Suggested Events for Feb 18th-24th, 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

The 15th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count takes place from February 17th-20th this year! If your kids have off for winter vacation week, this is a fun way to keep them learning and unplugged while out of school. Click on photo for more info. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

Ice Skating in Western MAIn the morning on Saturday, February 18th at 10am or 12noon in Berkshire Co. – FAMILY FILM: Share with your kids international films today at Images Cinema! The cinema is screening, “Lotte from Gadgetville,” an animated children’s movie from Estonia. The movie tells the story of Lotte, and the adventures she has learning about the many inventions created in her village. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)

In the afternoon on Saturday, February 18th at 2pm in Franklin Co. – FAMILY THEATER: The New Renaissance Players perform Treasure Island at the Shea Theater! The show is a high-energy pirate adventure appropriate for families with slightly older kids (some parts are scary!). 413-863-2281. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. ($)

In the evening on Saturday, February 18th at 7:30pm in Hampshire Co. – THEATER/HISTORY: Old Deerfield Productions is presenting the premier of the new folk opera, “Truth,” which tells the story of former slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. Kids with audience skills can supplement studies of American History by seeing the show. Seeing the show could be a great way to start a family dialogue about abolition and how it fits into the larger topic of human rights. Takes place at the Academy of Music. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

All day on Sunday, February 19th from 9am-5pm in Hampden Co. – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site where visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history. This week beginning today there are special programs for families for school vacation! Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more! 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Flywheel Saturday Morning Music Party

Family concert with UNCLE ROCK at Flywheel in Easthampton on Saturday, March 10th at 10am. Presented by Hilltown Families, No Nap Happy Hour Series and Flywheel.

Saturday, February 25 from 10-11am in the Pioneer Valley – PUPPETS: Tom Knight is performing a puppet show at Hatfield Elementary School this morning! The show is designed for pre-school aged kids and their families and is sponsored by the Collaborative for Educational Services. 413-586-4998. 33 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 25 from 10:30am-12:30pm in the Berkshires – STORYWALK: The North Adams Public Library has arranged a storywalk through downtown North Adams! It will be around until March 3rd for families to visit anytime, but this particular Sunday morning there will be a special craft at the library accompanying the story Annie and the Wild Animals by Western MA author, Jan Brett. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 26 from 1:30-4:30pm – FAMILY FUN: Northampton Recreation is hosting a fun family afternoon as part of Fabulous February! There will be ice cream and games of bingo beginning at 1:30, then open swim time beginning at 2:30. Younger kids can practice matching and identifying numbers by playing bingo, and kids of all ages (and adults!) can get some great exercise and swimming practice for summer during pool time. 413-587-1040. 100 Bridge Road. Florence, MA. (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

CHILDCARE OPENINGS: Little Bear Learn & Care, a high quality childcare program serving the Greater Easthampton Area, has limited openings available in their infant and two year classrooms. Offering childcare for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, Little Bear’s welcoming family atmosphere and creative free play environment supports the critical brain-building development of a child’s first five years of life, building a foundation of valuable social/emotional adeptness for later learning. Through basic sign language, modeling and role playing, Little Bear encourages the development of healthy communication skills. To schedule a visit or to find out more about current openings, call 413-203-1776, or visit online at www.littlebearlearnandcare.com.

FAMILY CONCERT: Sunnyside Children’s Center Presents… R.O.C.K…Paper…Blizzard! Rock those winter blues away, eat pizza with your pals, make art, and try to win our Rock Paper Scissors Championship! Come spend the morning with the Valley’s own rockin’ family music band, The Royal Order of Chords & Keys (R.O.C.K.), with Aric Bieganek on vocals and guitar, Hans Dalhaus on drums and David Picchi on bass. Featured on the Meltdown Stage at the 2011 Green River Festival, together they form the hardest rocking band for families in the world. Sunday, February 19th from 10:30am-12noon at the Florence Community Center. Tickets just $5 per person ($25 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside financial aid fund for families in need. www.sunnysidekids.org

SCHOOL VACATION WEEK: This February vacation join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA for live performances, art making, gallery exhibitions, scavenger hunts, and story times! There will be live performances of The Ugly Ducking in the auditorium by the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School, Feb. 21 – 24 at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. $6 ($5 members). And while school might be out for some, kids can still learn about history through a new art exhibition, We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, paintings by Kadir Nelson, and by creating timelines in the art studio, highlighting significant events and journeys from the past. The museum will be open on President’s Day! For more information please visit: www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100.

ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: Accepting applications for fall 2012. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 245 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts daily. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-7061 www.bement.org.

HILLTOWN IDOLS: Coming soon: Hilltown Idols! An adult & child karaoke competition/fundraiser for the Cultural Arts Committee (CAC) of the Williamsburg Schools. Auditions are Sat., 3/3, with the Final Performance on Sat., 3/10 at 7pm at the Dunphy School in Williamsburg. The competition is open to children & adults from near and far! There are four competition groups: Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, & Adults. Prizes will be awarded to winners. Entry fee for contestants in Grades 3-12 is $5.00 & $25.00 for adults. Register by 3/2! Tickets for audience members on 3/3 are $2/individual or $5/family for the day. Tickets for the Final Performance on 3/10 are $5(Ages 3-18), $10(Adults), or $20 per family. See sites.google.com/site/hilltownidols for details.

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.

ADOPTIVE PARENTS: Berkshire Children and Families (BCF) is hosting a workshop for families interested in learning more about adopting a child. Prospective adoptive parents can learn about available children, as well as the process of applying to adopt. The process includes undergoing MAPP (Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting) Training, as well as a homestudy. If approved after applying, adoptive parents are able to adopt children from within the state’s DCF system. There are many children in need of families- if you’re interested in considering adoption, feel free to attend! The workshop will take place on Tuesday, Feburary 21st from 5:30-7pm at the BCF office (200 Russell Street) in Hadley. Questions can be directed to Linda Dugas at 413-584-5690.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
Feb 18th—Feb 24th, 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 18th 2012

"We have found fun things to do to lift the winter blues on this Web site, including Fire and Ice arts walk the other night in Easthampton and the Holyoke Winter Carnival are just two of our recent winter-blues-busting outings. There's really no need to look further than Hilltown Families for fun events during the week and on the weekends!" - Sandra Dias of Holyoke, MA

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. This week Ellis Paul will be our guest DJ and his musical friend Flynn spinning some of their favorite tunes. Included in today’s playlist are songs from Lead Belly, Leon Redbone, Dan Zanes, Bill Harley and Justin Roberts. The set leads off with two songs from Ellis’ brand new family album, The Hero in You: the title track and “Nellie Bly”. – 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.

9am-1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: Spend the day outside learning about animal tracking, botany, and how animals adapt for survival during the winter today at the Guyette Farm with the Franklin Land Trust! Naturalist John Foster will lead the exploration. Registration required. For families with kids ages 10yo+. 413-625-9151. Gloyd Street. Plainfield, MA. (FREE)

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

9am-5pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site- visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history. Also, this week there are special programs for families for school vacation! Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more! 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Old growth forests are rare in this area- they are wooded areas where trees haven’t been cut since before the area was settled. Ashfield is home to some old growth forest- families with older kids can explore it today with Erik Hoffner and Bob Leverett of the Eastern Native Tree Society and learn about the pines and hardwoods the forest is home to. Sears Road at Route 112. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

10-11:30am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURES: MassAudubon’s Laughing Brook sanctuary hosts Tracking and Animal Signs for families with kids ages 5-12yo. Learn the language and art of tracking wild animals. 413-584-3009. Hampden, MA ($)

10am or 12noon – FAMILY FILM: Share with your kids international films today at Images Cinema! The cinema is screening, “Lotte from Gadgetville,” an animated children’s movie from Estonia. The movie tells the story of Lotte, and the adventures she has learning about the many inventions created in her village. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring Street. Williamstown, MA. ($)

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

10am-7pm – 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. ($)

11am-12noon – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Find an eye patch and set sail to the Lenox Library- Nutshell Playhouse presents, “Pirates!” today! The show features comedy, mime, masks, puppets, and more! 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)

11am-1pm – FAMILY 5K – The Run, Walk, or Roll 5K takes place today at Westfield State University! The event is a fundraiser for Birthday Wishes, a group that brings birthday parties to kids in homeless shelters all over the country. The event is a no-pressure walk, and is great for families- accomplishing the 5K at any pace is fine! Pre-registration requested. Takes place at the Woodward Center. 413-572-5400. Western Avenue. Westfield, MA. ($)

12noon-3pm – WINTER CARNIVAL: Montague’s Winter Carnival takes place today at Unity Park! There will be a snow sculpture contest, cardboard sled races, a snowball slingshot competition, and more! Fun for the whole family. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

2pm – FAMILY THEATER: The New Renaissance Players perform Treasure Island at the Shea Theater! The show is a high-energy pirate adventure appropriate for families with slightly older kids (some parts are scary!). 413-863-2281. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. ($)

2-4pm – WOMEN’S WORKSHOP: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) is hosting a workshop called, “Healing the Stories We Tell Ourselves” today. The workshop will focus on learning to let go of and re-tell some of the stories that make up who you are. Learn strategies for better understanding yourself and your experiences. Registration suggested! 175 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

2-4pm – ASPERGER SUPPORT: Meetup at the Westfield Athenaeum 3rd Sat. of every month with members of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership. Anyone on the spectrum, parents of children with asperger and folks in support roles are welcomed. Meet downstairs in the committee room. Contact Michael Reinhagen at mreinhagen@gmail.com for more info. 6 Elm St. Westfield, MA (FREE)

2:30pm – ICE SCULPTURE: Create a masterpiece using snow and ice today at the Cabin Fever Festival! BYO building tools (shovels, etc.) and a plan. Takes place on the town green. Lee, MA. (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – FAMILY MOVIE: The Holyoke YMCA is hosting a dive-in movie event tonight- they’ll be projecting a family-friendly movie onto a wall in the swimming pool, and families can lounge in the pool (on rafts or in the water) while the movie plays. 413-534-5631. 171 Pine Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$)

7-8:30pm – T(W)EEN NIGHT: It’s Y-Night at the Greenfield YMCA! Kids in grades 5-7 can hang out at the Y for the night- there will be food, live DJ music, dancing, gym games, Guitar Hero, ping pong, video games, and more! 413-773-3646. 451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

7:30pm – FILM SCREENING: See Christopher Reeve in the original Superman tonight at Pothole Pictures! 413-625-3052. 51 Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$)

7:30pm – THEATER/HISTORY: Old Deerfield Productions is presenting the premier of the new folk opera, “Truth,” which tells the story of former slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. Kids with audience skills can supplement studies of American History by seeing the show. Seeing the show could be a great way to start a family dialogue about abolition and how it fits into the larger topic of human rights. Takes place at the Academy of Music. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6-9pm – The Holyoke YMCA is hosting a night of fun for kids! Kids ages 6months-12yo can participate in fun activities like swimming, gym games, a bounce house, crafts, and more. The event is fully supervised- parents can drop kids off and enjoy a kid-free evening out. Registration required. 413-534-5631. 171 Pine Street. Holyoke, MA. ($)

6:30-8:30pm – February is Love Your Library Month at the Clapp Memorial Library! Celebrate with a night out filled with wine, cheese, and chocolate! There will be wine and cheese for sampling provided, and visitors are asked to bring small chocolates to share and their favorite wine. 413-323-0417. 19 South Main Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

WinklePicker Festival in Asfhield, MA 7pm – Spend a night out in Ashfield at the Winklepicker Festival Mardi Gras Ball! The ball takes place at Ashfield Town Hall and features Buckwheat Zydeco, a group playing traditional Louisiana style zydeco. The after party takes place at Elmer’s Store, where Primate Fiasco will perform! It’s sure to be a fun night- and the party lasts as long as you can! 413-628-4003. Main Street. Ashfield, MA. ($)

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Sunday, Feb 19th, 2012

"The connections we've made with other families through Hilltown Families over the years keeps us going over these winter months! There is always somebody out there to join us sledding at the golf course, skating on the lake, or cross-country skiing in the yard! Thanks for helping us build community in what could be a very isolating geographical area one email at a time!" - Kara Kitchen of Plainfield, MA

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. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

6am-2pm – ICE FISHING: There’s an ice fishing derby at Laurel Lake today as part of the Cabin Fever Festival! Join in on the fun if you fish, otherwise visit the lake to see what it’s all about! Ice fishing has been an important part of rural New England culture for centuries- see what it means to ice fish today. Lee, MA. (FREE)

9am-5pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site- visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history. Also, this week there are special programs for families for school vacation! Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more! 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

9:30am – GOSPEL BRUNCH: There will be an All-Star Gospel Brunch at Elmer’s as part of the Winklepicker Festival. Call to reserve seating: 413-628-4003. Main Street. Ashfield, MA ($)

10am-4pm – AVIATION: Families are invited to the New England Air Museum’s Open Cockpit event. The museum will be allowing kids to explore the cockpits of 12 vintage aircrafts and flight simulators. Families can learn about the history of aviation, including the Tuskegee Airmen. There will also be a presentation of three theirraptors (red-tail hawk, Peregrine Falcom and a Barn Owl). DIY building projects too. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. (Bradley International Airport). Windsor Locks, CT ($)

10:30am-12noon – KIDS’ CONCERT: Hear some rockin’ kids’ music, make paper crafts, and be part of a rock, paper, scissors contest today! This fun event features music from the Royal Order of Chords and Keys (R.O.C.K.) and benefits Sunnyside Childcare’s scholarship fund. Takes place at the Florence Community Center. 140 Pine Street. Florence, 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. (<$) ♦

12noon-1:15pm – GIRLS IN SPORTS: UMass’ celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day takes place today! Girls can learn about and try out sports like lacrosse, field hockey, cheer leading, rowing, soccer, and more! The event also includes a ticket to a women’s basketball game at the Mullins Center at 2pm. This event is a great way for girls to learn about higher level women’s sports, as well as sports that they might not get to try out until they’re older. Registration required. 413-577-7252. 200 Commonwealth Avenue. Amherst, 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. ($) ♦

1-3pm – 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) ♦

1-4pm – ART ADVENTURES: The Eric Carle Museum has special art projects for kids in the studio today! Experiment with new materials and create a masterpiece- visit the galleries first and use the work on display as inspiration. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

2pm – FAMILY THEATER: The New Renaissance Players perform Treasure Island at the Shea Theater! The show is a high-energy pirate adventure appropriate for families with slightly older kids (some parts are scary!). 413-863-2281. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. ($)

2pm or 7pm – FILM: The Berkshire Museum’s Little Theater is screening this year’s Oscar-nominated short films today! The films all cover different topics- some are funny, some thought provoking. Kids interested in making movies or in film studies can learn about the art of shorts! 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

3-5pm – FAMILY DANCE: Families are invited to Laurel Park for live music, traditional country dancing, singing and some games, all led by an experienced caller, for families with little ones. This week, caller Tim Van Egmond will be on hand to call dances and teach dance and song games! 413-230-7037. 2 Laurel Park. Northampton, MA (>$)

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Monday, Feb 20th, 2012

"Hilltown Families is THE place to find out what to do with your kids in the valley. All year long I turn to Hilltown Families to find something fun to do, especially on weekends and school vacations. Thank you!" - Niki Lankowski (Whately, MA)

9-11:30am – FARM ADVENTURE: Pre-K kids can spend the morning at Red Gate Farm! Kids will get to feed the animals, explore the farm, make crafts, and learn all about farming! Registration required. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. ($)

9am-5pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site- visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history. Also, this week there are special programs for families for school vacation! Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more! 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Old Sturbridge Village today for fun learning opportunities! The village is alive with the spirit of the 1830s, just for vacation week! Kids can learn about life during the 1830’s by exploring the village, watching demonstrations, and meeting villagers. Activities include watching a printer and/or shoemaker at work, tours, wagon rides, live music, hat making, helping out with cooking, shadow puppets, and a special presentation of songs and stories about George Washington! A visit to the village can supplement studies of American history and early American culture, as well as studies of local history. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

10am-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Eric Carle Museum is open today! There are lots of things to do and see- particularly the newest exhibit, “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro Baseball,” which is a collection of paintings by Kadir Nelson. The works in the exhibit tell the story of African-American baseball players who endured racial discrimination and social inequalities, as well as lower salaries than white players. A visit to the exhibit can be the beginning of an ongoing family discussion about civil rights and issues of race and class with kids of almost any age. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

10am-5pm – AVIATION: The New England Air Museum will be open all school vacation week with fun activities for the kids. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. (Bradley International Airport). Windsor Locks, CT ($)

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

10:45am-12:45pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Teaching Creatures is offering an opportunity to meet some critters today at the Springfield Museums! Kids can meet and learn about amphibians and reptiles, a group often referred to as herps. Visit the exhibit, Frogs: A Chorus of Colors, too! 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

11am-12noon – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Festival presents Way Out West at the Berkshire Museum! The show combines tall tales, cowboy stories, and Native American mythology to bring kids a brief and silly history of the wild west. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

12Noon – MUSIC: Make a musical instrument and enjoy live music by Cameron Sutphin from his alblum, “My Guitar and Me,” at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum today. Free with admission. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. ($)

1pm – KIDS’ CONCERT: Mister G is performing this afternoon at the Springfield Museums! Bug out while he sings bilingual songs about creepy, crawly critters. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

1-2pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Red Gate Farm offers a unique program during the summer for kids ages 12-15. The farm’s Youth Corps offers teens a chance to apprentice at the farm and begin learning about the many different aspects of farming. Find out more about the program today at an informational meeting! 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. (FREE)

1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Norman Rockwell Museum currently has an exhibit of pop-up picture book art! Kids can make their own pop-up art at the museum today, too! Visit the galleries to see what artists have created, then use the pieces as inspiration for your own masterpiece. Fits well with a study of illustrations! 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

2pm – FILM: KidsBestFest takes place at the Academy of Music this week- it’s an opportunity for kids to enjoy a film festival designed just for them! Today’s screening is Charlotte’s Web, which will be shown in its original 1973 35mm format. 413-584-9032. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (<$)

3:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School theater department performs “The Phantom Tollbooth” in the Williston Theatre. 413-529-3434. 18 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA ($)

5:30am – BREASTFEEDING – La Leche League of Northampton meets third Monday of every month. Topics cover breastfeeding benefits, nutrition and weaning, home care of your infant, and support. 413-570-0684 150 Main St. 3rd Floor. Northampton, MA (FREE)

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Tuesday, Feb. 21st, 2012

"Hilltown Families has sent us to a bunch of great events – the Haiti benefit last year and school vacation shows at the Academy are two that come to mind. I’m relying on Hilltown Families to help me plan for school vacation weeks!" - Tanya Lieberman (Florence, MA)

9am-3pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Send your kids to the farm for a day! Red Gate Farm has special programs all week for school vacation. Kids can help take care of the animals, explore the farm (maybe on snowshoes depending on the weather), learn to build a fire, and more! 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. ($$)

9am-3pm – SCIENCE: The Flying Cloud Institute is offering a special day of science for kids today! There are two main activities that take place during the day- an outdoor exploration where kids will learn about animal tracking and winter adaptations, and a lab investigation and ceramics project. Registration required. 413-229-3321. 731 South Sandisfield Road. New Marlborough, MA. ($$)

9am-5pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site- visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history. Also, this week there are special programs for families for school vacation! Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more! 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

9am-8pm – THEATER WORKSHOP: The Friends of the Hubbard Memorial Library are holding a Theater Mega-Workshop for kids ages 9-13yo. Budding thespians can learn and practice the process of writing a play, rehersing and then performing. An evening performance includes pizza dinner. Must pre-register. 413-583-3408. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Old Sturbridge Village today for fun learning opportunities! The village is alive with the spirit of the 1830s, just for vacation week! Kids can learn about life during the 1830’s by exploring the village, watching demonstrations, and meeting villagers. Activities include watching a printer and/or shoemaker at work, tours, wagon rides, live music, hat making, helping out with cooking, shadow puppets, and a special presentation of songs and stories about George Washington! A visit to the village can supplement studies of American history and early American culture, as well as studies of local history. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

10:30am – SINGING – Hubbard Library invites families with preschoolers to a half-our Sing with Me! music program. 413-583-3408. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)

10am-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Spend the day at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary with Mass Audubon! Kids will learn about the animals that life at the sanctuary and how to spot them in the winter, as well as playing games and learning about the many adaptations that animals have to help them survive the winter. Registration required. 413-637-0320. 127 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA

10-11am & 11:15am-12:15pm – STORYTELLING: Mary Jo Maichack will be at the Ludlow Community Center offering a workshop, “Be a Storied Star.” There will be music and storytelling for kids ages 4-12yo. 413-583-2072. 91 Claudia’s Way. Ludlow, MA (FREE)

10am-5pm – AVIATION: The New England Air Museum will be open all school vacation week with fun activities for the kids. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. (Bradley International Airport). Windsor Locks, CT ($)

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – THEATER: Piti Theater Company is in residence at the Wheeler Library during school vacation week, and this morning pre-school aged kids can read stories and create a play! 978-544-2495. 49 East Main Street. Orange, MA. (FREE)

10:30-4pm – CRAFTS: The Hatfield Library is offering families a chance to get out of the house and play with art materials! Parents and kids can drop-in and use the library’s materials to create masterpieces of all kinds. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

11am, 1pm, or 3pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School present, “The Ugly Duckling” at the Eric Carle Museum! Based on the classic tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the story is appropriate for kids of all ages. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

11am-12noon – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Meet some of the residents from the Springfield Museums’ Live Animal Center! There will be many different creepy, crawly critters to meet and learn about. After meeting the critters, visit Frogs: A Chorus of Colors to learn about frogs all over the world. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

11am-12noon – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Festival presents Way Out West at the Berkshire Museum! The show combines tall tales, cowboy stories, and Native American mythology to bring kids a brief and silly history of the wild west. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

11am-1pm – CRAFTS: What’s duct tape good for besides fixing things? It makes a great art medium! Kids ages 7+ can play with duct tape today at the Milne Library with Kristen Tool! Kristen made a prom dress out of duct tape. What will you make? Regsitration required, space is limited. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

12Noon-5pm – ROLLER SKATING: Interskate 91 hosts a “Fat Tuesday” Mardi Gras roller skating party. Come in Mardi Gras costume for a contest with prizes. There will be carnival games and Mardi Gras beads too. 413-586-2737. 367 Russell Street (Hampshire Mall). Hadley, MA ($)

1pm – REPTILES: Reptile expert Eric Frary will be at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum sharing the world of reptiles with families. Free with admission. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. ($)

1pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Wingmasters presents North American birds of prey this afternoon at the Springfield Museums! There will be five live birds, from which kids will learn about the unique characteristics of raptors and their role within the ecosystems in which they live. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

1pm – CHILDREN’S CONCERT: Beloved singer-songwriter Jay Mankita performs at the Berkshire Athenaeum this afternoon! Hear him perform music from his vast collection of beloved children’s music, including selections from Grammy-nominated albums on topics like healthy food, ecology, and animals! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Norman Rockwell Museum currently has an exhibit of pop-up picture book art! Kids can make their own pop-up art at the museum today, too! Visit the galleries to see what artists have created, then use the pieces as inspiration for your own masterpiece. Fits well with a study of illustrations! 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

1-4pm – PLAYTIME: Kids can visit the Westhampton Library this afternoon for drop-in Playmobil time! Playmobil is a great way for kids to exercise their imaginations- there are tons of pieces and characters that can be set up and played with in many different ways. 413-527-5386. 3 South Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

2pm – SCIENCE: Doctor Kaboom takes on the Colonial Theater this afternoon! This zany show tackles both comedy and complex science, making for a fun and entertaining show that teaches kids about the science behind everyday activities and phenomena. 413-997-4444. 111 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

2pm – FILM: KidsBestFest takes place this week at the Academy of Music- it’s a film festival just for kids! Today’s movie is I am Kalam, a Bollywood interpretation of the book The Prince and the Pauper. 413-584-9032. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (<$)

2-4:30pm – SWIMMING: Northampton Recreation is hosting special open swim times at JFK Middle School during school vacation! Get active as a family! 413-587-1040. 100 Bridge Road. Florence, MA. (<$)

3pm and 6pm – MOVIE: The Whately Library is showing Spy Kids this afternoon! The first in the series, the movie tells the story of a family of spies and the adventure two kids have while trying to find their parents. Rated PG. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

3:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School theater department performs “The Phantom Tollbooth” in the Williston Theatre. 413-529-3434. 18 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA ($)

4pm – STORYTELLING: Storyteller Kasiya Phiri will share African folktales with families today at the Milne Library! Many of the tales are from the book, Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales. Kids can learn valuable lessons from the stories, and will learn a bit about different African cultures, too! 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/DINNER: Enjoy a dinner of delicious Cajun cuisine tonight as part of the Cabin Fever Festival! The event takes place at St. Mary’s School and benefits the Downtown Beautification Project. 413-243-1705. 130 Main Street. Lee, MA. ($)

5:30-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Berkshire Children and Families is hosting an informational meeting for parents interested in learning more about adopting a child from state custody. Parents who attend the meeting will learn about children currently in need of adoption and the process of applying and interviewing. 413-584-5690. 220 Russell Street Suite 200. Hadley, MA. (FREE)

7-11pm – CHESS: The Pittsfield Chess Club meets every Tuesday night! Kids of all chess abilities can join for an intergenerational opportunity to learn and practice the game. Meets in the cafeteria at Hillcrest Hospital. 413-448-6165. West Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 2012

"I have used Hilltown Families to plan kids vacations and find things to do on the weekends! Also it is a great place to post events to share with other families!" - Piet Slaghekke (Easthampton, MA)

9am-3pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Send your kids to the farm for a day! Red Gate Farm has special programs all week for school vacation. Kids can help take care of the animals, explore the farm (maybe on snowshoes depending on the weather), learn to build a fire, and more! 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. ($$)

9am-5pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site- visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history. Also, this week there are special programs for families for school vacation! Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more! 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Old Sturbridge Village today for tons of fun learning opportunities! The village is alive with the spirit of the 1830s, just for vacation week! Kids can learn about life during the 1830’s by exploring the village, watching demonstrations, and meeting villagers. Activities include watching a printer and/or shoemaker at work, tours, wagon rides, live music, hat making, helping out with cooking, shadow puppets, and a special presentation of songs and stories about George Washington! A visit to the village can supplement studies of American history and early American culture, as well as studies of local history. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

10am-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Spend the day at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary with Mass Audubon! Kids will learn about the animals that life at the sanctuary and how to spot them in the winter, as well as playing games and learning about the many adaptations that animals have to help them survive the winter. Registration required. 413-637-0320. 127 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA

10am-3pm – HISTORY: Storrowton Village is hosting special programs for kids today! Kids will dress in period clothing and spend the day doing typical 19th century activities like candle dipping, hearth cooking, blacksmithing, and more! Registration required. 413-205-5051. Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

10am-5pm – AVIATION: The New England Air Museum will be open all school vacation week with fun activities for the kids. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. (Bradley International Airport). Windsor Locks, CT ($)

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

10:30am – STORYTIME: Visit the Lee Library for Curious George storytime today! There will be a story, craft, snack, and short Curious George video, and every kid who attends gets a free Curious George book to take home with them! 413-248-0385. 100 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

10:45am-12:45pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Teaching Creatures will be at the Springfield Museums today, offering kids an opportunity to meet and learn about herps, the name often used for reptiles and amphibians. Visit Frogs: A Chorus of Colors afterwards to learn more about species of amphibians. 800-625-1138. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

11am & 1pm – ANATOMOY STUDIES: Young children can learn about the different systems of the body today at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum. STUFFEE will show how these different systems work to museum participants. Free with admission. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. ($)

11am, 1pm, or 3pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School present, “The Ugly Duckling” at the Eric Carle Museum! Based on the classic tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the story is approrpiate for kids of all ages. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

11am-12noon – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Festival presents Way Out West at the Berkshire Museum! The show combines tall tales, cowboy stories, and Native American mythology to bring kids a brief and silly history of the wild west. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

1pm – PUPPETS: The Puppet People present, “The Elephant Child” today at the Springfield Museums! The story is a puppet adaptation of How the Elephant Got Its Nose, from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

1pm – SCRABBLE: The Erving Library is hosting a Scrabble tournament for kids in grades 5 and 6! Scrabble makes practicing spelling and vocabulary fun and challenging! 423-3348. 17 Moore Street. Erving, MA. (FREE)

1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Norman Rockwell Museum currently has an exhibit of pop-up picture book art! Kids can make their own pop-up art at the museum today, too! Visit the galleries to see what artists have created, then use the pieces as inspiration for your own masterpiece. Fits well with a study of illustrations! 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, 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)

1:30pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The Monson Library is hosting a superhero party today! Kids can dress as their favorite superhero (for a creative project, have them create their own!) and visit the library for treats, games, crafts, and a screening of The Incredibles from 3-5pm! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

2pm – FILM: KidsBestFest takes place this week at the Academy of Music- it’s a film festival designed just for kids! Today’s showing is Light of the River, a Japanese animated film that tells the story of a family of rats forced to relocate their home because of construction. Kids can learn about Japanese animation styles (quite unique and beautiful) while also enjoying the story. 413-584-9032. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (<$)

3-4:30pm – SWIMMING: Northampton Recreation is hosting special open swim times at JFK Middle School during school vacation! Get active as a family! 413-587-1040. 100 Bridge Road. Florence, MA. (<$)

3-5pm – MOVIE: The Westfield Athenaeum is hosting Love Bug Movie Week this week! Today’s movie is Love Bug, the original movie about Herbie the Love Bug (rated G). 423-562-6158. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

3:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School theater department performs “The Phantom Tollbooth” in the Williston Theatre. 413-529-3434. 18 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA ($)

3:30-4:30pm – CRAFTS: Today brings another Crafternoon to the Whately Library! Today, kids can make miniature handmade books! 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA. (FREE)

6-9:30pm – CHESS: The North Berkshire Chess Club meets on Wednesday evenings in the Mass MoCA building! Kids of all ages can play with the club- all levels welcome! It’s a great intergenerational learning opportunity for kids. Meet by Lickety Splits snack bar. 87 Marshall Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, Feb 23rd, 2012

"The best list of local events each weekend (and vacation weeks, holiday events, etc.) and a great website to browse and get inspiration. A terrific and fun resource all the way around." - Karin Perlman (Northampton MA)

9am-3pm – FARM ADVENTURE: Send your kids to the farm for a day! Red Gate Farm has special programs all week for school vacation. Kids can help take care of the animals, explore the farm (maybe on snowshoes depending on the weather), learn to build a fire, and more! 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road. Buckland, MA. ($$)

9am-3pm – SCIENCE: Kids can attend a day of science-themed activities of all types today at the Flying Cloud Institute! The two workshops include explorations of science and math using integrated theater and other art forms, and an outdoor winter garden exploration paired with seed study and garden creation. Registration required. 413-229-3321. 731 South Sandisfield Road. New Marlborough, MA. ($$)

9am-5pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site- visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history. Also, this week there are special programs for families for school vacation! Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more! 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Old Sturbridge Village today for tons of fun learning opportunities! The village is alive with the spirit of the 1830s, just for vacation week! Kids can learn about life during the 1830’s by exploring the village, watching demonstrations, and meeting villagers. Activities include watching a printer and/or shoemaker at work, tours, wagon rides, live music, hat making, helping out with cooking, shadow puppets, and a special presentation of songs and stories about George Washington! A visit to the village can supplement studies of American history and early American culture, as well as studies of local history. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

10am-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Spend the day at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary with Mass Audubon! Kids will learn about the animals that life at the sanctuary and how to spot them in the winter, as well as playing games and learning about the many adaptations that animals have to help them survive the winter. Registration required. 413-637-0320. 127 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA

10am-3pm – HISTORY: Storrowton Village is hosting special programs for kids today! Kids will dress in period clothing and spend the day doing typical 19th century activities like candle dipping, hearth cooking, blacksmithing, and more! Registration required. 413-205-5051. Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. ($$)

10am-5pm – AVIATION: The New England Air Museum will be open all school vacation week with fun activities for the kids. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. (Bradley International Airport). Windsor Locks, CT ($)

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

10:30am – STORYTIME: There’s a special Curious George Storytime today at the Mason Library! There will be snack, crafts, and other activities for kids, and every participant will get a Curious George book to take home with them! 413-464-5095. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

10:30am-12noon – THEATER: Kids ages 7-12 can play theater games and learn about acting with Piti Theater Company at the Wheeler Library this morning! 978-544-2495. 49 East Main Street. Orange, MA. (FREE)

11am, 1pm, or 3pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School present, “The Ugly Duckling” at the Eric Carle Museum! Based on the classic tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the story is approrpiate for kids of all ages. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

11am-12noon – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: Meet some of the creepy, crawly critters from the Springfield Museums’ Live Animal Center! Kids can learn about animals’ adaptations, habitats, and more. Pair the animal meet-and-greet with a visit to the exhibit Frogs: A Chorus of Colors for an all-animal day of learning! 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

11am-12noon – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Festival presents Way Out West at the Berkshire Museum! The show combines tall tales, cowboy stories, and Native American mythology to bring kids a brief and silly history of the wild west. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

12noon and 2pm – KIDS’ CONCERT: The Toe Jam Puppet Band presents The Bug Show at the Springfield Museums today! There are songs about a group of critters (bees, ants, spiders, a mouse, and more!) that live in a house. The show is silly and fun for kids, and includes opportunities to learn about critters. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

1pm – ROCKETS: It’s Rocket Day at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum. Families can participate in rocketry activities. Free with admission. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. ($)

1-2pm – THEATER: Kids ages 8-13 are invited to a playwriting workshop this afternoon at the Wheeler Library! Lead by Piti Theater Company, the workshop will teach kids about creating characters, setting, and plot in order to tell a story. 978-544-2495. 49 East Main Street. Orange, MA. (FREE)

1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Norman Rockwell Museum currently has an exhibit of pop-up picture book art! Kids can make their own pop-up art at the museum today, too! Visit the galleries to see what artists have created, then use the pieces as inspiration for your own masterpiece. Fits well with a study of illustrations! 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

2pm – FILM: KidsBestFest takes place this week at the Academy of Music- it’s a film fesitval designed just for kids! Today’s screening is Turtle: The Incredible Journey. The film tells the story of a loggerhead turtle making its way along the path of its ancestors. Loggerhead turtles make a 25 year journey around the entire northern Atlantic ocean – only one in 100 turtles survives! The film tells a powerful story, and also educates kids about the life span and challenges faced by sea turtles. 413-584-9032. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (<$)

2-4:30pm – SWIMMING: Northampton Recreation is hosting special open swim times at JFK Middle School during school vacation! Get active as a family! 413-587-1040. 100 Bridge Road. Florence, MA. (<$)

2:30-4pm – THEATER: Piti Theater Company hosts a workshop for kids ages 12-16 today at the Wheeler Library! Called, “Let’s Make a Scene,” the workshop will teach kids about building scenes. 978-544-2495. 49 East Main Street. Orange, MA. (FREE)

3:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School theater department performs “The Phantom Tollbooth” in the Williston Theatre. 413-529-3434. 18 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA ($)

4-5pm – CRAFTS: Make felt gnomes and a gnome-home today at the Greenfield Library! Kids can make their own creations and venture into a fantasy world. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

5-6:30pm – MOVIE: It’s Love Bug Movie Week at the Westfield Athenaeum! Today’s showing is Herbie Rides Again, in which Herbie takes on a new adventure. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

6:30pm – STORYTIME: It’s time for pajama storytime at the Monson Library! Get the kids dressed for bed and let someone else do the bedtime stories. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

6:30pm – HISTORY: Tennis historian Arthur Carrington will speak tonight at the Mason Square Library! His talk is part of the library’s Black History Month events, and will provide information on African-American tennis players, tennis in Springfield, and all sorts of interested tennis history. Older students can extend studies of race and American history by attending. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

6:30-9pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Easthampton’s BearFest begins tonight at Eastworks! The event, which features painted fiberglass bears around town between June and September, kicks off tonight with the Naked Bear party, at which the unpainted bears will be on display. The theme is Mardi Gras- masks serve as tickets to the event and can be purchased at the ECA+ Gallery or at the event. There will be live New Orleans jazz from Samirah Evans and her Handsome Devils. 116 Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA. ($$)

7pm – FAMILY THEATER: The New Renaissance Players perform Treasure Island at the Shea Theater! The show is a high-energy pirate adventure appropriate for families with slightly older kids (some parts are scary!). 413-863-2281. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. ($)

7pm – FILM: Barrington Stage Company is screening a series of movie musicals to honor the screen adaptations of classic musicals! Tonight’s show is Cabaret- kids can see this classic musical and learn about the musical genre. 413-236-8888. 30 Union Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is screening An American in Paris tonight! The movie is a classic- featuring Gene Kelley and Leslie Caron, it tells the story of abounding romantic complications. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street. Great Barrington, MA. ($)

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Friday, Feb 24th, 2012

"Hilltown Families is my Friday after work go-to site for checking out what we might do that weekend. We’ve learned about so many wonderful events - it’s often hard to choose which one to pick." - Amy Meltzer

9am-5pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Armory is a National Historic Site- visitors can learn about the role of the armory within American history. Also, this week there are special programs for families for school vacation! Along with the regular exhibits and learning opportunities, there will be a firearms scavenger hunt, an outdoor tour to look at architecture and building markings, and more! 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: Visit Old Sturbridge Village today for tons of fun learning opportunities! The village is alive with the spirit of the 1830s, just for vacation week! Kids can learn about life during the 1830’s by exploring the village, watching demonstrations, and meeting villagers. Activities include watching a printer and/or shoemaker at work, tours, wagon rides, live music, hat making, helping out with cooking, shadow puppets, and a special presentation of songs and stories about George Washington! A visit to the village can supplement studies of American history and early American culture, as well as studies of local history. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road. Sturbridge, MA. ($)

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-2pm – CRAFTS: Experiment with art materials today at Eastworks! The Cub Party is an event for kids following the kickoff of Easthampton’s BearFest 2012, and includes fun crafts for kids, a chance to vote on the BearFest t-shirt design, and other activities. 116 Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

10am-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Spend the day at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary with Mass Audubon! Kids will learn about the animals that life at the sanctuary and how to spot them in the winter, as well as playing games and learning about the many adaptations that animals have to help them survive the winter. Registration required. 413-637-0320. 127 West Mountain Road. Lenox, MA

10am-5pm – AVIATION: The New England Air Museum will be open all school vacation week with fun activities for the kids. 860-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road. (Bradley International Airport). Windsor Locks, CT ($)

10am-7pm: SANDBOX: Can’t get away this winter to warm sandy locations? Take the kids to Eastfield Mall’s giant sandbox found in their Food Court. Great place for kids up to 12yo to enjoy creative free play at this mock-beach. 413-543-8000. 1655 Boston Road. Springfield, MA (FREE)

10:30am-12noon – STORYTIME: Today’s storytime at the Great Falls Discovery Center is owl-themed! There will be a book and a craft, intended for the youngest of kiddos. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

11am – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: Forest Park Zoo on the Go program will be at the Amelia Park Children’s Museum. PreK-K kids can participate at 11am and kids ages 5-9 can join in at 11:45am. Call to sign up. Free with admission. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. ($)

11am-12noon – THEATER: Berkshire Theater Festival presents Way Out West at the Berkshire Museum! The show combines tall tales, cowboy stories, and Native American mythology to bring kids a brief and silly history of the wild west. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

11am, 1pm, or 3pm – CHILDREN’S THEATER: Students from the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School present, “The Ugly Duckling” at the Eric Carle Museum! Based on the classic tale by Hans Christian Anderson, the story is appropriate for kids of all ages. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA. ($)

11am-12:30pm – LEGOS: Spend some time building, creating, and imagining spaces and places with LEGOs at the Monson Library! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

12noon and 2pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURES: The Dinoman Science Series presents, BUGS! at the Springfield Museums! The presentation tells the story of the evolution of bugs on Earth, from the time when they populated water all the way up until now, a time when they’ve successfully evolved and managed to populate the whole planet! 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. ($)

1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Norman Rockwell Museum currently has an exhibit of pop-up picture book art! Kids can make their own pop-up art at the museum today, too! Visit the galleries to see what artists have created, then use the pieces as inspiration for your own masterpiece. Fits well with a study of illustrations! 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. ($)

2-3:50pm – MOVIE: It’s Love Bug Movie Week at the Westfield Athenaeum! Families can watch, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo today! The movie is about Herbie the VW Beetle going on an adventure to France for a big race. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

2pm – FILM: Today is the last day of KidsBestFest, a film festival for kids hosted by the Academy of Music. Today’s screening is a collection of Pixar shorts- it’s a rare look into the Pixar collection! Known for their unique and distinctive style of animation (the first computer-generated animation ever!), Pixar has been creating classic images for over a decade. 413-584-9032. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (<$)

2-4:30pm – SWIMMING: Northampton Recreation is hosting special open swim times at JFK Middle School during school vacation! Get active as a family! 413-587-1040. 100 Bridge Road. Florence, MA. (<$)

3pm – HISTORY: The Lee Historical Society will be open and displaying their collections this afternoon as part of the Cabin Fever Festival! This is a unique opportunity for kids to learn about local history and to learn what life was like in their community generations before them. Takes place at the Lee Library. 100 Main Street. Lee, MA. (FREE)

3:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School theater department performs “The Phantom Tollbooth” in the Williston Theatre. 413-529-3434. 18 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA ($)

3:30pm – KNITTING: Kids can visit the Gaylord Library this afternoon for an Adult and Child Knit Together! Kids ages 5+ and their caretakers can learn simple stitches together- BYO yarn and needles size 10 or larger. Pre-registration required. This is a great opportunity for families to learn a skill together! 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

5:30-6:30pm – LITERARY ARTS: Write and/or illustrate your own book this afternoon at the Hatfield Library! Kids can come prepared with ideas for stories and create picture books! There will be help for kids working on conveying their ideas. Grades 2+, registration required. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)

5:30pm – MOVIE: The Sunderland Library will be screening the newly released DVD, Puss in Boots (PG). 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA (FREE)

5:30-7pm – CHESS: Players of all ages and abilities can play tonight at the Monson Library! It’s intergenerational, and kids can learn to play! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

6:30-7:30pm – DANCE PARTY: Families can dress in pajamas and visit Northfield Mountain Recreation Center for a dance party! Animal-themed music will be provided by Roger Ticknell- kids can learn animal facts and songs about local wildlife. The event takes place in the yurt behind the visitors’ center. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

7pm – FAMILY THEATER: The New Renaissance Players perform Treasure Island at the Shea Theater! The show is a high-energy pirate adventure appropriate for families with slightly older kids (some parts are scary!). 413-863-2281. 71 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. ($)

7:15-8:45pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Spend an evening at Hogwarts at the Mason Library! There will be all sorts of Harry Potter-related activities like house team trivia, a visit from the sorting hat, and palm reading with Professor Trelawney! Registration requested. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

7:30pm – THEATER: The Williston Northampton School theater department performs “The Phantom Tollbooth” in the Williston Theatre. 413-529-3434. 18 Payson Avenue. Easthampton, MA ($)

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1 Comment

  1. February 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Hi Sienna,
    The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls is open from noon-5pm every day of school vacation week for drop-in art-making for all ages. Please see http://www.theartgarden.org for details about our program, sliding scale fees, directions and more. Phone: (413) 625-2782.

    Thanks,
    Jane Beatrice Wegscheider

    Like


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