47 Community-Based Educational Highlights: Bald Eagles to Bobcats. Makerspace to Meteorology.

Nordic skiing is a unique was to enjoy your local landscape in the winter months. During school vacation week, Notchview in Windsor offers instruction for children under age 14 Both classical and skating instruction are being offered and ski rentals are available. Call ahead!

Bald Eagles to Bobcats. Makerspace to Meteorology. Seed Swap to Chocolate. These are just a few of the community-based learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured community highlight this weekSaturday 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)


Birds of PreyOrnithologyCitizen ScienceTrackingCynologyAnimal StudiesWinter FestivalsMakerspaceAviationChemistryPhysicsArt StudiesArt HistoryMuseum AdventuresCollaborative ConsumptionSeed SwapFood HistoryIce HarvestingCivil WarSportsDance StudiesService-Based LearningFood SecurityFilm StudiesMusic StudiesCreative-Free Play


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Birds of Prey

ECOLOGY
Saturday, February 13, 10am-1pm
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)

REHABILITATION
Saturday, February 13, 2pm-3pm
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).

LIVE BIRDS
Tuesday, February 16, 1pm
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).

Ornithology

GUIDE HIKE
Saturday, February 13, 7:30-9:30am
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 $)

CITIZEN SCIENCE
Wednesday, February 17, 10am-12pm
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)

BIRD WATCHING
Thursday, February 18, 10am-4pm
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)

Animal Studies

ANIMAL TRACKING
Saturday, February 13, 10:00am-12noon
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)

CYNOLOGY
Saturday, February 13, 11:30am-3pm
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)

EXOTIC ANIMALS
Tuesday, February 16, 1:30pm
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)

ANIMAL ADAPTATIONS
Wednesday, February 16, 10am-4pm
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)

ANIMAL DETECTIVE
Monday, February 15, 11am
Greylock Animal Detectives  It’s a fox! No, it’s a bobcat? A bear? What animal did cross this path? Why not join the Greylock animal  detectives and find out for yourself? This immersive program features a story, an animal track lab, and  an adventure into the snowy woods. Together, we will learn how to track animals by the telltale prints  they leave behind. Be prepared to don your Sherlock Holmes hat and use deductive reasoning to find out  what animal made what print in the snow…  Mount Greylock State Reservation, Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA (FREE)

BOBCATS
Friday, February 19, 10:30am-11:30am
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)

New England Culture

EASTHAMPTON WINTERFEST
Saturday, February 13, 8am-5pm
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)

10×10 UPSTREET ARTS FESTIVAL
Saturday, February 13, 9am-12pm
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)

CANAL DISTRICT WINTER FESTIVAL
Saturday, February 13, 10am-11pm; Sunday, February 14, 10am-3:30pm
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)

Makerspace

SKILLSHARING
Saturday, February 13, 10:30am-12:30pm
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)

Aviation

OPEN COCKPIT
Saturday, February 13, 10am-4pm
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)

STEM

CHEMISTRY/METEOROLOGY
Saturday, February 13, 11am
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)

CHEMISTRY/STORYTELLING
Saturday, February 13, 2pm-3pm
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).

PHYSICS
Monday, February 15, 5pm
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)

PHYSICS
To help kids understand the concept of interrelatedness, try building your very own chain reactions at home! Building chains of dominoes is the classic DIY chain reaction, and the rectangular blocks – carefully placed – can offer hours of entertainment for patient, dedicated, and curious kids who have gentle hands and an interest in engineering. The beauty of dominoes is that they can appeal to kids of any age – kiddos as young as four can set up simple chains of the blocks, while older kids can spend hours creating elaborate chains.

Art Studies

VISUAL ART STUDIES
Saturday, February 13, 10am-12pm
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)

ART TECHNIQUE/DRAWING
Saturday, February 13, 2pm-4pm
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)

ART TECHNIQUE/PAINTING
Tuesday, February 16, 6pm-8pm
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)

ART HISTORY/PRESIDENTS’ DAY
Monday, February 15 – Friday, February 19
From the birth of George Washington to the four freedoms outlined by FDR, upcoming opportunities for community-based learning offer Presidents’ Day-inspired ways to explore democracy, freedom, and American history. Read more in our post, Presidents’ Day Invites Studies of Democracy and Freedom.

ART HISTORY
Thursday, February 18, 1pm to 4pm
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.)

Museums Adventures

THE ERIC CARLE MUSEUM
Saturday, February 13 1pm
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)

BERKSHIRE MUSEUMS
Sunday, February 14, 12pm to 3pm
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.)

SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS
Monday, February 15, 11am & 1pm
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)

COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION

SEED SWAP
Saturday, February 13, 2pm-4pm
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)

Food History

CHOCOLATE
Saturday, February 13, 3:30pm
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 ($$)

COLONIAL HISTORY
Sunday, February 14, 10am-2pm
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. ($$$)

ICE HARVESTING
Monday, February 15, 11am-2pm
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)

History

CIVIL WAR
Sunday, February 14, 10am-4pm
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)

SPORTS

GIRLS & WOMEN IN SPORTS
Sunday, February 14, 12:30pm-4pm
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)

Dance Studies

BORDER MORRIS
Sunday, February 14, 1pm-2pm
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)

Service-Based Learning

FOOD SECURITY
Sunday, February 14, 1pm-3pm
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)

Film Studies

SILENT FILM
Sunday, February 14, 1:30pm
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)

CULTURAL STUDIES
Wednesday, February 17, 1:30pm
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)

MANGA
Thursday, February 18, 2:30pm-4:00pm
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).

LOCAL YOUTH FILM MAKERS
Friday, February 19, 1:30pm
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)

Music Studies

PIPE ORGAN
Monday, February 15, 10am-12pm
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)

HIP HOP
Tuesday, February 16, 8pm
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)

UKULELE
Wednesday, February 17, 7pm
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)

Commercial-Free/Creative-Free Play

NATURE-BASED VALENTINES
Saturday, February 13, 10am-2pm
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)

ARTS & CRAFTS/VALENTINE’S DAY
Saturday, February 13, 11am-2pm
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)

ARTS & CRAFTS/VALENTINE’S DAY
Saturday, February 13, 12pm-2:30pm
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)

ARTS & CRAFTS/VALENTINE’S DAY
Saturday, February 13, 1pm-2:15pm
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)


Learn Local. Play Local. is supported in part by a grant from the Amherst, Blandford, Bernardston, Chesterfield, Erving, Holyoke, Montague, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Hadley, Springfield, Warwick and Williamsburg Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

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