Suggested Events for December 14th-20th, 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

“I’m relatively new to the Berkshires so I’m mostly familiar with the southern Berkshires. I love finding out about all these lovely little towns north of me, and knowing about all the various events going on ALL THE TIME, from concerts to theater, to apple picking. I moved here to live in the country and Hilltown Families keeps me informed of all the wonderful things country life has to offer.” – Valerie Sheehan (Lenox, 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 14, 20 & 21

The Adventures of Santa Claus starring Santa! Paintbox Theatre issues your special invitation to a party at Santa’s Workshop. As always, there will be hilarity, song and artwork by local kids. Santa, with the help of the audience and elves, is going to bring to life three little known stories: How Santa Met His Elves?, Why Santa Climbs Down Chimneys?, and How Santa Knows Who Has Been Good and Bad? Guaranteed Christmas spirit for all. Saturday, December 14: 10:30 & 1pm Friday, December 20: 7:00pm Saturday, December 21: 10:30 & 1pm Northampton High School. A dollar from each ticket sale benefits the Northampton Education Foundation. $10 per ticket/$7.00 for groups www.BrownPaperTickets.com. More info: PaintBoxTheatre.com

Dec 21

This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by Celtic Heels Director Cara Leach. Mark your calendars for this single performance event, held on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7pm at The Academy of Music Theatre in Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Performance Company, special Narrator John T. Allan, and live music by Adam Sweet and friends, this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves The Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $18/adults $15/seniors + students and $12 for children under 12. Tickets are available at www.academyofmusictheatre.com or by calling 413-584-9032 x105.

Dec 27-30

There’s tons to see and do at the Springfield Museums during the holidays! See The Magic of Gingerbread exhibit with creations by local bakers amidst a backdrop of holiday trees and colorful murals. Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus each weekend and enjoy crafts & gallery games with the Elves. Shop the award winning Museum Store and stop by the Blake House Café for their signature hot chocolate. During the school break, there’s “Wacky Week 3.0” (Dec. 27-30), with fun activities and top family performers like Gustafer Yellowgold. Admission is $15/adults, $10/seniors & college students, $8/children 3-17, and free for members and children under three. General admission is free for Springfield residents. Visit springfieldmuseums.org for information.

Jan

Looking for pottery classes for your child or yourself… or classes you can do together? Kathryn Roszko, a functional stoneware potter of CyclePottery in Hatfield, is offering Beginner Wheel Throwing Classes for adults and children interested in pottery. New classes begin in January: Adults Classes are on Tues. nights from 6-8:30pm with open studio time on Sun. from 12-2pm beginning Jan. 7 for 8 weeks (no class 2/18), $260. Classes for Kids ages 6+ begin Wed., Jan. 8 from 4-5:30pm for 6 weeks, $110. One day Parent/Child Workshops happen on Sun. afternoons from 2:30-4pm, $25/pair (Kathryn will glaze work). See www.cyclepottery.com for more info or call 413-219-9594. Classes have a max of 4 students, allowing for individualized from Kathryn.

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.

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 14th-20th, 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 14th, 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. – Ruby, Pearl and Jane from the Treetop Sisters, joined by their parents, are our guest DJs this morning.  Join their family for a fun show with great new and independent kindie tunes, including a few of their own! 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 14th at 6am - CITIZEN SCIENCE/ORNITHOLOGY: The Athol Bird and Nature Club’s Annual Christmas Bird Count is today!  Meet at the Millers River Environmental Center between 6am and 7am for this yearly tradition, which is the longest continuously running bird data collection event in the area.  Learn about local birds and how to identify them at this fun event.  Best for adults and older students interested in birds.  Call for more information and to RSVP.  978-413-1772.  100 Main Street.  Athol, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 8:30am-5pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Westfield Athenaeum will have a free arts and crafts table open to children of all ages. A special craft will be available for kids to make at the library or take home to complete.  413-562-6158 x5. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th from 9am-5pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: 8th Annual “Special Day in Northfield.” Bring the kids for an old fashioned holiday celebration with horse-drawn hay rides costumed characters, live music. MYO crafts, tree lighting, shopping on Main Street and more!  Visit with Santa, decorage gingerbread people, celebrate St. Lucia Day, take in a theater production, join in caroling, and buy local! Main Street. Northfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th from 9:30am-11:30am – SANTA: Santa Claus will be visiting Cummington this morning!  Come to the gazebo to meet him!  Main Street.  Cummington, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon – BIRD STUDIES: Observe birds and learn about bird banding at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.  Sanctuary volunteers will demonstrate how to use mist nets and what information can be gathered through bird banding.  Visitors can come and go from the program as they wish.  Free with Sanctuary admission.  413-637-0320.  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, MA.  >$

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon – HIKING/SANTA: Spend this morning on a special half-mile hike with Santa at Bartholomew’s Cobble!  Kids can learn about nature and the wonders of winter while spending time friends, parents, and Santa.  Adults free; cost for children includes a present.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon – MUSIC: Greg Bell discusses “Late Beatles, 1967-1970” at the Wilbraham Public Library today.  He will talk about Paul vs. John, the breakup, and the legacy.  Beatles-lovers and general music fans alike will enjoy this talk.  Best for older students interested in music studies.  413-596-6141.  25 Crane Park Drive.  Wilbraham, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-2pm – HOLIDAY FARMERS’ MARKET: The Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market features holiday ingredients and gifts from local farmers and artisans.  Support local agriculture and craftspeople this holiday season!  Takes place at Monument Valley Middle School.  413-528-0041.  313 Monument Valley Road.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon – SANTA: Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Easthampton Family Center.  Enjoy milk and cookies during this annual holiday event, and bring your camera to snap a photo to send to the grandparents too. There will be a holiday sing along, stories with Mrs. Claus and craft making. Takes place in the Old Town Hall.  413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (>$)

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-12noon – HOLIDAY GIFTS: The Dickinson Memorial Library’s Annual Children’s Holiday Bazaar is today!  Kids in K-5 can come shop for up to 7 recipients, and all gifts are 50 cents.  There will also be gift wrapping, as well as coffee and treats for parents downstairs (parents are not allowed into the Bazaar).  This is a good opportunity for kids to find meaningful gifts for family and friends.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10am-4pm – HISTORY: Learn about the art of silversmithing and the process of making a sterling silver flatware set for an 18th-century American home with silversmith Steve Smithers at Historic Deerfield.  Smithers will go through the entire process, from research and design to the actual silver work itself.  Free with museum admission.  413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA.  $

Saturday, December 14th 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 14th from 10am-5pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION: The Berkshire Museum is offering a special Family Day in conjunction with the “Festival of Trees: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.”  This fun day at the museum features Animals Up Close with Richard Roth of Creature Teachers, cookie decorating, a performance by the Blafield Children’s Chorus and the Berkshire Singers, and all the museum has to offer.  More information can be found here.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 14th at 10:30am – STORYTIME: Jonathan Hall, local author of Toto the Tornado Kitten, is coming to the Westhampton Public Library for a special storytime – Toto himself will also be there!  Toto survived the F3 tornado that destroyed part of Western Massachusetts in June 2011.  It was a miracle that Toto survived, since he was found all alone and weighing only six ounces in the days after the tornado.  This once-tiny cat is now the subject of two books by Hall.  Hear this exciting story read aloud and get a chance to meet Toto.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 10:30am & 1pm - THEATER/SANTA: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Adventures of Santa Claus” at Northampton High School.  This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family!  413-210-1898.  380 Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

Saturday, December 14th from 10:30am-11:30am – NATURE STUDIES: Take a closer look at one of our local watersheds at the Great Falls Discovery Center’s, “Watershed Investigators,” a special family program where kids can learn new ways to look at and understand the world around them using games, crafts, exploration, etc. Designed to best fit students in grades 2-5, but all ages are welcome.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th from 10:30am-11:30am – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids 4 and up can come to the Ramsdell Library to make holiday crafts.  This fun activity is a way for kids to have fun, be creative, and help with holiday decorating.  413-274-3738.  1087 Main Street.  Housatonic, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 10:30am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Chandler’s Restaurant offers a Kids Cooking class for families to explore the art of cooking, proper use of kitchen tools, and raw ingredients that go into delicious dishes! A brief tour of their professional kitchen follow the class.  Great way to introduce children to the world of culinary arts!  Space is limited, reservations are required 413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($$)

Saturday, December 14th at 11am – FAMILY MOVIE: The Lee Library is screening Despicable Me 2 (2013; rated PG) today!  Come by the library and enjoy this fun, family-friendly movie.  413-243-0385.  100 Main Street.  Lee, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 11am-12noon – NATURAL HISTORY: Join the Community Network for Children for a trip to Amherst College’s Beneski Museum of Natural History!  The museum has an excellent collection of fossils, dinosaur bones and footprints, models that teach the geologic history of the Valley, and much more.  Kids and adults alike will enjoy this great local resource.  Pre-registration is required.  978-544-5157.  11 Barrett Hill Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th from 11am-12noon – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: The Hatfield Public Library is holding their second annual Gingerbread House Building activity for all ages!  Graham cracker houses, frosting, and candy decorations will be provided.  Bring the whole family and spend time working together on a creative project.  Registration is required.  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th from 11am-1pm – ICE SKATING/SANTA: Ice skating with Santa takes place outdoors at Community Field, Holyoke’s innovative four-season-park, home to an outdoor refrigerated ice skating pathway.  Skate rentals available. 1 Community Field Road. Holyoke, MA (>$)

Saturday, December 14th from 11am-1pm – NATURE STUDIES/CRAFTS: Join naturalist/educator Aimee Gelinas at Tamarack Hollow to learn all about balsam fir and make simple balsam crafts, such as wreaths, door hangings,  balsam balm, and fir needle sachets.  These handmade crafts will make great holiday gifts and are an excellent way to learn more about the balsam fir.  This is an adult program, but may be appropriate for older students.  More information here.  Registration is required.  413-584-3009.  1515 Savoy Hollow Road.  Windsor, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 14th 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 14th from 11am-4pm – CRAFT FAIR: Ye Olde Lowbrow Art Faire, a kid-friendly opportunity to shop local and handmade for the holidays, happens again this year. Featuring 20+ local artists and crafters selling quirky handmade goods, most for under $20. An art area will be set up to keep the kids entertained while parents shop. There will also be a raffle, which you will be entered in if you bring one small bag of clothing or non-perishable food items to donate to the community center/local food bank. Easthampton Community Center. 12 Clark Street. Easthampton, MA (SALE)

Saturday, December 14th from 11:30am-12:30pm – STORYTELLING: Emily Williston Memorial Library will be hosting a Storytelling-Extraordinaire event. Performers Gail Herman, Robert Reiser, Lynn Knudsen, and others participants from our Storytelling & Writing workshops will share family stories and traditional folktales. Families, children, and adults are all welcome. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th at 11:30am, 2pm, & 4:30pm – 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.  $

Saturday, December 14th at 12noon & 6pm – THEATER/SHAKESPEARE: Young Shakespeare Players East will perform Macbeth at Amherst College at 12noon and 6pm today.  This Vermont-based theater troupe features kids ages 7-18 performing this dark Shakespeare tragedy.  Shakespeare fans of all ages will enjoy seeing this unique performance.  Takes place Studio 3 Theater in Webster Hall (Amherst College).  413-531-1234.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th from 12:30pm-2:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS/SANTA: Spend the afternoon at East Forest Park Branch Library hanging out with Santa, doing holiday crafts, and enjoying Christmas cookies.  413-263-6836.  122 Island Pond Road.  Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 1pm – STORYTIME: Come by the Holyoke Public Library for a special storytime – Folktales with Eshu Bumpus.  These multicultural, African, and African American folktales model principles of originality and non-violence and would be great for all children.  Please call to register.  413-420-8105.  250 Chestnut Street.  Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 1pm – PLANT STUDIES: Do you want to learn how to identify trees in the winter?  Michael Wojtech, author of Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast, will lead a winter tree walk at Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area today.  Wojtech will teach about the many different characteristics that can be used to identify trees during the leafless season, the functional aspects of bark and its form, and the environmental cues that have influenced these diverse characteristics.  Older students and adults interested in trees, ecology, and natural history will enjoy this fun and informative walk in the woods.  North Farms Road.  Florence, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 1pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: 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.  $$-$$$

Saturday, December 14th from 1pm-2pm – CHRISTMAS/KIDS’ ACTIVITIES: The East Longmeadow Public Library is holding their second annual Grinch Gala today!  Have holiday snacks, play games, hear Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas read aloud, and then enjoy a screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  All ages.  Please register.  413-525-5400 x1511.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 1pm & 7pm – SHAKESPEARE: Shakespeare and Company presents a special performance of Julius Caesar.  This classic Shakespearean drama would be best for older students and adults.  413-637-3353.  70 Kemble Street.  Lenox, MA.  $-$$

Saturday, December 14th from 1:15pm-2:30pm – GINGERBREAD HOUSES: Kids ages 6 and up can get creative this holiday season at the Mason Library’s Gingerbread House activity.  All supplies will be provided, so come to the library and practice your architectural skills by building a gingerbread house!  Registration is required.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 1:30pm – CHRISTMAS/HISTORY: Learn about Christmas as it was in World War II at the Springfield Armory.  Ranger Susan Ashman will talk about how Armory workers celebrated Christmas during the war, then you can tour the Commanding Officer’s House, which will be decorated for the holidays.  Step into the past and discover what Christmas was like during wartime.  Older students interested in history will enjoy this educational and entertaining program.  413-734-8551.  1 Armory Square.  Springfield, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 1:30pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: Albany Berkshire Ballet will perform “The Nutcracker” at Symphony Hall.  The classic Christmas performance features beautifully-designed sets and costumes, as well as wonderful dancing.  This classic holiday ballet is great for all ages.  Purchase tickets in advance.  413-788-7033.  34 Court Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$$

Saturday, December 14th from 2pm-3pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Teens and tweens are invited to the Sunderland Public Library to create holiday gifts from duct tape.  Make handmade, creative gifts at this fun event!  Registration is required.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th at 3pm – DIY: Kids can make their own holiday snow globes at the Berkshire Co-Op Market!  Bring small old toys (some will be provided) to put in the snow globes.  This is a great way for kids to get into the holiday spirit by creating holiday decorations made from pre-used goods (jars, toys).  Please call or stop by the front desk to sign up.  413-528-9697 x10.  42 Bridge Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, December 14th at 3pm – HOLIDAYS: Western Gateway Heritage State Park is offering an educational holiday program – Washington Irving’s Old Christmas.  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building #4.  North Adams, MA.

Saturday, December 14th 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 14th 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.  >$

Saturday, December 14th 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 14th from 5pm-8pm – ART WALK: This month’s Art Walk Easthampton event is all about local creative gifts!  Shop local and handmade at various stores, galleries, and community centers throughout town.  This is a great way to spend time in town discovering local artists and ways to shop local for the holidays.   413-527-8278.  Downtown.  Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 14th 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 14th from 6pm-12midnight – HOLIDAY STROLL: Stroll the towns of Athol & Orange and shop local for the holidays during Midnight Madness.  Local businesses will be open late. Santa will be around and live music will be playing. Come caroling, and win prizes!  A fun evening out shopping local while enjoying the holiday season. Athol, MA & Orange, MA (FREE)

Saturday, December 14th at 7:30pm – PERFORMANCE/HOLIDAYS: The Welcome Yule Players are hosting their annual 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.  $$

Saturday, December 14th 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.  $$-$$$

Saturday, December 14th at 7pm - CHRISTMAS/THEATER: The Belchertown Performing Arts Center presents “A Christmas Carol.” 413-323-7442. 18 Park Street. Belchertown, MA ($)

Saturday, December 14th at 7pm – THEATER/CHRISTMAS: Celebrate Christmas at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s performance of A Christmas Carol.  This classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge will take you back in time to Victorian England and entertain you with holiday music.  All ages will enjoy this holiday performance.  Show takes place at the Colonial Theatre.  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$$

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

Saturday, December 14th at 7pm: Visit Hilltop Orchards for a Full Moon Trek and Bonfire tonight!  After the 1-1.5 mile hike, there will be a bonfire, wine tasting, and entertainment.  This is a fun opportunity to get outdoors and hike under the beautiful full moon.  Please call to reserve your spot.  800-833-6274.  508 Canaan Road.  Richmond, MA.  $

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Sunday, December 15th, 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 15th 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 15th from 10am-11:15pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: Kids ages 3-5 and their caregivers can join PJ Preschool Pals at Lander Grinspoon Academy for “What Can You Make With an Old T-Shirt?”  Bring an old t-shirt and make no-sew bags while enjoying singing and storytime.  This is a fun way to do something crafty with your young child!  257 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 15th from 10am-1pm – HIKING: Come to Savoy State Forest for a snowshoe trek (hike if no snow) up the Busby Trail.  Here you can see great views of Mt. Greylock, 19th-century stone walls and cellar holes, and learn about winter ecology, evergreen trees, and animal tracks.  Dress warmly and pack water and lunch.  Email aimee@gaiaroots.com to register.  413-522-1505.  1515 Savoy Hollow Road.  Windsor, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, December 15th from 10am-2pm – HOLIDAY FARMERS’ MARKET: The Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Market features holiday ingredients and gifts from local farmers and artisans.  Support local agriculture and craftspeople this holiday season!  Takes place at Williams College Towne Field House.  413-528-0041.  Latham Street.  Williamstown, MA.

Sunday, December 15th at 11am – CHRISTMAS MOVIE: The Berkshire Museum will host a screening of the holiday classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  Books will be given out to attending children while supplies last! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 15th at 12noon – SANTA: Come to the Lenox Community Center for lunch, crafts, and a chance to get your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus!  413-637-5530.  65 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.

Sunday, December 15th from 1-4pm – SANTA: Santa will be on the Town Common.  There will be caroling, displays of miniature replicas of Granby historic buildings, refreshments. Granby, MA (FREE)

Sunday, December 15th at 1pm & 4:30pm – THE NUTCRACKER: 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.  $$-$$$

Sunday, December 15th from 1pm-4pm – SANTA: Come spend time with Santa today at Pine Hill Orchards!  There will be cider donuts and apple cider, as well as the opportunity to decorate gingerbread houses and make ornaments.  413-624-3325.  248 Greenfield Road.  Colrain, MA.

Sunday, December 15th at 2pm – WINTER SOLSTICE: Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration. Delightful music, dance, songs and stories celebrating the return of the light. 29th anniversary show for all ages, at The Shea Theater. This yearly show close to the winter solstice celebrates the return of light at the heart of winter’s darkness.  The Swedish tradition of Santa Lucia Day is featured in this year’s 29th annual production of Welcome Yule. 413-323-4239. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA ($)

Sunday, December 15th at 2pm – THEATER/CHRISTMAS: Celebrate Christmas at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s performance of A Christmas Carol.  This classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge will take you back in time to Victorian England and entertain you with holiday music.  All ages will enjoy this holiday performance.  Show takes place at the Colonial Theatre.  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$$

Sunday, December 15th 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 15th at 2pm - PERFORMANCE/HOLIDAYS: The Welcome Yule Players are hosting their annual 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.  $$

Sunday, December 15th at 2pm & 4:30pm – 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.  $

Sunday, December 15th at 3pm – CHRISTMAS/MUSIC: The Cantilena Chamber Choir will perform a Christmas concert today at Trinity Church.  They will sing classic carols, as well as the music of Poulenc, Britten, and more.  The whole family will enjoy this Christmas concert.  Kids get in for free.  88 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  $

Sunday, December 15th at 3pm – FOOD HISTORY/FILM: Would you like to learn more about what the holidays were like in the past?  The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the Mount have partnered to present “Downton Abbey and Gilded Age Holiday Entertaining,” with food historian Francine Segan.  She will discuss the sorts of traditions, etiquette, dishes, and entertainment that were popular in high society during the Gilded Age, such as calling cards, horse-drawn coaches, high tea, cotillions, formal dinner, and more.  The evening also includes trivia, tastings, demonstrations, recipes, and a screening of  Somewhere in Time (1980; rated PG).  This fascinating and entertaining lecture would be best for older students interested in history, food, or film.  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  $

Sunday, December 15th at 3pm – FILM/MUSIC: Historic Northampton’s series “Fast Forward: New Filmmakers at Historic Northampton” presents a screening of Brendan Toller’s I Need That Record! The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store(2008).  The film examines independent record stores and how they have been affected by big box stores, online downloading, the media, and more.  Featuring interviews with musicians, authors, activists, record labels, and more, this film is great for music-lovers or those interested in documentaries.  413-584-6011.  46 Bridge Street.  Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 15th from 4pm-5pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Today’s installment of the Lenox Library’s Distinguished Lecture Series is “The Beatles Weren’t Really So Great! (Or Were They…?)” presented by David L. Glass.  Glass will discuss the history and hype of the Beatles.  Best for older students interested in music.  413-637-2630.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.

Sunday, December 15th from 4pm-6pm – CHRISTMAS/HANUKKAH: The Meekins Library is hosting a special afternoon of Holiday Classics!  Come to the library for Malka Penn’s “The Miracle of the Potato Latkes” and Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”  All are welcome at this annual community storytime.  Please bring food for the Williamsburg COA Pantry, a warm coat for the Survival Center, or something for the animals at Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society.  413-268-7472.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA.

Sunday, December 15th 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.  >$

Sunday, December 15th 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 15th from 5pm-9pm – 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.  $$

Sunday, December 15th 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 16th, 2013

Monday, December 16th from 10am-11am – PARENT-CHILD WORKSHOP/ART: You and your children are invited to “Parents and Kids: Making Messy Art Together,” a workshop offered by the Collaborative for Educational Services, as part of their Puzzle of Parenting series.  Come be creative and explore artistic possibilities with paints, doughs, crayons, chalk, and collage.  Registration is required.  Takes place at South Hadley Family Center.  413-570-3061.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

Monday, December 16th 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.  >$

Monday, December 16th 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, Rachel Sayet presents “A Celebration of Land and Sea: Modern Indigenous Cuisine in New England.”  Learn about traditional American Indian cuisine in New England, the ingredients used, and how the food has changed over time.  Older students interested in history and cultural studies would benefit from this talk.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  $ [CANCELLED]

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 17th, 2013

Tuesday, December 17th at 9:30am – HIKING: Join the Trustees of Reservations for a hike/snowshoe at Bullitt Reservation.  This hike is open to the public and is a great way for families to get outdoors during the winter months.  The hike will be roughly two hours and happens the third Tuesday of each month.  413-628-4485.  Bullitt Road.  Ashfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 17th at 9:30am - HOLIDAYS/STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack.  This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit.  Please register in advance.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Tuesday, December 17th from 3:30pm-4:30pm – HOLIDAYS: Come to the Forest Park Branch Library to drink hot chocolate and decorate gingerbread cookies.  Family members of all ages are invited to spend time together at the library doing this fun holiday activity.  413-263-6843.  380 Belmont Avenue.  Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 17th from 3:30pm-4:30pm – CRAFTS/FOOD: Teens and tweens are invited to make graham cracker cottages for the solstice at the East Springfield Branch Library.  Get geared up for winter with this fun activity!  413-263-6840.  21 Osborne Terrace.  Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 17th from 3:30pm-5pm – CRAFTS/FOOD: Teens and tweens are invited to make a solstice snack at the Brightwood Branch Library.  Get geared up for winter with this fun activity!  413-263-6805.  359 Plainfield Street.  Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 17th from 3:30pm-5pm – CRAFTS/FOOD: Teens and tweens are invited to make a solstice snack at the Sixteen Acres Branch Library.  Get geared up for winter with this fun activity!  413-263-6858.  1187 Parker Street.  Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 17th from 4pm-5pm – BOOK GROUP: Join The Westfield Athenaeum for a kids book discussion group on Eva Ibbotson’s Island of the Aunts.  Youth in grades 3-5 can come to discuss the book and play relevant games.  This is a great chance for kids to do some outside-of-school reading while interacting with their peers in a discussion group.  Please register in advance.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Tuesday, December 17th 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.  >$

Tuesday, December 17th at 7pm - THEATER/HOLIDAYS: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year!  The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers.  The whole family will enjoy this holiday production.  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  $$

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 18th, 2013

Wednesday, December 18th from 3:30pm-5:30pm – HOLIDAYS: Come to the East Forest Park Branch Library to drink hot chocolate and decorate gingerbread cookies.  Family members of all ages are invited to spend time together at the library doing this fun holiday activity.  413-263-6836.  122 Island Pond Road.  Springfield, MA.

Wednesday, December 18th at 4pm – CAROLING: Engage with your community and spread holiday cheer by going caroling at the Claire Teague Senior Center!  All are welcome at this fun holiday activity, which is a great opportunity to spend time with community members of all ages.  Please RSVP.  413-248-0755.  917 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.

Wednesday, December 18th 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.  >$

Wednesday, December 18th at 6pm – HOLIDAYS/STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack.  This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit.  Please register in advance.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Wednesday, December 18th 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.  $$$

Wednesday, December 18th at 7pm – THEATER/HOLIDAYS: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year!  The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers.  The whole family will enjoy this holiday production.  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West 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 19th, 2013

Thursday, December 19th at 12:15pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Springfield Museums’ “Museums a la Carte” lecture series continues this week with “Dictionaries and How They Got This Way: The History of Merriam-Webster in Springfield,” by John M. Morse, President and Publisher of Merriam-Webster Inc.  Morse will tell the story of Merriam-Webster from its founding in 1831 to the present day.  The lecture features images of people and places that are important in the company’s history.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

Thursday, December 19th 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 19th from 5-9pm – HOLIDAY STROLL: The 3rd annual It’s a Wonderful Night happens in downtown Turners Falls. Join in for a holiday event featuring festive storefront windows, roving musicians, in store performances, caroling, tree lighting with Santa, and specials at local shops, many staying open until 9pm. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

Thursday, December 19th at 6pm – HOLIDAYS/STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack.  This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit.  Please register in advance.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Thursday, December 19th at 7:30pm – THEATER/HOLIDAYS: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year!  The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers.  The whole family will enjoy this holiday production.  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West 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 20th, 2013

Friday, December 20th at 9:30am – HOLIDAYS/STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to the Westfield Athenaeum for a Holiday Tea, where there will be stories, songs, apple juice tea, and a snack.  This is a fun way for kids to spend time together and get in the holiday spirit.  Please register in advance.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Friday, December 20th at 10:30am – SOLSTICE: Celebrate the Winter Solstice with Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc.!  Their special celebration features winter activities, stories, songs, snacks, and a fun parade with homemade instruments.  Please register.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.

Friday, December 20th 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 20th 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 20th 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.  $$

Friday, December 20th at 6:30pm -WINTER SOLSTICE: The annual Ashfield Winter Solstice Community Celebration happens on the Town Common with a warming fire, singing and storytelling. Warm up at Elmer’s with neighbors following the outdoor celebration. Ashfield, MA (FREE)

Friday, December 20th at 7pm – THEATER/CHRISTMAS: Celebrate Christmas at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s performance of A Christmas Carol.  This classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge will take you back in time to Victorian England and entertain you with holiday music.  All ages will enjoy this holiday performance.  Show takes place at the Colonial Theatre.  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$$

Friday, December 20th at 7pm – THEATER/SANTA: Paintbox Theatre presents “The Adventures of Santa Claus” at Northampton High School.  This exciting holiday performance is fun for the whole family!  413-210-1898.  380 Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  $

Friday, December 20th 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 20th at 8pm – THEATER/HOLIDAYS: The Majestic Theater’s annual holiday production Home for the Holidays is back this year!  The performance is inspired by the holiday television specials of the past, and features great songs and a whole group of wonderful local performers.  The whole family will enjoy this holiday production.  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-747-7797.  131 Elm Street.  West Springfield, MA.  $$

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

Friday, December 20th from 5:30pm-8:30pm: The Northampton Recreation Department is holding a “Drop N’ Shop” event – parents, you can drop your kids (grades K-5) off at JFK Middle School tonight for pizza, supervised swimming, arts and crafts, games and more, while you go out to dinner or try to get in some holiday shopping!  Cost is $15 per child and registration is required.  413-587-1040.  100 Bridge Road.  Florence, 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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