Suggested Events for March 16th-22nd, 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

This is the last weekend to see the bulb shows at Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse and Smith College Botanic Garden! (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

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

Saturday Morning Music Party: March 16th Hilltown Families & Flywheel present another Saturday Morning Music Party in Easthampton!

Saturday, March 16th from 10am-12noon - MUSIC PARTY: Hilltown Families and Flywheel Presents a Saturday Morning Music Party with special guest, Shiprock & Anchordog. Bring the family for another family friendly morning of live music & free pancakes! Local group, Shiprock & Anchordog will bring us a mixed media performance of theater and video set to music in the Americana vein about the story of two dog heroes and their adventures through forests, oceans and dreamscapes. Free pancakes will be flipped onto your plates beginning at 10am. Kids of all ages welcome! Happens at Flywheel. 43 Main Street (Old Town Hall). Easthampton, MA (>$)

Saturday, March 16th  from 9am-3pm – MAPLE SUGARING: Celebrate a delicious New England tradition at the town of Chester’s 28th annual Maple Fest!  Start the day with a pancake breakfast at the First Congregational Church.  Then, spend the rest of the day learning all about maple sugaring (you can even take a wagon ride to the High Meadows Sugarhouse), visiting with farm animals, listening to live music from the Pioneer Valley Fiddlers, and more.  There will be food available all day long, just in case you miss the pancakes!  Skyline Trail.  Chester, MA.  ($)

Sunday, March 17th at 11:30am – ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Western MA’s most Irish city! The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade includes floats, dancers, and other performers from local groups and marches all over the city! Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

BULLETIN BOARD

March 17

Are you hungry for something to do this Sunday? Head to The Eric Carle Museum to celebrate The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day on March 17th from 12noon-5pm. Make your own caterpillars from found objects in the Art Studio. Join special story times. Meet the Very Hungry Caterpillar in costume and get a caterpillar tattoo. There will be caterpillar cookies, giveaways & a sale in The Carle Bookshop. Translated in over 50 languages, and celebrated a world over, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is universally known as one of the greatest childhood classics of all time. Bring a picnic lunch & spend the day! For more info visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road. Amherst, MA (FREE with Museum Admission)

March 22

ArtSpark, dance party and auction to benefit the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School, Friday March 22nd, 7 to 11 p.m. at Look Park’s Garden House in Florence, MA. Music by the O-Tones, food, cash bar, silent and live auction with eclectic mix of handcrafted furniture, art, local business gift certificates, travel, and one-of-a-kind events up for bid. Tickets $20, available at Cooper’s Corner, State Street Fruit Store, the Creamery and at the door. For more information, 413-268-3421.

RH Conwell SchoolRH Conwell Community School of Worthington, MA is accepting applications for the 2013-2014 school year with openings in all classes from Pre-K through 6th grade. Located in the heart of the Hilltowns of Western MA, Conwell is an affordable private school with a supportive environment, offering a rigorous, encouraging, and developmentally appropriate program to all students. Children are taught to think creatively, read critically, and reason logically. Conwell has a high level of parent and community involvement in both classroom and after school activities. Students are valued as individuals and learning plans are tailored to meet their needs and learning styles. For more information visit online at www.conwellcec.org or call 413-238-5856.

Advertise your Summer Camp with Hilltown FamiliesMARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 24th, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2013 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about our marketing package and early bird discounts HERE.

ADVERTISE HERE: 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.

Habitat for Humanity is beginning some new local projects – and the organization is searching for families to become new homeowners!  There will be projects taking place in Northampton, Easthampton, and Turners Falls, and families who are able to make small mortgage payments and participate in the home’s construction are encouraged to apply.  Learn more about the opportunities available and how to be successful in the application project on Saturday. March 16th from 10am-12noon at Greenfield Savings Bank  (282 Avenue A.) in  Turners Falls, MA.  (FREE)

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

Enter for a chance to win tickets!

Next Saturday, March 23rd from 10am-2pm – SUSTAINABILITY: A Community Resiliency Summit at the Cummington Community House.  This is a wonderful opportunity for families to network and find opportunities to get engaged in the community. Open to all, regardless of geography. Panels are planned on the topics “Food, Farm & Local Economy” and “Strengthening Local Institutions & Planning for Emergencies.” Lunch will be provided by the Village Church, followed by networking and discussions about steps we can take as a community to strengthen resiliency. Child-care will be provided.  Pre-register if possible. 413-634-5005. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)

Easter EventsNext Sunday, March 24th from 12noon-4pm: MUSEUM ADVENTURES: There’s more to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute than its magnificent paintings. Celebrate the remarkable diversity and beauty of decorative arts in the collection—from elaborate works of silver and elegant furniture to charming teacups and colorful glass objects—at a free Decorative Arts Family Day. The day’s program offers plenty of fun for parents and children alike. Music, demonstrations, and art projects are just some of the activities that will highlight the decorative arts in the Clark’s collection. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street. Willamstown, MA (FREE)

On Friday, April 5th from 4-7pm: ACT OF KINDNESS: Flowers for Friends: A Free Family Friday Night Event at The Art Garden with Hilltown Families. Sign up to bring your kids and come join your neighbors in a free community art event, painting terracotta flower pots to plant with pansies and then pass along to those in your community.  With the idea of spreading kindness and beauty, families are encouraged to pass their posies along to an elder in their neighborhood, or their librarian, classroom teacher, receptionist at the hospital or animal shelter, or other community space of their choice. Space is limited. Must pre-register. Shelburne Falls, MA (FREE)


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
March 16th-22nd, 2013

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, March 16th, 2013

Chris Curtis of South Hadley writes: “Every March my family looks forward to the MapleFest on Skyline Trail in Chester. The highlight is the hayride to High Meadow Farm to see how maple syrup is made and a taste of the wonderful syrup! The pancake breakfast and farm animal exhibit is also great. This is a great New England tradition to get us out and welcome spring!”

6-10am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) offers 4-hours of commercial-free family programing every Saturday, including the Hilltown Family Variety Show and Spare the Rock. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org.

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. – This week join HFVS Guest DJ Steve Weeks for a eclectic musical journey filled with new  kindie releases, old favorites, and  a few surprises.  You’ll hear electro-pop, a capella, bluegrass, rock, Celtic and more as Steve explores the “Variety” in the Hilltown Variety Show.- Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 5 years of archived shows.

SUGAR SHACKS: Sugar shacks all over Western MA are open, boiling down sap, flipping jacks, and serving both up fresh out of the kitchen.  Find a recommended Sugar Shack here.

9am-12noon – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Berkshire Trail Elementary School’s 3rd Annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser bring the community together again! Come sit with your neighbors and enjoy pancakes, french toast, local sausage, local coffee and good company. Enjoy breakfast while helping raise funds for Berkshire Trail Elementary.  Held at the school. 413-634-5327. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FUNDRAISER)

9am-3pm – MAPLE SUGARING: Celebrate a delicious New England tradition at the town of Chester’s 28th annual Maple Fest!  Start the day with a pancake breakfast at the First Congregational Church.  Then, spend the rest of the day learning all about maple sugaring (you can even take a wagon ride to the High Meadows Sugarhouse), visiting with farm animals, listening to live music from the Pioneer Valley Fiddlers, and more.  There will be food available all day long, just in case you miss the pancakes!  Skyline Trail.  Chester, MA.  ($)

9:30-11am – LEGOS: Build to your heart’s content at the Lenox Library!  The annual LEGO Build-a-thon takes place today, and kids will be able to choose from a huge variety of blocks for building.  Registration required.  413-637-0197.  18 Main Street.  Lenox, MA.  (FREE)

10am – EASTER EGG HUNT: The Town of Otis will host an Easter Egg Hunt and Games event. BYO basked and arrive at the town hall. For more info call 413-269-4541. Otis, MA (FREE)

9:30am-12:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: You can’t judge a dog by its bark, but you can definitely judge trees by theirs!  Learn the skills necessary to identify trees by their outer coating – a particularly useful trick during months when the trees are free of leaves and buds.  This event is for ages 12+ and will be lead by Michael Wojtech (author of Bark, a book on tree identification) at Northfield Mountain.  Participants will also learn about why particular tree species look the way that they do.  Perfect for budding naturalists!  Registration required.  800-859-2960.  Millers Falls Road.  Northfield, MA.  ($)

10-11:30am – OUTDOOR ADVENTURE: Though there’s still a bit of snow on the ground, spring is near and there are lots of signs of the coming season change.  Explore Laughing Brook Wildlife Sanctuary this morning to learn about the migratory birds who have returned to the area and to search for sprouting early plants.  Registration required.  413-584-3009.  Hampden, MA.  (<$)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: Visit Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse for the botanic garden’s 2013 bulb show!  With a Mediterranean theme, the show features a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs, as well as other beautiful flowering plants and shrubs.  Families can learn about unique types of plants, and a visit to the show can be used to supplement studies of biodiversity and plant anatomy.  413-538-2116.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s annual spring bulb is taking place now!  Visit the garden to see beautiful flowers and to learn about the growing process of bulbs.  Pair a visit to the show with a family study of how plants grow and compare seed growth to bulb growth.  413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

10:30am-12noon – CABIN FEVER: Wish that summer would come quicker so that outside play could be more frequent and require fewer layers?  How about a beach party! There’s nothing that can make the seasons change faster, but the Berkshire Athenaeum is hosting a summer-themed celebration anyway!  This storytime (featuring fun activities, crafts, and more – not just stories!) is for toddlers and preschoolers.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

10:30am and 1pm – FILM: Images Cinema’s International Family Film Festival continues today with screenings of Party Mix, a collection of beautiful, artistic, and heartwarming short films from all around the world.  Great for kids interested in film, or families looking for a good movie to see!  413-458-5612.  50 Spring Street.  Williamstown, MA.  ($)

10am-1:30pm – FILM STUDIES: The Mason Library will screen the films of Georges Méliès, a French illusionist and filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of cinema, including the classic, A Trip to the Moon.  413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)

11am – KIDS’ CONCERT: The Northampton Community Music Center’s Family Concert Series continues today at the Eric Carle Museum.  The Flannery Brothers bring their thoughtful and interesting music to the museum – their songs feature ukulele, accordion, percussion, keyboards, and more.  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

11am – LOCAL HISTORY: There are many types of events that can change a community – and fires are one of the most noticeable and quickest tragedies that can affect a town.  Learn today about notable fires in Williamstown’s history with fire chief Craig Pedercini!  The lecture will touch on important events in the town’s history, and can help to add details and context to local history.  Takes place at the Williamstown Historical Society in the Milne Library.  413-458-2160.  1095 Main Street.  Williamstown, MA.  (FREE)

11am-1pm – SUSTAINABILITY: Learn how to efficiently make your own Black Gold at the Lee Library!  Families will learn – thanks to the Center for Eco Technology – all about using their food waste to create delicious compost for gardens and houseplants to enjoy.  all to register.  413-445-4556.  100 Main Street.  Lee, MA.  (FREE)

12noon – MYO EASTER EGGS: Marion Abrams will be leading a Family Batik Ukrainian Egg Workshop at the Whately Library.  Children ages 8yo+ will learn basic skills for beautiful traditional Ukrainian Pysanky. 413-247-9807. Whately, MA (FREE)

1-3pm – IMPROV: Looking for something funny to spice up your Saturday?  Feel like doing some shopping?  And love supporting local families?  Visit UMass’ Newman Center for Bringing Home Nellie, an event featuring a silent auction (filled with lots of local foods and goods, books, hotel packages, etc.) and a performance by improv comedy troupe The Ha Ha’s!  The silent auction will help to raise money to bring a local family’s adopted son and daughter home from a Bulgarian orphanage.  472 North Pleasant Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

1:30pm – READING: Kids who are shy about reading out loud can practice reading to the least judgemental and most patient reading buddy ever – specially trained therapy dogs!  The Westfield Athenaeum’s Read to Rover events are popular, so make sure to call to reserve a spot beforehand.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

2 and 7pm – MUSICAL: Northampton High School presents Annie!  The beloved tale of a curly-haired orphan features local students and takes place in the school’s auditorium.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

2 and 7:30pm – MUSICAL: The wind is whipping down the plains tonight at Amherst High School – students perform Oklahoma in the school’s theater!  21 Matoon Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

3pm – CELTIC MUSIC: The City Singers of Hartford present Celtic Fire at the First Congregational Church of Amherst!  The show celebrates the music, traditions and ancient roots of the Celtic people – happy St. Patrick’s Day!  413-253-3456.  165 Main Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

3pm – TEA: Ventfort Hall is hosting a special Shamrock Tea in honor of St. Patrick’s Day!  Visit the beautiful Guilded Age mansion for a beautiful and delicious event, featuring fiddler Eileen Markland playing a variety of Celtic-inspired music.  Best for kids with audience skills.  Advance tickets required.  413-637-3206.  104 Walker Street.  Lenox, MA.  ($$)

3pm – MYO EASTER EGGS: Learn to make naturally-dyed eggs with the Berkshire Co-op!  Families will learn how to use food, flowers, leaves, and more to create beautifully decorated, all-natural holiday eggs.  You’ll get to take the eggs that you dye home, and make sure to wear clothes that can get messy.  413-528-9697.  42 Bridge Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – THEATER: What if in the Bible’s Garden of Eden lived a couple named Adam and Steve, instead of Adam and Eve?!  Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School presents, “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” at the Academy of Music.  The show follows Adam and Steve, as well as Jane and Mabel, from the garden all the way through religious history to present times – the satirical show is incredibly funny, and takes a critical look at history, relationships, and faith.  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6:30pm-Midnight – CASINO NIGHT: Parents can enjoy a night out for a good cause! The 10th Annual Amherst Monte Carlo Night in support of the High School Athletics program will be held at Valentine Hall, Amherst College.   For one evening Valentine Hall is transFormed into an elegant mini-Casino complete with 2 bands (jazz and dance), complimentary local gourmet food, wine tastings and a full Funny Money Cash Bar.  Amherst College. Amherst, MA (FUNDRAISER)

7pm – BALLROOM DANCING: Berkshire Ballroom Dancers host a St. Patrick’s Day dance featuring a Rumba lesson and live DJ music!  Dance the night away practicing your newly-learned moves.  Takes place at the Masonic Temple.  116 South Street.  Pittsfield, MA.  ($)

7:30pm - ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with The Pikeys at the Palmer Historical and Cultural Center!  Have a beer or a glass of wine and enjoy live Scottish, Irish, and French-Canadian music played on guitar, banjo, and fiddle.  413-289-9295.  2072 Main Street.  Palmer, MA.  ($)

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Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Stephanie Billings of Florence writes: “My children’s preschool takes a field trip to the Hadley Sugar Shack every sugar season. Joe gives a great tour to the kids and adults that includes science, maple facts and hands on demonstrations. It’s a great way to integrate nature, science, and local food awareness. During the sugar season we try different sugar shacks as a great way to explore the valley and experience spring.”

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.

SUGAR SHACKS: Sugar shacks all over Western MA are open, boiling down sap, flipping jacks, and serving both up fresh out of the kitchen.  Find a recommended Sugar Shack here.

10am-4pm – BOTANY: Visit Mt. Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse for the botanic garden’s 2013 bulb show!  With a Mediterranean theme, the show features a wide variety of spring-blooming bulbs, as well as other beautiful flowering plants and shrubs.  Families can learn about unique types of plants, and a visit to the show can be used to supplement studies of biodiversity and plant anatomy.  413-538-2116.  50 College Street.  South Hadley, MA.  (FREE)

10am-4pm – BOTANY: The Smith College Botanic Garden’s annual spring bulb is taking place now!  Visit the garden to see beautiful flowers and to learn about the growing process of bulbs.  Pair a visit to the show with a family study of how plants grow and compare seed growth to bulb growth.  413-585-2740.  16 College Lane.  Northampton, MA.  (DONATION)

11:30am – ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in western Mass’ most Irish city – the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a longstanding annual tradition, and is filled with floats, music, costumes, and green and gold galore!  Holyoke, MA.  (FREE)

12:30 and 2:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURE: Celebrate Very Hungry Caterpillar Day with the Eric Carle Museum!  The well known caterpillar – whose hunger makes him munch holes in delicious looking foods – has his very own holiday, and the museum is going to screen a film version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, followed by storytime.  The second event will also include a chance to meet the caterpillar himself!  413-658-1100.  125 West Bay Road.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

2pm – THEATER: What if in the Bible’s Garden of Eden lived a couple named Adam and Steve, instead of Adam and Eve?!  Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School presents, “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” at the Academy of Music.  The show follows Adam and Steve, as well as Jane and Mabel, from the garden all the way through religious history to present times – the satirical show is incredibly funny, and takes a critical look at history, relationships, and faith.  413-584-9032.  274 Main Street.  Northampton, MA.  ($)

2pm – FILM/LITERATURE: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center hosts author Brian Selznick for a screening of the movie adaptation of his book, Hugo.  The film (meant for families!) features Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese.  Following the screening, Selznick discuss the process of transforming the book into film, and will answer audience questions.  413-528-0100.  14 Castle Street.  Great Barrington, MA.  ($)

2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema is hosting a Miyazaki film festival throughout the spring – this week’s film is My Neighbor Totoro, a 1988 film about two girls and the creatures who live near their countryside home… magically, they can only be seen by children.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

2-4pm – UKULELE: Do you play the uke?  Jam away at the Jones Library with Downtown Sounds’ Joe Blumenthal and his group, AEIOUkes.  413-259-3090.  43 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

4-6pm – ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Westhampton Library – the library will be serving tea and hosting a performance from the Mother Pluckers Harp Ensemble.  The trio of harpists will be accompanied by singers and a guitarist, and will play beautiful Irish music.  There will even be some sing-a-longs!  Not a children’s event, but open to kids with audience skills who appreciate music.  413-527-5386.  1 North Road.  Westhampton, MA.  (FREE)

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Monday, March 18th, 2013

5:30-7:30pm - PARENT WORKSHOP:  Have you learned CPR?  Childcare of the Berkshires is offering a CPR class for parents tonight – call to make sure there’s space.  Knowing CPR is an empowering just-in-case skill every parent should have.  413-664-4821.  21 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – STORYTIME: Get dressed for bed and head to the Westfield Athenaeum for pajama storytime!  Enjoy stories in your comfiest duds.  413-568-7833.  6 Elm Street.  Westfield, MA.  (FREE)

6-8pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Clang, clang, clang goes the trolley!  This classic line from the Trolley Song could have been written about Western Massachusetts during the heyday of trolley transportation.  The Wistariahurst Museum hosts a lecture tonight on the history of trolley transportation in the area – visitors will learn about the era through photos, objects, costumes, and more.  413-322-5660.  238 Cabot Street.  Holyoke, MA.  (<$)

7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: What would Colonial residents of the Pioneer Valley have eaten, grown, and preserved?  Was it similar to the things we’re still growing here?  Learn all about the food-related practices of those who settled this area at the year’s first meeting of the Pelham Historical society!  Takes place in the Ramsdell Room at the town’s community center.  413-253-2739.  2 South Valley Road.  Pelham, MA.  (FREE)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT

6pm – COMMUNITY DINNER: Berkshire Grown celebrates local food and the coming of spring at their March Maple Dinner tonight!  The event is a five course dinner (plus cocktails beforehand!) that celebrates not only local food, but talented local chefs as well.  Takes place at the Cranwell Resort.  413-637-1364.  55 Lee Road.  Lenox, MA.  ($$$)

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. ($) ♦
  • 6-8pm – BIRTH CIRCLE: Gathered Resources of Women (GROW) offers a drop in support group for pregnant women and their support team to explore the different aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Hosted at Shima Boutique. 413-346-1055. 65 Main St. North Adams, MA (FREE)
  • 7pm – MOTHER SUPPORT: MotherWoman bi-monthly meetings at Cradle, 3rd floor of Thornes Marketplace. 413-341-5282. Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 7-8:30pm – TEEN: Visit Longmeadow High School for open gym time! Basketball equipment will be provided by Longmeadow Rec Dept, and the event is open to anyone ages 13-20. Runs through 11/12. 413-565-4163. 95 Grassy Gutter Road. Longmeadow, MA. ($) ♦

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Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

10am – BREASTFEEDING: La Leche League of Northampton hosts a meeting at the Amherst Family Center, located in the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House (entrance in rear).  All nursing mamas & babes + siblings welcome for breastfeeding support, discussion, and Q&A time.  121 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

12noon – THEATER: PYP Productions presents Jack and the Beanstalk at the Shea Theater!  413-522-8616.  71 Avenue A.  Turners Falls, MA.

6pm – FILM/LAW: The Berkshire Athenaeum screens The Overlooked Suspect, a film about the notorious OJ Simpson trial.  Presented with an introduction by Albert Harper of the Forensic Science Consortium, the film is part of the Cinema of Law screening series.  For adults and older students interested in law. 413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – FILM/LITERATURE: Amherst Cinema screens the film version of Harper Lee’s English class staple, To Kill a Mockingbird.  If you’ve read the book as a family (or your kids read it in school), see the cinematic adaptation and compare it to the story.  Part of the cinema’s Books into Films series.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

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, March 20th, 2013

3:30-4:30pm – LEGOS: The Berkshire Athenaeum has started a LEGO Club!  Today’s meeting will have a theme of dinosaurs and dragons – offering lots of space for creativity and building genius.  413-499-9480.  1 Wendell Avenue.  Pittsfield, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – FILM/SOCIAL STUDIES: The Dickinson Library screens A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet. Spanning 50 years of grassroots and global activism, this Sundance documentary brings to light the vital stories of the environmental movement where people fought — and succeeded — against enormous odds. 413-498-2455.  Main Street.  Northfield, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – SUSTAINABILITY: What’s permaculture?  Learn tonight at the Sunderland Library – this workshop will share lots of information on gardening and advice for growing in the Northeast.  413-665-2642.  20 School Street.  Sunderland, MA.  (FREE)

7pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema is hosting a Miyazaki film festival throughout the spring – this week’s film is My Neighbor Totoro, a 1988 film about two girls and the creatures who live near their countryside home… magically, they can only be seen by children.  413-253-2547.  28 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  ($)

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, March 21st, 2013

12:15pm – HISTORY: The Springfield Museums’ Museums a la Carte lecture today is all about World War I – history buffs will learn about the Western Front!  Ed and Libby Klekowski, PBS documentary makers, will share information about the war remains (bunkers, trenches, artillery, and more) that can be found in the woodlands covering the area that once was home to one of the most brutal fights Europe had ever seen (at the time).  800-625-7738.  21 Edwards Street.  Springfield, MA.  (FREE with museum admission)

6-8pm – PARENT WORKSHOP: Do you struggle with helping your special needs child get to sleep easily?  The Community Network for Children is hosting a workshop titled, “Promoting Sleep in Children with Special Needs.”  Facilitated by Michelle Homer, RN, the workshop is open to parents of children who are early childhood-elementary aged.  Dinner served at 5:30pm, and childcare is available with advance notice.  RSVP requested.  Takes place at Erving Elementary School.  978-544-5157.  28 Northfield Road.  Erving, MA.  (FREE)

6:30pm – LITERATURE: Join the Jury at the Odyssey Bookshop Courtroom as they put the sirens, jezebels, murderesses, thieves and other female villains on trial. Heckle and shout at infamous ladies such as Cleopatra, Bloody Mary, Mata Hari, Typhoid Mary, Anne Boylen, Calamity Jane and many more! Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple will read from their new book Bad Girls: Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves and Other Female Villains. The trial will be performed by the Michael E. Smith Middle School Drama Club and the audience in encouraged to dress as their favorite women from history. All ages welcome. The Odyssey Bookshop 413-534-7307. 9 College St. South Hadley, MA (FREE)

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

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, March 22nd, 2013

9:15am-12:30pm - CITY PLANNING: What makes a city center appealing?  Delicious places to eat?  Cute shops?  Beautiful architecture?  Or is it simply that the area is walkable, making exploration both comfortable and relatively easy?  The Collaborative for Educational Services hosts a workshop titled, “Walkable Town Centers,” at which community members can learn about all of the things necessary for a town to offer a fantastic, walkable center and its importance for community development!  97 Hawley Street.  Northampton, MA.  (FREE)

11am-12noon – PARENT WORKSHOP: Learn about baby language with the Family Resource Center!  Parents will learn all about many of the cues that babies communicate to us (sometimes successfully, and sometimes with difficulty!).  Registration required.  413-664-4821.  21 State Street.  North Adams, MA.  (FREE)

12:15pm – LOCAL HISTORY: The Amherst Historical Society hosts History Bites, a lunchtime history talk!  This week’s talk is presented by Bob Drinkwater, and will provide a brief history of gravestones in the Pioneer Valley.  Cemetery studies can help us earn quite a bit about community members past, as well as the culture, traditions, and socio-economic status of Pioneer Valley residents past.  Takes place at Simeon Strong House.  Best for older students. 67 Amity Street.  Amherst, MA.  (FREE)

6pm – BOYS/LITERATURE: Clapp Memorial Library hosts, ” Connecting Boys With Books,” with Michael Sullivan.  Michael brings more than fifteen years experience as a Children’s Librarian and Library Director, storyteller, chess teacher, and  author of the books such as Connecting Boys With Books ( ALA , 2003) and Connecting Boys With  Books 2: Closing the Reading Gap ( ALA , 2009). He will share  practical, proven, and sometimes off-beat suggestions on how to turn boys into life-long readers. 413-323-0417. 19 S Main St. Belchertown, MA (FREE)

6pm – RECITAL: Grasshoppa Dance’s children’s performance group will present choreographed and improvised dances that recently toured to local Seniors’ residences.  What’s more, Louisa Kimball will perform her solo, The Eye of the Beholder, and the Dance Generators will join the kids in new work: The Generations. Inspiring and engaging for all ages. 413-634-5431. Cummington Community House. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA (FREE)

6:30pm – MUSICAL: Mt. Everett Regional High School will present the musical thriller, Sweeney Todd, at the Thomas A. Consolati Performing Arts Center.  The chilling and suspenseful masterpiece of murderous barber-ism and culinary crime tells the infamous tale of the unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking revenge against the judge who framed him and destroyed his family. Show 3/22 & 3/23 at 6:30pm, and 3/24 at 2pm. 413-229-8778. Sheffield, MA (>$)

7pm – FILM : Pothole Pictures screens, “Bully,” a film that follows five young students in order to illustrate the role that the issue of bullying plays in society.  The film highlights the difficulty that teachers and parents surrounding the students have in dealing with the issue, and two of the students featured tragically commit suicide (PG-13).  Live music by Ken Swiatek begins at 7pm, film to be screened at 7:30pm.  Takes place at Memorial Hall.  413-625-2896.  51 Bridge Street.  Shelburne Falls, MA.  (<$)

7pm – FAMILY PERFORMANCE: Enjoy a fun and entertaining family night out – Funktionlust and The Unusuals host the Charlie Brown Show at Smith College’s Flanigan Theater!  The show features a performance from Whole Children’s hip-hop dance group, as well as their Joyful Chorus.  Northampton High School’s improv troupes will perform, and there will of course be some Charlie Brown, too!  The event celebrates and supports Northampton High School’s Best Buddies Club, a group that is part of a global volunteer effort to help create friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Elm Street.  Northampton, MA.  (<$)

7:30pm – MUSICAL: Hampshire Regional presents their spring musical, “Anything Goes,” with music by Cole Porter. This high energy, big tap show, will be held in the HRHS Auditorium. 413-527-7680. 19 Stage Road. Westhampton, MA ($)

8-9:50pm – ICE SKATING: Collins-Moylan Arena is hosting a special DJ-ed public skating event tonight!  Best for older kids and parents, it will be a lights-out skate… bring glowsticks!  41 Barr Avenue.  Greenfield, MA.  (<$, skate rental extra)

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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