Suggested Events for May 19th-25th, 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

Bubble play last weekend at the Hilltown Spring Festival. Click on the photo to see more images from an amazing day at the Cummington Fairgrounds with the Hilltown CDC! (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/school, service, open house or general 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 are several plant sales happening this weekend! Click here to see our complete list for the spring.

Saturday, May 19th from 8am-4pm in Hampshire Co. – SPRING FESTIVAL: Celebrate spring at Laurel Park today!  The annual Spring Festival takes place today, and features a tag sale from 8am-12noon, and an afternoon of picnic-ing followed by Morris dancers, live music, and a maypole!  King Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

Saturday, May 19th from 9am-4pm in Hampden Co. – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Pay tribute to the history and cultural significance of railroads in Western MA at Chester on Track, an annual celebration!  The event begins with a parade, and will include live music, food, and chances to visit, explore, and learn about all sorts of trains.  Chester, MA.  (FREE)

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Michael Franti & Spearhead at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton!

Saturday, May 19th from 11am-2pm in Berkshire Co. – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Head to Mass MoCA (with your bike!) for the BIKEfest Family Bike Rodeo!  The event is part of Transition North Berkshire’s month of bike-centric events, and features a bike challenge course, bike and helmet safety checks, a bike-themed storywalk, a bike parade, and more!  Celebrate bike culture and sustainable modes of transportation.  Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, May 20th at 10am Hampden Co. – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The 33rd annual Long Meddowe Days take place this weekend!  There are tons of fun events and learning opportunities.  Today, attractions include a book sale, live music, Scottish dancers, local vendors, and more!  Sponsored by the town’s historical society, the event celebrates Longmeadow’s history and culture.  Takes place on the town green on both Sat. & Sun. Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

Sunday, May 20th at 4pm in Franklin Co – PUPPETS: Puppeteer Anna Sobel, of Talking Hands Puppets, presents “From the Puppet’s Mouth” at the Shutesbury Town Hall!  The show is a collection of songs and stories from her new CD.  413-259-1213.  1 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Saturday, May 26th & Sunday, May 27th from 9:30am-5pm – HISTORY/WOOL: Learn about sheep shearing and sheep farming at Old Sturbridge Village’s Wool Days!  Visitors can see sheep getting sheared, then view demonstrations of the entire process of turning the freshly cut wool into yarn, then woolen clothing!  There will also be demonstrations of sheep dog herding (and duck and goat herding, too!), and exhibits and demonstrations of other animals farmed for fibers, like angora rabbits.  Kids can learn about the history of textiles, as well as 19th century life in general.  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  ($)

Saturday, May 26th & Sunday, May 27th 9am-5/4pm – ANIMAL STUDIES/WOOL: The Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair takes place this weekend at the Cummington Fairgrounds!  The event is a great opportunity to learn about all things sheep-related – there will be tons of sheep around to visit, competitions of all sorts (including sheep dog herding), workshops galore, and fiber arts to view and/or purchase.  Combine a trip to the festival with studies of local farming, local ecology and geology (why is our climate good for raising sheep?), and art (try out some fiber art of your own!).  Fairgrounds Road.  Cummington, MA.  (<$)

BULLETIN BOARD

Katywill Farm Community

FAMILY DAY: Don’t miss Family Day at Katywil Farm Community (katywil.com) in Colrain, MA on May 26 from 10am-1pm. See for yourself why ‘it takes a farm community to raise a child’. Come to info session and Q&A from 10-11. At 11am, Trevor the Games Man will entertain preK-adults, all ability levels, by leading games outdoors, guaranteed to be fun for all! Noon-1pm you will be ready for lunch after an active hour of games! The folks at Katywil will be making fire roasted pizzas in their cob oven (gluten-free pizzas available). If interested, tours available of the beautiful community and homes. Families are discovering why cohousing is a great way to raise a family!

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALExperience the World on the Amherst Common, Memorial Day Weekend at the Cultural Survival Bazaar. A FREE Admission, International Festival of Native Arts & Culture Featuring artisans, products, & performers from around the world. Shop handmade, fairly traded art, jewelry, clothing, crafts, decor, tribal rugs & more. Enjoy FREE music performances, presentations, Native American storytelling, educational displays, craft-making demos and Tibetan cuisineClick Here for Preview.  Proceeds support Native artisans, fair trade & Cultural Survival’s non-profit work worldwide. For special features, artisan profiles, performance schedule, and other dates & locations visit their website at bazaar.cs.org. Amherst Common on Boltwood Ave. 10am-6pm.

featured serviceHOST FAMILIES: Joe Bock writes, “Share your summer with a young person from Spain! Homestaysusa offers Spanish children the opportunity to experience American culture by living with a host family for the month of July. We match ages, genders & interests to those of the host family. Students come to the area with a supervisor who is nearby & in contact the entire time. Host families receive $600 stipend, the student pays for extra activities, including camps & excursions. Hosting teens are invited to an exciting 2-day New York trip with the group. More info & testimonials at homestaysusa.org. Personal references available upon request. Become a host family & represent the Hilltown community to students from abroad. A summer you will always remember. joe@homestaysusa.org.”

MotherWoman writes, “Join our “MOMS ARE WORTH A MILLION!” Campaign.  When you support a mother, you uplift her family. When you uplift her family, you strengthen their community. When you strengthen their community, you change the world. Want to help us change the world?  Help us raise $10,000 towards scholarships for women leaders from low-income communities and professionals working for nonprofits to take the MotherWoman Support Group Facilitator Training.  Watch this short video in which four mothers tell you how the Training has changed their lives as they navigated the struggles of motherhood. Each woman shares why she is now giving back to other mothers by leading a MotherWoman Support Group in her community. www.MotherWoman.org.”

OPEN HOUSE: The Deerfield Academy Children’s School is hosting an Open House on Tuesday, May 22nd from 6-7 PM. Come see their school, meet their teachers and learn about their nurturing philosophy. Fall slots available for toddlers and preschoolers. Call Elizabeth Bertini-Franseen at 413-774-6626 for more information. 488 Greenfield Rd., Deerfield, MA (RT 5&10 across from Williams Sugar House).

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps.” – Dawn Cordeiro (Holyoke, MA)

SUMMER CAMP: Are you looking for a great summer experience for your kids? Check out our post Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA which highlights opportunities happening throughout the region. With a great variety of themes, there are many summer camp/programs your family can choose, including: farm & gardening, music, art, technology, nature, personal development, science, theater, sports, ballet, preK, college… as well as a good old fashion summer camp! Discover what’s being offered near you, and find out how you can add a camp to this growing list too!

Kyla Allon writes, “The Shelburne Falls Farmer’s Market will take place at The Baptist Corner Lot green every Friday from 2-6pm, Memorial Day through Columbus Day. The market is welcoming back many returning vendors as well as some incredible new additions. Expect to find seasonal vegetables, berries, mushrooms, bread, maple syrup, canned goods and specialty crops. Come hungry because there will be wood fired pizza cooked fresh at the market using local ingredients. For snacks, there will be kettle corn, cinnamon buns, maple candies, ice cream and more. We will also have many local crafters and artisans joining us with their handmade soaps, wool, wooden bowls, glass beads and more. Most markets will have music, demonstrations or activities so bring your family, a blanket and an empty basket and spend the evening with us! Looking forward to seeing you at our opening day on Friday, May 25th!”

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.

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

Pat Odiorne writes, “The Southwick History Museum, 86-88 College Highway, (Rtes. 10 & 202) will open for the season on Sunday, May 20 and will be open Sundays throughout the warm months.  Hours are 2 to 4. The museum has two buildings: the Moore House built in 1751 and the C.J. Gillett Cigar Factory built in 1872 that are open to the public. Both buildings are furnished with artifacts of the past–domestic, industrial, and agricultural. A library for research about Southwick history and local genealogy is also included.   Groups that would like to have a tour at other times may contact the museum at southwickhistory@yahoo.com or by mail at P.O. Box 323, Southwick, MA 01077 to make an appointment.”


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS:
May 19th-25th, 2012

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Farmers’ Markets
Weekly eNewsletter | Events for Working Parents | Workshops for Parents

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Farmers’ Markets

“Hilltown Families always seems to have the best list of events in the valley! Every month I find out about festivals, workshops and farmers’ markets in the area to attend. also, you did a great job of promoting the Hilltown Festival! Even when I can’t make it to an event I feel connected to my community by knowing what is happening – and try to get to it in the future!” –  Anneliese Mordhorst (Chesterfield, 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.   – Guest DJ Debbie Lan, from the award winning band Grenadilla, (pronounced “gren-a-dill-a”, the South African name for passion fruit) is our host, sharing some of her favorite songs from South Africa, as well as songs from Grenadilla’s newest CD, Can’t Wait, winner of a Parents Choice Gold Award. – 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.

7-10am – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Enjoy a delicious pancake breakfast at the Community House in Longmeadow to kick off Longmeadow Days!  413-565-4163.  735 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

8am-2pm – TAG SALE: The Friends of the Clapp Memorial Library are hosting a tag sale today to raise money for the library!  Rent a space ($25) to sell your wares found during spring cleaning, or visit the sale to peruse available goodies.  413-323-0417.  19 South Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

8am-4pm – SPRING FESTIVAL: Celebrate spring at Laurel Park today!  The annual Spring Festival takes place today, and features a tag sale from 8am-12noon, and an afternoon of picnic-ing followed by Morris dancers, live music, and a maypole!  King Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

8:30-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE/COMMUNITY SERVICE: Zoar Outdoor presents the annual Deerfield River Rally!  The event includes many different activities for families, all centered around the river.  For non-paddling families, there will be a river clean-up event.  There will also be paddling refresher courses, separated by level (best for families with older kids).  Celebrate the Deerfield River!  800-532-7483.  Charlemont, MA.

9-11am- OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Learn about food harvesting and foraging for food in Berkshire County!  Where the Wild Things Are is a series of workshops hosted by Berkshire Farm to Table – each weekend, there are events at different locations throughout the area.  Kids 8 and older can attend to learn about foods native to the area, and how and when to find them.  Registration required 48 hours prior to event.  Today’s workshop takes place at Tyringham Cobble with Aimee Gelinas.  413-458-0123.  20 Jerusalem Road.  Tyringham, MA.  ($$)

9-11:30am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Try out a tandem kayak!  It’s a perfect adventure for one parent and a kid (bigger families can get multiple kayaks), and tandem kayaking can be more comfortable for inexperienced kiddos than solo paddling.  Explore Barton Cove by boat!  Call to register.  800-859-2960.  Route 2.  Gill, MA.  ($)

9am-12noon – FARM ADVENTURE: Visit Red Gate Farm today for their spring open house!  The event includes a great plant sale (gather up some things to plant in your garden), hayrides, tours of the pond, a chance to meet goats, and a flower pot painting activity for kids.  413-625-9503.  4 Norman Road.  Buckland, MA.  (FREE)

9am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the history and cultural significance of railroads in western MA at Chester on Track, an annual celebration!  The event begins with a parade, and will include live music, food, and chances to visit, explore, and learn about all sorts of trains.  Chester, MA.  (FREE)

9am-5pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: During the spring, anadromous fish (those who live in rivers but spawn in the ocean) make their way to their Atlantic breeding grounds – watch them make their way down the Connecticut River at the Turners Falls Fishway!  The fishway offers kids a chance to see directly into the river through a special viewing window, an experience that can serve as the foundation for building an understanding of the life cycle of fish and/or river ecosystems.  800-859-2960.  1 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

9:30-11am – PUPPETS: The Hatfield Library hosts a special puppet playtime for kiddos who love puppetry!  Make up a show, create a character for your favorite puppet, and more.  413-247-9097.  39 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The 33rd annual Long Meddowe Days take place this weekend!  There are tons of fun events and learning opportunities.  Today, attractions include a book sale, live music, Scottish dancers, local vendors, and more!  Sponsored by the town’s historical society, the event celebrates Longmeadow’s history and culture.  Takes place on the town green.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

10am – ARBORICULTURE: Learn about old growth trees at the Bryant Homestead!  The Trustees of Reservations offer a chance for families to learn about Cummington’s white pine trees.  Supports learning about local ecology!  Call to register.  413-628-4485.  207 Bryant Road.  Cummington, MA.  (FREE)

10am-1pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: It’s Turtle Day at Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary!  Learn all about turtles – kids will get to meet a live turtle, learn about local turtle species, and take a walk along the brook highlighting the area’s natural history.  Call to register.  413-584-3009.  Hampden, MA.  (FREE)

10am-2pm – CRAFT SHOW: “Crafts and Clothes for Careers,” a benefit for the Holyoke Career Closet, will be held at the Pope John Paul II Social Center.  25 Maple St. Holyoke, MA (BENEFIT)

10am-5pm – ART: Check out art from tons of artists and artisans from all over Western MA at the Local ARTery!  There is art of all types, and lots of fun and kid-friendly pieces.  4 Federal Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (MARKET)

10am – COMMUNITY FAIR: Community Fair on the Amherst Town Common, sponsored by the Amherst Rotary Club. Town Green. Amherst, MA (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – ANIMAL STUDIES: Head to the Ramsdell Library to learn about creatures of the night!  The Creature Teachers will be there with some critter friends, too.  413-274-3738.  1074 Main Street.  Housatonic, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-12noon – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts a special spring storytime featuring Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms!  Following the reading will be a screening of a short movie version of the film, and a spring-themed craft activity.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-3pm – MUSIC ADVENTURES: The Northampton Community Music Center’s Springfest is today!  The event will feature live music all day, including tons of performances from music center students and teachers!  The performances will take place at various locations throughout downtown Northampton.  (In case of rain, the festival will take place at the music center.)  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

11am – CRAFTS: Make crafts with shells at the Lenox Library!  Kids can decorate boxes or make small dioramas with shells brought straight from a Florida beach.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

11am-2pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Head to Mass MoCA (with your bike!) for the BIKEfest Family Bike Rodeo!  The event is part of Transition North Berkshire’s month of bike-centric events, and features a bike challenge course, bike and helmet safety checks, a bike-themed storywalk, a bike parade, and more!  Celebrate bike culture and sustainable modes of transportation.  Mass MoCA Way.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

11am-3pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: It’s Mud Day at the Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School.  This annual event celebrates our local landscape, connecting participants to each other and the environment. All sorts of fun mud based games for the kids (and adults not afraid of getting a little, or a lot, muddy!). Local food (without the mud) will be available, along with activities and info tables from local conservation and education organizations.  Open mic invites local musicians to join in too! Bring change of clothes & towels. Muddy Brook Elementary. Great Barrington, MA ($)

12noon-10pm – WOMEN’S CELEBRATION: GROW (Gathered Resources of Women) hosts the Red Tent Temple of the Berkshires!  The event is a chance for women to peacefully celebrate and share experiences of womanhood.  Bring something to share (anything from drums or a book to tea and snacks), and enjoy discussion circles, massage, reiki, music, a potluck dinner, and more!  Set-up begins at 12 – event starts at 2pm.  Takes place at Angelique’s.  48 Elizabeth Street #306.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

1pm – FAMILY CONCERT: Beethoven’s Wig performs classical music pieces that have been adapted from childrens’ songs at the Amelia Park Children’s Music.  This children’s classical musical concert is a lovely way of introducing classical music to kids! 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad St. Westfield, MA (>$)

2pm – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: The Greenfield Library will host an Un-Birthday Party with characters from Alice in Wonderland.  There will be music, games and refreshments. 413-772-1544 x5 Greenfield, MA (FREE)

2-4pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: Allison Larkin will read from her book, The English American, a story of being adopted from the American south and raised in England, and the resulting understanding of the term “culture clash.”  Following the event is a traditional English tea.  Childcare provided.  Takes place at the CHP Health Center.  444 Stockbridge Road.  Stockbridge, 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 – LIBRARY ADVENTURES: Learn how a picture book is created at the Meekins Library!  Local author Anna Alter will read from her latest book, then teach kids about her process of piecing together a story – from brainstorming to painting to publishing!  Kids will get to practice drawing their own illustrations at the end of the workshop.  413-268-7472.  2 Williams Street.  Williamsburg, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE: May is National Preservation Month!  Historic Deerfield is hosting tours focused on the architecture of the buildings that make up the museum, paired with a discussion of the buildings’ locations and important history.  Learn about early New England architecture, and how the style reflected the culture of the time!  413-775-7127. 80 Old Main Street.  Deerfield, MA.  ($)

7-10 – FILM FESTIVAL: Memorial Hall is hosting a Three Stooges festival!  Enjoy a selection of the classic comedy group’s finest work!  Movie begins at 7:30, with live music from Dan Lederer at 7.  413-625-3052.  51 Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)

7:30pm – DANCE PERFORMANCE: The Lisa Leizman Dance Company will perform tonight at the Northampton Center for the Arts! The group is the center’s resident company, and their performance will include new work and company favorites.  Family-friendly!  413-584-7327.  17 New South Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

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Sunday, May 20th, 2012

5th Annual Tractor Ride at the Cummington Fairgrounds

“We look every Thursday to get ideas of fun family activities for the weekend. Hilltown Families is extremely useful to us!!” – Samantha Burnell (Williamsburg, 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.

8-9am – ANIMAL STUDIES: On Sundays in May, the Forbes Library is hosting community bird walks!  Participants can meet at the front door of the library, and adventure through the Smith College Campus and around Paradise Pond.  Kids can spot birds, and get help identifying their markings and songs.  Bring binoculars!  413-587-1017.  50 West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

8:30-3pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Zoar Outdoor presents the annual Deerfield River Rally!  The event includes many different activities for families, all centered around the river.  For non-paddling families, there will be a river clean-up event.  There will also be paddling refresher courses, separated by level (best for families with older kids).  Celebrate the Deerfield River!  800-532-7483.  Charlemont, MA.

9-11am – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Fundraising breakfast for the Manhan Rail Trail happens at the American legion hall.  Enjoy breakfast together with your neighbors while supporting this community resource. 190 Pleasant St. Easthampton, MA (FUNDRAISER)

9am-3pm – TRUCKS: It’s Big Rig Day today!  Kids can see big trucks and machinery up close and personal – they’ll get to check out the intricacies of the equipment and learn about what each part does.  50 Payson Avenue.  Easthampton, MA.  (FREE)

9am-5pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: During the spring, anadromous fish (those who live in rivers but spawn in the ocean) make their way to their Atlantic breeding grounds – watch them make their way down the Connecticut River at the Turners Falls Fishway!  The fishway offers kids a chance to see directly into the river through a special viewing window, an experience that can serve as the foundation for building an understanding of the life cycle of fish and/or river ecosystems.  800-859-2960.  1 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

10am – VERNAL POOLS: Learn about and explore vernal pools in the Hoosac Range!  Kids will learn how to identify wood frog and salamander eggs, and will learn about the importance of the pools within the local ecosystem.  Sponsored by the Berkshires Natural Resource Council.  Call to register.  413-499-0596.  Route 2.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

10am – COMMUNITY FAIR: Community Fair on the Amherst Town Common, sponsored by the Amherst Rotary Club. Town Green. Amherst, MA (FREE)

10 and 10:30am – COMMENCEMENT: Three colleges in Hampshire Co. are holding their commencement celebrations today!  Not only are the ceremonies a celebration of the achievements of the graduates, but they celebrate higher education and using education as a catalyst for growth and change.  Each ceremony features great speakers, and older students can learn about the value of high education by attending.  Graduations will take place at Smith College, Mt. Holyoke College, and Amherst College.

10am-12noon – BOTANICAL STUDIES: Visit the Greenfield Community Farm to learn about the medicinal properties of common plants!  Many useful plants are often labeled as weeds – learn what helpful things are growing in your yard, and exactly what their properties are.  Sponsored by Just Roots.  E-mail info@justroots.org to register.  Glenbrook Drive.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-6pm –  CRAFT FAIR: North Star, a self-directed learning center for teens, is hosting a craft fair fundraiser today!  There will be tons of different artists and craftspeople displaying their work, as well as live entertainment throughout the day.  Find some great treasures, and help support an important educational resource within the community.  135 Russell Street.  Hadley, MA.  (FUNDRAISER)

11am – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The 33rd annual Long Meddowe Days take place this weekend!  There are tons of fun events and learning opportunities.  Today, attractions include live music (featuring performances by local students), a 5K race (taking place earlier in the morning), displays from local artists and artisans, and more!  Sponsored by the town’s historical society, the event celebrates Longmeadow’s history and culture.  Takes place on the town green.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Prexy’s Ridge with Transition Amherst!  The ridge is an old growth forest on the state’s inventory of Historic and Archaeological Assets.  The area includes some of the oldest trees in town, and also contains an old observatory and an orchard.  Learn about the ecological significance of this historic area!  Meet at UMass parking lot #43.  North Pleasant Street and Eastman Lane.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

1:30-3:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Learn about food harvesting and foraging for food in Berkshire County!  Where the Wild Things Are is a series of workshops hosted by Berkshire Farm to Table – each weekend, there are events at different locations throughout the area.  Kids 8 and older can attend to learn about foods native to the area, and how and when to find them.  Registration required 48 hours prior to event.  Today’s workshop takes place at the South Mountain DCR.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

2pm – MUSIC: The Valley Dance Project presents their spring concert at the Northampton Center for the Arts this afternoon!  413-253-3787.  17 New South Street.  Northampton, MA. 

2-4pm – HISTORY: Learn how a Victorian lady dressed – there were tons of layers, and piling them all together could get pretty complicated!  Presented by performance artist Kandie Carle will model clothes, and there will be a Victorian tea following the performance.  Great introduction to Victorian-era history and culture for kids of most ages.  413-357-8814.  42 Water Street.  Granville, MA.  ($)

3pm – CONCERT: The Springfield Youth Symphony Orchestra is performing their season finale concert this afternoon at Symphony Hall!  Hear beautiful music, and celebrate the achievements of youth musicians.  413-733-2291.  1350 Main Street.  Springfield, MA.  ($)

3pm – CONCERT: Berkshire Lyric presents, “Requiem,” a choral piece featuring traditional Latin from Requiem Mass, as well as Japanese haiku and east Asian instruments.  Groups performing are made up of local community members, including a children’s chorus!  Takes place at St. Joseph’s Church.  413-298-5365.  414 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

4pm – PUPPETS: Puppeteer Anna Sobel, of Talking Hands Puppets, presents “From the Puppet’s Mouth” at the Shutesbury Town Hall!  The show is a collection of songs and stories from her new CD.  413-259-1213.  1 Cooleyville Road.  Shutesbury, MA.  (FREE)

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Monday, May 21st, 2012

5:30pm – 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)

5:30-6:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn basic first aid and CPR for infants and young children at the Family Resource Center with North Adams Ambulance workers.  The class does not offer certification, but will teach parents what to do in emergency situations and share useful skills.  Childcare available.  Call to register.  413-664-4821.  210 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) hosts a birth circle for moms-to-be and their support systems at Treehouse.  413-344-4435.  305 North Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (DONATION)

6-10pm – AUDITIONS: Berkshire Theater Group is holding auditions for their production of Oliver! which will take place in September.  Kids in third grade and up are invited to audition for spots as extras (adults are needed, too!) and there are also spots open for musicians, backstage help, ushers, tech support, etc. – great jobs for responsible teens and adults.  Rehearsals begin in July.  Auditions take place at the Colonial Theater, call to schedule a time slot.  413-298-5536.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Learn to identify the mysterious things found outside in nature!  Bring your our “unidentifiable” mystery item to the Westhampton Library to learn how to identify it, along with the mystery leaves, rocks, bones, rocks, shells, etc. of other visitors.  Not only will kids learn to identify their specific item, but they’ll learn information and skills necessary for identifying a variety of types of natural treasures.  Pairs well with studies of local ecology and geology.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The LGBT Coalition of Western MA is sponsoring a workshop for parents titled, “Loving Your Gay Teen: A Parent Acceptance Workshop.”  The workshop is designed to offer parents of LGBT youth information on creating a safe, healthy, and accepting environment for their child, and will offer parents information and resources for parenting LGBT youth.  Dinner provided, childcare available.  Takes place at the OutNow Center.  32 Hampden Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

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 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)
  • 3:15-4:15pm – CHESS: Afterschool chess club for kids in grades 2 and up at the Storrs Library!  All abilities welcome – learn the game, or practice your skills.  413-565-4182.  693 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, 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, May 22nd, 2012

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)

5:30-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Take part in “Guiding Good Choices,” a five-week series of workshops (beginning May 22nd) for parents on helping kids make good choices when offered substances, teaching healthy beliefs, and helping kids learn to recognize their strengths and encourage family involvement.  Dinner, transportation (if necessary), and childcare provided.  Sponsored by SPIFFY and the Collaborative for Educational Services.  Takes place at JFK Middle School.  Call to register.  413-584-5690 ex. 102.  100 Bridge Road.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Interested in volunteering at the Dakin Animal Shelter?  There will be an information session at the Leverett Library tonight!  Families (with older children) can attend to learn about the many different activities that volunteers do and what is required of helpers.  413-548-9220.  75 Montague Road.  Leverett, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – WORKSHOP/CHICKENS: Learn about raising backyard chickens at the Monson Library!  The workshop is for adults, but older students interested in farming or raising their own chickens are welcome, too.  413-267-3866.  2 High Street.  Monson, 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)

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. (<$)
  • 10am – BREASTFEEDINGSUPPORT: Childcare of the Berkshires hosts a breastfeeding group for mothers at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – RHYME TIME: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School hosts Rhyme Time this morning at Matrushka Toys! Designed for kids who are infants, crawlers, or toddlers, the program involves finger play, fun rhymes, circle games, and puppets and is lead by early childhood teachers. 413-528-4015. 309 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm – NEW MOTHERS CIRCLE: Cradle hosts a gathering of moms and babies in a comfortable and supportive environment. Share your experiences with other moms and bond over the transformations that come with motherhood. 413-341-5282. Thornes Marketplace, 3rd Floor. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$) [CLOSED ON MAY 1 & 2]
  • 1:30-6:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The Tuesday Market is today!  It takes place behind Thornes Marketplace, and there are tons of locally grown and produced foods and goods to be had.  Live music, fun for kids, and more!  Armory Street.  Northampton, MA.  (MARKET) ♦
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema has baby-friendly screenings today! Call to confirm as screen times change. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 2:15-4pm – ANIME: The Goodwin Library hosts an afternoon of anime! Kids who are enthusiastic about the Japanese cartoon-style movies and shows can explore all things anime amongst a group of other anime enthusiasts. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3pm – CRAFTS: Craft Club at the Hatfield Library! There’s a new activity every week. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3-4:30 – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Liberty Branch Library. 413-263-6849. 773 Liberty Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:30pm – STORYTIME: Read and share stories with Addie, the Lee Library’s visiting therapy dog!  She’s a German Shepherd, and her favorite people are kids – especially ones who read to her.  413-243-0385.  100 Main Street.  Lee, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 4:30-5:30pm – PHYSICS: Learn yo-yo tricks at A2Z this afternoon! Lead by world class pros, Yo-Yo School teaches kids basic yo-yo tricks. Learning to yo-yo is a great supplement to studies of motion and physics! 413-586-1611. 57 King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6pm – GAMES: The 4th Tuesday of every month is Scrabble night at the Monson Library! All ages are welcome. Scrabble can help kids practice spelling an work on their vocabulary. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – BINGO: The Hinsdale Lions Club hosts Bingo every Tuesday evening. Though it’s generally an adult game, your kids can come too for a fun intergenerational evening. If they’re learning to count, they can get some great practice matching numbers on your card. Doors open at 5, and dinner is available inexpensively beforehand. 413-655-2973. Maple Street (Route 143). Hinsdale, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 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, May 23rd, 2012

9am-5pm – ANIMAL ADVENTURE: During the spring, anadromous fish (those who live in rivers but spawn in the ocean) make their way to their Atlantic breeding grounds – watch them make their way down the Connecticut River at the Turners Falls Fishway!  The fishway offers kids a chance to see directly into the river through a special viewing window, an experience that can serve as the foundation for building an understanding of the life cycle of fish and/or river ecosystems.  800-859-2960.  1 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am – FAMILY MUSIC: The Northampton Parent Center hosts Nerissa Nields for a fun morning of music. 413-582-2636 297 Main St. Northampton, MA (Donation)

11:15am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Take a walk down the bike trail in Adams with the Family Resource Center!  Walk or bike down the trail to the Russell Field Playground.  Meet at the Berkshire Visitor Center.  413-664-4821.  Adams, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Gateway Family Center is hosting a workshop series for parents where they can learn about strategies and skills for parenting as a team.  Part of a three week series.  Registration requested!  Dinner and childcare provided.  413-667-2203.  9 Russell Road.  Huntington, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Worried about your child’s sleep schedule?  Not getting enough sleep as a family because you haven’t been able to develop a consistent, healthy bedtime routine and schedule?  The Collaborative for Educational Services hosts “Sleep Worries” tonight at the South Hadley Family Center tonight – parents can learn how to make sure that the whole family sleeps enough!  Call to register.  413-586-4900.  7 Woodbridge Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – GENEALOGY: Older students can visit the Sunderland Library for a workshop on ways to do genealogical research!  There are tons of tools that are free and relatively easy to access that can help students do research on their families.  Learning about family history can help students to put their family members into historical context, and can help them develop a more critical understanding of history.  Older students can work to develop a “critical family history,” a project designed to help students look critically at their family and work to understand the socioeconomic context in which they and their families have lived/live in.  413-665-1435.  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

  • 9:30 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) ♦
  • 10:30 – STORYTIME: Bring your preK kids to the Monson Library for stories, songs, and fun! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm – STORYTIME: At the Arms Library! Toddlers and pre-school aged children can visit the library with their caregivers for stories, socializing, and a snack! 413-625-6194. Bridge Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: Visit the North Amherst Library for storytime and crafts! 413-259-3099. 8 Montague Road. Amherst, 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) ♦

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. (<$) ♦
  • 9:45-11:15 – NEW MOTHERS: New and expecting mothers group with MotherWoman at the Amherst Family Center. Share experiences and get help with adjusting to motherhood. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Hike at Mt. Greylock!  Every Wednesday, there’s a “Nice and Easy” family-friendly hike – it’s about two hours long and will cover 1-2 miles of trail.  Call to find out meeting place.  413-499-4262.  Lanesborough, MA.  (FREE) ♦
  • 12noon – FILM: Pleasant Street Theater has a baby-friendly screening today! Call to confirm, as screening times change. 413-584-5848. 27 Pleasant Street. Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 12noon-3pm – BOWLING: Special rates for Homeschool Bowling today! 413-525-7198. 168 Shaker Road. East Longmeadow, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 1-5pm – ART: The Art Garden has drop-in art making every afternoon! Kids can experiment with new mediums and materials- it’s an art adventure! 413-625-2782. 14 Depot Street. Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$) [CLOSED ON MAY 1 & 2]
  • 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)
  • 2-6pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Shop for local food and goods at the Florence Famers’ Market!  Takes place on the lawn at the Florence Civic Center.  North Maple Street.  Florence, MA.  (MARKET) ♦
  • 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) ♦
  • 3:15-4:30pm – LEGOS: Dickinson Memorial Library offers an afterschool LEGO program on the first Wed. of the month for school-age kids. 413-498-2455. 115 Main St. Northfield, MA (FREE)
  • 3:30-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Indian Orchard Branch Library. 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4:45-6pm – 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) ♦
  • 6-9pm – VOLUNTEER: On the first Wednesday of every month, there is a community sew for BagShare! Donate your time to help promote the use of reusable bags and to help sustain a community resource. No experience necessary! Takes place at Eastworks. 413-584-2633. Pleasant Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Thursday, May 24th, 2012

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Sign up to take part in the School Garden and Food Forum!  The forum has two events, both centered around integrating gardens into curriculum, offering students healthier food in school, and gaining parent support for wellness at school.  There will be workshops teaching about composting, developing school gardens, using gardens as a method of teaching math and science, and more.  The events will take place on Thursday, May 31st from 3:30-6pm (at Jackson Street School, Northampton) and on Wednesday, June 6th from 3:30-6pm (at Dunphy School, Petticoat Hill Road, Williamsburg).  Registration is required.

9am-5pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: During the spring, anadromous fish (those who live in rivers but spawn in the ocean) make their way to their Atlantic breeding grounds – watch them make their way down the Connecticut River at the Turners Falls Fishway!  The fishway offers kids a chance to see directly into the river through a special viewing window, an experience that can serve as the foundation for building an understanding of the life cycle of fish and/or river ecosystems.  800-859-2960.  1 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

4-6:30pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate a year’s worth of great playgroups and family programs at the Northampton Parents’ Center at the year-end picnic!  Bring a potluck dinner to the Dow Pavillion at Look Park and eat, play, and celebrate with other families.  300 North Main Street.  Florence, MA.  (<$)

6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Take part in an ongoing series of workshops just for dads!  24/7 Dad is a nationally recognized program for helping fathers work on parenting skills and learn tools for raising a healthy family.  Call to register.  Takes place at The Family Place.  413-663-7588.  61 Main Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

7-9pm – CONCERT: Enjoy an evening of ukelele music at the Jones Library!  The concert features tons of uke musicians and bands, and is a benefit for the MN Spear Library.  Kids can learn about the unique sound and qualities of the ukelele.  413-259-1213.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

7-8:30pm – CONCERT: See the West Side Senior Showstoppers perform at the West Springfield High School Auditorium.  425 Piper Road.  West Springfield, 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)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Every third Thursday for adoptive families with kids 4 and under! RSVP required. 413-320-4680. 28 North Maple Street. Florence, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Goshen Library hosts facilitated playgroup every 1st and 3rd Thursday. 413-230-8552. 42 Main Street. Goshen, 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-12noon – STORYTIME: Visit the Hatfield Library for story hour! 39 Main Street. 413-247-9097. Hatfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:30pm – STORYTIME: Special afternoon storytime at the Lee Library! Walk-in is OK but registration is encouraged. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street. Lee, 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) ♦

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) ♦
  • 10am – MUSIC: Montague Center Library hosts a music and movement class for kids! 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – SUPPORT GROUP: New mothers support group meets at the Greenwood Center today! 413-794-5515. 231 Maple Road. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-3pm – FATHERS’ GROUP: Amherst Family Center hosts a fathers’ group!  413-256-1145.  121 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, 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. (<$)
  • 2:30-4pm – LIBRARY CLUB: Hatfield Library hosts library club! Each week, kids will explore a new topic and do hands-on activities relating to it. Registration required. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – CRAFTS: Drop-in crafts at the Brightwood Branch Library. 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4:30-5:30pm – PHYSICS: Learn yo-yo tricks at A2Z this afternoon! Lead by world class pros, Yo-Yo School teaches kids basic yo-yo tricks. Learning to yo-yo is a great supplement to studies of motion and physics! 413-586-1611. 57 King Street. Northampton, 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, May 25th, 2012

9am-5pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: During the spring, anadromous fish (those who live in rivers but spawn in the ocean) make their way to their Atlantic breeding grounds – watch them make their way down the Connecticut River at the Turners Falls Fishway!  The fishway offers kids a chance to see directly into the river through a special viewing window, an experience that can serve as the foundation for building an understanding of the life cycle of fish and/or river ecosystems.  800-859-2960.  1 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: Frog-themed stories and learning activities at the Great Falls Discovery Center.  413-863-3221.  2 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE: May is National Preservation Month!  Historic Deerfield is hosting tours focused on the architecture of the buildings that make up the museum, paired with a discussion of the buildings’ locations and important history.  Learn about early New England architecture, and how the style reflected the culture of the time!  413-775-7127. 80 Old Main Street.  Deerfield, 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)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Bring the kids for a morning playgroup at the Chesterfield Senior Center. Held on the second and fourth Friday of the month. Route 143. Chesterfield, 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) ♦
  • FRIDAY – 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

  • 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: Baby 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 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) ♦
  • 5-8pm – ART WALK: First Fridays Artswalk happens in the Upstreet Cultural District.  First Friday of the month. 413-281-6665. Pittsfield, 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)
  • 6:30-9pm – COFFEEHOUSE: Hilltown Coffeehouse happens every Friday night at the Village Church. Bring the family to enjoy and participate in music and games. An excellent intergenerational opportunity for families in the Hilltowns to meet their neighbors in a casual and creative environment. BYOB. 413-563-1981. Cummington, 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) ♦
  • 7-9pm – YO-YOS: A2Z’s Dogbite Yo-Yo club meets on the second Friday of each month for a night of yo-yo skill sharing and learning. Meets at the College Church. 48 Pomeroy Terrace. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-10pm – TWEEN: Friday nights at the Greenwood Center are just for tweens! Kids in grades 6-8 can enjoy a supervised night of dancing, games, and DJ music! 413-565-4163. 231 Maple Road. Longmeadow, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Milham Planetarium at Williams College hosts an observatory show tonight! The planetarium’s Zeiss Skymaster can show phases of the moon, retrograde motions of planets, temperatures of planets and stars, the location of nearby galaxies, and more! The show is entertaining and also a great learning opportunity. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 8:30pm-12:30am – COMMUNITY DANCE: Dance Spree is a community family-friendly (and barefoot!) dance event – kids of all ages are welcome to attend with guardians. Great way to get moving! 25 Main Street, 4th Floor (above Fitzwilly’s). Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦

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