Suggested Events for December 28th, 2013-January 3rd, 2014

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 always keeps us informed as to what’s going on! When boredom strikes during vacation week, we know where to go…Hilltown Families’ blog or Facebook page to find out what extra special fun thing is going on!” – Angie Gregory (Northampton, 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.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

BULLETIN BOARD

Dec 31

Why should the grownups get to have all of the fun? Come celebrate New Years Eve for the KIDS at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield on December 31st from 11am – 1pm. Countdown to 12NOON instead of Midnight with interactive live entertainment by guitarist Tom Carroll. Full award winning kids menu & lunch menu will be available. Noise makers will be handed out and an apple cider toast … Just for fun! Please call for reservations. 413-665-1277.

Jan 4

Pioneer Valley Ballet is holding auditions for an original ballet, Beauty & The Beast on January 4, 2014 in Easthampton. A moving ballet based on the fairy tale by the Brothers’ Grimm, Beauty & The Beast follows the story of a young woman who discovers the true meaning of love in an unexpected place. Full of whimsy and magic, Beauty & The Beast performs at The Academy of Music on March 29 & 30, 2014 in Northampton. Children 4.5 – 12 are invited to audition. No dance experience needed. Adults and advanced dancers (en pointe) should contact the studio for audition information. Registration and information at www.pioneervalleyballet.org.

Jan 5

Lander-Grinspoon Academy hosts a community concert with Mister G for families on January 5 at 3pm in Northampton. Mister G, a local children’s singer/songwriter, has performed nationally & internationally. This concert is open to the entire community & is co-sponsored with Gan Keshet preschool & Hilltown Families. Mister G’s debut family album was Pizza for Breakfast. To date, he has released 3 other CD’s. In 2013, he was a Latin Grammy nominee for Best Children’s album. In 2012, Mister G was the Parent’s Choice Gold Award winner, & he was a Grammy nominee in ’11 & ‘12. Tickets are $5/child; $7.50/adult; capped at $20/family & are being sold at Lander-Grinspoon Academy during regular school hours. Tickets will also be available at the door.

30-Day Transformation for only $400. Get a month’s worth of wellness services at Window of Heaven Acupuncture & Yoga for only $400. Imagine how you would look and feel after 3 acupuncture treatments a week, one private yoga lesson a week, personalized Chinese herbal supplements, nutritional counseling and manageable lifestyle suggestions based on your individual constitution. All these services would normally cost over $1000, but now is available for $400. It is time to face up to your age-old health concerns and make a commitment to your wellbeing. Sleep better, digest better, be pain-free and have the energy you need! For more information about this deal and services we offer visit www.windowofheavenacupuncture.com or call 413-303-1246. Northampton, MA.

Have you heard about the new Central Berkshire Parent Child Home Program offered by Child Care of the Berkshires? The mission of CCB is to strengthen families through high quality child care, education, support services and advocacy. One way they accomplish this is through their Central Berkshire Parent Child Home Program, a free home visiting program. Enrollment is currently taking place for families of children, 18 mos-3 yrs, in the towns of Becket, Dalton, Hinsdale, Peru, Washington, Windsor, and Cummington for free home visits, books, and toys. For more information, please call 413- 672-2577 or email emorris@ccberkshire.org.

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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 28th, 2013-January 3rd, 2014

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 28th, 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. 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 28th, 10am-12noon – SNOWSHOEING: Join the Trustees of Reservations at Bartholomew’s Cobble for a Snowshoe Trek!  Explore the reservation’s forests, fields, hills, and river, as well as wildlife tracks and signs, on this easy-to-moderate trek.  Snowshoes available in kid and adult sizes.  Please RSVP.  413-229-8600.  105 Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  $

Saturday, December 28th, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: In conjunction with their exhibit, Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presents a special Elephant and Piggie Day!  Fans of the Elephant and Piggie series will love meeting their favorite characters, watching short films, having a fun storytime, and more.  Free with museum admission.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  $

Saturday, December 28th, 11am – CHILDREN’S CONCERT: The Berkshire Theatre Group presents a performance by David Grover and Grover’s Gang with the BTG PLAYS! Children’s Chorus at the Unicorn Theatre.  They will perform great live music that kids of all ages will enjoy.  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-298-5576.  6 East Street.  Stockbridge, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 28th, 11am-12noon - CHILDREN’S THEATER: The Berkshire Museum presents the Berkshire Children’s Theater Troupe in a performance of Peter Rabbit and the Bunny Hop.  The performance features kids ages 5-19 in a revamped, musical version of Beatrix Potter’s classic story, taking place in the 1950s.  Kids ages 2 and up will love this show, which includes singing, dancing, and more.  Cost includes museum admission.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 28th, 11am-12noon – CHEMISTRY: Be a mad scientist at the Berkshire Museum! Along with the help of the museum’s very own crazy chemist, kids can learn how to do exciting and surprising (and safe!) experiments with regular household materials. Kitchen Kaboom! is totally kid-safe, but adults must accompany participating scientists. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, December 28th, 12noon-1pm – LOCAL FOOD: Learn how to sprout seeds at the Amherst Winter Farmers’ Market workshop, “Sprouting seeds for fresh vegetables in the winter months,” with David Lovler.  You can learn the many ways sprouts can be used and how they offer the opportunity to grow nutritious food in your kitchen in any season.  413-259-3149.  170 Chestnut Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 28th, 12noon-2:30pm – HIKING: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a 3-4 mile hike at Hollow Fields.  The hike will lead you through fields and forests, and you can see amazing views of the Yokun Ridge.  Come prepared for snow hiking – bring snowshoes.  Best for older students or adults.  413-499-0596.  Perry’s Peak Road.  Richmond, MA.

Saturday, December 28th, 1pm - FAMILY MOVIE: The Sunderland Library is screening The Smurfs 2 (2013; rated PG) today!  This fun kids’ movie will entertain all ages.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 28th, 1pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: As part of School Vacation Week, the Springfield Museums presents a special Fun With Energy show with Jeff Boyer.  Boyer will teach audience members about the science of energy through interactive activities and demonstrations.  More information and other school vacation events/activities can be found here.  Free with museum admission.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 28th, 1pm-4pm – PICTURE BOOKS: There will be a drop-in picture book activity at the Norman Rockwell Museum today!  Kids can come make up characters and design their own storylines, plots, and settings inspired by the picture book art on display at the museum.  Kids can even come dressed as princes and princesses when they come to make their picture books.  Free with museum admission.  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  $

Saturday, December 28th, 2pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum is screening a teen movie (rated PG-13) about a young demon-slaying girl.  For grades 6-12.  Please register in advance.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 28th, 2pm & 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 28th, 2:30pm – HISTORY/MUSIC/CHRISTMAS: You are likely familiar with the Christmas song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” but do you know the history or meaning behind it?  Dr. Thomas Bernard will be at the Jones Library today to discuss the deeper symbolic meaning of this well-known song, and how it can be used to tell a coded story.  This talk will engage audience members with little-known facts and information about this classic song.  Those who are interested in history or Christmas will enjoy this talk.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

Saturday, December 28th, 3pm – HISTORY: Western Gateway Heritage State Park is offering an educational program on the history of the calendar.  This is a great way to learn about dates, months, seasons, etc. while getting ready to welcome the New Year.  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building #4.  North Adams, MA.

Saturday, December 28th, 3:30pm – PERFORMANCE: Come to Ventfort Hall for refreshments and a Cinderella Marionette Show with Carl Sprague.  All ages will enjoy this classic story acted out with marionettes.  413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  $$

Saturday, December 28th, 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 28th, 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.  $$$

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Sunday, December 29th, 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 29th, 12noon-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: In conjunction with their exhibit, Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presents a special Elephant and Piggie Day!  Fans of the Elephant and Piggie series will love meeting their favorite characters, watching short films, having a fun storytime, and more.  Free with museum admission.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  $

Sunday, December 29th, 1pm & 3pm - PUPPET SHOW: CactusHead Puppets will perform Little Red Riding Hood at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.  They will tell this classic story using both hand and shadow puppets.  Call ahead or stop by the Museum to purchase tickets for this fun-filled storytelling performance.  413-658-1126.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  >$

Sunday, December 29th, 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 29th, 2pm – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: As part of School Vacation Week, the Springfield Museums presents The Winter Variety Show with the Toe Jam Puppet Band.  This exciting performance features song, dance, puppets, and many interactive components.  More information and other school vacation events/activities can be found here.  Free with museum admission.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Sunday, December 29th, 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 29th, 3:30pm-4:30pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Celebrate Ten Years of Berkshire Children’s Theater at the Berkshire Museum.  Past and present troupe members will perform their favorite musical memories for audience members.  Followed by a reception in the museum’s Crane Room.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$$

Sunday, December 29th, 4pm – CARTOONS: The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center presents “Classic Cartoons,” a screening of the Looney Tunes short films that were produced from 1930 until 1969.  Kids will enjoy seeing these fun cartoons, and adults will love getting to step into the past and see Bugs, Daffy, Porky, Sylvester, Taz, and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang on the big screen.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  $

Sunday, December 29th, 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.  $$

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Monday, December 30th, 2013

Monday, December 30th, 8:30am-8pm – CRAFTS/NEW YEARS: Stop by the Westfield Athenaeum for a New Year’s craft to make at the library or to take home and make.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Monday, December 30th, 10am – ART: MASS MoCA’s December Break for Art is the “Rockin’ Art Countdown” to get ready for the new year.  This special event counts down the top ten hits from Kidspace art projects and gives kids the chance to make their own.  Please reserve your space in advance.  413-662-2111 x1.  1040 MASS MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  >$

Monday, December 30th, 11am-12:30pm  CHILDREN’S THEATER: The Berkshire Museum presents the Berkshire Children’s Theater Troupe in a performance of Peter Rabbit and the Bunny Hop.  The performance features kids ages 5-19 in a revamped, musical version of Beatrix Potter’s classic story, taking place in the 1950s.  Kids ages 2 and up will love this show, which includes singing, dancing, and more.  Cost includes museum admission.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

Monday, December 30th, 1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: As part of School Vacation Week, the Springfield Museums presents Gustafer Yellowgold, a multimedia performance of live music, animated illustrations, and storytelling.  All ages will enjoy this unique and entertaining performance.  More information and other school vacation events/activities can be found here.  Free with museum admission.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$

Monday, December 30th, 1pm-3pm – LEGOS: Kids can come have fun with Legos and Duplos today at the East Longmeadow Public Library’s “Legos Block Party!”  Stop by and use your imagination to create a Lego masterpiece!  413-525-5400 x1511.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.

Monday, December 30th, 2pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Tilton Library will be screening a fun kids’ movie today!  There will also be snacks and beverages available.  413-665-4683.  75 North Main Street.  South Deerfield, MA.

Monday, December 30th, 2pm – GAMES: Come to the Westfield Athenaeum for board games, Wii, card games, and more.  Feel free to bring your own game to play with others.  413-562-6158 x5.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

Monday, December 30th, 2pm-4pm – CRAFTS: Kids can get excited to welcome in the New Year at the Whately Library’s drop-in “Crafternoon!”  Come make New Year’s Eve hats and crowns to wear while ringing in 2014!  413-665-2170.  202 Chestnut Plain Road.  Whately, MA.

Monday, December 30th, 6:30pm-9pm – NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY: Kehillah, the Springfield Jewish Community Center’s Special Needs Department, is holding an inclusive “New Year’s Eve Eve Party” for teens and young adults!  There will be dancing, music, pizza, snacks, and more.  Come spend time with friends and family while getting ready to welcome 2014 at this super fun party!  Call for more information or to register.  413-739-4715.  1160 Dickinson Street.  Springfield, MA.  $$

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Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Teen opportunity for New Year’s Eve! Click on banner for info.

Tuesday, December 31st, 10am – ART: MASS MoCA’s December Break for Art is the “Rockin’ Art Countdown” to get ready for the new year.  This special event counts down the top ten hits from Kidspace art projects and gives kids the chance to make their own.  Please reserve your space in advance.  413-662-2111 x1.  1040 MASS MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  >$

Tuesday, December 31st, 10am-4pm – CHILDREN’S CELEBRATION: Today is Holyoke’s 17th Annual First Night Jr.!  There will be tons of kid-friendly activities at the Children’s Museum, the Merry Go Round, the Volleyball Hall of Fame, and the Heritage State Park Visitor’s Center.  Activities include juggling, face painting, magic shows, balloon shows, music, dancing, crafts, an appearance by Mayor Alex Morse, and much more!  413-536-7048.  Holyoke, MA.  $

Tuesday, December 31st, 10:30am – BUBBLE GUM:  Come to Storrs Library for their ‘Pop in the New Year Bubble Gum Contest’!  Find out how many different ways you can chew!  Ribbons will be awarded in many zany categories. Sign up in the Discovery Room. 414-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, December 31st, 11am-12noon - CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: The Berkshire Museum presents “The Pirate, the Princess, and the Pea,” performed by Crabgrass Puppet Theater.  The show tells a tale of pirates, princesses, treasure, and more.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  $$

Chandler's RestaurantTuesday, December 31st, 11am-1pm- NEW YEARS EVE FOR KIDS: Why should the grownups get to have all of the fun? Celebrate New Years Eve for the KIDS at Chandler’s Restaurant at Yankee Candle Village. Countdown to 12noon with interactive live entertainment by guitarist Tom Carroll. Full kids menu and lunch menu will be available. Noise makers will be handed out and an apple cider toast … Just for fun! RSVP. 413-665-1277. South Deerfield, MA ($)

Tuesday, December 31st, 12noon-12midnight - NEW YEAR’S EVE: Welcome the New Year at First Night Northampton!  This annual event is a 12-hour party featuring live music, performances, fireworks, activities, food, and so much more!  There will be something for all ages at the exciting, 29th-annual event!  413-584-7327.  Downtown.  Northampton, MA.  $$

Tuesday, December 31st, 2pm – STORYTELLING: Celebrating the Season: Stories & Songs with Davis Bates at the Storrs Library. Davis Bates’ performances are a mixture of family, Native American, international and regional stories and songs. They speak of empowerment, history, spirit and the environment. Davis has been sharing stories and songs for over 32 years.   He will come to Storrs Library to explore international folktales, songs, and family stories that explore the differing traditions of Spring, Summer, Winter or Fall. 693 Longmeadow Street. Sign up: 413-565-4182. Longmeadow, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, December 31st, 2pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Tilton Library will be screening a fun kids’ movie today!  There will also be snacks and beverages available.  413-665-4683.  75 North Main Street.  South Deerfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 31st, 6pm - PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Welcome the New Year with Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center at their “Bach at New Year’s” event!  This is the 20th year that the Berkshire Bach Society has done this event, and in order to celebrate the tradition, the Berkshire Bach Ensemble will perform all of Bach’s Six Brandenburg Concerti in reverse order.  Classical music lovers will enjoy this performance, which is an exciting and unique way to ring in the New Year!  Tickets can be purchased in advance.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  $$$

Tuesday, December 31st, 6-8pm – NEW YEARS EVE: An all ages New Year’s Eve celebration takes place at Conwell Gymnasium. This intergenerational evening will include activities for kids, tables & games for grandparents, dancing & music for all.  Countdown at 8pm with a silver basketball drop.  Celebrate, get done early, and to bed on time! 413-625-0305. Maple Street. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, December 31st, 7pm – MUSICAL: The Shea Theater presents, New Year/New Bridge!, a family-friendly musical with Bill Shontz (Young Person’s Show), Juke Joint Jazz (with Special Guest Trombonist, Ed Byrne), and Shokazoba (10-Piece Afrofunk dance band). 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, December 31st, 10am – TORCHLIGHT PARADE: The New Year’s Eve celebration is a tradition at Jiminy Peak. A Torchlight parade will wind down the mountain shortly after the close of the lifts at 10pm and will be immediately followed by a fireworks display. Families can then make their way into Christiansen’s Tavern to watch the ball drop and ring in the new year! 413-738-5500. 37 Corey Rd Hancock, MA

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Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR: Download this Kindness Calendar for January . Hang on your refrigerator and inspire daily acts of kindness!

  Ice Skating in Western MA

Wednesday, January 1st, 10am – FIRST DAY HIKE: Celebrate the start of the New Year with Williamsburg Woodland Trails on a hike along the Petticoat Hill Reservation/Locke’s Loop Trail.  The hike goes through 100-year-old forest and shows signs of past land use – there are stone walls, cellar holes, and old foundations of early farmsteads.  This is a great way to get outdoors and learn about natural history.  All are welcome.  413-268-7523.  Petticoat Hill Road.  Williamsburg, MA.

Wednesday, January 1st, 12:30pm – FIRST DAY HIKE: Celebrate the first day of 2014 with a hike at Beartown State Forest with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Explore the forest, look for signs of winter wildlife, and prior land use.  First Day Hikes are a great way to start off the new year with healthy habits, like exercising and spending time outdoors.  The hike is easy, 1.7 miles and would be appropriate for ages 7 and up.  Leashed dogs are welcome.  413-528-0904.  Blue Hill Road.  Monterey, MA.  (FREE)

Wednesday, January 1st, 1pm – FIRST DAY HIKE: Celebrate the first day of 2013 with a hike at Mt. Greylock with the Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Explore abandoned farmland, forest succession, and look for winter wildlife.  After the hike, come to the fireplace and enjoy hot chocolate.  First Day Hikes are a great way to start off the new year with healthy habits, like exercising and spending time outdoors.  The hike is easy, 1.8 miles and would be appropriate for ages 7 and up.  Leashed dogs are welcome.  413-499-4262.  30 Rockwell Road.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE)

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Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Thursday, January 2nd, 5pm-8pm – ART WALK: Amherst Art Walk is tonight!  Come downtown to tour art galleries and stores, explore the local art scene, and discover great local artists.  Art Walks are a great way for people of all ages to experience art in their community.  Downtown.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

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Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Friday, January 3rd, 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, January 3rd, 6pm-9pm – SKI SALE/FUNDRAISER: The Amherst Lions Club is holding a Ski and Snowboard Sale at Crocker Farm Elementary School to benefit the Club.  There will be alpine skis, snowboards, boots, cross country equipment, snowshoes,  twin tip skis, skates, jackets, helmets, pants, goggles, and more for sale.  Consignment items accepted today from 4pm-6pm only.  280 West Street.  Amherst, MA.

Friday, January 3rd, 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Join the Springfield Museums for “Stars Over Springfield,” an introductory astronomy talk and star viewing at the Science Museum’s observatory.  The event is recommended for kids 8 and up, but younger children are welcome.  If it is cloudy or rainy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of the live star viewing.  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  >$

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