Suggested Events for January 9th-15th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families keeps us busy doing all sorts of fun and amazing things every weekend… and there’s no time left for winter blues!” – Erin Klett (Greenfield, MA)

Suggest EventIf you have a community event, educational program or service opportunity for youth/families happening in Western Massachusetts that you’d like to let us know about, self-post your event at any time on our “Suggest An Event” bulletin board. The events below are “suggested.” Please take the time to confirm that these events are happening, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before attending.

Enhanced PublicityServing Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families supports development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, individuals, schools and non-profits are encouraged to partner with Hilltown Families through sponsorship and advertising. Let us help get the word out about your after school/homeschool class, event, camp, workshop, fundraiser, business/school, service, open house, volunteer opportunity or general announcement. Deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families… help us help you! Click HERE to find out more.

Hilltown Families 8th Annual
Handmade Valentine Swap

Deadline to Sign-Up: Jan 30, 2016

It’s that time of the year again for the Hilltown Families Annual Handmade Valentine Swap! For the past eight years Hilltown Families has coordinated a community Handmade Valentine Swap — and we’re doing it again! Making handmade valentines is a great way to push against the commercialization of yet another holiday, while being creative with your family and friends. JOIN US! It’s free to sign up and open to all families in western Massachusetts! Last year our community generated over 1,550 handmade valentines! Let’s do it again!

Support Hilltown Families with Your Vote!

Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon! Vote today!

Hilltown Families is celebrating 10 years! — TEN YEARS!!! Celebrate with us by casting your vote for Hilltown Families as BEST BLOG in the Valley Advocate’s Best of the Valley Readers’ Poll for 2016! BEST BLOG is listed under the “Information Age” category. Deadline to cast your votes is Wednesday, Feb 3rd by 12noon. Participants must vote for a total of 10 local favorites… how about some of our sponsors! Click here to cast your votes: www.valleyadvocate.com/best-of

Bulletin Board

Jan 10

Interested in filmmaking? Perhaps you have a friend or family member that is and you need to find them a unique holiday gift! In this new one-day intensive Filmmaker Workshop at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on January 10th each student will learn basic aspects and best practices of production, editing, and how to use websites like YouTube to upload and share work. The class is ideal for artists, students, communications professionals, beginning filmmakers, and anyone interested in DIY video. In today’s world, entire films are shot on iPhones, edited on laptops, and then shared to a worldwide audience with websites like YouTube. Now learn how to be a part of it! For more info and to sign up, visit: www.lindsayvandyke.com

Open House: Jan 14

Lander-Grinspoon Academy, (LGA) 257 Prospect Street, Northampton, is hosting an Open House on Thursday, January 14 from 9:00am -10:30am. LGA is committed to the intellectual, emotional, social, ethical, and spiritual development of its students. Its emphasis on community, culture, and social justice encourages children of all ages to become independent thinkers, as well as caring and responsible citizens of the world. LGA’s talented, dedicated faculty makes sure that students are seen — and celebrated — as the individual young people they are. LGA welcomes families from all Jewish traditions and backgrounds, including interfaith families. Generous financial aid and tuition incentives available. More info: glansky@landergrinspoon.org.

Open House: Jan 30

Amherst Montessori School will host an Open House for parents on Saturday, January 30 from 10am-12noon. Meet teachers and administrators, tour their beautiful new school in South Amherst, and learn about the Montessori curriculum for infants through sixth grade. AMS programs feature thoughtfully-prepared classrooms to support the child’s development, and a curriculum that integrates music, art, practical life, outdoor time, PE, Spanish, and more. January’s Open House will also offer an elementary level parent panel for interested families. Register online at amherstmontessori.org.

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

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


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
January 9th-15th, 2016

SaturdaySunday
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Suggest an Event | Forecast | Museum Passes | Weekly eNewsletter | Farmers’ Markets | Libraries| Berkshire Family Fun | Advertise/Sponsorship | en Español

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, January 9, 2016

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, January 9 — NATURE-BASED/CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Cross-country skiing provides a low-impact, total-body workout that also invigorates the mind and spirit. Hilltop Orchards offers 30-minute clinics for first-time skiers. Pre-registration required; first-come, first-served. 413-281-2028. 508 Canaan Road, Richmond, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 8:30am-5pm — CRAFTS
Drop in to the Westfield Athenaeum for a make-and-take craft, while supplies last. For all ages. 413-562-6158. Boys and Girls Activity Room, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 9am-1pm — LOCAL FOOD/FARMERS’ MARKET
Come to the Downtown Pittsfield Winter Farmers Market at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Lighthouse Cafe. Shop for pasture-raised meats, eggs, cheese, fruits, vegetables, breads, baked goods, coffee, wine, art, and more. This is an opportunity to teach your kids where and how food is grown in Western Mass. Enjoy live music at 11:30am. 16 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, January 9, 9am-2pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/EQUIPMENT
Skates a bit tight? Skis a tad short? Get the equipment your family needs to enjoy the great outdoors this winter at the Amherst Lions Club‘s annual Ski, Skate, and Snowboard Sale at Crocker Farm Elementary School. Outfit everyone economically so you can get exercise and make outdoor memories year-round. New and used equipment, including boots, bindings, snowshoes, and clothing. Experts will be on hand to help with fit. All proceeds benefit Crocker Farm PGO and other charities. 413-695-9109. 280 West Street, Amherst, MA. (SALE)

Saturday, January 9, 10am-11am — FILM STUDIES
See award-winning and audience-favorite short films from the annual New York International Children’s Film Festival as Amherst Cinema presents KID FLIX 1, a program fostering a more dynamic film culture for children ages 3-8. The twelve films shown are from eight different countries and share universal truths, supporting the festival’s mission of providing thoughtful, provocative, and intelligent film for children. KID FLIX 2, for ages 9 and up, screens 2/13. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, January 9, 10am-11:30am — NATURE STUDIES/TRACKING
Watching wildlife is great fun, but animals aren’t always easy to find. We can still enjoy and learn about them, though, by looking for their “sign,” such as tracks in the mud or snow. Learn to identify common wildlife species by their tracks at an Animal Tracks program at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Start with playing a track game and making a track craft indoors, then head outdoors to search for tracks and use your new-found knowledge. For ages 5-12. Registration required. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, January 9, 10am-12pm — MUSEUM ADVENTURES/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 ages 3-6 and their parents. Art project-appropriate clothing recommended. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 10am-2pm — FARMERS’ MARKET
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. SNAP accepted throughout the market. Amherst Regional Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 10:30am — MUSIC STUDIES
Greater Springfield Music Together offers a workshop demo of its program at the Emily Williston Memorial Library. Music Together nurtures each child’s musicality through family classes and at-home practice using recordings and songbooks. Come experience a class for yourself. For infants through age 5. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 10:30-11:30am — 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, January 9, 10:30am-12pm — STORYTIME/MUSIC/CRAFTS
Come to the Jones Library for Saturday Stories, Songs, and Crafts. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 12noon-1:30pm — INTERGENERATIONAL/TEENS/TWEENS
Do you know what to do if you lose a button or split a seam? Come to Sewing Survival Skills for Teens and Tweens at the East Forest Park Branch of the Springfield City Library to learn. Members of the East Forest Park Seniors Group will teach you how to handle basic wardrobe repairs. An excellent opportunity to benefit from elders’ wisdom! For ages 10-19. All supplies provided. Registration required. 413-263-6836. 122 Island Pond Road, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 1pm-3pm — NATURE-BASED/HIKING
Hiking is good for the body, brain, and spirit! Get moving and enjoy a moderate walk from the Great Falls Discovery Center to Cabot Woods and back (2.5-3 miles round-trip). For adults and sturdy young hikers with caregivers. Meet at main entrance. Dress for the weather, with warm boots. Inclement weather cancels the walk. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 1pm-4pm — NATURE-BASED/SKIING/SNOWSHOEING
Learn about the fun, health benefits, and social opportunities of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing at Winter Trails Day at Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center. Free 45-minute clinics for first-time skiers at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. Twenty-minute snowshoeing lessons at 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm. Arrive 30 minutes before lesson start-time to sign in and get equipment. Make this the year your family enjoys winter outdoors! Pre-registration requested. For ages 8 to adult. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road, Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 1pm-5pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/CLOWNING
Be a clown (or at least think like one)! In “The Fundamental Need to Play,” offered by the Berkcirque Circus School of the Berkshires, instructor Laura Geilen will guide participants to be more authentic, playful, and creatively fulfilled by liberating themselves from “shoulds” and “should nots.” Being more child-like, naive, and vulnerable opens up opportunities for growth and learning. Pre-registration requested. 413-429-4215. 115 Gas House Lane, Great Barrington, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, January 9, 2pm-3pm — MODERN MUSIC
The Clark Art Institute presents
“Out of the Box,” a performance by the I/O Ensemble of Williams College. Featuring works by Steve Reich, Ryan Ross Smith, James Tenney, Jacob Walls, and David Lang, the program includes percussion, voices, strings, and winds. The concert is part of the Williams College Department of Music‘s I/O Fest ’16, an annual celebration of new music that immerses audiences in the full spectrum of today’s most vital compositional trends. 413-458-2303. Lower Level, 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 2pm-3pm — US HISTORY
The musuem at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site was established just after the Civil War ended and holds arms and equipment that came back from the battlefields. In conjunction with the special exhibit “At Camp in the Field,” Curator Alex Mackenzie will highlight selected objects from the collection and share stories about each. Learn more about the Springfield Armory as an educational resource here. The museum’s Facebook page is an excellent resource for Civil War history, with daily posts about items in the museum’s collection and the war in general. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Street #2, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 2pm-3:30pm — SEWING/TEENS/TWEENS
Are you a budding fashion designer? Do you have ideas for clothes that you’d like to make reality? Carole Ann Camp, local seamstress and author of sewing and clothing construction books, can show you how at the Sunderland Public Library. You’ll learn to design and construct your own circle skirt. Sewing is a great way to channel your creativity and express yourself. All fabric, sewing equipment, and other materials provided. For ages 11-18. Pre-registration requested. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 2pm-4pm — ART STUDIES/PAINTING
Georgia O’Keeffe was one of America’s most important painters and a significant contributor to American Modernism. Her large-scale, simple flowers and dry desert bones, along with dramatic cityscapes and western landscapes, are easily recognizable. Adults wishing to emulate her style can learn from award-winning pastel artist Gregory John Maichack at his workshop, “Scarlet Poppies: How to Pastel Paint Like Georgia O’Keeffe.” Hosted by the Grace Hall Memorial Library. All levels of experience welcome; pre-registration suggested. 413-862-3894. Town Hall, 161 Main Road, Montgomery, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 3pm-3:45pm — NON-COMMERCIAL/PUPPETS
Watch three children’s tales come to life when Sparky’s Puppets perform “Stories from Snowy Lands” at the Westfield Athenaeum. A magical snowman, an ice-fishing bear, and a mysterious visitor all make appearances, with lots of humor and audience participation. For ages 3-10. Registration required. 413-562-6158, ext. 5. Boy and Girls Activity Room, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, January 9, 3:30pm & 7:30pm — CULTURE STUDIES/EPIPHANY
Trinity United Methodist Church presents The Boar’s Head Festival! The event is a traditional medieval celebration of the Epiphany — when the newborn Jesus was revealed to the Magi as the son of God — complete with period costumes, holiday music, and even live animals. For ages 4 and up. 413-733-4759. 361 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, January 9, 7pm — FILM STUDIES/ART HISTORY
Heiress Peggy Guggenheim was a central figure in the Modern Art movement, and her personal life was as colorful as the works she collected. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Not Rated, 2015) examines her personal life, including family tragedy and relationships with the likes of Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, and Jackson Pollock, and her relentless drive to create one of the world’s greatest collections of modern art. Showing at the Little Cinema at the Berkshire Museum. Visit Hilltown Families’ new Visual Arts Bulletin Board to gather and share information about local exhibits and calls for art. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Saturday, January 9, 7pm-10pm — TWEENS
Looking for a place to spend time with friends and maybe play pool, foosball, video games, ping pong, air hockey, or a little basketball? Kids in grades 6-8 are invited to SNL at the Springfield Jewish Community Center, a safe, chaperoned time for tweens. Snacks available for purchase. 413-739-4715 x322. 1160 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, January 9, 7:30pm — INCLUSION/FILM STUDIES
West Side Story (Not rated, 1961) tells the story of young lovers Tony and Maria, whose romance is challenged by their connections to the Sharks and the Jets, rival gangs in 1950s New York City. With songs by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim and choreography by Jerome Robbins, it has been called “the best film musical ever made.” The film was inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Following the screening, families can compare and contrast the original story with its re-telling on the big screen. Presented by Pothole Pictures at Memorial Hall. 413-625-3052. 51 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA. (<$-$$)

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

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, January 10, 10am-4pm — FILMMAKING
In today’s world, anyone with a smartphone and a laptop can make and distribute films. If you have a story to tell on film, then “Shoot, Edit, Upload,” a one-day intensive filmmaker’s workshop at Gateway City Arts may be for you. Filmmaker and digital media strategist Lindsay Van Dyke will cover video production, audio recording, cinematography, editing, and using a website like Youtube to upload and share films. Students need their own smartphones or DSLR cameras with video-taking abilities and laptops with basic video-editing software and will leave with an uploaded short video. Appropriate for adults and self-directed teens. 413-250-6939. 92-114 Race Street, Holyoke, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, January 10, 12noon-1:15pm — SWIMMING
Trade your snowsuit for a swimsuit and stretch those muscles at the new Sady Pool at West Springfield High School. Swimming provides a near-total body workout, and it’s fun for the whole family! Sponsored by West Springfield Parks and Recreation. 413-263-3284. 425 Piper Road, West Springfield, MA. (FREE Residents, <$ Non-residents)

Sunday, January 10, 12noon-2pm — WRITING
Punch up your writing skills at “Sketching Portraits with Words,” a workshop led by author and writing coach Jane Roy Brown at the Deerfield Arts Bank. Using works on display in the gallery as inspiration, participants will compose short “verbal sketches.” No writing experience necessary. Bring a notebook and pen or a laptop. Appropriate for self-directed teens and life-long learners. 413-665-0123. 3 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, January 10, 12noon-4pm — WALKING/JOGGING/TEENS
Don’t the let the weather keep you from exercising. Walk, run, or jog on the indoor track above the West Springfield High School gymnasium. Grab a friend and cruise around the ⅛-mile long oval. Before you know it, you’ll have gone a mile and strengthened your heart and your relationship! Sponsored by West Springfield Parks and Recreation. Ages 14 and up. West Springfield residents only, with valid ID. 413-263-3284. 425 Piper Road, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, January 10, 2pm — COMMUNITY MEAL/DANCING
Dance to the music of James Kitchen and Friends and enjoy an international food potluck at the Chesterfield Community Center. Bring your favorite international dish. Benefit for the Goshen Food Pantry and Northampton Survival Center. All ages welcome. 413-586-6564. 400 Main Road, Chesterfield, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Sunday, January 10, 3pm-5pm — NATURE-BASED/ANIMAL STUDIES/SNOWSHOEING
Have you ever chatted with an owl? You may get the chance during the Owl Prowl at Bartholomew’s Cobble. First learn about these nocturnal predators during an owl-y storytime with snack at the visitor center, then venture into the woods to call to them. If you’re lucky, one or more will answer. Dress warmly, and bring snowshoes, if you have them. Snowshoe rentals $5 Members, $7 Non-members. 413-229-8600. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (<$)

Sunday, January 10, 3:30pm & 7:30pm — CULTURE STUDIES/EPIPHANY
Trinity United Methodist Church presents The Boar’s Head Festival! The event is a traditional medieval celebration of the Epiphany — when the newborn Jesus was revealed to the Magi as the son of God — complete with period costumes, holiday music, and even live animals. For ages 4 and up. 413-733-4759. 361 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA. ($$)

Sunday, January 10, 4pm-5:30pm — PARENTING SKILLS
Our lives are awash with digital media and other technology influences. How do these affect our children and how can we raise responsible, safe digital citizens? Join pediatrician Jonathan Schwab and clinical psychologist Sharon Saline at “Raising Digital Citizens in the 21st Century,” 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, January 10, 7pm — FILM STUDIES/ART HISTORY
Heiress Peggy Guggenheim was a central figure in the Modern Art movement, and her personal life was as colorful as the works she collected. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Not Rated, 2015) examines her personal life, including family tragedy and relationships with the likes of Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, and Jackson Pollock, and her relentless drive to create one of the world’s greatest collections of modern art. Showing at the Little Cinema at the Berkshire Museum. Visit Hilltown Families’ new Visual Arts Bulletin Board to gather and share information about local exhibits and calls for art. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Featured Winter Classes in Western MA

Monday, January 11, 1:30pm and 7pm — FILM STUDIES/ART HISTORY
Heiress Peggy Guggenheim was a central figure in the Modern Art movement, and her personal life was as colorful as the works she collected. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Not Rated, 2015) examines her personal life, including family tragedy and relationships with the likes of Samuel Beckett, Max Ernst, and Jackson Pollock, and her relentless drive to create one of the world’s greatest collections of modern art. Showing at the Little Cinema at the Berkshire Museum. Visit Hilltown Families’ new Visual Arts Bulletin Board to gather and share information about local exhibits and calls for art. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Monday, January 11, 3:30pm-5pm — INTERGENERATIONAL/CULINARY ARTS
Cooking is a great family activity that promotes bonding, good nutrition, and self-reliance. Bring the whole family to “Cooking with Parents and Grandparents,” an interactive workshop at LYA. This session focuses on winter foods, such as stuffed potatoes, hot pretzels, edible snowmen, oatmeal, and hot cocoa. Copies of recipes will be available. There will be winter crafts, also. Reservations requested. 413-567-8665. 1148 Converse Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Monday, January 11, 4pm-9pm — INCLUSION/KINDNESS/EATING OUT
Treat the family to an authentic Mexican meal at Mi Tierra while you demonstrate the importance of helping others. All proceeds from the evening will go to Whole Children, a grassroots organization that provides after-school, weekend, and vacation enrichment programs for children of all ages and abilities. Reservations encouraged, especially for large groups. 413-587-9820. 48 Russell Street, Hadley, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Monday, January 11, 6pm — CIVICS/TEENS
Come make your voice heard and share what you would like to find at the Lee Library, as part of the Teen Advisory Board. New members are always welcome. Participation could count towards NHS and Jr. NHS requirements at Lee Middle and High School. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)

Monday, January 11, 6pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/INTERGENERATIONAL/COLORING
Coloring is catching on as a relaxing activity that allows the mind to rest while still expressing itself. Choosing colors and concentrating on creating works of art can act as a form of mindfulness, giving the brain a rest. People of all ages are invited to the Coloring Club at the Sunderland Public Library. High-quality colored pencils and a variety of detailed drawings will be provided. 413-665 2642. Community Room, 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Monday, January 11, 7pm — FOOD STUDIES/TECHNOLOGY
Nerd Nite Noho presents two talks at The Deuce at the World War II Club. First up: The mention of a medieval meal might conjure up plates of bland, brown mush and turkey legs served at a huge banquet table, but the reality was much different. In “What’s for Dinner in Medieval London?” Rebecca Slitt, former professor of medieval history, will discuss the incredible diversity of cuisine in the Middle Ages. Next: Artist and middle school teacher Aaron Jensen will explain a technique for measuring a civilization’s level of technological development. In “Type 1 or Bust! The Kardashev Scale and Civilizations of the Future,” he’ll give examples from real life and science fiction and hypothesize about what a Type 1 civilization would look like. Drinks and food for purchase. 50 Conz 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-12noon — PARENTING SUPPORT: Get out of the house and socialize with other moms and dads at the Baby and Me Group at Family Center of Northern Berkshire County every second Monday of the month. Share experiences, thoughts, and ideas. Each child receives a new board book on the first visit. For parents with children from infant to walking. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street, North Adams, 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)
  • 11am – 4pm – 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)
  • 3pm-4pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/TEENS:
    Hang out with your friends and color some cool designs at Mandala Mondays at the Lee Library. Coloring lets you put your worries aside and focus on creating something beautiful. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-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)
  • 5pm-6pm — COMMUNITY MEAL: The Berkshire South Regional Community Center hosts a community supper prepared by some of the best chefs in the Berkshires every Monday. Join your neighbors and make new friends. Donations accepted and contributions of non-perishable food items for local food banks encouraged. No reservations required. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, 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)
  • 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-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, January 12, 2016

Featured Winter Classes in Western MA

Tuesday, January 12, 10am-11am — NON-COMMERCIAL/STORYTIME
Come to the Greenfield Public Library for Mother Goose on the Loose, with Kay Lyons. This lap-sit storytime is for ages 0-3, with a caregiver. In addition to reading a book, Kay teaches animal sounds using puppets, leads the group In hand rhymes, and introduces other concepts to the very young. Rhymes start children on the path to reading and strengthen bonds between children and caregivers. Rhymes with movement also promote coordination. The program is about 30 minutes long and followed by visiting time. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, January 12, 10am-4pm — MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art hosts the exhibition Magic, Color, Flair: The World of Mary Blair through February 21. Known for her vibrant color palette, Mary Blair dominated art and design at The Walt Disney Company and set the artistic tone for classic animated films including Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Pan. 413-658-1105. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. ($)

Tuesday, January 12, 4-5pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/MUSIC INSTRUCTION
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. Ages 6-14. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, January 12, 6:30pm — STORYTIME
Put on your comfiest jammies and come to the Town of Florida Library for a Pajama Storytime sponsored by the Family Center of Northern Berkshire County. Families can snuggle and listen to children’s books and do art activities before bed. 413-664-4821. 56 North County Road, Florida, 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 — MUSIC: Wendy Plummer leads “Sing with Your Baby” at the Jones Library every Tuesday. Babies, toddlers, and their caregivers can sing along and play with musical instruments. 413-259-3090. Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, 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. >$
  • 2pm-2:45pm — STORYTIME/MUSIC/CRAFTS:
    Afternoon Preschool Storytime at the Jones Library is open to all kids from birth to age 5 but especially designed for kids who attend morning programs or school sessions. Listen to stories, sing songs, learn rhymes, and do a simple craft every Tuesday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 3:45pm-4:45pm — BOOK CLUB: Kids in grades 4-6 are invited to join the MCBA Book Club that meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month through March at Mason Library. Participants will discuss the nominee books for the 2015-16 Massachusetts Children’s Book Award and do related fun activities. Students may take the bus directly to the library after school. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA, (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm — READING: Toby the reading dog loves to listen to stories. Come read to him every Tuesday in the Children’s Room at the Lee Library. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, 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, Buckland, 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)
  • 6:30pm-8pm — MUSIC STUDIES/UKULELE: Kids and adults ages 13 and up can join the Berkshire Ukulele Band (BUB) and learn to play the ukulele with multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and performer Rob Sanzone at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Ukulele technique, chord progressions, and songs from various musical genres will be taught. Limited number of ukuleles available for use. Beginners encouraged; reading music not required. Opportunities to perform at community events. Registration requested. Drop-ins encouraged, but call ahead, as the group sometimes performs off-site during class time. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE for members and guests)

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Featured Winter Classes in Western MA

Wednesday, January 13, 10am-11am — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/STORYTIME
During Little Ones Library Time at the Westfield Athenaeum, kids ages 6-35 months and their caregivers can enjoy 30 minutes of stories, songs, and rhymes, followed by 30 minutes of free play and socializing. 413-562-6158, ext. 5. Boys and Girls Activity Room, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, January 13, 10:30am — MUSIC STUDIES
Greater Springfield Music Together offers a workshop demo of its program at the Emily Williston Memorial Library. Music Together nurtures each child’s musicality through family classes and at-home practice using recordings and songbooks. Come experience a class for yourself. For infants through age 5. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, January 13, 1pm-4pm — TEENS
Join other teens at the Teen Lounge at Jones Library. For ages 12-17. 413-259-3091. Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, January 13, 4pm-5pm — WRITING/TWEENS/TEENS
Tweens and young teens who have stories to tell can practice and get tips from author and teacher Nell Wright on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month during the school year at the Greenfield Public Library. Come sharpen your writing skills and get feedback on your work. Limited to eight participants; pre-registration required. For ages 10-14. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, January 13, 5:30pm-7:30pm — STEM/COMPUTERS/LEGOS
Lab Night at Holyoke Codes is the time to try something new, share what you’ve created, or get help with a project that’s got you stumped. Play with LEGO Mindstorms EV3 or WeDo robotics kits; work on a Scratch project with some friends; get some help learning HTML, Javascript, or another programming language; learn how to create your own Minecraft mods; or write mobile apps for Android with App Inventor. Appropriate for all ages. Registration requested. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, January 13, 6pm-7:30pm — MOMS’ NIGHT OUT
Take a break from your routine to get together with other moms for an evening of relaxation and creativity at the Family Center of Northern Berkshire County. Make new friends and recharge your batteries while you color your cares away! Snacks, child care, and transportation provided. Registration requested. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

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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-11am – 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 – 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)
  • 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 — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/HIKING: Come on a weekly, kid-led hike at the Hitchcock Center’s Larch Hill Conservation Area. “Toddle & Waddle It Baby!” is for caregivers and kids in carriers or with “walking legs.” Meet at the picnic tables near the boardwalk. 301-906-4700. 525 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, 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-4pm — CHESS/TEENS: Come play chess with your friends (and maybe make some new ones) at Teen Chess Wednesdays at the Lee Library. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, 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)
  • 3:30pm-7:30pm — ARTISAN SKILLS/WEAVING: Help weave a blanket for the Youth Department at Emily Williston Memorial Library every Wednesday. The loom is set up, and kids can add to it anytime. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street, Easthampton, 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)
  • 5:30pm-7pm — PARENTING SKILLS: Fatherhood…the toughest job you’ll ever love! Come to Nurturing Fathers, a weekly group for all male caregivers sponsored by The Bridge Family Resource Center. Dinner and childcare provided. Registration required. 413-549-0297, ext. 6512. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, 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)
  • 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)
  • 6:45pm-8:15pm — MUSIC STUDIES/SINGING: Kids and adults ages 13 and up can join Berkshire Sings! and learn to sing under the instruction of musician and teacher Robert Kelly at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Exercises in breathing, relaxation, and listening will be practiced. Songs include pop, folk, jazz standards, and show tunes. Opportunities to perform at community events. No auditions; everyone welcome. Registration requested. Drop-ins encouraged, but call ahead, as the group sometimes performs off-site during class time. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE for members and guests)
  • 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, January 14, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 9-10:30am — OPEN HOUSE
Lander-Grinspoon Academy is hosting an Open House. LGA is committed to the intellectual, emotional, social, ethical, and spiritual development of its students. Its emphasis on community, culture, and social justice encourages children of all ages to become independent thinkers, as well as caring and responsible citizens of the world. LGA welcomes families from all Jewish traditions and backgrounds, including interfaith families. Generous financial aid and tuition incentives available. 257 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA (OPEN HOUSE)

Featured Winter Classes in Western MA

Thursday, January 14, 9:30am-11am — PARENTING/PRESCHOOL
Time to choose a preschool? Come to the Northampton Parents Center for the Annual Preschool Fair. Representatives from various local schools will be on hand to share information and answer questions. This is a great opportunity to compare options! Toys will be available for children, and snack will be served. Snow date 1/21. Lower level, Edwards Church. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 14, 10am-11am — STORYTIME/STEM/MUSIC
During Little Explorers Storytime at the Westfield Athenaeum, kids ages 4-6 can enjoy a story, music, STEM activities, and a craft. Registration required. 413-562-6158, ext. 5. Boys and Girls Activity Room, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 14, 11am-12pm — ICE SKATING
Ice skating builds fitness, strength, and coordination. It also offers social interaction. The Amelia Park Arena is open to homeschooling families every Thursday morning in January. Walkers available for new skaters. 413-568-2503. 21 South Broad Street, Westfield, MA. (<$)

Thursday, January 14, 6pm-7pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/STEM/LEGOS
Playing with LEGOS strengthens problem-solving skills and builds fine motor skills, while promoting creativity. The Evening Lego Group, sponsored by the Family Center of Northern Berkshire County, meets on the third floor of the North Adams Public Library.
For ages 4-12; facilitated by parent Erin Connolly. 413-664-4821.74 Church Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 14, 6:30pm-8pm — CULINARY ARTS
Bone broth is made by boiling the bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments of animals to create a gelatin-rich stock that purportedly supports bone, joint, and digestive health. Learn more at Bone Broth 101, a workshop led by local Nutritional Therapist Craig Fear, at River Valley Co-op. Recipes and homemade samples will be available. You can read about the health claims of bone broth, and which are supported by science, here. Pre-registration required. 413-584-2665. 330 North King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 14, 7pm — SOCIAL JUSTICE/FILM STUDIES
In Cracking the Codes — The System of Racial Inequality, showing at the Jones Library, director Shakti Butler asks us to examine and talk about the causes and consequences of ingrained inequity in our society. The film features stories from racial justice leaders and others of many different racial backgrounds. The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Online Racial Equity Learning Modules are available for those who wish to transform inspiration into action. 413-259-3223. Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, January 14, 7:30pm — MUSICAL THEATER
Everyone’s favorite nanny comes to Amherst, when the Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater presents Mary Poppins at the Bowker Auditorium. Tag along as Mary takes her charges on fantastical adventures and teaches them life lessons through song. The children, in turn, struggle to share Mary’s lifeview with their distracted parents. Does this household resemble yours at all? The play could open up a family discussion about parents’ responsibilities, children’s desires, and how the two can be reconciled. 413-259-3065. 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, 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 – 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-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-11am — STORYTIME: The Lee Library offers a parent/child program for children ages 2 ½ -5 every Thursday. 413-243-0385. Children’s Room, 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am — STEM: South Berkshire Kids
    celebrates Science! Technology! Engineering! and Math! through stories, demonstrations, songs, and tabletop activities at the Lee Library the first Thursday of each month. For ages 2-5. 413-464-5095. Children’s Room, 100 Main Street, Lee, 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)
  • 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)
  • 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-8:00pm – PARENTING: Parents of transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning children, teenagers, or adults are invited to participate in TransParents, a support group that meets on the first Thursday of every month (except 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. Intended for older students and adults. 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, January 15, 2016

Featured Winter Classes in Western MA

Friday, January 15, 9:30am and 11am — STORYTIME
Toddlers can listen to a story and do fingerplays and other activities during Terrific Twos & Threes at the Westfield Athenaeum. Being read to promotes language development and socialization, and fingerplays help with fine motor coordination. 413-562-6158, ext. 5. Boys and Girls Activity Room, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 15, 10am-11am — NON-COMMERCIAL/STORYTIME
Come to the Greenfield Public Library for Mother Goose on the Loose, with Kay Lyons. This lap-sit storytime is for ages 0-3, with a caregiver. In addition to reading a book, Kay teaches animal sounds using puppets, leads the group In hand rhymes, and introduces other concepts to the very young. Rhymes start children on the path to reading and strengthen bonds between children and caregivers. Rhymes with movement also promote coordination. The program is about 30 minutes long and followed by visiting time. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 15, 10:30am-11:30am — NATURE-BASED/ANIMAL STUDIES
Meet some of the wildlife that share the Connecticut River watershed with us during the Great Falls Discovery Center‘s Kidleidoscope programs on Four Fridays in January. Each program includes a story, interactive games, and a craft. This week’s animals are rabbits and hares. Do you know the difference between a rabbit and a hare? Meet in the Great Hall. Recommended for ages 3-6 with a caregiver. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 15, 12:45pm-1:45pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/ARCHITECTURE/LEGOS
Make something awesome with LEGO bricks at the Westfield Athenaeum. Building with LEGOs fosters creativity, fine motor skills, and cooperation. Finished projects will be displayed at the library. Ages 6 and up. Registration required. 413-562-6158. Boys and Girls Activity Room, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 15, 2pm-3:30pm — TWEENS/JEOPARDY
How well do you know your favorite fandom? Stop in to the Westfield Athenaeum for some Mixed Fandom Jeopardy and find out! Snacks provided. For ages 6-12. Registration suggested. 413-562-6158, ext. 5. Boys and Girls Activity Room, 6 Elm Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 15, 3pm-4pm — STEM/LEGOS/TEENS
LEGOs aren’t just for kids — they can be used to create sophisticated projects using robotics. Challenge your creative and collaborative skills by building and programming a robot with your friends at Teen LEGO Robotics at the Lee Library. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)

Friday, January 15, 4pm and 7pm — INCLUSION/TECHNOLOGY/FILM STUDIES
Although jobs in the technology industry are growing faster than colleges can produce computer science graduates, the proportion of tech positions held by women has declined, from roughly one-third to one-quarter, over the last 25 years. African-Americans and Hispanics are also underrepresented in the field. Code: Debugging the Gender Gap (Not rated, 2015), showing at the Berkshire Museum, examines how cultural mindsets, stereotypes, and other factors brought about this imbalance and endeavors to inspire change. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Friday, January 15, 7:30pm — MUSICAL THEATER
Everyone’s favorite nanny comes to Amherst, when the Amherst Leisure Services Community Theater presents Mary Poppins at the Bowker Auditorium. Tag along as Mary takes her charges on fantastical adventures and teaches them life lessons through song. The children, in turn, struggle to share Mary’s lifeview with their distracted parents. Does this household resemble yours at all? The play could open up a family discussion about parents’ responsibilities, children’s desires, and how the two can be reconciled. 413-259-3065. 100 Holdsworth Way, Amherst, MA. ($$)

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

  • TBA – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Friday at Anne T. Dunphy School. 1 Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Shutesbury Elementary School every Friday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 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 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)
  • 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 Wednesday and 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 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)
  • 12:15pm – LOCAL HISTORY: Learn about a number of unique facets of local history at the Amherst Historical Society & Museum‘s History Bites lunchtime lecture series. On selected Fridays through December 4, 2015, all are invited to bring a lunch and listen to a program on a different topic. November 6 highlights local landscapes and related art collections, November 20’s talk is about the economy of rural New England, and December 4’s topic is “A Story of the Street.” Simeon Strong House, 67 Amity Street, Amherst, 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. (< $)
  • 8pm-9pm – ASTRONOMY: Autumn nights offer wonderful skywatching, and with the help of Williams College students and their Zeiss Skymaster planetarium projector, folks can really be treated to a wonderfully informative and awe-inspiring tour of the night sky and astronomical phenomena. This planetarium program will be held most Friday evenings through December 4, 2015. Reservations are recommended. 413-597-2188. Hopkins Observatory, 829 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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Hilltown Families’ list of Weekly Suggested Events is supported in part by a grant from the Agawam, Chicopee, Cummington, Deerfield, Hadley, New Salem, and Sunderland Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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