Suggested Events for February 13th-19th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Just wanted to let you know that my two sons have really enjoyed the Valentine Swap! They are delighted each day to run to the mailbox and find a little surprise waiting for them! We made a Valentine tree and put all of the valentines from our new friends on it! They also loved creating their own valentines, so much so that they chose to forgo the usual store bought ones in favor of making their own for their school parties! Thanks so much for including us! This was a wonderful community outreach project!” – The Allen Family

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

Feb 20

Postponed to February 20

[Postponed to Feb 20] 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 Vac Week

Winter school vacation week at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst means live performances, special storytime guests and art projects! Fun learning in a beautiful warm spot, with three galleries of picture book art. See Magic, Color, Flair, the world of Mary Blair before it closes! Go on a museum-wide scavenger hunt. Delight in illustrators and authors reading their books. Enjoy live theatre with the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts High School. Make mosaics in their Art Studio. All this and more during school winter vacation week at The Carle. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for special event times all week long. Open President’s Day! 125 W. Bay Road, Amherst, MA, 413-658-1100.

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+, New reduced fee of $400 for the February Camp, and 3 Day Camp: Tues/Wed/Fri for $285. $450 for March camp. Get a 10% discount if paid in full by 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.

Info Session Feb 25

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 Thursday, February 25 at 5pm at the Edwards Public Library, Southampton. 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.

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

FMC Ice Sports offers a fun and unique learning environment for all ages. Participants in their Step 1 Learn to Skate programs are taught the basics of ice skating without relying on skating aids. This method of teaching increases a skater’s independence on the ice and encourages their learning of balance and maneuverability. Students eventually graduate to their Step 2 and Step 3 programs that focus on the more sport specific skills required in hockey and figure skating. FMC Ice Sports programs can be found at the Smead Arena in Springfield and the Collins Moylan Arena in Greenfield. Class information and registration are available online at www.fmcicesports.com or by calling 1-888-74-SKATE.

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 13-19, 2016

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Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety ShowSaturday, February 13, 9-10am
RADIO SHOW/VALENTINE’S DAY
Rebroadcast of HFVS Valentine Episode with guest DJ, Charity Kahn. 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 nearly 9 years!

Saturday, February 13, 7:30-9:30am
NATURE STUDIES/ORNITHOLOGY
Hikers will be on the lookout for winter finches at the Notchview Nordic Ski Center. Bird expert Jonathan Pierce can help you distinguish between Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks and Crossbills. Hopefully the yellow feathers of the Evening Grosbeaks will stand out easily against bare trees and a snowy landscape. Dress in warm layers. Participants will meet at the Visitor Center. 413-684-0148. Notchview Nordic Ski Center, Route 9, Windsor MA. (Trustees Members <$, Non-members $)

Warm up with a family dance party from 10am-12pm at Flywheel!

Saturday, February 13, 8am-5pm
NEW ENGLAND CULTURE/WINTER FESTIVAL
It has been an unusual winter, but there are still many ways to celebrate the season! The 3rd Annual Easthampton WinterFest brings community members together to enjoy a pancake breakfast, dance party, wagon rides, nature walks, snow sculptures, a chili cook-off, crafts, live music, a solar energy demonstration, and the unique opportunity to participate in an ice harvest on the Nashawannuck Pond. The day’s festivities conclude with a community bonfire before the Fire & Ice Art Walk begins. Locations vary, Easthampton, MA. (VARIES; FREE, < $, & DONATIONS)

Saturday, February 13, 9am-1pm
LOCAL FOOD/FARMERS’ MARKET
Come to the Downtown Pittsfield Winter Farmers’ Market at the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Lighthouse Cafe. Shop for pasture-raised meats, eggs, cheese, fruits, vegetables, breads, baked goods, coffee, wine, art, and more. As part of 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival, this week’s farmers’ market will feature booths run by local youth. Come check out crafts and food items they made. The market will feature chefs, artists, and farmers as young as four with products ranging from chocolate covered coffee beans to paintings, accessories, and even handmade terrariums. Bring your children along to find inspiration from their peers. This is a unique opportunity for children to practice the communication skills involved in buying, selling, and discussing products and crafts. 16 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. (MARKET/SALE)

Saturday, February 13, 9am-12pm
ARTS/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Highlighting the arts and culture of the Berkshires, the 5th annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival offers a mostly indoor take on the winter festival. Made up of ten days chock full of community-based cultural events, the festival combines music, theater, art, local food, play, and creativity, and celebrates the rich arts and culture found within the communities of the Berkshires. Performances, exhibits, concerts, and other special events will take place every day during the festival, and family-friendly highlights include 10 Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum, the Kid 10 kid-run farmer’s market, a toddler-centric pre-naptime dance party, a special performance of Light Wire Theater’s Moon Mouse, a performance featuring local dancers, and an exciting fireworks display! At 2pm there will be a special performance of Ten Shaker Songs, hosted by Lesley Herzberg, Curator at Hancock Shaker Village, and sung by the Cantilena Chamber Choir and guest artist Deborah Rentz-Moore at the South Congregational Church (110 South Street). This unique concert will include both traditional and contemporary Shaker songs, and will demonstrate to the audience the themes, styles, and functions of Shaker music. Berkshire County. (VARIES <$, $, FREE, DONATIONS)

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

Saturday, February 13, 10am-12noon
FAMILY DANCE PARTY
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)

Saturday, February 13, 10am-12pm
VISUAL ART STUDIES
Art gives preschoolers the chance to express their feelings and practice their fine motor skills. The Clark Art Institute‘s Start with Art program offers themed talks, gallery guides, and art-making activities for three-to-six-year-old and their parents. Art project-appropriate clothing recommended. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 10:00am-12noon
NATURE BASED/ANIMAL TRACKING
Do your children love mysteries and puzzles? Wintertime is a great time to go outdoors and collect clues about –and try to identify–local wildlife! Join Mass Audubon for a family animal tracking hike Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Together you will search for tracks, scat, and other evidence of animals’ wintertime activities. Dress warmly and in layers. If you have snowshoes and there is deep snow, please bring them along. A limited number of adult and child snowshoes are available if reserved ahead of time. Suitable for children ages 8 and up and their caregivers. Registration required. 413-637-0320. 427 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Saturday, February 13, 10am-12:00noon
NATURE BASED/MINDFULNESS
Even just a few minutes of deep breathing a day can help you stay focused and better handle stress. Combined with yoga and outdoor explorations, meditation is a powerful practice. Start your day off centered and connected with a meditative snowshoe walk followed by yoga. Please bring your own yoga mat, water bottle, and snowshoes (if you have them). Wear warm layers and appropriate footwear for the hike. Pre-registration is required. Call 413-628-4485 ext4. Bullitt Reservation. 332 Bullitt Road, Ashfield, MA. (Hilltown land trust members <$, Non-members $)

Saturday, February 13, 10am-11pm
NEW ENGLAND CULTURE/WINTER FESTIVAL
Offering a weekend filled with exciting activities, Holyoke’s Canal District Winter Festival brings life to the city’s icy and historic Canal District neighborhood. The festival’s opening ceremony will take place at 4pm at Gateway City Arts, where festive lamps can be made and hung to illuminate the center’s Winter Courtyard. Families can join in the Luminaria Parade, which will bring light to the canals, at 6pm. Weekend highlights – indoors and out – include a dog show, an artisan market, musical performances, and the annual firefighters vs. police offers rivalry hockey game! Holyoke, MA. (VARIES <$, FREE, DONATIONS)

Saturday, February 13, 10:30am-12:30pm
SKILLSHARING/MAKERSPACE
Join your fellow tinkerers for the first meeting of Maker’s Club at the Westhampton Public Library. Each month, members of the maker’s club will share their building and designing skills, ranging from electronic projects to woodworking. At this first meeting, visitors will make their own light up Valentine’s Day gift.
Suggested ages 10 and up but all ages welcome. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 10am-1pm
ORNITHOLOGY/ECOLOGY
The use of DDT as an insecticide from the late 1930s until its ban in 1972 brought the bald eagle to near extinction. Luckily, thanks to the ban on DDT and restoration efforts from conservationists, nesting and breeding has significantly increased and the population is recovering. Come to the Quabbin Reservoir to learn about the Bald Eagle Restoration Project and Quabbin history. Knowledgeable guides will help visitors look for bald eagles and ravens, as well as coyotes and other animals. The group will meet at the visitor center before carpooling to Enfield Lookout. Dress warmly and bring a lunch. Quabbin Reservoir Belchertown, MA. ($ Non-members, <$ Members)

Saturday, February 13, 10am-2pm
FARMERS’ MARKET/LOCAL FOOD/COMMERCIAL-FREE HOLIDAY
Shop locally grown and produced foods and gifts, including fruits and vegetables, cheeses, meats, breads, yarn, and more at the Berkshire Grown “Love Your Farmer” Valentine’s Farmers’ Market at Monument Valley Middle School. Greenagers , young adults committed to environmental conservation, will be selling seeds to help community members interested in building upon or starting a garden of their own. Learn where your food comes from and share your experience at family dinner time. Plus, enjoy live music, lunch fare, and children’s activities. SNAP accepted. 413.528.0041. 313 Monument Valley Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 10am-2pm
FARMERS’ MARKET
Explore the sometimes surprising bounty of the winter harvest, and explore other wonderful, local delights such as honey, breads, pastries, cheeses, jewelry, and more at the Amherst Winter Farmers’ Market, which runs most Saturdays through April 2, 2016. SNAP accepted throughout the market. Amherst Regional Middle School, 170 Chestnut Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 10am-2pm
NATURE STUDIES/NON-COMMERCIAL HOLIDAY
Children of all ages are invited to the Great Falls Discovery Center to make wildlife-themed valentines! Make some for your family, some for your friends, and with each one, celebrate an awesome animal. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 10am-4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/AVIATION
Have you ever wondered what the inside of a cockpit looks like? At New England Air Museum’s Open Cockpit Day you’ll see aircraft, including helicopters and a jet fighter, from the inside out. From 11am to 3pm a re-enactor will be playing the part of Silas Brooks, a famous aeronaut. Visitors of all ages can also entertain the idea of piloting careers, taking flying lessons with a high tech simulator. The career of commercial airline pilot is expected to grow at a rate of five percent between now and 2024, as pilots retire. With the average student pilot in his or her thirties, and many taking flight after retirement, it’s never too late to embark on your aviation dream.
Sneakers or rubber-soled shoes are recommended. (60-623-3305. 36 Perimeter Road,
Windsor Locks, CT. ($ Adults, <$ Children)

Saturday, February 13, 10:15am-12:15pm
ART/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Pablo Picasso believed that: “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist.” Whether your child is the world’s next Picasso or not, arts and crafts are a fun and relaxing way to engage their creative side. With the growing popularity of adult coloring books, parents should feel encouraged to join in the fun. Age group: 3 to 6. Wear art appropriate clothing. The Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street Williamstown, MA. (FREE).

Saturday, February 13, 11am
STEM/SEASONAL
Why do snowflakes commonly have six sides? What can the shape of a snowflake tell you about the atmospheric conditions in which it formed? Is it true that no two snowflakes are identical? Explore the science and beauty of snowflakes at a special Gaylord Library program, intended for children ages 4-8. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 11am
LOCAL HISTORY/INDUSTRIALIZATION
The history of industrialization is the history of the Pioneer Valley. Join local historian Leo Labonte as he explores the history of the dams along the Connecticut River that helped spur the rise of mills in the 19th century. Holyoke Public Library Community Room, 250 Chestnut St, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 11am-2pm
ARTS & CRAFTS/VALENTINE’S DAY
Community members of all ages are welcome to make Valentine’s Day crafts and decorate cookies at the Meekins Library. Paper, stickers, doilies, and other supplies will be provided. Share messages of love, and sugary treats, with your friends and family. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 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 13 11am-3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEAM
With most local schools out of session, children will still be learning: in creative, self-directed ways at the Berkshire Museum. In the ArtZoo exhibition, visitors can see familiar and exotic animals depicted in photography, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more. Challenge your kids to identify their favorite animals. Families can participate in “animal yoga,” practicing positions such as downward dog and butterfly pose. In the museum’s crane room, kids will have an array of LEGOs, construction projects, and magnetic blocks at their creative disposal. Wear flexible clothing appropriate for yoga and play. This weekend, Junk Music with The Junkman ™ (10:30am-5pm) makes your visit extra special! This world-renown recycled materials percussionist will offer three different interactive programs for children of all ages. Explore the intersection of music, science, and sustainability at this exciting event! The Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adult. <$ Child. Museum members and children under 3 admitted free.)

Saturday, February 13, 11:30am-3pm
CONTEMPORARY ART
Richard Nonas is an artist whose body of work has the ability to alter our sense of space, time, landscape and architecture. His totemic sculptures are made from earthy and industrial materials that include wooden railroad ties, granite curbstones, massive boulders, and thick steel plates. Each sculpture re-imagines space and terrain all over the world while maintaining its timeless character. In this display, Richard Nonas: The Man in the Empty Space at MASS MoCA, the artist’s quietly powerful sculpture will occupy and transform Building 5, the museum’s signature gallery, which is nearly a football field in length. Nonas will create a major new work specifically designed for the trussed, window-lined space. The exhibit will give visitors an opportunity to experience the way geometric forms can both command and alter their environment, and at the same time retain an intimate human scale. This exhibition will begin February 13, 2016 at MASS MoCA. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)

Saturday, February 13, 11:30am-3pm
ANIMAL BEHAVIOR/CYNOLOGY
Does someone in your life aspire to be a veterinarian? A dog trainer? Groomer? An interest in cynology, the study of dogs, can be supported this weekend at Berkshire Community College’s 15th Annual Not Your Average Dog Show. There will be fun competitions, concessions, vendor tables and a magician. Test your knowledge by guessing dog breeds. If you would like to enter your pet into one of the competitions, a pre-registration form and payment must be received by Feb. 10th. Forms can be found on the Berkshire Community College website. 413-236-2185. Event to take place in the Paterson Field House at BCC’s Main Campus. 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. (Attendance is FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 12pm-2:30pm
ARTS & CRAFTS/VALENTINE’S DAY
Why buy Valentine’s Day cards when you can make your own? Crafting cards is a fun way to express yourself. Using acrylic paint, exacto knives, nails, linoleum cutters and potato halves you can create your own unique design. Once you become practiced at creating stamps, you can apply this skill to cards for other holidays, and entirely new crafts in the future. Due to the use of sharp tools, this event is for ages 9 and up. Young adults and older adults are welcome, in families, groups, and as individuals. 413-584-7451. Goodwin Memorial Library. 50 Middle Street, Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13 1pm
ART/LITERACY
Many of us read Golden Books as children and now read them to the children in our lives. Some of the artwork in Golden Books has taken on significant cultural status for its unique qualities and the talents of the artists who created it. A number of these books were in fact illustrated by artists who were also employed by Walt Disney Studios–an interesting connection! Golden Books/Random House editorial director, Diane Muldrow, will present “The Disney-Golden Legacy” at the Eric Carle Museum, a discussion of the art and artists of Golden Books’ “golden era.” A book signing will follow. Visitors interested in this topic should be sure to allow time to view Magic, Color, Flair: the world of Mary Blair, currently exhibited in the gallery! 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, February 13, 1pm-2:15pm
ARTS & CRAFTS/VALENTINE’S DAY
Kids who would like to make valentines or other colorful cards for friends and family are invited to the Mason Library for a card crafting activity. Many tables will be set up with art materials for children to use and explore. Due to the nature of the art materials, this is best suited for children ages 5 and up. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 1pm-6pm
COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/SEASONAL
Amherst’s annual WinterFest comes with the promise that if snow doesn’t arrive of its own accord, it will be made just for the event! Bringing much excitement to the otherwise quiet wintry golf course landscape, WinterFest offers fun in many forms. Sledding and cross-country skiing are annual favorites, while a cardboard sled race combines creativity, engineering, and daring for an exciting competition. Families can also use the event as an opportunity to learn how to engage with their natural surroundings during wintertime – bird watching walks will be lead, teaching participants how to watch for winter birds common to the hills and forests of western Massachusetts. All ages. Cherry Hill Golf Course. 325 Montague Rd, Amherst, MA. (VARIES; FREE, < $, & DONATIONS) [Postponed to Feb 20]

Saturday, February 13. 2pm
COLLEGE THEATER/FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE
The Vagina Monologues . In this episodic play made up of varying numbers of monologues read by women, The Vagina Monologues covers a range of topics including women’s sexuality, the LGBTQ experience, domestic and systematic abuse against women, women’s health, as well as how women are viewed and interacted with on a societal level. This year’s production is directed by current WSU students and is scheduled annually around Valentine’s Day in a movement to end violence against women and girls. Junior director Samantha Geissler believes “that these are issues that we need to discuss in order to make things better. ‘The Vagina Monologues’ are very empowering and are a great way to get people to discuss and become more aware of the everyday issues, violence, and discrimination that women face.” This emotionally provocative experience offers audiences a platform to begin these discussions. Additionally, proceeds from the show will be donated to the YWCA Westfield New Beginnings program, which provides shelter, counseling, and advocacy for women and children who have been victims of violence or abuse. Performances will be held at the Dever Stage (Parenzo Hall) at Westfield State University. 413-572-8323. 577 Western Avenue, Westfield, MA. ($)

Saturday, February 13, 2pm-3pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Come to the Springfield Armory National Historic Site and meet six live owls native to New England. Julie Ann Collier is a raptor rehabilitator, and one half of the partnership, Wingmasters. She cares for injured birds of prey in the hopes of releasing them back into the wild. Visitors will come away with a greater knowledge about local owls, who in spite of their cute appearance are fierce nocturnal hunters. General exhibits are available 9:00am to 5:00 pm. Museum admission and all activities are free of charge for the week of Saturday, February 13th through Sunday, February 21. Please be advised that the Armory is still closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday of this week. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory St #2, Springfield, MA. (FREE).

Saturday, February 13, 2pm-3pm
CHEMISTRY
Learn science through storytelling at the Westfield Athanaeum! This “Dragons and Dreams” themed story hour will feature experiments involving dry ice, fog, bubbles, and flying rockets. Best suited roughly for ages 4 to 11. Registration required. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm St, Westfield, MA. (FREE).

Saturday, February 13, 2pm-4pm
ART STUDIES/TECHNIQUE
Art galleries are wonderful places from which to draw inspiration. Imagine creating art of your own while still in the gallery! Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum to experience Art in Motion, an in-gallery drawing experience for families. Artist Pat O’Donnell will demonstrate some of Norman Rockwell’s signature techniques in a drawing session, after which everyone will be invited to create drawings of their own. 413-931-2221. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, February 13, 2pm-4pm
HORTICULTURE/COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
Late winter is the perfect time for a seed swap! Start planning your flower and vegetable garden with a bounty of options from your community members’ fields and containers at the 9th Annual Cabin Fever Seed Swap hosted by Green Fields Market. Be sure to bring seeds from your own recent harvests, and/or extras from seed packets you’ve purchased to add to the mix! Participants are also welcome to bring twigs/scionwood for grafting, hardwood cuttings for rooting, and the like. A seed swap is a great place to give and receive gardening advice, too, so be sure to come with questions, garden plan ideas, and success stories! 413-773-9567. 144 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 13, 3:30pm
FOOD HISTORY/CHOCOLATE
Did you know that chocolate has New World origins, that it was Spain’s best kept secret for 100 years, that Casanova played a role in its popularity, that the first “candy bar” was invented in 1847, that a daily intake of chocolate can lower one’s blood pressure? Want to learn more? Join food historian Francine Segan as she takes audiences on a tasty tour of the history of chocolate. PLUS, Francine will offer a tasting of fine chocolate, guiding her audience on how to train the palate for the various types. For reservations call 413-637-3206. Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum. 104 Walker St, Lenox, MA ($$)

Saturday, February 13, 5:30pm-6:30pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART HISTORY
Did you know that artist Georgia O’Keeffe, whose paintings of flowers have become iconic, once said: “I hate flowers. I paint them because they’re cheaper than models and they don’t move?” Learn more about this talented, powerful, and practical woman at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Actress Colleen Webster will play O’Keeffe as part of the museum’s Living Art Series. 413-931-2221. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. ($ Non-members. <$ Members)

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Ongoing Sunday Events

Hilltown Family Variety ShowSunday, February 14, 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. 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 14, 10am-2pm
COLONIAL HISTORY/CULINARY ARTS
Learn about 19th-century cooking, customs, and manners during Cooking a 19th-Century Meal at Old Sturbridge Village. Staff will help read recipes (called “receipts” at the time) and share hearth-cooking techniques, while participants prepare the meal then eat together family-style. For ages 8 and up (including adults). Registration required. 800-733-1830. 1 Old Sturbridge Village Road, Sturbridge, MA. ($$$)

Sunday, February 14, 10am-3:30pm
NEW ENGLAND CULTURE/WINTER FESTIVAL
Offering a weekend filled with exciting activities, Holyoke’s Canal District Winter Festival brings life to the city’s icy and historic Canal District neighborhood. The festival’s opening ceremony will take place at 4pm at Gateway City Arts, where festive lamps can be made and hung to illuminate the center’s Winter Courtyard. Families can join in the Luminaria Parade, which will bring light to the canals, at 6pm. Weekend highlights – indoors and out – include a dog show, an artisan market, musical performances, and the annual firefighters vs. police offers rivalry hockey game! Holyoke, MA. (VARIES <$, FREE, DONATIONS)

Sunday, February 14, 10am-4pm
U.S. HISTORY/CIVIL WAR
Your child can earn a Junior Ranger badge, patch, and certificate at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site while learning about walnut trees, firearms, and the inventors who worked at the Armory. Participants will have the opportunity to express their thoughts on what they’ve learned through this experience, as they write letters to soldiers. The museum’s Facebook page is an excellent resource for Civil War history, with daily posts about items in the museum’s collection and the war in general. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Street #2, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 14, 11am-10pm
ARTS/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Highlighting the arts and culture of the Berkshires, the 5th annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival offers a mostly indoor take on the winter festival. Made up of ten days chock full of community-based cultural events, the festival combines music, theater, art, local food, play, and creativity, and celebrates the rich arts and culture found within the communities of the Berkshires. Performances, exhibits, concerts, and other special events will take place every day during the festival, and family-friendly highlights include 10 Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum, the Kid 10 kid-run farmer’s market, a toddler-centric pre-naptime dance party, a special performance of Light Wire Theater’s Moon Mouse, a performance featuring local dancers, and an exciting fireworks display!(VARIES <$, $, FREE, DONATIONS)

Sunday, February 14, 12pm to 3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/STEAM
With most local schools out of session, children will still be learning: in creative, self-directed ways at The Berkshire Museum. In the ArtZoo exhibition, visitors can see familiar and exotic animals depicted in photography, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more. Challenge your kids to identify their favorite animals. Families can participate in “animal yoga,” practicing positions such as downward dog and butterfly pose. In the museum’s crane room, kids will have an array of LEGOs, construction projects, and magnetic blocks at their creative disposal. Wear flexible clothing appropriate for yoga and play. This weekend, Junk Music with The Junkman ™ (12:30pm-5pm) makes your visit extra special! This world-renown recycled materials percussionist will offer three different interactive programs for children of all ages. Explore the intersection of music, science, and sustainability at this exciting event! The Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adult. <$ Child. Museum members and children under 3 admitted free.)

Sunday, February 14, 12pm-4pm
LOCAL HISTORY/PHYSICS
Looking for a different way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family? Why not take a carousel ride or two on the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round? If each of the colorful, carefully restored carousel horses could talk, what a tale they would tell you about almost a century’s worth of local history! This merry-go-round was the fifth-to-last one created by the famous Philadelphia Toboggan Company, and was added into an amusement park ride deal as a freebie! Those interested in playing with physics can take several rides, comparing the experience of riding in the inner circle, on the outer circle, on a stationary horse, and on a galloping horse. Which combination yields the biggest thrills? Which is best for the faint of heart? The carousel will also be open throughout school vacation week, from 12pm-4pm each day. 413-538-9839. Holyoke Heritage State Park, 221 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA. (< $)

Sunday, February 14, 12:30pm-4pm
WOMEN IN SPORTS
Encourage your daughter to try something new at Smith College’s annual National Girls and Women in Sports day. Girls between the ages of eight to thirteen (3rd to 6th graders) will be randomly assigned to try five different sports. These will include rugby, cheerleading, field hockey, lacrosse, rowing, tennis, softball, volleyball, soccer, fencing, rocking climbing, among others. Maybe your lacrosse playing daughter will discover she also loves fencing (or vice versa). All participants will receive a t-shirt, certificate, and snacks. You can pre-register at the Smith College Athletics website. A release form is required. For more information please call 413-585-3076. Smith College Indoor Track and Tennis Facility. 106 Lower College Ln, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Sunday, February 14, 1pm-2pm
DANCE/CULTURAL STUDIES
Does your child love to play with sticks? Does s/he love to dance and be active? If so, the new Border Morris Team at Whately Elementary School could be a great activity to try! Border Morris dancing is a team dance style that incorporates coordinated movements of sticks into the dance routines. It originated along the Wales-England border and was an especially popular winter pastime. No experience is necessary! This class is intended for girls and boys ages 9-13. Participants should wear sneakers and comfortable clothes. 413-626-0163. 273 Long Plain Road, Whately, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 14, 1pm-3pm
SERVICE-BASED LEARNING/FOOD SECURITY
Spend this Valentine’s Day spreading the love by volunteering with your family. Lend a helping hand to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and help ensure that your neighbors do not go hungry this winter. Both The Food Bank and Hilltown Families encourage families to volunteer their time together, discovering that they can truly make a difference! There will be a range of educational and hands-on activities for helpers of all ages, including decorating bags for the Brown Bag program and learning about nutrition. Reservations are required by contacting The Food Bank’s Education Coordinator at 413-247-9738 ext. 135 or signing up here. Hatfield, MA (VOLUNTEER)

Sunday, February 14, 1:30pm
FILM & MUSIC STUDIES/SILENT FILM
This presentation of silent 1926 film, The Son of The Sheik will feature musical accompaniment from the world famous Alloy Orchestra. While watching the film, you may want to take note of the directorial decisions and the ways in which the orchestra’s performance impacts your experience of the story. At 4:00pm, moviegoers are invited to sit in on a class of Five College music and film students. Their discussion is likely to enhance your overall educational experience. Academy of Music Theater. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA($$Adults $ Children 10 and under)

Sunday, February 14, 2pm
FILM STUDIES/FAIRY TALE
As a special Valentine’s Day family film, Amherst Cinema presents The Princess Bride (PG, 1987), a fun tale of adventure and romance, brought to life as a grandfather reads his grandson a bedtime story. This film is a good launchpad from which to explore themes of fidelity, determination, gender roles, and embracing differences. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (<$)

Sunday, February 14, 2pm-4pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/PLANT STUDIES
For young ones, the phrase “herbs and potions” may conjure up images of Harry Potter books and films. But the magic is real! After an hour long snowshoe walk around Bartholomew’s Cobble, enjoy a hot cider or cocoa as you learn about local plants which can be used as medicines and tonics. Bring your own snowshoes or rent a pair. 413-298-3239 ext3013. Bartholomew’s Cobble, 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA (Trustees Member <$, Non-member$).

Sunday, February 14, 4pm
BLACK HISTORY/SOCIAL JUSTICE
Black history month is an opportunity not only to honor the achievements of black Americans, but to highlight ongoing social justice issues and start productive conversations about combating them. Come to a free screening of the documentary Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory at the Brick House Community Resource Center and become more informed about racial profiling in this country. This documentary takes a community based view of a national news story, drawing on the accounts of Ferguson residents. 413-835-1390. 24 3rd St, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 14, 7pm-10pm
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/SKI/HIKE
A half moon will shine on the trails for skiers, snowshoers, and hikers on Valentine’s Day. Encourage your significant other or family member(s) to try something new. Skis and snowshoes are available for rental and beginners are welcome. All ages. Reservations encouraged. 413-684-0148. Notchview Nordic Ski Center, Route 9, Windsor MA. (Members $, Non-members $$)

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday, February 15, 8am-4pm
ARTS & CRAFTS/SKILLSHARING
Does your child love art and Japanese culture? He or she could spend February school vacation week honing magna drawing skills, making sushi and origami, creating felted anime characters and much more at Workshop 13. Young artists will be encouraged to create their own unique characters and develop them over the course of the week. Participants are sure to walk away with new friends, enhanced skills, and possibly some newfound interests to develop further. Registration and a deposit is required for this class. Visit the Masters in the Morning site to register. Ages 7-16. Pack a lunch, 2 snacks, water, sketchbook and outdoor clothing for recess. 13 Church Street, Ware, MA. ($$$)

Monday, February 15, 10am-12pm
MUSIC STUDIES/STEM
How often do you have a chance to try playing a pipe organ? These interesting instruments have keyboards and pedals, similar to a piano, but the sound they make comes from air passing through pipes of varying size. Students–especially those studying piano or with an interest in musical instruments– and their parents are invited to Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza, to try out a pipe organ and explore how it works in depth. Some basic principles of physics dictate the pitches these organs can produce. See what connections your children can make between the size of a pipe and the tone it produces! Brought to you by the Berkshire Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, this event will conclude with a pizza lunch for all attendees. 413-522-4745. St. Mark’s Catholic Church, 400 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 15, 10am-4pm
NATURE STUDIES/BOTANY
Nature-loving kids will enjoy this week’s special programming at the Great Falls Discovery Center! Monday’s activity will focus on planting seeds. This is a great time of year to start thinking about what flowers, fruits, and vegetables your family might want to plant at home. Many seeds can be started indoors in later winter/early spring to get a good jump on the growing season, and you only need a small container and a sunny indoor spot to make it happen! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 15, 11am & 1pm
PUPPETRY
Puppetry offers unique ways to share and comprehend a story. Families will have many opportunities to watch puppetry performances during school vacation week at the Springfield Museums‘ five-day Puppet Festival. Monday’s performance features Barefoot Puppets sharing Little Red and the Gingerbread Man, a twist on two favorite stories, in which Little Red chases the mischievous gingerbread man through the forest to her grandmother’s house. While at the museums, you can make time to take in the live animal demonstrations, planetarium shows, hands-on activities, and new exhibit, Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs, too. 413-263-6800. Davis Auditorium, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $ – $; FREE for children under 3 and members)

Monday, February 15, 11am-12:30pm
FAMILY THEATER
The phenomenon of sports fandom has drawn the attention of psychologists, some proposing evolutionary explanations for fans’ loyalty. Enthusiasm for a specific team builds a sense of community and pride for a place, often determined by where fans grew up. Whether you yourself are a baseball fanatic, or you’re not completely sure how the game works, Berkshire Theater Group’s “Play Ball! Reflections on the Origins of Baseball” promises to entertain and educate. This play will explore the cultural significance of baseball in Massachusetts, enlightening audiences to the importance of a mascot not just as comic relief, but as a symbol of luck and hope that can unite cities. Stick around for the post show discussion. The Berkshire Museum All ages welcome. Call 413-443-7171 ext. 360 to reserve tickets. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Non Members, <$ Museum Members)

Monday, February 15, 11am-2pm
HISTORY
The refrigerator is a great example of an invention which, by now, we take for granted. Not only can you store and preserve food in your freezer long term, but you can have ice year-round in virtually any shape you want with funky, modern ice cube trays. Dennis Picard, director of Storrowton Village Museum, will take visitors back in history to a time when ice harvesting was a common skill and the ninth largest trade in the United States. There will be opportunities to try it yourself, with old fashioned tools. The demonstration will take place at the lagoon, inside Gate 9 of the Exposition grounds. 413-205-5051. Storrowton Village. 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA. (DONATION)

Monday, February 15, 11am-3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
With most local schools out of session, children will still be learning: in creative, self-directed ways at The Berkshire Museum. In the ArtZoo exhibition, visitors can see familiar and exotic animals depicted in photography, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more. Challenge your kids to identify their favorite animals. Families can participate in “animal yoga,” practicing positions such as downward dog and butterfly pose. In the museum’s crane room, kids will have an array of LEGOs, construction projects, and magnetic blocks at their creative disposal. Wear flexible clothing appropriate for yoga and play. The Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adult. <$ Child. Museum members and children under 3 admitted free.)

Monday, February 15, 11am-9:30pm
ARTS/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Highlighting the arts and culture of the Berkshires, the 5th annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival offers a mostly indoor take on the winter festival. Made up of ten days chock full of community-based cultural events, the festival combines music, theater, art, local food, play, and creativity, and celebrates the rich arts and culture found within the communities of the Berkshires. Performances, exhibits, concerts, and other special events will take place every day during the festival, and family-friendly highlights include 10 Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum, the Kid 10 kid-run farmer’s market, a toddler-centric pre-naptime dance party, a special performance of Light Wire Theater’s Moon Mouse, a performance featuring local dancers, and an exciting fireworks display!(VARIES <$, $, FREE, DONATIONS)

Monday, February 15, 1pm to 4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES/HISTORY
Thanks in part to Gilbert Stuart’s iconic 1796 painting, George Washington exists in our collective memory as a man with white hair. The painting does not capture George’s remarkable height, at 6 foot 6′, or the fact that he was born with red hair. You and your family can visit George Washington’s portrait over school vacation week at The Clark Art Institute and celebrate his birthday with cake and crafts. Cement your own image in history with the patriotic photo booth. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA ($ Nonmembers. Free for members, students with valid ID, and children under 18.)

Monday, February 15, 1pm-4pm
ART/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
All week long, the Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting Drop In On Art, which features a creative workshop each day. Each session invites children to invent their own storylines, and to design characters, plots, and settings inspired by art they view throughout the gallery. 413-931-2221. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission and for members)

Monday, February 15, 1:30pm
MOVIE/IDENTITY
All week long, the Academy of Music is hosting KidsBestFest-YouthFilm 2016, a film festival of specially-selected children’s films from around the world. Monday’s film is Alice in Wonderland (G, 1951), an animated adventure that follows young Alice “down the rabbit hole” into a fantastical world. Full of big questions and allegorical tales, Alice in Wonderland is accessible to people of all ages. Younger children may enjoy comparing any book versions they know with the film adaptation, or practicing empathy by imagining what it might be like to be Alice. Older children can use the film to talk about what it means to belong, what it means to have (and use) power, how to understand and embrace uncertainty and change, and the relationship between one’s mind and one’s heart. Suggested for ages 5 and up. 413-584-9032 x 105. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ENCOURAGED)

Monday, February 15, 5pm
STEAM/PHYSICS
There’s just something about a domino chain reaction! We can observe and admire the artistry of the design, the patience and strategies of the builders, and the sound and flow of the falling tiles. The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center‘s 9th annual Domino Toppling Extravaganza invites viewers to witness the run of an extraordinary domino array, created by domino superstar Lily Hevesh and a team of dedicated youth. Families can analyze the strategies that domino builders use to create enormous arrays, compare and contrast techniques for making different designs and motions, and consider the basic physics of potential/kinetic energy transfers as they observe the dominos before, during, and after the run. 802-257-0124. 10 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT. (< $; FREE for ages 8 and under)

Monday, February 15, 5:30pm-7:30pm
SOCIAL CHANGE/COMPUTERS/TEENS
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 15, 7pm
FILM/HISTORY/GENDER STUDIES
As part of the film series “In / dependence: Capturing Women in (New) French Cinema,” you can attend a free screening of the 2013 French film Camille Claudel. All films screened in this series will be in French with English subtitles. Each film explores traditional gender roles in France, with portraits of women who preserve and subvert these roles. If you are able to attend multiple screenings in February and March, you will be able to compare a broad spectrum of French female experiences, from the eighteenth century up to the present day. 413-458-5612. Images Cinema. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February, 15, 8pm
PHILOSOPHY/CULTURE
Are you a fan of TED talks? These short presentations by artists, thinkers, and storytellers are full of “ideas worth spreading.” For the first time, the general public is invited to experience the opening night of the annual TED conference, on Cinemark‘s (Hampshire Mall) big screen, no less! The theme of this year’s conference is “Dream,” and will feature dynamic, interesting speakers sharing their ideas about the greatest dreams we are capable of dreaming. 413-587-4237. Route 9, Hadley, MA. ($)

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 8am-4pm
ARTS & CRAFTS/SKILLSHARING
Does your child love art and Japanese culture? He or she could spend February school vacation week honing magna drawing skills, making sushi and origami, creating felted anime characters and much more at Workshop 13. Young artists will be encouraged to create their own unique characters and develop them over the course of the week. Participants are sure to walk away with new friends, enhanced skills, and possibly some newfound interests to develop further. Registration and a deposit is required for this class. Visit the Masters in the Morning> site to learn register. Ages 7-16. Pack a lunch, 2 snacks, water, sketchbook and outdoor clothing for recess. Workshop 13. 13 Church Street, Ware, MA. ($$$)

Tuesday, February 16, 10am-4pm
NATURE STUDIES/CREATIVE EXPRESSION
Nature-loving kids will enjoy this week’s special programming at the Great Falls Discovery Center! Tuesday’s activity will focus on making your own nature journal. Nature journals encourage artistic expression and invite children to interact with nature in new ways. A nature journal might document one camping trip, a whole year’s worth of nature experiences, or even span several years of a child’s outdoor adventures. The possibilities are endless! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 16, 11am
PUPPETRY
Puppetry offers unique ways to share and comprehend a story. Families will have many opportunities to watch puppetry performances during school vacation week at the Springfield Museums‘ five-day Puppet Festival. Tuesday’s performance features Paul Vincent Davis’ Clown Circus, an interactive variety show featuring circus-inspired songs, dances, stories, and more! While at the museums, you can make time to take in the live animal demonstrations, planetarium shows, hands-on activities, and new exhibit, Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs, too. 413-263-6800. Davis Auditorium, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $ – $; FREE for children under 3 and members)

Tuesday, February 16, 11am-12:30pm
FAMILY THEATER
The phenomenon of sports fandom has drawn the attention of psychologists, some proposing evolutionary explanations for fans’ loyalty. Enthusiasm for a specific team builds a sense of community and pride for a place, often determined by where fans grew up. Whether you yourself are a baseball fanatic, or you’re not completely sure how the game works, Berkshire Theater Group’s “Play Ball! Reflections on the Origins of Baseball” promises to entertain and educate. This play will explore the cultural significance of baseball in Massachusetts, enlightening audiences to the importance of a mascot not just as comic relief, but as a symbol of luck and hope that can unite cities. Stick around for the post show discussion. The Berkshire Museum All ages welcome. Call 413-443-7171 ext. 360 to reserve tickets. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Non Members, <$ Museum Members)

Tuesday, February 16, 11am-1pm
ARTS & CRAFT/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Meet up with local parents and their children, ages seven and up, for a casual do-it-yourself crafting session. Supplies will be provided, including felt, duct tape and more. If you want to study up ahead of time, you and your child could learn together how to make an array of duct tape crafts, from simple bow ties, to wallets, to bags. There are many website tutorials available, including these 101 Duct Tape Crafts. For more information, call 413-259-1213. This library run event will take place at the Town Hall, 1 Cooleyville Rd, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 16, 11am and 1pm
NATURAL HISTORY
The discovery, in recent decades, that many dinosaurs likely had feathers, is a good example of the fact that history (and prehistory) is not just a series of set facts. History is a constantly changing narrative, with new information re-shaping our collective idea of the past. The Beneski Museum of Natural History in Amherst is one of New England’s largest natural history museums, boasting three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display, and tens of thousands of specimens available for use by scholars and researchers from across campus and around the world! Tuesday, February 16th through Friday, February 19th, families can enjoy student docent-guided tours at 11am and 1pm daily. Scavenger hunts for the whole family will be available throughout the entire month. Read more about what the Beneski Museum has to offer in this recent highlight. 413-542-2165. 11 Barrett Hill Rd, Amherst, MA. Admission is always free

Tuesday, February 16, 11am-3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
With most local schools out of session, children will still be learning: in creative, self-directed ways at The Berkshire Museum. In the ArtZoo exhibition, visitors can see familiar and exotic animals depicted in photography, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more. Challenge your kids to identify their favorite animals. Families can participate in “animal yoga,” practicing positions such as downward dog and butterfly pose. In the museum’s crane room, kids will have an array of LEGOs, construction projects, and magnetic blocks at their creative disposal. Wear flexible clothing appropriate for yoga and play. The Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adult. <$ Child. Museum members and children under 3 admitted free.)

Tuesday, February 16, 11am-9:30pm
ARTS/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Highlighting the arts and culture of the Berkshires, the 5th annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival offers a mostly indoor take on the winter festival. Made up of ten days chock full of community-based cultural events, the festival combines music, theater, art, local food, play, and creativity, and celebrates the rich arts and culture found within the communities of the Berkshires. Performances, exhibits, concerts, and other special events will take place every day during the festival, and family-friendly highlights include 10 Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum, the Kid 10 kid-run farmer’s market, a toddler-centric pre-naptime dance party, a special performance of Light Wire Theater’s Moon Mouse, a performance featuring local dancers, and an exciting fireworks display!(VARIES <$, $, FREE, DONATIONS)

Tuesday, February 16, 1pm
ORNITHOLOGY
Meet live owls at the Montgomery library! Julie Ann Collier is a raptor rehabilitator, and one half of the partnership, Wingmasters. She cares for injured birds of prey in the hopes of releasing them back into the wild. Visitors will come away with a greater knowledge about local owls, who in spite of their cute appearance are fierce nocturnal hunters. 413-862-3894. 161 Main Road, Montgomery, MA. (FREE).

Tuesday, February 16, 1pm-3pm
ARTS & CRAFTS
Making jewelry is a fun, creative outlet. It combines fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and artistic expression, and yields a product that can be worn by the artist or gifted to a friend. Karina Dise will be at the Monson Library to lead a fun jewelry and bead-making class for kids. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street, Monson, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 16, 1pm-4pm
ART/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
All week long, the Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting Drop In On Art, which features a creative workshop each day. Each session invites children to invent their own storylines, and to design characters, plots, and settings inspired by art they view throughout the gallery. 413-931-2221. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission and for members)

Tuesday, February 16, 1pm to 4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES/HISTORY
Thanks in part to Gilbert Stuart’s iconic 1796 painting, George Washington exists in our collective memory as a man with white hair. The painting does not capture George’s remarkable height, at 6 foot 6′, or the fact that he was born with red hair. You and your family can visit George Washington’s portrait over school vacation week at The Clark Art Institute and celebrate his birthday with cake and crafts. Cement your own image in history with the patriotic photo booth. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA ($ Nonmembers. Free for members, students with valid ID, and children under 18.)

Tuesday, February 16, 1:30pm
MOVIE/ANIMATED SHORTS
All week long, the Academy of Music is hosting KidsBestFest-YouthFilm 2016, a film festival of specially-selected children’s films. Tuesday’s film is 5@5 Doodlin’ (NR, 2015), a series of 15 animated short films from around the world. All films are nonverbal or in English. These films were selected for their ability to delight children with fanciful ideas, quirky animals, and relatable tales. While their themes may be universal, the unique artistry in each film gives insights into the countries and cultures from which the filmmakers originate. Suggested for ages 5 and up. 413-584-9032 x 105. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ENCOURAGED)

Tuesday, February 16, 1:30pm-2:30pm
STEM/SUSTAINABILITY
How can you walk through a piece of paper? Can a potato chip bag have any future other than in a landfill? Kids are invited to the Tilton Library to participate in activities to discover the answers to these questions. This topic dovetails nicely with Deerfield’s community read, Garbology, and family members who are reading this book can incorporate it into conversations with their children about our relationship with objects and consumption. This workshop will take place each day through Friday, February 19. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street, South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 16, 1:30pm
ANIMAL STUDIES
Exotic pet laws are complex and vary by state, but it is possible to keep animals like tigers, lions, leopards, bears and wolves as pets in certain areas of the United States. The practice is controversial and some groups are fighting for stricter bans on exotic pet ownership. At the Berkshire Museum’s Zoo Show, not only will you meet seven live animals and learn about their biological survival techniques, but you will hear about the consequences of keeping wild animals as pets. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Non-members. <$ Members)

Tuesday, February 16, 2pm
FAMILY THEATER
Is your child fascinated by the vast mystery of space? In “Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey,” audiences will travel to the moon with Marvin, a geeky mouse in search of adventure and acceptance. Talented performers from Lightwire Theater use EL wire, a thin copper which glows in a variety of colors, to bring their characters to life in a visually stunning way. Audiences are likely to feel inspired by this story of inclusion and the performer’s creative merging of science and art. Ages 5 and up. Call 413-997-4444 to reserve tickets. The Colonial Theater. 111 South St, Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Tuesday, February 16, 2 pm to 4:30pm
FAMILY MOVIE
Fans of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series can see their favorite characters in action at the
Whately library, over school vacation week. This is a great opportunity for kids to think about adaptation of books into film. Does your child prefer the movie or the books? Did the director stick to the details of the original series, or make significant changes? During the screening, enjoy popcorn provided by Friends of the Library
413-665-2170. S. White Dickinson Memorial Library, 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 16, 6pm
CULINARY ARTS
Cooking is both a creative skill and a practical one. Encourage your child to hone their culinary abilities by participating in an Iron Chef competition at the Sunderland Public Library. Participants will use bananas, paired with conventional and unconventional ingredients. Creations will be judged on both taste and appearance. The winner will receive a gift card to Bueno Y Sano. Best suited for ages 10-15. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE).

Tuesday, February 16, 6pm-8pm
VISUAL ART STUDIES
Searching for a creative outlet? Sign up for the “Paint Like the Masters: Stunning Still Life” pastel painting class offered by renown artist Gregory Maichack at the Sunderland Public Library! The class includes all materials, instruction, demonstration, and lots of time for making art. Instruction will focus on learning the techniques used by master artists such as Van Gogh, O’Keeffe, and Monet, and all participants will go home with their own still life painting. Advance registration strongly encouraged. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 16, 8pm
MUSIC STUDIES/HIP HOP
Hip hop as a musical genre has been a powerful vehicle for bringing social justice issues to the forefront. African Americans have used rap and hip hop as a voice for sharing their experiences. Come celebrate the genre with a free performance by the Dream Junkies, a hip hop collective which aims to empower people through music. This performance is part of a series of events happening all month long at Westfield State University. 413-572-5300. Owl’s Nest. 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 8am-4pm
ARTS & CRAFTS/SKILLSHARING
Does your child love art and Japanese culture? He or she could spend February school vacation week honing magna drawing skills, making sushi and origami, creating felted anime characters and much more at Workshop 13. Young artists will be encouraged to create their own unique characters and develop them over the course of the week. Participants are sure to walk away with new friends, enhanced skills, and possibly some newfound interests to develop further. Registration and a deposit is required for this class. Visit the Masters in the Morning> site to learn register. Ages 7-16. Pack a lunch, 2 snacks, water bottle, sketchbook and outdoor clothing for recess. Workshop 13. 13 Church Street, Ware, MA. ($$$)

Wednesday, February 17, 10-am-11:30am
U.S. HISTORY
Visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site during February school vacation week, and share the experience in an old fashioned way, through a post card! Connect with friends and family by sharing what you learn at your visit. This is a fun opportunity to teach your kids how to craft a thoughtful post card. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Street #2, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 10am-12pm
CITIZEN SCIENCE/ORNITHOLOGY
Do you love to watch birds? Can you name some of the species that are frequently found visiting backyard birdfeeders? Would you like to know more, or to simply enjoy some time connecting to nature? Jonathan Pierce, caretaker of the Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, will host a birdwatching session and teach you how to “e-bird,” that is, how to add your bird sighting data to citizen science databases. Please bring binoculars if you have them! All ages welcome. 413-637-0320. 472 West Mountain Road, Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 10am-3pm
LOCAL HISTORY/EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
Are your kids looking for something educational and fun to do this February break? Storrowton Village is offering a unique opportunity for children ages 7-12 through their one-day “A Day Away in the Past” program. Students will travel back to the 1800s and experience Early American life in the historic Storrowton Village. Many hands-on activities will be available for children to try. Pre-registration is required by this Saturday, February 13th. 413-205-5051. Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, MA. ($$$)

Wednesday, February 16, 10am-4pm
NATURE STUDIES/ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
Nature-loving kids will enjoy this week’s special programming at the Great Falls Discovery Center! Wednesday’s activity will focus on exploring mammal adaptations to winter. Which animals hibernate? Which enter a state of torpor? How do they stay warm enough and find adequate food? Learn the answers to these questions and more in this lively session. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 11am
PUPPETRY
Puppetry offers unique ways to share and comprehend a story. Families will have many opportunities to watch puppetry performances during school vacation week at the Springfield Museums‘ five-day Puppet Festival. Wednesday’s performance features puppeteer Wayne Martin in Martin’s Magical Revue, a showcase of several styles of puppetry involving mime, dance, masks, and musical theatre. While at the museums, you can make time to take in the live animal demonstrations, planetarium shows, hands-on activities, and new exhibit, Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs, too. 413-263-6800. Davis Auditorium, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $ – $; FREE for children under 3 and members)

Wednesday, February 17, 11am and 1pm
NATURAL HISTORY
The discovery, in recent decades, that many dinosaurs likely had feathers, is a good example of the fact that history (and prehistory) is not just a series of set facts. History is a constantly changing narrative, with new information re-shaping our collective idea of the past. The Beneski Museum of Natural History in Amherst is one of New England’s largest natural history museums, boasting three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display, and tens of thousands of specimens available for use by scholars and researchers from across campus and around the world! Tuesday, February 16th through Friday, February 19th, families can enjoy student docent-guided tours at 11am and 1pm daily. Scavenger hunts for the whole family will be available throughout the entire month. Read more about what the Beneski Museum has to offer in this recent highlight. 413-542-2165. 11 Barrett Hill Rd, Amherst, MA. Admission is always free

Wednesday, February 17, 11am-3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
With most local schools out of session, children will still be learning: in creative, self-directed ways at The Berkshire Museum. In the ArtZoo exhibition, visitors can see familiar and exotic animals depicted in photography, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more. Challenge your kids to identify their favorite animals. Families can participate in “animal yoga,” practicing positions such as downward dog and butterfly pose. In the museum’s crane room, kids will have an array of LEGOs, construction projects, and magnetic blocks at their creative disposal. Wear flexible clothing appropriate for yoga and play. 413-443-7171. The Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adult. <$ Child. Museum members and children under 3 admitted free.)

Wednesday, February 17, 11am-12:30pm
FAMILY THEATER
The phenomenon of sports fandom has drawn the attention of psychologists, some proposing evolutionary explanations for fans’ loyalty. Enthusiasm for a specific team builds a sense of community and pride for a place, often determined by where fans grew up. Whether you yourself are a baseball fanatic, or you’re not completely sure how the game works, Berkshire Theater Group’s “Play Ball! Reflections on the Origins of Baseball” promises to entertain and educate. This play will explore the cultural significance of baseball in Massachusetts, enlightening audiences to the importance of a mascot not just as comic relief, but as a symbol of luck and hope that can unite cities. Stick around for the post show discussion. The Berkshire Museum All ages welcome. Call 413-443-7171 ext. 360 to reserve tickets. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Non Members, <$ Museum Members)

Wednesday, February 17, 11am-9:30pm
ARTS/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Highlighting the arts and culture of the Berkshires, the 5th annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival offers a mostly indoor take on the winter festival. Made up of ten days chock full of community-based cultural events, the festival combines music, theater, art, local food, play, and creativity, and celebrates the rich arts and culture found within the communities of the Berkshires. Performances, exhibits, concerts, and other special events will take place every day during the festival, and family-friendly highlights include 10 Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum, the Kid 10 kid-run farmer’s market, a toddler-centric pre-naptime dance party, a special performance of Light Wire Theater’s Moon Mouse, a performance featuring local dancers, and an exciting fireworks display!(VARIES <$, $, FREE, DONATIONS)

Wednesday, February 17, 1pm-4pm
ART/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
All week long, the Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting Drop In On Art, which features a creative workshop each day. Each session invites children to invent their own storylines, and to design characters, plots, and settings inspired by art they view throughout the gallery. 413-931-2221. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission and for members)

Wednesday, February 17, 1pm to 4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES/HISTORY
Thanks in part to Gilbert Stuart’s iconic 1796 painting, George Washington exists in our collective memory as a man with white hair. The painting does not capture George’s remarkable height, at 6 foot 6′, or the fact that he was born with red hair. You and your family can visit George Washington’s portrait over school vacation week at The Clark Art Institute and celebrate his birthday with cake and crafts. Cement your own image in history with the patriotic photo booth. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA ($ Nonmembers. Free for members, students with valid ID, and children under 18.)

Wednesday, February 17, 1:30pm
MOVIE/CULTURAL STUDIES
All week long, the Academy of Music is hosting KidsBestFest-YouthFilm 2016, a film festival of specially-selected children’s films. Wednesday’s film is Shana, The Wolf’s Music (NR, 2014), a coming-of-age story about a Canadian First Nations girl who overcomes many obstacles. This film touches upon themes of connecting with nature, making sense of our heritage, and the role of art/music in our lives. Viewers will be offered a unique perspective on the world and an opportunity to enrich understandings of the differences and similarities between their own cultural group and that of Shana’s. Suggested for ages 10 and up. 413-584-9032 x 105. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ENCOURAGED)

Wednesday, February 17, 1:30pm-2:30pm
STEM/SUSTAINABILITY
How can you walk through a piece of paper? Can a potato chip bag have any future other than in a landfill? Kids are invited to the Tilton Library to participate in activities to discover the answers to these questions. This topic dovetails nicely with Deerfield’s community read, Garbology, and family members who are reading this book can incorporate it into conversations with their children about our relationship with objects and consumption. This workshop will take place each day through Friday, February 19. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street, South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 1:30-3pm
U.S. HISTORY
Visit the Springfield Armory National Historic Site during February school vacation week, and share the experience in an old fashioned way, through a post card! Connect with friends and family by sharing what you learn at your visit. This is a fun opportunity to teach your kids how to craft a thoughtful post card. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Street #2, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 2pm
BIOLOGY/CHEMISTRY
In this hands on slime workshop at the Whately library, participants will learn about polymers. Fans of the movie Big Hero 6 will feel like the character Honey Lemon, using chemistry for fun and practical purposes. Sponsored by the Frontier Regional Coordinated Family and Community Engagement Program. For ages K-5th grade. Please register at 413-665-2170. S. White Dickinson Memorial Library, 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 2pm
FAMILY THEATER
In spite of its modern fame and frequent appearance on required reading lists, Moby Dick was actually not a success in Herman Melville’s lifetime. In Berkshire Theater Group’s modern presentation of the epic story, three actors will use cellos and a double bass to imitate the sensory experience of a seafaring adventure. Their performance will serve as a great introduction to a literary work for kids, and provide a new perspective for adults already familiar with the classic revenge story. Ages 10 and up. Call 413-997-4444 to reserve tickets. The Colonial Theater. 111 South St, Pittsfield, MA. ($)

Wednesday, February 17, 2pm
FAMILY FILM
Author Jonathan Safran Foer is quoted as saying “You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.” This is one of the major themes in Pixar’s instant classic Inside Out. This film personifies emotions into characters (Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear) and provides a clever interpretation of how the brain works. In doing so, the movie offers a great deal of insight to both adults and children about how to handle emotions. After watching this movie with your children you could discuss the importance of even the most difficult emotions. Community room, Forbes Library. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA. (FREE).

Wednesday, February 17, 3pm
HISTORY/MUSIC/CULTURAL PRESERVATION
Archivists around the world are committed to preserving and distributing ancient texts in an effort to keep alive the cultures of the past. Musical manuscripts are particularly special because they be played by musicians, and heard by listeners. This allows interested parties to actively participate in history, using the texts as they were intended to be used. At “Hidden In Plain Sight,” a Mount Holyoke College> event, three music manuscript leaves will be displayed in a high quality reproduction. A small musical group will chant the notes from these manuscripts. Abbey Interfaith Chapel, Mount Holyoke College. 47 Morgan Street, South Hadley, MA. (FREE).

Wednesday, February 17, 4pm-5pm
CREATIVE FREE PLAY/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 17, 4pm-6pm
BLACK HISTORY
During this year’s black history month, Westfield State University is putting particular emphasis on highlighting the achievements and experiences of black American women. You can come be a part of the conversation by attending “We the Women,” a free presentation about black female civil rights activists. This presentation will discuss important figures such as Coretta Scott King and Angela Davis. 413-572-5300. New Hall. 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 5pm-7pm
ARTS&CRAFTS/INTERGENERATIONAL
When is the last time you sat down and made art, just to have fun and relax? Arts and crafts aren’t only for kids and professionals. You can demonstrate for your child the importance of self expression by participating in their creative play. Join your child for an evening of collaborative painting at at the United Neighborhood Organization Center in North Adams. Pizza and beverages will be provided. You must register by February 12th. Call The Family Place at 413-663-7588 to reserve a spot. Space is limited. Ages 7 to 12. 61 Main St #218, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 6pm
LITERACY/HISTORY
Although vampire stories have recently exploded in popularity, these tales have existed in English literature since at least 1819. One explanation for the popularity of the Twilight series is that it draws together two favorite genres for teenagers: supernatural and romance. Still, vampire books have been written for all ages, drawing on the human attraction to spooky, creepy, scary stories that keep us up at night. Speaker Barry Deitz will discuss the history and appeal of vampire tales from the 18th century up to the present. 413-772-1544. Greenfield Public Library. 402 Main St. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 6:30pm-8pm
LITERACY/NATURE STUDIES
Through great nature writing, the seemingly passive act of reading a book can inspire a range of active interests, making readers want to climb mountains and travel to distant parks, forests, trails and oceans. Nature writing takes on many forms including fiction, non fiction and poetry. Bring your favorite nature book (or several) to the Meekins library and discuss the effect it had on your life. You’ll meet other nature-lovers, and book-lovers, and come away with book recommendations. 413-268-7472. Meekins Library. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 7pm
PERFORMING ARTS/UKULELE
The Well Tempered Ukes, a talented local ukulele trio, will perform the last of its series of workshop/performances at the Forbes Library. This group plays mainly early music, parlor songs, and art songs, and audience members can count on both an acoustical treat and interesting information about the history and culture surrounding their instruments and repertoire. The trio will also share tips about ukulele playing! 413-587-1011. 20 West Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 17, 7pm-9pm
SKILLSHARING/WOOLCRAFT
When English settlers first came to New England, they imported sheep for the production of meat and wool, and to this day, western Massachusetts is strongly influenced by our woolen industry that stems back over 300 years. You can become an active participant in this agricultural and artistic tradition by attending a free Introduction to Sheep and Wool class. Attendees will compare and discuss three sheep breeds, the types of wool they produce, and the products typically made from their wool. Sponsored by the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center.Classes will take place at the Middlefield Senior Center 169 Skyline Trail, Middlefield, MA. (FREE)

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 8am-4pm
ARTS & CRAFTS/SKILLSHARING
Does your child love art and Japanese culture? He or she could spend February school vacation week honing magna drawing skills, making sushi and origami, creating felted anime characters and much more at Workshop 13. Young artists will be encouraged to create their own unique characters and develop them over the course of the week. Participants are sure to walk away with new friends, enhanced skills, and possibly some newfound interests to develop further. Registration and a deposit is required for this class. Visit the Masters in the Morning> site to learn register. Ages 7-16. Pack a lunch, 2 snacks, water, sketchbook and outdoor clothing for recess. Workshop 13. 13 Church Street, Ware, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, February 18, 10am
STORYTIME
Bring your young children to the M.N. Spear Memorial Library for a morning of storytelling, songs, and crafts. You can discuss with your children the ancient art of oral storytelling and together, write your own tales and myths. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 18, 10am-11:30am
U.S. HISTORY
For February school vacation week, the has the perfect event for lovers of books and history. Visit the Armory with your friends and family, and commemorate the day by making a personalized bookmark. There will be paper cut-outs, rubber stamps, stickers, ribbon and other supplies for you to utilize in making your design. You can continue learning after your visit by checking out the museum’s Facebook page. It is an excellent resource for Civil War history, with daily posts about items in the museum’s collection and the war in general. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Street #2, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 18, 10am-3pm
LOCAL HISTORY/EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING
Are your kids looking for something educational and fun to do this February break? Storrowton Village is offering a unique opportunity for children ages 7-12 through their one-day “A Day Away in the Past” program. Students will travel back to the 1800s and experience Early American life in the historic Storrowton Village. Many hands-on activities will be available for children to try. Pre-registration is required by this Saturday, February 13th. 413-205-5051. Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, MA. ($$$)

Thursday, February 18, 10am-4pm
NATURE STUDIES/ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
Nature-loving kids will enjoy this week’s special programming at the Great Falls Discovery Center! Thursday’s activity will focus on indoor birding. Indoor birding includes all activities one can do to learn about birds and bird behavior while indoors. For example, you might watch a backyard birdfeeder and make a list of the species you see. You might look through a field guide and learn how to distinguish a downy woodpecker from a hairy woodpecker. You might even visit a museum to examine decoys and other artistic representations of our feathered friends. Try out some indoor birding activities to liven up these chilly months! 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 18, 11am
PUPPETRY
Puppetry offers unique ways to share and comprehend a story. Families will have many opportunities to watch puppetry performances during school vacation week at the Springfield Museums‘ five-day Puppet Festival. Thursday’s performance features Nappy’s Puppets sharing Jack and the Beanstalk, a retelling of a classic story that weaves many folktale story lines into the mix! While at the museums, you can make time to take in the live animal demonstrations, planetarium shows, hands-on activities, and new exhibit, Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs, too. 413-263-6800. Davis Auditorium, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $ – $; FREE for children under 3 and members)

Thursday, February 18, 11am-12:30pm
FAMILY THEATER
The phenomenon of sports fandom has drawn the attention of psychologists, some proposing evolutionary explanations for fans’ loyalty. Enthusiasm for a specific team builds a sense of community and pride for a place, often determined by where fans grew up. Whether you yourself are a baseball fanatic, or you’re not completely sure how the game works, Berkshire Theater Group’s “Play Ball! Reflections on the Origins of Baseball” promises to entertain and educate. This play will explore the cultural significance of baseball in Massachusetts, enlightening audiences to the importance of a mascot not just as comic relief, but as a symbol of luck and hope that can unite cities. Stick around for the post show discussion. The Berkshire Museum All ages welcome. Call 413-443-7171 ext. 360 to reserve tickets. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Non Members, <$ Museum Members)

Thursday, February 18, 11 am and 1pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The discovery, in recent decades, that many dinosaurs likely had feathers, is a good example of the fact that history (and prehistory) is not just a series of set facts. History is a constantly changing narrative, with new information re-shaping our collective idea of the past. The Beneski Museum of Natural History in Amherst is one of New England’s largest natural history museums, boasting three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display, and tens of thousands of specimens available for use by scholars and researchers from across campus and around the world! Tuesday, February 16th through Friday, February 19th, families can enjoy student docent-guided tours at 11am and 1pm daily. Scavenger hunts for the whole family will be available throughout the entire month. Read more about what the Beneski Museum has to offer in this recent highlight. 413-542-2165. 11 Barrett Hill Rd, Amherst, MA. Admission is always free

Thursday, February 18, 11am-3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
With most local schools out of session, children will still be learning: in creative, self-directed ways at The Berkshire Museum. In the ArtZoo exhibition, visitors can see familiar and exotic animals depicted in photography, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more. Challenge your kids to identify their favorite animals. Families can participate in “animal yoga,” practicing positions such as downward dog and butterfly pose. In the museum’s crane room, kids will have an array of LEGOs, construction projects, and magnetic blocks at their creative disposal. Wear flexible clothing appropriate for yoga and play. The Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adult. <$ Child. Museum members and children under 3 admitted free.)

Thursday, February 18, 11am-11pm
ARTS/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Highlighting the arts and culture of the Berkshires, the 5th annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival offers a mostly indoor take on the winter festival. Made up of ten days chock full of community-based cultural events, the festival combines music, theater, art, local food, play, and creativity, and celebrates the rich arts and culture found within the communities of the Berkshires. Performances, exhibits, concerts, and other special events will take place every day during the festival, and family-friendly highlights include 10 Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum, the Kid 10 kid-run farmer’s market, a toddler-centric pre-naptime dance party, a special performance of Light Wire Theater’s Moon Mouse, a performance featuring local dancers, and an exciting fireworks display!(VARIES <$, $, FREE, DONATIONS)

Thursday, February 18, 1pm-4pm
ART/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
All week long, the Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting Drop In On Art, which features a creative workshop each day. Each session invites children to invent their own storylines, and to design characters, plots, and settings inspired by art they view throughout the gallery. 413-931-2221. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission and for members)

Thursday, February 18, 1pm to 4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES/HISTORY
Thanks in part to Gilbert Stuart’s iconic 1796 painting, George Washington exists in our collective memory as a man with white hair. The painting does not capture George’s remarkable height, at 6 foot 6′, or the fact that he was born with red hair. You and your family can visit George Washington’s portrait over school vacation week at The Clark Art Institute and celebrate his birthday with cake and crafts. Cement your own image in history with the patriotic photo booth. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA ($ Nonmembers. Free for members, students with valid ID, and children under 18.)

Thursday, February 18, 1:30pm — MOVIE/FANTASY
All week long, the Academy of Music is hosting KidsBestFest-YouthFilm 2016, a film festival of specially-selected children’s films. Thursday’s film is Labyrinth (PG, 1986), a fantasy film about a girl on a quest to save her infant brother, who has been kidnapped by a goblin king. Featuring David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, and many puppets from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, this creative movie addresses themes of fidelity and growing up. Families can discuss questions such as: How do we show our love for our family members? What does it mean when you are angry with someone you love? What it is like to feel as though you are outgrowing your friends? Parents/guardians should know that this film is filled with unusual characters and events, which may delight some viewers and be upsetting to others. 413-584-9032 x 105. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ENCOURAGED)

Thursday, February 18, 2pm
NUTRITION/SKILLSHARING
Healthy nutrition is not just about disease prevention. It is important to teach children at a young age that what they eat will affect how they feel on a daily basis. What’s more, learning to cook can teach you a lot more than how to prepare a delicious meal! This program will take an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating ideas from math, science, geography, language and cultural awareness into hands-on nutrition activities. Kids in this program will also learn about kitchen safety and local food production. In this peer-support environment participants are encouraged adventurous by trying foods which may be new to them. Children pre-kindergarten through 12th grade and their caregivers. Registration required. Call 413-637-0197. Lenox Library. 18 Main Street Lenox, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 18, 2:30pm-4:00pm
LITERACY/ART/CULTURAL STUDIES
Manga is the Japanese word for comics, and anime is the Japanese word for animated films and television shows. Although there are similarities between the two, and many Americans are fans of both mediums, they are two different art forms. If you know a teenager who is interested in manga, or anime, or both, they can learn more at the Westfield Athanaeum’s “Anime 101” panel. They will meet other teens who like to read, watch, and possibly draw their own Japanese style animations. Registration is required for this event. 413-568-7833. 6 Elm St, Westfield, MA. (FREE).

Thursday, February 18, 1:30pm-2:30pm
STEM/SUSTAINABILITY
How can you walk through a piece of paper? Can a potato chip bag have any future other than in a landfill? Kids are invited to the Tilton Library to participate in activities to discover the answers to these questions. This topic dovetails nicely with Deerfield’s community read, Garbology, and family members who are reading this book can incorporate it into conversations with their children about our relationship with objects and consumption. This workshop will take place each day through Friday, February 19. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street, South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 18, 3pm-4:30pm
NUTRITION/INTERGENERATIONAL
New research suggests that kids who are involved in cooking the food they eat are more likely to make healthy eating choices. Teach the children in your life to make positive nutritional choices which will benefit them throughout their lives. Joan, the Healthy Eating specialist from Whole Foods in Hadley will be running a healthy cooking class at the Amherst Survival Center. Join Joan, the Healthy Eating Specialist from Whole Foods (Hadley) in a healthy cooking class. Ages 8 and up and their caregivers. 413-549-3968. Sign up by emailing Tracy at tracey@amherstsurvival.org. 138 Sunderland Rd., North Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 18, 3:30pm-4:30pm
LITERACY
Does your child love to read? You can help support this great hobby by encouraging him or her to join a book club for middle grade readers at the Forbes Library. This book club is intended for kids who feel comfortable reading chapter books independently. Each meeting there will be discussion, snacks, and an activity. Visit the children’s desk in the library to sign up and get a copy of the book. This coming meeting your child will meet other avid readers while discussing the popular 2013 book Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. Community room. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA. (FREE).

Thursday, February 18, 4:15pm
ORNITHOLOGY/ANTHROPOLOGY
There is more to the phenomenon of bird chirping than simple mating messages. Bird songs evolve socially. Although species sing the same song, individual birds learn songs from their fathers and dialects develop regionally. Bird songs have also had a great impact on human music, and as a result, culture. To learn more, you can attend the lecture, “What to sing? Bird Song and the Evolution of Cultural Traditions,” at . 413-597-4277. Wege Auditorium, Thompson Chemistry, Williams College. 880 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 18, 5:30pm
COMMUNITY DISCUSSION
Speakers William “Smitty” Pignatelli (Democratic member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives), Stacy L. Wallach (attorney and professor), and Tammy Daniels (managing editor of iBerkshires.com) will kick start this community dialogue on the topic of the 2016 presidential election. This event is part of the “Four Freedoms Forum,” at the Norman Rockwell Museum, a series of conversations about contemporary issues. A reception will follow the panel. Take this opportunity to hear the viewpoints of your friends and neighbors in your local community. 413-931-2221. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 18, 7pm
CULINARY/HISTORY
Today, in New England and beyond, pie is a staple dessert during the winter holidays. In early American cuisine, sweet and savory pies were an integral part of diet year-round. Pilgrims brought to America their practice of pie making and developed their recipes with newly available ingredients. Robert Cox, head of special collections and archives at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and author of New England Pie: History Under A Crust can tell you a great deal more about pie at this free lecture, to take place at The Stone House Museum. Refreshments will be served. 413-323-6573. 20 Maple St, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 18, 8pm
COLLEGE THEATER/FEMALE PERSPECTIVE
Twine: After Troy . In a collaboratively-developed performance by Amherst College students and alumnae, Twine: After Troy tells the story of four women scavenging for a future in the rubble of their gutted past. Using the threads of stories passed down for generations, they begin to weave themselves a new mythology, one in which chaos gives way to creation, silence is supplanted by strength, and the love of sisters, mothers, and daughters unravels into women who survive. This deeply moving story will explore the transcendental nature of our emotional bonds of sisterhood, and how these connections instill the power necessary to heal and rebuild our lives. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended by calling 413-542-2277. Performances will be held in the Kirby Theater at Amherst College, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday, February 19, 8am-4pm
ARTS & CRAFTS/SKILLSHARING
Does your child love art and Japanese culture? He or she could spend February school vacation week honing magna drawing skills, making sushi and origami, creating felted anime characters and much more at Workshop 13. Young artists will be encouraged to create their own unique characters and develop them over the course of the week. Participants are sure to walk away with new friends, enhanced skills, and possibly some newfound interests to develop further. Registration and a deposit is required for this class. Visit the Masters in the Morning> site to learn register. Ages 7-16. Pack a lunch, 2 snacks, water, sketchbook and outdoor clothing for recess. Workshop 13. 13 Church Street, Ware, MA. ($$$)

Friday, February 19, 10am-11:30am
U.S. HISTORY/NATURE STUDIES
The museum at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site was established just after the Civil War ended and holds arms and equipment that came back from the battlefields. Over February school vacation week, visit the museum free of charge. On Friday, you can also learn how to make a bird feeder with a pine cone, sunflower butter, and bird seed. Take the learning home with you as your bird feeder attracts various species of local birds for you to observe. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Street #2, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 19, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
Bobcats, a North American wildcat, are on the rebound in recent decades, due in large part to efforts to protect them that began in the 1970s. Despite their increasing numbers, it is still relatively uncommon to encounter one. Where do bobcats spend their time? How and when to they eat, sleep, and travel from place to place? Learn more about these beautiful animals at Kidleidoscope at the Great Falls Discovery Center. The program will include a story, games, and a craft related to the day’s topic. Meet in the Great Hall. Ages 3-6. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 19, 11am
STEM/SUSTAINABILITY
How can you walk through a piece of paper? Can a potato chip bag have any future other than in a landfill? Kids are invited to the Tilton Library to participate in activities to discover the answers to these questions. This topic dovetails nicely with Deerfield’s community read, Garbology, and family members who are reading this book can incorporate it into conversations with their children about our relationship with objects and consumption. 413-665-4683. 75 North Main Street, South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 19, 11am
PUPPETRY
Puppetry offers unique ways to share and comprehend a story. Families will have many opportunities to watch puppetry performances during school vacation week at the Springfield Museums‘ five-day Puppet Festival. Friday’s performance features puppeteers Liz Hara and Marta Mozelle MacRostie sharing Help Save the Monkey!, an adventure-filled tale of a team of NASA employees who learn that it is okay to take chances and embrace uncertainty. While at the museums, you can make time to take in the live animal demonstrations, planetarium shows, hands-on activities, and new exhibit, Wolf to Woof: The Story of Dogs, too. 413-263-6800. Davis Auditorium, D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $ – $; FREE for children under 3 and members)

Friday, February 19, 11am-12:30pm
FAMILY THEATER
The phenomenon of sports fandom has drawn the attention of psychologists, some proposing evolutionary explanations for fans’ loyalty. Enthusiasm for a specific team builds a sense of community and pride for a place, often determined by where fans grew up. Whether you yourself are a baseball fanatic, or you’re not completely sure how the game works, Berkshire Theater Group’s “Play Ball! Reflections on the Origins of Baseball” promises to entertain and educate. This play will explore the cultural significance of baseball in Massachusetts, enlightening audiences to the importance of a mascot not just as comic relief, but as a symbol of luck and hope that can unite cities. Stick around for the post show discussion. The Berkshire Museum All ages welcome. Call 413-443-7171 ext. 360 to reserve tickets. 39 South St, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Non Members, <$ Museum Members)

Friday, February 19, 11am-3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
With most local schools out of session, children will still be learning: in creative, self-directed ways at The Berkshire Museum. In the ArtZoo exhibition, visitors can see familiar and exotic animals depicted in photography, painting, sculpture, ceramic, video, and more. Challenge your kids to identify their favorite animals. Families can participate in “animal yoga,” practicing positions such as downward dog and butterfly pose. In the museum’s crane room, kids will have an array of LEGOs, construction projects, and magnetic blocks at their creative disposal. Wear flexible clothing appropriate for yoga and play. On Friday the 19th, the Vacanti Ballet and the Dance Department of UMass Amherst will perform an interactive dance at noon and 2pm. This is free with the regular price of admission. The Berkshire Museum. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adult. <$ Child. Museum members and children under 3 admitted free.)

Friday, February 19, 11am-11pm
ARTS/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
Highlighting the arts and culture of the Berkshires, the 5th annual 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival offers a mostly indoor take on the winter festival. Made up of ten days chock full of community-based cultural events, the festival combines music, theater, art, local food, play, and creativity, and celebrates the rich arts and culture found within the communities of the Berkshires. Performances, exhibits, concerts, and other special events will take place every day during the festival, and family-friendly highlights include 10 Days of Play at the Berkshire Museum, the Kid 10 kid-run farmer’s market, a toddler-centric pre-naptime dance party, a special performance of Light Wire Theater’s Moon Mouse, a performance featuring local dancers, and an exciting fireworks display!(VARIES <$, $, FREE, DONATIONS)

Friday, February 19, 12pm-2pm
ARTS & CRAFTS
Enjoy diving into a wide variety of craft projects at the Monson Library‘s Crafternoon! Kids can work with two- and three-dimensional media, and collaborate with siblings and friends, or meet new acquaintances at each craft station. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street, Monson, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 19, 1pm-4pm
ART/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
All week long, the Norman Rockwell Museum is hosting Drop In On Art, which features a creative workshop each day. Each session invites children to invent their own storylines, and to design characters, plots, and settings inspired by art they view throughout the gallery. 413-931-2221. 9 Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE with museum admission and for members)

Friday, February 19, 1pm to 4pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART STUDIES/HISTORY
Thanks in part to Gilbert Stuart’s iconic 1796 painting, George Washington exists in our collective memory as a man with white hair. The painting does not capture George’s remarkable height, at 6 foot 6′, or the fact that he was born with red hair. You and your family can visit George Washington’s portrait over school vacation week at The Clark Art Institute and celebrate his birthday with cake and crafts. Cement your own image in history with the patriotic photo booth. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA ($ Nonmembers. Free for members, students with valid ID, and children under 18.)

Friday, February 19, 1:30pm — MOVIE/LOCAL TALENT
All week long, the Academy of Music is hosting KidsBestFest-YouthFilm 2016, a film festival of specially-selected children’s films. Friday’s grand finale is a collection of films directed by, crafted by, written by, and starring Pioneer Valley youth, ages 5-18! Celebrate local youth talent with the cast and crew of these films by participating as an audience member, as this special work is shown on the big screen. 413-584-9032 x 105. 274 Main Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE/DONATIONS ENCOURAGED)

Find out about other ice skating rinks in Greenfield & Springfield too!

Friday, February 19, 10am-10:50am — ICE SKATING
Get some exercise and test your skills gliding across the ice (or maybe just standing up) at West Springfield Parks and Recreation‘s free skating event at Amelia Park. For West Springfield residents only; must show proof of residency to get free skate voucher at the Parks & Rec office ahead of time. Parental signature required for children under 18. Skate rentals $3/person. Helmets recommended. 413-263-3284. 21 South Broad Street, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 19, 11am and 1pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
The discovery, in recent decades, that many dinosaurs likely had feathers, is a good example of the fact that history (and prehistory) is not just a series of set facts. History is a constantly changing narrative, with new information re-shaping our collective idea of the past. The Beneski Museum of Natural History in Amherst is one of New England’s largest natural history museums, boasting three floors of exhibits with more than 1,700 specimens on display, and tens of thousands of specimens available for use by scholars and researchers from across campus and around the world! Tuesday, February 16th through Friday, February 19th, families can enjoy student docent-guided tours at 11am and 1pm daily. Scavenger hunts for the whole family will be available throughout the entire month. Read more about what the Beneski Museum has to offer in this recent highlight. 413-542-2165. 11 Barrett Hill Rd, Amherst, MA. Admission is always free

Friday, February 19, 8pm
COLLEGE THEATER/FEMALE PERSPECTIVE:
Twine: After Troy . In a collaboratively-developed performance by Amherst College students and alumnae, Twine: After Troy tells the story of four women scavenging for a future in the rubble of their gutted past. Using the threads of stories passed down for generations, they begin to weave themselves a new mythology, one in which chaos gives way to creation, silence is supplanted by strength, and the love of sisters, mothers, and daughters unravels into women who survive. This deeply moving story will explore the transcendental nature of our emotional bonds of sisterhood, and how these connections instill the power necessary to heal and rebuild our lives. Tickets are free, but reservations are recommended by calling 413-542-2277. Performances will be held in the Kirby Theater at Amherst College, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

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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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