Suggested Events for January 26th – February 1st, 2013

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

Mark your calendars for upcoming WINTER FESTIVALS, including: Winter Carnival in Greenfield (Feb 1st-3rd); Winterfest in Amherst (Feb 9th); Ice Art Festival in Northampton (Feb 8th); and Snowfest in Williamstown (Feb 8th).

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, 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/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families. Click HERE to find out more.

BEST BETS

Hilltown Families 5th Annual Handmade Community Valentine SwapHandmade Community Valentine Swap: It’s that time of the year again for  Hilltown Families 5th Annual Community Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past several years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Push back against the commercialization of Valentine’s Day while getting creative with your kids and connecting with your community… sign up to participate! Swapping happens through the mail with 10 other families! It’s free to sign up and open to all in Western MA. Deadline to sign up: Jan. 31, 2013. Western MA (FREE)

Parent Workshop on Tuesday, Jan 29 from 6:30-8:30pm: Talking to Your Kids About Sex. Having trouble finding a comfortable, productive way to talk to your kids about sex? Hilltown Families is presenting another workshop for parents on approaching the subject with their children. The event takes place after hours at Cup and Top Cafe, and will be facilitated by Brooke Norton, a certified sex educator. The talk will begin with talking with youngest kids, and progress through teens. Sexuality, puberty, body image, and sexual identity will also be discussed. 413-585-0445. 1 North Main Street, Suite 2. Florence, MA. (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

By special arrangement with Hilltown Families, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox is pleased to offer our readers a rare opportunity to take in a classic Shakespearean performance paired with a guided tour backstage. On Friday, Feb. 15th at 10am, schools and homeschooling families are invited to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tina Packer Playhouse, followed by a backstage guided tour where participants can learn how the process of theatre is crafted in the costume shop, prop studio, and production workshop. Tickets for this package are only $8/person and a Study Guide for educators is available to download before attending. To reserve discounted tickets, contact Alexandra Lincoln, and let her know you are a Hilltown Families reader: 413-637-1199 x131. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox. www.Shakespeare.org.

BULLETIN BOARD

Jan 26

The Common School in Amherst will host an Open House on Saturday, January 26th from 10am-12noon. Offering independent, progressive education for children age 3-12 in the Pioneer Valley, The Common School’s mission is to develop strong academic and social skills while nurturing each child’s love of learning, respect and compassion for others, and commitment to the environment. Parents and children are welcome to come to the Open House. Come meet the faculty, play in classrooms, and explore the beautiful campus. Accepting applications now for fall 2013. To schedule a visit call 413-256-8989. Find out more at www.commonschool.org.

Jan 27

Jewish Earth Day!: A Family Tu B’Shvat Celebration. Sunday, January 27th from 10:30am-12noon. The mid-winter Jewish Festival of Tu B’Shvat marks the birthday of the trees and is celebrated as Jewish Earth Day. Tu B’Shvat is an invitation to reflect on and celebrate humanity’s relationship with trees and the entirety of the natural world. Join Congregation Bnai Israel for a lively family program designed for children (ages 5-12), to include music, a puppet show, lots of delicious fruit and environmentally themed games. Everyone is very welcomed! Congregation Bnai Israel is located at 253 Prospect Street in Northampton MA. For more information contact rabbijacob@cbinorthampton.org (FREE)

Jan 27

Open House at Cloverdale Cooperative PreschoolSunday, January 27, from 2-3:30pm in back of the Florence Congregational Church at 130 Pine St. Visit the classroom and meet the teachers – Meet the teachers and parents who can answer all your preschool questions. Cloverdale, a half-day parent cooperative preschool, with an option for extended days, has been in existence since 1954. Its philosophy has remained unchanged throughout the years. In the true sense of the word, cooperative teachers & parents work closely together to provide children a meaningful blend of experiences to peak their innate curiosity, therefore imparting a lifetime love of learning. For more info visit www.cloverdalepreschool.com or call 413-586-1106 after 12:30pm.

Feb 3

On Sunday, Feb 3rd Greenfield Center School will host a Birds of Prey Open House from 1-4pm. Come from 1-2 to hear Tom Ricardi, Raptor Rehabilitator, talk about his work. See several majestic live birds of prey. From 2-4 enjoy light snacks and bird-related activities and projects lead by Center School teachers. Dissect an owl pellet, make masks and more. Kindergarten through 5th grade classes will be open for touring. Admissions information available. All activities are free. www.centerschool.net Birds of Prey Open House, K-5th, Sun. Feb. 3, 1-4pm. Greenfield Center School is now accepting applications for fall 2013.

Join Sheep Shares Yarn & Fiber CSA and be a part of a local fiber farm. Yarn and/or fiber shares are shipped in spring and fall. Springdelle Farm is a 220 acre sheep farm located in Shelburne’s bucolic Patten District. The farm hosts special events for CSA members: Shearing Day Celebration (April); Strolling of the Sheep (June); Fiber Foliage & Friends (October). CSA has been featured in the Valley Advocate and Massachusetts Preview Magazine. For details visit www.foxfirefiber.com or email: barb@foxfirefiber.com.

ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT OR OPEN HOUSE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your community event, open house, auditions, afterschool class, homeschool program, workshop, school, wellness program or business featured here in the bulletin board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how we can help with your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

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 local reviews, DIY posts, seasonal cooking/local food, and community-based educational & community service learning opportunities/resources. Send your query to hilltownfamilies@gmail.com

As Hilltown Families enters its eighth year, celebrate the past seven with us by voting for Hilltown Families as Best Blog in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2013! Best Blog is listed under the Information Age” category Deadline to cast your votes is Noon, Feb 13th. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors (listed in the left-hand column)? Spread the word & share the ❤ love! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/ballot

John Sarrouf, Director of The Family Dinner Project writes: “Finding time for quality family dinners can be a challenge. The Family Dinner Project has designed a four-week program to help families have better, more frequent meals together—and we want to hear what you think of it! We’re looking for families to test out Food, Fun, and Conversation: 4 Weeks to a Better Family Dinner – a month-long program to help you reinvent your family dinners. Through emails and online resources, you’ll receive tips for cooking, playing and having more meaningful discussions. You’ll be entered to win two $100 gift certificates and everybody gets a copy of Fifty Thrifty Meals by Ramona Hamblin! To sign-up, please email grace@thefamilydinnerproject.org , and we’ll send you the program link and answer questions.”

The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens opens its spring session on Feb. 3rd. Families with young children who have experienced the death of a close family member are invited to attend a bi-weekly groups. A participant recently reported, “The Garden is a group of compassionate and caring people who have helped me see that I am not alone in the fight of dealing with loss. Their humor is uplifting and helps me see hope for the days to come.” Participants ages 5-12 meet in small groups where they do activities, projects and games that support their grieving process while adult caregivers meet in a support group. Groups are held at the Hampshire Regional YMCA in Northampton every other Sunday afternoon and are FREE of charge. RSVP required, call today to register. Shelly Bathe Lenn at 413-5847086 x124. Or email for more information shelly.thegarden@gmail.com


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 26th – February 1st, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

“Most definitely Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory (South Deerfield, MA), ESPECIALLY in the winter. The warm, tropical, climate and atmosphere will make you feel oh-so-much better on cold winter days. It’s like a butterfly fairy-land, complete with quail running around underfoot, reptiles to gawk and wonder at, and incredible vegetation to admire.” – Jennifer Page (Amherst, 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.  – Michael Napolitano is our guest DJ this week with his father, Tony Napolitano. Their musical experiences span 7 decades from Tony’s childhood singing Doo-wop on street corners in Newark NJ to Michael’s youth Rocking drums in the basement! With songs like PoR’s Family Song they discuss how the Napolitano Family continues this musical lineage as Michael’s children sing on this track with their parents and grandparents. From Bobby Darin to Led Zeppelin, this show is certain to educate and entertain. Be sure to wear your dancing shoes! -Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

9am-4:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Explore Bartholomew’s Cobble with the Trustees of Reservations’ yearly Hot Chocolate Saturdays series!  Visitors can hike, snowshoe, and/or ski at the Cobble (weather depending, of course), and end their excursion with a cup of cocoa in the visitor center.  Families can practice looking for signs of birds and mammals, and can explore the changes that have taken place to the landscape since winter set in.  413-229-8600.  Weatogue Road.  Sheffield, MA.  (FREE with admission)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: This weekend, Old Sturbridge Village celebrate Fire and Ice Days!  Families can visit the village to take part in the annual event, which includes many of the activities typical to an 1830’s New England winter.  Families can skate on the pond, go sledding on vintage sleds, take a horse drawn sleigh ride, and learn about (and try!) ice harvesting.  Indoor activities include a fireside magic show, a talk on the history of ice skating, a thaumatrope-making craft, and opportunities to learn about 19th century methods of staying warm throughout the village.  Pair a visit to the village with studies of American history and culture or a look at the evolution of technology, and compare the ways that early New Englanders battled winter to the ways we have adapted to handle cold weather today.  Kids get free admission through the month of January!  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  (KIDS FREE, ADULTS $)

10-11am - CHILDREN’S PERFORMANCE: Celebrate the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat with Jewish entertain-ucator Felicia Sloin and puppeteer Kate Holdsworth at Temple Beth El!  The performance is filled with music, puppets, and stories that will teach kids about the holiday.  The show is designed for young children, but all are welcome to come and learn about Jewish culture and traditions.  413-733-4149.  979 Dickinson Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

10am-12noon – OPEN HOUSE: Visit the Hartsbrook School today – the school’s winter open house is for parents of students interested in attending the Waldorf school.  Learn more about the school’s curriculum, admissions, and the unique programs and opportunities Hartsbrook has to offer.  413-584-3198.  193 Bay Road.  Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10am-12noon – OPEN HOUSE: The Common School, a small independent school, is offering an open house today!  Parents interested in learning more about the school can visit for tours and to meet faculty.  The school offers a progressive, integrated learning experience (which includes elements of place-based learning) for students from preschool through sixth grade.  413-256-8989.  521 South Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

10am-1pm – PRESCHOOL FAIR: UMass Office of Family Resources will host a Preschool Children’s Festival & Resource Fair at the UMass Campus Center Auditorium.  There will be fun things to do with your littlest ones along with a resource fair for families with young children & preschoolers.  The Festival features elements from OFRʼs Special Saturday Series and Amherst Family Center programs. 413-545-0865. Directions. Amherst, MA (FREE)

10am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Celebrate CISA’s Winter Fare Week at the Northampton Farmers’ Market!  The market is filled with a wide variety of local produce and locally produced foods – shop tables filled by farms, bakeries, orchards, and more to find foods your family will love.  Because it’s Winter Fare Week, there will be special workshops on food preservation, sustainability, and self sufficiency, too!  Families who preserve their own food can participate in a barter market, too – trade your homemade pickles for local blueberry jam, or eggs from your chickens for homemade local applesauce!  Takes place in the basement of Thornes Marketplace (workshops take place on the 3rd floor).  Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  (MARKET)

10am-2pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The Springfield Winter Market is celebrating CISA’s Winter Fare Week today!  Stop by the market for workshops and fun kids’ activities – in addition to the wide variety of local produce and locally produced food items available.  The workshops offered will be on teaching kids to cook and preparing efficient, eco-conscious, and affordable family meals.  Market is held in the Monkey House in Forest Park.  Trafton Road.  Springfield, MA.  (MARKET)

10:30 and 11:30am – MARIONETTES: The Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School presents a marionette show at Matrushka Toys and Gifts.  The marionettes star in, “Starry Night,” a show for young children about a mother comforting her child who can’t get to sleep. 309 Main Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

10:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/FATHERS: Dads and their kiddos can visit the Storrs Library this morning for Dads and Donuts – there will be stories and crafts for kids, donuts for all, and coffee for dads.  The event is a great opportunity for kids to play and learn while dads meet and socialize with other dads.  Registration requested.  413-565-4183.  693 Longmeadow Street.  Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am-12noon – LIBRARY ADVENTURE: Celebrate winter – indoors!  The Berkshire Athenaeum is having a special snowy day-themed event just for kids, featuring stories, a short video, and crafts for toddlers and pre-schoolers.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

11am – KIDS’ CONCERT: Shiprock and Anchordog bring their original, exciting song cycle to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art!  Shiprock and Anchordog’s performance is an original dog-themed mythological tale about two canines exploring the world – the songs follow them through their various adventures and over lots of interesting terrain!  The show is part of the Northampton Community Music Center’s Kids’ Concerts series and proceeds benefit the center’s scholarship fund.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

11am – CHEMISTRY Learn how to be a mad scientist – safely! – using ingredients found in your kitchen!  Kitchen Ka-Boom at the Berkshire Museum is a special program filled with wacky kid-safe experiments that can be easily replicated at home and will help kids learn about basic scientific principles.  413-443-7171.  39 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

11am-12noon – CRAFTS: Kids can play with clay at the Ramsdell Library this morning!  There will be plenty of the squishy, moldable medium to go around.  Registration required.  413-274-3738.  1087 Main Street.  Housatonic, MA.  (FREE)

11am-12noon – STORYTIME/PICNIC: It’s not often that a picnic is possible during the winter in New England – but the Westfield Athenaeum is making it happen today!  Bring your own bag lunch to the library for an indoor picnic (drinks and dessert provided) that will also include storytime, songs, and a craft.  Great for restless kids longing for summer!  Registration required.  413-562-6158.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

11am-4pm – HISTORY: Celebrate the 151st birthday of prolific writer Edith Wharton today at The Mount, Wharton’s beautiful and historic home!  The mansion will be open for visitors of all ages to explore – guides will be available for tours throughout the day.  Birthday cake will be served at 2pm, and kids can do a scavenger hunt and make their own journals to write down their thoughts and ideas – just like Edith!  Tie the celebration into family studies of classic literature and/or historic homes in Western MA!  413-551-5111.  2 Plunkett Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

12noon – CONCERT: Enjoy some mid-day Baroque music at the Pelham Library!  The library’s monthly tea will feature a performance by The Montague Consort, featuring music for piano and recorder.  Great for older students interested in learning about music history!  Tea and treats served at 11am, concert begins at noon.  413-253-0657.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Swimming outdoors during the winter sure sounds crazy, but that’s exactly what happens at the annual Amelia Park Children’s Museum Penguin Plunge!  The event, which raises money for the museum, requires that participants jump into the icy waters of Hampton Pond!  Participants are asked to gather donations from the community in order to support their dive, and can organize into teams if they want to.  Kids under 18 are allowed to participate, but must have a parent present and have a signed safety waiver.  Registration takes place from 6-8pm on Friday the 25th, or beginning at 11am before the event.  Takes place at Hampton Ponds State Park.  413-572-4014.  1048 North Road.  Westfield, MA.  (DONATION)

1 and 7:30pm – THEATERAmherst Leisure Services’ production of Fiddler on the Roof has hit the stage!  The show features local actors and actresses, and it is expected that all nine performances will sell out so buy tickets early!  413-259-3065.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

1-3pm – LEGOS: Kids can build crazy LEGO creations this afternoon at the Dickinson Library!  LEGOs are a great creative medium for kids interested in design and architecture, and can help them develop their own creative stories based on characters and structures that they build.  413-498-2455.  115 Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

1-4pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: Celebrate the Chinese New Year with the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School!  Families can learn about Chinese culture, as well as the traditions surrounding the event.  Takes place at Smith Vocational High School.  Then later in the week, pay a visit to the Smith College Museum of Art’s Asian art exhibit to learn more about Chinese culture – it opens on February 1st!  Locust Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

2pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: Learn about the secret lives of amphibians today at the Berkshire Athenaeum!  Berkshire Community College professor Tom Tyning will present information about frogs and salamanders, as well as his new book – A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

2pm – FILM: The Clark Museum’s Widescreen Wonders series continues today with a screening of Ben-Hur, a 1959 epic about the Roman Empire in Palestine.  The film, directed by William Wyler, included a cast of thousands of actors and swept in eleven Oscars.  Older students interested in film will love seeing this classic!  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – ASTRONOMY: Visit Western Gateway Heritage State Park for a fun educational program titled, “Comet!”  The program is part of the park’s exhibit on space, called, “Journey to the Stars.”  413-663-6312.  115 State Street, Building 4.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE, fee for parking)

6-8:30pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Snowshoe under the full moon at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary!  Arrive at 6pm to register for a guided group, and bring a headlamp if you have one!  Snowshoes available in limited quantities – call ahead to reserve pairs.  413-637-0320.  472 West Mountain Road.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

7:30pm – FILM/MUSIC HISTORY: The Academy of Music Theater screens Hendrix 70: Live at Woodstock, a documentary about Hendrix’s road to Woodstock, as well as footage of his most famous (and probably most memorable) performances.  Young music buffs will love seeing Hendrix’s Woodstock performance and hearing live version of his classic songs.  Older students interested in music history can learn about the early days of classic 70’s rock and will learn more about the history behind the sounds that influenced much of today’s music.  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

7pm – CONCERT: The Blues Show is coming to the Colonial Theater!  Featuring the James Montgomery Blues Band, Popa Chubby, and special guests the Arthur Holmes Blues Band, the show is full of high-energy, modern blues music!  413-997-4444.  111 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($$)

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Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Cross country ski at Stump Sprouts (Hawley, MA). Hot chocolate at Mocha Maya’s (Shelburne Falls, MA). Ice skate or broom hockey! Bake a batch of cowboy cookies and cozy down for an indoor snow day with a good book or a movie. Invite friends for pancakes on Sunday. Snowshoe the neighborhood on a snow day. All fun things we do in winter!” –Dory Pelletier (Belchertown, 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. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

7:30-11:30am – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Fill up on pancakes with the Belchertown Fire Department at this month’s pancake breakfast!  10 North Main Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (<$)

9:30am-4pm – HISTORY: This weekend, Old Sturbridge Village celebrate Fire and Ice Days!  Families can visit the village to take part in the annual event, which includes many of the activities typical to an 1830’s New England winter.  Families can skate on the pond, go sledding on vintage sleds, take a horse drawn sleigh ride, and learn about (and try!) ice harvesting.  Indoor activities include a fireside magic show, a talk on the history of ice skating, a thaumatrope-making craft, and opportunities to learn about 19th century methods of staying warm throughout the village.  Pair a visit to the village with studies of American history and culture or a look at the evolution of technology, and compare the ways that early New Englanders battled winter to the ways we have adapted to handle cold weather today.  Kids get free admission through the month of January!  800-733-1830.  1 Old Sturbridge Village Road.  Sturbridge, MA.  (KIDS FREE, ADULTS $)

10:30am-12noon – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shvat – also known as Jewish Earth Day – at Temple B’Nai Israel today!  Tu B’Shvat is a celebration of trees, and calls for reflection on our relationship with the natural world.  Families of all backgrounds can take part in the celebration, which will include lots of fruit and environmentally-themed games.  253 Prospect Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

11am – MOVIE: Tower Theaters celebrate their re-opening this month with a series of screenings just for children!  This morning’s showings are Anansi, narrated by Denzel Washington, and Fuzzy Baby Animal, an adorable video filled with lots of tiny wildlife.  413-533-3456.  19 College Street.  South Hadley, MA (FREE)

12:30-4pm – GIRLS ATHLETICS: Smith College’s National Girls and Women in Sports Day celebration takes place today!  The event, open to girls in 3rd-5th grade, celebrates girls and women participating in sports at all levels – from professional ice hockey to high school basketball to recreational summer soccer.  Girls participating in the event will learn about (and get to try!) many of the sports played by women at the collegiate level, including rugby, cheerleading, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse, rock climbing, and more.  The event is a great opportunity for girls to learn about advanced levels of sports, and the female athletes they meet can serve as role models for budding athletes of all abilities.  Registration required.  Takes place in the Smith College college’s field house.  West Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

1pm – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Spend the entire day outdoors, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snow hiking, and more!  Stump Sprouts Cross Country Ski Area is hosting a special Full Moon Getaway to benefit the Franklin Land Trust!  Families can rent equipment and take a drop-in ski lesson to help develop their skills.  Along with all of the possibilities for outdoor fun, there will be food, hot cider, and a special Moonlight Frolic!  413-625-9152.  Hawley, MA. ($)

1 and 7:30pm – THEATER: Amherst Leisure Services’ production of Fiddler on the Roof has hit the stage!  The show features local actors and actresses, and it is expected that all nine performances will sell out so buy tickets early!  413-259-3065.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

1-3pm – OPEN HOUSE: Interested in exploring education options for your middle or high school student?  The Academy at Charlemont is offering an open house today for families interested in learning more about the school in order to apply for fall 2013 admission.  The school includes both a junior and senior school, accommodating grades 7-12, and offers a “classical” curriculum, including studies of Latin and modern foreign languages and an emphasis on the arts, as well (visual, musical, and performing).  Registration requested.  413-339-4912.  1359 Route 2.  Charlemont, MA.  (FREE)

1-4pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Visit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for special art projects in the studio!  Projects are often messy – BYO smock.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

2:30-3:30pm – CONCERT: The Hampshire Young People’s Chorus performs at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.  The chorus is made up of 100 members from ages 5-15!  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

5:30-8pm – COMMUNITY SING/POTLUCK: Join in a community sing with Penny Schultz at Earthdance tonight!  There will be music and movement for all ages and abilities.  The event also includes a potluck, so bring a dish to share.  252 Prospect Street.  Plainfield, MA.  (FREE)

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Monday, January 28th, 2013

Many schools are closing early today. Please confirm evening events before heading out.

 

11am – 12:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: There is a new MotherWoman group forming in the Hilltowns!  Today is the first meeting, which will take place at St. John’s Corner.  The support group is for pregnant and postpartum mothers, and childcare is available for kids up to age 4.  Meetings will be weekly.  413-625-6948.  469 Main Street.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

4-5pm – CRAFTS: Learn all about art and create your very own original masterpiece at the East Longmeadow Library!  Explore examples of famous art, learn cool art techniques, and end up with your own unique masterpiece.  413-525-5400.  60 Center Square.  East Longmeadow, MA.  (FREE)

4:30-5:30pm – STORYTIME: Visit the Greenfield Library for a special reading of local illustrator Brendan Flanelly-King’s recently released book, Good News Nelson!  The book tells the story of a young boy delivering papers who helps to make a difference in his community and forges a strong connection with the last person he ever expected would be his new friend.  413-772-1544.  402 Main Street.  Greenfield, MA.  (FREE)

5:30-7pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Tonight is the first meeting of First Steps to Reading, a workshop series for parents of kids from birth to five years old.  Parents will learn ways to prepare their children for reading at home by sharing books, writing, playing, exploring and singing.  The workshops run weekly through March 4th, and each meeting will focus on a different aspect of reading preparation, teaching parents how to support their children’s budding literacy.  Dinner will be served for families, and childcare is available for those who need it.  Takes place at Jitterbugs Early Childhood Program.  Registration is required.  413-570-3061.  432 State Street.  Belchertown, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS (As always, please confirm before heading out to these suggestions.)

  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the South Hadley Family Center. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: At the MN Spear Memorial Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013! 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Williamstown Youth Center! Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires. 413-458-5925. 270 Cole Avenue. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building. 413-527-5496. Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am-12:20pm – ICE SKATING: Smead Arena offers a public skating session this morning – great for families with kids who are still learning to skate, daytime skating sessions offer low-key and less crowded ice time. Open ice times take place at the same time Monday-Friday. 413-781-2599. 1780 Roosevelt Avenue. Springfield, MA. (<$)
  • 11am – 12:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: There is a new MotherWoman group forming in the Hilltowns!  Today is the first meeting, which will take place at St. John’s Corner.  The support group is for pregnant and postpartum mothers, and childcare is available for kids up to age 4.  Meetings will be weekly.  413-625-6948.  469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 2:30-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Toddler group (siblings welcomed) at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 2:30-5pm – TEEN/TWEEN: Meekins Library’s Teen/Preteen Time takes place this afternoon! Teens can visit the library to hang out with friends, work on homework, play games, use computers, and check out awesome new books, movies, and music. 413-268-7473. 2 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30-4:30pm – BREAK DANCE: Learn to break like a b-boy! The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly break dance class, taught by Joshua McHugh, accomplished dancer and dance teacher. 413-499-9348. 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – ANIME: The Springfield Central Library hosts Anime and Manga Club on Monday afternoons! Kids enthusiastic about the popular Japanese style of animation and cartooning can visit the library to read new manga and watch great anime! 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-7pm – SCRABBLE: Enjoy an evening of friendly Scrabble at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center! Open to anyone ages 8+, the game night offers families an opportunity to practice fair play and basic sportsmanship while allowing kids to expand their spelling, vocabulary, and basic practical math skills. Sponsored by Bobbie Halig and Jenny and Adam Hersch. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires holds gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6-7pm – MUSIC: Learn to drum, Afro-Carribbean style! The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts offers a weekly drum class, lead by Aimee Gelinas of Gaia Roots. Drums available to borrow. 28 Renne Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ($) ♦
  • 6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) offers a drop in support group for pregnant women and their support team to explore the different aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Hosted at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time! Basketball equipment will be provided by Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20. Runs through 11/12. 413-565-4163. 95 Grassy Gutter Road. Longmeadow, MA. ($) ♦

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Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

10:30-11am – READING: Families with early readers can take part in a special literacy workshop at the Lee Library today!  The workshop is part of a six-week series, and is open to families with kids ages 5 and younger.  The program will focus on teaching skills that will eventually help children learn to read in school – parents can work on these basic skills at home with their kids in order to help them be ready to read!  Participants will receive six picture books and letter magnets to take home.  Registration required.  413-243-0385.  100 Main Street.  Lee, MA.  (FREE)

4pm – READING: Do you ever wish that you could recommend your favorite books to other library visitors?  The Forest Park Branch Library invites Forest Park Reads, a special series where families can read new books (or chapters of books) and then rate them using a star system so that other library visitors can choose great new things to read!  Takes place on the fourth Tuesday of each month.  413-263-6843.  380 Belmont Avnue.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – DOCUMENTARY/FOOD: The Athol Library, along with the Northeast Organic Farming Association, screens documentary, “Genetic Roulette,” a film that addresses the risks of eating genetically modified foods.  After the film will be a discussion of GMO foods, during which families can ask questions about GMO’s and can gain useful information that will help them make informed decisions for choosing healthy foods.  978-249-9515.  82 Freedom Street.  Athol, MA.  (FREE)

6:30-8:30pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Hilltown Families and Cup and Top Cafe are offering a workshop for parents on talking to kids about sex, body image, and puberty tonight.  “Talking to Your Kids About Sex,” will feature certified sex educator, Brooke Norton, and topics addressed will include how to start a conversation, knowing how much information to share, and dealing with the influence of media on kids’ views of sex.  Dinner is available from the cafe from 6:30-7, and the talk will begin at 7pm.  413-684-8697.  1 North Main Street, Suite 2.  Florence, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (As always, please confirm before heading out to these suggestions.)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Health Coalition hosts Toddler Steps Playgroup at the CHP building. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: At Farmington River Preschool for kids 5 and under, sponsored by the Community Health Coalition. 413-664-0104. 555 North Main Road. Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30 or 11am – STORYTIME: The Westfield Library hosts storytime for kids 6 months – 3 years today. Registration required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center! 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: It’s Baby Day at the South Hadley Family Center! 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Berkshire Athenaeum! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: At the Dickinson Library! 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10-11am - PARENT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a mother’s group for Spanish-speaking moms at Brightwood Health Center. 413-796-8365. 380 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Preschool playgroup learning experiences at the Haskins Center! Takes place on the lower level. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: At the Greenfield Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE) ♦10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building. 413-527-5496. Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am – STORYTIME: At the Lanesborough Library! Stories, crafts, and music for all ages. 413-499-5981. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15am-12:15pm – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a Postpartum Support Group for mothers. The group is a safe space for those adjusting to motherhood and is lead by trained facilitators. Takes place at Berkshire Children and Families. Childcare available. 413-253-8990. 220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Visit the Great Falls Discovery Center for Kidleidescope, an environment-themed program for kids! Interactive learning opportunities and crafts always included. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Springfield Central Library’s preschool storytime takes place this morning. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: The Lenox Library offers storytime for kids 18 months-3 years. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc. 413-323-8728. 66 State Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-5pm – PARENT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a support group for young mothers and expecting women between the ages of 13 and 19. Group meetings are held bi-weekly and are drop-in. Babies welcome! Takes place at Mercy Care Holyoke. 413-886-0410. 306 Race Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm – READING: Do you ever wish that you could recommend your favorite books to other library visitors?  The Forest Park Branch Library invites Forest Park Reads, a special series where families can read new books (or chapters of books) and then rate them using a star system so that other library visitors can choose great new things to read!  Takes place on the fourth Tuesday of each month.  413-263-6843.  380 Belmont Avnue.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE)
  • 5:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the gym at the Abbot School. 56 North Country Road. Florida, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 6:30pm – BREASTFEEDING: The La Leche League of North/Central Berkshires meets every third Tuesday at The Montessori School of the Berkshires. 21 Patterson Road. Lenox Dale, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30-8pm – MUSIC: The Berkshire South Regional Community Center hosts a free ukulele group tonight! Beginners and kids without any knowledge of music reading can join in – the class will teach basic chord progressions and styles of playing from around the world. Registration requested but drop-in is OK. Sponsored by Bobbie Hallig and Jenny and Adam Hersch. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

6-8pm - PARENT WORKSHOP: The Collaborative for Educational Services is offering a parent workshop, Tech for Tots, focused on developmentally appropriate use of technology.  The workshop takes place at Hatfield Elementary School, and parents will learn about the impact of use of technology on normal child development – technology use can impact social skills, learning, and brain development if not done appropriately.  Registration is required.  413-586-4900.  33 Main Street.  Hatfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – SCIENCE: Students at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School will present their own unique, independent science research tonight at the school’s annual science fair!  Students choose their own topics to research, then are mentored by an expert in the field that they have chosen in order to help them learn how to do accurate research, provide them with necessary background information, etc.  The process helps students learn how to be a scientist, and  the role that scientific research plays in our lives.  Families can learn about many different scientific phenomena by viewing the exhibits, and can learn about ways to conduct their own scientific research at home.  413-528-4015.  West Plain Road.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (As always, please confirm before heading out to these suggestions.)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer-Monson Family Network hosts infant and toddler play group! 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Bi-weekly in the community room at Becket Town Hall, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-664-0104. 65 Walker Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Lenox Community Center, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-644-0104. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am or 1:30pm – STORYTIME: Fantastic Fours and Fives takes place today at the Westfield Library! Registration is required for storytime. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center! 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30 – PLAYGROUP: At the South Hadley Family Center. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:45-11:15am – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts, “Getting Real about Motherhood,” a support group designed to help mothers share the stress and adjustments of motherhood and work to find ways to feel renewed, valued, and energized. Takes place at the Amherst Family Center, in the basement of the Unitarian Society. Childcare available. 413-256-1145. 121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Wendell Free Library hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 978.544.5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime at the Westhampton Library! 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am - PARENT GROUP: Enjoy coffee and a chat with other parents at the Westhampton Library – stop in after dropping kids off at school through the end of Sept.! 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Sunshine Storytime! 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – ART: The Norman Rockwell Museum hosts, “Creating Together: A Parent-Child Experience,” an art workshop featuring a gallery tour and hands-on art making. Each week brings a new theme and art style to explore. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183 Stockbridge, MA. ($) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: In the gym at Erving Elementary School, hosted by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413- 423-3326. 18 Northfield Road. Erving, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: Hosted by the Mason Library – also includes stories, songs, and crafts. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the New Marlborough Library, sponsored by Community Health Programs. 413-644-0104. 1 New Marlborough-Great Barrington Road. New Marlborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: At the Leverett Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413-548-9220. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30: SINGING: Sing with Your Baby with Wendy happens at the Jones Library. For preK kids and younger, and their parents/caretakers. Takes place in the Woodbury Room. Runs through Dec. 18. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity St. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 11-11:30am – STORYTIME: Toddler Time with Stephanie at the Forbes Library! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – GYMNASTICS: Whip City Gym hosts homeschool open gymnastics! The event is not a formal class, but offers kids unstructured play time physical activity amongst true gymnastics equipment. Great for kids interested in gymnastics, dance, or cheerleading, and gym playtime can also help kids work on balance and coordination. Takes place through the school year. 413-569-3231. 320 College Highway. Southwick, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 1-3pm – CHESS: Drop-in chess games in the mezzanine at Forbes Library. All ages, BYO chess set or borrow one. Playing chess can help kids develop logic and analytical skills. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Toddler group (siblings welcomed) at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc. 413-323-8728. 66 State Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30pm – LEGOS: The Berkshire Athenaeum hosts LEGO Club on the third Wednesday of each month. Kids can use LEGOs to experiment with basic principles of architecture, physics, and design. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. ♦ (FREE)
  • 3-5pm – MOVIE: The Mason Library screens classic films every Wednesday afternoon! The “Mason Matinee” is best for tweens/teens and adults – call to find out what’s playing. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:30-4:30pm – STORYTIME: The Ramsdell Library hosts Time for Tots, and special story, craft, etc. time for littlest kiddos. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 3:50-4:30pm – ICE SKATING: Visit Fitzpatrick Arena for an afternoon of skating! The rink offers daily public skating sessions at the same time, Monday-Friday. 413-532-2929. 575 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 4pm – CHESS: Visit the East Longmeadow Library for some afternoon chess! Playing chess can help kids develop analytical skills and logic. 413-525-5432. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 4-5pm – STORYTIME: At the Cushman Library! 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5:30-7:30pm – KNITTING: The Wednesday Night Knitters meet tonight at the Cushman Library! Knitters with any level of experience are welcome to join – bring a project to work on! No formal instruction is offered, but if help is needed, there will be many experienced knitters on hand. Great intergenerational opportunity for kids learning how to knit. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE) ♦

  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Sing your heart out with Berkshire Sings!, a community singing group at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Singers of all abilities welcome (adults, too) to sing pop, jazz, folk, showtunes, and more. Sponsored by Bobbie Hallig and Jenny and Adam Hersch. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time! Basketball equipment will be provided by the Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20. 413-565-4163. 95 Grassy Gutter Road. Longmeadow, MA. ($) ♦

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Thursday, January 31st, 2013

10am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Bundle up for a hike at Bear Swamp!  This week’s Winter Woods Hike (with the Trustees of Reservations) will take 1-2 hours, and will include lots of stops for making observations of animal tracks and signs.  Call if you would like to be notified of weather-related changes or cancellations in advance.  413-628-4485.  Ashfield, MA.  (FREE)

3-4pm – TEEN: Learn a new craft skill or an interesting project at the Westfield Athenaeum’s special teen craft time in the new Teen Loft.  413-562-6158.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

3-4pm – METEOROLOGY: Meet an actual television meteorologist!  Sprout Homeschool Science Program is offering a field trip to a television station in Springfield where kids will be able to learn about how air temperature, the water cycle, weather monitoring, and knowledge of climate all help meteorologists make their weather predictions.  Kids will be able to see meteorology equipment and can ask questions, too!  Fits perfectly into elementary-aged studies of earth sciences, especially the water cycle and climate.  Registration required.  Springfield, MA.  (<$)

4-7:30pm – EDUCATOR WORKSHOP/STEM: In preparation for the Science and Sustainability Expo happening on April 13, there will be a KidWind Workshop for educators and parents of youth in grades 4-12 to learn how to build a mini wind turbine.  Build and take home a free model electricity generating wind turbine with your own blade design. Learn about the knowledge, skills and resources needed to bring wind energy education to your youth using standards-based activities in an engaging, hands-on manner. Find out about participating in the KidWind Challenge. Registration is required and space is limited. To register for the workshop, email the following information to sreyes7@mac.com: your name, position, school or organization, youth ages/grades served, address, email, and phone numbers. A confirmation with site location will be emailed to you.  Visit Kidwind.org for more information about the project.  Greenfield, MA (FREE)

6pm – SCRABBLE: At the Westhampton Library!  Play a relaxed game as a family and practice spelling and vocabulary skills.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (As always, please confirm before heading out to these suggestions.)

FEATURED: 12noon-1pm: PILATES: BYOBaby! A Pilates Mat Class for Moms and Babies – modified to accommodate for fussiness! Drop-in class with Anneliese Mordhorst at The Pilates Studio. 104 Russell St. 413-586-3504. Hadley, MA ($15/class)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Health Coalition hosts Toddler Steps Playgroup at the CHP building. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30 or 11am – STORYTIME: Westfield Athenaeum hosts Terrific Twos and Threes – storytime for kids ages 2 and 3! Registration required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11am – PLAYGROUP: The Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys and Girls Club hosts playgroup this morning, including snack, stories, playtime, music, and crafts. 413-583-3527. 488 Chapin Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At the Belchertown Family Center! 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC CLASS: The Northampton Parents Center is open this morning! Thursday mornings feature music class at 11a with Felicia Sloin or Tom Knight (alternating weeks). Located in the basement of Edwards Church. 413-582-2636. Main and State Streets. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC CLASS: Northampton Parent Center is a drop-in Center for children (birth-K) and their caregivers. Thursday morning music classes will be from 11 to 11:30 am with Felicia Sloin and Tom Knight alternating weeks. Everyone is welcome. Located in the lower level of Edwards Church at the corner of State and Main Streets in Northampton. Please use the back door and public parking. Northampton, MA (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Music and Movement Group meets at the Millers Falls Library! 413-863-3214. 23 Bridge Street. Montague, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Springfield Central Library hosts storytime for kiddos 6 months-3 years. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11am – SUPPORT GROUP: Longmeadow Rec Dept hosts a New Moms Group at the Greenwood Center! 413-794-5515. 231 Maple Road. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Palmer-Monson Family Network. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – TALES AND TUNES: At the New Salem Public Library, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013! 978-544-5157. 23 South Main Street. New Salem, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: At the Williston Memorial Library! Stories, snacks, and more. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Preschool story time at the Jones Library in the Children’s Room. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity St. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Lenox Library offers storytime and crafts for kids 3-5 years old. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – STORYTIME: At the Hatfield Library, just for preschoolers! 413-547-9237. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Baby group (siblings welcomed) at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires holds gym group at the Haskins Center! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 12noon-1pm: PILATES: BYOBaby! A Pilates Mat Class for Moms and Babies – modified to accommodate for fussiness! Drop-in class with Anneliese Mordhorst at The Pilates Studio. 104 Russell St. 413-586-3504. Hadley, MA ($15/class)
  • 1-3pm – PLAYGROUP: Baby playgroup at the Forbes Library! In the children’s room with Judy. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 1-2:30pm – SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a post-partum support group for mothers with babies up to a year old. Childcare available. Takes place at Midwifery Care of Holyoke. 413-534-2700. 230 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 2:30-6pm – TEEN: The Belchertown Teen Center is open this afternoon, offering a safe, drug-free, semi-supervised environment where kids can play games, socialize, watch movies, etc. 413-323-8728. 66 State Street. Belchertown, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 5-8pm – ART WALK: On the first Thursday of every month, the Amherst Art Walk takes place. Families can enjoy arts and culture, entertainment, shopping and dining. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA (FREE)
  • 6-10pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Visit the Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College! It’s home to a large variety of natural wonders, including the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks and lots of exhibits on local natural history. 413-542-2165. 11 Barrett Hill Road. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 8pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Sing some chanteys and bar songs at the Brewmaster’s Tavern- and order some food and drinks while you sing! Takes place on the first and third Thursdays of each month. 4 Main Street. 413-268-7741. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE) ♦

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Friday, February 1st, 2013

10:15am – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: The Clark is offering a special gallery tour for new parents – the tour is designed for parents to learn about the museum’s collections in a child-friendly (and interruption-friendly) environment.  413-458-2303.  225 South Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

5-7pm – WINTER CARNIVAL: Greenfield Winter Carnival begins tonight and lasts through the weekend.  Tonight there will be live ice carvings in downtown, and a bonfire, fire dancers and fireworks at Beacon Field. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

7pm – CONCERT: Enjoy an evening of choral music at South Hadley High School!  Local groups performing include the Pioneer Valley Chordsmen, South Hadley High School’s Vocal Roar, and Amherst College’s DQ, and Nice Shoes of Mt. Holyoke.  The concert is a fundraiser for the town’s annual Memorial Day celebration.  Tickets available at the Odyssey Bookshop.  153 Newton Street.  South Hadley, MA.  ($)

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (As always, please confirm before heading out to these suggestions.)

  • 9-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: In the gym at Shutesbury Elementary School, sponsored by the Community Network for Children through June 2013. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in playgroup at the Amherst Family Center. 413-545-0865. 428 Student Union Building (Campus Center Way). Amherst, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • F9:30-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: At Whole Children, for little ones up to age five. 37 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – MOVIE: The Berkshire Athenaeum shows short kids’ movies every Friday morning. Call to check what’s playing! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Hosted by the Easthampton Family Center at the Flywheel space in the Old Town Hall building. 413-527-5496. Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10-11:30am - SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman hosts a postpartum support group for mothers with babies up to a year old at the Community Action Family Center. Childcare available. 413-475-1566. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: On the first and third Fridays of each month, the YMCA of Greenfield hosts Jump Into Fitness playgroup! Lots of fun physical activity. Snack provided. 413-475-1543. 451 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:15-11am – STORYTIME: The Mason Library hosts Young Children’s Storytime this morning! 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: For little ones at the Pelham Library! 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Monson Library’s baby group takes place this morning – kiddos ages 0-2 and their caregivers can visit for stories, songs, and playtime. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 10:30-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Heath Library offers bi-weekly storytime throughout the fall. 413-337-4934. 1 East Main Street. Heath, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Pre-school storytime at the Griswold Memorial Library! 413-624-3619. 12 Main Road. Colrain, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – PLAYGROUP: The Haskins Center hosts baby group! 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by Childcare of the Berkshires in the community room at the Lanesborough Town Hall. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11am – AQUARIUM ADVENTURE: Meet an animal at the Berkshire Museum! Friends from the aquarium will be shared, and kids can learn all about them through stories and activities. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (<$) ♦
  • 11-11:40am – STORYTIME: The Greenfield Library hosts Mother Goose on the Loose, a special lap-sit story hour for kids under the age of 3. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 11-12:50: ICE SKATING: There will be an ice skating session at the Mullins Center for homeschoolers through June ’13. Some skate sessions can be bumped due to UMass ice hockey, so call to confirm before heading out. 413-230-6516. UMass Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA (>$)
  • 2:30-4pm – PLAYGROUP: Toddler group (siblings welcomed) at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 7-10pm – TWEEN: Kids in grades 6-8 can enjoy a fun night out with friends at the Greenwood Center! Hosted by Longmeadow Rec Dept, the event features DJ dance music, and will be supervised by adults. Dress code is the same as school, and students must sign in before entering. Takes place on the second and fourth Friday of each month. 413-565-4163. 231 Maple Road. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE) ♦
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Williams College’s Milham Planetarium offers free shows on Friday evenings! Using the planetarium’s Zeiss Skymaster, Williams students will teach visitors about all sorts of astronomical phenomena, including phases of the moon, retrograde planetary motion, varying colors/temperatures of stars, constellations and zodiac signs, and more! Reservations recommended but not required. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 8:30pm-12:30am – DANCE: Dance the night away at Dance Spree, a family-friendly, substance free, barefoot community night of dancing! Kids of all ages are welcome, but young children must be accompanied by adults. Takes place on the 4th floor of the Fitzwilly’s building. 25 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (<$) ♦

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