Suggested Events for May 17th-23rd, 2014

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

SUGGEST AN EVENT

“Hilltown Families has been my place to go to each week when planning what to do together with our family time. I love getting an easy weekly reminder with a clear list for the weekend days of what’s happening. I love stumbling across things from people I know on the bulletin board and listserv. And giving us an easy spot to figure out the best summer camps…summer things to do – all around wonderful job for our community!” Jagdish L. (Amherst, MA)

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, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. 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… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

SUMMER CAMPS IN WESTERN MA

Summer Camps in  Massachusetts

“Hilltown Families continues to be my go-to place for family events. I really appreciated the organized list of summer camps!”

Over 50 Summer Camps to choose from! Now is the time to start signing up for summer camp! Check out our featured post, 2014 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA for a comprehensive list of over 50 summer camps & programs in the region! Summer opportunities featured range from music, art, farming, theater, dance, science, nature, sports, speaking, yoga, rock ‘n roll… to traditional summer day or overnight camps/programs! There’s something for all ages, toddlers to teens! Check it out and start making your summer plans! — Do you have a summer camp or program you’d like to have included in our comprehensive list? Find out how you can submit your listing HERE.

BULLETIN BOARD

May 11-26

Joyful learning starts with Oak Meadow! Save from Mother’s Day to Memorial Day. Enjoy 15% off Oak Meadow’s engaging, experiential homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12, and 5% off enrollment in their fully accredited distance learning school. Oak Meadow helps you set a natural rhythm of learning for your family through their creative and challenging curriculum. Their compassionate, child-centered approach encourages critical thinking and intellectual development through hands-on activities, interdisciplinary projects, and thoughtful reading and writing practice. This May treat Mom to great savings, and treat the family to a great home learning experience! Offer runs from May 11 through May 26.

May 18

Abundance Farm Work Party and Celebration! Abundance Farm is an emerging Food Justice Farm and Outdoor Classroom on 253 Prospect Street in Northampton. This partnership between Congregation B’nai Israel, Northampton Survival Center and Lander-Grinspoon Academy will support local food security and serve as a unique, learning environment. Help launch the Farm on Sunday, May 18th. From 10-12 volunteers will create garden beds and plant an orchard. Delicious lunch for volunteers from 12-1. Celebrate from 1-3 with live music and activities for all ages including sports, cob oven baking, seed bomb workshop and bike blending! Come dressed to work and bring tools if you have them. For more info info@abundancefarm.org or visit www.abundancefarm.org.

May 21

Wednesday, May 21st, 6:30pm. Visit the Odyssey Bookshop for an adventure in reading! Tony DiTerlizzi, New York Times bestselling author, will present The Battle for WondLa, the final installment WondLa series. Dress up/costume booth, fun activities and book signing! Award winning author and illustrator, Tony DiTerlizzi, is a creator of fanciful picture books like, Adventure of Meno, Ted, and The Spider & the Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to books like Kenny and the Dragon and The Search for WondLa. His series, The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Holly Black), has sold millions, been adapted into film, and translated into over thirty languages. For more information visit www.odysseybks.com. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., South Hadley, MA.

May 22

Amherst Montessori School is holding a Toddler Open House on May 22, 3:30-5:30 PM. Meet the Toddler faculty and learn about their Montessori programs for children ages 12 months – 3 years. Enrolling now for the 2014-2015 year in full-and part-time programs. Inquire about their Spanish-English bilingual classroom, La Casita! Join them in a joyful, beautiful classroom that is prepared for the child’s emerging independence. The Toddler program includes music, art, practical life, grace and courtesy, language, outdoor play, and more in a child-centered and respectful setting. To learn more, contact Laura Miller, Director of Admission, at lmiller@amherstmontessori.org, or go to www.amherstmontessori.org.

May 24

May 24 at The Carle: Meet Eric Carle and Dance with Mister G! Enjoy a special day at The Carle on Saturday, May 24 in Amherst, MA, with a book signing with Eric Carle and a performance by Mister G! Meet the beloved children’s book author and illustrator and celebrate 45 years of The Very Hungry Caterpillar at 10am. Become a Member and enter at 9am! Then, enjoy a must-see performance by award-winning artist Mister G, who was recently named by People Magazine as one of the “Best Live Acts for Kids and Families.” Performances begin at 1pm and 3pm and are $8. For book signing guidelines and event details, visit www.carlemuseum.org.

Common SchoolThe Common School in Amherst, MA, has openings in the Nursery Program! Children age 3 to 5 are brimming with wonder and curiosity. Hands-on investigation is at the core of the program. What young child doesn’t love digging, pouring, drawing, cooking, singing, building, and painting? Science, math, art, and language are integrated into each day’s activities. And with their teachers’ help, their sense of wonder leads them to love learning. With a 6:1 ratio in the classroom, teachers are able to nurture the social and emotional growth of each child. For more information visit online at www.commonschool.org or call 413-256-8989.

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See afterschool class, community event, open house, audition, homeschool program, workshop, volunteer opportunity, wellness program, local business or non-profit featured here in the Bulletin Board section of our list of Weekly Suggested Events and in our weekly eNewsletter, reaching thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! Find out more about our enhanced publicity packages and options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by emailing us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com.

Become a Contributing WriterJOIN 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.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
May 17th-23rd, 2014

SaturdaySunday
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday

Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets

Berkshire Family Fun

Events Happening in the Hilltowns | ♦ On-going Events

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

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. Music from South Africa Episode with Guest DJ, Debbie Lan of Grenadilla will rebroadcast this week. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from 7 years

Saturday, May 17, 7am-9pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The 35th Annual Long Meddowe Days celebration takes place May 17 and May 18 on the Town Green! The event celebrates Longmeadow’s long and fascinating history and is the main fundraiser for the Longmeadow Historical Society. The day kicks off with a free pancake breakfast and 5K race/walk, then continues with food vendors; craft vendors; tours of the “Olde Burying Yard,” Storrs House, and the First Church; kids activities; Civil War reenactors; a community campfire; and more. There is something for all ages to enjoy at Long Meddowe Days! Longmeadow, MA. (FREE ENTRANCE)

Saturday, May 17, 8am-10am – BIRD STUDIES: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for “Birding Beyond Your Backyard” at Housatonic Flats. This walk is great for beginners who want to learn how to identify birds of field and forest. Housatonic Flats is a great birding site with flat, level ground, right along the Housatonic River. Older students who want to learn more about birds will enjoy this fun stroll. 413-499-0596. Route 7. Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, May 17, 9am-11am – PLANT STUDIES: Learn about tree identification at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Michael Wojtech, author of Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast, as part of the Northfield’s Woodlands series of programs. This is the second in a two-part program with Wojtech – part one is an animated lecture on tree identification in New England, which takes place on May 14 from 6:30pm-8:30pm, and part two is an outdoor workshop focused on identifying trees and learning about their bark. Older students interested in plants and ecology will enjoy this program. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.(FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 9am-1pm – FISHING: MassWildlife’s Angler Education Program and the Wilbraham Parks and Recreation Department for a Family Fishing Festival at Spec Pond. This is a learn-to-fish event for families that includes instruction in a non-competitive environment. This is a great event for kids who want to learn to fish, and for families who want to spend some time outdoors together. Call for more information. 508-389-6309. 2540 Boston Road. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 9am-1pm – PLANT SALE: Spend the morning on the beautiful grounds of the Wistariahurst Museum at their annual plant sale, held by the Wistariahurst gardeners and the Western Mass Master Gardening Association. This plant sale is a great place to find reasonable priced plants, learn about the gardens of Wistariahurst, and get answers to any questions you might have about gardening. Students of all ages who are interested in plants and/or gardening will enjoy this sale! Read our post, Plants Sales Support Multidisciplinary Learning in Your Backyard. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, May 17, 9am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Enjoy a day of railroad-themed fun at Chester on Track! The event begins with a parade through town, then the historic railroad station will be open, and families can visit to learn about the many different type of trains found in Chester and the town’s railway history. The old jail will also be open to visitors, a mineral collection will be on display, there will be reenactors from Storrowton Village, a train show, tractor pull, horse rides, a craft fair, live music, a bake and book sale, and more. Fun and educational for all ages! Chester, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 9am-5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/FUNDRAISER: The second annual BLOOM! fundraiser takes place on May 17 at Benson Place as part of Hilltown Bee Week. The day includes a farm walk, a workshop on growing a pollinator garden, a workshop on Mason Bee Nesting Tubes, Piti Theatre Company’s performance of “To Bee or Not to Bee,” and a family contra dance. This festival is fun for all ages. Proceeds will raise money for public and publicly accessible gardens in Franklin County. 413-337-5340. Heath, MA. $

Saturday, May 17, 9am-5pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: The Zoo in Forest Park is holding Endangered Species Day for visitors of all ages. Learn about why it’s important to protect endangered species and how you can help protect them. Visitors will also have a chance to meet and feed the Zoo’s Poitou donkey, Mikey. Free with admission. 413-733-2251. 302 Sumner Avenue. Springfield, MA. $

Saturday, May 17, 10am-12noon – HIKING/PLANT STUDIES: Hilltown Land Trust steward Hannah Chamberlain will lead a hike in search of wildflowers on May 17 in Chester. All ages can attend this moderately difficult hike and search for common spring flowers, as well as rarer ones. Please call for directions. 413-628-4485 x4. Kinnebrook Road. Chester, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 10am-1pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Help the Pelham Historical Society do some Spring cleaning on May 17! Bring a duster and come prepared to clean the museum in preparation for Summer. Older students can gain valuable experience by helping out at this event. 351 Amherst Road. Pelham, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 17, 10am-2pm – SAFETY FAIR: Families are invited to the Touch a Truck Public Safety Field Day at Greenfield Community College. Here, kids and families can learn important safety information and have fun climbing into police cars, mobile communication trailers, fire engines, and more; meeting Smokey Bear; seeing live action demos; seeing helicopters close up; participating in raffles; and enjoying great food. 1 College Drive. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 10am-2pm – SEED/PLANT SWAP: The Hilltown Seed Saving Network‘s second annual Spring Seed and Plant Exchange takes place at the Community House on May 17. Find the perfect plant to grow this season and swap seeds for summer crops! Bring the whole family and exchange gardening tips with neighbors and friends. Seeds, seedlings, and perennial divisions are all accepted at this event. Read our post, Plants Sales Support Multidisciplinary Learning in Your Backyard.413-634-5013. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 10am-4pm – HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS: Experience life in an early New England kitchen at Historic Deerfield‘s Open Hearth Cooking demonstrations! Learn about preserved foods and the meaning of the term “bottom of the barrel.” These cooking demonstrations allow visitors of all ages to see what life was like in the past and the types of chores and activities they would do had they lived several hundred years ago! Free with admission. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street. Deerfield, MA. $

Saturday, May 17, 10am-10pm – FESTIVAL: The World Kielbasa Festival is returning to Chicopee for the first time since 1997! Don’t miss this world-famous celebration of all things Polish, including Polish music, dancing, pierogies, and of course, kielbasa. There will also be live music, a carnival, competitions, presentations, and more. Please see the Kielbasa Festival website for more information and a history of the event. The Festival runs from May 15-May 18 at Szot Park. Chicopee, MA. $

Saturday, May 17, 10:30am-12noon – STORYTIME/ARTS & CRAFTS: The Berkshire Athenaeum is holding a Spring Fling for toddlers and preschoolers. Come for stories, crafts, and a snack, all to get kids excited for Spring! 413-499-4809. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 10:30am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Chandler’s Restaurant offers a Kids Cooking class for families to explore the art of cooking, proper use of kitchen tools, and raw ingredients that go into delicious dishes! A brief tour of their professional kitchen follows the class. Great way to introduce children to the world of culinary arts! Space is limited, reservations are required 413-665-1277. 25 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($$)

Saturday, May 17, 10:30am-3:30pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Join Northampton Community Music Center for Springfest 2014! In downtown Northampton, local musicians of all ages will perform a variety of musical styles on many different instruments. This fun event is packed with great performances and festivities that all ages will enjoy. 413-585-0001. Downtown. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 11am – STORYTIME: May 17 is Indies First Storytime Day at Odyssey Bookshop! This event is related to Indies First Day, which took place in the Fall as a way to celebrate and support independent bookstores. This is also the 95th anniversary of Children’s Book Week! Author Burleigh Muten (Miss Emily) will read Munro Leaf’s The Story of Ferdinand, and author David Hyde Costello (I Can Help) will read Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad All Year. Kids will love this fun event where they can hear great stories read aloud and support their local independent bookstore! 413-534-7307. 9 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 11am-2pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: May 17 is Family Fun Day at Amherst College’s Mead Art Museum! This event is all about the installation, “Animals in the Art of the Ancient Americas.” Kids can learn about these animals and the art they are present in. The animals include alpacas, jaguars, deer, and dogs, all present on pottery and textiles from Central America and the Andes. There will also be family drop-in craft and gallery activities. Discover this great local museum and learn all about animals in art at this fun family-oriented event. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 11am-3pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The fifth annual Mud Day is on May 17 at Muddy Brook Elementary School! Celebrate the Berkshires and your community at this super fun event for families. There will be tons of outdoor activities for kids, including tug of war, a treasure hunt, mud pie-making, face painting, jump rope, tie dying, and more. There will also be live music, food from local vendors, and representatives from local organizations. This event is open to the public and is a fundraiser for the school. 318 Monument Valley Road. Great Barrington, MA. >$

Saturday, May 17, 11am-4pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: Celebrate Bay State Bike Week at a Family Fun Festival at North Riverfront Park in Springfield! There will be face painting, rowing and paddling instructions, a bicycle maintenance workshop, rides along the river, food, and more at this fun community festival. 121 West Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE ENTRANCE)

Saturday, May 17, 11am-5pm – BOOK SALE: Come find great books at the Storrs Library‘s book sale! The sale runs May 16 and May 17 at the library. All ages can find great books at great prices. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, May 17, 11:45am-1:15pm – STEM: Kids who are interested in computers and technology can come to the Forbes Library to participate in Scratch Day! This event is an opportunity for kids to learn the programming language Scratch, which was developed by MIT as an easy-to-learn language that everyone can use. This event is recommended for ages 7 and up. More information is available on the Scratch Day webpage. Space is limited; register ASAP! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 12noon-5pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Older students and adults can come to a work party at Medicine Mammals. Come help out with chores, attend a potluck at 5pm, and enjoy drum and guitar music. Please call for more information. 978-544-6144. 101 Morse Village Road. Wendell, MA. (VOLUNTEER)

Saturday, May 17, 1pm – HISTORY: Learn about the Springfield Armory‘s historic weapons at a Blank Firing Demonstration. Visitors can see the weapons, hear the rifles blasting, and smell the burning gunpowder at this demonstration. Seeing the firing demonstration can teach students of all ages about historic weapons and what the Springfield Armory was used for in the past. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Square. Springfield, MA.

Saturday, May 17, 1pm-3pm – WOMEN’S STUDIES: “Sister Stories: Education – Empowering Girls and Women” takes place at the Mason Square Branch Library on May 17. Dr. Gwenn Meredith and Maryam A. Sullivan will discuss the obstacles faced by women and girls all around the world and the ways in which writing, reading, and education can empower them and help their voices be heard. Community members are invited to share their thoughts and ideas on the topics at this event. Best for older students and adults. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 1pm-4:30pm – HISTORIC MUSEUM:The historic house museum, Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum, opens today for its 65th season. Built in 1752 by Moses and Elizabeth Porter, this Museum was central to the 600-acre farmstead known as “Forty Acres.” Today, the property is surrounded by over 350 acres of protected farmland, forest and river frontage. The Museum showcases the activities of a wealthy and productive 18th-century household including numerous artisans, servants and slaves who made “Forty Acres” an important social and commercial link in local, regional and national cultural and economic networks. Since 1799 there have been no structural changes to the house. In the 19th century the house evolved into a rural retreat for the family and in the mid 20th century became an early example of historic preservation. The museum is listed on the National Historic Register and contains the belongings of seven generations of one extended Hadley family. Guided tours are available Saturday-Wednesday. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive (Route 47). Hadley, MA (>$)

Saturday, May 17, 1pm-5pm – REPAIR CAFE: Do you want to learn more about fixing things? Or do you have a broken item that you would like someone else to fix? Then come to the Pittsfield Repair Cafe, which takes place in the basement of St. Stephen’s Church. Repair Cafes encourage people to repair what they already own, instead of tossing it in the trash and buying a new one, therefore supporting sustainability. They also encourage collaborative consumption, in which people share their skills and services with one another to teach, help, etc. 67 East Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 2pm – POETRY/LOCAL HISTORY: The Emily Dickinson Museum’s annual Emily Dickinson Poetry Walk takes place on May 17 at the Museum. The walk marks the anniversary of Dickinson’s death (May 15, 1886) with readings of her work at several historic sites in Amherst. This year’s walk celebrates romantic love and Dickinson’s poems and letters that reference love. Older students who are fans of Dickinson’s work will enjoy this walk. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 2-5pm – INDUSTRY/CO-OP: What’s cooperative economy? How do businesses function as a co-op? Real Pickles and Artisan Beverage Cooperative are celebrating their first years as a co-op and they are celebrating this weekend along with PV Squared who has been functioning as a co-op for ten years. Old kids can bring their questions and find out how a co-ops functions, and families can take a factory tour to see how Real Pickles makes their pickles while enjoying music and food. 311 Wells St., Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 2pm & 7pm – THEATER: Starlight’s Youth Theatre presents a production of Bye Bye Birdie at the Academy of Music. This classic ’50s musical comedy tells the story of Conrad Birdie, an Elvis Presley-like rockstar who is about to be inducted into the Army. But, before he leaves, he must kiss an ordinary American teen goodbye on the Ed Sullivan Show. The play tells of the drama that unfolds as teens go wild with the excitement of having Birdie in town. All ages will enjoy this fun musical comedy that stars nearly 70 local teens! Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. $$

Saturday, May 17, 2:30pm – FILM: Come to the Jones Library for a screening of Harvey Allen: A Man for All Seasons. This documentary follows Harvey into farmland, fields, and forests to show the importance of having a sense of place and to teach about the many wonders of the Pioneer Valley. Harvey is known for his interest and involvement in protecting local natural areas, helping the homeless and hungry, and much more. Anyone interested in learning about this Pioneer Valley resident will enjoy the screening. Producer/videographer Robert A. Jonas and film editor Tom Adams will be in attendance. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, May 17, 4:30pm-5:30pm – CONCERT: Beatles For Sale will perform at Benjamin J. Phelps Elementary School as part of the Children’s Mini Music Festival. Bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the show! Children’s bands will go on stage before Beatles For Sale. 689 Main Street. Agawam, MA.

Saturday, May 17, 5pm – 6pm – SPORTS/HISTORY: Meet Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play Major League Baseball in the United States, at a special first-person performance at the Norman Rockwell Museum. View Murray Tinkelman’s player-signed artworks, then enjoy this educational and fascinating performance all about the life of Jackie Robinson. Older students who are interested in baseball and history will enjoy this program. Free with museum admission. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183. Stockbridge, MA. $

Saturday, May 17, 7pm – THEATER: The Great Barrington Waldorf High School presents a performance of Audience, a one-act comedy about audiences. The play will be performed by the school’s ninth graders as part of their English curriculum. There is a performance on May 17 at 7pm and May 18 at 2pm at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre. 413-298-3800. 6 East Street. Stockbridge, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $)

Saturday, May 17, 8pm – THEATER: The Berkshire Community College Players present a performance of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. Based on the comedy film of the same name, this play is about Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, who inherits his family’s estate in Transylvania and brings a creature back to life. Teens and adults will love this hilarious performance, and fans of the movie will enjoy seeing it brought to life on stage. Takes place in Boland Theatre. Tickets are available in advance. 413-499-0886. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. $$

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Sunday, May 18th, 2014

 

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 7 years of archived shows.

Sunday, May 18, 10am-10pm – FESTIVAL: The World Kielbasa Festival is returning to Chicopee for the first time since 1997! Don’t miss this world-famous celebration of all things Polish, including Polish music, dancing, pierogies, and of course, kielbasa. There will also be live music, a carnival, competitions, presentations, and more. Please see the Kielbasa Festival website for more information and a history of the event. The Festival runs from May 15-May 18 at Szot Park. Chicopee, MA. $

Sunday, May 18, 11am-3pm – CELEBRATION/FUNDRAISER: The Great Barrington Cooperative Preschool‘s 7th annual Truck Day takes place May 18 at Ski Butternut. Kids can “operate” a backhoe, bulldozer, cherry picker, log truck, and more; decorate their very own model cars; and enjoy face painting, refreshments, and a petting zoo. There will also be a silent auction for adults. All proceeds benefit the Preschool. 413-528-2127. 380 State Road. Great Barrington, MA. >$

Sunday, May 18, 10am-5pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Abundance Farm Work Party and Celebration! Abundance Farm is an emerging Food Justice Farm and Outdoor Classroom working to support local food security and serve as a unique, learning environment.Volunteers will create garden beds and plant an orchard in the morning, enjoy lunch together, and then celebrate in the early afternoon with live music and activities for all ages including sports, cob oven baking, seed bomb workshop and bike blending! Come dressed to work and bring tools if you have them. 253 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA (VOLUNTEER)

Sunday, May 18, 12noon-5pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The 35th Annual Long Meddowe Days celebration takes place May 17 and May 18 on the Town Green! The event celebrates Longmeadow’s long and fascinating history and is the main fundraiser for the Longmeadow Historical Society. The event continues on May 18 with food vendors; craft vendors; tours of the “Olde Burying Yard,” Storrs House, and the First Church; kids activities; Civil War reenactors; and more. There is something for all ages to enjoy at Long Meddowe Days! Longmeadow, MA. (FREE ENTRANCE)

Sunday, May 18, 1pm – ART RECEPTION: May 18 at 1pm is the opening reception for the Wistariahurst Museum‘s new exhibition, “A Genius for Place: American Landscapes of the Country Place Era.” This exhibition, borrowed from the Library of American Landscape History, is a collaboration between author/curator Robin Karson and landscape photographer Carol Betsch that documents historical landscapes representing the chronological development of American landscape design. Come to the reception to see the art, learn about it, and buy a signed book. The works will be on display from May 18 to August 18. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. >$

Sunday, May 18, 1pm – CULTURAL STUDIES: The Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is offering a docent-led “mini-tour” by Pat McCarthy titled, “American Scene Artists: The New Woman in the Neighborhood.” McCarthy will show and discuss works by women in the museum. Free with museum admission. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. $$

Sunday, May 18, 1pm – HIKING: As part of their Northfield’s Woodlands series of programs, the Dickinson Memorial Library is offering a hike in Satan’s Kingdom. Meet behind Town Hall for the hike. Call the library for more information. 413-498-2455. Northfield, MA.

Sunday, May 18, 2pm – THEATER: The Great Barrington Waldorf High School presents a performance of Audience, a one-act comedy about audiences. The play will be performed by the school’s ninth graders as part of their English curriculum. There is a performance on May 17 at 7pm and May 18 at 2pm at the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Unicorn Theatre. 413-298-3800. 6 East Street. Stockbridge, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $)

Sunday, May 18, 2pm – THEATER: The Berkshire Community College Players present a performance of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. Based on the comedy film of the same name, this play is about Frederick Frankenstein, the grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, who inherits his family’s estate in Transylvania and brings a creature back to life. Teens and adults will love this hilarious performance, and fans of the movie will enjoy seeing it brought to life on stage. Takes place in Boland Theatre. Tickets are available in advance. 413-499-0886. 1350 West Street. Pittsfield, MA. $$

Sunday, May 18, 2pm- THEATER: Starlight’s Youth Theatre presents a production of Bye Bye Birdie at the Academy of Music. This classic ’50s musical comedy tells the story of Conrad Birdie, an Elvis Presley-like rockstar who is about to be inducted into the Army. But, before he leaves, he must kiss an ordinary American teen goodbye on the Ed Sullivan Show. The play tells of the drama that unfolds as teens go wild with the excitement of having Birdie in town. All ages will enjoy this fun musical comedy that stars nearly 70 local teens! Tickets can be purchased in advance. 413-584-9032 x105. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. $$

Sunday, May 18, 2:30pm – FILM: The Massachusetts chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is holding a screening of Living for 32 (2010; not rated) at the Jones Library. This documentary tells the story of Colin Goddard, a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings. The screening will be followed by a discussion about gun violence in America and what can be done to stop these tragedies from happening. Older teens and adults interested in gun reform and safety would benefit from this screening and discussion. Email Ksmithsheppard.ma@gmail.com for more information. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA.

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Monday, May 19th, 2014

Monday, May 19, 6pm-7pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Professor George Ashley presents, “Made in the Happy Valley – The Corn Broom Industry in Hatfield and Hadley” at the Wistariahurst Museum. Professor Ashley will discuss the popular corn broom industry that existed in the early 19th Century in Hatfield and Hadley. Farmers grew sorghum, a plant closely related to corn, and removed the stiff tassels from the tops of the plants to use as the bristles for round brooms. The popularity of these brooms died out once flat brooms started being produced. Older students interested in local history and industry will enjoy learning about the rise, peak, and fall of this industry. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street. Holyoke, MA. $

Monday, May 19, 6:30-8:30pm – COMMUNITY SERVICE: Student volunteers from the Northampton High School Key Club will be making meal packages. The Key Club has teamed up with Kids Against Hunger, a non-profit humanitarian organization dedicated to providing food for starving and malnourished children and their families locally and around the world. The event will take place in the high school cafeteria from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The event will produce between four to five thousand nutritious meals. The Key Club is thankful to Youth Service America and the Disney Friends for Change Program for helping provide funding to purchase the raw ingredients for this event. The NHS Key Club invites students who are at least eight years old and are enthusiastic about making a difference to join us on the 19th. Pre registration required. Please email the president of the Key Club, Zachary, at zachdietz1@gmail.com to RSVP. Northampton High School. Northampton, MA (VOLUNTEER)

ONGOING FOR MONDAYS (Always double check events before heading out. To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroups Monday-Friday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: CHP Family Network offers a “gym fun” playgroup at West Stockbridge Town Hall. 413-464-5095. 21 State Line Road. West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by Otis Town Hall for playgroup every Monday! 413-464-5095. 1 North Main Road. Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn Group at the Williamstown Youth Center for kids walking-age up to age five. Includes puzzles, play dough, riding toys, balls, books, and more. 413-663-6593. 66 School Street. Williamstown, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for babies 2 and under and their parents at the East Longmeadow Library. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: “Music for Little Ones” at the Pelham Library features a half hour of music and movement for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Meekins Library on the first and third Monday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: MotherWoman is returning to the Hilltowns for a weekly drop-in group for mothers of young children. The group offers a supportive environment for mothers to discuss motherhood and all aspects of raising young children. Takes place at the St. John’s Corner House Mission. 413-625-6948. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA.
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm – CHESS: Kids in grade 2 and up are invited to the Storrs Library for their weekly drop-in chess program. Come play with other kids and improve your chess skills! 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-7:30pm – SPORTS: Kids and adults 12 and up can come play pickup soccer at Pettingill Park in Cummington. All experience levels welcome. Runs all summer. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm-9:30pm – MUSIC: Every second and fourth Monday, the Montague Retreat Center holds a Community Singing Night. Come express yourself and your music at these intergenerational, community-oriented singing events. 413-824-0855. 177 Ripley Road. Montague, MA.

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Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 3:30pm-4:30pm – BOOK GROUP: Kids in grades 3-5 can come to a book group at the Forbes Library. Read Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett and discuss it with peers. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 20, 3:30pm-5pm – STEM: Kids ages 2 ½ to 5 years can explore simple tools and shapes at the STEM Sprouts Explorers event at the Adams Library, held by Child Care of the Berkshires. Learning about shapes and magnets can help kids learn more about science, technology, engineering, and math. Please register. 413-664-4821. Park Street. Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 20, 3:45pm – ART/WRITING: Kids in grades 5 and up can come to the West Springfield Public Library for Art Club. Here you can do some creative writing and drawing! 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, May 20, 6pm – HISTORY: Join Storrowton Village for an interactive tour, Storrowton and the Civil War, that gives you a look into the past at what life was like for New Englanders during the Civil War. You can sit in on a recruitment meeting, speak with a blacksmith about the increase of manufacturing during the war, hear from women about sewing and making clothes, learn about how the war affected families, and what the impact on local industries was. This event is appropriate for older teens and adults only. Registration is required. 413-205-5051. 1305 Memorial Avenue. West Springfield, MA. $

Tuesday, May 20, 6pm-7pm – PLANT STUDIES/HERBALISM: Discover the world of native woodland plants with Brittany Wood Nickerson of Thyme Herbal at Mt. Skinner State Park! Mt. Skinner is home to many unique, beautiful, at-risk medicinal plants, in addition to spring ephemerals, medicinal trees, and other woodland plants. This walk would be great for older students who are interested in medicinal plants. 10 Mt. Skinner State Park Road. Amherst, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION >$)

Tuesday, May 20, 6:30pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Join the Gravestone Girls at the Chicopee Public Library for a virtual tour of Chicopee’s cemeteries. Older students will love learning about Chicopee’s history, some interesting local cemeteries, grave art, and monuments. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)

ONGOING FOR TUESDAYS (Always double check events before heading out. To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroups Monday-Friday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The CHP Family Center is holding a “Toddler Steps” playgroup for kids 18 months to three years. Takes place at CHP Family Services Building every Tuesday and Thursday. 413-464-5095. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-12noon – PARENT/CHILD GROUP: Gateway Family Center offers a parent-child school readiness group every Tuesday from until June. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Come by the Goodwin Memorial Library for “Lunatunes!” a dynamic storytime with songs, movement, stories, and original art. For babies through age 5. 413-584-7451. Route 47 & Route 9. Hadley, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s drop-in playgroup runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is open to families with young children. Creative play, snack time, and circle time. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Storytime for toddlers at the Berkshire Athenaeum. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Every Tuesday and Friday. Old Amherst Road. Sunderland, MA.
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Join the Greenfield Public Library for a weekly storytime! This event includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for kids age five and under. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for pre-K kids with educational games and hands-on activities. Takes place at Haskins Center. 413-663-6593. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: Every Tuesday until May 6, the Jones Library will hold “Sing With Your Baby,” an program for preschool-aged children and their parents. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA.
  • 11am-12noon – CULINARY ARTS: Community Health Programs is offering “Kids’ Kitchen,” a cooking class for kids ages 2.5-5 that focuses on healthy food choices. This class teaches kids the importance of healthy eating at an early age and gets them interested in cooking. 413-528-0457 x1154. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA.
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Every Tuesday is toddler storytime at the Lenox Library! Come by for interactive board books, stories, songs, and fingerplays. For kids 18 months to 3 years. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – STORYTIME: Weekly story time, snack and get-together for preK kids and their caregivers. Becket-Washington Library. 413-623-5483. 3367 Main Street. Becket, MA (FREE)
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema offers weekly matinees on Tuesdays especially for people with babies! This is a great chance to get out and see a movie without having to worry about finding a sitter. Check their website to see what’s playing each week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. >$
  • 2pm-4:30pm – LIBRARY: Kids ages 10 and up are invited to the Hatfield Public Library for Teen Tuesdays. Each meeting features a fun activity. Takes place the first and third Tuesdays of each month. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 3-5pm – TEENS: The Lilly Library hosts a weekly, drop in teen program for ages 12-17yo. Activities include games, crafts, book chat, movies, snacks. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street. Florence, MA (FREE)
  • 3pm – LEGOS: Lego Club is every Tuesday at the Bushnell-Sage Library! Come to the library and make new friends while creating Lego masterpieces. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street. Sheffield, MA.
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: Lego Club meets at the Adams Library the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. For kids 4-8. Please call to sign up. 413-664-4821. 92 Park Street. Adams, MA.
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LIBRARY TIME: Kids of all ages can come to the Millers Falls Library for Library Club! This includes games, activities, crafts, and snacks. 413-659-3801. 23 Bridge Street. Millers Falls, MA.
  • 4pm-5pm – LEGOS: Kids ages 7-12 can join the Indian Orchard Branch Library‘s Lego Questers group! Come have fun with Legos each week at the library. Space is limited; call to sign up. 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Indian Orchard, MA.
  • 5:30pm-6:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Come to Gabriel Abbott Memorial School Gym for a gym group for kids up to age 8. The group is all about indoor active play, but also includes an art project, circle time, and a snack. Siblings welcome. 413-663-6593. 56 N Country Road. Florida, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: It’s Pajama Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Wear your pajamas and enjoy stories and fun. Happens the second Tuesday of each month. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 7:30pm – MUSIC: The M.N. Spear Memorial Library is holding a Ukulele Sing Along the first Tuesday of each month. Come to the library with your ukulele (or other instruments) and have fun playing music with community members of all ages. Ukuleles available at the library. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road. Shutesbury, MA.

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Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Wednesday, May 21, 9am-5pm – ANIMAL STUDIES: During the spring, anadromous fish (those who live in rivers but spawn in the ocean) make their way to their Atlantic breeding grounds – watch them make their way down the Connecticut River at the Turners Falls Fishway! The fishway offers kids a chance to see directly into the river through a special viewing window, an experience that can serve as the foundation for building an understanding of the life cycle of fish and/or river ecosystems. The Fishway is open Wednesday-Sunday through June 15. 800-859-2960. First Street. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 21, 10am-11am – PARENT-CHILD WORKSHOP: Toddlers 14-30 months old and their parents are invited to “Look What I Can Do – A Toddler Ages and Stages Play and Learn Event” at the Family Resource Center. Parents can complete a questionnaire while toddlers play with blocks, balls, beads, and more in order to determine results. Parents who want to know more about their toddler’s mental development will benefit from this event. Space is limited; registration is required. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 21, 10am-12noon – HIKING: Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for a hike at North Yokun Ridge. This moderate hike will take you from Olivia’s Overlook along the Burbank Trail, where you can see lovely views, old cellar holes, and Monks Pond. 413-499-0596. Lenox Road. Lenox, MA.

Wednesday, May 21, 10am-12noon – VOLUNTEER: Community members can come together on May 21 to help The Trustees of Reservations prep the Ashley House property for the busy Spring and Summer seasons. Volunteers will work to clean Ashley House, the Elizabeth Freeman Interpretive Center, and the kitchen gardens. Older students can get their hands dirty helping out and gain experiencing volunteering for this regional organization. Registration is required. 413-298-3239 x3020. 117 Cooper Hill Road. Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 21, 3pm – CARNIVAL: The Amherst Rotary Club’s carnival runs from May 21-May 24 on the Amherst Town Common! Come by for fun and games for the whole family. Amherst, MA. (>$ for rides)

Wednesday, May 21, 3:30pm-5:30pm – STEM: Kids in grades 6 and up who are interested in technology and engineering can attend “Robots on the Run!” at the David and Joyce Milne Public Library. Staff from the Rhode Island Computer Museum will be at the library to teach kids about robots, circuits, interactive software, and more. Kids can even bring their own broken electronics to take apart in order to learn more about circuits. Registration is required. 413-458-5369. 1095 Main Street. Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, May 21, 5:30pm – ARCHITECTURE: Learn about the architecture of the Academy of Music on one of their building tours! Architect Tom Douglas and Academy Technical Director Hugh Hall will teach about the building’s architectural features, its Renaissance style, the use of gas and electric lamps, full-fly hemp system, and more. This tour would be great for older students and adults interested in architecture or in learning about the history behind one of Northampton’s most well-known buildings. Call for more information. 413-584-9032 x104. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 21, 6:30pm – LITERACY: Tony DiTerlizzi, New York Times bestselling author, will present The Battle for WondLa, the final installment WondLa series, at the Odyssey Bookshop! Dress up/costume booth, fun activities and book signing! 9 College St., South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 21, 6:30pm – WORKSHOP: Join River Valley Market for a workshop on backyard earthen ovens with Ashley Schenk of Broadfork Permaculture. This free workshop acts as an introduction to the ancient art of building outdoor earthen ovens. Schenk will discuss planning, construction, and use of these ovens, which are great for breads and pizzas. Older teens and adults who are interested in cooking, building, and learning new skills will enjoy this informative workshop. Pre-registration is required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, May 21, 6pm – IMMIGRATION STUDIES : What was it like for a German immigrant arriving in western Massachusetts in the early 1900’s? Where would a woman have found work? Where would she have settled in the region? The NCCHP Living History Series will introduce us to German immigrant, Gertrude Failing Groff, with living history docent, Elizabeth Wood, through her program, “From Stuttgart to Springfield: A Visit in 1911 With a German Immigrant.” Come hear about Gertrude’s experiences sailing to America on the steamship Deutschland and entering the United States through Ellis Island. Find out what searching for employment in the garment industry in 1900 was like and how Gertrude eventually made her way to Springfield. Explore the experiences of the early 20th century immigrants from a sociological and historical perspective as Gertrude Failing Groff begins her quest to start a new life in this country. 42 Water Street. Granville, MA (FREE)

ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAYS (Always double check events before heading out. To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s infant/toddler group runs every Wednesday. Kids age 2 and under can explore age-appropriate toys and the playroom, and enjoy a snack and circle time. Please no children or siblings over age 2. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroups Monday-Friday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids from birth to age five and their caregivers can come to the First Congregational Church of Hatfield for playgroup, including snacks, stories, and songs. 413-586-4998 x102. 41 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Cummington Family Center for playgroup for kids 5 and under! There will be stories, arts and crafts, songs, and playtime. Takes place at Community House. Main Street. Cummington, MA.
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a loosely structured playgroup at the Clapp Memorial Library every Wednesday for kids from birth to age five. 413-323-0417. 19 South Main Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be playgroup every Wednesday at the Lenox Community Center. 413-464-5095. 65 Walker Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime at the Holyoke Public Library. 413-322-5640. 335 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Come by the Westhampton Library for playgroup the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Features games, arts and crafts, and storytime. For kids 8 and under. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA.
  • 10:15am-11:15am – STORYTIME: Kids of all ages and their families are invited to the Carnegie Public Library for a weekly storytime, complete with crafts, stories, activities, and snacks. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Edwards Library on the first and third Wednesday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA
  • 10am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime at the New Marlborough Library. 413-464-5095. 1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road. New Marlborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Erving Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Sponsored by Community Network for Children. 978-544-5157. Northfield Road. Erving, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Wendell Free Library for kids 5 and under. Sponsored by Community Network for Children. 978-544-5157. 7 Wendell Depot Road. Wendell, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly Tales and Tunes playgroup at the Leverett Library for kids 5 and under. Sponsored by Community Network for Children. 978-544-5157. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at the Gateway Family Center every Wednesday and Friday. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: It’s storytime at the Monson Free Library for kids ages 2-5! Come by for stories, snacks, crafts, and fun. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA.
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Come to the Mason Square Branch Library for storytime, songs, and crafts. For ages 3-8. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Weekly story hour at the Tilton Library. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street. South Deerfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Join the Dickinson Memorial Library for storytime every Wednesday. There will be movement, stories, music, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers and their caregivers can come to storytime at the Dickinson Memorial Library every Wednesday for stories, music, movement, and crafts. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.
  • 1pm-2:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Every Wednesday, the Salasin Center is holding a “Parents Supporting Parents” support group. Parents and grandparents can come connect and discuss parenting in this safe environment. Free childcare is available. Please call for more info or to sign up for childcare. 413-774-4307. 474 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.
  • 3pm – CHESS: Chess Club is every Wednesday at the Bushnell-Sage Library! Come to the library and make new friends while improving your chess skills. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street. Sheffield, MA.
  • 3:30pm – LEGOS: Have fun with LEGOs the second Wednesday of each month at the Lanesborough Public Library! 413-442-0222. 83 Main Street. Lanesborough, MA.
  • 4pm-5pm – 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)
  • 4pm – CHESS: Kids from kindergarten to 8th grade can drop by the East Longmeadow Public Library for chess! This weekly program is open to kids of all skill levels, from beginner to chess pro. Come make new friends and improve your chess skills. 413-525-5400 x4. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – WRITING: Forbes Library holds a writing group for children and young adults the third Wednesday of each month. Come do some free writing, story workshopping, and do exercises to beat writer’s block. All ages welcome. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 6:30pm – STORYTIME: Pajama storytime for kids ages 3-6 at the East Longmeadow Library. 413-525-5400 x1506. 60 Center Square. East Longmeadow, MA.
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for older students and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 10am-11am – STEM: Kids ages 3-5 can explore science, technology, engineering, and math at the STEM Sprouts Playgroup at Amelia Park Children’s Museum! There will be fun, hands-on activities to get kids engaged in these topics. Pre-registration is required. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 22, 12noon – CARNIVAL: The Amherst Rotary Club’s carnival runs from May 21-May 24 on the Amherst Town Common! Come by for fun and games for the whole family. Amherst, MA. (>$ FOR RIDES)

Thursday, May 22, 12:15pm – LOCAL HISTORY: This week’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is, “Miles Morgan: Man and Myth,” with Frances Gagnon. Miles Morgan was an English settler and pioneer colonist of what would become Springfield; he fought in King Phillip’s War in 1675 and is the subject of Springfield’s first piece of public art – a statue of Morgan, erected in 1882, stands in Court Square. There were (and are) mixed feelings about Morgan at the time, and Gagnon will address those, as well as what Morgan’s true place in Springfield history is. Older students interested in local history will enjoy this talk. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street. Springfield, MA. >$

Thursday, May 22, 3pm-7pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: Celebrate and support local agriculture at the West Stockbridge Farmers’ Market, which opens for the season on May 22. Here you can find local fruits, veggies, crafts, and other goods, and there will be live music and activities for kids. Harris Street. West Stockbridge, MA. (MARKET)

Thursday, May 22, 3:30-5:30pm – OPEN HOUSE: Amherst Montessori School is holding a Toddler Open House. Meet the Toddler faculty and learn about their Montessori programs for children ages 12 months – 3 years. Join them in a joyful, beautiful classroom that is prepared for the child’s emerging independence. The Toddler program includes music, art, practical life, grace and courtesy, language, outdoor play, and more in a child-centered and respectful setting. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Thursday, May 22, 3:45pm – BOOK CLUB: Kids in grades 4 and 5 can come to the West Springfield Public Library to talk about Chris Columbus’ House of Secrets at the Bookworms Book Club. There will also be a craft activity. 413-736-4561 x3. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 22, 4pm-5pm – MINI GOLF: Kids in grades 5-8 can come to the Sunderland Public Library after hours for a round of miniature golf! There will be prizes, pizza, and a full 8-hole mini golf course! Registration is required. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 22, 4:30pm – BOOK GROUP: Kids in grades 3-6 are invited to the Monson Free Library for Fishing for Meatballs Book Group. Read a book of your choice and then tell the group about it! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, May 22, 7pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The Jazz Bones will perform a live concert of jazz, blues, swing, rock, funk, and Latin music at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead on May 22. 413-442-1793. 780 Holmes Road. Pittsfield, MA. ($)

ONGOING FOR THURSDAYS (To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

  • 9am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroups Monday-Friday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The CHP Family Center is holding a “Toddler Steps” playgroup for kids 18 months to three years. Takes place at CHP Family Services Building every Tuesday and Thursday. 413-464-5095. Great Barrington, MA (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, stories, snacks, and circle time. For pre-K children and their siblings. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, lower level. Northampton, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The South Hadley Family Center offers playgroups every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am at All Saints Episcopal Church. Stop by for open play, crafts, stories, music, and more. 413-533-7096. 7 Woodbridge Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Belchertown Family Center is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:30am-12noon for drop-in playgroup. 413-283-7594. 720 Franklin Street. Belchertown, MA.
  • 9:45am-10:45am – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Amelia Park Children’s Museum offers weekly arts and crafts activities for kids. The theme changes each week, but the activity is always fun, educational, and often connected to other things at the museum. 413-572-4014. 29 South Broad Street. Westfield, MA.
  • 10am – MOVEMENT: The Music and Movement program with Laurie and Tom will be at the Carnegie Library every Thursday. Young children and their caregivers are invited to this fun, free program. 413-863-3214. 201 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA.
  • 10am-11am – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: New parents and their infants from birth to one year are invited to a support group at the Greenwood Children’s Center. Come share stories about the new little one in your life. 413-565-4163. 231 Maple Road. Longmeadow, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – ROLLERSKATING: Kids age 6 and under can come to Interskate 91 North for skating, roller racers, games, music, and more! Admission for kids includes snack and skate rental. More info here. 413-586-8344. 367 Russell Street (Inside of Hampshire Mall). Hadley, MA. >$
  • 10am-12noon – STORYTIME: The Dalton Free Public Library offers a weekly storytime, which includes stories, short films, and crafts, all designed to help kids with social and literacy skills. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA.
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn group at the Berkshire Athenaeum every Thursday includes stories, songs, and games. 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Stop by the New Salem Library every Thursday for nursery rhymes, tales, and tunes. 978-544-6334. 23 S Main Street. New Salem, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Sponsored by the Community Health Program (CHP), Bushnell-Sage Library is hosting a Sing-A-Song playgroup for kids 0-5 and their caregivers. Runs every Thursday. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street. Sheffield, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PARENT WORKSHOP: MotherWoman is returning to the Hilltowns for a monthly drop-in group for mothers of young children. The group offers a supportive environment for mothers to discuss motherhood and all aspects of raising young children. Takes place at the Cummington Family Center on the second Thursday of each month. 413-634-8853. 33 Main Street. Cummington, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s drop-in playgroup runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is open to families with young children. Creative play, snack time, and circle time. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: The Hatfield Public Library holds a storytime for kids 5 and under every Thursday! Come to the library for stories and fun. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Story hour: stories, songs, finger plays, crafts and more for preschool-age children; siblings welcome. Hatfield Library. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Join the Emily Williston Memorial Library for storytime every Thursday! There will be snacks, stories, and crafts. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 11am-11:45am – STORYTIME: Come by the Lenox Library for preschool storycraft. Kids ages 3-5 can hear stories, sing songs, and do a related craft activity. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street. Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-5pm – CHESS: Every second and fourth Thursday, kids are invited to the Mason Library for chess. There will no instruction provided, so this event is best for kids who already have an understanding of the game. This is a great place to come play with peers, make new friends, and improve your chess skills in a relaxed and supportive environment. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA.
  • 3:30pm-6:30pm – FAMILY FUN: The Salasin Center will be open for family time every Thursday. Come by for activities to do with the whole family. 413-774-4307 x4. 474 Main Street. Greenfield, MA.
  • 4:30-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/MOVIE: The Amherst Survival Center serves a free community meal every Thursday and screens a film for the community to enjoy together. Bring your family and come enjoy an evening with your community while learning about the work of the ASC! 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, May 16th, 2014

Friday, May 23, 12noon – CARNIVAL: The Amherst Rotary Club’s carnival runs from May 21-May 24 on the Amherst Town Common! Come by for fun and games for the whole family. Amherst, MA.

Friday, May 23, 2pm-6:30pm – FARMERS’ MARKET: The Shelburne Falls Farmers’ Market opens on May 23. Come for local foods, crafts, community, workshops, and entertainment. Main Street & Water Street. Shelburne Falls, MA.

Friday, May 23, 3:30pm – CHESS: Kids ages 7 and up can come to the West Springfield Public Library to improve their chess skills by playing against other kids. This is a great way to make new friends while working your way up to becoming a chess master! 413-736-4561 x3. 511 Main Street. West Springfield, MA.

Friday, May 23, 5pm-6pm – KNITTING: Are your kids interested in knitting? The Sunderland Public Library is offering a knitting event for teens and tweens in grades 5-12. Come work on a project or learn to knit for the first time! 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA.

Friday, May 23, 6pm – SUSTAINABILITY/THEATER: As part of Bee Week in the Hilltowns, there will be a Sustainable Agriculture Expo (6pm) and performance (6:30pm) at Sanderson Academy on May 23. Piti Theatre Company and 107 Sanderson Academy students in grades K-6 will perform “To Bee or Not to Bee.” The performance is about a farmer who loses his bees, and it features puppetry, clowning, dance, live music, and audience participation. All ages will enjoy this fun event! 413- 808 Cape Street. Ashfield, MA.

Friday, May 23, 6pm – LAWN CONCERT: Kick off the summer season of lawn concerts at the North Adams Public Library with a performance by the J.P. Murphy Band! Bring a chair and blanket, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy this fun live show. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Friday, May 23, 7pm – THEATER: Northampton High School Theater presents a production of The Odd Couple, a comedy written by Neil Simon that premiered on Broadway in 1965. This performance takes place in the Black Box Theater. 380 Elm Street. Northampton, MA.

Friday, May 23, 7:45am – BIRD STUDIES: Discover the birds of Williamstown with the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation and Leslie Reed-Evans at Sheep Hill. This walk will teach bird identification, wildflower identification, and general ecology. People of all ages and skill levels who want to learn about birds and nature are welcome to attend this walk. 413-458-2494. 671 Cold Spring Road. Williamstown, MA.

ONGOING FOR FRIDAYS (To add your ongoing event/activity here, email us at hilltownfamilies@gmail.com)

11:30am-12:30pm – PRENATAL YOGA: Open to all trimesters and all levels of yoga experience. No registration necessary. For info visit HRYMCA website or call Courtney at 413-303-1246. Hampshire Regional YMCA, 286 Prospect Street. Northampton, MA ($10 for non-members, free for HRYMCA members)

  • 9am-12oon – PLAYGROUP: The Amherst Family Center has drop-in playgroups Monday-Friday, including snacks, circle time, activities, and more. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. North Amherst, MA
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Cummington Family Center for playgroup for kids 5 and under! There will be stories, arts and crafts, songs, and playtime. Takes place at Community House. Main Street. Cummington, MA.
  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Shutesbury Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Sponsored by Community Network for Children. 978-544-5157. 23 West Pelham Road. Shutesbury, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn group for young kids at Sunderland Elementary. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA.
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Kids ages 0-5 and their caregivers can stop by Whole Children for playgroup, featuring snacks and playtime. 37 Russell Street. Hadley, MA.
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Come watch preschool videos at the Berkshire Athenaeum every Friday! 413-499-9480. 1 Wendell Avenue. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Palmer Monson Family Network’s drop-in playgroup runs every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and is open to families with young children. Creative play, snack time, and circle time. 413-283-6246. 4 Springfield Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Preschool-aged kids can come to the Stockbridge Library for StoryCraft, a storytime and craft time with Miss Vicky! Siblings are welcome. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly playgroup at Sunderland Elementary School for kids 5 and under. Every Tuesday and Friday. Old Amherst Road. Sunderland, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup at the Gateway Family Center every Wednesday and Friday. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 10am-12noon. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PARENT WORKSHOP: The Gateway Family Center is offering a weekly workshop for parents and infants 0-12 months titled “Nurturing Your Baby.” Learn infant massage, learn about infant development, meet other parents and babies, and more. This is a great workshop for parents and their young children to do together. Childcare for older children is available. Please register. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA.
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Weekly “Skip and Dip” playgroup at Berkshire South RCC. 413-464-5095. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Chesterfield Community Center on the first and third Friday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. Chesterfield, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for little ones at the Pelham Library! 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Weekly fitWIC playgroup at CHP Family Services Building. 413-464-5095. 442 Stockbridge Road. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – STORYTIME: Weekly storytime for preschoolers at the Sunderland Public Library. Features stories, songs, and crafts. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA.
  • 11am-11:30am – STORYTIME: The Berkshire Museum’s weekly Museum Adventures program features stories, songs, dancing, play time, scavenger hunts, and more, and is open to kids 18 months to 3 years. It’s a great way for young kids to explore some of what the museum has to offer! Free with museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. $
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Play and Learn Group at Lanesborough Town Hall, featuring educational playthings, snack, art project, and circle time. For kids walking-age to five years. 413-663-6593. 83 N Main Street. Lanesborough, MA.
  • 12:30pm-2pm – PARENT/CHILD WORKSHOP: The Storrs Library‘s Pathway for Parents is a program for families with their first baby (0-15 months). Learn about the importance of reading, music, and interactive play, and how these can benefit your new baby. Please call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA.
  • 2:15pm-4pm – LEGOS: The Dickinson Memorial Library’s LEGO Club meets the second Friday of each month. Come make friends and build with LEGOs. Best for kids in grade 3 and up. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA.
  • 5:30pm – BOOK CLUB: Kids in grades 2-4 can come to the Hatfield Public Library for book club! Book clubs are a great way for kids to read for fun and then discuss books with their peers. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA.
  • 8pm – ASTRONOMY: The Milham Planetarium at Williams College will be open to the public for a planetarium every Friday evening (except 3/24 and 4/4). You can learn about the motions of the planets, the phases of the moon, comets, and much more! Reservations recommended. 413-597-2188. 829 Main Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Buckland, Cummington, Deerfield, Goshen, Plainfield, Shelburne and Westhampton Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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