Suggested Events for Feb 4th-10th, 2012

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

Click on the photo to see WGBY'S piece on the exhibit.

Have you seen the exhibit, "Hilltown Families: A Traveling Photography Exhibit of Life and Landscape in Western MA?" Check it out at the Worthington Library this month, moving to the Cummington Community House in March. (Photo Credit: Sienna Wildfield, Farm Truck in Ashfield)

Suggest EventIf you have a family friendly event or educational program happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, post your event on our “Suggest An Event” page. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

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

BEST BETS

There's still time so show your support of Hilltown Families by voting us as Best Local Blog in the Valley Advocate's Best of the Valley Readers' Poll for 2012! Best Local Blog is listed under the "Media Mavens" category. Deadline to vote is Wed., Feb. 8th by 12Noon. Click on the banner to cast your vote! Must vote for at least 10 of your local favorites... how about some of our sponsor?

Saturday, February 4th in Hampden Co. from 12noon-3pm – ICE HARVESTING: Join the town of Granville for their annual ice harvest!  Visitors can see the process of harvesting ice and learn about what it was used for.  Storrowton Village historian Dennis Picard will demonstrate ice cutting techniques- spectators may even get to try their hand at using the ice saw, pike pole, or ice tongs!  Ice harvesting was once a very profitable industry in New England, and ice from the area was shipped all over the world.  Learning more about ice harvesting fits into studies of American History, local history, American culture, and technology development.  Takes place on the pond at the Noble Drum Factory.  42 Water Street.  Granville, MA.  (FREE)

Also on Saturday, February 4th in Franklin Co. at 10am – FAMILY FUN: It’s Family Fun Day today at the Greenfield Youth Center! There will be fun activities, including a magic show, crafts, face painting, and a movie!  413-772-1553.  20 Sanderson Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, February 5th in Hampshire Co. from 2-6pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Learn about the natural history of the crow, a very common and very interesting bird!  The event begins with a presentation on crows, then a field trip to Springfield- watch the skies for crows, then follow them to a place where they congregate in a large group.  Kids can learn about the behavior of and habitat needed by these birds- it’s a great supplement to studies of the local environment.  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

Also on Sunday, February 5th in Berkshire Co. from 12noon-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Snowfest is today!  Kids can enjoy snow-related outdoor activities like an obstacle course, skating, winter games, and more!  The event is a fundraiser for the Williamstown Youth Center and is hosted by Williams College.  413-458-5925.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($$)

Later in the week on Tuesday, February 7th from 6pm-7:30pm – ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: CREATIVE FREE PLAY IN A COMMERCIALIZED WORLD: Hilltown Families is hosting a community roundtable discussion on supporting creative free play within our commercialized world.  The event, which is open to parents, educators, and community members, will take place at Cup and Top Cafe and is co-sponsored by the Northampton Public Schools.  Participants are invited to informally discuss the challenges of supporting free play and strategies for allowing children the opportunity for non-commercialized play.  Attendees will be able to engage in discussion, seek and offer advice, and develop ideas or plans for dealing with commercialism targeted at kids.  The event is a follow up to a presentation with Dr. Susan Linn (author of The Case for Make Believe and Consuming Kids) hosted by Hilltown Families before the holiday season.  Dinner is available for purchase from the cafe until 6:30pm (gluten-, dairy-, and nut-free options available), and FREE childcare is available in the cafe’s playspace (e-mail hilltownfamilies@gmail.com to sign up for childcare). 1 North Main Street. Florence, MA (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter to win a family 4-pack of tix!

On Saturday, February 11th from 10am-12Noon: FAMILY DANCE PARTY – There will be a family dance party with DJ Joan Holliday from 93.9 FM The River at the Northampton Center for the Arts. Families from throughout the Pioneer Valley will don their dancing shoes at this benefit for Nonotuck Community School. Come join kids of all ages under the disco ball and groove to a mix of classics, new tunes, and kids favorites at this all-for-the-family dance party!  413-586-5996. 17 New South Street, 3rd Floor. Northampton, MA ($) 

On Sunday, February 12th from 2-5pm – FATHER/DAUGHTER VALENTINE BALL: Dads and granddads can take the special daughters and/or granddaughters in their lives to Longmeadow Parks and Recreation’s annual Father-Daughter Valentine’s Ball!  Dress up in your fanciest clothes and enjoy a fun afternoon of holiday-themed music, dancing, decorations, and treats!  Perhaps dads and daughters can learn a few dances together before the event.  Takes place at the Community House.  413-565-4160.  735 Londmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  ($)

BULLETIN BOARD

OPEN HOUSE: Amherst Montessori School will hold an Admissions Open House for Parents, Saturday, February 4, 10AM-12noon. Learn what a Montessori education is all about, and if it is the right choice for your child. By following true Montessori principles, Amherst Montessori School nurtures each child’s spirit by demonstrating respect for others and a celebration of diversity, while offering a competitive academic curriculum. To register for the Open House, please call 413-253-3101. Amherst Montessori School, 27 Pomeroy Lane, Amherst. www.amherstmontessori.org.

OPEN HOUSE: On Sunday, Feb 5th Greenfield Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2pm to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4pm enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks and more. Kindergarten through 5th grade classes will be open for touring. All activities are free. www.centerschool.net. Birds of Prey Open House, K-5th, Sun. Feb. 5, 1-4pm.

KIDS MUSIC CAMP: WinklePicker Mardi Gras Kids Music Camp (for kids age 10-15), Sat. Feb. 18 from 10:30am-2:30 pm at Ashfield Preschool, Ashfield.  Fiddle players, accordion aces & guitar players – learn Cajun technique from Stuart Kenney (Dewey Balfa’s band) and friends. Intermediate-level players, bring your fiddle, accordion or guitar, attend the workshops, then rehearse as “The WinklePickers” and perform at the Mardi Gras Ball with Buckwheat Zydeco (7:00 PM, Ashfield Town Hall)! Pack a bag lunch, WinklePicker will supply beverages. Fee is $25/Student and includes 1 adult ticket admission to the Chris Smither concert and the Buckwheat Zydeco concert and after-party.  Tickets at Elmer’s Store & www.WinklePickerFest.com or call 413-230-0237 to register.

COOKING WORKSHOPS: Three WinklePicker Cajun & Creole Cooking Workshops  Feb. 17, 18, 19 at Elmer’s Store, Ashfield.  New Orleans chef and Food Director at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Michelle Nugent will demonstrate Cajun & Creole cuisine in 3 demo & tasting classes over 3 days.  Learn to make Duck Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffée & Gateau de Sirop; Oysters Rockefeller, Seafood Gumbo, Pecan Fish Muniere & Bananas Foster; or Crabmeat Ravigote, Shrimp Creole, Grillades & Grits & Brandy Milk Punch.  Classes/tastings run 3 hours per session; see website for daily schedule & menu. Capacity is limited; advance registration is strongly recommended.  $65/class; $175 3-classes advance price only. Tickets at Elmer’s Store and www.WinklePickerFest.com.

SPONSORSHIP & ADVERTISING: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the work of Hilltown Families. See your event, camp, workshop, business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter! Find out more about our Enhanced Publicity options and how we can help with your marketing.

Shelly Bathe Lenn writes: “The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens offers a safe and welcoming setting to process the many feelings associated with grief and loss.  Any family with a child ages 5-18 years who has experienced the death of a close family member is invited to participate in our Sunday afternoon groups.  New groups will be forming late February, and will meet at the Hampshire Regional YMCA in Northampton.  Pre-registration is required.  For more information, please call 413-584-7086 x124 or email at shelly.thegarden@gmail.com.” www.garden-cgc.org

COMPOSTING: The Center for EcoTechnology will be offering three free workshops on home composting throughout February!  The workshops, which will take place in the Berkshires and Pioneer Valley, will teach attendees about how to compost effectively at home as well as the year-round benefits of doing so and each workshop will include a hands-on compost pile creation.  Compost is healthy for lawns, gardens, and houseplants, and helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste put in landfills.  The workshops will take place on February 4th at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown, February 11th at Ward’s Nursery in Great Barrington, and February 25th at the Hadley Garden Center.  Registration is required for the workshops- call 413-445-4556 x30 to sign up.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Feb 4th—Feb 10th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, Feb 4th 2012

"Hilltown Families has been our family go-to place to know what's going on in the community and find the fun. I am grateful for Sienna’s dedication to making the Valley accessible to all families and keeping us connected. Most recently we had a chance to start listening to the radio show for children. We played the Hanukah show over and over and the 4 year old and 9 year old BOTH loved it. As did I. Thank you so much!" - Liz Friedman (Northampton, MA)

Hilltown Family Variety Show6-10am – 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. This week we will be re-broadcasting our Black History Month Episode  with many music royalties, including Ella Jenkins, Duke Ellington Earl “Fatha” Hines, Bessie Smith, Mahalia Jackson, Taj Mahal, Rufus Thomas and many others! – Listen to the most recent episodes of the Hilltown Family Variety Show anytime you want. Click here to see our current select of episodes, and be sure to subscribe to the podcast too.

8:30am – PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Enjoy a delicious breakfast of pancakes at a community breakfast!  It’s part of Holyoke’s Winter Carnival celebrations, and takes place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  413- 244-6766.  485 Appleton Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

9am-2pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Winter Farmers’ Market in the basement of Thornes. Food, live music and art. Northampton, MA (MARKET)

9:30-11am – PUPPETS: Visit the Hatfield Public Library this morning for a special puppet playtime!  Kids who love puppets will be delighted- they can play with puppets, put on puppet shows, and maybe make some of their own.  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

9:30-11am – VALENTINES: Make your own valentines at the Eric Carle Museum’s valentine-making party for children ages 4yo and older!  Kids will get to choose from a variety of materials to make up to 25 Valentines, and if you visit the galleries, they may be inspired by an art style. Registration is required:  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (<$)

♦ 10am-12Noon – STEM PLAYGROUP: Join The Greenfield Family Center for a playgroup with a STEM focus. Kids 6yo and younger and participate in interactive activities around science, technology, engineering and math. 413-475-1553. 90 Federal St. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

10am – FAMILY FUN: It’s Family Fun Day today at the Greenfield Youth Center! There will be fun activities, including a magic show, crafts, face painting, and a movie!  413-772-1553.  20 Sanderson Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am – RUN: The annual Sleigh Bell Run is today!  The 4-mile road race follows a scenic route through Greenfield.  Registration takes place from 8:45-9:30.  Race begins at the library.  413-772-1553.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  ($)

10am-12noon – SNOWSHOE ADVENTURES: Strap on your snowshoes and explore Notchview!  The Trustees of Reservations’ Saturday Snowshoe Trek is a great way to get some snowshoeing practice and enjoy a guided tour of some of Notchview’s trails.  Best for those with some snowshoeing skills already under their belts.  Registration required.  413-532-1631 x13.  Old Route 9.  Windsor, MA.  ($)

10am-1pm – SLEDDING: Go sledding on Anniversary Hill behind the Lynch School in Holyoke as part of the city’s Winter Carnival!  There will be a build-you-own sled race, judged on speed, creativity, and style, as well as a super skill sled course with moguls and banked turns.  Route 5.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE) [Snow dependent. Check here for updates.]

10am-1:30pm – GIRLS/SPORTS: Williams College celebrates National Girls and Women in Sports Day today!  Girls in grades K-6 can learn about sports like volleyball, soccer, softball, and more from Williams student-athletes and coaches.  There will also be yoga and rowing classes, and girs can attend a women’s basketball game against Bowdoin College after the event!  Girls can learn about sportsmanship, as well as the opportunities available for female athletes in advanced athletics.  To register, e-mail erd1@williams.edu.  413-597-3131.  880 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

10am-2pm – WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Visit the Amherst Winter Market at Amherst Middle School . 170 Chestnut St. Amherst, MA. (MARKET)

10am-4pm – VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: SEWING: Help the Storrs Library begin their BagShare program at a Sew-In today!  You don’t even have to know how to sew- helpers will teach you how to make the simple bags used by the program.  Also, if you have pieces of fabric that you’d like to get rid of (at least a yard), bring them to sew with!  Kids who are old enough to use a sewing machine (use your own judgement) are welcome to join.  Sign up for a 2-hour block to help (10am-12noon, 12noon-2pm, or 2pm-4pm).  413-565-4181.  693 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-11:45am – CHINESE NEW YEAR/CRAFTS: Learn about Chinese culture and the celebration of Chinese New Year at the Mason Library by doing some themed crafts and activities!  There are different age-appropriate activities for kids of all ages (12 and under or so).  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Most kids love candy, but do they know where it comes from?  Today at Chandler’s Restaurant, kids can learn how to make real candy!  The restaurant is hosting a cooking class designed just for kids- parents should attend to help out with trickier parts of recipes, but kids will learn about kitchen safety, they’ll get to work with molds, and they’ll learn some of the basics of candy decorating!  Families could follow the event with a look at the chemistry of cooking.  Registration required.  413-665-1277.  25 Greenfield Road.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

11am – STORYTIME: The Goshen Free Library hosts storytime on the first Saturday of each month!  413-268-7033.  42 Main Street.  Goshen, MA.  (FREE)

11am – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: Moosic happens at the Tilton Library.  John Blunt shares music and song on his guitar while Children’s Librarian, Julie Cavacco, reads to their young audience. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main St. South Deerfield, MA (FREE)

11am – SHABBAT FOR KIDS: Tot Shabbat with Peggy Walker at Congregational B’nai Israel for a kids ages 5 and younger. A fun and active event open to all, celebrating Shabbat. 413-584-3593 x203. 253 Prospect St. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

11am – FAMILY CONCERT: Terry A La Berry performs a fun and interactive concert for kids today the the Spectrum Playhouse! With over 20 years of experience under his belt, Terry is sure to provide a fun and exciting show.  413-243-2271.  20 Franklin Street.  Lee, MA.  (<$)

11am-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: The DCR’s Universal Access Program is offering accessible adaptive outdoor sports today at Mt. Tom State Reservation! The event is part of Holyoke’s Winter Carnival, and participants can take part in snowshoeing, kick sledding, skating, and cross country skiing (all weather-permitting).  If there is no snow, other adaptive outdoor activities will be available.  413-577-3840.  125 Reservation Road.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

11:45-12:30pm – CHINESE NEW YEAR: Celebrate the Chinese New Year with delicious Chinese food!  The Mason Library hosts a lunch buffet of good luck noodles and fried rice.  Talk with your kids about why different cultures eat different foods and what it has to do with their culture.  RSVP required.  413-528-2403.  231 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

12Noon-4pm – ARTS/CRAFTS: MYO birds nest for your fine feathered friends this winter at the Volleyball Hall of Fame. Make a birdseed pinecone feeder too! There will be other non-bird realted arts and crafts, too, including origami!  444 Dwight Street. Holyoke, MA

12noon-3pm – ICE HARVESTING: Join the town of Granville for their annual ice harvest!  Visitors can see the process of harvesting ice and learn about what it was used for.  Storrowton Village historian Dennis Picard will demonstrate ice cutting techniques- spectators may even get to try their hand at using the ice saw, pike pole, or ice tongs!  Ice harvesting was once a very profitable industry in New England, and ice from the area was shipped all over the world.  Learning more about ice harvesting fits into studies of American History, local history, American culture, and technology development.  Takes place on the pond at the Noble Drum Factory.  42 Water Street.  Granville, MA.  (FREE)

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12noon-3pm – CULINARY ARTS: As part of Holyoke’s Winter Carnival, there will be a cake decorating contest today!  You can enter your own cake(s) in to one of 11 categories, or just see the creations that others have made.  Cakes will be on display at the Wauregan Market Hall.  There are special categories just for kids (two different age groups for kids over 5)- teach your kids about baking (treat it like a science experiment) while you make a cake together.  Entries must be dropped off between 11am and 12noon.  413-244-6766.  400 Dwight Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

1-3pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Meet Curious George in person!  The museum’s exhibit, “Curious George Saves the Day” is ending soon, so if you haven’t checked it out yet, don’t miss this event!  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  ($ – Check out a museum pass from your local library to get in for free.)

1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting a show of artwork produced by high school students from Berkshire County. There are works in many different media- check out the great art being made by young people in your community!  413-298-4100.  9 Route 183.  Stockbridge, MA.  ($ –Check out a museum pass from your local library to get in for free.) 

2-4pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Spend the afternoon watching a movie together as a family!  The Westfield Atheaeum will be screening Dolphin Tale, which tells the story of an injured dolphin and the people who help to save her life.  413-562-6158.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – SWIM & SPORTS: Ultimate Sports Program is hosting a free swim for kids 6-18yo of all abilities, followed by wiffleball.  This will be happening at the Westfield Boys & Girls Club.  413-562-2301. 28 West Silver Street. Westfield, MA (FREE) 

4-5:30pm – STORYTIME: Enjoy a special storytime for families with kids 8 and younger (siblings and family members always welcome!).  Kids are encouraged to wear their pajamas and bring something special (blanket, stuffed rabbit, pillow, etc.) to cuddle with during the story.  In addition to the story, there will be crafts, snacks, and a Havdallah ceremony.  All are welcome- this is an opportunity for kids to learn about Jewish culture!  Takes place at Hevreh of Southern Berkshires.  413-528-5378.  270 State Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

5pm – LOCAL FOOD POTLUCK: Bring a dish made from local foods to the Greenfield Local Food Potluck!  Held at a local home for Greenfield residents- call for directions.  413-773-0201.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

5pm – SNOWSHOE ADVENTURE: Join the Franklin Land Trust at the Schoelzel Homestead for full moon showshoeing and a bonfire!  Lead by Americorps volunteer Sam Talbot, the event includes a snowshoe hike appropriate for those with beginner to moderate skills, and musicians are welcome to bring instruments to play around the fire afterward.  Call to register.  413-625-9151.  118 Plainfield Road.  Hawley, MA.  (FREE)

7-10pm – SQUARE DANCE: Head to the Montague Grange for an old-time square dance with music from the New Apocalypsonians.  Bring your t(w)eens and their friends for some good old fashion fun! 181 Meadow Road.  Montague, MA.  (<$)

8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: See the Paul Winter Consort play live at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center tonight!  The group plays a combination of styles from around the world- they call it “Earth Music.”  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  ($$)

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Sunday, Feb 5th, 2012

"Having moved our family to the Berkshires from Cincinnati area a year ago, we didn't know where to start to connect our homeschooled children with all the events and activities available in the area. Hilltown Families gives us more than enough choices to get involved and make new friends!" - Caitlin Porter Loverin (Pittsfield, MA)

Hilltown Family Variety Show

7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

10am-12Noon – TU BISHVAT: Children preK-K can celebrate the New Year of the Trees with Congregation Beth Israel’s Hand in Hand Family Education Program. Open to all. Call to confirm: 413-663-5830.  53 Lois Street. North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

10am-2pm – LOCAL FOOD/PERFORMANCE: Shelburne’s Piti Theatre Company will be a Green Field Market buzzing around the store sharing their new production, “To Bee or Not to Bee.” They will also be sharing some of the struggles the honey bee currently faces while the market serves up dishes for this special visit featuring local honey and honey from around the world. Have brunch while you’re there. A percentage of the sales will go to the development of this local family friendly production, set to premiere at SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival in March in Shelburne Falls. 413-625-6569. 144 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FUNDRAISER)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Amelia Park Children’s Museum is a great place for families to visit!  The museum has lengthened hours on the weekend, and it’s full of fun exhibits for kids to explore and learn from!  413-572-4014.  29 South Broad Street.  Westfield, MA.  ($ – Check out a museum pass from your local library to get in for free.)

10:30am-12Noon: TU B’SHEVAT: New Year of the Trees celebrated with activities, songs and crafts for kids ages 5-12yo and their families at Congregation B’nai Israel. All are welcome. 413-584-3593 x203. 253 Prospect St. Northampton, MA. (FREE) 

11am or 3pm – FIELD TRIP: Grammy-award winners Dan Zanes and Friends are playing two shows today at the Somerville Theater!  Take a day trip to Boston to see the show (visit the Museum of Science, or if your kids have learned about early American history, take a walk on the Freedom Trail).  617-625-2700.  55 Davis Square.  Somerville, MA.  ($$)

11am-12noon – FAMILY YOGA: Heartsong Yoga hosts a special drop-in family yoga class on the first Sunday of each month!  The class is great for all ages, and includes lots of different movement styles including partner yoga.  Get moving as a family!  413-525-0720.  264 North Main Street East.  Longmeadow, MA.  (<$)

11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The KidSpace at Mass MoCA is open today- explore an exhibit designed just for young people and make some art of your own!  413-664-4481.  1040 Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  (<$ – Check out a museum pass from your local library to get in for free.) ♦ 

11:30-4:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Enjoy sledding, tubing, and skating at Beacon Field!  Today’s outdoor activities are part of Winter Carnival, but you can visit the park anytime.  BYO sled and/or skates.  At noon, there will be a chili cook off and a cookie bake off, featuring creations from local restaurants.  You can try your hand at ice bowling on the rink at 1, and take part in a community wide tug-o-war at 12:30.  At 2:30, you can enter the cardboard sled race!  (Check the website for rules)  There will also be a hockey game (Franklin County Police vs. Franklin County Firefighters) on the outdoor rink!  413-772-1553.  Beacon Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) [Many of the ice and snow dependent activities have been canceled. Check their web site for updates]

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12noon-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Snowfest is today!  Kids can enjoy snow-related outdoor activities like an obstacle course, skating, winter games, and more!  The event is a fundraiser for the Williamstown Youth Center and is hosted by Williams College.  413-458-5925.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($$)

1pm – ART: Beads, Bisque, and Beyond hosts a weekly art session for kids! Kids’ Club gives kids an opportunity to exercise their creativity and to experiment with new mediums, like yarn painting, bubble painting, clay modeling, and more! 413-442-9300. 141 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

1-2:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena (41 Barr Ave.). Skate rentals available. 772-6891 Greenfield, MA ($) ♦

1-3pm – CHESS: An informal Chess Club is beginning at the Lilly Library. Participants are encouraged to supplement existing chess boards by bringing their own too. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (FREE) ♦

1-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Visit Field Farm for an educational trek through the farm’s snowy grounds.  The event will be lead by naturalists, and kids can learn how to find signs of animal life and how to identify the dried plants that poke out of the snow in the farm’s winter landscape.  There will also be a campfire where visitors can enjoy cocoa or toast marshmallows, and kids can build snow sculptures in the sculpture garden.  413-532-1631.  554 Sloan Road.  Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

1-4pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Learn about birds of prey with Tom Ricardi at the Greenfield Center School!  Kids will get to meet and learn about owls, hawks, eagles, and more!  The event is also part of the school’s annual winter open house.  Families interested in learning more about the school can tour the school, meet teachers and families whose children attend the school, etc.  Kids can also take part in activities that extend the birds of prey presentation- there will be science and other learning activities!  413-773-1700.  71 Montague City Road.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

1-4pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Learn to track animals in snow!  Ever wonder who else has been where you’re wandering?  Join Earthwork Programs today for a tracking workshop and learn how to find out!  413-522-0338.  Conway, MA.  ($$)

2pm – MUSIC STUDIES: Smith College is hosting a show featuring a capella groups from a handful of schools today!  See the Smith College Noteables, the Dartmouth Aires, Pitch Slapped of Berklee College, the Trinity College Quirks, UMass’ Do Whop Shop, and UPenn’s Dischord all perform at John M. Green Hall.  The music is fantastic and kids can learn more about a capella by attending the concert.  Kids with a particular interest in music can look into the history and development of the style before going to the concert!  413-587-1069.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

2-3pm – GEOLOGY: Can’t visit the Grand Canyon?  Don’t worry- you can learn all about the new Trail of Time at the Grand Canyon today at the Leverett Library! Michael Williams, a member of the geoscience faculty at UMass, will give a presentation on the trail which provides a walking timeline along the canyon’s rim.  Kids with audience skills can learn about some of the fascinating geologic history that created the canyon.  413-548-9220.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE)

2-3:50pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($) ♦

2-6pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Learn about the natural history of the crow, a very common and very interesting bird!  The event begins with a presentation on crows, then a field trip to Springfield- watch the skies for crows, then follow them to a place where they congregate in a large group.  Kids can learn about the behavior of and habitat needed by these birds- it’s a great supplement to studies of the local environment.  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA.  (<$)

7pm – YOUTH BASKETBALL: It’s Northampton’s Youth Hoop Night!  Kids who wear their youth basketball t-shirts can see a Northampton High School basketball game for free!  Kids can learn sportsmanship and will see the sport played at a higher (and realistically attainable) level.  Organized by Northampton Recreation.  413-587-1040.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

7-9pm – NORDIC SKIING: Parents and teens can ski by the light of the moon tonight at Notchview!  Enjoy the location’s beautiful landscape in a new light (literally).  413-684-0148.  Old Route 9.  Windsor, MA.  ($)

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Monday, Feb 6th, 2012

"I wouldn’t be aware of many events going on in the area of it wasn't for Hilltown Families. It doesn't feel so isolating living out in the hills when there's a resource to keep us informed." - Jessica Larkin (Bernardston, MA)

10:30am – TU B’SHEVAT: PJ Pals invites families to celebrate the New Year of the Trees with a reading of “Apple Tree’s Discover,” songs, crafts and snacks. Open to all families with kids ages 1-5yo. Held at The Church On The Hill Chapel. 413-442-4360 x14. 55 Main St. Lenox, MA.

5:30-7:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: UMass Amherst and the Amherst Family Center are presenting Dinner On Us, a dinner-and-discussion series for families.  The event begins with dinner from 5:30-6, and children’s activities will take place from 5:45-7:30.  Parent discussion will be from 6-7:30.  This week’s topic is building vocabulary and encouraging language development in young learners, and is hosted by Claire Hamilton, a member of the education faculty at UMass.  Takes place in the Student Union Building, Room 428.  413-545-0865.  280 Hicks Way.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE) [CANCELED]

MONDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 9:15-11:15am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at Berkshire Trail Preschool! Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: The Meekins Library is now offering a facilitate playgroup every 2nd & 4th Monday of the month! The playgroup will include arts & crafts, story time, and other fun activities for kids and their grown-ups! 413-268-7472. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦

MONDAY STORYTIMES

  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Community Network for Children hosts story hour at the MN Spear Memorial Library- kids 0-5 (with caregivers) can enjoy stories, songs, and craft activities! 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Bring babies ages 12-14 months to Wee Ones Storytime at the Indian Orchard Branch Library! 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Mother Goose on the Loose at the Orange Library! Rhymes, songs, finger play, stories, and more! 978-544-2495. 49 East Main Street. Orange, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Forbes Library hosts Storytime with Ellie this morning. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

MONDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:30-12:30 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 12:30-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

MONDAY ONGOING

  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 2:30-5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Meekins’ Teen/Tween Scene is this afternoon. Hang out at the library and check out some new books, music, or DVD’s. You can also play a game on the Wii, get help with your homework, or do some arts and crafts. Snacks provided. 413-268-7472. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm – LEGOS: Does your kid love LEGOS? Try out LEGO BrikWars, a wargaming system that takes ordinary building blocks and turns them into a game of strategy and destruction. Takes place at Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – LEGOS: The Central Library hosts LEGO Club tonight! Kids in grades 1-5 are invited to experiment with architecture and create a masterpiece. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – SING-A-LONG: Families are invited to the Montague Center Library for a community sing-a-long with librarian/musician Linda Hickman. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, Tues 7th, 2012

Roundtable Discussion: Creative Free Play in a Commercialized World

Free Child Care Available!

FEATURED EVENT: 6-7:30pm – Hilltown Families is hosting a community roundtable discussion on supporting creative free play within our commercialized world.  The event, which is open to parents, educators, and community members, will take place at Cup and Top Cafe in Florence at 6pm and is co-sponsored by the Northampton Public Schools.  Participants are invited to discuss informally the challenges of supporting free play and strategies for allowing children the opportunity for non-commercialized play.  Attendees will be able to engage in discussion, seek and offer advice, and develop ideas or plans for dealing with commercialism targeted at kids.  The event is a follow up to a presentation with Dr. Susan Linn (author of The Case for Make Believe and Consuming Kids) hosted by Hilltown Families before the holiday season.  Dinner is available for purchase from the cafe until 6:30pm (gluten-, dairy-, and nut-free options available), and childcare is available in the cafe’s playspace (e-mail hilltownfamilies@gmail.com to sign up for childcare). – Florence, MA (FREE)

9am-3pm – BOWLING: Special rates for Homeschool Bowling today!  413-525-7198.  168 Shaker Road.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (<$)

10am – PUPPET SHOW: Talking Hands Theatre presents, “Two Dinosaurs Are Better Than One,” an original puppet show by local puppeteer/storyteller Anna Sobel with live music by Brian Bender  Meet different kinds of dinosaurs from the Jurassic Era, and find out what the dinosaurs plan to do about that big carnivorous bully, Allosaurus! Hosted at the Cushman-Scott Children’s Center for preK kids. 71 Henry Street. North Amherst, MA (FREE)

10am – CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: See Mr. Trash at CityStage this morning!  The show provides a blend of entertainment for kids, as well as some environmental education.  Best for kids 7 and under.  413-788-7033.  1 Columbus Center.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

10am-12noon – ARTMAKING FOR WOMEN: The Art Garden and the Salasin Women’s Center are hosting an artmaking series for women called, “Women’s Nourishment for the Soul.”  Women are encouraged to join and help to create a community of women who create work and support each other in the challenges of being a woman in today’s world!  Registration required.  413-625-2782.  14 Depot Street, Suite 2.  Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE)

1pm – DANCE: The Kinetic State Ballet will perform the Wizard of Oz at the East Longmeadow Senior Center today!  Kids can enjoy the classic tale told through a nontraditional medium.  413-525-5436.  328 North Main Street.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

1-2:30pm – NATURE: Sheep Hill hosts a nature class for pre-schoolers!  Kids can enjoy a story and activities include a walk outside to observe and examine the winter landscape.  Kids will learn about how plants and animals adapt for and survive the winter.  413-458-2494.  671 Cold Spring Road.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

2:30-4pm – KNITTING CLUB: Join the Crafting Club at the Hatfield Public Library today to learn how to knit from a pattern!  If you have your own knitting project you’d like to work on and don’t need to learn, that’s great too!  Registration required.  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

3-5pm – VALENTINE KNITTING: Celebrate Valentine’s Day and yarn-bomb the Williston Library at the same time!  Knitters can spend the afternoon knitting away, and kids who don’t knit can help decorate the library with pink hearts and enjoy some holiday treats.  413-529-1605.  9 Park Street.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – SNOWSHOE ADVENTURE: Go on a moonlit snowshoe trek tonight at the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary!  Explore outdoors in a different light and practice your snowshoe skills.  Snowshoes are available by reservation.  413-637-0320.  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, MA.  ($)

7-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services presents a workshop for parents titled, “The Parent as Advocate.”  The workshop, which takes place at the Clapp Memorial Library, will teach parents skills for advocating for their children.  Registration is required, and all types of caregivers (parents, grandparents, etc. but not early childhood professionals) are welcome.  413-570-3061.  19 South Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE)

TUESDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Interactive Literacy and playtime at the Sunderland Elementary School for preK kids. All welcomed. 413-475-1553. 28 Old Amherst Rd. Sunderland, MA (FREE)
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a pre-school play-and-learn group in the after school room at the Haskins Center for kids ages 2.5-5! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)♦
  • 5:30-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a gym group at Florida Elementary School! There will be free play, circle time, and a snack. 413-664-4821. 56 North Country Road. Florida, MA. (FREE) ♦

TUESDAY STORYTIME

  • 9:30 and 11am – STORYTIME: Westfield Athenaeum hosts Little Ones Library Time. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Lilly Library hosts Kulp Memorial Storytime- it’s a lap sitting hour for kids newborn-18 months old. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Public Library hosts Pre-School Story Hour. There will be stories, songs, and fingerplay for little ones and they caregivers. 413-587-1011. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler storytime at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: For pre-schoolers and toddlers at the Lanesborough Public Library. 413-442-0222. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Milne Library! 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-5 are invited to storytime at the Central Library! There will be stories, songs, and a craft. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler storytime takes place at the North Adams Library this morning! 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – SINGING: Wendy will lead “Sing with Your Baby” at the Jones Library (large meeting room). 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – TODDLER TIME: Lilly Library hosts Toddler Time in the Kids’ Room. Little ones can hear stories, do crafts, sing, and play games. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:45pm – LIBRARY CLUB: The Millers Falls Library offers a weekly drop-in club for kids of all ages with stories, art and crafts. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 6pm – STORYTIME: Drop-in pajama storytime at the Agawam Library! 413-789-1550. 750 Cooper Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE) ♦

TUESDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:45-12:45 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 1-3pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

TUESDAY ONGOING

  • 9:15-10:30am – YOGA: Drop off the kids at school then come enjoy a yoga class at the library. Yoga teacher Kellie Finn teaches yoga this morning at the Meekins Library. This is a fun class for those at any level. Call beforehand to check on available space. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:15 – GRANDPARENTS: Weekly group at the Amherst Family Center for grandparents through June- connect with other grandparents and talk about issues of parenting grandchildren or helping children parent. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:45-11:15am – BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: Amherst Family Center hosts a breastfeeding group for families. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-3pm – BOWLING: Special rates for Homeschool Bowling today!  413-525-7198.  168 Shaker Road.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (<$)
  • 10am – BREASTFEEDINGSUPPORT: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a breastfeeding group for mothers at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – RHYME TIME: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School hosts Rhyme Time this morning at Matrushka Toys!  Designed for kids who are infants, crawlers, or toddlers, the program involves finger play, fun rhymes, circle games, and puppets and is lead by early childhood teachers.  413-528-4015.  309 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm – NEW MOTHERS CIRCLE: Cradle hosts a gathering of moms and babies in a comfortable and supportive environment. Share your experiences with other moms and bond over the transformations that come with motherhood. 413-341-5282. Thornes Marketplace, 3rd Floor. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 3pm – CRAFTS: Craft Club at the Hatfield Library! There’s a new activity every week. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3-4:30 – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Liberty Branch Library. 413-263-6849. 773 Liberty Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – BINGO: The Hinsdale Lions Club hosts Bingo every Tuesday evening. Though it’s generally an adult game, your kids can come too for a fun intergenerational evening. If they’re learning to count, they can get some great practice matching numbers on your card. Doors open at 5, and dinner is available inexpensively beforehand. 413-655-2973. Maple Street (Route 143). Hinsdale, MA. (<$) ♦

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Wednesday, Feb 8th, 2012

"Hilltown Families is the best local connection to Western Mass events for families. I'm always telling friends." - Chrisanne Cirillo (Montgomery, MA)

8:30-4pm – TEACHER WORKSHOP: Explore the themes taught in studies of prohibition-era America at a professional development day at the Springfield Museums!  Educators can attend talks and workshops, tour the museum, and view exhibits- all to learn about the larger themes that can be taught while teaching kids about prohibition.  The event is sponsored by WGBY and was inspired by the recent Ken Burns documentary on prohibition.  413-781-2801.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Springfield Parent Academy hosts, “Baby and Me: Together and Strong,” a workshop designed to help build resilience amongst parents of young children in the community.  Parents can meet other parents, gain a larger support system, and learn new ways to bond with their kids.  Takes place in the Community Center at the Sullivan Apartments.  413-750-2831.  160 Nursery Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

10-3pm – HOMESCHOOL/HISTORY: Kids can take part in a typical winter day at Historic Deerfield!  The day begins with prepping food to be cooked over the hearth for lunch, a workshop on textiles, and visits to the historic buildings!  Kids can learn about early American culture, local history and culture, food, and material culture.  Registration required!  413-775-7217.  Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

12noon-3pm – BOWLING: Special rates for Homeschool Bowling today!  413-525-7198.  168 Shaker Road.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (<$) ♦

2:30pm – CHESS: Play chess at the Pelham Library!  Practice your own skills or teach a friend.  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.  (FREE) ♦

6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services presents a workshop for parents titled, “Connecting With Your Child” tonight at the South Hadley Family Center.  Childcare is available, and registration is required.  413-570-3061.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE) [CANCELED]

7pm – FILM/FOOD: The Sunderland Library is screening “King Corn” tonight as part of Franklin County’s Winter Fare events.  The movie is a documentary that educates viewers about the reality behind corn farming, where farmers live off of government subsidies and the crop is not actually profitable.  Older kids can learn about the agriculture industry, as well as about what processed foods are made of.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE)

WEDNESDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center- downstairs in the Unitarian Meeting house. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11am: PLAYGROUP – Drop-in playgroups for preK kids at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Snack time at 10:15am. Circle time at 11:20am. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Cummington Family Center playgroup in the rear of the Cummington Community House. 33 Main St. Cummington, MA (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Westhampton Library, every second and fourth Wednesday.  413-527-5386.  3 South Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children holds playgroup for kids ages 0-5 at Erving Elementary School! There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities. 978-544-5157. 28 Northfield Road. Erving, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Wendell Free Library hosts the Community Network for Children’s playgroup for kids ages 0-5. There will be activities for gross motor skills, stories, and art activities. 978-544-5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The second Wednesday of every month at the Edwards Library!  413-527-9480.  30 East Street.  Southampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12Noon: PLAYGROUP – Baby Hour at the South Hadley Family Center, located in the All Saints’ Episcopal Church. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge St. South Hadley, MA (FREE) ♦

WEDNESDAY STORYTIMES

  • 9:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Agawam Public Library. 413-789-1550. 750 Cooper Street. Agawam, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30 and 11:30 – STORYTIME: Fantastic Fours and Fives at the Westfield Athenaeum! 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Tales and Tunes at the Northfield Library! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Westhampton Library! 413-527-4386. 3 South Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Sunshine Story Time for preK kids at the Greenfield Public Library. Reading, singing and play intertwine as Kay Lyons leds a fun half hour of story time followed by play time. Lover Level in the LeVanway Meeting Room. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: The Mason Square Library hosts pre-school storytime! 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: Stories, activities, crafts and music at Carnegie Library. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue “A” Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 10:15am: STORYTIME: The Chesterfield Public Library has a children’s story hour. 413-296-4735 Route 143. Chesterfield(FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME: The Meekins Library hosts pre-school storytime this morning. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Milne Library! 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is this morning at the North Adams Library! 413-662-3133. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Visit the Leverett Public Library for the Community Network for Children’s story hour! Kids ages 0-5 can enjoy stories, hands-on science activities, and art projects! 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: At the Cushman Library! Stories, crafts, snack. 413-413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Hop into your pajamas and visit the East Longmeadow Library for Pajama Night Storytime before bed. For kids ages 3-6. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square #2. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦

Ice Skating in Western MAWEDNESDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10-11:50am – ICE SKATING: Homeschool ice skating time at Foote Arena! Learn to skate or just practice. 413-664-8185. 1267 South Church Street. North Adams, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 10:30-12:30am – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 12-2pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)
  • 12:30-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)

WEDNESDAY ONGOING

  • 9:30am-12noon – FARM ADVENTURE: Red Gate Farm hosts Homeschool Halfdays on most Wednesdays. The event includes farm exploration both in and out of doors. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 9:45-11:15 – NEW MOTHERS: New and expecting mothers group with MotherWoman at the Amherst Family Center. Share experiences and get help with adjusting to motherhood. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 12noon-3pm – BOWLING: Special rates for Homeschool Bowling today!  413-525-7198.  168 Shaker Road.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (<$) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 1-5pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Visit the Crane Museum of Papermaking to learn about the history of papermaking at Crane since the early 1800’s. Located on the banks of the Housatonic River, the building itself is a museum! This is a great opportunity to learn about local history. If you can’t make it today, the museum is open all weekdays during the same hours. 413-684-2600. 30 South Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 2:30pm – CHESS: Play chess at the Pelham Library!  Practice your own skills or teach a friend.  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 3-4:30pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the East Springfield Branch Library. 413-263-6840. 21 Osborne Terrace. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Indian Orchard Branch Library. 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4:30pm – PUPPET SHOW/SING-ALONG: Puppeteer and musician Anna Sobel of Talking Hands Theatre invites families to join her at The Yellow Sofa on Wednesday afternoons for an hour of fun! There will be music and puppets that kids ages 1-5 will enjoy. 413-585-5877. 24 Main Street. Northampton, MA (>$
  • 4:45-6pm – KNITTING: Is your yarn all knotted? Do your needles refuse to behave? Get some help (or, if you’re a skilled knitter, offer support) at Forbes Library’s Knitting Clinic. Knitters of all ages and abilities are welcome- no pattern problem is too big or small. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6pm – SUPPORT GROUP: Treehouse hosts a New Moms Group where new mothers can connect with other moms and babies can spend time with other babies. Intended for moms with babies 6mos and under. 413-344-4435. 305 North Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Thursday, Feb 9th, 2012

""We just signed up for Hilltown Families, but I am so excited about all of the opportunities I have found here! Can't wait to be able to go to some of the events!" - Laura Muller (Amherst, MA)

4-5pm – VALENTINES: Make your own valentines today at the Greenfield Library!  Kids can choose from many different materials and create their own holiday-themed masterpieces.  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – HISTORY: The Berkshire County Homeschool Community hosts a presentation titled, “Cotton and Race in the Making of America.”  The talk, which is best for older students who have some background in American history, will address the connections between the economic growth the the United States saw as a result of the cotton industry and issues of race and the American experience.  Students can learn about topics that are often not addressed in typical studies of American history and the textile industry, and they will learn to make connections between issues of race in modern culture and the issues present during the 19th century.  This event can be paired with a visit to the  American Textile History Museum, too, for an even broader study of the importance of the textile industry.  Takes place at Hevreh os Southern Berkshire.  413-528-6378.  270 State Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents of teen girls are invited to join parenting expert/author, Eyelyn Resh , for “The Emotional Life of Teen Girls” in the library at the Amherst High School. 413-362-1700. 21 Mattoon Street. Amherst, MA (FREE) 

THURSDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 9am-1pm – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center, downtown at the Unitarian Meetinghouse. Use rear entrance. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parents Center. Basement of Edwards Church. Music class starts at 11am most Thursdays. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Baby playgroup for pre-walking children with the Cummington Family Center. Located in the rear of the Cummington Community House. 3 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)

THURSDAY STORYTIME

  • 9:30 and 11am – STORYTIME: Terrific Twos and Threes at the Westfield Athenaeum! 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:45am – STORYTIME: The Central Library hosts toddler storytime this morning! 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Visit the Sixteen Acres Library for pre-school storytime! 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Public Library hosts Pre-School Story Hour! There will be stories, songs, and fingerplay for little ones and they caregivers. 413-587-1011. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The fourth Thursday of every month at the Edwards Library!  413-527-9480.  30 East Street.  Southampton, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come and enjoy stories and songs with Julie Stepanek at the New Salem Library on Thurs. through January 26. 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Williston Memorial Library hosts storytime! With each month comes a new seasonal theme. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Meekins Library with Rochelle. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Lilly Library with Lisa. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Take kids to storytime this morning at the Emily Williston Memorial Library! 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Jones Library in the Children’s Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime is today at the Lilly Library! 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come and enjoy stories and songs with facilitator, Julie Stepanek, at the New Salem Library on Thurs. through Dec. 15th. 978-544-5157. 21 South Main St. New Salem., MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Storytime at the Griswold Memorial Library! Stories, craft, and snack. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – STORYTIME: Visit the Hatfield Library for story hour! 39 Main Street. 413-247-9097. Hatfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30pm – STORYTIME: Martha Speaks storytime takes place today at the Brightwood Branch Library- kids can learn about the power of words through stories about dogs, crafts, and more! 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime tonight at the Monson Library! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦

THURSDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:45-12:45 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 12:30-2:30pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

THURSDAY ONGOING

  • 9:30-11:15 – GRANDPARENTS: Weekly group at the Amherst Family Center for grandparents through June- connect with other grandparents and talk about issues of parenting grandchildren or helping children parent. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30pm – MOVIE: Monson Library has kids’ movie time! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 3:30-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Brightwood Branch Library. 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5-7pm – KNITTING: Dottie’s Coffee Lounge host a beginner’s knitting group every Thursday. All ages and experiences welcomed. 444 North Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
  • 5:30-7pm – CHESS: The Monson Library’s chess club meets on the 4th Thursday of every month. Kids in middle school and older can participate! 413-287-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Friday, Feb 10th, 2012

10-10:30am – ART MAKING: Visit the Eric Carle Museum for Materials Play in the Morning, a program where kids can experiment with art making in new and nontraditional mediums that are not only great for creativity but are fun to play with!  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA.  (<$) ♦

10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Gateway Family Center hosts special learning playgroups for young children and their parents!  Babies and their parents will learn baby sign language and play with other families.  Parents of toddlers can take part in “playshops” like cooking, art projects, and games.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦

1pm – TU B’SHVAT: Felicia Sloin leads a special musical presentation, “Beetles.” With puppets Felicia with engage kids to celebrate the many soft fruits of the season of the New Year of the Trees. Held at Lander~Grinspoon Academy. 413-584-6622, x117. 257 Prospect St. Northampton, MA (FREE)

3:30pm – CHESS: Chess is a great game to stimulate the brain.  Kids ages 6-10 can play and/or learn the game this afternoon at the Milne Library!  The group takes place on Fridays in February.  413-458-5369.  1095 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

5-7pm – ART OPENING: Tonight is the opening reception for, “Who Are ‘We the People?’”  The exhibit, which is being shown at the Northampton Center for the Arts, is made up of works from members of the Youth Action Coalition.  Youth in the group’s Arts for Change programs have been experimenting with art along the theme of “We the People” for the past few months, and the show includes work in various media.  Visiting the show is a way to learn more about what the coalition does and to see artwork being created by young people within the community.  413-582-9014.  17 New South Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

5:45-8:45pm – VALENTINES: Longmeadow Parks and Recreation is hosting a Valentine Pajama Jam/Movie Night for kids at the Community House!  Parents can enjoy a night out while kids enjoy a half dance jam, half movie night event!  RSVP requested.  413-565-4160.  735 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  ($)

6:30pm – LOCAL FOOD POTLUCK: Families can attend a Local-vore Potluck Dinner!  Prepare your own totally local dish to share, enjoy delicious foods prepared by others, and celebrate eating local!  Takes place at the Gill Congregational Church.  Main Road.  Gill, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – GAME NIGHT: The Old Creamery Co-op will host n intergenerational game night.  Bring your favorite games, or play with what other’s have brought, and chase the dark winter nights away with friends and neighbors. 413-634-5560. 445 Berkshire Trail. Cummington, MA (FREE)

7pm – FAMILY MOVIE: Screening of “Monsters, Inc.” at the Northampton High School. 413-587-1344. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA (>$)

7pm – YOUTH BASKETBALL: Northampton Recreation hosts Youth Hoop Night at Northampton High School!  Kids who wear their rec basketball shirts can see Northampton High School’s girls basketball team take on East Longmeadow.  Kids can see their favorite sport played at a higher (and realistically attainable) level.  413-587-1040.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Williams College hosts a planetarium show for families tonight!  Lead by students, the show can teach kids about retrograde planetary motion, locations of nearby galaxies, the mythology behind zodiac symbols, and more!  413-597-2188.  829 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

7:30pm – HISTORY: John Arthur Miller presents music of the Civil War live at Dewey Memorial Hall.  This event is great for both music lovers and history buffs alike!  Kids can learn about the importance of music in culture and the role that it plays within specific historical contexts.  For a more in depth look, have them compare modern music of war (modern rock songs about the army, 1960’s anti-war folk songs, etc.) to the music that they hear at the concert and talk with them about the cultural differences between Civil War-era America and now.  413-229-2694.  Main Street.  Sheffield, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

  • 6-8pm – WINE TASTING:  Taste some delicious wine tonight and support the Wistariahurst Museum while you enjoy yourself thoroughly!  You can try many new types and flavors, and learn more about wine, too.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  ($$)
  • 7:30pm – CONCERT: Debra Cowan and John Roberts perform at Ashfield Community Hall tonight!  413-835-6956.  521 Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  ($)
  • 8pm – DANCE: China’s Jin Xing Dance Theater is making a rare visit to Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center!  They’ll be performing the Shanghai Tango, a show that is a retrospective of ten of the group’s best works.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  ($$)

FRIDAY PLAYGROUPS

  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Shutesbury Elementary School for the Community Network for Children’s playgroup! Kids ages 0-5 can take part in stories, motor skills play, and art activities! 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center- downstairs in the Unitarian Meeting house. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at Whole Children! 413-587-1471. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Gross motor activities at the Sunderland Elementary School gym for preK kids. All welcomed. 413-475-1553. 28 Old Amherst Rd. Sunderland, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: At Lanesborough Elementary School! 413-443-0027. Summer Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Infants, toddlers, and their caregivers are invited to Crawl Talk at the East Longmeadow Library. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square #2. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Greenfield YMCA hosts an indoor obstacle course playgroup for kids 7 and under! Kids can play and move throughout a series of play-obstacles (tunnels, foam blocks, etc.). 413-475-1543. 451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Gateway Family Center hosts special learning playgroups for young children and their parents!  Babies and their parents will learn baby sign language and play with other families.  Parents of toddlers can take part in “playshops” like cooking, art projects, and games.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12Noon – PLAYGROUP: Easthampton Family Center, located at Flywheel Arts in the Old Town Hall. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA (FREE)♦
  • 10-11am – PLAYGROUP: Visit Lanesborough Elementary School for gym group! 413-443-0027. Summer Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Greenfield YMCA hosts an indoor obstacle course playgroup for kids 7 and under!  Kids can play and move throughout a series of play-obstacles (tunnels, foam blocks, etc.).  Takes place on the first and third Fridays of each month.  413-475-1543.  451 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE) ♦ 
  • 11am- BABY GROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦

FRIDAY STORYTIMES

10:30am – STORYTIME: The Milne Library has Toddler Storytime With Helen this morning! There will be stories, finger play, and songs- it lasts for about 20 minutes. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

  • 9:30am – SPANISH STORYTIME: Forbes Library hosts Spanish storytime- great for Spanish speaking families or kids learning the language. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORY/CRAFT: Stories, songs and crafts for preK kids and their guardians. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA (FREE)
  • 10-10:45am – SIGN LANGUAGE STORYTIME: The Westfield Athenaeum hosts sign language storytime this morning. Kids can sign, sign, and read along to stories- there will be lots of movement, music, and of course, American Sign Language. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: Kids 2-3.5 years old can go to storytime at the East Forest Park Branch Library! 413-263-6836. 122 Island Pond Road. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Brightwood Branch Library hosts storytime for kids ages 2-3.5. 413-23-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME: Bring littlest ones to the Monson Library for stories, songs, and fun! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Great Falls Discover Center hosts a story hour for kids 3-6yo. Held the 4th Friday of every month. 413-863-3221 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORY/CRAFT: Preschoolers can take part in story/craft time this morning at the Sunderland Public Library. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: PreK story hour with snack and crafts at the Griswold Memorial Library. 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Lap-sit story hour for kids 3yo and younger at the Greenfield Public Library for Mother Goose on the Loose. Kay Lyons leads a half hour of structured story time, followed by 15 mins of visiting time. Kids will enjoy movement games, rhythm and song as Kay reads and leads the group with puppets and hand rhymes. Lower Level in the LeVanway Meeting Room. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE) ♦

FRIDAY ICE SKATING

  • 10:30-12:30 – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Smead Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Ave. Springfield, MA ($)
  • 1-3pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Fitzpatrick Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple St. Holyoke, MA ($)
  • 2-4pm – ICE SKATING: Public ice skating at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available. 413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)
  • 8-9:50pm – ICE SKATING: Teens and families will enjoy a DJ ice skating session at Collins/Moylan Arena. Skate rentals available.413-772-6891. 41 Barr Ave. Greenfield, MA ($)

FRIDAY ONGOING

  • 10-10:30am – ART: Visit the Eric Carle Museum for Materials Play in the Morning, a program where kids can experiment with art making in new and nontraditional mediums that are not only great for creativity but are fun to play with! 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 10am – MOVIE: Pre-school movies at the Berkshire Ahtenaeum! Usually 20-30 minutes. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:15am – ESL: Amherst Family Center hosts an ESL group- families can connect withother ESL families and work on language acquisition and parenting skills together. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Pine Point Branch Library. 413-263-6855. 204 Boston Road. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: The KidSpace at Mass MoCA is open today- explore an exhibit designed just for young people and make some art of your own! 413-664-4481. 1040 Mass MoCA Way. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)
  • 3:15-4:45pm – KNITTING: Drop-In Stitches knitting group at the Storrs Library. Grades 4+, all abilities welcome. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4-4:45pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Red Gate Farm hosts Young Farmers- a chance help out with afternoon chores including egg collection! 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6-7pm – BABY SIGN LANGUAGE: Sign Loud and Clear presents an info session on the benefits of baby sign language! Babies are sometimes able to begin communicating via sign language before they are able to communicate verbally- learn how to start signing with your baby! Takes place at Baystate Medical Center. Springfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30-8:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: GROW and MotherWoman host a postpartum support group for mothers in need of a supportive space to share, receive help, and grow. The group takes place at the Community Room. 413-822-6043. 48 Elizabeth Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Milham Planetarium at Williams College hosts an observatory show tonight! The planetarium’s Zeiss Skymaster can show phases of the moon, retrograde motions of planets, temperatures of planets and stars, the location of nearby galaxies, and more! The show is entertaining and also a great learning opportunity. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 8:30pm-12:30am – COMMUNITY DANCE: Dance Spree is a community family-friendly (and barefoot!) dance event – kids of all ages are welcome to attend with guardians. Great way to get moving! 25 Main Street, 4th Floor (above Fitzwilly’s). Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦

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1 Comment

  1. February 6, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Parenting Workshops

    Roundtable Discussion: Creative Free Play in a Commercialized World

    Free Child Care Available!

    Tuesday, Feb. 7th from 6-7:30pm – ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: Hilltown Families is hosting a community roundtable discussion on supporting creative free play within our commercialized world. The event, which is open to parents, educators, and community members, will take place at Cup and Top Cafe in Florence at 6pm and is co-sponsored by the Northampton Public Schools. Participants are invited to discuss informally the challenges of supporting free play and strategies for allowing children the opportunity for non-commercialized play. Attendees will be able to engage in discussion, seek and offer advice, and develop ideas or plans for dealing with commercialism targeted at kids. The event is a follow up to a presentation with Dr. Susan Linn (author of The Case for Make Believe and Consuming Kids) hosted by Hilltown Families before the holiday season. Dinner is available for purchase from the cafe until 6:30pm (gluten-, dairy-, and nut-free options available), and childcare is available in the cafe’s playspace (e-mail hilltownfamilies@gmail.com to sign up for childcare). – Florence, MA (FREE)

    Wednesday, Feb. 8th at 10am – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Springfield Parent Academy hosts, “Baby and Me: Together and Strong,” a workshop designed to help build resilience amongst parents of young children in the community. Parents can meet other parents, gain a larger support system, and learn new ways to bond with their kids. Takes place in the Community Center at the Sullivan Apartments. 413-750-2831. 160 Nursery Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

    [CANCELED]Wednesday, Feb. 8th from 6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services presents a workshop for parents titled, “Connecting With Your Child” tonight at the South Hadley Family Center. Childcare is available, and registration is required. 413-570-3061. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) [CANCELED]

    Thursday, Feb. 9th at 7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Parents of teen girls are invited to join parenting expert/author, Eyelyn Resh , for “The Emotional Life of Teen Girls” in the library at the Amherst High School. 413-362-1700. 21 Mattoon Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)

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