Suggested Events for February 6th-12th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

Winter birdwatching provides a way to participate in important citizen science projects! Through Mass Audubon, families can learn about and report data on numerous bird species found in New England. While some of the species included in Mass Audubon’s resources for reporting bird sightings focus on summertime species, there are a great many birds found in wintertime who can be included as well – meaning that families have access to lots of wildlife-related citizen science opportunities during the colder months!

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 Event

Feb 13

Saturday Morning Music Party: Sat., Feb 13, 10am-12noon in Easthampton! Hilltown Families and the Flywheel Arts Collective are continuing the beloved ‘Saturday Morning Music Party’ series with a breakfast bash featuring food, dancing and diversions for kids! During a free breakfast of fresh pancakes, juice, and fruit, families can craft handmade valentine’s with the Easthampton Family Center while enjoying a new performance with our special guests, Scotty Swan Puppet Co. After the breakfast, kids can join DJ Youthelectronix for the “best ever dance party before noon!” Save on the babysitter and shake off the winter blues with a Morning Music Dance Party! 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Bulletin Board

Home School Sale

Happy Valentine’s Day from Oak Meadow! From Feb. 1 to 14 enjoy 15% off their flexible, progressive homeschooling curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12. Use independently or enroll in their teacher-supported distance learning school. The student-centered, nature-based curriculum fosters creativity and intellectual development through hands-on activities and interdisciplinary projects. High school students can take charge of their own learning thanks to options such as life experience credit, independent study, and dual enrollment. Visit their Bookstore to save 15% on all items, including the new digital curriculum option. It’s not too early to plan for the next school year. Ready for a change now? You can start any time.

Feb 4

To Catch a…Slice? A Pizza Party with Varian Johnson at the Odyssey Bookshop, Thursday, February 4th at 6pm. Come nosh on free pizza with Varian Johnson, awesome author of the wonderfully diverse and action-packed To Catch a Cheat, the sequel to the popular Great Greene Heist. Johnson will give you the scoop on all the scheming in his new novel starring middle school mastermind and con-man Jackson Greene and his gang of talented friends while you munch on the best school lunch there is: PIZZA! There will be giveaways and a raffle to win copies of The Great Greene Heist! This event is appropriate for ages 8 and up! Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St., South Hadley, MA. Email RSVP to kids@odysseybks.com.

Feb 6

Sunnyside Presents: “February Fiesta!” Spend the morning singing and dancing with the Valley’s own Latin Grammy-Winner Mister G! “Kid-friendly, bilingual rockstar…Mister G and his guitar will surely make you feel like bailando!” – The Washington Post. Come dance, decorate a maraca, and eat pizza with your friends! Join Sunnyside on Saturday February 6th from 10:00am-12noon at the Florence Community Center (140 Pine Street, Florence, MA). Tickets $8 per person ($25 maximum per family). All proceeds fund the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. www.sunnysidekids.org

Info Session Feb 6

Montessori Middle School Information Session. What’s different about a Montessori middle school? Would it be a good fit for my adolescent? Come learn the answers to these and other questions on Saturday, February 6 at 10:30am in the Community Room at Lilly Library in Florence. Corey Hadden, middle school teacher, will discuss adolescent development and how the Montessori middle school curriculum supports the student at this critical point in their development through challenging academics, a focus on exploring identity and purpose, and opportunities to contribute to the larger community. The Montessori School of Northampton’s middle school program will open in September 2016. For more information: northamptonmontessori.org or 413-586-4538.

Feb 6

This Saturday, February 6, from 10am-4pm join The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and First Book for Friendiversay, a celebration of friendship and reading! Free Admission! Meet and have your photo taken with costume characters Elephant and Piggie. Enjoy art making, films, storytimes and three galleries of inspiring picture book art. Pack a picnic lunch or enjoy food from Foley’s Franks. Every child will receive a free Elephant and Piggie book while supplies last. For more information or to view the day’s schedule visit www.carlemuseum.org or call 413-658-1126. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is located at 125 West Bay Road in Amherst, MA.

Open House: Feb 7

Birds of Prey! — Sunday, February 7th, 1-4pm: The Center School’s Admissions Open House featuring a live birds of prey presentation. All are welcome to join the Center School for the annual Birds of Prey Open House. From 1pm-2pm Tom Ricardi, internationally renowned raptor rehabilitator will give a presentation with live birds of prey. See eagles, hawks, owls, falcons and more. Then, from 2pm-4pm all classrooms will be open and teachers will be leading bird-related activities: build nests, paint eggs, make bird masks, dissect owl pellets and more. Meet teachers, parents and students and learn about what makes the Center School special. Light refreshments served. This event is free and open to the public. For more info visit centerschool.net

Full Moon Girls: Enlivening and deepening girls’ connection to themselves, community and the natural world. At Full Moon Girls, girls gather together with strong women mentors to play, explore, challenge their edges, and learn new skills. This program nourishes the individual and cultivates an environment for growth, leadership, and resilience. Girls play games, build friction fires, learn wild edibles, engage in storytelling, gain wilderness skills, make trusting friendships, learn songs, and more! Fridays weekly in Conway, Feb 5-May 27,9:30-3:30. Girls 9-15. $55-75/day. Saturdays monthly in Montague, Jan 30-Jun 4, 9:30-2:30. Girls 7-15. $45-75/day. Scholarships available! Contact us at FullMoonGirlsInfo@gmail.com or 413-367-6191.

Feb 13

WinterFest Amherst 2016 is the best family entertainment value of the winter! Saturday, February 13, from 1-6pm, Cherry Hill Golf Course, North Amherst. If there’s no snow we’ll make snow! Featuring a Chili Cookoff Competition, Best in Snow Dog Show, snow sculpting contest, golf competitions, Mobile Disk Golf Experience, sledding, wine and cheese tasting, Fat Track Bike Rides, horse drawn wagon rides, dancing, live music and more! The Cardboard Classic Sled Race invites everyone to bring a decorated old cardboard box to compete in this crowd-pleaser. Fireworks at 6pm! Families of 3+ just $20. For more information please follow on Facebook or visit www.cherryhillgolf.org. Presenting Sponsor: Integrity Development and Construction.

Feb 13-21

The New England Air Museum will hold family fun school vacation week programs from Feb 13-Feb 21. Explore three giant hangars filled with over 80 aircraft and experience the wonders of flight. A variety of activities will be offered daily including hands-on Build and Fly Challenges, open Cockpit Experiences aboard real aircraft, Aircraft Quests, and more! The Museum’s Flight Sim Spot will also be open daily between 11am-3pm. Additional activities are scheduled for the following days: Feb 13– Open Cockpit; Feb 15– Aeromodeling Workshop; Feb 16– The Great Paper Airplane Contest; Feb 17– Nose Art Design Workshop; Feb 18– Kites in Flight Workshop; Feb 19– LEGO Flying Machine Contest. Visit www.neam.org for more information. Windsor Locks, CT.

Feb 15-19

Puppet Festival February 15-19 at the Springfield Museums. This school vacation, join the Springfield Museums for their Puppet Festival, featuring the region’s finest puppet ensembles. Performances include a mashup of Little Red Riding Hood and the Gingerbread Man by Barefoot Puppets, and shows by Wayne Martin’s Puppets and Puppet Showplace Theater, among others. There’s also live animal demonstrations and plenty of hands-on art and science activities, all free with museum admission! And don’t miss Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs, an exhibit that gets to the “furry facts” about man’s best friend. For information, visit springfieldmuseums.org.

Feb 15-19

The Art Garden has invited five regional artists to their studio for a fun and creative February Vacation Program. Visiting artists will do morning workshops in mosaic, fiber arts, paper cutting, printmaking & make-your-own-scratch cards! Afternoons are dedicated to mixed media studio projects. Program runs Monday through Friday from 9am-3pm at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls. Extra hours available. Ages 7-17+ welcome. The Art Garden fosters a culture of inclusion with instruction tailored to meet the needs of all ages. Registration is required. Cost is $325 for the full week. Sibling discounts and financial assistance are available. Individual days possible if space permits. Call 413-625-2782 or email csartgarden@gmail.com to register.

Feb 15-19 & Mar 7-11

February & March CyclePottery Vacation Camps are open for registration! Campers will learn how to use a potter’s wheel to throw functional stoneware forms and handbuild with graphic artist Amber Bartosz. New to the camps: Students will glaze on the the final day! Sessions are: Feb. 15th-19th & March 7th-11th, 9am-3pm, 6 students max, Ages 9+, Fee $450. 10% discount if paid in full by Feb. 8th or Feb. 22nd. CyclePottery is located at 225 Nonotuck Street in Northampton, MA. For more info visit www.CyclePottery.com and registration forms contact Kathryn @ kathryn@cyclepottery.com 413-219-9594.

Our Place Summercamp gets kids out of the house and into nature. For 5 days campers hike, climb, wade and swim “our place”: the 5 ecoregions of the Nonotuck biome. These activities aren’t just “fun”—they’re designed to increase camper’s perceptual abilities, stimulate their critical thinking skills, inspire their creative imaginations, and counteract “nature deficit disorder.” Through active physical and mental engagement with “our place,” they gain a deep and lasting appreciation of it—and themselves. Campers go from site to site—mountains, forests, brooks, industrial brownfields, you name it—enjoying an adventurous, collaborative, inquiry-based investigation into the mysteries of the bios (life) that is where we live: our place! info@biocitizen.org

MARKET YOUR SUMMER CAMP: In an effort to connect families with summer camps & programs in the region, Hilltown Families is offering camps and programs a chance to partner with us in their online marketing with a special enhanced publicity offer. On Sunday, March 13th, 2016, Hilltown Families will be featuring camps in the region on Hilltown Families with a special post titled: 2016 Summer Camps and Programs in Western MA. Find out more about this targeted marketing opportunity HERE. Take advantage of our Early Rate by signing your camp/program today!

ADVERTISE HERE: Reach thousands of families in Western MA while supporting the community development work of Hilltown Families! See your summer camp, class, community event, school, open house, 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
February 6th-12th, 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, February 6, 2016

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety ShowSaturday, February 6, 9-10am
HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW
Mardi Gras Episode with Guest DJs, Johnette Downing & Scott Billington.
Children’s book author and musician Johnette Downing and Grammy Award winning producer Scott Billington offer a carnival of Louisiana roots music; a showcase of Cajun, New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, Zydeco, Brass Band and Jazz music by Louisiana artists. 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, February 6, All Day
COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/WINTER
The town of Greenfield’s 94th Annual Winter Carnival brings indoor and outdoor fun to locations across town during the first weekend of February! Today’s events include Family Fun Fest at the Youth Center, with a LEGO Competition, magic show, face painting, crafts, board games, and a screening of Inside Out (PG, 2015). 413-772-1553. 20 Sanderson Street, Greenfield, MA. (<$ SUGGESTED DONATION)

Saturday, February 6, 9am-12noon
INCLUSION/ICE CREAM SOCIAL
Ice cream for breakfast — never! Well, maybe just one day…. Come to Herrell’s Ice Cream on Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, to benefit Whole Children. There will be waffles and ice cream, coffee à la mode, hot cocoa, breakfast ice cream options, and more. Plus, an appearance by celebrity scooper Jarrett J. Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady series. 413-585-8010. 8 Old South Street, Northampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Saturday, February 6, 9am-10pm
CIVICS/COMPUTER SCIENCE
In 1999, the word “hackathon” entered the realm of computer science, and it really caught on in the subsequent decade. Merging the terms “hack” and “marathon,” a “hackathon” is a programming event in which people participate to drive innovation in computer science. This year, Smith College is hosting its second annual Hack@Smith event, a hackathon designed to promote gender equality in computer science. This event is intended for students ages 18 and older, and first-time coders are encouraged to participate! A panel of leaders in the tech industry will share presentations as well. Davis Ballroom, Smith College, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 10am
LITERATURE/FILM STUDIES
Bored with his solitary existence, the man in the moon catches a ride on a shooting star and lands on Earth, setting off alarms in the President’s office. While the Moon Man (Not Rated, 2013) explores the planet and its creatures, children cannot sleep while he’s missing from his post, and the President seeks to capture him. The movie is based on the classic children’s book by Tomi Ungerer. Families could read the book first, then talk about how the film compares with the original story. Showing at the Amherst Cinema as part of the Family Films Series. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, February 6, 10am
FOOD SCIENCE
Have you ever wondered what makes a caramel chewy? It’s the chemical reaction that occurs when milk is added to hot sugar syrup. Learn the basics of caramels from chef and author Bill Collins in the Learner’s Lab at the Berkshire Museum. Pre-registration requested. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (FREE Members, $ Non-members)

Saturday, February 6, 10am-12noon
FAMILY CONCERT/FUNDRAISER
Come sing and dance to the music of Latin Grammy-winner Mister G at Sunnyside Kids‘ February Fiesta! Make a maraca and enjoy pizza with your friends. All proceeds go to the Sunnyside Scholarship Fund. 413-727-3665. 140 Pine Street, Florence, MA. ($)

Saturday, February 6, 10am-12pm
NATURE-BASED/TRACKING
You can learn a lot about an animal without even seeing it. That’s because animals leave behind “signs” as to their behavior. Come to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary to learn about tracking wildlife through a craft, an indoor game, and a hike. Dress for the weather. For ages 5 and up. Pre-registration recommended. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, February 6, 10am-1pm
LOCAL FOOD/FARMERS’ MARKET/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Support your local farmers, and your health, by shopping at the Greenfield Winter Fare Market at Greenfield High School. You’ll find the best produce, meat, and prepared food, not to mention one-of-a-kind artisan crafts. Learn where the food was grown, and how, from the growers themselves. You can also bring your favorite canning creations, baked goods, seeds, plants, or other edibles to trade with fellow preservers, bakers, gardeners, and DIYers at the Valley Food Swap, happening at the end of the market. It’s a great chance to share any surplus you have and barter for something new and delicious to try at home. Kids love to swap, so be sure to bring them along and get them excited about new foods, skillsharing, and collaborative consumption. 1 Lenox Avenue, Greenfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, February 6, 10am-2pm
LOCAL FOOD/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, February 6, 10am-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/READING
Celebrate Friendiversary with Mo Willems characters Elephant and Piggie at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. This annual celebration of reading and friendship is promoted by First Book, which provides new books to children in need. There will be free admission, storytimes, films, art activities, and a free Mo Willems book for every child. 413-658-1126. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 10:30am
MONTESSORI/MIDDLE SCHOOL
What can a Montessori education offer your adolescent? Come to Lilly Library to find out during an information session held by the Montessori School of Northampton. Middle school teacher Corey Hadden will discuss how the Montessori approach can support adolescent development and offer opportunities to explore identity and purpose and contribute to the community. The middle school program will open in September 2016. 413-586-4538. Community Room, 19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 10:30am-11:30am
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/ENGINEERING
Come to the Sunderland Public Library for LEGO Club! The program allows children to explore the wonderful world of LEGOs with other interested children. A different theme is picked each session, and kids can build on that theme or build a creation of their own. After each club meeting, kids can put their LEGO creations on display at the Library for all to see until the next club. This program is geared for elementary school children (with an adult) but is open to kids of all ages. The LEGO Club will continue to meet every other Saturday. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 10:30am-12noon
ANIMAL STUDIES
Where do animals go in the winter? Will the warmer winter weather change their behavior? Let your kids ask questions and come curious to “Over and Under the Snow.” Using puppets, props and picture books, young children will have an opportunity to ask questions and find answer during this winter story hour. Takes place at the Charlemont Town Hall. 157 Main Street. Charlemont, MA (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 10:30am-12noon
NATURE-BASED/SNOWSHOEING
Have you been trying to keep your family more active this winter? Join Mass Audubon for a family hike on snowshoes at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Snowshoeing is an easy-to-learn sport for all ages that promotes physical activity and social interaction. Start with an introduction to equipment and safety, then head out for a trek through wetlands and across gentle slopes. Dress warmly and in layers. Bring snowshoes if you have them. A limited number of adult and child snowshoes are available if reserved ahead of time. Suitable for children ages 5-12 and their caregivers. 413-637-0320. 427 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Saturday, February 6, 11am-3pm
INCLUSION/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
People of all abilities can enjoy outdoor winter activities at Wendell State Forest. All Out Adventures will provide instruction, adaptive equipment, and assistance for accessible snowshoeing, kicksledding, sit cross-country skiing, sled skating, and snowmobile rides. Discover the thrill of playing in the snow! Pre-registration required. Dependent on snow/ice conditions. 413-584-2052. 392 Montague Road, Wendell, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 1-3pm
ARTISAN SKILLS/MAPLE SUGARING
Did you know that many common species of tree, not just the sugar maple, can be tapped for sap? If you have access to land with trees on it, you can make syrup and sugar. Learn everything you need to get started this year at a Maple Sugaring workshop at The Haberdashery. Suitable for lifelong learners and self-directed teens. 413-527-1638. 52 Union Street, Easthampton, MA ($$)

Saturday, February 6, 1pm-4pm
NATURE-BASED/SNOWSHOEING
Enjoy a guided snowshoe hike on the Threemile Hill Trail, led by Mike Leavitt, of the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and Christine Ward of Great Barrington Trails & Greenways. This is an out-and-back trek, to the half-way point of the trail, then back in your tracks. Open fields also offer easier terrain. Bring your own snowshoes or try out a pair generously provided by Berkshire Bike & Board. If no snow, it will be a winter hike. Meet at Berkshire South Regional Community Center. For ages 12 and up. Pre-registration requested, and required for snowshoes. 413-528-2810, ext. 31. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 1:15pm-2:15pm
CULTURAL STUDIES/LUNAR NEW YEAR
The Lunar New Year begins February 8 this year. Welcome the Year of the Monkey at Mason Library with storytime and crafts. For preschool- and elementary-aged kids. Pre-registration requested. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA, (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 2pm
LOCAL HISTORY/BOTANY
Historic Northampton presents “Science in Exile: Albert Francis Blakeslee and Sophie Satin in Northampton,” by C. John Burk, Elsie Damon Simonds Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at Smith College. Burk will discuss Albert Blakeslee and Sophie Satin, eminent geneticists who conducted botanical research at Smith College. The talk is part of a new lecture series, From Mars to Molecules: Quirky Scientists who put the Valley on the Map. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 2pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/TEENS
The 30th Annual Berkshire County High School Art Show opens at the Norman Rockwell Museum, with original works in a variety of media, including photography, painting, drawing, and sculpture. Students learned about the exhibition process and how to prepare their work for a gallery show, and now will enjoy seeing their pieces displayed in a professional museum setting. You will, too! Illustrator Dennis Dittrich will speak. Exhibit continues through 3/6. 413-298-4100. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 2pm-4pm
NATURE-BASED/OPEN HOUSE
You may be familiar with Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, but you might have questions about who lives there, what goes on there or how to get involved. At this open house, you can talk with staff and volunteers, learn more about the center’s grasslands and their inhabitants, watch a slideshow of Arcadia’s wildlife, see a local wood carver make wooden birds, do a fun animal tracking activity, and join Sanctuary Director Jonah Keane for a talk from 2:30pm-3:30pm. Refreshments provided. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. ($$)

Saturday, February 6, 2:30pm
MOVIE/MUSICAL
Escape the chill of winter at the Clark Art Institute with its Midwinter Movie Madness series, featuring films set in sunny locales. Showing today is the musical Mamma Mia! (PG-13, 2008), the story of a bride-to-be in search of her biological father on a gorgeous Greek Island, set to the songs of 70s supergroup ABBA. Starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, and Amanda Seyfried. Appropriate for tweens and teens. Families can discuss the film’s attitude toward relationship and marriage. In the Michael Conforti Pavilion. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 3:30pm-5pm
STEM/CHESS
Chess teaches sportsmanship and builds confidence. It’s great brain-training! Kids ages 7 and up can learn to play, study famous games, and craft strategies for winning at Chess Club with Andy Morris-Friedman at the Jones Library. Continues on 3/5 and 4/2. Limited to 12 players. Sign up on the day of the session by calling or stopping by the Kids Desk. 413-259-3091. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6. 4pm & 7:30pm
CHILDREN’S THEATER/SHORTS
Winter Shorts Festival. The Drama Studio is an educational conservatory theater that educates young people on all aspects of theater arts while supporting their individual artistic talents. The Winter Shorts Festival will feature two short plays developed and performed by young actors in the program. The first is Kristin’s Rainbow, an ensemble piece created by faculty member Amelia Hays-Rivest and the members of the 2010 ACT Class. This play tells the story of a young girl who is emotionally numb from her parent’s constant fighting and is unable to respond to the needs of her friends or her younger brother. A mysterious girl arrives and encourages Kristin to experience a “rainbow of emotions,” encouraging Kristin to confront difficult emotions and embrace hope. This play offers an excellent platform for discussing the importance of exploring and honoring our feelings. The second play, On the Chin, was written by Steve Hays and follows the story of two camp counselors who embark on a hike with nine of their campers. As the two try to create a positive bonding experience for their young charges, they must navigate the souring of their own relationship from the previous summer. This play highlights the process of self-discovery and healing emotional wounds. The festival brings together educational themes while also giving audiences the opportunity to witness the developing talents of young theater artists. Performances will be held at the Drama Studio. 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, February 6, 4pm
LOCAL HISTORY/VALENTINE’S DAY/MUSIC STUDIES
Experience a musical exploration of the various aspects of love at “Heart Song,” a performance by New York City Cabaret singer and pianist Ron Ramsay and Berkshire vocalist Samantha Talora at Ventfort Hall. Afternoon Tea and Valentine sweets will be served. 413-637-3206. 104 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, February 6, 7pm-9pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/COUGAR
Once considered impossible, cougar sightings have now been confirmed in the eastern U.S. Join Sue Morse, founder of Keeping Track, for “The Cougar Returns to the East,” an illustrated introduction to cougar biology and ecology at Berkshire Community College. Morse is one of the top wildlife trackers in North America and has studied wildlife and their habitat, particularly bobcat, black bear, Canada lynx, and cougar, since 1977. Sponsored by the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, The Trustees of Reservations, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and Berkshire Community College. 413-230-7321. Robert Boland Theatre – Koussevitzky Arts Center, 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 6, 7pm-10pm
TWEENS/SOCIAL
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. (<$)

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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Ongoing Sunday Events

Hilltown Family Variety ShowSunday, February 7, 7-8am
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. This week, Mardi Gras Episode with Guest DJs, Johnette Downing & Scott Billington. 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, February 7, All Day
COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/WINTER
The town of Greenfield’s 94th Annual Winter Carnival brings indoor and outdoor fun to locations across town during the first weekend of February! Sunday’s events at Beacon Field include sledding, the creation of a snowman village, a snow sculpture contest, a winter-themed story walk, a hockey match, ski and snowshoe demos, a cardboard sled contest, and marshmallow roasting by the warming fire. 413-772-1553. Beacon Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 7, 9am-3pm
CIVICS/COMPUTER SCIENCE
In 1999, the word “hackathon” entered the realm of computer science, and it really caught on in the subsequent decade. Merging the terms “hack” and “marathon,” a “hackathon” is a programming event in which people participate to drive innovation in computer science. This year, Smith College is hosting its second annual Hack@Smith event, a hackathon designed to promote gender equality in computer science. This event is intended for students ages 18 and older, and first-time coders are encouraged to participate! A panel of leaders in the tech industry will share presentations as well. Davis Ballroom, Smith College, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 7, 10am-12noon
NATURE-BASED/TRACKING
Explore the Mineral Hills with naturalist John Body and Kestrel Land Trust, searching for animal sign to discover what wildlife has been up to. A porcupine den, fisher and bobcat tracks, and coyote activity have all been found in this area. RSVP by Friday at 5pm for meeting location. Heavy snow or rain cancels. 413-549-1097. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 7, 10am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Every first Sunday of the month, The Clark Art Institute offers free admission! The Clark Art Institute, located in north Berkshire County, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. The Clark library, open to the public with more than 240,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA (FREE)

Sunday, February 7, 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, February 7, 12noon-3pm
LOCAL HISTORY/ICE HARVESTING
Have you ever heard someone, perhaps a grandparent or great aunt, refer to the refrigerator as the “icebox” and wondered where the term came from? In the 19th century, before the development of mechanical refrigeration, people cut ice from lakes and ponds in the winter and stored it throughout the year for use in iceboxes to keep food and drinks cold. It was the first “harvest” of the year, and by the turn of the 20th century, 10 million tons were used throughout the U.S. each year. Come to the 7th Annual Ice Harvest at the Noble and Cooley Center for Historic Preservation to see how ice cutting was done and try it for yourself. Dennis Picard, director of Storrowton Village, will lead the program. Also view a video on ice harvesting and take a tour of the museum. 413-357-6321. 42 Water Street, Granville, MA. (<$)

Sunday, February 7, 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, February 7, 12noon-4pm
ROCK CLIMBING/ICE SKATING
Snowfest, the annual fundraising event for the Williamstown Youth Center will take place at the Towne Field House and Lansing Chapman Rink on the Williams College Campus. Lots of family fun, including rock climbing, bounce houses, arts and crafts, and ice skating. 413-458-5925. 76 and 82 Latham Street, Williamstown, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Sunday, February 7, 1pm-3pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/VALENTINES
Create a Valentine for someone special at the Valentine Making Workshop offered by the
M.N. Spear Memorial Library at the Shutesbury Town Hall. Lots of art and craft supplies will be provided. Bring your imagination and be prepared to get dirty. Pre-registration requested. 413-259-1213. 1 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 7, 1pm-3:30pm
DIVERSITY/ART STUDIES/BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Music and Diversity II is a series of events that educate, entertain, and build community awareness of diversity through the arts. This opening event at the Great Falls Discovery Center features “Portraits of African Americans, Past and Present,” an exhibition by artists Louise Minks and Belinda Lyons Zucker. Minks’ portraits of African Americans connected to the Pioneer Valley include Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Lyons Zucker will share her multi-media handmade dolls that represent historic African Americans, family members, and people she has met. The exhibition continues through March 31. At 2:30pm, Tim Neumann, executive director of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, will present “A Web of Community: Slavery in a Rural New England Town,” a look at the complicated relationship between free and enslaved African Americans in the mid-1700s. 413-835-1390. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 7, 1pm-4pm
BIRDS OF PREY/SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE
Observe a number of birds of prey, then dive into some great, ornithology-inspired science and art activities at the Center School‘s annual Birds of Prey Open House. Local raptor rehabilitator, Tom Ricardi, will give a presentation that includes live owls, eagles, and hawks from 1pm-2pm, and visitors may stop in an assortment of classes to build bird nests, make bird masks, dissect owl pellets, and more. Parents/guardians and children will also have ample opportunities to explore the campus, meet teachers, and learn about the Center School’s unique educational program. 413-773-1700. 71 Montague City Road, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 7, 1pm-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STORYTELLING
Celebrate storytelling in all its forms — verbal, visual, digital, or musical — at the
Clark Art Institute‘s Word Up Family Day. In conjunction with the exhibition An Eye for Excellence: Twenty Years of Collecting, there will be family activities to stretch your thinking about what makes a story and how it can be told. Make books inspired by the museum’s collection; participate in collective storytelling by adding to a group narrative at a typewriter station; learn the art of paper marbling; listen to musician Harris MacDonald sing about his life’s journey; and explore printmaking techniques. As part of the Clark’s First Sunday Free program, admission to the galleries is free all day. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 7, 2pm
MUSIC STUDIES/ACAPELLA CONCERT
A fabulous lineup of collegiate a capella groups from the Northeast will perform at the Silver Chord Bowl 2016. This event, which kicks off the Four Sundays in February Winter Festival Series, will be emceed by Northampton’s mayor, David Narkewicz, and Smith Dean of Students, Donna Lisker, and will feature Northampton High School’s a capella group, the Northamptones! Proceeds benefit arts programs funded by the Northampton Arts Council. 413-587-1269. John M. Greene Hall, Smith College, Northampton, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Sunday, February 7, 2pm-4pm
NATURE-BASED/SNOWSHOEING/PARENTING SKILLS
Stretch your legs and your mind at Bartholomew’s Cobble, with a snowshoe hike and talk about sharing nature with children. Following the hour-long foray, Josh Wood, educator and co-director of Flying Deer Nature Center, will discuss how nature can educate children and share activities that parents can use to explore nature confidently with their kids. Bring your own snowshoes or rent them there. 413-298-3239, ext. 3013. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Sunday, February 7, 2pm-6pm
CULTURAL STUDIES/LATIN MUSIC
Carnival season in the Caribbean features big, boisterous music and dance. Learn the percussion and songs of three Carnival traditions: Brazil (samba), Cuba (conga) and Martinique (vidé), at the Caribbean Carnival: Drums & Songs Workshop, offered by the Northampton Community Music Center. Beginners will get an introduction to basic technique on conga, bass drums, and a host of bells, shakers, and scrapers. More experienced percussionists are welcome to come wail! Instruments provided, but if you have a conga, bring it. Suitable for teens and adults. 413-585-0001. 139 South Street, Northampton, MA. ($$)

Sunday, February 2:30pm-6pm
ANIMAL STUDIES/CROWS
The American crow is one of our most common birds, and one of the most intelligent. Learn about these fascinating members of the corvidae family, and their cousins the ravens, at Winter Crows, a workshop at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Following a slide show, participants will carpool to Springfield to observe thousands of crows on a nighttime roost. For lifelong learners and self-directed teens. Registration recommended. 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton, MA. ($ Members, $$ Non-members)

Sunday, February 7. 3pm
CHILDREN’S THEATER/SHORTS
Winter Shorts Festival. The Drama Studio is an educational conservatory theater that educates young people on all aspects of theater arts while supporting their individual artistic talents. The Winter Shorts Festival will feature two short plays developed and performed by young actors in the program. The first is Kristin’s Rainbow, an ensemble piece created by faculty member Amelia Hays-Rivest and the members of the 2010 ACT Class. This play tells the story of a young girl who is emotionally numb from her parent’s constant fighting and is unable to respond to the needs of her friends or her younger brother. A mysterious girl arrives and encourages Kristin to experience a “rainbow of emotions,” encouraging Kristin to confront difficult emotions and embrace hope. This play offers an excellent platform for discussing the importance of exploring and honoring our feelings. The second play, On the Chin, was written by Steve Hays and follows the story of two camp counselors who embark on a hike with nine of their campers. As the two try to create a positive bonding experience for their young charges, they must navigate the souring of their own relationship from the previous summer. This play highlights the process of self-discovery and healing emotional wounds. The festival brings together educational themes while also giving audiences the opportunity to witness the developing talents of young theater artists. Performances will be held at the Drama Studio. 413-739-1983. 41 Oakland Street, Springfield, MA. ($$)

 

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Monday, February 8, 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. ($)

Monday, February 8, 11am
MINDFULNESS/KNITTING
Knitting is a relaxing, rhythmic hobby that can promote mindfulness. Learn to knit, or pick up some new techniques at the new Whately Knitting Circle at the Whately Library. Beginners can learn to knit a simple scarf (bring two 7 or 8 inch needles and two worsted-weight yarns). Others can bring their own projects. The group will meet monthly. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 8, 5:30pm-7:30pm
SOCIAL CHANGE/COMPUTERS
Holyoke Codes invites teens to create games that address social issues in a positive way, creatively engage with technology, and explore issues important to them. At “We Got Game — Teen Arcade,” professional game designers will discuss how they create games and brainstorm with participants about how to turn ideas into games. Learn how to be an artist, programmer, project manager, and game tester while building projects with a Scratch Game Engine. Participants will present their games on the big screen to friends, family, and the community at an Arcade Party on Friday, 2/19. 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 8, 6:30pm
LOCAL HISTORY/BLACK HISTORY MONTH
As part of the Black Her/History Month celebration at Westfield State University, Dr. Robert Brown, Professor Emeritus of History, presents “The Paytons of Westfield: Black Entrepreneurship and the Founding of Harlem.” He will discuss the life of Philip Payton Sr., an ex-slave from North Carolina who moved to Westfield and became a successful businessman. In the Owl’s Nest. 413-572-5442. 577 Western Avenue, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

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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 – KINSHIP 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)
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm — CHESS: Drop in to Storrs Library to learn and play chess every Monday. Taught and led by Longmeadow High School students. All ages; beginners welcome. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm — STORYTIME/SINGING/PUPPETRY: Kids of all ages are invited to the Greenfield Public Library every Monday for Afterschool Read-Aloud. Enjoy picture books, folk tales, or passages from favorite chapter books, along with sing-along songs and puppetry. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — PARENTING SUPPORT: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren group meets Monday evenings at The Bridge Family Resource Center. Meet with others in a safe place to talk and be heard. Dinner served. No registration required. Childcare provided. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30pm-6pm — POETRY/TEENS: Bring your stories, share your truth, and discover your voice in a weekly Teen Poetry Workshop facilitated by local writer and artist Jorrell Watkins at The Bridge Family Resource Center. For ages 13-18. No registration required. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, 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)
  • 6pm-7pm — WOMEN’S STUDIES/BOOK CLUB: Book club focusing on media literacy and gender-based violence meets the last Monday of every month at the Sunderland Public Library
    to discuss how popular media, such as books, portray sexual/domestic violence and how those portrayals impact our culture. Best suited for mature teens and adults. Learn more here. Pre-registration requested. 413-665 2642. Lane Reading Room, 20 School Street, Sunderland, 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)
  • 6:45pm-7:45pm — PERFORMING: Come offer your creative ideas and talents to support your library at Storrs Library‘s Spirit Squad, meeting every Monday through 5/16. Help plan and perform a dance or skit for the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on 4/14, and promote the library at Long Meddowe Days in May. For students in grades 6 and up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, 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)
  • 7pm-9pm — SKETCHING: A Figure Drawing Collective meets every Monday night at Makers’ Mill. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street, North Adams, MA.(<$)

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 10am-1pm
NATURE-BASED/SNOWSHOEING/HIKING
Explore the new trail at Clam River with the Berkshire Natural Resources Council. This easy, three-mile hike will follow woods roads along the river and pass old foundations and stone walls. Bring snowshoes or ice cleats, snacks, and water. 413-499-0596. Sandisfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 9, 5:30pm
HEALTH/PLANT STUDIES
Do you know the types of foods that strengthen digestive health? Ana Maria Moise, MS, CNS, LDN of the Nutrition Center will teach you that and more at “Nutrition for Healthy Immunity” at the Whately Library. She will discuss how our immunity is directly tied to the health of our gut and how certain botanicals can alleviate many symptoms of winter illness. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 9, 6pm-7:30pm
PARENTING SKILLS/THERAPY
We all need help sometimes, but children may not understand what therapy entails. In “How to Talk to Kids About Therapy,” Sarah Abel, LICSW, will provide caregivers with an understanding of child therapy and offer advice on discussing therapy with kids. The workshop is presented by The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens, a program of Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice. Family, friends, and loved ones of youth are all welcome. Snow date 2/11, same time. 413-582-5312. 168 Industrial Drive, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 9, 6:30pm
FISHING
Fishing is a great family activity that promotes bonding, patience, and time in the outdoors. Allan Butler will share the how and where of Fishing the North Quabbin at the Storrs Library. Novice and experienced anglers alike are welcome. 413-565-4181, ext. 1620. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 9, 6:30pm-9pm
FANTASY/FILM STUDIES
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (PG-13, 2014) is the conclusion to the three-part adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Hobbit. Hero Bilbo Baggins and the Company engage in a war with an assortment of foes in an effort to keep the Lonely Mountain from falling to a deadly force. Families can compare The Hobbit with The Lord of The Rings — how are the two adventures similar and different? Due to extreme and graphic violence, not recommended for kids under 12. Part of the Oscars Movie Series at Jones Library.
413-259-3090. Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 9, 7pm
PARENTING SKILLS/ANXIETY
Does your child struggle with worries and anxiety? It can be hard to watch our children face psychological challenges, especially when we are not sure how we can help. Lynn Lyons, author of Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents, specializes in anxiety disorders and is dedicated to “breaking the generational cycle of worry in families.” She brings her “How to Stop the Worry Cycle” presentation to the Longmeadow High School auditorium. 413-656-4220. 95 Grassy Gutter Road, Longmeadow, 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: Books and Babies, for children from birth to age 2, meets at the East Longmeadow Public Library every Monday. 413-525-5400, ext. 1511. 60 Center Square, East Longmeadow, 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)
  • 1pm-3pm — KNITTING: Bring your needles and yarn to the Knitting Club at Lilly Library every Tuesday. All levels of experience welcome and lessons available. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street, Florence, 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 — LEGOS: Kids ages 6-8 can make their “LEGO Creations” every Tuesday at the West Springfield Public Library
    413-736-4561. 511 Main Street, West Springfield, 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 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, February 10, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 12noon and 3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/DANCE
See art in a new way as MASS MoCA presents This Page Left Intentionally Blank, a work-in-progress, performance-based audio/docent tour by New York-based Big Dance Theater. Part of a cultural partnership with Jacob’s Pillow. Performance will also take place at 12noon and 3pm on 2/12 and 2/13. Tickets must be purchased by phone. 413-662-2111, ext. 1. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. ($$)

Wednesday, February 10, 4pm-5pm
STEM
Wednesday Wizards meets the third Thursday of every month at the Greenfield Public Library. A guest presenter introduces a science concept with a book and activity to inspire creativity. 413-772-1544. LeVanway Room, 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 10, 4pm-5pm
MUSIC/HIP HOP
Learn to freestyle and rhyme, spit lyrics, and develop beats at Rock the Stacks!: Hip Hop at the Library at the Mason Square Branch of the Springfield Public Library. The Community Music School of Springfield will help young people develop their voice and self-confidence. For ages 6-14. Every Wednesday through 2/24. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 10, 6pm-7:30pm
PARENTING SKILLS/GRIEF
Family, friends, and loved ones in the life of a grieving young person are invited to attend “Grief Through Story,” a workshop for caregivers that teaches how to start a conversation about death, dying, and grief with youth. Participants will learn to use children’s literature as a tool in talking with kids about these challenging topics. There will be a guided conversation about grief, and participants will learn about resources in various mediums to help with discussions. Presented by The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens, a program of Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice at the Sunderland Public Library. Snow date 2/17, same time. 413-582-5312. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 10, 6pm-9pm
MUSIC/STORYTELLING/BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Music and Diversity II is a series of events that educate, entertain, and build community awareness of diversity through the arts. This event, at Great Falls Harvest Restaurant, begins with Call and Response: Portraits of Influential African American Blues & Jazz Musicians. At 7pm, New York City-based Folk First: Black Roots Music, comprised of Vienna Carroll on vocals and Keith Johnston on guitar, will perform early African American spirituals, work songs, and prison songs and explore their relationships with contemporary artists, including Biggie Smalls and Pharrell Williams. 413-835-1390. 50 3rd Street, Turners Falls, MA. (<$ SUGGESTED DONATION)

Wednesday, February 10. 7 pm
MYSTERY/COMMUNITY THEATER
An Inspector Calls. Set in England, An Inspector Calls follows Arthur Birling, a wealthy mill owner and local politician, and his family as they celebrate the engagement of their daughter Sheila to Gerald Croft, son of her father’s chief competitor. The mystery commences when a shadowy stranger arrives announcing himself as a police inspector and begins to interrogate the Birlings about their possible involvement in the death of a young working-class factory girl. As the result of his questioning, each person begins to believe they’ve contributed to her death in some way. But is Inspector Goole truly who he claims to be? Come witness this spellbinding mystery that examines the fascinating study of human nature and society. The performance is presented by The Majestic Theater, 131 Elm Street West Springfield, MA. ($$$)

Wednesday, February 10, 7pm-8pm
CULTURAL IDENTITY/COMMUNITY CONVERSATION
Miguel Zenón is the most celebrated altoist of his generation. His album Identities Are Changeable explores the question “What does it mean to be Puerto Rican in 21st century New York City?” and has been nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album in this year’s Grammys. He will hold a community discussion about cultural identity at the Holyoke Public Library. The evening will include a musical video presentation and talk, followed by conversation. Zenón performs at the UMass Fine Arts Center with the Identities Big Band Thursday, 2/11. 413-420-8101. 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 10, 7pm-8pm
SKILLSHARING/SEED SAVING
Seed catalogs are fun to look through, but wouldn’t it be great to plant your own seeds, from last year’s crop? Grow Food Amherst is a group of local gardeners who are learning to do just that. They’re reading Breed Your Own VegetableVarieties: The Gardener’s Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving and will meet in the first floor conference room at the Amherst Town Hall to discuss it. Reading the book is not required for attendance, however; come listen and learn about seed selection (Chapter 21)! 978-895-1781. 4 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, 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)
  • 12:30pm-2pm – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who are raising young relatives can attend a support group every third Wednesday 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)
  • 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)
  • 1:30pm-2:30pm – STORYTIME/BILINGUAL: Little ones can come to the Brightwood Library every Wednesday for a bilingual story club (English and Spanish). Come sing, dance, play, hear stories in English and Spanish, and meet new friends. 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 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)
  • 4pm-5pm — STEM: Wednesday Wizards meets the third Thursday of every month at the Greenfield Public Library. A guest presenter introduces a science concept with a book and activity to inspire creativity. 413-772-1544. LeVanway Room, 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — COOKING: Learn to make simple, healthy, delicious recipes every Wednesday at The Bridge Family Resource Center. For all ages. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, 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)
  • 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)
  • 6:30pm-7:15pm — STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-6 can listen to stories in their PJs at East Longmeadow Public Library‘s play-filled Pajama Storytime every Wednesday. 413-525-5400, ext. 1511. 60 Center Square, East Longmeadow, 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 – 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)
  • 7pm — MUSIC/OPEN MIC:
    Come to the Palmer Historical & Cultural Center the first and second Wednesday of the month for Triple Creek Coffeehouse Open-Mic Night. All ages and levels of talent welcome in a friendly, supportive environment. 413-289-9295. 2072 Main Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE-WILL DONATION)
  • 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, February 11, 2016

Thursday, February 11, 5pm-6pm
LETTER-WRITING/TEENS
Before the age of email and texting, people captured their thoughts and emotions with pen and paper. Teens are invited to try out Old Fashioned Letter Writing at the Jones Library, using the Special Collections exhibit Courtship by Mail as inspiration. This is an opportunity to experience the exhibit in an exclusive after-hours session. Letter-writing supplies provided. Pre-registration requested. 413-259-3091. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 11, 6:30pm
RACE/FILM STUDIES/BASEBALL
Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play Major League Baseball, breaking the color barrier. 42 (PG-13, 2013) tells the story of how Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey overcame fervent opposition from all sides — management, teammates, and fans — through courage and restraint. Shown at Jones Library and co-sponsored by the Coming Together project. A facilitated discussion will follow. Appropriate for tweens and teens. Families should know the film includes many uses of the “N” word. They can discuss the meaning of courage and how it can be displayed in various ways and situations. 413-259-3090. Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 11, 7pm
INCLUSION/LGBT/BLACK HISTORY MONTH
As part of the Black Her/History Month celebration at Westfield State University, community leaders Nelson Roman, Holyoke City Councilman, and Pastor Charles L.A. Watterson will host an evening of LGBT short films and panel discussions. Both presenters will speak about being OUT black and Latino leaders in the local communities. In the Owl’s Nest. 413-572-5442. 577 Western Avenue, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 11. 7:30pm
NEW PLAY FESTIVAL/CONTEMPORARY
10×10 New Play Festival.
The Barrington Stage Company is hosting their 5th annual 10×10 New Play Festival, which will feature 10 new ten-minute plays by 10 playwrights. All of the plays are performed by a diverse ensemble of six actors. The festival brings together local playwrights and community audiences, providing not only a platform for writers to showcase their new work, but giving audiences an exciting contemporary theater experience. The production is being presented by the Barrington Stage Company and performances will be held in the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center. 413-236-8888. 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, February 11. 7:30pm
MYSTERY/COMMUNITY THEATER
An Inspector Calls. Set in England, An Inspector Calls follows Arthur Birling, a wealthy mill owner and local politician, and his family as they celebrate the engagement of their daughter Sheila to Gerald Croft, son of her father’s chief competitor. The mystery commences when a shadowy stranger arrives announcing himself as a police inspector and begins to interrogate the Birlings about their possible involvement in the death of a young working-class factory girl. As the result of his questioning, each person begins to believe they’ve contributed to her death in some way. But is Inspector Goole truly who he claims to be? Come witness this spellbinding mystery that examines the fascinating study of human nature and society. The performance is presented by The Majestic Theater, 131 Elm Street West Springfield, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, February 11, 7pm-8:30pm
BOOK SHARE/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Winter is the ideal time to snuggle up with a good book, but maybe you need some new titles for your reading list. Bring a nature- or land-themed book that you love to Kestrel Land Trust‘s Love the Land Book Share. Introduce the book to others, then listen as others share their favorites. Refreshments provided. RSVP appreciated. 413-549-1097. 284 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 11, 7:30pm
FILM STUDIES/WORLD HISTORY
It’s 1948. As Europe emerges from world war, a small group of Jewish American fighter pilots returns to the battlefield for a new cause: The Israeli War of Independence. Have we piqued your interest? Do you like historic documentaries? The documentary Above and Beyond (Not Rated, 2015), produced by Nancy Spielberg (daughter of Stephen), tells the story of a group of Jewish-American fighter pilots who, in 1948, joined the Israeli War of Independence and created the Israeli Air Force. The “madcap historical film” is narrated by the pilots and includes combat reconstructions and first-person accounts of incidents. Showing at MASS MoCA‘s Club B10. 413-662-2111, ext. 1. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, 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 — LEGOS: Kids ages 9-15 can use their creativity and engineering skills during LEGO Club every Thursday at the West Springfield Public Library. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street, West Springfield, 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-5:30pm — SERVICE LEARNING/SOCIAL JUSTICE//TEENS: At PeaceJam, teens can join their peers to study the work of 13 Nobel Peace Laureates then develop service learning projects that address the issues they care about. The group meets every Thursday at The Bridge Family Resource Center. For ages 14 and up. 413-549-0297, ext. 6512. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, 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-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)
  • 7pm-9pm — KNITTING: Knitting Night happens at Makers’ Mill every Thursday. Free needles and hooks available for check out and discounted yarn. Bring a work in progress or start something new while making new friends. Open to all. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street, North Adams, MA.(FREE)

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Full Moon Girls: Enlivening and deepening girls’ connection to themselves, community and the natural world. At Full Moon Girls, girls gather together with strong women mentors to play, explore, challenge their edges, and learn new skills. This program nourishes the individual and cultivates an environment for growth, leadership, and resilience. Girls play games, build friction fires, learn wild edibles, engage in storytelling, gain wilderness skills, make trusting friendships, learn songs, and more! Fridays weekly in Conway, Feb 5-May 27,9:30-3:30. Girls 9-15. $55-75/day. Saturdays monthly in Montague, Jan 30-Jun 4, 9:30-2:30. Girls 7-15. $45-75/day. Scholarships available! Contact us at FullMoonGirlsInfo@gmail.com or 413-367-6191.

Friday, February 12, All Day
WINTER CELEBRATION/ICE CARVING
Downtown Northampton becomes an icy outdoor exhibition hall as artists with varied experience and skills transform blocks of frozen water into intricate and exciting sculptures during the Sixth Annual Northampton Ice Art Festival. The carving starts early in the day and is open to viewing. Finished pieces will grace Northampton’s “Arts Night Out” from 5pm-8pm. For a list of artists and their locations, visit Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. Various locations, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 12, 9:30am-11:30am
NATURE-BASED/TRACKING
No animals in sight? No problem. Look for tracks and other signs that they’ve been there during Winter Wonderland Tracking Day at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Make a track guide, go on a hike, eat a detective snack, and listen to a tracking story. Wear warm layers. For ages 3-5 with an adult. Pre-registration required. 413-256-6006. 525 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. ($ Members, $$ Non-members)

Friday, February 12, 11am-3pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/STEM
The Berkshire Museum hosts its 4th annual Ten Days of Play from 2/12 – 2/21, the week that most schools have vacation. Kids can build and innovate with the big blue blocks of Imagination Playground, tiny LEGO bricks, a kid-sized Bilderhoos architectural building set, and colorful Tegu magnetic blocks. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (FREE Members, $ Non-members)

Friday, February 12, 4pm-8pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES/VALENTINE’S DAY
Enjoy Free Second Friday at the Smith College Museum of Art, with art activities and programs related to the exhibition MOTHERS’ ARMS Käthe Kollwitz’s Women and War. Try your hand at printmaking and make Valentines for those you love at Printed with Love from 4pm-6pm; have a guided conversation about one work of art in the exhibition during Open Eyes from 6pm-6:30pm; participate in a book signing for the exhibition catalogue from 7pm-8pm; and view the film Käthe Kollwitz: Images of a Life at 7pm. The Museum Shop will be open and light refreshments will be available. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 12, 5pm-8:30pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/CHILDCARE
At Drop N’ Dine, kids can enjoy pizza, supervised swimming, games, Bingo with prizes, and cookie decorating while parents/guardians have a much-deserved evening out. Provided by Northampton Parks & Rec Department. For kids in grades K-5. 413-587-1040. 100 Bridge Road, Florence, MA. ($ Residents, $$ Non-residents)

Friday, February 12, 5:30pm-7:30pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/STEM
At the Ten Days of Play Free Community Night at Berkshire Museum, kids can build and innovate with the big blue blocks of Imagination Playground, tiny LEGO bricks, a Bilderhoos architectural building set, and Tegu magnetic blocks. Also visit the ArtZoo exhibition. Ten Days of Play continues through 2/21, with regular museum admission. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Route 7), Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 12, 6pm-8pm
ARCHERY/ART
Play Cupid and make some great art at “Artchery,” presented by Amherst Archery Academy. Create stunning acrylic on canvas works by shooting arrows. Beginning archers welcome; instruction provided. Take home finished canvas. Ages 7 and up. 261 Pine Street, Florence, MA. ($$-$$$)

Friday, February 12, 6pm-8pm
FAMILY NIGHT OUT
The Family Place is having a Family Fun Night, with music, swimming, games, crafts, and dinner, at the Northern Berkshire YMCA. Childcare available for kids under 3. 413-663-7588. 22 Brickyard Court, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 12, 6pm-8:30pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/CHILDCARE
Enjoy a special night out with your spouse, partner, or friends while the kids have fun at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Activities include cupcake decorating, swimming, crafts, pizza, and a bedtime story. For ages 3-12. Pre-registration required (48 hours in advance). 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. ($)

Friday, February 12, 6pm-10pm
BLACK HISTORY MONTH/MUSIC/SPOKEN WORD
Music and Diversity II is a series of events that educate, entertain, and build community awareness of diversity through the arts. At the Western Massachusetts Black History Celebration at St. James Church, enjoy soul food and music, a spoken word performance, and African drumming and dance. Snow date 2/26. 413-387-9664. 8 Church Street, Greenfield, MA. ($ SUGGESTED DONATION)

Friday, February 12, 6:30pm-8:30pm
INCLUSION/MUSIC/VALENTINE’S DAY
Celebrate Valentine’s Day in style at Milestones‘ Annual Valentine Party. Put on your fun, fancy clothes (semi-formal attire; no jeans, please) and come dance to the DJ, or, if you prefer, play games in the game room or socialize in the cafe. 413-585-8010. 41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 12, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/PUPPETS/FUNDRAISER
Caroll Spinney has given generations of kids the inimitable Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (Not Rated, 2014), brought to the Academy of Music by the Northampton Arts Council, chronicles Spinney’s journey from bullied child to beloved performer and contains priceless footage of the man and his alter-egos with Sesame Street creator Jim Henson. Following the film, Caroll Spinney, now 81, his wife Debra, and a special guest will discuss their journey and answer questions. Proceeds from the event benefit the 2016 ArtsEZ Grant Round. 413-584-9032. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. ($$)

Friday, February 12, 7pm-9pm
MUSIC STUDIES/SOCIAL CHANGE
Come to the Great Falls Coffeehouse at the Great Falls Discovery Center to listen to music by David Fersh. He will offer a concert version of his recent album, Songs of Peace, Protest & Spirit. Refreshments available. Museum and museum store will be open during intermission. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 12. 7:30pm
NEW PLAY FESTIVAL/CONTEMPORARY
10×10 New Play Festival. The Barrington Stage Company is hosting their 5th annual 10×10 New Play Festival, which will feature 10 new ten-minute plays by 10 playwrights. All of the plays are performed by a diverse ensemble of six actors. The festival brings together local playwrights and community audiences, providing not only a platform for writers to showcase their new work, but giving audiences an exciting contemporary theater experience. The production is being presented by the Barrington Stage Company and performances will be held in the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center. 413-236-8888. 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($$$)

Friday, February 12. 8pm
MYSTERY/COMMUNITY THEATER
An Inspector Calls. Set in England, An Inspector Calls follows Arthur Birling, a wealthy mill owner and local politician, and his family as they celebrate the engagement of their daughter Sheila to Gerald Croft, son of her father’s chief competitor. The mystery commences when a shadowy stranger arrives announcing himself as a police inspector and begins to interrogate the Birlings about their possible involvement in the death of a young working-class factory girl. As the result of his questioning, each person begins to believe they’ve contributed to her death in some way. But is Inspector Goole truly who he claims to be? Come witness this spellbinding mystery that examines the fascinating study of human nature and society. The performance is presented by The Majestic Theater, 131 Elm Street West Springfield, MA. ($$$)

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

  • 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 through May 2016 for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Cummington Family Center is holding a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday through May 2016. Young kids can come play and make friends. Takes place in old Berkshire Trail Elementary School. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a weekly playgroup every Friday at Whole Children for children ages 5 and under. 413-585-8010. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Friday at Anne T. Dunphy School. 1 Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Friday at the playground on Narragansett Avenue. 413-664-4821. Narragansett Avenue. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour every Friday at 10am & 2pm. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a free baby group for babies and caretakers at the Williamstown Youth Center the first Friday of every month. 413-663-6593. School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PRENATAL SUPPORT: Exercise and emotional support are both important components of a healthy pregnancy. Get some of both at a walk and talk group that allows pregnant women to gather, support each other, and learn together. Each session begins with a walk and ends with a sit-down talk about topics such as nutrition, health, and infant care. This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am — BABY & ME/PLAYGROUP Pittsfield CFCE hosts an interactive Baby & Me Playgroup for parents with babies ages 1 and under each Friday. Explore and connect with others, and learn from guest speakers. Pre-registration required. 413-441-0974. 480 West Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in time at the Haskins Center every Friday. Come play and make friends every week. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the Community Action Family Center. Expectant mothers and moms of infants can attend this group to discuss adjustment to motherhood. Childcare provided; babies in arms welcome. 413-387-0703. 220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: There will be a playgroup every Friday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the MotherWoman Office. Expectant mothers and moms of infants through preschoolers can attend this group to discuss all aspects of motherhood. Childcare provided for ages 4 and under. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for preschool-age Hilltown children at the Chesterfield Community Center the first and third Friday of each month 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 – 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)
  • 10:30am-12noon — PLAYGROUP: Socialize with other parents while your child plays at the Infant & Toddler Playgroup at The Bridge Family Resource Center every Friday. Light breakfast served. For kids ages 0-3 and their caregivers. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – STORYTIME: Preschool Story Time on the first Friday of every month through the end of June 2016 at the Cushman Library. Stories, coloring, crafts, songs, activities, snacks, and more. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – STORYTIME: The Sunderland Public Library’s Head of Youth Services, Kelly Daniels Baker, invites children ages 3-5 and their families to a preschool storytime. Includes stories, songs, finger plays, and crafts. Sunderland Public Library, 20 School St., Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – MUSEUM-BASED PLAY: Visit the Berkshire Museum for WeeMuse Adventures, a weekly program every Friday that will feature songs, stories, scavenger hunts, playtime, and more. Intended audience is children 18 months – 3 years with a caregiver; siblings welcome. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($)
  • 11am-12:50pm – ICE SKATING: Want to teach a child how to ice skate but find it difficult to navigate the ice when it is so crowded? The Mullins Center on the UMass Amherst Campus offers a “just for families” skate (no college students) every Friday throughout the school year. You can borrow ice skates or bring your own. Skate rental is free with paid admission. Parents and caregivers skate free when accompanying children. Call to confirm: 413-545-2791, Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave., University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Amherst, MA (<$)
  • 12:30pm-2pm — PLAYGROUP/PARENTING SUPPORT: First-time parents with children ages 0-15 months are invited to the Welcome Baby drop-in group every Friday at Storrs Library. Enjoy reading, music, and interactive play provided by Pathways for Parents. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-3pm — 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)
  • 3pm-5pm — TEENS: Get together with other teens at the Teen Lounge at Jones Library every Friday. 413-259-3091. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm — MINECRAFT
    Kids in grades 2 and up can play Minecraft at the Storrs Library every Firday. Light snack served. Pre-registration requested. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: Celebrate the end of the week with a movie that the whole family can enjoy at Family Movie NIght at The Bridge Family Resource Center every Friday. For all ages. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — INCLUSION/GLBTTQQIA:
    The Bridge Family Resource Center offers a safe space for young people to be who they are, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity, every Friday at its GLBTTQQIA Youth Drop-In Time. 413-549-0297, ext. 6510. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, 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.
  • 5pm-8pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/TUBING: No sledding hill nearby? Enjoy tubing at Ski Butternut‘s eight-lane tubing park every Friday night. Ticket covers use of a tube and the tubing lift for two hours. One person per tube. 413-528-2000. 380 State Road, Great Barrington, MA. ($)
  • 5:30pm-8pm – GAMES: Game night happens at A2Z Science and Learning Store. Stop by on a Friday night to meet up with others and try out new games. Suitable for older children and teens. Ongoing. 413-586-1611. 57 King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Parents/caregivers can drop off kids ages 3-12 at Berkshire South Regional Community Center while you enjoy date night every Friday! Kids will enjoy swimming, activities, pizza, and stories. Cost includes pizza dinner. Reservations required at least 48 hours in advance. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. ($)
  • 7pm-9pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/DRUM CIRCLE: Join your neighbors for a musical celebration of life, love, and community at the One Love Community Drum Circle at Berkcirque the second Friday of each month. Bring your hand drums, percussion instruments, hula hoops, coin skirts, and dance shoes, if you have them. There will be an hour of drumming and dancing, followed by a short prayer and sharing, then more drumming. A drug- and alcohol-free event. 115 Gas House Lane, Great Barrington, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION <$)
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Have you ever learned about an eclipse, comet, meteor shower, or other celestial event after it happened? Don’t miss out on another one! The “Stars over Springfield” observatory series invites the public to learn about and enjoy the night sky with the help of the Springfield Science Museum‘s large rooftop telescope on the first Friday of every month. There will be a short talk on an astronomy-related topic, followed by opportunities to view celestial objects of interest. These programs are best suited for families with children ages 8 and up, although younger children are also welcome. In case of clouds or rain, a planetarium show will replace the outdoor viewing. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-263-6800 x 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $)
  • 8pm – TALENT SHOW: The first Friday of every month, the Valley Talent Showcase takes place at Gateway City Arts. Come watch local bands, musicians, dancers, and more perform on stage, or sign up to participate and gain experience performing onstage for an audience. This is a great chance to see some talented local groups perform or to get your name out there. 413-650-2670. 92-114 Race Street. Holyoke, MA. (< $)

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

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