Suggested Events for April 27th-May 3rd, 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

Outdoor Farmers’ Markets are slowly starting back up! The opening of Tuesday Market in Northampton happens this coming Tuesday, April 30th where you can pick up the ingredients you need to make a dish to bring to the Burgy Farmers’ Market Pot-Luck Dinner Benefit at the Williamsburg Grange two days later on Thursday, May 2nd!  How convenient is that?!

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 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.

Apr 28

Holy Bonfire! Community Lag B’Omer Festival happening Sunday, April 28th from 11am-1pm- rain or shine! Beit Ahavah & Congregation B’nai Israel Community Schools present: Bonfire, live music by Yiddishkeit Klezmir, musical storytelling by Anna Sobel & Aharaon Skogland, recycled art crafts, archery, games, haircutting booth, chickens, facepainting, “love-shack booth” & more! Kosher, pastured beef hot-dogs & veggie dogs. $5 suggested donation. All ages welcome! Held at Cong. B’nai Israel, 253 Prospect St, Northampton. Lag B’Omer is the joyous holiday held on the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer between Passover & Shavuot. For more info & RSVP: 413-584-3593, rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org. “Join” us on Facebook & invite your friends!

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.

May 5

Bread Euphoria is having a birthday & the community is invited to celebrate 15 years of baked goodness at Wheatstock II, featuring live music & delicious food. The party takes place on Sunday, May 5th from 12noon-6pm at the Williamsburg Grange, on Route 9. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 5-12yo (under 5yo are free), & includes an impressive entertainment lineup of local favorites the Sweetback Sisters, Primate Fiasco and Swing Caravan — & birthday cake (including vegan & gluten-free choices). Meat & vegetarian shish kabobs, salads, sides & beverages will be available for purchase, as well. Come for the food and stay for the fun-or come for the fun & stay for the food-either way, come! For more info call Bread Euphoria: 413-268-7757

May 11

Mother’s Day Giveaway! Enter to win more than $700 worth of wellness services for new and expecting mothers in Western MA. This collaboration of five local (women-owned) businesses will grant one lucky mother with gift certificates for a month of free diaper service, 2 appointments for prenatal or postnatal massage, 2 acupuncture treatments, $150 savings on birth doula service & $150 savings on birth photography. Participating business include Simple Diaper & Linen, Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga, Jo Bunny Massage and Yoga, Bellyfull Birth, and Nature & Nurture Photography and Doula Services. Deadline to enter is May 11, 2013. Drawing will take place on Mother’s Day. Check out www.facebook.com/MothersDayGiveaway to enter & for details.

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.

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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
April 27th-May 3rd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, April 27th, 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!

7:30-9:30am – ORNITHOLOGY: Join the Hoffman Bird Club for a special Birding Beyond Your Backyard expedition to Field Farm, a Trustees of Reservations property.  Families will learn to spot and identify some common birds, and will get to explore the beautiful landscape.  413-458-4908.  Sloan Road.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

8am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Join the Springfield Science Museum’s volunteer team to help remove trash from Springfield’s parks and public spaces during their Earth Day Clean-up.  Family volunteers will meet at Duggan Middle School, bringing bags, buckets and gloves. For info or to sign up call 413-263-6800 x404.  1015 Wilbraham Road. Springfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

8am-1pm – RECYCLING: Get rid of your batteries, washing machines and old electronics at the Hadley Mothers’ Club Recycling Day. The Salvation Army will collect reusable items and clothing donations. Pick up service for larger items available! Visit the website for a complete list of collected materials. Denise Devine 413-584-1859. Hopkins Academy parking lot 131 Russell St, Hadley, MA (FREE/FUNDRAISER)

8:30am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: 3rd Annual Clean-up West Springfield Day. Volunteers will be fanning out across West Springfield to clean-up their neighborhoods, parks and downtown areas.  Registration at 8:30am at the Rotary Pavilion at Mittineague Park.  Coffee, juice and donuts begin the day.  Returning at 12noon to Mittineague Park where the Lions Club will be serving lunch to the volunteers. 413-731-9249. West Springfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Volunteer with your teens with Mass Audubon at Graves Farm. Volunteer opportunities include: Land Stewardship; Ecological Management and Habitat Improvement; Trail Improvement. 413-584-3009. Williamsburg, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Families with children 10yo and older can volunteer together at the Community Gardens. Help set up 162 plots by staking the gardens, installing waterlines and faucets, and raking and flattening the pathways. Get the site ready for the gardening season by painting, planting, setting up compost areas, repairing and installing the scarecrows. Or help clear and expand a turtle nesting site. 413-637-0320 x 8353. 350 Williams Street. Pittsfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Join Northfield Mountain in creating a new natural playscape!  The Community Network for Children’s summer playgroups meet at the location, and the mountain is visited by lots of families throughout the year.  A natural playscape features climbing logs, stone paths, fairy houses, forts – anything made of natural materials!  No building experience necessary, just come with creativity!  978-544-5157.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help the Trustees of Reservations to maintain Bartholomew’s Cobble – volunteer during the organization’s spring workday to help with some outdoor “spring cleaning” of the area.  Families will be able to help with projects, and will also learn about ways that they can help to maintain the property throughout the season.  Lunch provided!  413-229-8600. Sheffield, MA.  (FREE)

9am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Families can help the Housatonic Valley Association clean up the Old Mill Trail trailhead during their spring work party.  Help get the trail ready for a new hiking season by picking up trash and debris, replacing lost markers and removing invasive plant species.  413-394-9796. Old Dalton Road (opposite the Hinsdale Trading Co.) Hinsdale, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-3pm – FESTIVAL: The first ever Pioneer Valley Outdoor Festival takes place today!  Numerous local organizations and vendors will be on hand to share information about fun outdoor adventures that can take place locally.  Families can learn about everything from whitewater kayaking to day hikes in the Berkshires!  Jurassic Roadshow will be at the event, too, showing off a wide array of dinosaur fossils – pint-sized paleontologists will learn lots about the exciting specimens!  Takes place at Westfield State’s Wilson Hall.  Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

9am-4pm – MULTIDISCIPLINARY LEARNING: Amherst College students offer a variety of workshops today at the school’s spring SPLASH! event.  Kids can take part in multiple workshops (that they choose themselves – but space is limited!) in categories such as arts, engineering, computer science, languages, and more.  Some of the topics covered in workshops include introductory Chinese, skills for self-teaching, the math behind elections, edible plants, and a capella singing!  Kids with mutli- or inter-disciplinary interests will be able to get their fill at SPLASH, and will get to learn about unique and interesting topics, as well!  Registration required.  Takes place at Converse Hall.  220 South Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

9:30am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Volunteer with your teens with Mass Audubon at Laughing Brook Sanctuary. Volunteer opportunities include: Land Stewardship; Ecological Management and Habitat Improvement; Trail Improvement. 413-584-3009. Hampden, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-4pm – CONSIGNMENT SALE: Community Health Programs is sponsoring a two-day consignment sale including maternity clothing and all types of quality children’s items: Spring/Summer clothing (sizes newborn to youth 14), toys, videos, games, books, cribs, furniture, sporting equipment and lots more. Takes place at the Housatonic Community Center. 413-644-0104 x1159. Main Street. Housatonic, MA (SALE)

10am – ECO-ART: Visit TREEHOUSE for an Earth Day-themed art event!  Kids can make clean, green art projects – including pinwheels and picture frames – out of recycled materials, and families can learn about natural options for craft supplies.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am – ARBOR DAY: Plant a tree at the Bushnell-Sage Library and learn about the history of Arbor Day!  This family event is designed to celebrate and commemorate the day, and will teach families about why it exists and why it is important to participate.  413-229-7004.  58 Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-12noon – SUSTAINABILITY: Most kids love worms!  Worms can also be a great teacher, showing children how they break down organic material into dirt!  Composting with the help of worms is a fun way to compost your kitchen scraps into rich soil for your garden, while getting kids excited about the process.  Stop by the Old Creamery with the kids and have them check out a worm composting bin demo.  413-634-5560. 445 Berkshire Trail (Route 9). Cummington, MA (FREE)

10am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Join Tamarack Hollow, a newly formed non-profit educational center, in clearing trails and making open space on their 32-acre boreal forest reserve. They need assistance dragging brush, cutting and clipping trees, clearing and blazing trails and more! They are also seeking donations of lumber to build out facility structures. Please email: aimee@gaiaroots.com to sign up for one or both work-days. Food provided for participants. 1515 Savoy Hollow Road. Windsor, MA (VOLUNTEER) 

10am-4:30pm – STORYTELLING: Hampshire College hosts AGO! Storytelling Festival today!  There will be many types of stories shared throughout the day (in numerous campus locations), and acclaimed storyteller Onawumi Jean Moss will share a tale or two.  Children’s stories will take place from 10am-12noon in the recital hall at the Music and Dance Building – this is the most family-friendly portion of the event.  In the afternoon, there will be personal stories told in the Library Kiva from 12noon-3pm, myths and fables can be heard from 1-3pm in the recital hall of the Music and Dance Building, and story crafters can share original stories from 3-4:30pm at the college’s Writing Center.  893 West Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – SUSTAINABILITY FESTIVAL: There are lots of ways that families can change their habits in order to live  more sustainable lifestyle – often it’s just a matter of learning how to do it!  The annual Amherst Sustainability Festival takes place today on the Amherst Common, and features booths, displays, and activities from lots of local vendors and organizations – all geared towards teaching visitors about sustainable living and sustainable habits.  There will be live music and demonstrations, too!  Main Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: 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.  ($$)

10:30am-1:30pm – HEALTH AND WELLNESS: The Hampshire Regional YMCA hosts Healthy Kids Day today!  Families (non-members welcome) can try out Zumba classes, participate in gymnastics play at Tumble Time, do arts and crafts projects, and learn about ways to stay fit and healthy.  413-584-7086.  286 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

11am – FINANCES: The Jones Library in offering an introduction to money, called “Money Basics for Kids.” This will be presented by two local bank representatives and will cover the basics concepts of having, spending, donating, and investing.  Best for kids ages 5-10yo. Preregister. 413-259-3223. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)

11am-2pm – SCHOOL PREPAREDNESS: Are your kids heading to school for the first time in the near future?  Berkshire United Way is hosting a School Readiness Fair today at the Berkshire Mall!  Families can attend the event to meet early childhood professionals, learn about local schools, register for early childhood education, and find out what they can be doing at home to support children’s transition into attending school.  Get answers to all of your school-related questions, and help your kids prepare for what’s ahead!  Route 8.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

12noon – CULTURAL STUDIES: Smith College students host an Arabic Cultural Festival today on the lawn of Davis Hall!  There will be henna, calligraphy lessons, poetry, and art from the Irqi Children’s Art Exchange.  Learn all about arabic culture!  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

12noon – GARDENING: Have plans on gardening this summer with your kids.  Come by the Old Creamery and learn how to recycle newspaper into biodegradable pots to start your seedlings in.  A fun way to recycle newspaper and to get kids excited about growing their own food & flowers. 413-634-5560. 445 Berkshire Trail (Route 9). Cummington, 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 ($)

2-3pm – MARIONETTE SHOW: Tanglewood Marionette’s The Dragon King will be performed at the Robyn Newhouse Hall at Community Music School of Springfield.  An underwater fantasy based on Chinese folklore, Tanglewood Marionettes’ latest production tells the tale of an intrepid Grandmother who journeys to the bottom of the sea to seek the Dragon King, and the answers to why he has forsaken the land above.  Colorful sea creatures, an exciting adventure, and a Dragon King that will knock your socks off! 413-732-8428. 127 State Street. Springfield, MA (>$)

3pm - LOCAL HISTORYVentfort Hall hosts a Victorian tea and a lecture on local history this afternoon!  Best for older students, the tea and treats will follow a talk titled, “Driving Miss Biddle: Michael Cole and the Life of a Lenox Chauffer,” which will teach visitors about the employee/employer relationship that the local man had with the wealthy families he worked for in the Berkshires.  Advance tickets suggested.  413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

3-6pm – BOWL-A-THON: Volunteer with your family to help the Berkshire Humane Society raise money for their cat adoption center.  A bowl-a-thon is a family-friendly fundrasing event.  Get a team of four together and sign up to bowl 3 games.  All this fun will take place at Cove Lanes.  Get your registration packet and sign up to support animal welfare in the Berkshires. 413-717-4244. 109 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

3pm & 7pm – PERFORMANCE: Minerva Arts Center‘s workshop The Gleekers will be performing.  for the public. Students in the workshop present dance, song and theatricality ranging from Broadway tunes to modern songs and choreography. Directed by Nicole Rizzo and Kimberly Rose, Produced by Kathy O’Mara and the Minerva Creative Team. Takes place a The First Congregational Church, Fellowship Hall. 413-441-6120. 906 Main Street. Williamstown, MA (>$)

4-7pm - FAMILY FUN: The Northampton Parents Center is hosting a Spring Family Fun Night with playtime, optional potluck and family entertainment. Everyone is welcomed, so bring the whole family!  297 Main Street (lower level). Northampton, MA (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – TEENS: Marketplace Cafe hosts a Young Artists’ Open Mic for youth ages 21yo and younger. Young adults ages 21yo and younger can come show off their talent! 413-358-4777. 53 North Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

8pm – THEATER: The Age of Aquarius dawns tonight at the UMass Fine Arts Center with the musical, Hair! The classic show – about young people searching for peace in a turbulent time – is filled with upbeat songs and teaches a great message.  413-545-2511.  151 President’s Drive.  Amherst, MA.  ($$)

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.  Mature theme and may not be suitable for younger children. Easthampton, MA ($)

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Sunday, April 28th, 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.

9-11am – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Bring the kids and spend a Sunday morning volunteering together at a Rail Trail Clean Up Day (King St to Pleasant St).  If you’re interested in helping out, email John Power at  info@johnpowerimt.com. Northampton, MA (VOLUNTEER)

9am-4pm - CONSIGNMENT SALE: Community Health Programs is sponsoring a two-day consignment sale including maternity clothing and all types of quality children’s items: Spring/Summer clothing (sizes newborn to youth 14), toys, videos, games, books, cribs, furniture, sporting equipment and lots more. Takes place at the Housatonic Community Center. 413-644-0104 x1159. Main Street. Housatonic, MA (SALE)

10am-4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: 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 – ROAD RACE: Run through the daffodils today and help to raise money for Hampshire County Big Brothers Big Sisters!  The annual Daffodil Fun Run is a 5K run/walk, beginning at Kendrick Park.  Spend the morning enjoying the spring air as a family and help to support a great cause!  Registration required.  East Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

11am-1pm - CULTURAL STUDIES/COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: Beit Ahavah & Congregation B’nai Israel Community Schools present a community Lag B’Omer Festival: bonfire, live music by Yiddishkeit Klezmir, musical storytelling by Anna Sobel & Aharaon Skogland, recycled art crafts, archery, games, haircutting booth, chickens, facepainting, “love-shack booth” & more! Cong. B’nai Israel. 253 Prospect St, Northampton, MA (>$)

11:30am-12:30pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: How do frogs grow from jelly-like eggs into big, slimy hopping creatures?  Learn today with educator Rachel Roberts, who will lead an exploration of the life cycle of frogs!  The event will include storytime and a search for tadpoles.  Learning will reinforce participants’ understanding of animal behavior and the cycles of nature around us all year long… and if you’re lucky, there will be live wood frog tadpoles to look at closely!  Best for kids ages up to 9yo. Takes place at the Bernardston Unitarian Meetinghouse.  49 Church Street.  Bernardston, MA.  (FREE)

1pm - NATIONAL SCREEN FREE WEEK: Random House Children’s Books issues the challenge to UNPLUG & READ this spring in support of National Screen Free Week—the annual celebration from the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) that encourages turning off screens and turning on life.  To spread the word, Random House is touring four of its most distinguished picture book artists: Chris Raschka, Bob Staake, Dan Yaccarino and Tad Hills.   The artists, along with local artist and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka, will present at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.  A book signing will follow. 413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

2pm – HISTORY: Tea has played a very important role throughout history worldwide!  Historic Deerfield is hosting a new exhibition titled, “Tea Talk: Ritual and Refinement in Early American Parlors,” and this afternoon mark’s the exhibit’s opening!  Attend the reception for a tea tasting, where you’ll be able to learn about the differences in flavor and origin of various teas, as well as a presentation on the exhibition’s significance.  Families will learn about the tea trade, the use of tea in homes, and its role in socializing in early America.  Great for older students, the event will teach about American history through a lens of material culture.  413-775-7179.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  ($$)

2pm - FILM/CULTURAL STUDIES: Amherst Cinema, along with Families with Children from China Western Mass, screens Somewhere Between, a film that looks at adoption of Chinese children and the complex identities that these children (the overwhelming majority of which are girls) develop while growing up in the United States.  Suggested for ages 14+.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

2pm – LOCAL HISTORY: What was the community like 20, 30, or even 60 years ago?  Learn about Huntington’s history from some of the area’s oldest residents.  They’ll share stories, pictures, and memorabilia from many decades back in the town’s history.  The event is sponsored by the historical society, and is part of a series designed to connect the many generations living in town.  Takes place at Stanton Hall.  Huntington, 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 ($)

4pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES: In celebration of their centennial, the Temple Beth El is hosting a special concert that combines traditional Jewish and African-American music!  Titled, “Soul to Soul: Yiddish and African-American Music Meet in a Celebration of Two Cultures,” the show is performed by Folksbiene, the National Yiddish Theater.  Families can learn about music history, and can listen for similarities between the two types of music.  Older students can pair knowledge of American history with the things that they learn about Jewish and African-American culture in order to understand the cultures in context.  979 Dickinson Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($$)

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Monday, April 29th, 2013

5pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The YEAH! Network (Youth Empowerment Adolescent Health Network) hosts, “Let’s Talk About Sex: Continuing the Community Conversation About Preventing Teen Pregnancy.”  The event takes places at Taconic High School, and will feature keynote speaker Dr. Sarah Perez McAdoo, co-founder of YEAH!, an organization that utilizes advocacy, research, and community collaborations to educate and empower local youth.  Parents can learn about this important cause, and what they can do to help their own children make healthy, informed decisions.  Sponsored by Berkshire United Way.  96 Valentine Road.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

5:30pm – COMMUNITY DINNER/FILM: Spaghetti Dinner/Spaghetti Western Fundraiser! Enjoy an evening of spaghetti – on a plate and on the big screen!  Enjoy a spaghetti dinner at the First Congregational Church of Williamstown, followed by a screening of a classic spaghetti western (“The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” starring Clint Eastwood) at Images Cinema, as a fundraiser for continued presentation of great films at Images.  Yum!  413-458-1039.  Main Street and 50 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($$)

6pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Wistariahurst Museum is hosting a series of lectures on the effects of the evolution of transportation on the local community, and the marks that changes in transportation have left on our landscape.  Tonight’s talk is titled, “Chariots of Change: The History of the Holyoke Street Railway Company,” and will explore the effect that the railway had on the development of Holyoke during the 19th and 20th centuries.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

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 30th, 2013

4pm – READING: Review a book you love today at the Forest Park Library!  Families can stop by the children’s section to add reviews to books or chapters that they’ve enjoyed.  Library visitors can then use the rating system to choose their next book.  Review an old favorite, or read some new books together and share your thoughts!  413-263-6843.  380 Belmont Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Have you ever found yourself chalking up your child’s social challenges to shyness?  Learn about ways to encourage friendship building and curiosity for new experiences in children who tend to be quiet and cautious.  Often called “just shy,” such kids have lots of unique and useful personality traits.  She/He’s Shy, That’s All, takes place at the Ware Family Center, and is hosted by the Collaborative for Educational Services.  Registration required for childcare.  413-570-3061.  49 Church Street.  Ware, MA.  (FREE)

6-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Managing money for a family can be difficult – there’s so much to keep track of!  The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a workshop on financial literacy tonight at the Palmer-Monson Family Network:Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck.  Parents can learn easy budgeting, how to check a credit report, and strategies for teaching kids about money.  All very useful skills to have!  413-570-3061.  4 Springfield Street.  Four Rivers, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – BIOGEOGRAPHY: Galapagos Islands – A BioGeography at the Dickinson Library. From Darwin’s finches to the classification as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Galapagos Islands have been a laboratory for compelling scientific study. Join Northfield Mount Hermon’s Becca Leslie for a photographic journey through one of the wonders of the natural world.  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, May 1st, 2013

Happy May Day!

Download a Kindness Calendar for the month of May.

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 – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Join the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School in celebrating May Day!  Students at the school will start the event off with country dancing, and local Morris dancers will perform as well.  Fiddle and flute music will accompany the dancing, and a traditional May pole will be decorated.  Games and a picnic follow the performance – BYO lunch!  413-528-4015.  35 West Plain Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – CO-OP CELEBRATION: Join Collective Copies today in their 30 year celebration as a worker-owned collective! May Day will kick off at 2pm with a walk for workers and friends up and down Amherst’s Pleasant Street, followed at 3pm with an Open House featuring worker-produced food and beverage and conversation.  Bring the kids and let them learn about worker owned businesses. Steve Strimer of Collective Copies’ Levellers Press will present a workshop for those interested in self-publishing. All are welcomed. 71 S. Pleasant St. Amherst, 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)

6-8:30pm - PARENT WORKSHOP: The Valley CDC is offering a workshop series for first-time homebuyers!  Parents can take part in the workshops, will run on Wednesdays during May (through the 22nd).  Participants will learn about securing great loans, accessing money for down payments and closing costs, and making good decisions when buying property.  Registration required.  Takes place at the Bangs Community Center.  413-586-5855.  Boltwood Walk.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – SUSTAINABILITY: The Sunderland Library hosts compost expert Daniel Dinal for a slide presentation about composting, the best way to get rid of your leftovers and the easiest way to grow healthy, happy, delicious vegetables.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE)

7pm - PARENT WORKSHOP: Join members of the Amherst Early Education Consortium for a parent workshop titled, “Is This Just a Rough Patch, or Do We Really Need Help?”  The workshop will teach parents about handling difficult family situations, and will offer strategies for knowing how to navigate tough times (and when to bring in outside help!).  Takes place at the Cushman-Scott Preschool.  71 Henry Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

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

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer-Monson Family Network hosts infant and toddler play group! 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Bi-weekly in the community room at Becket Town Hall, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-664-0104. 65 Walker Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Lenox Community Center, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-644-0104. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am or 1:30pm – STORYTIME: Fantastic Fours and Fives takes place today at the Westfield Library! Registration is required for storytime. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center! 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: At the South Hadley Family Center. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:45-11:15am – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts, “Getting Real about Motherhood,” a support group designed to help mothers share the stress and adjustments of motherhood and work to find ways to feel renewed, valued, and energized. Takes place at the Amherst Family Center, in the basement of the Unitarian Society. Childcare available. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Wendell Free Library hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 978.544.5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime at the Westhampton Library! 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am - PARENT GROUP: Enjoy coffee and a chat with other parents at the Westhampton Library – stop in after dropping kids off at school through the end of Sept.! 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – 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. ($) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: In the gym at Erving Elementary School, hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413- 423-3326. 18 Northfield Road. Erving, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: Hosted by the Mason Library – also includes stories, songs, and crafts. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the New Marlborough Library, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-644-0104. 1 New Marlborough-Great Barrington Road. New Marlborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: At the Leverett Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30: SINGING: Sing with Your Baby with Wendy happens at the Jones Library. For preK kids and younger, and their parents/caretakers. Takes place in the Woodbury Room. Runs through Dec. 18. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity St. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 11-11:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler Time with Stephanie at the Forbes Library! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon - STORY/MUSIC TIME: Northfield Library hosts Story and Music Time. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – GYMNASTICS: Whip City Gym hosts homeschool open gymnastics! The event is not a formal class, but offers kids unstructured play time physical activity amongst true gymnastics equipment. Great for kids interested in gymnastics, dance, or cheerleading, and gym playtime can also help kids work on balance and coordination. Takes place through the school year. 413-569-3231. 320 College Highway. Southwick, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 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, May 2nd, 2013

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Bartholomew’s Cobble is a valuable community resource – it provides a beautiful, scenic, and life-filled space for exploration and education.  Help to maintain the preserve’s trails today with the Trustees of Reservations!  The Cobble’s Eco-Volunteers meet every Thursday morning through November in order to help maintain the area for visitors’ use.  413-229-8600.  Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  (FREE)

6-9pm – DINNER FOR A CAUSE/PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT:  Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity‘s “Feast for Habitat” is serving up local brews and samples from the spring menus of local restaurants alongside an extensive silent auction to benefit the organization.  Make it a date night and put your evening budget towards a good cause while enjoying an evening out.  Takes place at Cowls Building Supply to celebrate their “construction” themed event. 413-586- 5430. 125 Sunderland Road. Amherst, MA (FUNDRAISER)

7-8pm – NATURE STUDIES: Introduction to Vernal Pool ecology, species identification and citizen scientist training will be taking place at the Meekins Library. Learn what makes these wetlands so amazing and how identify the amphibians and invertebrate animals that use Vernal Pools to breed. Best for older students. 413-268-7472. Route 9. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

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) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Bartholomew’s Cobble is a valuable community resource – it provides a beautiful, scenic, and life-filled space for exploration and education.  Help to maintain the preserve’s trails today with the Trustees of Reservations!  The Cobble’s Eco-Volunteers meet every Thursday morning through November in order to help maintain the area for visitors’ use.  413-229-8600.  Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, 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, May 3rd, 2013

6:30-8:30pm - TW/EENS: Berkshire South Regional Community Center will offer at Cinco de Mayo Dance for youth in grades 6th-8th.  Authentic Mexican music, traditional Mexican-style snacks and a whole lot of fun! 13-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA (>$)

7pm – THEATER: Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School presents, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” at the Academy of Music!  The Tony-award winning script tells the story (in musical form!) of a group of just-barely adolescents battling with puberty and the desire to win the spelling championship of a lifetime, and the just-barely adults charged with overseeing them.  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

7-9pm – MOVIE: It’s Free Family Film Night at the United Church of Christ of Holyoke!  Bring pillows and/or a lawn chair to make viewing extra comfy.  Popcorn and beverages provided.  Doors open at 6:30pm.  Appleton and High Streets.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

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) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – 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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