Suggested Events for December 12th-18th, 2015

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families always offers such a complete listing of fun and educational events in the area for all ages… One of the great resources that make living in Western Mass so family friendly. Thanks!” – Freja Joslin (Northampton, 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.

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Bulletin Board

Dec 11-13

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration marks the return of the light with a family show of music, dance, song and story to drive the dark away. Join revelers in a seaside village as they celebrate the return of their fisher folk at the winter solstice. Nautical songs and a sailors’ jig add to the seasonal revelries. Friday and Saturday Dec. 11 and 12 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, Dec. 13 at 2pm. The Shea Theater, 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. Tickets adults $12, seniors and children $10, (age four and under free). Families of four or five $40. Purchase tickets in advance at Jones Library in Amherst, Broadside Books in Northampton, World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield or at the door. More information and reservations at www.welcomeyule.org

Dec 11-13

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents its holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Always new and always sweet, follow Clara on her journey through the land of sweets. Featuring Jan Berkhard and Pablo Perez, of Carolina Ballet, as The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Local favorite Meghan Mangsen returns as Clara. And introducing Cain Coleman, of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance, as The Prince. Performs December 11-13 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Tickets and info: www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Dec 13

Come to the CyclePottery Holiday Open Studio and Paint Your Own Ornament, ready that day! Sunday, December 13th from 12noon-3pm. Parents, while your kid paints, get a massage upstairs in the private room for rent for therapists and the like! You can also see youth, teen and adult student work as well as learn about classes, workshops, camps starting the first week in January. Gift certificates for workshops/ lessons make great gifts too! Go to www.CyclePottery.com for more info and don’t forget to check out the latest work and news on the CyclePottery Facebook page!

Dec 13

Latke vs. Hamantashen Debate/Throw-Down and Chanukah Party on Sunday, December 13th from 5-7pm at Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton. CBI warmly welcomes everyone to attend a fun and festive Chanukah party to include a hilarious debate on the topic of whether the latke or hamantashen reigns supreme. The program will include a communal menorah lighting and singing and, of course, latkes! At 5pm, Refreshments, Chillin’ and Dreidel Spinnin’. At 5:30pm, Latke vs Hamantashen Debate or Songs and Stories for kids ages 2-6 with Felicia Sloin. At 6pm, Communal Menorah Lighting and Singing. At 6:30pm, Latkes and Other Treats. Suggested donation of $5 per person. Check out more here.

Dec 17-20

Santa Claus is coming to town, and so is a rather silly dog! PaintBox Theatre presents their third annual, all new, The Santa Show! Everyone deserves a Christmas present, but what about Santa? Mrs. Claus has the perfect idea: a doggie. In spite of the title, he’s not really a puppy: he’s a full-grown hound and very, very smart. Perfect for Santa! Hijinks will ensue. The Santa Show is at Northampton High School (380 Elm Street) on Thursday & Friday, December 17-18 at 7pm, and Saturday & Sunday, December 19-20 at 10:30am & 4pm. Thursday is 2 for 1 night, for teens who bring their favorite little kid(s). Tickets: $10 (general seating) at the door or at BrownPaperTickets.com. Group discounts: call 413-923-7159. www.paintboxtheatre.com.

Dec 19

Trace the history of Emily Dickinson’s Christmas celebrations during A Dickensian Christmas with the Dickinsons on Saturday, December 19, at 11am, 1pm, and 2pm at the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst. Evocative decorations, seasonal music, new objects, and the words of Emily Dickinson and her family will bring their Christmas experiences to life. A Museum guide will serve as host for this special holiday visit, which concludes with an intimate reading in The Evergreens from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a Dickinson favorite, by award-winning author and Dickens fan, Tony Abbott! Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for museum members, and $5 for students grades K-12. Purchase tickets at www.EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org or call 413-542-2034.

Dec Vac

Stone House Farm in Amherst has Vacation Day Programs offered from 9am-3pm during December school vacation: Monday, December 28 – Gingerbread Houses (grades 1-6); Tuesday and Wednesday, December 29 & 30 – Sewing Flannel PJ’s (2-day project for grades 4 & up); December 31 – Cooking New Year’s Eve Appetizers (grades 1-6). These classes are limited to 6 students each. Cost is $75 per day. Please see www.stonehousefarmbb.com or email candi@stonehousefarmbb.com for more information and to register.

Dec 12

Save the Date! This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to this one showing event on Saturday, December 12th at 4pm at Bowker Auditorium, UMass, in Amherst. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $8-$18. Information can be found at http://www.ACelticNutcracker.com

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LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
December 12-18, 2015

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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, December 12th

Ongoing Saturday Events

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. 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 over 8 years!

Saturday, December 12, 8am-11am — COMMUNITY MEAL
Engage in your community, and help the sixth grade class from New Hingham Elementary School pay for their trip to Nature’s Classroom by enjoying a delicious breakfast at the Westhampton Congregational Church. Call for reservations. 413-268-0103. 1 Tob Hill Road, Westhampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, December 12, 9am-1pm — WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET
While summer is a robust growing season, there are an amazing variety of hardy vegetables that continue to grow into the winter months! This is also a time to explore the cheeses, baked goods, meats, and crafts produced by those in your community. The Downtown Pittsfield Farmers’ Market will be open to help you choose locally-sourced goods for your upcoming holiday meals and celebrations. The festive atmosphere will be further enhanced by live music from 11am-1pm. Market open the second Saturday of the month, through April. The Boys and Girls Club, 16 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 9am-2pm — ARTS & CRAFTS/MAKE YOUR OWN GIFTS
Handmade gifts are special for both the crafter and the recipient. The crafter can spend time thinking about who the gift is for and why they would like to give this person a gift in the first place. Taking time to make something by hand shows care and investment in the relationship, and recipients’ hearts are warmed by the thought and effort behind the gift, reminding us all that gift-giving is less about any particular present than it is about letting someone know they are appreciated. People of all ages are invited to the Montague Common Hall‘s Make and Take Craft Day, where you can make beeswax candles, jewelry, spin art, magnets, votives, and more. Homemade breakfast and lunch foods will be available for sale as well, and visitors can also enjoy cozying up by the outdoor fire pit. 34 Main Street, Montague, MA. (FREE admission; < $ for each craft session)

Saturday, December 12, 9am-12noon — TOY EXCHANGE/SUSTAINABILITY
Do you have toys that are no longer appreciated but still have lots of life in them? Are you looking for a way to give your children gifts this holiday season without stretching the budget? The Northampton Department of Public Works is holding their Fifth Annual Toy Exchange at Smith Vocational High School. The DPW is accepting donations of clean, gently used sports equipment, musical instruments, action figures/dolls, books, games, puzzles, stuffed animals, and MUCH more on Friday, December 11, 5pm-8pm, and Saturday, December 12, 8am-9am. Come to the exchange to find free gifts for the holidays – those who donate can come on December 12 from 9am-10am, and the general public (those who did not donate) can come from 10am-12noon. Participants are asked to leave children safely at home in the care of others during the Saturday pick-up portion of the event.
Intercambio de Juguetes. Donaciones de juguetes: viernes 12/11 5-8pm o sábado 8-9am. El Intercambio de Juguetes comienza el sábado. Donantes y el invitado de compras: sábado 9-10am. Compras público en general: sábado 10 del mediodía. Smith Vocational High School. Sólo los adultos, por favor! Los juguetes distribuidos durante este evento se quieren como regalos gratis para niños locales. Pedimos a todos los revendedores respeten este objetivo. Cualquier juguete restantes serán donados a organizaciones benéficas locales. Recuerde llevar bolsas reutilizables para recoger sus mercancías!
413-587-1570. 80 Locust Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 9:30am-11:30am — GEOCACHING/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/STEM
Have you caught the caching bug? Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game that uses Global Positioning System, or GPS, coordinates to find a container (often containing tiny treasures you can swap) that someone has hidden. You can play the game on your phone with the free Geocaching: Intro” app. It’s a great family activity that involves technology, teamwork, and stick-to-it-tiveness. Explore Downtown North Adams in search of three geocaches, then return to The Family Place for hot chocolate. Please download the app ahead of time, if possible. Dress warmly. Sponosored by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. 413-663-7588. 61 Main Street, Suite 218, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 10am — FAMILY MOVIE/FOLKLORE
Join Amherst Cinema for Song of the Sea (PG, 2014), an Oscar-nominated animated film based on the Irish legend of the Selkies, mythical creatures who live as seals in the water but become human on land. This is the story of the last seal-child, Saoirse, and her brother Ben, who go on an epic journey to save the world of magic and discover the secrets of their past. Pursued by the owl witch Macha and a host of ancient and mythical creatures, Saoirse and Ben race against time to awaken Saoirse’s powers and keep the spirit world from disappearing forever. Part of the Family Film Series, which runs every Saturday. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, December 12, 10am-12pm — HIKING & SANTA
Sometimes colder winter temperatures and blustery weather cause us to retreat into our homes. It is worth fighting this urge, and to get out and breathe some fresh, crisp air while exploring the natural world in its wintry state! Why not go for a child-friendly, half-mile walk along the nature trail at Bartholomew’s Cobble? This “Stroll with Santa,” hosted by the Trustees of Reservations, will include stories and snacks after the hike. Pre-registration recommended. 413-298-3239 x 3013. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. ($) [cancelled]

Saturday, December 12, 10am-12pm — SANTA/HOLIDAY CELEBRATION
The Easthampton Family Center is hosting its annual Milk and Cookies with Santa event, a fundraiser to help support the Center’s important community-based work. Visitors will be invited to sing holiday songs, play games, and make crafts, and each child will receive a book to take home. 413-527-5496. Old Town Hall, 43 Main Street, Easthampton, MA. (< $ SUGGESTED DONATION)

Saturday, December 12, 10am-12pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/ART STUDIES
Art gives preschoolers the chance to express their feelings and practice their fine motor skills. The Clark Art Institute‘s Start with Art program offers themed talks, gallery guides, and art-making activities for three-to-six-year-old and their parents. This month’s theme is movement. Art project-appropriate clothing recommended. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 10am-12pm — STEM/COMPUTERS/CRYPTOGRAPHY
Are you intrigued by codes? Is your computer password secure? Can you hack your friend’s password? At Hacking: A Cyber Security Workshop, offered by Holyoke Codes, you’ll learn all about codes and passwords, then compete for prizes in a Capture the Flag hacking contest. For ages 12+. Come with a caregiver or teacher. Lunch provided. Laptops supplied for kids, but adults should bring their own. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 10am-2pm — FARMERS’ MARKET/UPCYCLING
Explore the sometimes surprising bounty of the winter harvest, and explore other wonderful, local delights such as honey, breads, pastries, cheeses, jewelry, and more at the Amherst Winter Farmers’ Market, which runs most Saturdays through April 2, 2016. This week, Amherst BagShare will give a workshop (11am-1pm) on how to make an upcycled, reusable shopping bag. All materials will be provided. When we upcycle, we take would-be waste out of the waste stream and repurpose it, thus making the most of the materials that have already been created. Upcycling is a refreshing antidote to the “disposable” culture we commonly encounter in America. SNAP accepted throughout the market. Amherst Regional Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 10am-3pm — ARTS & CRAFTS/HOLIDAY MARKET
Perusing markets filled with wares created by local artisans inspires one’s creative spirit and puts one in touch with the interests and talents of community members. It can also teach about local materials such as clays and animal/plant fibers that artists use in their creations. A trip to the Sheffield Historical Society‘s 16th Annual “Festival for the Holidays” craft and gift market allows visitors to observe a wide variety of crafts and connect with the local art scene. And, for those planning on giving gifts this year, keeping your money local and supporting artists in their work is a great way to go! This festival runs each weekend through December 20th, and on Dec 24th as well. 413-229-2694. Old Stone Store, 137 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 10am-4pm — US HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS/CHRISTMAS
To make the holidays special, we often splurge on things we wouldn’t buy at other times of the year. In the time before easy international transportation, that included cooking ingredients such as chocolate, citrus, cinnamon, ginger, and sugar. In the open-hearth cooking demonstration “Sugar and Spice – Holiday Baking,” the cooks at Historic Deerfield will prepare traditional holiday recipes. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. (FREE Members and Deerfield Residents, $ Non-members)

Saturday, December 12, 10:30am — HOLIDAY/CREATIVE FREE PLAY/PUPPET SHOW
Watch the Gingerbread man in his own puppet show, then decorate one of your own to take home at the Whately Library. Also, the Cookie Baker and other cookie stories, songs, and activities. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 10:30am-11:30am — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/ENGINEERING
Come to the Sunderland Public Library for LEGO Club! The program allows children to explore the wonderful world of LEGOs with other interested children. A different theme is picked each session, and kids can build on that theme or build a creation of their own. After each club meeting, kids can put their LEGO creations on display at the Library for all to see until the next club. This program is geared for elementary school children (with an adult) but is open to kids of all ages. The LEGO Club will continue to meet every other Saturday. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 10:30am-4pm — LETTERPRESS PRINTING
From the mid-15th century, when it was invented by Johannes Gutenberg, into the 20th century, the letterpress was the primary means of producing printed material. Type was locked into a bed, inked, and pressed against paper. Carl Darrow learned how to print with a letterpress in high school and has been doing it ever since. He will bring one of his small letterpresses from his shop in Conway to Historic Deerfield to demonstrate this traditional art by printing holiday cards. Each visitor may take home one card. Envelopes, pens, and other supplies will be for sale. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. (FREE Members and Deerfield Residents, $ Non-members)

Saturday, December 12, 11am — ANIMAL STUDIES/STORYTIME
Come to the Gaylord Library for the Young Scientists’ Club. This month’s topic is “Bird Buddies.” Activities include a reading of the picture book An Egg is Quiet, listening to bird calls of the area, and creating a pine cone bird feeder. Ages 4 and up. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 11am – 12pm — COLLEGE COURSES/LITERACY
Come find out about college-level courses in children’s literature offered at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in conjunction with Simmons College. This information session will cover classes that begin in January and are open to candidates in the four graduate programs in children’s literature offered at The Carle, as well as for non-degree students. Topics include writing, designing, publishing, and critiquing children’s literature. 413-658-1105. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 11am-3pm — HOLIDAY/US HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
How did folks get to Christmas celebrations before automobiles? By horse, of course. Enjoy a ride through Historic Deerfield in a wagon pulled by horses from the Karas Farm. Weather permitting. Dress warmly. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. (FREE Members and Deerfield Residents, $ Non-members)

Saturday, December 12, 12pm-3pm — ARTS & CRAFTS
Balsam trees have a distinctive shape, texture, and aroma that evoke many wintertime and holiday associations. Learn how to create holiday crafts using balsam tree branches at Notchview’s Evergreen Craft Making event. While visiting this Trustees of Reservations property, visitors can enjoy cross country skiing on the trails (bring your own skis, and hope for snow!), or cut a balsam or Fraser fir tree to bring home. Hot chocolate and treats round out this cozy, crafty day of holiday fun. Reservations encouraged. 413-532-1631 x 10. Route 9, Windsor, MA. ($ for members; $$ for nonmembers)

Saturday, December 12, 12pm-3pm — HANDS-ON NATURE STUDIES
Help our feathered friends survive the winter by making bird feeders at the Great Falls Discovery Center. Which ones like sunflower seeds? Which prefer thistle seed? And who likes those little round millet seeds? All good questions to ask while you create. Part of “It’s a Wonderful Night in Turners Falls” — a town-wide RiverCulture event. All ages welcome. 413-863-3221. Great Hall, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 12pm-4:30pm — MYO GIFT/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Give a handmade gift to someone special on your list this year. Choose from three gifts to make at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. (FREE Members and Deerfield Residents, $ Non-members)

Saturday, December 12, 12:30pm – 2pm — COMMERCIAL-FREE HOLIDAY/SUSTAINABILITY
According to Stanford University, if every American family wrapped just three presents in re-used materials during the holidays, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Make your own wrapping paper from recycled materials at the Centennial House B&B with Kim Noyes, from Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. Appropriate for ages 4 and up. 800-859-2960. Sun Room, 14 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 1pm and 4:30pm — PERFORMING ARTS/BALLET
The Pioneer Valley Ballet presents its holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Always new and always sweet, follow Clara on her journey through the land of sweets. Featuring Jan Berkhard and Pablo Perez, of Carolina Ballet, as The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Local favorite Meghan Mangsen returns as Clara. And introducing Cain Coleman, of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance, as The Prince. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($$-$$$)

Saturday, December 12, 1pm-4pm — HISTORY/POETRY
Celebrate Emily Dickinson’s 185th birthday with a piece of her favorite coconut cake and a tour of her home, the Emily Dickinson Museum, including her recently restored bedroom. Contribute to a crowd-sourced commemorative poem and listen to poets read from their work in A Mighty Room, a new collection of pieces written in Dickinson’s bedroom. The book will be for sale. 413-542-8161. 280 Main Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 1pm-4pm — CHRISTMAS/READING
Join actors Steve Angel and Dennis Quinn for a reading of Charles Dickens’s holiday classic A Christmas Carol at White Square Books. Listen to a little or a lot of the tale that teaches the true meaning of Christmas, while you enjoy Christmas Present (and maybe even buy one or two). 413-203-1717. 86 Cottage Street, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 2pm — SANTA
Children may visit Santa at the West Springfield Park & Recreation Department’s Santa House, a local holiday tradition that has been going since 1980! Santa’s House will be open through December 23rd. Hours are 5:30pm-7:30pm (Mon-Fri) and 2:30pm-4pm & 5:30pm-7:30pm (Sat & Sun). 413-263-3284. Mittineague Park, 1695 Westfield Street (main entrance off of Rt 20), West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 2pm and 8pm — HOLIDAY/VARIETY SHOW
Home for the HOLLY-Days. This festive holiday show has become a tradition for many Pioneer Valley theater-goers, and this year’s show is bigger than ever! Come see Buddy, Elvis, Richie, and the Big Bopper in the concert they never gave, featuring musical performances by local favorites such as Ray Guillmette, Jr., Ben Ashley, Frank Manzi and more. Santa will also be making a special appearance! Suitable for audiences of all ages, this show offers the perfect opportunity to join in the spirit of the holidays with your family and local community. Performances are presented by The Majestic Theater, 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 12, 2pm-3pm — HOLIDAY STORYTIME/CAROLING
Enjoy King Frost and other winter stories, along with music and poetry, at the Mason Library. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA, (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 2pm-4pm — ART STUDIES
The artwork on the covers of The Saturday Evening Post has an iconic style that evokes yesteryear. Illustrator/Educator Pat O’Donnell feels the techniques used then are still useful, however. Watch him at work and create a drawing of your own at the Norman Rockwell Museum. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE Members, $$ Non-members)

Saturday, December 12, 3pm-4:30pm — LEGOS/ENGINEERING
Come for LEGO Club at the Jones Library. Imagine, build, and create using the library’s LEGO bricks. 413-259-3090. Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12. 4pm — FAMILY THEATER/CHRISTMAS CLASSICS
Fireside Yuletide: A Family Holiday Reading. This fun, family-friendly holiday showcase will feature some of your favorite seasonal classics! The show will include the singing of holiday songs, in addition to festive holiday refreshments. Readings will include “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, and many more! Celebrate this season of joy as you share in the tradition and wonder of Christmas with your family. This show is being presented by Mill City Productions and performances will be held at Western Gateway Heritage State Park, Building 4N, 115 State Street, North Adams, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 12, 4pm — PERFORMING ARTS
Whether you are familiar with the story of The Nutcracker or new to this traditional holiday story, you’ll likely find that the Celtic Heels Dance Company‘s performance offers a fresh, energetic interpretation on a classic. This dance company is based in Greenfield, MA and its dancers range from age 3 through adulthood. In their performance, Tchaikovsky’s original score is blended with Celtic music and original choreography incorporating Celtic dance. Discover what happens when these traditions intertwine! 413-475-3353. Bowker Auditorium, UMass, Amherst, MA. (< $ – $)

Saturday, December 12, 4pm — CHRISTMAS CAROLS/INTERGENERATIONAL
Enjoy Christmas carols and holiday cheer with your neighbors at Williamsburg Congregational Church’s Caroling on the Green, outside Florence Savings Bank. Come for carols, cocoa, and horse-drawn wagon rides. A great way to celebrate the holidays with your community! 413-268-7557. 85 Main Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 4pm-9pm — CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION
Old Sturbridge Village invites you to return to a simpler time, when Christmas meant carols and community, not catalogs and chaos, at their annual Christmas by Candlelight event. Enjoy sleigh rides, carols, model railroads, holiday magic shows, dances, and story readings. Watch demonstrations of gingerbread baking and cider making, and learn about the history of holiday traditions such as roasted chestnuts, yule logs, mistletoe, and more! Visitors will also have an opportunity to make a Christmas keepsake to take home. This event runs December 4-6, 11-13, and 18-20, and advance ticket purchase is recommended. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Saturday, December 12, 5pm-8pm — ARTWALK
Explore Easthampton’s local art scene at this month’s Art Walk. This is a fun evening out that lets you see work by talented local artists and experience some of the great art-related opportunities Easthampton has to offer! At Eastworks, Guitarist Peter Blanchette will perform, and the Yeti Market, featuring high-quality, unusual handmade items, will be open. 413-529-1425. Downtown, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 7pm — PERFORMING ARTS
A Christmas Carol. This classic tale by Charles Dickens has become a holiday tradition for audiences of all ages. Journey back to Victorian England and revisit the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways, prompting redemption. Filled with holiday carols and wonderment, this story teaches of charity and fellowship, love and generosity, and how to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year round. The production is being presented by The Berkshire Theatre Group and performances will be held at The Colonial Theater, 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, December 12, 7:30pm — STAGED READING/HOLIDAY CLASSIC
Experience the nostalgia and wonderment of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a young boy during the 1920s in A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Appealing to audiences young and old, this story is a reminiscent tale that beautifully “universalizes the essence of Christmas as any child anywhere might perceive it.” This production is being presented by The Silverthorne Theater Company and will be held at The Centennial House Bed & Breakfast, 94 Main Street, Northfield, MA. ($$$ FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, December 12, 7:30pm — PERFORMING ARTS/ PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
A beautifully written story about human connection, Stop Kiss was chosen as part of a new series of intimate, minimalist shows directed by Smith College students. Director Jennifer Sturley describes the show as taking on numerous social issues such as sexual identity, hate crimes, acceptance, and discrimination. At the heart of its message, this play is truly about the vulnerability, intimacy, and a blossoming relationship between two people. Audience members will have the opportunity to see young theater artists showcase their talents in this moving performance about the transformative power of love. The production is being presented by the Smith College Department of Theater. Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts at Smith College, 122 Green Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, December 12, 7:30pm — YULETIDE/PERFORMING ARTS
The Welcome Yule players will be hosting their annual Midwinter Celebration with delightful music, dance, songs and stories at the Shea Theater. This annual show close to the winter solstice celebrates the return of light at the heart of winter’s darkness. This year, the scene is a seaside village, where townsfolk celebrate the safe return of the fishing fleet on the eve of the winter solstice. The performance includes nautical tunes and a sailors’ jig. 413-863-2281. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 12, 8pm — PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/CULTURAL STUDIES
In Sanskrit, Nari means both “woman” and “sacrifice.” This aptly named live music and video project tells the story of Lakshmi Shankar and her daughter Viji, partners to Ravi Shankar and George Harrison, respectively, who were instrumental in bringing Southeast Asian Music to the West. Violin virtuoso Gingger Shankar, granddaughter to Lakshmi and daughter to Viji, pays tribute to her foremothers in this work-in-progress performed at MASS MoCA and produced collaboratively with David Liang of Shanghai Restoration Project, and artist/visionary filmmaker, Sun Yunfan. 413-662-2111. Hunter Center, 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (<$ Members, $$ Non-members)

Saturday, December 12, 8pm — COLLEGE THEATER/EXPERIMENTAL
As part of their Performance Studio work, Five-College students invite you to experience an evening of dance and theater, as they present their original works for the first time in Performance Project. This show will feature a variety of artistic pieces in various mediums, exploring topics such as body shaming, addiction, identity, and relationships. Parts of the performance will be experimented with, explained, and put into practice on stage, allowing audience members to witness the experimental process and the weaving of new ideas. Performances are presented by The Amherst College School of Theater and Dance and will be held in The Holden Theater (Webster Hall), 200 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE W/RESERVATION)

Saturday, December 12. 8pm — COMEDY/CLASSICAL THEATER
Tartuffe. A classical play by French playwright Moliere, Tartuffe tells the story of a family that must band together to overcome their fathers’ follies. This neoclassical tale uses live music and laugh-out-loud comedy to explore the true meaning of family. The performance breathes new life into a 17th century tale, making it both accessible and entertaining to contemporary audiences. The production is being presented by Berkshire Community College as part of a hands-on theater training program. Performances will be held in the Boland Theater, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, December 12, 9pm — PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/CAROLING/LATIN DANCE
Jose Gonzalez y Banda Criolla brings his “Latin Christmas Show” to Gateway City Arts. His hot new Latin quintet will sing parrandas, an energetic form of Puerto Rican Christmas caroling, then play festive Latin dance music. 413-650-2670. 92-114 Race Street, Holyoke, MA. ($)

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Sunday, December 13th

Ongoing Sunday Events

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 8 years of archived shows.

Sunday, December 13, 9am-2pm — NATURE-BASED/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/TEENS
Wildlife tell their stories in their tracks. What was that deer searching for along the shore? What happened here, where tiny footprints end and large wings marks etch the ground? Learn to identify animal tracks and decipher the drama behind them with Professional Wildlife Tracker George Leoniak and the Hitchcock Center for the Environment at the Quabbin Reservoir. With luck, there will be fresh snow to provide a clean slate, but tracks will be evident regardless. Dress for the weather, with warm, sturdy boots, and bring a lunch and drink. The class will be outside the whole time. Appropriate for self-directed learners. Call to register. 413-256-6006. Quabbin Reservation, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 13, 9:30am — ACTIVISM/CIVICS/FILM
Teach your kids to exercise their constitutional right to free assembly by participating in a silent solidarity march opposing the proposed Kinder-Morgan pipe yard in Cummington. The march will start at the Cummington Village Church and proceed five miles uphill to the Waryjasz Farm field where the pipe yard is planned. People can join the march at the junction of Route 116 and Plainfield Road at approximately noon to walk the last half-mile to the field. Parking is available at the Mr. Tire lot on the corner. Marchers are asked to walk silently, or chanting quietly, offering prayers for the people, land, and animals affected by the pipeline. A march like this isn’t allowed in all countries and offers an opportunity to discuss other forms of government throughout the world. Following the march, at 2pm, there will be a showing of the 70-minute documentary Groundswell Rising: Protecting Our Children’s Air and Water. 32 Main Street, Cummington, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 9:30am-11am — COMMUNITY BREAKFAST & HANUKKAH CELEBRATION
Do you love delicious, homemade foods and sharing conversation with new friends while you dine? The Katz Family Chanukah Breakfast, a treasured local holiday tradition, invites everyone to Congregation B’nai Torah to enjoy latkes, sufganiyot, music by a children’s choir, and an opportunity to paint and glaze your own Judaica. Those feeling adventurous can add on a ride on the Maccabee midwinter zipline! 413-567-0036. 2 Eunice Drive, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 10am-12:30pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/US HISTORY
Join the Berkshire Natural Resources Council for an easy hike at Constitution Hill. The hill got its name because of a bonfire that was lit at its summit to notify nearby residents of Massachusetts’ ratification of the Constitution in 1788. The trail is a loop through an historic farm, with moderate elevation changes, and offers a visit to the Constitution Oak. Wear blaze orange and sturdy footwear; bring water and a snack. 413-499-0596. From Pittsfield, go north on Route 7. In Lanesboro, take a left onto Bridge Street, which is immediately before Town Hall. Park at the end of Bridge Street near the kiosk. Lanesboro, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 10am-1pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/BOTANY
Join Naturalist Aimee Gelinas, Director of the Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center, for an early-winter hike at Petticoat Hill Reservation. With their leaves shed, trees become much more challenging to identify. Learn how to tell a beech from a birch by buds and bark alone. Visit a stately stand of beeches and learn about a disease threatening this type of tree in the Northeast.
Petticoat Hill Road, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 10am-3pm — ARTS & CRAFTS/HOLIDAY MARKET
Perusing markets filled with wares created by local artisans inspires one’s creative spirit and puts one in touch with the interests and talents of community members. It can also teach about local materials such as clays and animal/plant fibers that artists use in their creations. A trip to the Sheffield Historical Society‘s 16th Annual “Festival for the Holidays” craft and gift market allows visitors to observe a wide variety of crafts and connect with the local art scene. And, for those planning on giving gifts this year, keeping your money local and supporting artists in their work is a great way to go! This festival runs each weekend through December 20th, and on Dec 24th as well. 413-229-2694. Old Stone Store, 137 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 10am-4pm — US HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS/CHRISTMAS
To make the holidays special, we often splurge on things we wouldn’t buy at other times of the year. In the time before easy international transportation, that included cooking ingredients such as chocolate, citrus, cinnamon, ginger, and sugar. In the open-hearth cooking demonstration “Sugar and Spice – Holiday Baking,” the cooks at Historic Deerfield will prepare traditional holiday recipes. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. (FREE Members and Deerfield Residents, $ Non-members)

Sunday, December 13, 11am-3pm — HOLIDAY/US HISTORY/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
How did folks get to Christmas celebrations before automobiles? By horse, of course. Enjoy a ride through Historic Deerfield in a wagon pulled by horses from the Karas Farm. Weather permitting. Dress warmly. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. (FREE Members and Deerfield Residents, $ Non-members)

Sunday, December 13, 11am-3pm — MYO HOLIDAY GIFT/OPEN HOUSE
Come to the CyclePottery Holiday Open Studio and Paint Your Own Ornament, ready that day. Learn about classes, workshops, camps starting the first week in January. 413 219 9594. 225 Nonotuck St. Unit A. Florence, MA.

Sunday, December 13, 12pm-4:30pm — MYO GIFT/MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Give a handmade gift to someone special on your list this year. Choose from three gifts to make at Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84B Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. (FREE Members and Deerfield Residents, $ Non-members)

Sunday, December 13, 1pm and 4:30pm — PERFORMING ARTS/BALLET
The Pioneer Valley Ballet presents its holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Always new and always sweet, follow Clara on her journey through the land of sweets. Featuring Jan Berkhard and Pablo Perez, of Carolina Ballet, as The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. Local favorite Meghan Mangsen returns as Clara. And introducing Cain Coleman, of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance, as The Prince. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 13, 1pm-3pm — SUSTAINABILITY/SEWING
Get more life out of your family’s wardrobe by learning to “Mend Your Clothes” at The Haberdashery. Replace a button, fix a zipper, patch a hole…you’ll be able to do it after this class. Techniques include hand- and machine-sewing. By repairing clothes, instead of replacing them, you’ll save money and reduce your waste stream. Bring two-to-five garments that need mending. 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street, Easthampton, MA ($$)

Sunday, December 13, 1pm-4pm — COMMERCIAL-FREE HOLIDAY/DIAPER & TOY SWAP/ADVOCACY
Skip the mall and promote re-use of resources at Simple Diaper & Linen‘s “Cloth Diaper Swap & Shop and Toy Exchange.” Fill out the form on the website, then bring your no-longer-needed diapers and toys for an afternoon of fun and community-building. Learn about proposed Federal legislation to establish diaper banks for impoverished families and participate in a letter-writing campaign urging Congress to include cloth diapers in public projects and programs. Also benefits Square One. 413-749-6232. 418 Dwight Street (2nd floor, facing the canal), Holyoke, MA. (FREE/FUNDRAISER)

Sunday, December 13, 1:30pm-3pm — CHRISTMAS TEA
Look Memorial Park‘s Tea and Trains event gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy tea in a Victorian Christmas setting.The Garden House is decorated for the holiday season, filled with snow villages and model trains. Call to make a reservation. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 13. 2pm — COMEDY/CLASSICAL THEATER
Tartuffe. A classical play by French playwright Moliere, Tartuffe tells the story of a family that must band together to overcome their fathers’ follies. This neoclassical tale uses live music and laugh-out-loud comedy to explore the true meaning of family. The performance breathes new life into a 17th century tale, making it both accessible and entertaining to contemporary audiences. The production is being presented by Berkshire Community College as part of a hands-on theater training program. Performances will be held in the Boland Theater, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 13. 2-5pm — AUDITIONS/SHAKESPEARE
The Life and Death of Queen Margaret. Come be a part of this feminist retelling of Henry VI: Parts I-III and Richard III from the perspective of Queen Margaret, Shakespeare’s best-written female character. The production is being presented by Real Live Theatre and auditions will be held at North Star, 45 Amherst Road, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 2pm — INTERGENERATIONAL & INCLUSIVE/HOLIDAY CONCERT
Enjoy holiday favorites performed by singers of all ages and abilities as Whole Children‘s Joyful Chorus, appears with the Florence Community Band. 413-585-8010. Northampton High School, 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 13, 2pm — STAGED READING/HOLIDAY CLASSIC
Experience the nostalgia and wonderment of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a young boy during the 1920s in A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Appealing to audiences young and old, this story is a reminiscent tale that beautifully “universalizes the essence of Christmas as any child anywhere might perceive it.” This production is being presented by The Silverthorne Theater Company and will be held at The Beehive at the Deerfield Inn, 81 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA. ($$$ FUNDRAISER)

Sunday, December 13, 2pm — PERFORMING ARTS
A Christmas Carol. This classic tale by Charles Dickens has become a holiday tradition for audiences of all ages. Journey back to Victorian England and revisit the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways, prompting redemption. Filled with holiday carols and wonderment, this story teaches of charity and fellowship, love and generosity, and how to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year round. The production is being presented by The Berkshire Theatre Group and performances will be held at The Colonial Theater, 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, December 13, 2pm — YULETIDE/PERFORMING ARTS
The Welcome Yule players will be hosting their annual Midwinter Celebration with delightful music, dance, songs and stories at the Shea Theater. This annual show close to the winter solstice celebrates the return of light at the heart of winter’s darkness. This year, the scene is a seaside village, where townsfolk celebrate the safe return of the fishing fleet on the eve of the winter solstice. The performance includes nautical tunes and a sailors’ jig. 413-863-2281. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 13, 2pm — WORLD HISTORY/PHOTOGRAPHY
Before it was home to, and forever identified with, the notorious Auschwitz prison camp, Oswiecim was a small town like many others in Poland, with Jews and non-Jews living together peacefully. The visiting exhibit A Town Known as Auschwitz: The Life and Death of a Jewish Community opens at the Yiddish Book Center with a gallery talk by curator Shiri B. Sandler. The exhibit displays, through historical photographs, the rich history of the Jewish families living there from the sixteenth century until after World War II. 413-256-4900. 1021 West Street, Amherst, MA ($$)

Sunday, December 13, 2pm — CHRISTMAS CONCERT/TEA
The all-women Berkshire Concert Choir will perform “Voices of Christmas,” followed a Victorian tea, at Ventfort Hall. Known throughout the county for their joy of singing, the group will be led by conductor Paula Nuss and accompanied by Aurora Cooper, as they perform a wide range of traditional Christmas songs. Reservations recommended. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$-$$$)

Sunday, December 13, 2pm and 7pm — HOLIDAY/VARIETY SHOW
Home for the HOLLY-Days. This festive holiday show has become a tradition for many Pioneer Valley theater-goers, and this year’s show is bigger than ever! Come see Buddy, Elvis, Richie, and the Big Bopper in the concert they never gave, featuring musical performances by local favorites such as Ray Guillmette, Jr., Ben Ashley, Frank Manzi and more. Santa will also be making a special appearance! Suitable for audiences of all ages, this show offers the perfect opportunity to join in the spirit of the holidays with your family and local community. Performances are presented by The Majestic Theater, 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, December 13, 2:30pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/STORYTELLING
Have you ever wanted to be a character in a book? The Bushnell-Sage Library‘s Beyond a Book Signing with Deb Koffman is your chance. While Koffman reads from her new book, The Magic Lamp, you can be one of the characters, or imagine that you are. The book will be for sale, and Koffman will sign copies. Refreshments provided. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 3pm — CONCERT
SmithArts presents the Wet Ink Ensemble, an acclaimed collective of composers and performers based in New York City. The septet will perform cutting-edge contemporary music by Alex Mincek, Sam Pluta, Kate Soper, Eric Wubbles, and others. 413-585-3222. Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall, 144 Green Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 3pm — LOCAL VALUES/BOOK READING/SIGNING
Inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s writings on nature, jobs, and life, John Clapp, former Westhampton resident and co-operator of Starlight Llama, an “off the grid” bed and breakfast in Chesterfield, decided to construct a replica of Thoreau’s Walden cabin. He writes of the experience in A Tale of Two Cabins: A Comparative Story of Thoreau’s Cabin, Nature & Life. Clapp will read from his book at the Westhampton Public Library, then take questions and sign copies. Copies of the book will be for sale. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 3pm-4pm — BOOK READING/CULTURAL STUDIES
How is India changing in the 21st century, and how does life there compare with life in America? Listen for answers to these questions as Stone Court Writer-In-Residence Pankaj Challa shares his writings at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s ancestral home. Born and raised in India, Challa will read from The Happiness of Wandering Beings, a collection of short stories about love, livelihood, and identity in the New India, which he wrote as his doctoral dissertation in creative writing at the University of Southern Mississippi. Refreshments and conversation with the author will follow. 413-551-5100. The Drawing Room, 2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13. 4pm — FAMILY THEATER/CHRISTMAS CLASSICS
Fireside Yuletide: A Family Holiday Reading. This fun, family-friendly holiday showcase will feature some of your favorite seasonal classics! The show will include the singing of holiday songs, in addition to festive holiday refreshments. Readings will include “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, and many more! Celebrate this season of joy as you share in the tradition and wonder of Christmas with your family. This show is being presented by Mill City Productions and performances will be held at Western Gateway Heritage State Park, Building 4N, 115 State Street, North Adams, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 13, 4pm — CHRISTMAS/LITERATURE
We all know the story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but how many of us have read this classic piece of literature? Borrow a copy from the Cushman Library, then join your neighbors for a discussion of this “Ghost Story of Christmas.” Copies available at the circulation desk. Feel free to bring Christmas treats to share; hot beverages provided. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street, Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 4pm — CHRISTMAS SERVICE/INTERGENERATIONAL
The First Church of Deerfield will hold A Community Service of Lessons and Carols, including readings from Hebrew, Christian, and other religious traditions, choral and instrumental music, and a Christmas-carol sing. Choirs from Deerfield Academy, The Bement School, and The First Church of Deerfield will participate. 413-773-5323. 71 Old Main Street, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, December 13, 4pm & 7:30pm — CAROLING
Mount Holyoke‘s annual Christmas Vespers is a time-honored musical tradition and a popular event, drawing many community members of all ages and faiths. This year’s performance will include a candlelight processional and community carol singing. The college’s Chamber Singers, Chorale, Glee Club, Vocal & Chamber Jazz ensembles, and the English Handbell Ensemble will all contribute their talents to this beautiful musical event. 413-538-2000. Abbey Chapel, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 4pm-5:30pm — PARENTING SKILLS
What is ADHD? What does it look like? What are the differences between ADHD and ADD? How can you best support a child with ADHD? Join pediatrician Jonathan Schwab and clinical psychologist Sharon Saline at “ABC’s of ADHD: Middle and High School Years,” a short presentation followed by a Q and A, for in-depth information on this topic. This event is hosted by Northampton Area Pediatrics. Reservations requested. 413-517-2226. 193 Locust Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 4pm-6pm — COMMUNITY BOOK READING/DONATIONS
Join friends and neighbors at the Meekins Library for the annual reading of holiday classics that celebrate this time of wonder. First, David Adler’s Hanukkah story, One Yellow Daffodil. This sensitive and heartwarming story tells how, through the generosity of young Jonathan and Ilana’s loving family, Morris Kaplan comes again to embrace the traditional Hanukkah celebration of his Polish childhood and to remember that kindness can truly create miracles. Next, local author Patricia MacLachlan’s Christmas story, True Gift. This new classic about a small town, one lonely white cow, and the joys of family and community, tells the tale of how two children find out the meaning of a true gift. Come read or listen and enjoy holiday treats and warm drinks. Please bring a donation of food for the Williamsburg Council on Aging Pantry, a warm coat for the Northampton Survival Center, or something special for our animal friends at the Dakin Shelter. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street (Route 9), Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, December 13, 4pm-9pm — CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION
Old Sturbridge Village invites you to return to a simpler time, when Christmas meant carols and community, not catalogs and chaos, at their annual Christmas by Candlelight event. Enjoy sleigh rides, carols, model railroads, holiday magic shows, dances, and story readings. Watch demonstrations of gingerbread baking and cider making, and learn about the history of holiday traditions such as roasted chestnuts, yule logs, mistletoe, and more! Visitors will also have an opportunity to make a Christmas keepsake to take home. This event runs December 4-6, 11-13, and 18-20, and advance ticket purchase is recommended. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 13, 5pm-7pm — HANUKKAH//COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Which traditional food will reign supreme when the merits of each are presented at the Latke vs. Hamantashen Debate/Throw-Down? Enjoy the humorous exchange and celebrate Chanukah with Congregation B’nai Israel. Activities include a communal menorah lighting, singing, and songs and stories for young children.
413-584-3593. 253 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION <$)

Sunday, December 13, 5:30-8pm — MULTICULTURAL MUSIC/COMMUNITY GATHERING/MEAL
Join Earthdance co-founder Penny Schultz for an intergenerational a cappella SING in the Dance Barn. Songs, including gospel, English country, African, and Israeli, will be taught by rote, so you don’t need to be able to read music to participate. A SING is an emotionally, physically, and musically connected celebration of the earth, love, and community. All ages/levels welcome. Potluck supper to follow. The SING will be a benefit to raise money to replace Earthdance’s toolshed and contents that were lost in a fire in November. 413-634-5678. 252 Prospect Street, Plainfield, MA. (<$ DONATION)

Sunday, December 13, 6pm — HOLIDAY CONCERT/BENEFIT
Make this the season of giving by celebrating the holidays while helping your neighbors put food on the table at the 26th Annual Valley Festival Brass Holiday Concert at the First Congregational Church of Amherst. With Guest Conductor Dr. Matthew Westgate and Organist Richard S. Matteson. All donations go to the Amherst Survival Center. 413-253-3456. 165 Main Street, Amherst, MA. (RECOMMENDED DONATION $)

Sunday, December 13, 7pm — FAMILY CONCERT/STORYTELLING
Rituals, whether daily, weekly, or seasonal, bring richness and rhythm to our lives. Mark the upcoming winter solstice by letting the The Royal Frog Ballet ease you into winter’s darkness with “Light in the Night: An Evening of Stories and Songs for Winter” at Anchor House for Artists. Enjoy stories told in song, narrative, and poetry by Julia Read and Sophie Wood, in a performance called “part lullaby, part bed-time story, and part rumination on the state of being human in these times.” 413-588-4337. 518 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA. ($)

Sunday, December 13, 7:30pm — PERFORMING ARTS/PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
When a Caucasian man is accidentally cast in the role of an Asian man in a play, an elaborate and expensive attempt to save face results in Yellow Face, a semi-autobiographical exploration of race and the interactions between media and politics. This play was chosen as part of a new series of intimate, minimalist shows directed by Smith College students. Director Megumi Lee describes the story as a smart and funny look into the idea of public “face” while highlighting the struggles of being an Asian American. Come experience this powerfully unapologetic look into cultural identity in America. The production is being presented by the Smith College Department of Theater. Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts at Smith College, 122 Green Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

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Monday, December 14th

Monday, December 14, 8am-8pm — MUSIC INSTRUCTION
Do you know a child interested in playing the piccolo, oboe, or clarinet? He or she can try these and more wind instruments for free at the Community Music School during the whole month of December. Music lessons improve academic, physical, and social skills and develop discipline and self-esteem. Call to schedule a free trial lesson. 413-732-8428. 127 State Street, Springfield, MA, (FREE)

Monday, December 14, 8:15-9:15am — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Start the week with a quick stroll around the Belchertown common with Hike It Baby Pioneer Valley, and possibly see fire trucks, chickens, and goats! Perfect for strollers and carriers alike. Little legs will have to be careful as we cross the street, so good listening ears will be super important. Total distance approximately one mile. Meet near the cannon by the war memorials. You can park behind the BUCC church or in the town parking lot at the end of the common. 301-906-4700. Belchertown Town Common, Park Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 14, 9:30am-10:30am — PARENTING/LITERACY
Reading to children strengthens family bonds and promotes academic excellence. Learn how to engage your child in reading and choose appropriate books at “Raising a Reader: Easy Peasy Ways to Read With Children,” for parents in the Gateway Regional School District. Please RSVP to receive a book specifically chosen for your child’s reading level. 413-685-1107. 4 Littleville Road, Huntington, MA. (FREE)

Monday, December 14, 1:30pm-3pm — CHRISTMAS TEA
Look Memorial Park‘s Tea and Trains event gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy tea in a Victorian Christmas setting.The Garden House is decorated for the holiday season, filled with snow villages and model trains. Call to make a reservation. 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA. ($)

Monday December 14, 4pm-8pm — SANTA/TRAINS
Celebrate the holidays this year at Look Memorial Park! The Garden House is transformed into a Victorian style train station where you can see holiday trees, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have cookies and hot cocoa, and board the Look Park Holiday Express for a ride around the park to see the lights! Family members of all ages will enjoy this fun holiday activity, which runs every day through December 23 (and 10am-2pm on December 24). 413-584-5457. 300 North Main Street, Florence, MA. (FREE, Train Ride <$)

Monday, December 14, 7pm — PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/VIRTUAL REALITY APPS
Join Nerd Nite NoHo for “Virtual Reality and RPGs — Not Just for Nerds!” at Union Station Banquets. Pat King, owner of Northampton game studio Woodpenny will discuss his partnership with Singer/Songwriter Ben Sollee to create a Virtual Reality animated music video app called The Vanishing Point. Game Designer Hannah Shaffer will talk about roleplaying as an extension of the human need to share stories and its importance to adults. 125 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA. (<$)

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ONGOING FOR MONDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9:30am-10:30am — PLAYGROUP : Weekly playgroup at Crosby Elementary School sponsored by Pittsfield CFCE. 413-441-0974. 517 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – STORYTIME & MUSIC: Families with young children are invited to the Spear Memorial Library every Monday for a “Tales & Tunes” program with Katie Tolles, sponsored by the Community Network for Children. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC: Parent-child playgroup at the Pelham Library offers a story, snack, music, and fingerplays. “Music for Little Ones,” with Wendy Plummer, follows at 10:30am. Ages birth-5 years. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road, Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers can join the Play N Learn playgroup each Monday morning, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Advance registration required. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – KNITTING: The Sunderland Public Library has a knitting group that runs every Monday. The group is open to knitters of all levels and ages. Great intergenerational activity to do with young homeschoolers. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – LITERACY: Young children can have fun with books and reading at Wee Read at the Worthington Library every Monday. 413-238-5565. 1 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for ages walking to 5 years every Monday at the Williamstown Youth Center. 413-458-5925. 66 School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to Gym Fun, a playgroup that incorporates lots of movement. This group meets on Mondays and is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Town Hall, 21 State Line Rd., West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Storrs Library offers a drop-in playgroup for kids ages 3 and under every Monday morning, ongoing. Come hear a story, sing songs, and enjoy free play. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can come to tummy time at the Forbes Library every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – 4:00pm – STEM: The Berkshire Museum’s Spark!Lab is open for drop in play. In Spark!Lab, everyone is an inventor! Spark!Lab is a hands-on, creative laboratory that engages children and families in the process of innovation: try the variety of activities, from creating a wheeled vehicle to experimenting with percussion to assembling safe electrical circuits. Visitors of all ages can work together to combine skills and ideas to create inventions with real-world applications. 413-443-7171. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – PARENTING SUPPORT: Are you helping raise your grandchildren, nieces & nephews, or other family members? Join others who are doing so at a parenting support group every third Monday of the month at the Williamsburg Senior Center. Childcare available if you call in advance. 413-563-1981. 141 Main Street, Haydenville, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:00pm-5pm – ART: Do you know a teen who loves to draw? The Hubbard Library offers “Sketchy Ato,” a drop-in session in which all genres are welcome – manga, comics, western, or anything else. Artists can share their work (if they want) with fellow art maniacs! For middle & high schoolers. Every two weeks. 413-583-3408. 24 Center St., Ludlow, MA.. (FREE)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – GYM GROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a Gym Group at the Haskins Center for ages walking to 8 years old. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:00pm-6:00pm – COMMUNITY MEAL: Gathering around a table and sharing a meal is a foundation of community building. Greet your neighbors and make new friends over a delicious meal prepared by some of the finest chefs in the Berkshires at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Donations are gratefully accepted, as are non-perishable food items for local food banks. Please contribute if you can. Runs through December 21. No reservations required. 15 Crissey Rd., Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – KNITTING: All skill levels can attend a knitting group at the Westhampton Public Library every Monday evening. Come learn and share tips and tricks with knitters of all ages and levels. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-7pm – STORYTIME: Kids can unwind at the end of the day at the Montague Center Library‘s ongoing weekly evening storytime. Kids are welcome to come to the storytime in their pajamas. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – MUSIC: The ukulele is a small stringed instrument, similar to a guitar, that originated in 19th Century Hawaii. The ukulele has enjoyed a revival in recent years that can be attributed to its accessibility, affordability and popularity. Julieann Stepanek wants to inspire budding ukulele players by teaching four monthly classes at Storrs Library. Once a month, through December 28th. Come to one session or all four! Registration required. 413-565-4181. Storrs Library, 693 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-8pm — BOOK CLUB: The Emily Williston Memorial Library invites you to Monday Night Book Club, which meets the fourth Monday of each month (except in May). For adults and/or young adults who are mature readers. 413-527-1031. Emily Williston Memorial Library, 9 Park St., Easthampton, MA (FREE)
  • 7pm – POETRY: Forbes Library holds a poetry discussion group every Monday in the Coolidge Museum. Come discuss the works of famous poets with community members of all backgrounds – lifelong poets and those who are new to reading poetry. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm – COMMUNITY SING: Join friends and neighbors at the Westhampton Public Library for a monthly get together of people who love to play music and sing! Bring your instrument(s) and copies of songs you would like to share with the group. Meets the first Monday of the month. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

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Tuesday, December 15th

Tuesday, December 15, 10am-11am — SPECIAL NEEDS PARENTING
Join other parents of children with special health care needs, Autism spectrum, developmental delays, mental health issues, communication delays, or other identified special needs at the Johnson School to share ideas, resources, challenges, and joys. Snacks provided. Transportation and child care available upon request. This group is focused on parents with children ages birth to eight years. Pre-registration requested. 413-664-4821. North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 15, 3:15pm-4:45pm — TWEENS/LITERACY
Kids in grades 4-6 are invited to join the “Supersonic Explosive Unicorns,” the tween book club at Meekins Library. This month’s title is saving mr. terupt, by Rob Buyea. Copies are available at the circulation desk. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street (Route 9), Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 15, 4-5pm — COMPUTERS
Come to the Jones Library to assemble color-coded circuit boards and create sophisticated electronics in the littleBits™ Building Club. Ages 8 and up. 413-259-3090. Crafts Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 15, 4-5pm — MUSIC INSTRUCTION/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Learning an instrument promotes whole-brain engagement, self-discipline, and academic achievement…plus it’s a fun way to express oneself! Kids can learn bucket drumming during “Rock the Stacks” sessions at the Mason Square Branch of Springfield City Library. Community Music School Instructor Rick Marshall will lead the class in using five-gallon pails as instruments, an inexpensive and creative way to make music. Participants will have an opportunity to be part of the bucket-drumming ensemble performing in the community-wide Dr. King Day celebration at the MassMutual Center on January 18, 2016. Ages 6-14. Sessions continue on 12/22, 1/5, and 1/12. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 15, 6pm-7pm — BOARD GAMES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Free All-Ages Chess Club at the Sunderland Public Library starts from square one, so beginners and more advanced players are all welcome. Club leader Andy Morris-Friedman will guide you as you learn how to play the game, use different techniques and strategies, and use all of your pieces to your best advantage. The club will study famous games and will help you discover new ways to improve your play. Chess is one of the great classic games of the world. It teaches sportsmanship and cooperation, builds confidence, and exercises your brain. Children in third grade or below must be accompanied by an adult. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, December 15m, 6:30pm-8:30pm — ADULTS/TEENS/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Relax and let your right brain take over for a while at “Come Color with Us!” at the Cushman Library. Coloring can be a mindful activity, where you focus on doing one thing and let other responsibilities fall away for a bit. It also brings us back emotionally to our childhood, which was a simpler time. For adults and teens. Coloring pages, with varying detail and subject matter, and colored pencils provided. Come for some or all of the time. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street, Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

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ONGOING FOR TUESDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 8:45am-10:15am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Swift River School every Tuesday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-5157. 201 Wendell Road, New Salem, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-10am — PLAYGROUP : Weekly playgroup at Egremont Elementary School sponsored by Pittsfield CFCE. 413-441-0974. 84 Egremont Avenue, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Every Tuesday, Community Health Programs of Berkshire County hosts Toddler Steps, a playgroup for children ages 18 months- 3 years with their caregivers. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for young kids ages birth-preK at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Deb Wood features fun toys and more! Every Tuesday. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – SCHOOL READINESS: There will be a school readiness program every Tuesday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to participate in the Explore & Play playgroup, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County, which meets Tuesday mornings. 413-644-0104. 1 North Main Road, Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PARENT GROUP: Nursing Families group every Tuesday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STEAM: Preschool-age children can learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math at the Dalton Free Public Library every Tuesday! There will be a story, a lesson, and a STEAM project. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Join the Greenfield Public Library for a weekly storytime year-round! This event includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for kids age five and under. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library will have a baby and toddler play time every Tuesday at 11am. They also offer a playgroup for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month which begins at 10am. Kids can come play with toys, do a craft, read a book, and make new friends at this fun playgroup, year-round. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – LITERACY: Kids ages 2-5 can attend a literacy group at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield. Come with a parent or caregiver and practice reading skills! Runs every Tuesday. 413-568-5242. 28 West Silver Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: It Takes a Village Mother’s Circle runs every Tuesday at St. John’s Corner House. Come talk about motherhood with others in a supportive and caring environment. Expectant mothers welcome, and infants can attend, and there is childcare for older children. Follows the Mohawk Trail school schedule. 413-650-3640. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – WOODWORKING:The Shakers are known for their beautiful and simple handcrafted utilitarian objects. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village any Tuesday to watch master woodworkers create oval boxes using traditional tools and techniques. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)
  • 10:15am-11:45am – CRAFTING: What better way to prepare for a cozy New England winter than to complete those knitting projects? Knitting alongside others also builds community and increases skills. The Storrs Library in Longmeadow offers a Novel Knitters drop-in program for adults where you can bring your own projects and supplies or participate in ongoing community projects. All levels of expertise are welcome. 413- 565-4182. Storrs Library, 693 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers can attend a fun storytime at the Chicopee Public Library the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Come for songs, finger plays, movement, stories, activities, and crafts. 413-594-1800 x107. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime and music for ages 1-3 every Tuesday at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime every Tuesday at the Granby Free Public Library. Nurture your child’s love of books by engaging in stories and crafts. Ages 2 ½ to 5 years old. Drop in! 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street, Granby, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11am – MUSIC: The Hubbard Library is offering a music program for preschoolers every Tuesday. Come for singing, clapping, and dancing. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STEM & LITERACY PLAYGROUP: The Mason Library invites children ages 0-5 with their caregivers to its Brain Builders Play & Learn Playgroup every Tuesday. Activities will include reading, singing, playing, circle time, and engaging table-time activities that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) themes! 413-528-1720. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Toddlers aged 12-36 months and their caregivers are welcome at the bilingual toddler storytime at the Forest Park Library. stories, songs, fingerplays, and playtime. Registration required if you bring more than three children. Runs through December 8. Registration required/limited space. Adult must be present. 413-263-6843. 380 Belmont Ave., Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Tuesday at the Adams Youth Center. 413-664-4821. 20 East Street Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library is holding a baby and toddler playtime every Tuesday. Come to the library and meet other kids and parents. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a playgroup at Adams Youth Center for infants to 5 year olds. 413-664-4821. 20 East St., Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Facilitator MaryBeth leads Baby Steps, a playgroup that meets Tuesdays. This playgroup is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1pm – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives who are raising their young relatives can attend a support group every second and fourth Tuesday in Turners Falls. Come to the group to learn about resources, meet others, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 294 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:30pm-2pm – TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT: The Storrs Library’s Tech Tuesday ongoing, drop-in sessions allow folks to receive coaching in various skills with which they’ve been needing support. Learn how to use your new computer, send email, operate an e-reader, and more. Bring your phone, e-reader, or other relevant device. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2pm – BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: Are you or your partner facing breastfeeding challenges? Is nursing not what you thought it would be? Stop in to MaryBeth’s breastfeeding support group, which meets Tuesday afternoons, for advice, techniques, and emotional support. Babies and children welcome, of course! This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema offers weekly matinees every Tuesday, 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. >$
  • 3pm – KNITTING: On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, the Stockbridge Library hosts a Sit & Knit group. All levels of knitters and crocheters can come spend time knitting with others. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-4pm — LEGO CLUB Come build remote control devices and other cool stuff with LEGOs at the Bushnell-Sage Library. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5pm – GAMES: Kids can play Magic the Gathering every Tuesday at Comics N’ More. A great chance for kids to make new friends with similar interests and learn how to play this fun card game! 413-529-0800. 31 Union Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 3pm-5pm — TEENS: Afterschool Cafe every Tuesday at the Goodwin Memorial Library. Teens can be teens in their own space — a great place to work on homework, read, play games, hang with friends and chill out. Refreshments provided. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle Street (Corner of Routes 47 and 9), Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: The Family Resource Center is offering a LEGO group for ages 4-8 the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. 413-664-4821. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30pm – AFTERSCHOOL & YO-YO: Not many toys can boast over 2,500 years of use worldwide, but the yo-yo has enjoyed consistent use in hundreds of cultures for nearly three millennia. The popular Northampton education-based store A to Z hosts Yo-Yo School three times a week inside their store, and their teachers are true masters. Open to all ages, although older elementary children often have the motor skills and coordination needed for it to be a bit easier to learn. Read more about Yo-Yo school on Hilltown Families. Call 413-586-1611. 57 King St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:15pm-6:45pm – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who are raising young relatives can attend a support group every first Tuesday (5:15pm-6:45pm) and third Wednesday (12:30pm-2pm) in Greenfield. Come to the group to learn about resources, meet others, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-8pm – FILM STUDIES: The Red Gate Farm Film Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month to watch and discuss films in the farm’s program building. A homemade dinner is served, with an optional small donation to cover food costs. All ages welcome, but parents should know that PG and PG-13 movies are shown. Anyone in 3rd grade or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and participants under 17 must have a signed parental/guardian consent form in order to attend. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road, Ashfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – LITERACY/GAMES: Meet up with other community members at the Monson Library each Tuesday for a game of Scrabble! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – PARENTING & CLIMATE CHANGE: Mothers Out Front is a group of “mothers and others” who are concerned about climate change and passionate about creating a cleaner energy future for future generations. Learn more about the group’s work and meet other parents with whom to share your stories, hopes, and fears at their monthly climate support gatherings, held every 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP via the MOF site. Sunderland, MA (Tuesdays) and Florence, MA (Thursdays). (FREE)
  • 6pm-7pm – WRITING: The Sunderland Public Library hosts a Teen and Tween Writing Club the last Tuesday of each month. Students can come practice writing from prompts and doing activities and exercises – this is a great way to make friends and improve writing skills! Please sign up in advance. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Is the health of our Earth on your mind? Gather with others who are contemplating the same topic at the Environmental Awareness Discussion Group, which meets on the last Tuesday of the month at the Dickinson Memorial Library. Members of the group use both non-fiction and fiction books and films as launching off points for meaningful conversations about the environment. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, December 16th

Wednesday, December 16, 9am-11am — PARENTING
Este taller ofrece a las familias una introducción sobre sus derechos y responsabilidades bajo: la ley IDEA, la ley de educación especial de Massachussets y la ley Que Ningún Niño se Quede Atrás (NCLB). Este taller esta diseñado para ayudar a los padres a aprender como ser compañeros efectivos con la escuela, decidir la elegibilidad del niño para educación especial, como planear, tomar decisiones y supervisar el progreso educacional de su niño.
Sponsored by the Federation for Children with Special Needs. 617-236-7210. Family Room, 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA, (FREE)

Wednesday, December 16, 10am-4pm — HOLIDAY/US HISTORY/ARCHITECTURE
Ventfort Hall, a Gilded-Age “cottage,” will be decorated for the holidays throughout the month of December. Built in 1893 for Sarah Morgan, the sister of J.P. Morgan, this Jacobean Revival-style mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, December 16, 10am-5pm — NON-COMMERCIAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Shop the “Meekins Market” for everyone on your list and support the Meekins Library and sustainability in the process. This “indoor tag sale” has something for everyone, at reasonable prices (most items are between 25 cents and 10 dollars). Find gently used stuffed animals, toys and games, decorative objects, household items, jewelry, holiday items, and of course books. Kids can shop for parents, teachers, and friends without breaking the (piggy) bank! Open during library hours through December 19. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street (Route 9), Williamsburg, MA. (SALE)

Wednesday, December 16, 4pm-5pm — SANTA/STORYTELLING
Welcome the Jolly Old Elf to Cushman Library! Kids can listen to Santa share a story, tell him their Christmas wishes, and have their pictures taken with him. Snack provided. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street, Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, December 16, 7pm — HOLIDAY/VARIETY SHOW
Home for the HOLLY-Days. This festive holiday show has become a tradition for many Pioneer Valley theater-goers, and this year’s show is bigger than ever! Come see Buddy, Elvis, Richie, and the Big Bopper in the concert they never gave, featuring musical performances by local favorites such as Ray Guillmette, Jr., Ben Ashley, Frank Manzi and more. Santa will also be making a special appearance! Suitable for audiences of all ages, this show offers the perfect opportunity to join in the spirit of the holidays with your family and local community. Performances are presented by The Majestic Theater, 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, December 16, 7pm — CONCERT
Join the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School for “Winter Expressions,” its annual winter Music Department Showcase, at the Academy of Music Theatre. Enjoy all types of music, from classical choral to energetic rock and roll.
413-584-9032. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($)

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ONGOING FOR WEDNESDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 8am-10am – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Whether you are seeking a nutritious meal to start your day, hoping to make new connections in the community–or both!–everyone is welcome to attend a community breakfast each Wednesday, hosted by Craig’s Doors, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst. 413-437-0776. Willie Eaton Social Hall, Unitarian Meetinghouse, 121 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can play, learn, and discover at a weekly program every Wednesday at Kittredge Elementary School. 413-655-0146. Maple Street. Hinsdale, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Cummington Family Center is holding a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday through May 2016. Young kids can come play and make friends. Takes place in old Berkshire Trail Elementary School. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: You and your young children are welcome to join other kids and caregivers each Wednesday at the Lenox Community Center’s weekly playgroup, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 3-5 years old and their caregivers can join Kim each Wednesday for Play N Learn, a playgroup sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Advance registration required. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Parents and their preschoolers can come to the Westhampton Public Library for coffee and storytime every Wednesday. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Westhampton Public Library on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA.
  • 10am – COMMUNITY: The Westhampton Public Library‘s weekly Coffee and Chat runs every Wednesday at 10am. Come together with community members to share stories, news, and to stay connected. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday and Wednesday at 10am for stories with Nathan! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup every Wednesday at the Lanesborough Town Hall’s Community Room. For ages walking to 5 years. Run by The Family Center. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – 11:30am – MUSIC AND LITERACY: Young children and their caregivers can visit the Wendell Free Library on Wednesdays through June 30, 2016 for Tunes and Tales with Sylvia Wetherby, organized by the Community Network for Children. This group may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-3559. 7 Wendell Depot Road, Wendell, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:00am-11:00am – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc.is offering a toddler playgroup at Haskins Center for ages 1 to 2.5 years. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Erving Elementary school every Wednesday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 413-423-3326. 28 Northfield Road, Erving, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: There will be a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – STORYTIME: Enjoy a morning of stories at the New Marlborough Library’s weekly storytime, held each Wednesday. This storytime series is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road, New Marlborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:15am-11:45am – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who are raising their young relatives can attend a support group every fourth Wednesday in Huntington. Come to the group to learn about resources, meet others, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. Hilltown Family Center, 9 Russell Street (Route 9), Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Meekins Library librarian, Rochelle Wildfong, will host a story time in the children’s department every Wednesday, all year round. Fingerplays, songs, picture books, and circle games for pre-schoolers and their caregivers. After story hour, take the kids sledding behind the school, then head down to Bread Euphoria for a warm something to eat & drink! A delightful way to spend a Wednesday morning in the Hilltowns with your preK kids! 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: There is a storytime for preschool-age kids every Wednesday at the Monson Free Library! Come for stories and fun. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime and crafts for ages 3-6 every Wednesday at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 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.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for ages 3-8 at the Mason Square Branch Library. Come every Wednesday for stories, songs, and crafts. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11am – STEM: The Berkshire Museum is offering a Parent/Child STEM Session the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Come explore science, technology, engineering, and math through books, hands-on activities, and play. Registration is required. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12pm – STORYTIME: The Community Network for Children offers a story hour every Wednesday at the Leverett Library. Children ages 5 and under can come for music, movement, books, and hands-on activities. Runs through June 30, 2016. May not run on holidays or in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-5157. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am & 2pm – FIBER ARTS:The Shakers are known for their beautiful and simple fiber crafts. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village any Wednesday to watch flax-processing and felted bead-making demonstrations by talented artisans who use traditional tools and techniques. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)
  • 11:00am-11:30am – STORYTIME Toddlers and their caregivers can come to the Forbes Library for Toddler Time, which includes stories, bubbles and songs with friends every Wednesday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – STORYTIME: Preschool storyhour every Wednesday at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Ruthanne Paulson includes stories, music, movement, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – GYM GROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a Gym Group at Haskins Center for ages walking to 5 years old. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 12pm-1:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Every Wednesday there will be a support group for pregnant and postpartum mothers of children ages 0-5 at Square One’s Family Square, facilitated by MotherWoman. This group is a great place to talk about motherhood in a safe and confidential space. Childcare provided. 413-858-3122. 1095 Main Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Wednesday at Midwifery Care of Holyoke. Expectant mothers and moms of babies under age 1 can come discuss all aspects of motherhood. 413-534-2700. 230 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Parents, caregivers, and grandparents are invited to attend a Parents Supporting Parents Support Group every Wednesday at the Salasin Center. 413-775-0010. 474 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Preschool-aged kids can attend Kidleidoscope every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. This weekly program features forest-themed educational activities. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-4pm — CHESS CLUB: Come to the Bushnell-Sage Library to play chess with your friends and neighbors, and our chessmaster,Stephen Greenspan. Any level of experience, all ages, and beginners are welcome. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5:30pm – MAKER SPACE: Every Wednesday, Amherst Media hosts a drop-in group for makers of all ages and experience levels. Whether you’re working on computer programming, tech projects, knitting, other projects, or are just curious, stop by and check it out! 413-259-3300. 246 College Street. Amherst, MA.
  • 3:30pm-5pm CHESS : Come to the Chess Club at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Instruction and free play with our amazing instructor, Michael Gray. For Kindergarten-8th grade. Best for those with some chess knowledge. 413-525-5400, ext. 1511. 60 Center Square, East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – STORY/CRAFT: Join the Cushman Library during the school year for thematic picture book/craft activities, snacks and opportunity to meet other parents while the kids get crafty together. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm — KNITTING: Come to the Bushnell-Sage Library to Sit and Knit! All levels welcome. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm – WRITING/STORYTELLING: Adults and older students are invited to the Forbes Library‘s reading series, “The Modern Real and Surreal: Writers and Artists on Our Age,” which meets on the first Wednesday of each month. This series invites the community to examine the relationships among story, art, empathy, and insight in our modern age. 413-587-1014. Coolidge Museum, 20 West Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-7:30pm – KNITTING: Knitting provides an excellent base for intergenerational skill sharing every Wednesday through Dec 23 at the Cushman LIbrary. Bring your current project or one you’ve been meaning to start! All levels of knitters are welcome at this Wednesday knitting circle. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm — CRAFTING: Sheep & Shawl yarn and fiber arts shop in South Deerfield offers Knit/Crochet/Spin Circles every Wednesday night. 413-397-3680. 265 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm-9pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group the fourth Wednesday of each month in Conference Room D at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. This is a bereavement group for infant and pregnancy loss. Please contact emptyarmsbereavement@gmail.com for more information. 413-387-0703. 30 Locust Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 7pm-9pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group the second Wednesday of each month in the Owl and Raven Community Space. The group is for mothers and partners who have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Please email lexi.walters@gmail.com for more information. 413-387-0703. 2 Conz Street, Unit 42. Northampton, MA.
  • 7pm-9pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The Creacion Latin Big Band has open practice sessions every first and third Wednesdays. Enjoy salsa, cha cha, mambo, and more, and enjoy food and drink from the beer garden, too. Audience members are invited to dance to their hearts’ content! 413-650-2670. Gateway City Arts, 92-114 Race Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 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 teens and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, December 17th

Thursday, December 17, 10:30am-11:30am — ANIMAL STUDIES
I waddle, I quack, water runs off my back. What am I? A duck, of course! Come to the Great Falls Discovery Center for Kidleidoscope to learn about these birds that share the Connecticut River Watershed with all of us. Kids ages 3-6 and their caregivers can enjoy a story, interactive games, and a craft. 413-863-3221. Great Hall, 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 17, 12:15pm-1:15pm — HOLIDAY/ASTRONOMY
Christians sing about it every year: “O Star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright, Westward leading, still proceeding, Guide us to thy Perfect Light.” But was the star that led the Three Kings to Bethlehem real? For this month’s Museums a la Carte lecture at the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, join Richard Sanderson and Jack Megas in the Seymour Planetarium to explore the mystery. Feel free to bring a lunch to enjoy. 413-263-6488. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, December 17, 2pm — US HISTORY/CHRISTMAS
President Calvin Coolidge began the tradition of the outdoor National Christmas Tree when he lit a balsam fir from Vermont on the White House grounds on Christmas Eve, 1923. Learn more about the Coolidge White House during the holiday season at Cookies with a Curator at Forbes Library. Archivist Julie Bartlett Nelson will lead an informal conversation in the Coolidge Museum. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 17, 3:30pm-4:30pm — HOLIDAY STORY/CRAFT
Listen to the classic story of the “Tomten’s nocturnal visits to all of the residents of a wintry farm” and make your own elf for the holidays at Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street (Route 9), Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, December 17, 7pm — PERFORMING ARTS
A Christmas Carol. This classic tale by Charles Dickens has become a holiday tradition for audiences of all ages. Journey back to Victorian England and revisit the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways, prompting redemption. Filled with holiday carols and wonderment, this story teaches of charity and fellowship, love and generosity, and how to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year round. The production is being presented by The Berkshire Theatre Group and performances will be held at The Colonial Theater, 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, December 17, 7pm — PERFORMING ARTS/SANTA
What do you think Mrs. Claus gets Santa for Christmas? How about a puppy? In Paintbox Theater‘s The Santa Show — Santa Gets a Puppy, she does just that, except, well, it’s actually a full-grown hound, and he’s super smart. Mayhem ensues…along with lots of audience participation and a sing-along of Santa songs. 413-923-7159. Northampton High School, 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA. ($)

Thursday, December 17, 7pm — CONCERT
Join the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School for “Winter Expressions,” its annual winter Music Department Showcase, at the Academy of Music Theatre. Enjoy all types of music, from classical choral to energetic rock and roll. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($)

Thursday, December 17, 7:30pm — HOLIDAY/VARIETY SHOW
Home for the HOLLY-Days. This festive holiday show has become a tradition for many Pioneer Valley theater-goers, and this year’s show is bigger than ever! Come see Buddy, Elvis, Richie, and the Big Bopper in the concert they never gave, featuring musical performances by local favorites such as Ray Guillmette, Jr., Ben Ashley, Frank Manzi and more. Santa will also be making a special appearance! Suitable for audiences of all ages, this show offers the perfect opportunity to join in the spirit of the holidays with your family and local community. Performances are presented by The Majestic Theater, 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$)

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ONGOING FOR THURSDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 18 months through 3 years and their caregivers may participate in the Toddler Steps playgroup which meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – STORYTIME: On Thursdays, young children and their caregivers can enjoy building early literacy skills at Richmond Reads, a weekly group sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Richmond Library, 1831 State Road, Richmond, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Storytime every Thursday at the Dalton Free Public Library. There will be stories, snacks, and a craft. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a support group for parents with infants every Thursday Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup every Thursday in Goshen Town Hall. There will be storytime, crafts, projects, and more. 42 Main Street. Goshen, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP Add some playtime, socializing, and song to your morning at Sing N Play each Thursday. Open to young children and their caregivers, and sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Bushnell-Sage Library, 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:15am – STORYTIME: Storytime for toddlers (ages 2-5) every Thursday at the Ramsdell Library. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, 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. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: The Jones Library will offer a preschool storytime every Thursday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: No child is too young to benefit from having a story read to him or her! Listening to a read-aloud story allows children to encounter new sounds and vocabulary, teaches them how to use a book, and introduces ideas about how stories are created. Share the joy of reading with your child at the Lenox Library‘s storytime every Thursday morning. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12:30pm – PLAY GROUP: Children birth – 5 years old are welcome to attend a neighborhood playgroup at Sixteen Acres Library. Enjoy stories, fingerplays, a craft and playtime. Adult must accompany and consistently supervise children, siblings welcome. 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street, Springfield MA. (FREE)
  • 10:45am-11:45am – PARENTING SKILLS/SUPPORT: Would you like to meet other parents in the area and share your parenting triumphs and challenges? Would you enjoy learning sound parenting advice from a trusted source? Check out Sips & Tips, a parenting group that meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:45am-12pm – NUTRITION & CULINARY ARTS: Children ages 2.5-5 years and their caregivers are invited to Kids’ Kitchen, a fun cooking group that meets on Thursdays. Children who participate in meal preparation often show greater tolerance for a variety of foods and healthier eating habits than children who do not. The focus will be on learning basic food prep techniques and making healthy choices for everyday meals. Sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – PARENTING SUPPORT: Mothers, fathers, grandparents, and all others providing care for a child age 0-9 months are invited to Welcome Baby, a support group that meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Learn how to address the needs of infants and yourself, and address feeding concerns and other topics. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – GYM GROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a Gym Group at the Haskins Center for ages walking to 5 years old. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 12pm-1:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Cummington preschool teacher Ms. Amy will host a weekly playgroup for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers at the Cummington Family Center. Bring your lunch, and come play, learn, and discover together! Starts Thursday, December 3rd. 2 Main Street, Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm & 5pm – INTERGENERATIONAL SKILL SHARING: Dottie’s Coffee Lounge hosts two knitting groups most Thursdays. The 3pm group is open to all levels, and is led by Kay, who spins her own wool. The 5pm group, led by Caitlin, focuses on teaching and practicing the fundamentals of knitting, but all levels and projects are welcome. 413-443-1792. 444 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – JOB SKILLS: Do you need help finding a job? Do you need assistance in creating or revising a resume and/or with interview skills? The Amherst Survival Center provides support during weekly sessions. And you can also join for lunch between 12pm and 1pm! You can ride the #33 bus right to the door. The Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Rd., North Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:15pm – FINE ARTS: Visit the Springfield Museums‘ Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts for their popular Thursday Museums a la Carte lectures, featuring presentations on a variety of fine art-related topics! Visitors are welcome to bring a lunch; coffee and cookies will be provided. Intended for older students and adults. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $)
  • 12:30pm-2:30pm – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every third Thursday at Scantic Valley YMCA. Mothers of babies 12 months and under can come talk about motherhood at this monthly program. 413-583-3527. 45 Post Office Park. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm – PLAYGROUP: Too old for tummy time? Too young for toddler time? Drop into this fun social time for babies at Forbes Library! 413-587-1011. Community Room, Forbes Library, 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm-2:30pm – STORYTIME/BILINGUAL: Little ones can come to the Brightwood Library every Thursday for a bilingual story club (English and Spanish). Come sing, dance, play, hear stories in English and Spanish, and meet new friends. 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm-4pm – KNITTING: Knitting provides an excellent base for intergenerational skill sharing every Thursday. Bring your current project or one you’ve been meaning to start! All levels of knitters are welcome at this Thursday knitting circle, hosted at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge. 413-443-1792. 444 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 2:30pm-4:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Hatfield Public Library holds a weekly Crafting Club for ages 5 and up every Thursday! Come to the library and get creative at this fun program. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5pm – STEAM: Kids can attend a STEAM program at the Greenfield Public Library on the third Thursday of each month. A guest presenter will cover either science, technology, engineering, art, or math using a book. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:45pm – MINECRAFT: Tweens and teens can attend Minecraft Club at the Indian Orchard Branch Library every Thursday. Come make new friends and trade Minecraft tips and tricks! 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Indian Orchard, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-5pm – CHESS: Every second and fourth Thursday, kids are invited to the Mason Library for chess. There will be 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. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – STORYTIME: The Hubbard Library is offering a storytime for students ages 5-8. Every Thursday. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-8pm – GAMES/LEGOS: Families can have fun every Thursday at Gaylord Memorial Library‘s game and LEGO night! Stop by for board games, puzzles, LEGOs, and more. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 4:30pm – AFTERSCHOOL & YO-YO: Not many toys can boast over 2,500 years of use worldwide, but the yo-yo has enjoyed consistent use in hundreds of cultures for nearly three millenia. The popular Northampton education-based store A to Z hosts Yo-Yo School three times a week inside their store, and their teachers are true masters. Open to all ages, although older elementary children often have the motor skills and coordination needed for it to be a bit easier to learn. Read more about Yo-Yo school on Hilltown Families. Call 413-586-1611. 57 King St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-6:30pm – LEGO: Kids ages 6 and up can have fun and get creative with LEGOs at the Mason Square Branch Library‘s LEGO Club every Thursday. Call to sign up. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-8pm — MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART: The Williams College Museum of Art
    is open late every Thursday. Bring the family for some after-work adventures! 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Suite 2, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – PARENTING & CLIMATE CHANGE: Mothers Out Front is a group of “mothers and others” who are concerned about climate change and passionate about creating a cleaner energy future for future generations. Learn more about the group’s work and meet other parents with whom to share your stories, hopes, and fears at their monthly climate support gatherings, held every 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP via the MOF site. Sunderland, MA (Tuesdays) and Florence, MA (Thursdays). (FREE)
  • 6pm – GAME CLUB: Get together to play an assortment of games including board games, standard card games, trading card games, role-playing games, and miniatures games at the Westhampton Public Library each Thursday. Open to all but focused on ages 13 and up. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-7pm – LEGOS: The Family Resource Center is offering a LEGO group for ages 4-12 the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. 413-664-4821. North Adams Library, 4th Floor. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm – KNITTING: Spruce up your knitting skills and spend time with community members of all ages at the Dickinson Memorial Library‘s knitting group every Thursday evening. All skill levels are welcome. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – GAMES: There will be a family game night the third Thursday of each month at Montague Common Hall. Spend quality time playing games with family and friends. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA. (FREE/DONATION)
  • 6:30pm – TRIVIA: Is your mind brimming with all sorts of facts and figures? On the first Thursday of every month, the Jones Library will host a trivia night where you can put this knowledge to a fun use! Individuals may form teams ahead of time or meet up with others at the event and create teams on the spot (no more than 5 members per team). Prizes and refreshments will be shared. Intended for older students and adults. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (< $; SUGGESTED DONATION)
  • 6:30pm-8:00pm – PARENTING: Parents of transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning children are invited to participate in a new support group that meets on the first Thursday of every month (excepting Labor Day). 413-695-7686. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm – TRIVIA: Display your trivia knowledge the first Thursday of each month at the Jones Library‘s trivia night! There will be two rounds of 15 questions and you can either come with a team or form one at the library (teams must be smaller than 5). There will also be prizes and refreshments. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (DONATION $)
  • 7pm-7:30pm – STORYTIME: The Hubbard Library will have a “Tuck Me In” storytime for ages 3-7 the first Thursday of each month. Kids can come to the library in pajamas and enjoy this bedtime-themed storytime. Registration is required. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, December 18th

Friday, December 18, 4pm-9pm — CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION
Old Sturbridge Village invites you to return to a simpler time, when Christmas meant carols and community, not catalogs and chaos, at their annual Christmas by Candlelight event. Enjoy sleigh rides, carols, model railroads, holiday magic shows, dances, and story readings. Watch demonstrations of gingerbread baking and cider making, and learn about the history of holiday traditions such as roasted chestnuts, yule logs, mistletoe, and more! Visitors will also have an opportunity to make a Christmas keepsake to take home. This event runs December 4-6, 11-13, and 18-20, and advance ticket purchase is recommended. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA. ($)

Friday, December 18. 5pm — YOUTH THEATER/CHINESE
Face of the Dragon. When the ancient Chinese city of Wu is under attack, the inhabitants are told to pray to the Great Cloud Dragon for help. This family-friendly tale follows the story of a young street sweeper named Hans, whose actions during this tumultuous ordeal highlight the transformative power of goodwill and generosity. The production is being presented by The Drama Studio, 41 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, December 18, 7pm — PERFORMING ARTS
A Christmas Carol. This classic tale by Charles Dickens has become a holiday tradition for audiences of all ages. Journey back to Victorian England and revisit the timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the infamous miser who is shown the error of his ways, prompting redemption. Filled with holiday carols and wonderment, this story teaches of charity and fellowship, love and generosity, and how to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year round. The production is being presented by The Berkshire Theatre Group and performances will be held at The Colonial Theater, 111 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Friday, December 18, 7pm — PERFORMING ARTS/SANTA
What do you think Mrs. Claus gets Santa for Christmas? How about a puppy? In Paintbox Theater‘s The Santa Show — Santa Gets a Puppy, she does just that, except, well, it’s actually a full-grown hound, and he’s super smart. Mayhem ensues…along with lots of audience participation and a sing-along of Santa songs. 413-923-7159. Northampton High School, 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA. ($)

Friday, December 18, 7pm — ART STUDIES
To “grok” is to understand something intuitively. Artspace presents “Grok This Art,” an exhibition by visual arts students at Greenfield Community College. In case you still have questions, you can join the artists for discussion of the works in the showcase, which runs through December 30. 413-772-6811. 15 Mill Street, Greenfield, MA.

Friday, December 18, 8pm — HOLIDAY/VARIETY SHOW
Home for the HOLLY-Days. This festive holiday show has become a tradition for many Pioneer Valley theater-goers, and this year’s show is bigger than ever! Come see Buddy, Elvis, Richie, and the Big Bopper in the concert they never gave, featuring musical performances by local favorites such as Ray Guillmette, Jr., Ben Ashley, Frank Manzi and more. Santa will also be making a special appearance! Suitable for audiences of all ages, this show offers the perfect opportunity to join in the spirit of the holidays with your family and local community. Performances are presented by The Majestic Theater, 131 Elm Street, West Springfield, MA. ($$)

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ONGOING FOR FRIDAY (To add your free ongoing event/activity here, email us at info@hilltownfamilies.org)

9:30am-3:30pm – GIRLS’ EMPOWERMENT: Full Moon Girls: Nature mentoring. Fridays, October 2, 2015 – May 27, 2016. Ages 9-15. A spot is open for you! FullMoonGirlsInfo@gmail.com. 413-367-6191. Greenhill Center for Outdoor Activities. Conway, MA ($$)

  • 9:30am – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can play, learn, and discover at a weekly program every Friday at the Becket Washington School. 413-655-0146. 12 Maple Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday through May 2016 for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Cummington Family Center is holding a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday through May 2016. Young kids can come play and make friends. Takes place in old Berkshire Trail Elementary School. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a weekly playgroup every Friday at Whole Children for children ages 5 and under. 413-585-8010. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Friday at Anne T. Dunphy School. 1 Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Friday at the playground on Narragansett Avenue. 413-664-4821. Narragansett Avenue. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour every Friday at 10am & 2pm. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a free baby group for babies and caretakers at the Williamstown Youth Center the first Friday of every month. 413-663-6593. School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PRENATAL SUPPORT: Exercise and emotional support are both important components of a healthy pregnancy. Get some of both at a walk and talk group that allows pregnant women to gather, support each other, and learn together. Each session begins with a walk and ends with a sit-down talk about topics such as nutrition, health, and infant care. This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am — BABY & ME/PLAYGROUP Pittsfield CFCE hosts an interactive Baby & Me Playgroup for parents with babies ages 1 and under each Friday. Explore and connect with others, and learn from guest speakers. Pre-registration required. 413-441-0974. 480 West Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in time at the Haskins Center every Friday. Come play and make friends every week. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the Community Action Family Center. Expectant mothers and moms of infants can attend this group to discuss adjustment to motherhood. Childcare provided; babies in arms welcome. 413-387-0703. 220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: There will be a playgroup every Friday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the MotherWoman Office. Expectant mothers and moms of infants through preschoolers can attend this group to discuss all aspects of motherhood. Childcare provided for ages 4 and under. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for preschool-age Hilltown children at the Chesterfield Community Center with free play, toys, songs, stories, crafts, and a free book. 413-296-9201. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Incorporate much-needed physical activity into your child’s day by participating in Skip & Dip, a high-energy playgroup sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. This group, which meets on Fridays, starts with an hour of playtime in the gym with assorted toys and equipment, followed by an hour of swimming in the pool. 413-644-0104. Berkshire South Regional Community Center, 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Wednesday at Edwards Library. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Every Friday is Bounce and Rhyme Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Kids 2 ½ and younger can come enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: The Chicopee Public Library holds a weekly Music and Movement program for kids ages 5 and under every Friday. Come have fun moving, singing, and dancing. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Families can attend the “Family Frolic Storytime” every Friday at Gaylord Memorial Library! Enjoy stories, musical plays, and crafts. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – MUSIC & PLAYGROUP: Children ages 2-5 with their caregivers are invited to the Mason Library‘s Sing N Play group every Friday. Please register in advance for one 4-week session. New sessions begin each month. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME/ART/MUSIC Toddlers ages 2-5 with their caregivers are invited to the Ramsdell Library every Friday for the “Time for Tots” group. This hour of fun will include stories, songs, art, and movement. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – STORYTIME: Preschool Story Time on the first Friday of every month through the end of June 2016 at the Cushman Library. Stories, coloring, crafts, songs, activities, snacks, and more. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – STORYTIME: The Sunderland Public Library’s Head of Youth Services, Kelly Daniels Baker, invites children ages 3-5 and their families to a preschool storytime. Includes stories, songs, finger plays, and crafts. Sunderland Public Library, 20 School St., Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – MUSEUM-BASED PLAY: Visit the Berkshire Museum for WeeMuse Adventures, a weekly program every Friday that will feature songs, stories, scavenger hunts, playtime, and more. Intended audience is children 18 months – 3 years with a caregiver; siblings welcome. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($)
  • 11:00-12:50pm – ICE SKATING: Want to teach a child how to ice skate but find it difficult to navigate the ice when it is so crowded? The Mullins Center on the UMass Amherst Campus offers a “just for families” skate (no college students) every Friday throughout the school year. You can borrow ice skates or bring your own. Skate rental is free with paid admission. Parents and caregivers skate free when accompanying children. Call to confirm: 413-545-2791, Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave., University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Amherst, MA (<$)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Parents/caregivers and their babies, ages 0-15 months, can come to “Welcome Baby” every Friday at the Storrs Library. This program, run by Pathways for Parents, is all about the importance of reading, music, and interactive play. Call to sign up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm — CRAFTING: Sheep & Shawl yarn and fiber arts shop in South Deerfield, MA offers Knit/Crochet/Spin Circles every Friday afternoon. 413-397-3680. 265 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – MINECRAFT: The Storrs Library has a Minecraft Club for kids in grades 3 and up every Friday. Call to sign up. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4-8pm — ART/ART STUDIES: Experience hands-on art-making for all ages as part of Free Second Fridays at the Smith College Museum of Art. Come with Open Eyes and join a guided gallery conversation exploring a different art object each month. Light refreshments. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace, Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The first Friday of each month, First Friday Greenfield takes place downtown. Stores and restaurants will be open late, and there will be music, activities, art shows, and more. Support local businesses and explore everything Greenfield has to offer at this fun monthly event. Downtown. Greenfield, MA.
  • 5:30pm-8pm – GAMES: Game night happens at A2Z Science and Learning Store. Stop by on a Friday night to meet up with others and try out new games. Suitable for older children and teens. Ongoing. 413-586-1611. 57 King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Parents/caregivers can drop off kids ages 3-12 at Berkshire South Regional Community Center while you enjoy date night every Friday! Kids will enjoy swimming, activities, pizza, and stories. Cost includes pizza dinner. Reservations required at least 48 hours in advance. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. ($)
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Have you ever learned about an eclipse, comet, meteor shower, or other celestial event after it happened? Don’t miss out on another one! The “Stars over Springfield” observatory series invites the public to learn about and enjoy the night sky with the help of the Springfield Science Museum‘s large rooftop telescope on the first Friday of every month. There will be a short talk on an astronomy-related topic, followed by opportunities to view celestial objects of interest. These programs are best suited for families with children ages 8 and up, although younger children are also welcome. In case of clouds or rain, a planetarium show will replace the outdoor viewing. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-263-6800 x 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $)
  • 8pm – TALENT SHOW: The first Friday of every month, the Valley Talent Showcase takes place at Gateway City Arts. Come watch local bands, musicians, dancers, and more perform on stage, or sign up to participate and gain experience performing onstage for an audience. This is a great chance to see some talented local groups perform or to get your name out there. 413-650-2670. 92-114 Race Street. Holyoke, MA. (< $)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Ashfield, Bernardston, Chesterfield, Conway, Erving, Goshen, Heath, Holyoke, Leyden, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Warwick, Williamsburg and Worthington Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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