Suggested Events for December 7th-13th, 2013

Discover fun and educational events happening this week in western Massachusetts, along with announcements, upcoming events, links, resources and the HFVS podcast.

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families is a newfound little gem that helps connect my bigger city family to our hilltown minds. What a wonderful surprise to find this site!” – Wesley Jillson (Chicopee, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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.

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BULLETIN BOARD

Dec 6-8

The LEGO® KidsFest is a giant traveling LEGO expo coming to Hartford, CT at the Connecticut Convention Center from December 6-8. This hands-on, educational, all-ages LEGO extravaganza features millions of LEGO bricks, not to mention lots of construction zones, dozens of life-sized LEGO models and displays, LEGO Friends and LEGO Games, group builds such as Creation Nation, live LEGO Master Builders, and so much more covering three acres of space. There are five identical sessions available. Tickets are $18 for kids and $20 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, log on to www.LEGOKidsFest.com.

Open House Dec 7

Crafty Rumpus and Yggdrasil: (Center School’s Open House that is Open to Everyone) is Sat. Dec. 7, from 10am-2pm. Pre-K through 8th grade teachers will offer free creative art and crafting projects for kids ages 3-12. And, new, this year 8 is Yggdrasil: an interactive, enchanted indoor forest. Yggdrasil is a tree in Norse mythology that welcomes us into 9 magical realms. Free Yggdrasil realms will feature archery with Amherst Archery Association, a labyrinth, fairy house building, toadstool necklaces, a cave to discover one’s own power animal and more!In addition: savory and sweet foods available for purchase, Come, to Rumpus and Yggdrasil, meet the teachers and families of The Center School. All are welcome! centerschoolrumpus.blogspot.com

Dec 7

Winter Fair at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School at the Brassworks on Rt. 9 in Williamsburg on Saturday, Dec 7, 10am-3pm. The Winter Fair at HCCPS is a wonderful day of craft-making, music, books & food. Come with your children to create personal holiday gifts for family members, enjoy performances all day and get a great home-made lunch. Browse the Scholastic Book Fair too, for well-priced books from classics to comics. At the Fair you can create a wreath, make a felt mask or a set of coasters. You can dip pretzels in chocolate or decorate gingerbread people. How about making a rubber-band bracelet or a treasure box, or a set of “bath bombs” or festive fire-starters? There is something for everyone at the Hilltown Winter Fair!

Dec 7

A full day of holiday festivities for the entire family happens this Saturday, Dec 7th, at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, including: holiday card making; theatre performances of The Velveteen Rabbit; and storytime & art making with author/illustrator Tracey Campbell Pearson! Holiday card making begins at 10am, Starlight Youth Theatre performs The Velveteen Rabbit at 11am &1pm, and Tracey Campbell Pearson shares her new book Elephant’s Story with an art activity at 1pm, followed by a storytime at 2pm. For more info visit www.carlemuseum.org. Tickets may be purchased in advance for the theatre performance at the Museum Admissions Desk or by calling 413-658-1126. The Carle is unable to accept same-day phone reservations.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your afterschool class, community event, open house, auditions,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 in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN OUR TEAM OF CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Interested in becoming a Contributing or Guest Writer for Hilltown Families? We welcome writings that reflect the community building and educational efforts parents, teens, teachers, artists, activists and community leaders work towards and accomplish and how that affects, supports and empowers our families. All writing styles welcomed, including local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

HILLTOWN FAMILIES EVENTS

Dec 7

On Saturday, December 7th, from 9:30-11am, Hilltown Families is sponsoring a free Board Game Swap in the community room at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, MA. A fun way to recycle old board games and to discover new ones. Board games make excellent holiday gifts for friends and family too. Surprise them with a new recycled game. This community swap is free and open to everyone.

Dec 13

A Serving of Art: A Hilltown Families’ Family Community Service Night: Engaging your family in community service teaches kids positive values while opening up channels of communication between parent and child, and can increase their participation as future volunteers in their community! Join us for an evening of community service on Friday, December 13th from 4-7pm in Shelburne Falls at The Art Garden, for A Serving of Art: Placemat Making, the first in a series of five free family community service nights!

This holiday season, Hilltown Families is hosting a Virtual Holiday Food Drive in support of food security in our region! Every $1 donated through the Hilltown Families Virtual Holiday Food Drive equals $13 worth of food distributed to families in need (the equivalent of nearly 10 meals!). Please take a moment to participate in the Hilltown Families Virtual Holiday Food Drive, and consider organizing a food drive in your community too.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 7th-13th, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | School Closings

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, December 7th, 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. – Grammy nominated children’s artist Judy Pancoast is our guest DJ with a musical celebration of December holidays with tunes for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Learn the true story behind the legend of Santa Claus, plus an original story about a little mouse in search of a perfect Christmas tree.- 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 show.

Saturday, December 7th from 8:30am & 10:30am – COMMUNITY MEAL/SANTA: Join the Westfield State University community for breakfast with Santa in Scanlon Banquet Hall.  Admission to the meal includes breakfast, face painting, a gift for each child, and entertainment by the Melha clowns.  A great way for families to spend time together with other community members.  Tickets available here.  413-572-5218.  577 Western Avenue.  Westfield, MA.  $

Saturday, December 7th from 9:30am-11am – BOARD GAME SWAP: Hilltown Families is sponsoring a free Board Game Swap in the community room at the Meekins Library in Williamsburg. A fun way to recycle old board games and to discover new ones. Board games make excellent holiday gifts for friends and family too. Surprise them with a new recycled game. This community swap is free and open to everyone Meekins Library. Route 9. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 9:30am-11am – COMMUNITY MEAL/SANTA: Come have breakfast with Santa at the Garden House at Look Park!  The whole family will love this delicious breakfast buffet and enjoy having the opportunity to hang out with Santa.  Reservations requested.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  $

Saturday, December 7th from 9:30am-4:30pm - HISTORY/HOLIDAYS: Historic Deerfield kicks off their Heritage Holiday with Heritage Baking Day!  Food is an important part of many holiday traditions, and this day is meant to commemorate that while teaching about the role of baking in holiday traditions of the past.  This day also includes caroling, gingerbread cookie decorating, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more.  A full list of Heritage Holiday events can be found here.  413-774-5581.  84B Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  $

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-11:30am – MYO GIFTS: Come make holiday cards with friends and family at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!  All materials will be provided, so bring your creativity and make five fun cards and envelopes.  For ages 3 and up.  Registration is requested.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-12noon – TOY EXCHANGE: The Northampton Department of Public Works is holding their Third Annual Holiday Toy Exchange on 12/6 from 5pm-8pm and 12/7 from 8am-9am, with pickup for the general public on 12/7 from 10am-12noon.  The DPW is accepting donations of clean, gently used sports equipment, musical instruments, action figures/dolls, books, games, puzzles, stuffed animals, and MUCH more!  Most children’s toys and activities are accepted, as well as clean and gently used outerwear.  Takes place at the Northampton Senior Center.  67 Conz Street.  Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-12noon – ARTS & CRAFTS/CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: The UMass Office of Family Resources is offering several free, fun family events today!  Kids can come make safari animal collages with artist/education Janet Winston, enjoy snacktime with family and friends, and see a fun, interactive performance by Miss Leticia.  For North Village and campus families.  Takes place in Student Union.  More information is available here. 413-545-0865.  280 Hicks Way.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-2pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The Center School’s Rumpus and Yggdrasil Open House takes place today, and includes creative arts and crafts projects and an interactive indoor forest based on the Yggdrasil, an ash tree from Norse mythology.  The Yggdrasil will feature archery, a chance to build fairy houses and toadstool necklaces, puppets, a labyrinth, a “hope tree,” face painting, and more.  There will also be a bonfire and drumming school.  More information and a full list of events can be found here.  413-773-1700.  71 Montague City Road.  Greenfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-3pm – MYO CRAFT FAIR/BOOK FAIR: The Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School is hosting a family book and craft fair today in the Brassworks building.  Kids and their parents will have the opportunity to do different craft projects, like making buttons, gingerbread people, wreaths, felt masks, rubber band bracelets, bookmarks, wind chimes, and more!  There will also be new books from Scholastic available, as well as crafts made by students, and a performance by the Hilltown School chorus.  All proceeds benefit the school library and other educational programs.  413-268-3421.  132 Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: “Dancing Princesses: The Fairy Tale Art of Ruth Sanderson” opens today at the Norman Rockwell Museum, and remains on display until March 9, 2014.  This exhibition displays Sanderson’s art and illustrations from many fantastical children’s books, as well as some original stories.  People of all ages will enjoy seeing these timeless illustrations up close and seeing how the tales come to life through art.  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-5pm - OPEN STUDIOS: Shop for local, handmade gifts and explore artists’ studios at Cottage Street Studios’ annual Open Studio and Holiday Sale!  Participating artists will open their studio doors to the public, who can take a peek inside the studios of these professional artists while looking at handmade gifts for the holidays.  This unique opportunity is not to be missed!  413-658-8406.  1 Cottage Street.  Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 10am-5pm – CRAFT FAIR: Find handmade and crafty holiday gifts at Alchemy Initiative’s 5th Annual Handmade Holiday Festival, held at the Masonic Lodge in Pittsfield.  Over 30 juried artisans, designers, and food producers from all over New England will be selling their handmade goods, including jewelry, ceramics, watercolors, apparel, wooden cutting boards, ornaments, and much more.  This is an excellent place to find a variety of local, handmade gifts.  116 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 7th at 11am & 1pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Starlight Youth Theatre will perform their rendition of The Velveteen Rabbit today at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.  This beloved tale, based on the children’s novel by Margery Williams, tells of the love between a boy and his stuffed rabbit.  The performance is the debut of Starlight’s first-ever children’s theater class and features 13 talented teen performers.  This performance is a great chance to see this classic and touching tale come to life.  Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day of the show.  413-658-1126.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-12noon – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Terry A La Berry is performing at the Spectrum Playhouse today!  Young kids will enjoy this fun-filled and interactive performance.  413-394-5023.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-3pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Home for the Holidays in downtown Greenfield. Greenfield, known for its picturesque and vibrant downtown, features a quintessential American Main Street where you can enjoy dining, shopping, entertainment, history, architecture, and recreation by simply taking a stroll. At the season’s Home for the Holidays celebration, you’ll find Santa, caroling, shopping & hot chocolate to warm up with.  413-774-2791. Veterans Mall, downtown Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-3pm - HISTORY/HOLIDAYS: Celebrate the holidays at The Mount on 11/30, 12/7, and 12/14 at their “Backstairs” tours.  These tours, inspired by PBS’ Downton Abbey, will highlight the roles, relationships, living conditions, and working expectations of the 20 servants who staffed the house and property each summer.  Tours will be given at 12noon and 2pm.  Those who are interested in history and want to know more about class dynamics in the late 1800s and early 1900s will enjoy these tours.  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  $

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-11:30am – HOLIDAY STORYTIME: As part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas event, the Stockbridge Library is hosting a children’s holiday storytime.  Kids can come hear favorite holiday stories!  413-298-5501.  46 Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY/HOLIDAY WALK: Explore some of Stockbridge’s historic homes and properties as past of Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas on this Holiday House Tour.  The self-guided tour will take you to October Mountain Farm, 1862 Seasons on Main B&B, Merwin House, Southmayd, Naumkeag, and Windermere.  Discover local history and learn about the Stockbridge of the past on this tour.  Tickets can be purchased in advance through the Chamber of Commerce or on the day of at the Red Lion Inn.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$$

Saturday, December 7th from 11am-4pm – HOLIDAYS/HISTORY: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowtown Village’s Yuletide this Saturday & Sunday! This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment.  There will be traditional music, dance, holiday songs, people in period costume, ice sculpting, kid’s activities, a petting zoo, visits with Santa, and much more.  More Storrowtown Yuletide information can be found here.  413-205-5051.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7th at 1pm – CULINARY ARTS/HOLIDAYS: Kids can come to the Berkshire Co-Op Market today to learn how to make gingerbread people.  Participants will leave the workshop with dough they made, and will have the chance to decorate cookies as well.  A good way for kids to learn how to make fun holiday treats!  Please sign-up in advance.  413-528-9697 x10.  42 Bridge Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 7th at 1pm – SINGING: The Forbes Library and the Smith College Libraries have come together to host the first annual Holiday Sing-Along and Open Jam.  Lend your voice, bring your instrument, and play seasonal music with others to get into the holiday spirit.  Donations will be accepted for Typhoon Haiyan relief.  413-587-1011.  20 West Street.  Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7th at 1pm & 2pm – ARTS & CRAFTS/STORYTIME: Author Tracey Campbell Pearson will be at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art today for a special art studio activity based on her new book, Elephant’s Story (1pm).  There will also be a special storytime (2pm), which includes a book signing and background information on how the book came to be.  Free with museum admission.  413-658-1126.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  $

Saturday, December 7th from 1pm-1:45pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Come to the Holyoke Public Library for Rae Griffiths’ Teaching Creatures!  Meet unusual animals from all over Africa and learn about the amazing habitat diversity on this large continent.  Please register in advance.  413-420-8105.  250 Chestnut Street.  Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 1pm-5:30pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Today is the South Hadley Holiday Stroll!  Come into town for events for the whole family, like a holiday craft activity at the Gaylord Library, musical performances, a parade with Santa, activities at Odyssey Books, a tree lighting, and more.  A full schedule can be found here.  Downtown.  South Hadley, MA.  

Saturday, December 7th at 2pm – TEEN YOGA: The Westfield Yoga Center and the Westfield Athenaeum are teaming up to offer an introductory teen yoga class at the library for kids in grades 6-12.  The Yoga Center focuses on Hatha yoga, which uses warm-ups, physical postures, and breathing exercises in order to bring about union of body, mind, and spirit.  Please register in advance.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th at 3pm – HOLIDAYS: Western Gateway Heritage State Park is offering an educational holiday program – a Natural History of the Holidays.  All ages will enjoy this educational talk.  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building #4.  North Adams, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 3-4:30pm: CAROLING: Start a new family tradition and take the kids to go Christmas Caroling in a horse drawn wagon with Blue Star Equiculture Horse Rescue. After your ride, warm up with hot cider and refreshments and visit their rescue horses. 413-289-9787. 3090 Palmer Street Rte 181. Palmer, MA ($)

Saturday, December 7th from 3pm-6pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Williamstown’s 30th Annual Holiday Walk is today, and includes tons of fun activities for the whole family!  The Walk kicks off with the Reindog Parade, where Williamstown’s cutest dogs stroll down Spring Street in their holiday best.  You can then go see Santa and a holiday bake-off at The Log.  There will also be live music throughout the day, a toy drive, caroling, and more.  A full schedule and list of events can be found here.  Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.

Saturday, December 7th at 3:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Come to Ventfort Hall for tea and a dramatic reading of “The Abduction of Mona Lisa.”  Older students and adults will enjoy this dramatic performance.  413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 7th at 4pm – CAROLS/CHRISTMAS: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel.  Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols.  In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries.  413-597-4277.  Route 2.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th at 4pm & 7:30pm – THEATER: The Drama Studio is putting on a production of Pinocchio at CityStage’s Blake Theatre.  This classic tale tells the story of a woodcarver who, longing for a son, carves one out of wood and names him Pinocchio.  The play teaches important lessons on honesty, empathy, and generosity as Pinocchio yearns to be a real boy.  This classic play will delight theater-goers of all ages.  413-739-1983.  One Columbus Center.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 7th from 4pm-6pm – HISTORY/LITERATURE: Celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday and the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice at The Mount with narrator Alison Larkin, who narrated a new audiobook for the novel.  Larkin will present excerpts from the recording, and there will also be tea, period music, and Austen trivia.  Fans of Jane Austen will enjoy this special event!  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 7th from 4pm-9pm – CHRISTMAS/HISTORY: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.”  This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest,  Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more.  This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$$

Saturday, December 7th from 4:15pm-6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Come to Pulaski Park for Northampton’s annual tree lighting ceremony!  The will be music, Santa, hot cocoa, cookies, and holiday cheer!  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun!  Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display.  More information and a schedule available here.  Runs until the New Year.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 7th from 6pm-7pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: Participate in the Caroling Luminaria Walk as part of the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas festivities.  Meet in front of the Red Lion Inn with your flashlight or candle, sing carols, and walk to the First Congregational Church with luminarias.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 6:30pm-9:30pm – COMMUNITY DINNER/THEATER: As part of Westfield’s Dickens Days, the 5th Annual Dickens Dinner takes place tonight at the Tekoa Country Club.  In addition to the meal, there will be an interactive performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, performed by WOW.  This exciting show and dinner are great ways to celebrate the holidays!  Show only tickets are also available (no dinner).  More information available here.  413-562-2277.  459 Russell Road.  Westfield, MA.  $$$

Saturday, December 7th at 7pm – CHORAL MUSIC: For the 57th year, the Hilltown Choral Society will perform a Christmas Concert at the First Congregational Church of Williamsburg.  The whole family will enjoy this concert filled with classic Christmas music.  4 North Main Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Saturday, December 7th at 7pm – MUSIC/CULTURAL STUDIES/CAROLS: The Holyoke Public Library and the Puerto Rican Cultural Project are collaborating to present Roulé Candela on Main Street, an Afro-Caribbean and Carols Concert at Holyoke City Hall Auditorium.  This is a great musical experience for all ages!  413-420-8101.  530 Dwight Street  Holyoke, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 7th at 7pm – FOLKLORE/STORYTELLING: The Pioneer Valley Folklore Society’s Song and Story Swap is tonight!  The Swap is centered on a theme, then everyone introduces themselves and shares a song or story relating to the theme (it’s also okay to just listen!).  After this warm-up round, the performer – this month it is Sol Weber – plays a 30-minute set, which is followed by another song and story share.  The Song and Story Swap is a great opportunity for intergenerational fun and a way to meet new people.  During the performance, a hat will be passed around for donations.  Takes place at the Nacul Center.  Repeats the first Saturday of each month.  413-687-5002.  592 Main Street. Amherst, MA.  FREE/SUGGESTED DONATION

Saturday, December 7th at 7pm – FILM: Come to the Meekins Library for the premier of Harvey Allen: A Man for All Seasons.  This documentary follows Harvey into farmland, fields, and forests to show the importance of having a sense of place and to teach about the many wonders of the Pioneer Valley.  Harvey is known for his interest and involvement in protecting local natural areas, helping the homeless and hungry, and much more.  Anyone interested in learning about this Pioneer Valley resident will enjoy the screening.  413-268-7472.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, December 7th from 7pm-8:45pm – MUSIC/SOCIAL JUSTICE: In honor of the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Congregation B’nai Israel is holding “Sweets and Songs for Justice: A Musical Evening for Human Rights.”  Ben Grosscup, Annie Hassett, and Yosl Kurland will play social justice related songs and there will be desserts.  All are welcome at this special celebration.  413-584-3593.  253 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 7th from 7pm-9pm – THEATER: Over 65 students from Undermountain Elementary School will perform Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory tonight at the Thomas A. Consolati Performing Arts Center.  This well-loved play is good for all ages.  491 Berkshire School Road.  Sheffield, MA.

Saturday, December 7th at 7:30pm – HOLIDAY CONCERT: Celebrate the holidays at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge at the Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Holiday Concert.  There will be performances by the Berkshire Lyric Chorus, the Blafield Children’s Chorus, and others.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$-$$$

Saturday, December 7th at 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: The Belchertown Performing Arts Center presents “A Christmas Carol.” 413-323-7442. 18 Park Street. Belchertown, MA ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

Saturday, December 7th from 6pm-10pm – WINTER PARTY: Celebrate the holidays at the Wistariahurst Museum’s Winter Soiree tonight.  There will be hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, live music, a raffle, and more.  This winter-themed party in the historic setting of the Skinner Estate is sure to be a good time!  Reservations are suggested.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $$$

Saturday, December 7th from 6pm-11pm – DINNER/MUSIC: The Northeast Center for Youth and Families, Inc. is holding a Holiday Extravaganza to benefit youth in foster care at the Waterfront Tavern.  The evening includes a buffet style dinner, cash bar, and music, so come out and have fun for a great cause!  920 Main Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 7th from 7pm-11pm – BALLROOM DANCING: Berkshire Ballroom is holding a Holiday themed ballroom dance with a free night club 2 step lesson!  Try something new on date night and dance the night away with live DJ music.  413-684-1510.  116 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

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Sunday, December 8th, 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.

Sunday, December 8th from 8am-11:30am – SANTA/COMMUNITY MEAL: The Agawam Junior Women’s Club is hosting Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus!  Come to Roberta G. Doering Middle School for breakfast food, pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, letters to Santa, a raffle, a StoryWalk, and more.  68 Main Street.  Agawam, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 8am-12noon - SANTA/COMMUNITY MEAL: The West Springfield Lions Club is holding a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser to benefit Operation Santa, which provides food and gifts to local families in need.  Santa will also be at this event.  Spend time with family, friends, and community members at this community meal.  Takes place at West Springfield Senior Center.  413-495-1891.  128 Park Street.  West Springfield, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 9:30am-11:30am – SANTA/COMMUNITY MEAL: Enjoy breakfast with Santa and his elves at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel!  There will be breakfast foods and an opportunity to meet Santa himself.  Please call for reservations.  413-263-2009.  1 Monarch Place.  Springfield, MA.  $

Sunday, December 8th at 10am – MYO GIFTS: Four Rivers Family Council is holding its annual Holiday Craft Workshop today!  Families can come and spend time together while making crafty holiday gifts.  413-775-4577.  248 Colrain Road.  Greenfield, MA.

Sunday, December 8th from 10am-12noon – MUSIC/NATURE STUDIES/CRAFTS: You may have heard of Japanese knotweed, one of the world’s worst invasive species, but did you know that you can make flutes or panpipes from its stalk?  At Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, kids (ages 8-16) and an adult partner can make their own panpipes (named after Pan, the Greek god of the wild) and learn about other musical instruments that you can make from nature with naturalist Kevin Kopchynski.  Registration is required.  413-584-3009.  127 Combs Road.  Easthampton, MA.  $

Sunday, December 8th from 10am-5pm – CRAFT FAIR: Find handmade and crafty holiday gifts at Alchemy Initiative’s 5th Annual Handmade Holiday Festival, held at the Masonic Lodge in Pittsfield.  Over 30 juried artisans, designers, and food producers from all over New England will be selling their handmade goods, including jewelry, ceramics, watercolors, apparel, wooden cutting boards, ornaments, and much more.  This is an excellent place to find a variety of local, handmade gifts.  116 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 11am-1pm – ICE SKATING: Fitzpatrick Skating Rink and the Department of Conservation and Recreation are hosting an adaptive skating event for people of all ages and abilities.  You can use your wheelchair, an ice sled, or conventional skates and have fun playing games on ice with others.  This is a great way to get out on the rink and make new friends!  Please sign up in advance.  413-545-5758.  575 Maple Street.  Holyoke, MA.

Sunday, December 8th from 11am-3pm - CRAFT FAIR: Shop local and handmade this holiday season at the Whately Public Library’s 4th Annual Handmade Holiday Fair!  Here you can find things like felted ornaments, soap, maple syrup, pottery, honey, mittens, toys, wreaths, and more.  413-665-2170.  202 Chestnut Plain Road.  Whately, MA.

Sunday, December 8th from 11am-4pm – HOLIDAYS/HISTORY: Celebrate the holidays at Storrowtown Village’s Yuletide this Saturday &  Sunday! This winter festival brings the community together with traditional Yuletide activities, shopping, and entertainment.  There will be traditional music, dance, holiday songs, people in period costume, ice sculpting, kid’s activities, a petting zoo, visits with Santa, and much more.  More Storrowtown Yuletide information can be found here.  413-205-5051.  1305 Memorial Avenue.  West Springfield, MA.

Sunday, December 8th from 12noon-2pm – HOLIDAY WALK: The Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas Recreation is today!  Stroll down Main Street and see it as it was when Norman Rockwell painted his famous painting “Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas.”  Antique cars will be parked along the street, and there will be music, carols, Christmas food, Roger the Jester, kids’ activities, and visits with Santa.  This holiday event allows you to get an idea of what Stockbridge was like in the past, while celebrating the present-day town and the upcoming holidays.  A full schedule is available here.  Main Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 8th from 12noon-4pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Tour the Westfield of the past on a self-guided Dickens Days Historic House Tour.  Discover the history behind eight historic Westfield homes, all decorated for the holidays, and learn about what the city was like in the past.  Tickets should be purchased in advance.  Tour begins at First Congregational Church.  413-562-2277.  18 Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  $$

Sunday, December 8th from 12noon-5pm – OPEN STUDIOS: Shop for local, handmade gifts and explore artists’ studios at Cottage Street Studios’ annual Open Studio and Holiday Sale!  Participating artists will open their studio doors to the public, who can take a peek inside the studios of these professional artists while looking at handmade gifts for the holidays.  This unique opportunity is not to be missed!  413-658-8406.  1 Cottage Street.  Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, December 8th at 1pm – FAMILY MOVIE: As part of Williamstown’s Holiday Walk festivities, there will be a screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993; rated PG) at Images Cinema.  This animated Christmas classic tells the tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who wants to spread the joy of Christmas.  50 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th from 1pm-3pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: Celebrate the holidays and exercise your creativity at the Lenox Library’s 9th Annual Gingerbread House Competition and Silent Auction.  This year’s theme is “Berkshire Gingerbread Houses” and there will be entries by chefs, groups, and individuals of all ages.  Judges will award prizes in several categories, and each house will be auctioned off to benefit the library after the competition.  To learn more about the competition and how to enter, please contact the library.  413-637-2630.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.

Sunday, December 8th at 2pm – THEATER/RADIO: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play!  The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more.  This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas!  More information and a full list of showtimes can be found here.  413-637-3353.  70 Kemble Street.  Lenox, MA.  $$-$$$

Sunday, December 8th at 2pm – STORYTIME/SANTA: Santa will be at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, where he will read aloud from his newest book, All About Me.  In this special storytime, Santa will teach you about how his costume changes each year, how he manages the elves in his workshop, and how people all over the world celebrate holidays.  You’ll even have a chance to meet and take photos with Santa!  Free with museum admission.  413-658-1126.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  $

Sunday, December 8th from 2pm-4pm – CHRISTMAS MUSIC: The Dan Kane Singers come to the Westfield Athenaeum tonight for an evening of Christmas music, including a sing-a-long and visit from Santa.  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.

Sunday, December 8th from 2:15pm-3:15pm – PLAYGROUP: Join the Community Network for Children for “Let’s Get Moving” playgroup at the Greenfield YMCA.  Children in grade 3 and younger can come play in the gymnastics gym’s foam pit, on climbing structures, balance beams, and more.  Kids to improve their balance skills while having fun!  978-544-5157.  451 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th at 3pm – THEATER: The Drama Studio is putting on a production of Pinocchio at CityStage’s Blake Theatre.  This classic tale tells the story of a woodcarver who, longing for a son, carves one out of wood and names him Pinocchio.  The play teaches important lessons on honesty, empathy, and generosity as Pinocchio yearns to be a real boy.  This classic play will delight theater-goers of all ages.  413-739-1983.  One Columbus Center.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Sunday, December 8th at 3:30pm – MUSIC/HOLIDAYS: The Suzuki Talent Education Partnership (STEP), Sinai Temple, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church are partnering to offer an Interfaith Community Sing-Along Concert and Open Mic at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.  STEP Suzuki Strings is a multigenerational group of string students from the region who will provide instrumental accompaniment for the sing-along.  Come together and share holiday music, traditions, and food from the celebrations of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Reyes (Three Kings Day).  This is a great opportunity for community members of all ages to learn about a variety of holidays and hear many different styles of holiday music.  More information available here.  413-734-4458.  Route 5.  Longmeadow, MA.

Sunday, December 8th from 3pm-4:30pm - CHRISTMAS CAROLS: Choral group Schola Nova will be at St. John’s Lutheran Church for an evening of readings and Christmas carols.  Audience members are welcome to join in the singing.  Please bring non-perishable food items to benefit the Westfield Food Pantry.  413-562-2277.  60 Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th from 3pm-5pm – THEATER: Over 65 students from Undermountain Elementary School will perform Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory this afternoon at the Thomas A. Consolati Performing Arts Center.  This well-loved play is good for all ages.  491 Berkshire School Road.  Sheffield, MA.

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm – CHORAL MUSIC: For the 57th year, the Hilltown Choral Society will perform a Christmas Concert at the Plainfield Congregational Church.  The whole family will enjoy this concert filled with classic Christmas music.  Church Lane.  Plainfield, MA.  SUGGESTED DONATION >$

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm – CAROLS/CHRISTMAS: The annual Christmas Service of Lessons and Carols at Williams College takes place this weekend in the Thompson Memorial Chapel.  Choral music will be performed by the Williams Concert and Chamber Choirs, and there will also be congregational singing of carols.  In addition to music, this program features a reading of the traditional “lessons” derived from the Biblical Christmas story.  Please bring non-perishable food to donate to local food pantries.  413-597-4277.  Route 2.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th at 4pm & 7:30pm – CONCERT/CHRISTMAS: The Mount Holyoke College Christmas Vespers Concerts are today at 4pm and 7:30pm in Abbey Chapel.  The Mt. Holyoke Glee Club, Chorale, Chamber Singers, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and the English Handbell Ensemble will perform.  The event begins with a traditional Gregorian chant and includes seasonal choral works and traditional songs from Latvia, Georgia, and Puerto Rico, and works by several different composers.  There will also be a sing-along for audience members.  Discover a variety of musical styles at this exciting concert.  413-538-2000.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th from 4pm-9pm - CHRISTMAS/HISTORY: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.”  This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest,  Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more.  This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$$

Sunday, December 8th from 5pm-9pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun!  Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display.  More information and a schedule available here.  Runs until the New Year.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Sunday, December 8th at 6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Cheshire Holiday Tree Lighting happens at Town Hall with hayrides, refreshments and Santa! Cheshire, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 8th from 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Join Dr. Jonathan Schwab (pediatrician) and Sharon Saline, Psy.D (clinical psychologist) for “When Worrying Takes Over: Managing Anxiety in Your Child or Teen,” a workshop for parents at Northampton Area Pediatrics.  Please RSVP.  413-584-8700.  193 Locust Street.  Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 8th at 7pm- CHRISTMAS/THEATER: The Belchertown Performing Arts Center presents “A Christmas Carol.” 413-323-7442. 18 Park Street. Belchertown, MA ($)

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Monday, December 9th, 2013

Monday, December 9th at 6pm – SCIENCE: The UMass Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Department presents OEB Science Cafes at Esselon Cafe each month.  This month’s talk is by Dr. Steve McCormick, who will discuss how migratory fish tackle major environmental challenges.  Science Cafes are oriented towards adults without a science background, but are interesting to those with science backgrounds as well!  Older students interested in science would enjoy the Science Cafes.  99 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.

Monday, December 9th at 6pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Come in your pajamas and bring your blankets and pillows for a screening of Jim Henson’s “Emmett Otter’s Jugband Christmas” at the Northampton Community Music Center. 413-585-0001. 139 South Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Monday, December 9th at from 6pm-7pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Join the Wistariahurst Museum as they continue their fall lecture series, “Historical Culinary Incidents: An Exploration of Food and Culture in the Pioneer Valley.”  This week, Dennis Picard presents “Ice Harvesting and How it Changed Food Storage.”  Picard will discuss the beginnings of commercial ice harvesting in New England, when ice was collected from ponds and lakes and then exported in the early 19th Century.  At the time, it was the 9th largest industry in the country and was responsible for employing tens of thousands of New Englanders and producing hundreds of thousands of tons of block ice annually.  Picard will do a show and tell with some of his antique ice harvesting tools, discuss the trade, and tell tales of New England’s ice harvesting days.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

Monday, December 9th at from 6:30pm-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents of young children are invited to the Gorse Children’s Center for “Healthy Play: Toys and Activities in a Commercialized World.”  This workshop will help parents discover less commercial toys for their kids.  Childcare (limited) is available when you sign up.  Please sign up at Children’s Center office.  27 Morgan Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS (Always double check events before heading out. To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9-10am – PLAYGROUP: Collaborative’s Early Childhood Department hosts a drop-in playgroup for children birth-5 with their parents/caregivers through June at First Congregational Church of Hatfield. 413-586-4998 x102. 41 Main St. Hatfield, MA (FREE)
  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: CHP Family Network offers a “gym fun” playgroup at West Stockbridge Town Hall. 413-464-5095. 21 State Line Road. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by Otis Town Hall for playgroup every Monday! 413-464-5095. 1 North Main Road. Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn Group at the Williamstown Youth Center for kids walking-age up to age five. Includes puzzles, play dough, riding toys, balls, books, and more. 413-663-6593. 66 School Street. Williamstown, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for babies 2 and under and their parents at the East Longmeadow Library. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: “Music for Little Ones” at the Pelham Library features a half hour of music and movement for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Meekins Library on the first and third Monday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman is returning to the Hilltowns for a weekly drop-in group for mothers of young children. The group offers a supportive environment for mothers to discuss motherhood and all aspects of raising young children. Takes place at the St. John’s Corner House Mission. 413-625-6948. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA.
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm – CHESS: Kids in grade 2 and up are invited to the Storrs Library for their weekly drop-in chess program. Come play with other kids and improve your chess skills! 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Tuesday, December 10th from 12noon-1:30pm – VETERANS: Wreaths Across America’s Escort to Arlington will pass through Westfield’s Stanley Park today.  This event is a way to remember and honor veterans during the holiday season.  The Escort travels from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and stops at many cemeteries and Veteran’s Memorials along the way, including the one at Stanley Park.  You can be a part of the “welcome party” by making signs or artwork and lining the streets of Westfield.  More information can be found here.  413-568-9312.  Westfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 10th at 6:30pm – FILM STUDIES: Film MFA students Kathy Swanson and Vince O’Connell present A Fun Evening of Films at the Shaw Memorial Library.  They will screen five short films – comedy, drama, fantasy, and action.  Older students interested in film would enjoy this screening of short films.  413-230-6862.  Route 116.  Plainfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 10th  at 7pm – HUMAN RIGHTS: Celebrate Human Rights Day at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence.  Join with community members for this special event, which includes musical performances by The Raging Grannies, Northampton Community Center Children’s Choir, and Lisa and Lisa; a keynote address by Dr. Joshua Miller of the Smith College School for Social Work, and a public reading of the Declaration of Human Rights.  This event is open to all and is a meaningful way to commemorate and learn about this important declaration.  220 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (Always double check events before heading out. To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more.  413-256-1145.  1200 North Pleasant Street.  North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The CHP Family Center is holding a “Toddler Steps” playgroup for kids 18 months to three years.  Takes place at CHP Family Services Building every Tuesday and Thursday.  413-464-5095. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time.  For pre-K children and their siblings.  413-582-2636.  297 Main Street, lower level.  Northampton, MA.  
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church.  Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup.  413-283-7594.  720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-12noon – PARENT/CHILD GROUP: Gateway Family Center offers a parent-child school readiness group every Tuesday from until June.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s drop-in playgroup runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is open to families with young children.  Creative play, snack time, and circle time.  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Storytime for toddlers at the Berkshire Athenaeum.  413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School for kids 5 and under.  Every Tuesday and Friday.  Old Amherst Road.  Sunderland, MA.
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Join the Greenfield Public Library for a weekly storytime!  This event includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for kids age five and under.  413-772-1544 x5.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for pre-K kids with educational games and hands-on activities.  Takes place at Haskins Center.  413-663-6593.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon.  413-527-5496.  43 Main Street.  Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School announces the return of “Rhyme Time” to Matrushka Toys and Gifts.  Rhyme Time is a weekly, drop-in event for young children and their caregivers, and it features seasonal songs, nursery rhymes, and puppetry.  413-528-6911.  309 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School hosts Rhyme Time, a song and story circle for young children with a parent or caregiver, at Matrushka Toys and Gifts. All are welcome to this weekly drop-in event. Led by Waldorf parent-child teacher Trice Atchison, Rhyme Time engages babies and young children in seasonal songs, nursery rhymes and simple puppetry. 413-528-6911. 309 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Every Tuesday is toddler storytime at the Lenox Library!  Come by for interactive board books, stories, songs, and fingerplays.  For kids 18 months to 3 years.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Come by the Goodwin Memorial Library for “Lunatunes!” a dynamic storytime with songs, movement, stories, and original art.  For babies through age 5.  413-584-7451.  Route 47 & Route 9.  Hadley, MA.  (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Every Tuesday is storytime for preschoolers and toddlers at the Lenox Library!  Come by for interactive board books, stories, songs, and fingerplays.  For kids 18 months to 5 years.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – STORYTIME: Weekly story time, snack and get-together for preK kids and their caregivers. Becket-Washington Library. 413-623-5483. 3367 Main Street. Becket, MA (FREE)
  • 3-5pm – TEENS: The Lilly Library hosts a weekly, drop in teen program for ages 12-17yo. Activities include games, crafts, book chat, movies, snacks. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (FREE)
  • 3pm – LEGOS: Lego Club is every Tuesday at the Bushnell-Sage Library!  Come to the library and make new friends while creating Lego masterpieces.  413-229-7004.  48 Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: Lego Club meets at the Adams Library the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.  For kids 4-8.  Please call to sign up.  413-664-4821.  92 Park Street.  Adams, MA.  
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Come to Gabriel Abbott Memorial School Gym for a gym group for kids up to age 8.  The group is all about indoor active play, but also includes an art project, circle time, and a snack.  Siblings welcome.  413-663-6593.  56 N Country Road.  Florida, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: It’s Pajama Storytime at the Monson Free Library!  Wear your pajamas and enjoy stories and fun.  Happens the second Tuesday of each month.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.
  • 7pm-8:15pm – BOOK CLUB: The Jones Library’s diversity book club meets the second Tuesday of each month, and focuses on fiction and non-fiction books that explore various aspects of human diversity, including race, religion, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability, appearance, educational and social background, and other topics.  This group is meant for adults, but mature, self-directed teens would benefit from the book club.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA. 

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Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Wednesday, December 11th from 3:30pm-5:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: People of all ages are welcome to come to the East Forest Park Branch Library for fun, easy holiday crafts.  Bring the whole family and make holiday ornaments that you can decorate with or give as gifts.  A kids and parents to spend time together being creative.  413-263-6836.  122 Island Pond Road.  Springfield, MA.

Wednesday, December 11th from 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Wednesday, December 11th from 6:30pm-7:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The East Springfield Branch Library is hosting a Family Craft Evening!  Families can come drink hot cocoa and make festive holiday cards or paper trees.  A great way to get crafty while spending time with family.  413-263-6840.  21 Osborne Terrace.  Springfield, MA.

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (Always double check events before heading out. To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s infant/toddler group runs every Wednesday.  Kids age 2 and under can explore age-appropriate toys and the playroom, and enjoy a snack and circle time.  Please no children or siblings over age 2.  413-283-6246.  4 Springfield Street.  Three Rivers, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more.  413-256-1145.  1200 North Pleasant Street.  North Amherst, MA
  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids from birth to age five and their caregivers can come to the First Congregational Church of Hatfield for playgroup, including snacks, stories, and songs.  413-586-4998 x102.  41 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Cummington Family Center for playgroup for kids 5 and under!  There will be stories, arts and crafts, songs, and playtime.  Takes place at Community House.  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a loosely structured playgroup at the Clapp Memorial Library every Wednesday for kids from birth to age five.  413-323-0417.  19 South Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be playgroup every Wednesday at the Lenox Community Center.  413-464-5095.  65 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time.  For pre-K children and their siblings.  413-582-2636.  297 Main Street, lower level.  Northampton, MA.  
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church.  Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more.  413-533-7096.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup.  413-283-7594.  720 Franklin Street.  Belchertown, MA.
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime at the Holyoke Public Library.  413-322-5640.  335 Maple Street.  Holyoke, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Come by the Westhampton Library for playgroup the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.  Features games, arts and crafts, and storytime.  For kids 8 and under.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Edwards Library on the first and third Wednesday of each month for playgroup.  Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured.  For kids 8 and under.  30 East Street.  Southampton, MA
  • 10am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime at the New Marlborough Library.  413-464-5095.  1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road.  New Marlborough, MA.  (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Erving Elementary School for kids 5 and under.  Sponsored by Community Network for Children.  978-544-5157.  Northfield Road.  Erving, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Wendell Free Library for kids 5 and under.  Sponsored by Community Network for Children.  978-544-5157.  7 Wendell Depot Road.  Wendell, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly Tales and Tunes playgroup at the Leverett Library for kids 5 and under.  Sponsored by Community Network for Children.  978-544-5157.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at the Gateway Family Center every Wednesday and Friday.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: It’s storytime at the Monson Free Library for kids ages 2-5!  Come by for stories, snacks, crafts, and fun.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come to the Mason Square Branch Library for storytime, songs, and crafts.  For ages 3-8.  413-263-6853.  765 State Street.  Springfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Weekly story hour at the Tilton Library.  413-665-4683.  75 North Main Street.  South Deerfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Join the Dickinson Memorial Library for storytime every Wednesday.  There will be movement, stories, music, crafts, and a snack.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers and their caregivers can come to storytime at the Dickinson Memorial Library every Wednesday for stories, music, movement, and crafts. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.
  • 1pm-4pm – HIKING: Explore Mt. Greylock’s exciting and hidden features and learn all about the mountain in the process.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.
  • 3pm – CHESS: Chess Club is every Wednesday at the Bushnell-Sage Library!  Come to the library and make new friends while improving your chess skills.  413-229-7004.  48 Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.
  • 4pm-5pm –  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)
  • 4pm – CHESS: Kids from kindergarten to 8th grade can drop by the East Longmeadow Public Library for chess!  This weekly program is open to kids of all skill levels, from beginner to chess pro.  Come make new friends and improve your chess skills.  413-525-5400 x4.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime for kids ages 3-6 at the East Longmeadow Library.  413-525-5400 x1506.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for older students and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Thursday, December 12th at 12:15pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Springfield Museums’ “Museums a la Carte” lecture series continues this week with “Dickens in Springfield,” by Frances Gagnon.  Gagnon will discuss Dickens’ two visits to Springfield and how they impacted the city.  This lecture would be interesting to older students who like history and/or literature.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

Thursday, December 12th from 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  You can find more information here.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Thursday, December 12th at 4:30pm-5:30pm – SCIENCE: Kids in grades 4-6 can come to the Monson Free Library for the Fizz Boom Splat Science Club!  This week, you’ll learn all about snap circuits.  Kids can interact with their peers while learning about science at this event.  Please register in advance.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, MA.  

Thursday, December 12th from 5:30pm-6:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a workshop for parents entitled, “Stress Busters: Taking Care of Ourselves.”  This workshop focuses on ways for parents to reduce stress, nurture themselves, and live healthy lives.  Please register in advance.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.

Thursday, December 12th at 6pm - CHORAL MUSIC: The Northampton Community Music Center’s Holiday Choral Festival takes place tonight at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel!  Performers include the Hartsbrook School 7th & 8th Grade Choir, NCMC’s High Definition, Hilltown Cooperative Charter School Chorus, NCMC Ku’umba Women’s Choir, NCMC’s Community Children’s Choir, Northampton High School Chamber Choir, Valley Jazz Choir, and Valley Rock Choir.  This festive concert is free but donations will be accepted for NCMC’s Scholarship Fund.  413-585-0001.  Elm Street & Round Hill Road.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Thursday, December 12th from 6pm-7:45pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Local author Ralph E. Cortis will be at the Westfield Athenaeum to discuss his new book, Russell, Massachusetts: Establishment of a New England Town and early historical notes.  The book compiles 25 years worth of research on Russell families and history, tracing back to the town’s beginnings in 1792.  Those who are interested in local history will enjoy this talk and will learn a great deal about the history of Russell.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA. 

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

Thursday, December 12th from 5pm-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The fourth season of Culture and Cocktails continues at the Springfield Museums!  This month’s event is “Champagne and Moonlight” at the Springfield Science Museum.  Tour the Museums’ special exhibition,  The Magic of Gingerbread, enjoy holiday lights on the Quadrangle Green, view a planetarium show, pose for photos with Santa, and hear some holiday a cappella.  You must be 21 or older to attend this event.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  $

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

11:30am-12:15pm – MUSIC & MOVEMENT: Leticia Davies will offer a Mommy & Me class at Amherst Montessori School for children ages 0-3 with a parent/caregiver, from October 3 – November 21. This eight week class will combine singing and movement with instruments and pretend. Cost for the eight-week session is $100. More information at www.amherstmontessori.org. 413-253-3101. 27 Pomeroy Lane. Amherst, MA ($$$)

  • 9am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The CHP Family Center is holding a “Toddler Steps” playgroup for kids 18 months to three years. Takes place at CHP Family Services Building every Tuesday and Thursday. 413-464-5095. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:45am-10:45am – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Amelia Park Children’s Museum offers weekly arts and crafts activities for kids. The theme changes each week, but the activity is always fun, educational, and often connected to other things at the museum. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA.
  • 10am-11am – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: New parents and their infants from birth to one year are invited to a support group at the Greenwood Children’s Center. Come share stories about the new little one in your life. 413-565-4163. 231 Maple Road. Longmeadow, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – ROLLERSKATING: Kids age 6 and under can come to Interskate 91 North for skating, roller racers, games, music, and more!  Admission for kids includes snack and skate rental.  More info here.  413-586-8344.  367 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.  >$
  • 10am-12noon – STORYTIME: The Dalton Free Public Library offers a weekly storytime, which includes stories, short films, and crafts, all designed to help kids with social and literacy skills. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA.
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn group at the Berkshire Athenaeum every Thursday includes stories, songs, and games. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – MOVEMENT: The Music and Movement program with Laurie and Tom will be at the Millers Falls Library through December. Young children and their caregivers are invited to this fun, free program. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Stop by the New Salem Library every Thursday for nursery rhymes, tales, and tunes. 978-544-6334. 23 S Main Street. New Salem, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Community Health Program (CHP), Bushnell-Sage Library is hosting a Sing-A-Song playgroup for kids 0-5 and their caregivers. Runs every Thursday. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street. Sheffield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PARENT WORKSHOP: MotherWoman is returning to the Hilltowns for a monthly drop-in group for mothers of young children. The group offers a supportive environment for mothers to discuss motherhood and all aspects of raising young children. Takes place at the Cummington Family Center on the second Thursday of each month. 413-634-8853. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s drop-in playgroup runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is open to families with young children. Creative play, snack time, and circle time. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Story hour: stories, songs, finger plays, crafts and more for preschool-age children; siblings welcome. Hatfield Library. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Join the Emily Williston Memorial Library for storytime every Thursday! There will be snacks, stories, and crafts. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 11am-11:45am – STORYTIME: Come by the Lenox Library for preschool storycraft. Kids ages 3-5 can hear stories, sing songs, and do a related craft activity. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-6:30pm - FAMILY FUN: The Salasin Center will be open for family time every Thursday. Come by for activities to do with the whole family. 413-774-4307 x4. 474 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.

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Friday, December 13th, 2013

Friday, December 13th from 7:15am-9am – COMMUNITY MEAL: Celebrate the holidays with family and friends at the 2013 Holiday Breakfast, held at the Tekoa Country Club.  The Holiday Breakfast’s Donation Campaign will be for the Westfield State University service trip to Nicaragua, where students will help build classrooms and teach students.  Please register in advance.  413-568-1618.  459 Russell Road.  Westfield, MA.  $$$

Friday, December 13th from 10:30am-12:20pm – ICE SKATING: The UMass Mullins Center offers a Home School Skate for homeschooled students in the area.  Come enjoy this fun activity while hanging out with other homeschooled kids.  Skates included with cost.  413-545-3001.  200 Commonwealth Avenue.  Amherst, MA.  >$ [CANCELLED THIS WEEK]

Friday, December 13th at 4pm & 6:30pm – BALLET/CHRISTMAS: Enjoy a performance of The Nutcracker by students of the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet and members of the Ballet Educational Training Association at the Wistariahurst Museum.  This classic Christmas story will be told through narration and dance, and family members of all ages will enjoy the beautiful performance.  Please purchase tickets in advance.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $

Friday, December 13th at 4pm & 7:30pm – BALLET/CHRISTMAS: The Nutcracker was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892 and has become a classic ballet (especially during the holidays) since then.  Pioneer Valley Ballet will perform its 35th anniversary of the ballet at the Academy of Music Theatre.  This performance is a winter tradition, and all ages will enjoy seeing remarkable dancing and hearing beautiful music.  It is recommended that you purchase tickets ASAP.  413-584-9032 x105.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  $$-$$$

Friday, December 13th from 4pm-8pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ARTS & CRAFTS: Tonight is Free Second Friday at the Smith College Museum of Art!  Stop by for hands-on art-making and an informal guided gallery presentation.  A great way to help kids experience a local museum!  413-585-2760.  Elm Street & Bedford Terrace.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Friday, December 13th from 4pm-8pm – SANTA: Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Park on Santa’s Train!  The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station and you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and ride the Look Park Holiday Express!  Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs until Christmas Eve.  You can find more information here.  413-584-5457.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  >$

Friday, December 13th from 4pm-9pm - CHRISTMAS/HISTORY: Take a step back in time this holiday season at Sturbridge Village, where you can celebrate “Christmas by Candlelight.”  This exciting event happens every weekend leading up to Christmas, and features sleigh rides, a recreation of Mrs. Cratchit’s Christmas dinner, a gingerbread house contest,  Christmas traditions, carolers, Father Christmas, Santa Claus, a puppet show, music, dancing, and much more.  This event allows visitors to experience the Christmas holiday as it was in the past in colonial New England.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  $$$

Friday, December 13th from 5pm-8pm – ART MARKET: The Northampton Community Arts Trust is hosting an Open House and Art Market in their new home on Hawley Street in Northampton!  The public is invited to tour the building and browse and buy works by 50 different artists.  This is part of Northampton’s monthly Arts Night Out event and is a great way to learn about this local organization.  The market continues on 12/14 from 10am-3pm.  413-584-7327.  33 Hawley Street.  Northampton, MA.

Friday, December 13th from 5pm-11pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Bright Nights at Forest Park returns this season for holiday fun!  Bring the whole family to come see the beautiful holiday light display.  More information and a schedule available here.  Runs until the New Year.  Sumner Avenue.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Friday, December 13th at 7:30pm – PERFORMANCE/HOLIDAYS: The Welcome Yule Players are hosting their annual  Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration at the Shea Theater.  The show celebrates the light during winter’s darkness through music, songs, dance, and stories.  The show also focuses on the Swedish tradition of Santa Lucia Day and the importance of family and community during the holiday season.  Tickets can be reserved in advance.  413-863-2281.  71 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  $$

Friday, December 13th at 7:30pm – CAROLING: Enjoy an evening of traditional, festive winter carols and general merriment, performed by the four gentlemen who are Nowell Sing We Clear. Fiddles, accordions and gorgeous harmonies, peppered with their unique humor and a traditional Mummer’s Play are sure to get the whole family into the Holiday spirit. Takes place at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School Auditorium. Limited seating available. 413-528-4015 x104. 35 West Plain Road. Great Barrington, MA ($)

Friday, December 13th at 7:30pm – THEATER/RADIO: Shakespeare and Company presents a special production of It’s a Wonderful Life – a live radio play!  The performance is a funny and unique play-within-a-play that tells the classic Christmas Eve tale of It’s a Wonderful Life, complete with live radio commercials, sound effects, and more.  This unique performance is a fun way to celebrate Christmas!  More information and a full list of showtimes can be found here.  413-637-3353.  70 Kemble Street.  Lenox, MA.  $$-$$$

Friday, December 13th at 7pm – CHRISTMAS/THEATER: The Belchertown Performing Arts Center presents “A Christmas Carol.” 413-323-7442. 18 Park Street. Belchertown, MA ($)

Friday, December 13th at 2pm – CHRISTMAS STORIES: Mill City Productions will host “Fireside Yuletide,” a dramatic reading of classic Christmas stories for the whole family read by Mill City actors. “Fireside Yuletide” include dramatic readings of many holiday classics, including “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The production also includes singing of classic holiday songs and festive holiday refreshments will be served.   Mill City’s Theatre at Building 4N (next to the Visitor’s Center) in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park. North Adams, MA (>$)

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (The season is changing and we are updating our list with ongoing summer activities! To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroup every Monday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Cummington Family Center for playgroup for kids 5 and under! There will be stories, arts and crafts, songs, and playtime. Takes place at Community House. Main Street. Cummington, MA.
  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Shutesbury Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Sponsored by Community Network for Children. 978-544-5157. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn group for young kids at Sunderland Elementary. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 0-5 and their caregivers can stop by Whole Children for playgroup, featuring snacks and playtime. 37 Russell Street. Hadley, MA.
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Come watch preschool videos at the Berkshire Athenaeum every Friday! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s drop-in playgroup runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is open to families with young children. Creative play, snack time, and circle time. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool-aged kids can come to the Stockbridge Library for StoryCraft, a storytime and craft time with Miss Vicky! Siblings are welcome. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Every Tuesday and Friday. Old Amherst Road. Sunderland, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – HIKING: Kids 8 and under and their parents or guardians are invited to Mt. Greylock for a “tyke hike.” Kids can learn about and experience nature and then hear a story. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at the Gateway Family Center every Wednesday and Friday. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Weekly “Skip and Dip” playgroup at Berkshire South RCC. 413-464-5095. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Chesterfield Community Center on the first and third Friday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. Chesterfield, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for little ones at the Pelham Library! 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly fitWIC playgroup at CHP Family Services Building. 413-464-5095. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime for preschoolers at the Sunderland Public Library. Features stories, songs, and crafts. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA.
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum’s weekly Museum Adventures program features stories, songs, dancing, play time, scavenger hunts, and more, and is open to kids 18 months to 3 years. It’s a great way for young kids to explore some of what the museum has to offer! Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn Group at Lanesborough Town Hall, featuring educational playthings, snack, art project, and circle time. For kids walking-age to five years. 413-663-6593. 83 N Main Street. Lanesborough, MA.
  • 1pm-4pm – HIKING: Learn the basics of hiking, reading maps, trail safety, bear etiquette, and more at Mt. Greylock’s “hiking 101” program. The program is open to all ages and teaches important information for those interested in hiking but who may want to know more before setting out on an adventure. 413-499-4262. 30 Rockwell Road. Lanesborough, MA.
  • 2:15pm-4pm – LEGOS: The Dickinson Memorial Library’s LEGO Club meets the second Friday of each month. Come make friends and build with LEGOs. Best for kids in grade 3 and up. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.

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