common.  There will be a”Week of the Young Child” activities, exhibitors, demonstrations, and more.  Bring with you tattered and torn clothes for the textile drive, paper to shred, eyeglasses and cell phones to donate. Just before the fair there will be a clean-up starting at 8:30am and running through 12noon. Call to sign up: 413-731-9249. Town Common. West Springfield, MA (FREE)

10am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Historic Deerfield for Three Bags Full: All About Wool, a special museum presentation on sheep shearing and processing wool for use at home.  Families can drop in anytime to see the wool being processed, and to learn about the many uses for wool in early New England life.  Families can even try their hand at a few of the processing steps!  There will also be open hearth cooking demonstrations, where families can learn about the traditional one-pot cooking style of early New Englanders.  413-775-7214.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

10am-4pm – BOOK SALE: The Friends of the Milne Public Library host the annual book sale today!  Visit the Williamstown Elementary School gym to peruse a variety of titles – that you can take home for good!  Stock up on your summer reading. 115 Church Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (SALE)

10am-4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Springtime brings new things – new leaves, new flowers, and of course – new babies!  Visit Hancock Shaker Village to see the newly born farm animals – families will be able to get up close and personal on a Behind-the-Scenes Farm Tour!  There will be piglets, chicks, lambs, calves, and more to watch and learn about, and families can tour the village and learn about Shaker history and culture after they’ve met the creatures.  Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm runs daily through May 5th.  413-443-0188.  1843 West Housatonic Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

11am – LOCAL HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE: The so-called “core” of Williamstown is a set of buildings created during the same time period and for similar purposes.  But when was it, and why?  Learn about the town’s history and reasons behind the particular architectural style of the town’s building core today at the Williamstown Historical Museum.  Local architect Andrus Burr will discuss the history of the grid between Cole Avenue and Southworth and Moorland Streets and its connection to the designing of the buildings found there.  The museum is located in the Milne Library.  413-458-2160.  1095 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

11am – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: The Jones Library will present “The Story of Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig,” read by David Rottenberg with dance accompaniment by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet of Holyoke in the Woodbury Room. Best for ages 3-9 & their families. 413-259-3091. 43 Amity St. Amherst, MA (FREE)

11am and 2pm – PUPPETS: CactusHead Puppets presents, “The Tale of Juan Bobo,” at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.  Juan Bobo is a silly character – he always tries to do things right, but somehow nearly always ends up with ridiculous results!  Is it possible, then, that he could save the day when something goes wrong?  See the show to find out!  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

11am-12noon – THEATER: Berkshire Children’s Theater presents Kids Love Broadway II at the Berkshire Museum!  Part of the museum’s special school vacation week events, the show is a revue of the actors’ favorite Broadway classics – a must-see for musical-loving kiddos.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

11am-2pm – EARTH DAY: The Berkshire Museum presents an environmentally friendly installment of Kitchen Ka-Boom, the museum’s monthly hands-on science event.  Families can make their own terrariums using plastic soda bottles, build plant pots out of newspaper, and learn about turning their own energy into electricity!  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

11:30am-2pm -SUSTAINABILITY: Join  the Hilltown Community Development Corporation for a discussion to follow up on the recent Resiliency Summit where many Hilltown residents gathered to share their ideas and talents. We hope to  keep the dialogue going in the region and work toward action.  Topics include agriculture, farming, housing, emergency preparedness, community development, resource development, small business assistance, and most importantly community engagement and cooperation. 413-296-4536 x118. Main Street. Cummington Village Congo Church. Cummington, MA (FREE)

12noon – EARTH DAY: The Odyssey Bookshop will be hosting an Earth Day celebration for kids with read aloud stories and learning how to grow plants with a hands-on planting demo.  9 College Street. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

1-2:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Visit Mt. Tom for an outdoor expedition!  Noticing Nature is a guided exploration of the reservation, where families will learn to use all of their sense to find all of the signs of spring!  413-584-6788.  Reservation Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

1-4pm - MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Norman Rockwell Museum will celebrate the wonder of wordless picture books with “Zoom,” a special family day event.  Meet illustrator Istvan Banyai, the creator of “Zoom,” “Re-Zoom,” ”REM,” and “The Other Side;” whose artwork is currently on exhibit at the Museum. Mr. Banyai will present a day of talks, workshops, demonstrations, and signings. Throughout the day Meredyth Babcock, artistic director of the puppet company Marmalade Productions, will show you how to design your own shadow puppet characters that have the gift of movement, expression, and unique points of view, followed by a special performance. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA ($)

1-5pm – SKILLSHARE: Come visit the Repair Cafe, every third Saturday in St. Stephen’s Church basement in Pittsfield! Skilled volunteers can fix children’s bikes, mend torn jeans, repair computers and fix up vacuums cleaners stuffed with crumbs and LEGO toys. Bring your broken lamp or light fixture without adding it to the landfill or purchasing a replacement. Children can learn the science and maintenance associate with their very own bike! Free refreshments. Call Tom Harter at 413-212-8589 or email Janet Henderson at jmh227@hotmail.com. 67 East St. Pittsfield. (FREE)

1:30pm – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: A reading and dance performance of “Gwendolyn the Graceful Pig” by David Ira Rottenberg and ballerinas from the Mass Academy of Ballet will take place at the Chicopee Library.  All ages welcomed. 413-594-1800 x107. Chicopee, MA (FREE)

2-3pm – ORNITHOLOGY: Westfield Athenaeum presents “Eyes on Owls-Who’s Watching You.”  This one-of-a-kind family program is for all ages and will introduce families to the different types of (real live) owls.  Find out what’s a myth and what real about owls.  There will even be a hooting lesson!  Registration required.  413-562-6158. x5.  6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA (FREE)

2pm & 7pm – THEATER: Mill City Production performance of the classic children’s story, James and the Giant Peach from the book by Roald Dahl and dramatized by Richard R. George.  An adaptation of the 1961 children’s book, this production is sure to delight both children and adults alike. The cast features 13 local actors and features Charlie Waltermire as James. Performances will take place at Mill City’s Theatre at Building 4N (next to the Visitor’s Center) in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. North Adams, MA ($)

7:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Pothole Pictures is screening “The Muppet Movie” at Memorial Hall.  Puppets at their finest in a great family film, starring Jim Henson’s Muppets. (1979, Rated G). Live music at 7pm. 413-625-3052. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA ($)

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Sunday, April 21st, 2013

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 6 years of archived shows.

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Old Sturbridge Village to learn all about 19th century life in New England – and to meet the new baby animals!  There are new lambs, with many more to come, and families can also meet chicks, cows, and other farm animals.  It’s the perfect time of year to visit the village!  Along with animals, there are lots of hands-on activities to take part in and make-and-take early New England crafts.  Families will learn all about the culture and history of early New England!  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

10am-4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Springtime brings new things – new leaves, new flowers, and of course – new babies!  Visit Hancock Shaker Village to see the newly born farm animals – families will be able to get up close and personal on a Behind-the-Scenes Farm Tour!  There will be piglets, chicks, lambs, calves, and more to watch and learn about, and families can tour the village and learn about Shaker history and culture after they’ve met the creatures.  Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm runs daily through May 5th.  413-443-0188.  1843 West Housatonic Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

11am-4pm – EARTH DAY: Celebrate Earth Day with the Springfield Museums!  There will be special events and activities taking place throughout the day, on top of the usual opportunities to visit the museums’ many different exhibits.  Bluegrass band The Boys of the Landfill will share environmentally-themed music from 11am-3pm, and Tom Ricardi will present a live animal program at 12noon, including numerous large birds of prey!  Families can also make their own recycled paper, and learn about earth-friendly things like water treatment, recycling, environmental clean-up, and more! 413-731-6560.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

1pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Today is the annual Montague Spring Parade!  The parade, which features floats and performances from community members and local businesses and organizations, will make a three mile loop beginning up on the hill in Turners Falls.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE) [Rescheduled from Apr 20]

1-2:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Visit Robinson State Park to learn about the survival habits of small aquatic creatures!  Families will be able to use nets, magnifiers, and other simple tools to gently examine the critters and their habitats.  Meet at the contact station.  Dress to get wet and walk in mud and puddles!  413-584-6788.  428 North Street.  Agawam, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – CITIZEN SCIENTISTS: Assist the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in a census of the spotted salamander population.  Participants will meet at the center then travel to Henry Street in search for egg masses.  Come with waders or wading shoes and ready to get mucky (it’s for the salamanders!), and help identify egg masses, count them, map their locations and photograph.  It’s super easy and you will be guided.  RSVP with Tom: 413-256-6006. Amherst, MA (FREE)

2pm – BOOKSOdyssey Bookshop hosts a Jewish Children’s Literature Fest!  Visit for a celebration of Jewish literature, culture, and life, featuring children’s book authors Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple, Amy Meltzer, and more – and a special puppet presentation from Anna Soebl of Talking Hands Theater!  413-534-7307.  9 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – THEATER: Mill City Production performance of the classic children’s story, James and the Giant Peach from the book by Roald Dahl and dramatized by Richard R. George.  An adaptation of the 1961 children’s book, this production is sure to delight both children and adults alike. The cast features 13 local actors and features Charlie Waltermire as James. Performances will take place at Mill City’s Theatre at Building 4N (next to the Visitor’s Center) in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. North Adams, MA ($)

2-4pm – BOOKS: Do you think of books as delicious brain food?  Visit the Florence Community Center today for Edible Book, an event featuring edible versions of popular books created by local readers.  The event is a delicious fundraiser for the Forbes and Lilly libraries, and showcases unique culinary creativity!  North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (<$)

3pm – MUSIC STUDIES/GOSPEL MUSIC: The Second Congregational Church will host a Gospel concert featuring Gospel vocalist, Moonlight Davis with Morning Star and the Gospel Star Singers & Bands. Special guest, Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers will be on saxophone. Best for children with audience skills. 413-774-4355. 16 Court Square. Greenfield, MA ($$, 10yo & under are free)

4pm – FILM STUDIES: See a classic silent film on the big screen. Mahaiwe Performing Arts will be screening Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights.”  This 1930’s silent film, except for music and sound effects, was named one of the American Film Institute Top-100 American Films- a must see for any youth interested in film history, production or studies.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  ($)

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Monday, April 22nd, 2013

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

8am – CITIZEN SCIENTIST: Help Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to re-stock salmon to the Connecticut River watershed, releasing salmon fry into the Connecticut River watershed! The fry have been hatched as part of the effort to restore salmon populations in western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and are being released into numerous local streams and rivers throughout the spring.  Today’s release location is the east branch of the North River.  Meet at Home Depot in Greenfield to carpool to the release location (in Halifax, Vermont).  508-389-6331.  Route 2.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

12noon-6pm – COMMUNITY ACTIVISM: Massachusetts Right to Know GMO’s is hosting a rally and awareness-building event today!  The rally will take place at Park Square, and families can attend in order to learn more about GMO foods and the legislation and requirements surrounding GMO labeling, as well as the many health risks of consuming GMO foods.  Bring a poster showing support for proper (and fair) labeling of GMO foods, or bring materials to make a sign once you’ve learned more about the cause.  Attending a rally is a great way to teach kids about community activism and the power that they have as citizens to promote their own ideas using the power of their own voice!  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – LECTURE: Jacquelynne Eccles, PhD, a professor at the University of Michigan, presents a lecture titled, “The Role of Parents in Supporting Their Children’s Achievements,” as part of the Tay Gavinson Erickson Lecture Series.  The talk will address current research on the topic, and the role that parents can take on in order to successfully support their students’ growth and development.  Takes place in UMass’ Campus Center, room 908.  North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

5:30-7pm – LITERACY WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a workshop for parents titled, “First Steps to Reading.”  A multi-week series, the workshops will teach families strategies for building literacy skills and ways to incorporate literacy building into their daily routine.  The workshops will take place at Our Lady’s Child Care Center weekly on Mondays through May 20th.  Each week will bring a new theme and skill for families to learn about together!  Designed for families with children birth to age 5.  Registration required.  413-570-3061.  35 Pleasant Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Wistariahurst Museum hosts a lecture series this spring on the history of transportation in the Pioneer Valley – tonight’s topic is bikeways and rail trails, and their place in the transportation habits of local communities.  The talk will also discuss the potential for future development of a bike path in Holyoke!  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

6:30pm – STORYTIME: Have someone else read the bedtime stories tonight!  The Westhampton Library hosts evening storytime.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm – LECTURE: Annie Leonard, creator of The Story of Stuff, speaks tonight at UMass.  Her lecture will address the numerous complicated and interwoven issues of sustainability, social justice, and waste – learn how to lead a more environmentally conscious lifestyle in celebration of Earth Day!  Takes place in the Bowker Auditorium at Stockbridge Hall.  80 Campus Center Way.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

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

10-11:30am – DANCEMEDITATION: Healing Through Inward Focused Movement. Delight in dance as meditation, celebration, and self- restoration. Drop out of over-active mind into intuitive embodiment, and awaken your Heart to healing! Held at The Wild Life Sanctuary through May 6th. inneropening@gmail.com. 413-822-2405. 221 Pine Street. Florence, MA ($13 Drop-in)

  • 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) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Sunshine Storytime! 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, 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. (<$)
  • 11am – 12:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: There is a MotherWoman group in the Hilltowns at St. John’s Corner. The support group is for pregnant and postpartum mothers, and childcare is available for kids up to age 4. 413-625-6948. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 2:30-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Toddler group (siblings welcomed) at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 2:30-5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Meekins Library’s Teen/Preteen Time takes place this afternoon! Teens can visit the library to hang out with friends, work on homework, play games, use computers, and check out awesome new books, movies, and music. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30-4:30pm – BREAK DANCE: Learn to break like a b-boy! The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly break dance class, taught by Joshua McHugh, accomplished dancer and dance teacher. 413-499-9348. 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 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. ($) ♦
  • 6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) offers a drop in support group for pregnant women and their support team to explore the different aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Hosted at Shima Boutique on the 2nd Monday of the month. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) offers a drop in support group for pregnant women and their support team to explore the different aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Hosted at TREEHOUSE on the 3rd Monday of the month. 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
  • 7pm – MOTHER SUPPORT: MotherWoman bi-monthly meetings at Cradle, 3rd floor of Thornes Marketplace. 413-341-5282. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time! Basketball equipment will be provided by Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20. Runs through 11/12. 413-565-4163. 95 Grassy Gutter Road. Longmeadow, MA. ($) ♦

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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

8am – CITIZEN SCIENTIST: Help Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to re-stock salmon to the Connecticut River watershed, releasing salmon fry into the Connecticut River watershed!  The fry have been hatched as part of the effort to restore salmon populations in western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and are being released into numerous local streams and rivers throughout the spring.  Today’s release location is the west branch of the North River.  Meet at Home Depot in Greenfield to carpool to the release location (in Colrain).  508-389-6331.  Route 2.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Springtime brings new things – new leaves, new flowers, and of course – new babies!  Visit Hancock Shaker Village to see the newly born farm animals – families will be able to get up close and personal on a Behind-the-Scenes Farm Tour!  There will be piglets, chicks, lambs, calves, and more to watch and learn about, and families can tour the village and learn about Shaker history and culture after they’ve met the creatures.  Baby Animals on the Shaker Farm runs daily through May 5th.  413-443-0188.  1843 West Housatonic Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

6:30pm – ANIMAL STUDIES:  Has your family been thinking about raising chickens?  Having chickens is a fun, hands-on way for younger children to practice responsibility and care for others while supplementing their studies of animals.  Kids love checking for eggs and using them to learn about culinary arts in the kitchen. It’s all good! Dickinson Library is hosting an information session, “Getting Started with Chickens.”  Sandra Brougham, 4-H club leader, will share her knowledge of what’s involved — from coop-construction to breed selection, care and feed. All are welcomed.  413-498-2455. 115 Main St. Northfield, 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 – NEW MOMS: Tea time for new moms at the CHP Family Services Building. Chat with other new moms, gain reassurance and resources while making new friends. A facilitated support group. 413-528-0721. 442 Stockbridge Rd. Great Barrington, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: The Goodwin Memorial Library hosts a preschool story time. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle Street. Hadley, 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, April 24th, 2013

8am – CITIZEN SCIENTIST: Help Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to re-stock salmon to the Connecticut River watershed, releasing salmon fry into the Connecticut River watershed! The fry have been hatched as part of the effort to restore salmon populations in western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and are being released into numerous local streams and rivers throughout the spring.  Today’s release location is the east branch of the North River..  Meet at Home Depot in Greenfield to carpool to the release location (in Colrain).  508-389-6331.  Route 2.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

3-5pm – DRAWING CLASS: Teen artists, Isabelle Page and Olivia De Lisle, are offering drawing classes at the Meekins Library. A series of 3 classes are open to interested students of any age with little to no experience. The two friends will provide materials for students. Held in the Hawks-Hayden Community Room. Please call the library to sign up and with questions, 413-268-7472. Route 9. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

5:30-7pm: COMMUNITY SERVICE: Families with older children and train with the Housatonic Valley Association to be part of their Stream Team Project volunteer crew.  Walk or paddle a stretch of the river and report your findings.  Interest meeting at the Dalton Town Hall. 413-394-9796. Dalton, MA (VOLUNTEER)

6-7pm – HISTORY: Families can learn experientially about the effects of the Civil War on New England communities this evening at Storrowton Village!  The village’s interpreters and reenactors will be portraying a variety of different late-1800’s community members (everything from a shopkeeper to a housewife) and will share their experiences with visitors to the village.  Families can take a tour of the historic little town, and will learn about how the war – though it was far from Massachusetts – changed the lives of everyone around.  Pre-purchased tickets necessary.  Storrowton Village is located at the Big E.  413-205-5051.  1035 Memorial Drive.  West Springfield, MA.  ($)

6:30pm – TEEN/TWEEN: The Sunderland Library hosts a teen/tween chess club!  Kids can practice their skills at the game, and help to build analytical skills.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Enjoy an evening in the valley visiting the beaver ponds at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.  Search for beavers and other kinds of wildlife that are attracted by the series of ponds that the beavers have created. Learn about the natural history of beavers and how they continue to change our landscape 80 years after their reintroduction.  Best for families with children ages 3-15yo. Wear long pants, a shirt with long sleeves, and a hat. Bring binoculars if you have them.  413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA (>$)

7pm – FILM: The Connecticut River is beautiful and fascinating – rolling dark blue through the center of the Pioneer Valley.  What’s beneath the water, though?  The Sunderland Library screens, “Beneath the River,” a film about the natural and human history of the river – families will learn about everything from unique plant life to catastrophic bridge collapses.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, 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) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – 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, April 25th, 2013

8am – CITIZEN SCIENTIST: Help Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to re-stock salmon to the Connecticut River watershed, releasing salmon fry into the Connecticut River watershed! The fry have been hatched as part of the effort to restore salmon populations in western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and are being released into numerous local streams and rivers throughout the spring.  Today’s release location is the Green River..  Meet at Home Depot in Greenfield to carpool to the release location.  508-389-6331.  Route 2.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – MUSIC: Join SPROUT Homeschool Science for a field trip to A Natural Music School to learn about sound energy!  Students will learn about measuring sound, changes in sounds, and the many ways to create unique sounds.  Kids will get to check out a variety of different instruments, too!  Registration required.  Gill, MA.  ($)

4-5pm – COMICS: Modern Myths, a local comic store, is hosting a month-long comic drawing series for kids!  Part of the Paint and Pixel Festival, the series offers weekly hands-on workshops where kids will be able to work on making their own original comics, with the guidance of comic pros!  Ages 5+.  Kids can attend one or all of the events!  413-582-6973.  34 Bridge Street #4.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: The Open Square Gallery hosts an opening tonight for a show highlighting Puerto Rican history and culture – Puerto Rican Community Education Posters 1947-1990 is made up of images created in order to promote learning in Puerto Rico in the country’s post-WWII push to become a modern, industrialized society.  The show will teach viewers about the country’s history and culture, through a lens of education and the people’s attitude towards formal schooling.  413-322-5640.  383 Dwight Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

6-7pm – STORY TELLING: Jennifer Couturier of We Tell Tales presents, “From Seed to Plate,” a story telling performance at the Leverett Public Library. Jennifer will offer stories from around the world that focus on the farm, crops and connections to our environment.  This interactive story telling performance is for all ages.  Snack, craft & free book too. 978-544-5157. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA (FREE)

7pm – DOCUMENTARY: The Berkshire Athenaeum screens, “Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1,000,” a documentary film about the environmental activist’s work to clean up and restore the Nashua River.  Chronicled in Lynne Cherry’s Book A River Ran Wild, the story of the river is rooted deep in New England’s natural and social history.  Stoddart will introduce the film herself, and families can learn about conservation, community activism, and habitat restoration from the documentary!  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School presents “The Laramie Project,” a play which is the result of over 200 interviews conducted by Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project with the residents of Laramie, WY in the aftermath of the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard. The Laramie Project deals with complex and mature subject matter and demands engagement from its audience and the community in which it is being performed. Each performance ends with a talk-back with the cast and crew. Performances are April 25 & 27, May 2-4 at 7pm; Friday, April 26 at 7:30pm, with a talk with author Lesléa Newman beginning that evening at 6:15pm. Mature theme and may not be suitable for younger children. Easthampton, MA ($)

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

12noon – BYOBABY! PILATES: A breast & bottle feeding friendly Pilates Mat Class modified to accommodate for fussiness. Best for babies up to 6mos old, however any age is welcome. 413-586-3504. The Pilates Studio. 104 Russell St (Route 9). Hadley, MA ($15 Drop-in)

1pm – INFANT MOVEMENT: Learn touch and movement based practices & tactical with Lenore Grubinger, tried & true principles to help support your child’s comfort & development. The Pilates Studio. 104 Russell St (Route 9). Hadley, MA ($15 Drop-in)

  • 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, April 26th, 2013

8am – CITIZEN SCIENTIST: Help Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife to re-stock salmon to the Connecticut River watershed, releasing salmon fry into the Connecticut River watershed! The fry have been hatched as part of the effort to restore salmon populations in western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and are being released into numerous local streams and rivers throughout the spring.  Today’s release location is the east branch of the Westfield River.  Meet at the Norwottuck Rail Trail parking lot (by the UMass crew barn)to carpool to the release location (in Cummington).  508-389-6331.  Route 9 and Damon Road.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

9:30-11am - FARM ADVENTURES: Join Community Network for Children for a visit to Craigieburn Farm Alpacas.  This field trip is taking place of the Shutesbury Playgroup. Learn about Alpacas and their farmers. RSVP by Apr 25. 978-544-5157. 243 W. Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA (FREE)

12:30pm – WORKSHOP: Child & Adolescent Mental Health Workshop, presented by Garry L. Earles, LICSW on child and adolescent mental health and co-occuring conditions. Tourette Syndrome is highlighted as an excellent example of how neuro-psychiatric conditions (e.g. Tourette, ADHD, OCD, etc.) co-mingle, which alters the dynamics of the overall clinical/educational  picture. Workshop is suitable for parents, educators, clinicians and interested others and is supported in part by a grant from the Brad Cohen Tourette Foundation of Roswell,GA. Certificate of attendance provided.  Takes place at  Greenfield Community TV Studio. 413-863-4128. 393 Main St (3rd Fl). Greenfield, MA ($$)

5-8pm – ART: Celebrate women in the arts at SWAN (Supporting Women Artists Now), an event honoring the work of women in art, writing, and music!  The event takes place at the Salasin Center, and will include a display of artwork by local women as well as an open mic featuring local poets, musicians, and other creative types.  413-774-4307.  474 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (<$)

5-6:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/HIKE: The Hilltown Land Trust invites families for a short evening guided hike through the Bradley Sanctuary along a 1.5-mile loop trail.  The trail  follows along the cascading Nichols Brook and then continues through intact mixed hardwood and softwood forest. This is a moderate to easy hike and you will be out before dinner. 413-628-4485 ex 4 Old Goshen Road, Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

5:30-9:30pn – COMMUNITY DINNER: The Shutesbury Elementary School hosts at Spaghetti Supper & Spring Silent Auction. Bring the family and enjoy dinner together with your community while supporting local education. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA (FUNDRAISER)

7pm – CIRCUS: Cirque Shanghai performs Bai Xi at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center!  The show combines acrobatics, action, and contemporary staging and choreography to create a beautiful, moving piece of artwork.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  ($$)

7pm – THEATER: Mill City Production performance of the classic children’s story, James and the Giant Peach from the book by Roald Dahl and dramatized by Richard R. George.  An adaptation of the 1961 children’s book, this production is sure to delight both children and adults alike. The cast features 13 local actors and features Charlie Waltermire as James. Performances will take place at Mill City’s Theatre at Building 4N (next to the Visitor’s Center) in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. North Adams, MA ($)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Students from Williams College’s astronomy program present a planetarium show tonight!  Held at the Milham Planetarium, the show will teach families about the many shiny things they see in the sky at night – they’re not all stars and planets!  Depending on weather conditions, observing may take place after the show.  413-597-3131.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

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) ♦
  • 11am-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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