Suggested Events for February 20th-26th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families is THE place to find out what to do with your kids in the valley. All year long I turn to Hilltown Families to find something fun to do, especially on weekends and school vacations. Thank you!” – Niki Lankowski (Whately, MA)

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

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

Summer Camp

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!

Bulletin Board

Feb 20

Rescheduled from last week.

WinterFest Amherst 2016 is the best family entertainment value of the winter! Saturday, February 20, 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.

Meadowedge Art continues its winter spring art program for 4-11 year olds (join anytime through May 20) combining drawing with projects in clay, batik, felting, stone sculpture, paper making, mono printing, paper marbling and handmade books. Homeschool students (private or small group) classes are held Fridays. Now adults can join in the fun with 4th Thursday evening (6:30-9pm) workshops, beginning Feb 25. Come relax with wine, cheese, and good conversation while learning or developing a new creative voice. It’s not too soon to register for summer art and swimming programs, starting with stone carving on June 20. Check all programs, times, fees, and other information at www.meadowedgeart.org, or call Cynthia Fulton 413-219-7807.

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.

Feb 27

The Center Dance Studio in Amherst is thrilled to be hosting the talented Hip-Hop dancer, choreographer and educator Shakia Johnson for 3 classes on Saturday February 27th. These Master Classes are open to kids in grades 2-12 at the following times: 2-2:45pm: grades 2-3 2:45-3:45pm: grades 4-6 3:45-4:45pm: grades 7+ Cost is $15. Register by phone 413-687-7953 or email thecenterdanceschool@gmail.com. They anticipate that these classes will fill up quickly, so don’t wait! www.thecenterdance.com. 321 Main Street, Amherst.

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.

Crimson & Clover Farm is happy to announce that 2016 CSA Shares are now available! Located at the Northampton Community Farm, right near downtown Florence, Crimson & Clover Farm raises a wide variety of delicious, beautiful, and sustainably grown fruits and vegetables for a 20 week CSA program. As a community-based farm C&C offers a welcoming environment where members and their families come and enjoy this amazing community resource as well as receive nutritious locally grown food. C&C also offers members a variety of locally produced products for sale through the farm store as well as a bountiful PYO garden. For more information about the CSA and how to become a member of the farm please visit their website: crimsonandcloverfarm.com

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 20-26, 2016

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

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ongoing Saturday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show9-10am – HILLTOWN FAMILY VARIETY SHOW: Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Encore of Saturday’s broadcast airs Sunday morning from 7-8am and podcast is posted here on Hilltown Families immediately following Sunday’s broadcast. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcasts anytime. Click here to choose from over 8 years!

Saturday, February 20, 8:30am-12pm
SPORTS/EQUALITY
While opportunities for girls and women to participate in sports continue to grow, we have a long way to go towards gender equality in this realm. Celebrating girls’ love of sports, encouraging their athletic participation and dedication, and providing them with female athlete role models are all important parts of creating a healthier athletic landscape for all. To celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day, Springfield College invites girls in kindergarten through grade 6 to attend clinics in sports including soccer, gymnastics, tennis, and field hockey, all led by student athletes. Participants are encouraged to bring a bag lunch and stay for the basketball game between Springfield College and Wellesley College. Advance registration strongly encouraged. 413-748-3000. Physical Education Complex (Blake Arena), 263 Alden Street, Springfield,
MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 20, 10am
FAMILY FILM/CULTURAL STUDIES
Brazilian animated film Boy and the World involves almost no dialogue, but features stunning visuals and an equally superb soundtrack of Brazilian music. Screening this movie is a good opportunity to introduce a foreign film to your child without the struggle of reading many subtitles. You can also discuss with your children the themes of environmentalism which are implicit in the story. Parents and kids who enjoy making art will likely feel inspired by the unique animation style employed by the filmmakers. Boy and the World has won over 40 film festival awards. This is part of a series of international children’s films playing Saturdays in February and March at Amherst Cinema. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (<$)

Saturday, February 20, 10am
FORESTRY/SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY
Witness draft animal power in action at Natural Roots Farm in Conway, MA. Come learn about the use of draft animal power for sustainable and low impact forestry. Join us as we discuss the practice of managing timber in a way that maximizes ecological diversity and minimizes ecological impact. Start the day with licensed forester and local oxen logger, Tom Jenkins and his 10am talk “Draft Animal Powered Forestry: When does it Work?” Jenkins will discuss which logging jobs are appropriate for animal power. After the discussion, watch David Fisher of Natural Roots, local farmer and logger, and his draft horses lead a one hour winter logging demonstration. Afterwards folks are invited to a Q/A session at 12pm with Jenkins and Fisher. “Draft animal power forestry is a great way for owners in the Hilltowns to log their land carefully and responsibly,” says Michael Madole, MassLIFT AmeriCorps Land Stewardship Coordinator at Hilltown Land Trust, “these demonstrations are a fun and engaging way of reaching curious landowners interested in the process.”Licensed foresters will receive 2.5 hours of Continuing Education credits for their attendance. Be sure to RSVP by February 18, contact Andrea Caluori-Rivera at Hilltown Land Trust for registration and further information: hltoutreach@thetrustees.org (413) 628-4485 ext.#3. Conway, MA. ($ DONATION. Hilltown Land Trust Members FREE)

Saturday, February 20, 10-11:30am
CHEMISTRY
Learn the basics of polymer structure and molecular bonding, watch these processes in action, and transform water-like liquids are into slippery, ooey, gooey slime! Participants get to bring home their creation. Buckland Library. 30 Upper Street. Buckland, MA (FREE)

Saturday, February 20, 10am-12pm
ANIMAL TRACKING WALK
Winter is a great time to look for signs of wildlife, as animal prints are temporarily preserved in snow. A group of nature enthusiasts will be looking for animal tracks at the Bear Hole Watershed. Arrive at the “Four Corners,” at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Morgan Road in West Springfield, and help us search for deer, fox, coyote, squirrel, raccoon, beaver, otter and other animals. This will be a slow, easy walk. All ages are welcome but please leave your pets at home. Sponsored by the West Springfield Environmental Committee. Registration is required. 413-788-4125. Prospect Avenue and Morgan Road, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 20, 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 20, 10am-3pm
LIVING HISTORY
Do you enjoy acting and history? Maybe you should become a historical reenactor! This hobby and profession is a prime example of learning by doing. Reenactors learn by embodying the customs of a time period, and teach others at the same time. Even if you don’t think you want to be a reenactor yourself, this is your chance to look behind the scenes and talk to reenactors who have portrayed characters from the 16th to the 21st century, at the New England Reenactors Faire. 413-668-4507. Sturbridge Host Hotel, 366 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA. (<$. Children 12 and under FREE)

Saturday, February 20, 10am-4pm
NEW ENGLAND CULTURE/WINTER FESTIVAL
Rounding out the winter festival season is North Adams’ WinterFest celebration. Including special events in the city’s downtown area from 10am-4pm, WinterFest offers families a chance to celebrate the coming end of the last of the wintriest months. Highlights of the event will definitely include ice sculpting, horse-drawn wagon rides, a chowder competition, a winter farmers’ market, and a community bonfire stocked with hot chocolate for all. Families can enjoy free skating and rentals at the Peter Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink. Full schedules of events will be available downtown and can be read online at the North Adams Winterfest Facebook page. For more information, call 413-664-6180. North Adams, MA. (VARIES; FREE, < $, & DONATIONS)

Saturday, February 20, 10:00am-12:00am
PHOTOGRAPHY/NATURE STUDIES
Hopefully snow will continue to fall on Graves Farm in Williamsburg before Mass Audubon’s Winter Photography Walk. Photographer and naturalist John Green will help visitors capture beautiful images of the snow covered ground, bare trees, streams, and pastoral landscapes. This is a chance for nature lovers to take a closer look at winter. Dress in warm clothing with comfortable footwear. If applicable, bring snowshoes or ice grippers. 413-584-3009. Graves Farm. Adams Road Williamsburg, MA ($ Nonmembers. <$ Members.)

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

Saturday, February 20, 10am-4pm
MINI GOLF/FUNDRAISING
Play mini golf with your family while raising money for a great cause! The Literacy Volunteers of Berkshire County provide free, confidential tutoring sessions for adults, helping them improve their reading and writing skills. They also provide conversational English sessions for speakers of other languages. The Berkshire Athanaeum will be lending their support for adult education by turning their library into an 18-hole mini golf course. After mini-golf, be sure to check out a book! 1 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA. (<$. Children under 12 FREE)

Saturday, February 20, 10am-4pm
STEAM/LITERACY
The thoughtfully created programs produced by PBS and its affiliates combine approachable, friendly characters with lessons about both academic content and feelings, relationships, and kindness. At WGBY‘s Love for Learning PBS Kids Fan Fair, children can visit many themed activity stations to engage in fun and creative learning. The day will also have a literacy focus, with many local children’s book authors and illustrators in attendance! Each of these talented people will host activity stations, make presentations, and do story readings. A visit to this event will help children and their families build new experiences that reinforce the notion that learning is a joyful activity. Early registration encouraged. 800-781-9429. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 1000 W. Columbus Avenue, Springfield, MA. (< $ – $)

Saturday, February 20, 11 am
LITERACY
A Goodreads Choice 2015 Winner and Washington Post notable 2015 nonfiction book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania has drawn attention even from readers who are reluctant to pick up a historical text. In his retelling of a WWI disaster, Erik Larson incorporates details from firsthand documents to weave specific details into his story. Copies of Dead Wake are available through the Whately library. Grab a copy and join other readers for this book discussion. 413-665-2170. S. White Dickinson Memorial Library, 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 20th, 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)

Saturday, February 20, 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 20, 11am-3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/CREATIVE FREE PLAY
Even before school starts back up, 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 Wintergreen Trio will be performing music from the British Isles and America. You can catch them at 1:30pm. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($ Adult. <$ Child)

Saturday, February 20, 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! Pittsfield, MA. (VARIES <$, $, FREE, DONATIONS)

Saturday, February 20, 11:30am
WRITING/INTERGENERATIONAL
Writers and storytellers of all ages are invited to meet and share their ideas at the Emily Williston Memorial Library. Writing groups are a great place for inspiration, providing prompts and friendly advice. Whether you’re an experienced writer or you never write but you want to start, simply bring a notebook and an open mind! It’s not just professional writers who benefit from picking up the pen. Bill Gates, for example, writes regularly for his own personal purposes. He uses the act of writing to process his thoughts and ideas. See what writing can do for you and make some friends along the way. 413-527-1031. 9 Park St, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 20, 12pm-3pm
NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE
Did you know that the words “moose,” “squash,” and “succotash” (among others) are loan words from Narragansett? The language of the Narragansett tribe is no longer natively spoken, but as with many Native American languages, there is a growing movement to revive it. At the Nolumbeka Project’s Full Snow Moon Gathering, Jennifer Lee will discuss her Native American identity and culture. She is of Metis, Narragansett, and Pequot descent. Great Falls Discovery Center. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA (DONATION)

Saturday, February 20, 12pm-4pm
SKILLSHARING/CYANOTYPE
For people who like to take pictures, developing your own photographs is a fun and satisfying way to combine art with chemistry. Cyanotype is a printing process which results in stunning cyan-blue photographs. At Makers’ Mill in North Adams you can learn several ways of developing images with this very old photographic process. You will prepare a photographic emulsion and a negative, expose an image, and finalize your print. All supplies and materials are covered in the cost. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street. North Adams MA. ($$)

Saturday, February 20, 1pm-4pm
COMMUNITY WORKSHOP
How has your race informed your life experiences and perspective? The Brick House Community Center is hosting a community workshop in which individuals can engage in self-reflection and dialogue about race in a safe, facilitated environment. Conversation circles will invite participants to to share their experiences with race in a process that supports respect and honesty. This event is part of a series of Black History Month events hosted by Turners Falls River Culture. Intended for adults and older students. Registration required. 413-835-1390. 24 Third Street, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Rescheduled from last week.

Saturday, February 20, 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) [Rescheduled from Feb 13]

Saturday, February 20, 1:30pm-2:30pm
CONCERT
What sort of concert can you attend where you might hear double bass, autoharp, psaltery, guitar, mountain and hammer dulcimer, recorder, banjo, a variety of percussion instruments, and beautiful three-part harmonies? A Wintergreen Trio performance! As a part of its Ten Days of Play series, the Berkshire Museum will host the Wintergreen Trio for a concert of traditional and contemporary music from America and the British Isles. Families can use this concert as a springboard to talk about the different ways to make sound. Which of these instruments is most like the human voice? How might these instruments evolved from (or into) other instruments? 413-443-7171. 39 South Street (Rt 7), Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)

Saturday, February 20, 1:30pm-2:30pm
LITERACY
Do you know a book lover who also loves dogs? How about a dog lover who struggles with reading? Children between the age of three and nine can come to the Westfield Athenaeum and meet their next reading buddy, a friendly dog! Learning to read aloud can be nerve racking. Before reading to classmates or teachers your child can practice reading to a furry, non-judgmental, non-threatening friend. Reading is a fundamental skill necessary for learning across subjects and professions. A love for reading will also bring a great deal of joy to your child’s life. The “Read to Rover” program aims to help children associate reading with fun! Registration is required. Boys and Girls Activity Room. 6 Elm St, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 20, 2pm-3pm — US HISTORY
The musuem at the Springfield Armory National Historic Site was established just after the Civil War ended and holds arms and equipment that came back from the battlefields. In conjunction with the special exhibit “At Camp in the Field,” Curator Alex Mackenzie will highlight selected objects from the collection and share stories about each. Learn more about the Springfield Armory as an educational resource here. The museum’s Facebook page is an excellent resource for Civil War history, with daily posts about items in the museum’s collection and the war in general. 413-734-8551. 1 Armory Street #2, Springfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 20, 2:30pm-4:00pm
FAMILY FILM
The Clark Art Institute will conclude their school vacation week event series with a free screening of the film Nim’s Island. This film explores the issue of child bereavement as the main character, Nim, loses her mother. Nim lives on an island with her father, a marine biologist, and several animal friends. Viewing this film as a family can open up discussions about emotional challenges, as well as the simpler topic of an interest in animals and biology. The Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street Williamstown, MA. (FREE).

Saturday, February 20, 2pm-4pm
INTERACTIVE FAMILY COMEDY SHOW
Have you ever wanted to try improv comedy? Do you have a child who loves the limelight? You and your family can take your turns in the spotlight, or relax and laugh in the audience at the “Happier Valley Family Comedy Show.”The show will utilize audience participation to create scenes, songs and games. If your child does a great job making people laugh, you can take a great deal of pride in this. Humor is a sign of both intelligence and creativity (and requires a degree of fearlessness to try!) Ages 5-12 and their caregivers. 121 Club. 116 Pleasant Street of Easthampton, MA (<$ Kids. $ Adults)

Saturday, February 20, 5pm-7pm
SNOWSHOE HIKE
Bizarre full moon behaviors, such as an increase in dog bites and women going into labor, have yet to be scientifically demonstrated. Still, the reputation for strange full moon happenings is strong in our culture. You can be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary at the Full Moon Snowshoe Hike at Bartholomew’s CobbleThis will be a gentle hike, appropriate for a range of ages and ability levels. Afterwards, enjoy pizza and conversation in the Visitor’s Center. 413.298.3239 x3013. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (Member <$ Non Member $)

Saturday, February 20, 5pm-8pm
SLEDDING/COMMUNITY CELEBRATION
In wintertime we often see less of our friends and neighbors due to fewer daylight hours and cold, wintry weather. Thankfully, Red Gate Farm offers us all a fabulous reason to gather with friends old and new at its annual Fire & Ice sledding and bonfire party! Enjoy a delicious grilled dinner, a roaring bonfire, hot cocoa, toasted marshmallows, and lots of fun runs down the farm’s sledding slope. There will be faster and slower sledding paths for sledders of different ages/comfort levels, and folks may bring their own sleds (no runners) or borrow one on site. Volunteer help would be appreciated, as many hands make light work. Please contact Jake at the farm if you are interested in helping. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road, Ashfield, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION < $)

Saturday, February 20, 6:30pm
COMMUNITY HIKE
Join your fellow nature lovers for a moonlight hike at the Graves Farm Wildlife Sanctuary. Test your knowledge of tree species, or teach your friends and family the difference between the pine, beech, and oak trees on this trail. Or simply enjoy this easy walk appropriate for all ages. Dress warmly and bring a water bottle and snowshoes if you have them. Refreshments and a campfire will follow. 413-268-7523. Adams Rd, Haydenville, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, 7pm-11pm
BOARD GAMES
You can learn a new board game each Saturday at Modern Myths Comics and Games. This Saturday, though, is a special board game night: The 7 Wonder Board Game Tournament. Everyone who finishes will win a prize. Playing games engages our brains in complex thinking, requiring us to plan ahead and anticipate the actions of other players. Games are highly social and a healthy outlet for competition. Beginners welcome. Ages 13 and up, or younger if accompanied by a caregiver at the table. 34 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, February 20, 7:30pm
SPORTS FILM: SKIING
You’ve heard of skiing and snowboarding, but what about monoskiing? This mountain sport requires a single wide ski, and unlike snowboarding, the skiers’ feet face forward. In the film Chasing Shadows you will witness monoskiing, and other fringe snow sports such as powsurfing and speed skiing. This screening will take place at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. 413-528-0100. Great Barrington, MA. ($)

Saturday, February 20, 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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Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Ongoing Sunday Events

Hilltown Family Variety Show7-8am – FAMILY RADIO: Valley Free Radio (WXOJ-LP 103.3FM Northampton, MA) airs encores the Hilltown Family Variety Show every Sunday morning. commercial-free family radio. Tune in on your FM dial, or listen live via streaming audio at www.valleyfreeradio.org. Listen to the Hilltown Family Variety Show podcast anytime. Click here to see over 8 years of archived shows.

Sunday, February 21, all day (opening)
FAMILY SUPPORT GROUPS:BEREAVEMENT
Support groups are a vital resource for people experiencing loss. It is important to be able to connect with people who are going through a similar experience. The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens welcomes new and returning families on their opening day. Families with children between five and eighteen years old are welcomed to call and schedule an intake. Children and teens will meet other young people who are going through a loss. In small groups, they will engage in projects and activities, supervised by a trained adult. 413-582-5312. All groups are held at Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice, Sunday afternoons. 168 Industrial Dr. Northampton, MA

Sunday, February 21, 10am-4pm
U.S. HISTORY
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 21, 10am-4pm
NEW ENGLAND CULTURE/WINTER FESTIVAL
Rounding out the winter festival season is North Adams’ WinterFest celebration. Including special events in the city’s downtown area from 10am-4pm, WinterFest offers families a chance to celebrate the coming end of the last of the wintriest months. Highlights of the event will definitely include ice sculpting, horse-drawn wagon rides, a chowder competition, a winter farmers’ market, and a community bonfire stocked with hot chocolate for all. Families can enjoy free skating and rentals at the Peter Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink. Full schedules of events will be available downtown and can be read online at the North Adams Winterfest Facebook page. For more information, call 413-664-6180. North Adams, MA. (VARIES; FREE, < $, & DONATIONS)

Sunday, February 21, 10am-3pm
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/INTERGENERATIONAL
Join friends, family, and community members every Sunday for a snowshoe hike at Bartholomew’s Cobble. Snowshoes are available for rent on a first come first serve basis. The Cobble is home to a rich biodiversity, a perfect destination for hikers interested in learning to identify trees. The Cobble is home to red cedar, red oak, eastern hemlock, yellow birch, shagbark hickory, sugar maple and black birch. See how many trees you can identify. After your hike, grab a cup of hot chocolate in the Visitor’s Center. 413.298.3239 x3013. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (Member FREE. Non Member $)

Sunday, February 21, 11am-9pm
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! Pittsfield, MA. (VARIES <$, $, FREE, DONATIONS)

Sunday, February 21, 12noon-4pm
SKILLSHARING/VISIBLE MENDING
Why buy new clothes when you can mend them? Learn a new skill and make an investment in the future of your clothing by attending a “Visible Mending” workshop at the Makers’ Mill in North Adams. Visible mending is part of a “slow fashion” movement (similar to the slow food movement) in which people track the origins of their clothes and whenever possible, make and fix clothes themselves. Visible mending is a specific kind of sewing which adds new visual elements to your clothing articles each time you repair them. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street. North Adams MA. ($$)

Sunday, February 21, 2pm
BLACK HISTORY/LOCAL HISTORY
Did you know that the Pioneer Valley has a strong history of involvement in the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad? If you want to learn more, join Bambi Miller and Mary Boehmer of Charlemont as they present Remembrance of Our Past at the David Ruggles Center in recognition of Basil Dorsey, a self-emancipated slave and teamster born in Libertytown, in Frederick County, Maryland who settled in Florence. David Ruggles Center, 225 Nonotuck Street, Florence at 2 pm. FREE

Sunday, February 21, 2pm-4pm
ANIMAL SCIENCE/OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Bartholomew’s Cobble, named in part for two rocky knolls on the land, has a high level of biodiversity resulting in a significant snake population during warm months. One reason for this is that the cobbles are composed of quartzite and marble, acidic rock and alkaline rock, creating variation in soil chemistry. Come to the Cobble for an hour long snowshoe hike, followed by an expert talk on snakes from around the world. Return in the summer months and you might see native snakes. Bring snowshoes or rent them. 413-298-3239 x3013. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (Member <$ Non Member $)

Sunday, February 21, 3pm
ROCK HISTORY/CONCERT
Fans of the band Fanny can learn about frontrunner June Millington through “story, picture, and song” at the Academy of Music Theatre. The lineup will include Holly Near, Jill Sobule, Toshi Reagon, Gail Ann Dorsey, Christine Ohlman and Sonya Kitchell as well as members of Fanny. This event will pay tribute to June Millington as a Filipina musician and LGBT rights activist. Mullington also founded the Institute for the Musical Arts, now located in Goshen Massachusetts, with her partner Ann Hackler. The Institute for the Musical Arts offers summer, residential music programs for girls and young women. Come celebrate June Millington’s ongoing musical legacy, and hear some great music. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA. ($ – $$)

Sunday, February 21, 3pm
CHAMBER MUSIC
Does listening to classical music make you smarter? In spite of what the company behind Baby Einstein claimed, there is no scientific evidence that it does. All kinds of music can, however, help you focus, as long as you find the music enjoyable. And perhaps most importantly, beautiful music can send shivers down your spine. Talented musicians dazzle and inspire audiences. As part of the Faculty Recital series you can attend a night of chamber music at Bard’s College at Simon’s Rock. You will hear combinations of clarinet, violin, cello, viola and piano. All ages; open to the public. Kellogg Music Center. 84 Alford Rd, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE).

Sunday February 21, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
LOCAL HISTORY
Come to the Wistariahurst Museum for a lively mix of Holyoke history and personal memories. Allerton Kilborne, the last living Skinner descendant to have resided at the historic estate, brings the past to life as he shares his memories of living at Wistariahurst with his grandmother, Katherine Skinner Kilborne, and a full time staff. An historian himself, Mr. Kilborne weaves his personal memories into the broader narrative of Holyoke. Mr. Kilborne will lead a tour of the house, including more of his own memories and anecdotes, following his talk. Tickets are available on the Wistariahurst website. 238 Cabot St, Holyoke MA. ($)

Sunday, February 21, 4pm
GEOLOGY
Have you ever looked at old pictures of your town and thought about what life was like there 100 or 200 years ago? Take this curiosity a few steps further by learning local geologic history. Professor Richard Little taught classes in geology and oceanography at Greenfield Community College for 34 years. He will be giving a talk at White Square Books about the geologic history of the Connecticut River. 413-203-1717. 86 Cottage Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 21, 4pm
LOCAL HISTORY/SPORTS
In this lecture, Derek Gentile will tell the story of the Lenox Merchants, a semi-professional basketball team who regularly beat the NBA fives in the 1950s. The existence of this team used to draw NBA teams from all over the country and therefore the Merchants are a rich part of Lenox history. Derek Gentile has written several books, mainly on the topics of basketball and baseball, and he is a columnist for the Berkshire Eagle. This lecture will take place in the Sedgwick Reading Room of the Lenox Library. 413-637-0197. 18 Main St, Lenox, MA. (FREE).

Sunday, February 21, 4pm-5:30pm
PARENTING/NUTRITION
A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics demonstrated a connection between high fiber diets in teenagers and decreased risk of breast cancer later on in life. Every parent wants their children to build healthy eating habits, but it isn’t easy! You can gain support and advice from experts and parents at the talk: “Love and Food: Reversing Childhood Obesity with Kindness and Nutrition.” Speakers will discuss ways to address weight issues without damaging children’s self-esteem. They will offer cross-cultural approaches to hunger and snacking, ways to enjoy nutritious food, and methods for redirecting a child’s eating in loving ways. A question and answer session and refreshments will follow. Please register. 413-517-2226. Northampton Area Pediatrics. 193 Locust St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 21, 7pm-9pm
SPORTS/GAMES/COMMUNITY NIGHT
Do you and your child need a night out to have some fun? Drop off your child at Smith College for supervised games and sports with other community kids. Past activities have included swimming,arts and crafts, and games. Make sure your child has play clothes, sneakers, a swimsuit and a towel. Registration is required for this event. For more information call 413-585-2722. Register at the Smith college Athletics website. Activities best suited for kids aged approximately 6 to 13. Smith College Indoor Track and Tennis Facility. 106 Lower College Ln, Northampton, MA ($)

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday, February 22, 6pm
COSMOLOGY
How much do you know about the big bang? The idea that the universe originated from the big bang stems from another concept: the discovery that the universe is expanding. In 1927, Georges Lemaître first proposed that in an expanding universe, perhaps everything originates from a single point. But what does this mean? Why do distant parts of the universe look similar when they are so far away from each other? Professor Gary Felder will address these, and other questions, at this installment of the SciTech Cafe. Union Station. 125 Pleasant St, Northampton, MA (DONATION)

Monday, February 22, 6:30pm
LITERACY
Although dystopian novels have exploded in popularity recently, they have been around since the sixteenth century. Through their terrifying visions of the future, dystopian novels often also provide insight into the past, highlighting the political fears of the time when they were written. Margaret Atwood’s 1985 feminist dystopia, The Handmaid’s Tale, can show readers what has and has not changed in this country since the time when Atwood wrote it. This controversial and powerful text has been adapted into a film, play, opera, and even a concept album. Pick up a copy now and be ready to discuss with your community members at the Emily Williston Memorial Library. 413-527-1031. 9 Park St, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 22, 7pm
JAZZ/POP DUO CONCERT
Most people know what a xylophone is because it is a common children’s toy and it is one of few English words which begin with the letter “x.” But fewer people can identify a similarly melodic percussion instrument, the vibraphone. Among other differences, a vibraphone is typically made with metal bars and has a pedal so that notes can be long or short. Vibraphone player Jeannette Muzima and bassist Wes Brown will be playing a range of music, including pop and jazz, at the Gaylord Memorial Library. All ages. 47 College St, South Hadley, MA. ($)

Monday, February 22, 7pm
FILM STUDIES/ GENDER STUDIES
As part of the Williams College film series “In / dependence: Capturing Women in (New) French Cinema,” you can attend a free screening of the French film Abus de faiblesse / Abuse of Weakness . 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 to present day. 413-458-5612. Images Cinema. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

February 22, 8pm
BLACK HISTORY/FILM STUDIES
How do our families shape us? How can we carve our own paths? Explore these themes as you view the 2015 sports drama Creed, which received very positive reviews from both audiences and professional film critics. Several actors in the film were honored by the African-American Film Critics Association, an organization seeking to raise awareness of films produced, written, directed and starring people of African descent. A free screening of Creed, followed by a discussion, will be held at the Owl’s Nest. Westfield State University. 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9:30am-10:30am — PLAYGROUP : Weekly playgroup at Crosby Elementary School sponsored by Pittsfield CFCE. 413-441-0974. 517 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – STORYTIME & MUSIC: Families with young children are invited to the Spear Memorial Library every Monday for a “Tales & Tunes” program with Katie Tolles, sponsored by the Community Network for Children. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC: Parent-child playgroup at the Pelham Library offers a story, snack, music, and fingerplays. “Music for Little Ones,” with Wendy Plummer, follows at 10:30am. Ages birth-5 years. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road, Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers can join the Play N Learn playgroup each Monday morning, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Advance registration required. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – KNITTING: The Sunderland Public Library has a knitting group that runs every Monday. The group is open to knitters of all levels and ages. Great intergenerational activity to do with young homeschoolers. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – LITERACY: Young children can have fun with books and reading at Wee Read at the Worthington Library every Monday. 413-238-5565. 1 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for ages walking to 5 years every Monday at the Williamstown Youth Center. 413-458-5925. 66 School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to Gym Fun, a playgroup that incorporates lots of movement. This group meets on Mondays and is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Town Hall, 21 State Line Rd., West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Storrs Library offers a drop-in playgroup for kids ages 3 and under every Monday morning, ongoing. Come hear a story, sing songs, and enjoy free play. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon — PARENTING SUPPORT: Get out of the house and socialize with other moms and dads at the Baby and Me Group at Family Center of Northern Berkshire County every second Monday of the month. Share experiences, thoughts, and ideas. Each child receives a new board book on the first visit. For parents with children from infant to walking. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can come to tummy time at the Forbes Library every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – 4pm – STEM: The Berkshire Museum’s Spark!Lab is open for drop in play. In Spark!Lab, everyone is an inventor! Spark!Lab is a hands-on, creative laboratory that engages children and families in the process of innovation: try the variety of activities, from creating a wheeled vehicle to experimenting with percussion to assembling safe electrical circuits. Visitors of all ages can work together to combine skills and ideas to create inventions with real-world applications. 413-443-7171. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – KINSHIP SUPPORT: Are you helping raise your grandchildren, nieces & nephews, or other family members? Join others who are doing so at a parenting support group every third Monday of the month at the Williamsburg Senior Center. Childcare available if you call in advance. 413-563-1981. 141 Main Street, Haydenville, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-4pm — CREATIVE FREE PLAY/TEENS:
    Hang out with your friends and color some cool designs at Mandala Mondays at the Lee Library. Coloring lets you put your worries aside and focus on creating something beautiful. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5pm – ART: Do you know a teen who loves to draw? The Hubbard Library offers “Sketchy Ato,” a drop-in session in which all genres are welcome – manga, comics, western, or anything else. Artists can share their work (if they want) with fellow art maniacs! For middle & high schoolers. Every two weeks. 413-583-3408. 24 Center St., Ludlow, MA.. (FREE)
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm — CHESS: Drop in to Storrs Library to learn and play chess every Monday. Taught and led by Longmeadow High School students. All ages; beginners welcome. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm — STORYTIME/SINGING/PUPPETRY: Kids of all ages are invited to the Greenfield Public Library every Monday for Afterschool Read-Aloud. Enjoy picture books, folk tales, or passages from favorite chapter books, along with sing-along songs and puppetry. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — PARENTING SUPPORT: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren group meets Monday evenings at The Bridge Family Resource Center. Meet with others in a safe place to talk and be heard. Dinner served. No registration required. Childcare provided. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30pm-6pm — POETRY/TEENS: Bring your stories, share your truth, and discover your voice in a weekly Teen Poetry Workshop facilitated by local writer and artist Jorrell Watkins at The Bridge Family Resource Center. For ages 13-18. No registration required. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-6pm — COMMUNITY MEAL: The Berkshire South Regional Community Center hosts a community supper prepared by some of the best chefs in the Berkshires every Monday. Join your neighbors and make new friends. Donations accepted and contributions of non-perishable food items for local food banks encouraged. No reservations required. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30-6:30pm – GYM GROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a Gym Group at the Haskins Center for ages walking to 8 years old. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-7pm — WOMEN’S STUDIES/BOOK CLUB: Book club focusing on media literacy and gender-based violence meets the last Monday of every month at the Sunderland Public Library
    to discuss how popular media, such as books, portray sexual/domestic violence and how those portrayals impact our culture. Best suited for mature teens and adults. Learn more here. Pre-registration requested. 413-665 2642. Lane Reading Room, 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – KNITTING: All skill levels can attend a knitting group at the Westhampton Public Library every Monday evening. Come learn and share tips and tricks with knitters of all ages and levels. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-7pm – STORYTIME: Kids can unwind at the end of the day at the Montague Center Library‘s ongoing weekly evening storytime. Kids are welcome to come to the storytime in their pajamas. 413-367-2852. 17 Center Street. Montague, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-8pm — BOOK CLUB: The Emily Williston Memorial Library invites you to Monday Night Book Club, which meets the fourth Monday of each month (except in May). For adults and/or young adults who are mature readers. 413-527-1031. Emily Williston Memorial Library, 9 Park St., Easthampton, MA (FREE)
  • 6:45pm-7:45pm — PERFORMING: Come offer your creative ideas and talents to support your library at Storrs Library‘s Spirit Squad, meeting every Monday through 5/16. Help plan and perform a dance or skit for the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on 4/14, and promote the library at Long Meddowe Days in May. For students in grades 6 and up. 413-565-4182. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm – POETRY: Forbes Library holds a poetry discussion group every Monday in the Coolidge Museum. Come discuss the works of famous poets with community members of all backgrounds – lifelong poets and those who are new to reading poetry. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm – COMMUNITY SING: Join friends and neighbors at the Westhampton Public Library for a monthly get together of people who love to play music and sing! Bring your instrument(s) and copies of songs you would like to share with the group. Meets the first Monday of the month. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road, Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm-9pm — SKETCHING: A Figure Drawing Collective meets every Monday night at Makers’ Mill. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street, North Adams, MA.(<$)

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 12pm-3pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
Even before school starts back up, 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 23, 7 pm
LITERACY/NATURE STUDIES
Falconers use a small hood, covering the eyes of their birds, to keep them calm before a hunt. This benign act of deceit brought about the word “hoodwink,” one of many falconry words or phrases which have made their way into common usage. To learn more about falconry, join the Westhampton Public Library‘s book club as they discuss H is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald. This book is perfect for lovers of memoir and nature writing. After the sudden loss of her father, the author attempts a new level of challenge in her hobby of falconry: training a goshawk, one of the deadliest of raptors. H is for Hawk hit the bestseller list in the United Kingdom and is gaining attention in the United States. If this book gives you an itch to learn more about falconry at the local level check out New England Falconry for activities. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 23, 7pm-9pm
READING
Bailly Shannon Morse first wrote her novel Fortune’s Flight, set in 19th century France, when she was fourteen years old. Morse grew up in Haydenville and went on to attend Mount Holyoke College. She has since re-imagined her adventure novel and will be reading portions of this new version at the Meekins Library. Come to this reading to learn about one young writer’s artistic process and how it has changed over the years. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 23. 7:30pm
PLAYREADING SERIES/CONTEMPORARY
Wade in Da WaTer . Tired of being blamed for the aftermath of natural disasters, the United States Federal Government attempts to play the blame game by suing the most catastrophic storm of the 21st Century: Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina agrees to be tried, but only if it will allow humanity to progress toward healing, awareness, forgiveness, and requiem for the dead. Audiences can expect the unexpected from Wade in Da WaTer as gods, politicians, news anchors, as well as regular people are summoned to testify in the greatest trial in history. This contemporary work allows us to reflect on the impact of natural disasters and how they can challenge and test the threads of human connection. The performance will be held in Acting Studio 1 at Smith College, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, February 23, 8pm
BLACK HISTORY
This black history month, one way to spark change is to create spaces and opportunities for people of color to voice their perspectives. Revolutionary change can start at the community level, when people have the chance to speak and to listen. Westfield State University. invites you to “We Honor/ Tribute and Honor,” an open mic which will celebrate the work of black artists through individual interpretation. Owl’s Nest. 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 8:45am-10:15am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Swift River School every Tuesday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-5157. 201 Wendell Road, New Salem, MA. (FREE)
  • 9am-10am — PLAYGROUP : Weekly playgroup at Egremont Elementary School sponsored by Pittsfield CFCE. 413-441-0974. 84 Egremont Avenue, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Every Tuesday, Community Health Programs of Berkshire County hosts Toddler Steps, a playgroup for children ages 18 months- 3 years with their caregivers. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for young kids ages birth-preK at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Deb Wood features fun toys and more! Every Tuesday. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – SCHOOL READINESS: There will be a school readiness program every Tuesday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to participate in the Explore & Play playgroup, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County, which meets Tuesday mornings. 413-644-0104. 1 North Main Road, Otis, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PARENT GROUP: Nursing Families group every Tuesday at the Haskins Center. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STEAM: Preschool-age children can learn about science, technology, engineering, art, and math at the Dalton Free Public Library every Tuesday! There will be a story, a lesson, and a STEAM project. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Join the Greenfield Public Library for a weekly storytime year-round! This event includes stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for kids age five and under. 413-772-1544 x5. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30pm – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library will have a baby and toddler play time every Tuesday at 11am. They also offer a playgroup for children ages 0-5 and their caregivers on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month which begins at 10am. Kids can come play with toys, do a craft, read a book, and make new friends at this fun playgroup, year-round. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – LITERACY: Kids ages 2-5 can attend a literacy group at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield. Come with a parent or caregiver and practice reading skills! Runs every Tuesday. 413-568-5242. 28 West Silver Street. Westfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: It Takes a Village Mother’s Circle runs every Tuesday at St. John’s Corner House. Come talk about motherhood with others in a supportive and caring environment. Expectant mothers welcome, and infants can attend, and there is childcare for older children. Follows the Mohawk Trail school schedule. 413-650-3640. 469 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-5pm – WOODWORKING:The Shakers are known for their beautiful and simple handcrafted utilitarian objects. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village any Tuesday to watch master woodworkers create oval boxes using traditional tools and techniques. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)
  • 10:15am-11:45am – CRAFTING: What better way to prepare for a cozy New England winter than to complete those knitting projects? Knitting alongside others also builds community and increases skills. The Storrs Library in Longmeadow offers a Novel Knitters drop-in program for adults where you can bring your own projects and supplies or participate in ongoing community projects. All levels of expertise are welcome. 413- 565-4182. Storrs Library, 693 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Preschoolers can attend a fun storytime at the Chicopee Public Library the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. Come for songs, finger plays, movement, stories, activities, and crafts. 413-594-1800 x107. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime and music for ages 1-3 every Tuesday at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am — STORYTIME: Books and Babies, for children from birth to age 2, meets at the East Longmeadow Public Library every Monday. 413-525-5400, ext. 1511. 60 Center Square, East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Preschool storytime every Tuesday at the Granby Free Public Library. Nurture your child’s love of books by engaging in stories and crafts. Ages 2 ½ to 5 years old. Drop in! 413-467-3320. 297 East State Street, Granby, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11am – MUSIC: The Hubbard Library is offering a music program for preschoolers every Tuesday. Come for singing, clapping, and dancing. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STEM & LITERACY PLAYGROUP: The Mason Library invites children ages 0-5 with their caregivers to its Brain Builders Play & Learn Playgroup every Tuesday. Activities will include reading, singing, playing, circle time, and engaging table-time activities that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) themes! 413-528-1720. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am — MUSIC: Wendy Plummer leads “Sing with Your Baby” at the Jones Library every Tuesday. Babies, toddlers, and their caregivers can sing along and play with musical instruments. 413-259-3090. Woodbury Room, 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Tuesday at the Adams Youth Center. 413-664-4821. 20 East Street Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: The Westhampton Public Library is holding a baby and toddler playtime every Tuesday. Come to the library and meet other kids and parents. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a playgroup at Adams Youth Center for infants to 5 year olds. 413-664-4821. 20 East St., Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – 12:00pm – SUPPORT GROUP Grandparents of all backgrounds and parenting styles are invited to the Amherst Family Center to discuss their experiences related to raising grandchildren, or supporting their own children in their parenting. Childcare provided up to age 4. This group will not meet when public schools are closed or delayed. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Facilitator MaryBeth leads Baby Steps, a playgroup that meets Tuesdays. This playgroup is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1pm – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives who are raising their young relatives can attend a support group every second and fourth Tuesday in Turners Falls. Come to the group to learn about resources, meet others, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 294 Avenue A. Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:30pm-2pm – TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT: The Storrs Library’s Tech Tuesday ongoing, drop-in sessions allow folks to receive coaching in various skills with which they’ve been needing support. Learn how to use your new computer, send email, operate an e-reader, and more. Bring your phone, e-reader, or other relevant device. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2pm – BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: Are you or your partner facing breastfeeding challenges? Is nursing not what you thought it would be? Stop in to MaryBeth’s breastfeeding support group, which meets Tuesday afternoons, for advice, techniques, and emotional support. Babies and children welcome, of course! This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-3pm — KNITTING: Bring your needles and yarn to the Knitting Club at Lilly Library every Tuesday. All levels of experience welcome and lessons available. 413-587-1500. 19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm – FILM: Amherst Cinema offers weekly matinees every Tuesday, especially for people with babies! This is a great chance to get out and see a movie without having to worry about finding a sitter. Check their website to see what’s playing each week. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. >$
  • 2pm-2:45pm — STORYTIME/MUSIC/CRAFTS:
    Afternoon Preschool Storytime at the Jones Library is open to all kids from birth to age 5 but especially designed for kids who attend morning programs or school sessions. Listen to stories, sing songs, learn rhymes, and do a simple craft every Tuesday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm – KNITTING: On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, the Stockbridge Library hosts a Sit & Knit group. All levels of knitters and crocheters can come spend time knitting with others. 413-298-5501. 46 Main Street. Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-4pm — LEGO CLUB Come build remote control devices and other cool stuff with LEGOs at the Bushnell-Sage Library. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5pm – GAMES: Kids can play Magic the Gathering every Tuesday at Comics N’ More. A great chance for kids to make new friends with similar interests and learn how to play this fun card game! 413-529-0800. 31 Union Street. Easthampton, MA.
  • 3pm-5pm — TEENS: Afterschool Cafe every Tuesday at the Goodwin Memorial Library. Teens can be teens in their own space — a great place to work on homework, read, play games, hang with friends and chill out. Refreshments provided. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle Street (Corner of Routes 47 and 9), Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm — LEGOS: Kids ages 6-8 can make their “LEGO Creations” every Tuesday at the West Springfield Public Library
    413-736-4561. 511 Main Street, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:30pm – LEGOS: The Family Resource Center is offering a LEGO group for ages 4-8 the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. 413-664-4821. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:45pm-4:45pm — BOOK CLUB: Kids in grades 4-6 are invited to join the MCBA Book Club that meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month through March at Mason Library. Participants will discuss the nominee books for the 2015-16 Massachusetts Children’s Book Award and do related fun activities. Students may take the bus directly to the library after school. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA, (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm — READING: Toby the reading dog loves to listen to stories. Come read to him every Tuesday in the Children’s Room at the Lee Library. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30pm – AFTERSCHOOL & YO-YO: Not many toys can boast over 2,500 years of use worldwide, but the yo-yo has enjoyed consistent use in hundreds of cultures for nearly three millennia. The popular Northampton education-based store A to Z hosts Yo-Yo School three times a week inside their store, and their teachers are true masters. Open to all ages, although older elementary children often have the motor skills and coordination needed for it to be a bit easier to learn. Read more about Yo-Yo school on Hilltown Families. Call 413-586-1611. 57 King St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:15pm-6:45pm – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who are raising young relatives can attend a support group every first Tuesday Come to the group to learn about resources, meet others, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-8pm – FILM STUDIES: The Red Gate Farm Film Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month to watch and discuss films in the farm’s program building. A homemade dinner is served, with an optional small donation to cover food costs. All ages welcome, but parents should know that PG and PG-13 movies are shown. Anyone in 3rd grade or younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and participants under 17 must have a signed parental/guardian consent form in order to attend. 413-625-9503. 4 Norman Road, Buckland, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – LITERACY/GAMES: Meet up with other community members at the Monson Library each Tuesday for a game of Scrabble! 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – PARENTING & CLIMATE CHANGE: Mothers Out Front is a group of “mothers and others” who are concerned about climate change and passionate about creating a cleaner energy future for future generations. Learn more about the group’s work and meet other parents with whom to share your stories, hopes, and fears at their monthly climate support gatherings, held every 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP via the MOF site. Sunderland, MA (Tuesdays) and Florence, MA (Thursdays). (FREE)
  • 6pm-7pm – WRITING: The Sunderland Public Library hosts a Teen and Tween Writing Club the last Tuesday of each month. Students can come practice writing from prompts and doing activities and exercises – this is a great way to make friends and improve writing skills! Please sign up in advance. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: Is the health of our Earth on your mind? Gather with others who are contemplating the same topic at the Environmental Awareness Discussion Group, which meets on the last Tuesday of the month at the Dickinson Memorial Library. Members of the group use both non-fiction and fiction books and films as launching off points for meaningful conversations about the environment. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street, Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-8pm — MUSIC STUDIES/UKULELE: Kids and adults ages 13 and up can join the Berkshire Ukulele Band (BUB) and learn to play the ukulele with multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and performer Rob Sanzone at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Ukulele technique, chord progressions, and songs from various musical genres will be taught. Limited number of ukuleles available for use. Beginners encouraged; reading music not required. Opportunities to perform at community events. Registration requested. Drop-ins encouraged, but call ahead, as the group sometimes performs off-site during class time. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE for members and guests)

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 10am-11:45am
SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare has had one of the longest lasting impacts of any author. His plays from the 16th and 17th century are still performed regularly and are often required reading in high school. Even if his plays fell out of popularity he would still have made his mark on the English language, since he invented hundreds of words we use every day including “amazement,” “hint,” “mimic,” “lonely,” “generous,” and “secure.” Hear some of Shakespeare’s words in action at the Tina Packer Playhouse performance of Twelfth Night. A post-show discussion will follow. 413-637-1199 x131. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

Wednesday, February 24, 4pm
BLACK HISTORY
In recent decades, growing awareness has been drawn to the need for an “intersectional” approach towards issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Intersectionality requires people to consider the fact that each individual has several overlapping identities. In this panel discussion, Westfield State University men of color faculty and staff will discuss both race and gender, exploring current issues faced by black men in the United States. This will undoubtedly bring to light different issues than the upcoming ceremony, “Black Girls Rock,” which will celebrate women of color who engage in their communities. 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 24, 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 24, 5:15:pm-6:00pm
LOCAL HISTORY
The physical space of a theater can have an effect on performances, and performances sometimes dictate changes to be made in the space. Did you know that the Academy of Music Theatre once had a hole cut in the stage floor for a Houdini disappearing act? You can see this part of the stage firsthand along with other historically significant objects on a historic tour of the theatre. The tour guide will show visitors Cole Porter’s grandfather clock, and dressing rooms used by actors such as Sarah Bernhard, Boris Karloff and Ethel Barrymore. Learn about 125 of theater history through the lens of space. Attendees should meet in the main lobby. This event is open to the public. Reserve your spot by calling 413-584-9032, x105 or emailing boxoffice@aomtheatre.com. 274 Main Street. Northampton, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, February 24, 6:30pm-7:30pm
WOMEN AND WRITING
Muriel Rukeyser once posed this challenge: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” The Powder Keg Sessions is a women’s writing workshop at the Ramsell library, where women come together to share their truths. The workshops are run by Suzi Banks Baum, an author, artist, and mother who teaches classes on nurturing the habit of daily writing. Come see what writing can do for you, and what your writing can do for others. 413- 274-3738. 1087 Main St, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 24, 7pm
PERMACULTURE
Pesticide exposure has been linked to a host of public health concerns including cancer.
For this reason, pesticides affect everyone. Farmers in particular need to be informed about their options for safe and sustainable growing. Michelle Mart, author of Pesticides, A Love Story: America’s Enduring Embrace of Dangerous Chemicals will be running a panel discussion on pesticides and permaculture at Bard’s College at Simon’s Rock. Open to the public. Lecture Center. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE).

Wednesday, February 24, 7pm-8pm
SKILLSHARING/SEED SAVING
Seed catalogs are fun to look through, but wouldn’t it be great to plant your own seeds, from last year’s crop? Grow Food Amherst is a group of local gardeners who are learning to do just that. They’re reading Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties: The Gardener’s Guide to Plant Breeding and Seed Saving and will meet in the first floor conference room at the Amherst Town Hall to discuss it. Reading the book is not required for attendance, however; come listen and learn about harvesting, processing, and storing seed (Chapter 22)! You can learn more about seed saving from this Hilltown Families post about self-sufficiency and nature based education through the act of saving seeds. 978-895-1781. 4 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, February 24, 7pm
SPORTS HISTORY/WOMEN’S STUDIES
For this screening of the 2015 documentary T REX, producer Sue Jaye Johnson will be present. In T REX you will learn about Claressa Shields, and her journey to the 2012 Olympics, the first year that women’s boxing was included. At just seventeen years old, by far the youngest woman competing, her abilities are particularly remarkable. This movie’s themes reach beyond one individual, allowing for discussion of subversive gender roles and the positive impact sports can have on an individual’s life. Amherst Cinema. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. ($)

Wednesday, February 24, 8pm
BEATLES TRIBUTE
Hear Beatles classics such as “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Hard Day’s Night,” “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Let It Be,” “Come Together” and “Hey Jude,” while learning about the band’s journey to fame. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell used The Beatles as a prime example of his theory that extremely successful people have spent at least 10,000 hours practicing in their field. In the 1960s, The Beatles played several hours a night, often seven nights a week, in Germany. The clubs in Germany were open late and The Beatles performed many hours more than most emerging bands typically do. So as you’re listening to music you love, you can be thinking about all the hard work and thousands of hours The Beatles put into becoming one of the greatest loved bands of all time. Calvin Theatre. 19 King Street. Northampton, MA ($$ – $$$)

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

  • 8am-10am – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST: Whether you are seeking a nutritious meal to start your day, hoping to make new connections in the community–or both!–everyone is welcome to attend a community breakfast each Wednesday, hosted by Craig’s Doors, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst. 413-437-0776. Willie Eaton Social Hall, Unitarian Meetinghouse, 121 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can play, learn, and discover at a weekly program every Wednesday at Kittredge Elementary School. 413-655-0146. Maple Street. Hinsdale, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Cummington Family Center is holding a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday through May 2016. Young kids can come play and make friends. Takes place in old Berkshire Trail Elementary School. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: You and your young children are welcome to join other kids and caregivers each Wednesday at the Lenox Community Center’s weekly playgroup, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 65 Walker Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 3-5 years old and their caregivers can join Kim each Wednesday for Play N Learn, a playgroup sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Advance registration required. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – STORYTIME: Parents and their preschoolers can come to the Westhampton Public Library for coffee and storytime every Wednesday. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Westhampton Public Library on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA.
  • 10am – COMMUNITY: The Westhampton Public Library‘s weekly Coffee and Chat runs every Wednesday at 10am. Come together with community members to share stories, news, and to stay connected. 413-527-5386. 1 North Road. Westhampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-10:45am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Holyoke Public Library every Monday and Wednesday at 10am for stories with Nathan! 413-420-8105. 250 Chestnut Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup every Wednesday at the Lanesborough Town Hall’s Community Room. For ages walking to 5 years. Run by The Family Center. 413-664-4821. 83 North Main Street. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc.is offering a toddler playgroup at Haskins Center for ages 1 to 2.5 years. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – 11:30am – MUSIC AND LITERACY: Young children and their caregivers can visit the Wendell Free Library on Wednesdays through June 30, 2016 for Tunes and Tales with Sylvia Wetherby, organized by the Community Network for Children. This group may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-3559. 7 Wendell Depot Road, Wendell, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Erving Elementary school every Wednesday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 413-423-3326. 28 Northfield Road, Erving, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: There will be a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – STORYTIME: Enjoy a morning of stories at the New Marlborough Library’s weekly storytime, held each Wednesday. This storytime series is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 1 Mill River-Great Barrington Road, New Marlborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:15am-11:45am – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who are raising their young relatives can attend a support group every fourth Wednesday in Huntington. Come to the group to learn about resources, meet others, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. Hilltown Family Center, 9 Russell Street (Route 9), Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Meekins Library librarian, Rochelle Wildfong, will host a story time in the children’s department every Wednesday, all year round. Fingerplays, songs, picture books, and circle games for pre-schoolers and their caregivers. After story hour, take the kids sledding behind the school, then head down to Bread Euphoria for a warm something to eat & drink! A delightful way to spend a Wednesday morning in the Hilltowns with your preK kids! 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: There is a storytime for preschool-age kids every Wednesday at the Monson Free Library! Come for stories and fun. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/HIKING: Come on a weekly, kid-led hike at the Hitchcock Center’s Larch Hill Conservation Area. “Toddle & Waddle It Baby!” is for caregivers and kids in carriers or with “walking legs.” Meet at the picnic tables near the boardwalk. 301-906-4700. 525 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime and crafts for ages 3-6 every Wednesday at the North Adams Public Library. 413-662-3133. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Stop by the Edwards Library on the first and third Wednesday of each month for playgroup. Storytime, games, and arts and crafts are featured. For kids 8 and under. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA.
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Storytime for ages 3-8 at the Mason Square Branch Library. Come every Wednesday for stories, songs, and crafts. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11am – STEM: The Berkshire Museum is offering a Parent/Child STEM Session the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Come explore science, technology, engineering, and math through books, hands-on activities, and play. Registration is required. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-7171 x21. 39 South Street. Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12pm – STORYTIME: The Community Network for Children offers a story hour every Wednesday at the Leverett Library. Children ages 5 and under can come for music, movement, books, and hands-on activities. Runs through June 30, 2016. May not run on holidays or in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 978-544-5157. 75 Montague Road. Leverett, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am & 2pm – FIBER ARTS:The Shakers are known for their beautiful and simple fiber crafts. Visit the Hancock Shaker Village any Wednesday to watch flax-processing and felted bead-making demonstrations by talented artisans who use traditional tools and techniques. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-0188. 1843 West Housatonic Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE for members and children 12 and under; $)
  • 11:00am-11:30am – STORYTIME Toddlers and their caregivers can come to the Forbes Library for Toddler Time, which includes stories, bubbles and songs with friends every Wednesday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – STORYTIME: Preschool storyhour every Wednesday at the Dickinson Memorial Library with Ruthanne Paulson includes stories, music, movement, crafts, and a snack. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – GYM GROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a Gym Group at Haskins Center for ages walking to 5 years old. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 12pm-1:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Every Wednesday there will be a support group for pregnant and postpartum mothers of children ages 0-5 at Square One’s Family Square, facilitated by MotherWoman. This group is a great place to talk about motherhood in a safe and confidential space. Childcare provided. 413-858-3122. 1095 Main Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:30pm-2pm – KINSHIP SUPPORT GROUP: Grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who are raising young relatives can attend a support group every third Wednesday Come to the group to learn about resources, meet others, share experiences, and seek support. Run by United Arc. 413-563-1981. 90 Federal Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Wednesday at Midwifery Care of Holyoke. Expectant mothers and moms of babies under age 1 can come discuss all aspects of motherhood. 413-534-2700. 230 Maple Street. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: Parents, caregivers, and grandparents are invited to attend a Parents Supporting Parents Support Group every Wednesday at the Salasin Center. 413-775-0010. 474 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm – NATURE STUDIES: Preschool-aged kids can attend Kidleidoscope every Wednesday at Natural Bridge State Park. This weekly program features forest-themed educational activities. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:30pm-2:30pm – STORYTIME/BILINGUAL: Little ones can come to the Brightwood Library every Wednesday for a bilingual story club (English and Spanish). Come sing, dance, play, hear stories in English and Spanish, and meet new friends. 413-263-6805. 359 Plainfield Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-4pm — CHESS CLUB: Come to the Bushnell-Sage Library to play chess with your friends and neighbors, and our chessmaster,Stephen Greenspan. Any level of experience, all ages, and beginners are welcome. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-4pm — CHESS/TEENS: Come play chess with your friends (and maybe make some new ones) at Teen Chess Wednesdays at the Lee Library. 413-243-0385. 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5:30pm – MAKER SPACE: Every Wednesday, Amherst Media hosts a drop-in group for makers of all ages and experience levels. Whether you’re working on computer programming, tech projects, knitting, other projects, or are just curious, stop by and check it out! 413-259-3300. 246 College Street. Amherst, MA.
  • 3:30pm-5pm CHESS : Come to the Chess Club at the East Longmeadow Public Library. Instruction and free play with our amazing instructor, Michael Gray. For Kindergarten-8th grade. Best for those with some chess knowledge. 413-525-5400, ext. 1511. 60 Center Square, East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-7:30pm — ARTISAN SKILLS/WEAVING: Help weave a blanket for the Youth Department at Emily Williston Memorial Library every Wednesday. The loom is set up, and kids can add to it anytime. 413-527-1031. 9 Park Street, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – STORY/CRAFT: Join the Cushman Library during the school year for thematic picture book/craft activities, snacks and opportunity to meet other parents while the kids get crafty together. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm — STEM: Wednesday Wizards meets the third Thursday of every month at the Greenfield Public Library. A guest presenter introduces a science concept with a book and activity to inspire creativity. 413-772-1544. LeVanway Room, 402 Main Street, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — COOKING: Learn to make simple, healthy, delicious recipes every Wednesday at The Bridge Family Resource Center. For all ages. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 5:30pm-7pm — PARENTING SKILLS: Fatherhood…the toughest job you’ll ever love! Come to Nurturing Fathers, a weekly group for all male caregivers sponsored by The Bridge Family Resource Center. Dinner and childcare provided. Registration required. 413-549-0297, ext. 6512. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm — KNITTING: Come to the Bushnell-Sage Library to Sit and Knit! All levels welcome. 413-229-7004. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm — CRAFTING: Sheep & Shawl yarn and fiber arts shop in South Deerfield offers Knit/Crochet/Spin Circles every Wednesday night. 413-397-3680. 265 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-7:15pm — STORYTIME: Kids ages 3-6 can listen to stories in their PJs at East Longmeadow Public Library‘s play-filled Pajama Storytime every Wednesday. 413-525-5400, ext. 1511. 60 Center Square, East Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:45pm-8:15pm — MUSIC STUDIES/SINGING: Kids and adults ages 13 and up can join Berkshire Sings! and learn to sing under the instruction of musician and teacher Robert Kelly at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center. Exercises in breathing, relaxation, and listening will be practiced. Songs include pop, folk, jazz standards, and show tunes. Opportunities to perform at community events. No auditions; everyone welcome. Registration requested. Drop-ins encouraged, but call ahead, as the group sometimes performs off-site during class time. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE for members and guests)
  • 7pm – WRITING/STORYTELLING: Adults and older students are invited to the Forbes Library‘s reading series, “The Modern Real and Surreal: Writers and Artists on Our Age,” which meets on the first Wednesday of each month. This series invites the community to examine the relationships among story, art, empathy, and insight in our modern age. 413-587-1014. Coolidge Museum, 20 West Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm — MUSIC/OPEN MIC:
    Come to the Palmer Historical & Cultural Center the first and second Wednesday of the month for Triple Creek Coffeehouse Open-Mic Night. All ages and levels of talent welcome in a friendly, supportive environment. 413-289-9295. 2072 Main Street. Three Rivers, MA. (FREE-WILL DONATION)
  • 7pm-8:30pm — MUSIC:
    Every second Thursday of the month, you’re invited to join other local community members in a drum circle. With a myriad of instruments we will draw on the rhythms of Brazilian, West African, and Latin American music. No experience necessary. Instruments provided but guests are welcome to bring any instruments they enjoy playing. Workshop 13. 13 Church Street, Ware, MA. ($)
  • 7pm-9pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group the fourth Wednesday of each month in Conference Room D at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. This is a bereavement group for infant and pregnancy loss. Please contact emptyarmsbereavement@gmail.com for more information. 413-387-0703. 30 Locust Street. Northampton, MA.
  • 7pm-9pm – PARENT SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group the second Wednesday of each month in the Owl and Raven Community Space. The group is for mothers and partners who have experienced the loss of a baby through miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Please email lexi.walters@gmail.com for more information. 413-387-0703. 2 Conz Street, Unit 42. Northampton, MA.
  • 7pm-9pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: The Creacion Latin Big Band has open practice sessions every first and third Wednesdays. Enjoy salsa, cha cha, mambo, and more, and enjoy food and drink from the beer garden, too. Audience members are invited to dance to their hearts’ content! 413-650-2670. Gateway City Arts, 92-114 Race Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 7:30pm-10:30pm – DANCE: Beginners and people of all skill levels can come dance the night away at Downtown Amherst Contra! This is a great way to have fun and meet new people in a low-pressure environment. Beginners can show up at 7 for a learning session. Best for teens and adults. Every Wednesday except the second Wednesday of each month. 99 Main Street. Amherst, MA. $

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday, February 25, 10am-11:45am
SHAKESPEARE
Shakespeare has had one of the longest lasting impacts of any author. His plays from the 16th and 17th century are still performed regularly and are often required reading in high school. Even if his works fell out of popularity he would still have made his mark on the English language, since he invented hundreds of words we use every day including “amazement,” “hint,” “mimic,” “lonely,” “generous,” and “secure.” Hear some of Shakespeare’s words in action at the Tina Packer Playhouse performance of Macbeth. A post-show discussion will follow. 413-637-1199 x131. 70 Kemble Street. Lenox, MA. ($)

Thursday, February 25, 3pm-4pm
COMIC BOOKS
Some teachers and parents are disappointed to find students choosing comic books over novels. Others argue that comic books, which do typically have words in them, can help instill a love of learning in kids who might otherwise not be interested. One thing is for certain, and that is that comic book fans have a lot to discuss. Each major American comic book tends to have several iterations, by different artists, writers, directors and television creators. Just ask “What is the best batman series?” and you’re bound to start a heated, yet fun, discussion. Readers ages 9 to 13 are invited to the Lee Library to discuss their favorite and least favorite comics. 413-243-0385. 100 Main St Lee, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 25, 3pm-5pm
BABYSITTING
How do you get a fussy baby to stop crying? As a babysitter, when should you call the parents and when should you try to solve conflicts yourself? Babysitting for the first time, kids run into tons of questions, some of which they can’t anticipate ahead of time. New and experienced babysitters between the ages of nine and sixteen are invited to discuss these and other questions at the Westfield Athenaeum. This two part course (on the 25th and 26th) will teach babysitters how to communicate with parents, and what to do in emergency situations. Child care is all about safety, not only of young children but also of the babysitter. Come with stories, questions, tips and ideas. Registration is required. Boys and Girls Activity Room. 6 Elm St, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 25, 4pm-6pm
NEEDLE-FELTING/INTERGENERATIONAL
Practice your needle-felting skills, or try needle-felting for the first time, and come home with an adorable felted owl. Needle felting is creative yet relaxing, and in this case, social too! This needle-felt class will take place at Sheep and Shawl. Ages 8 and up and their caregivers. Call 413-397-3680 to register. 265 Greenfield Road. South Deerfield, MA ($)

Thursday, February 25, 4:15pm
NEUROSCIENCE/PARENTING
Associate Professor of Psychology Amie A. Hane studies behavioral stress responses in children and infants. In her own words, her research shows that: “High quality maternal caregiving behavior is associated with reduced biological and behavioral stress.” To learn more about her research, you can attend her lecture, “From the Tide Pool to the Stars…and Back Again: Early Caregiving and Human Neurobehavioral Development,” at Williams College. A reception will follow the lecture. 413-597-4277. Wege Auditorium, Thompson Chemistry, Williams College. 880 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 25, 5pm
EDUCATION/PARENTING
Would a Montessori middle school be a good fit for your child? What sorts of opportunities does a Montessori learning environment offer? Come to the Edwards Public Library to hear middle school teacher Corey Hadden discuss the Montessori model as it relates to adolescent development. Schools such as the Montessori School of Northampton place a high emphasis not only on challenging academics, but also exploration of personal identity and connection to a larger community. 413-586-4538. 30 East Street, SOUTHAMPTON, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 25, 5pm-7pm
FINANCIAL LITERACY
Financial planning can be overwhelming. This is your opportunity to hear advice and information about credit scores, loans, budgets, and savings in a comfortable environment, among other interested community members. Ideally, these classes will not only help you to more easily meet your financial needs in the present, but also assist you in making informed financial decisions which will have a positive impact for you and your family in the future. This free class will be held at The Family Place. Dinner will be provided. Child care and transportation are available. Call 413-663-7588 to register. 61 Main Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 25, 5pm-8pm
CULINARY/SKILLSHARING
Since the existence of cheese predates recorded history, humans will probably never know who invented it. The emergence of cheese could have resulted from an accident involving milk left in the sun. Cheese has influenced New England history in surprising ways. Colonists in Rhode Island exchanged cheese for molasses from the West Indies, and used the molasses to make rum. Whether you want to trade, share, sell or just eat your homemade cheese, you can learn how to make mozzarella and colby at a free class in Russell. Participants will also learn how to make yogurt. This event is sponsored by the Southern Hilltowns Adult Education Center. Ron and Sandra are offering this class at their home, 655 Huntington Road (Rt 20) in Russell. (Next to Countryside Woodcraft).Please bring an apron. Huntington, MA (FREE)

Thursday, February 25, 6pm
ARTIST’S TALK
Visit Julie Heffernan’s exhibition, World Without End, at the Hillman-Jackson Gallery and follow up your visit by attending her artist’s talk. Heffernan paints with oil on canvas, and her works center around the themes of environmental catastrophe, society, and cycles of life. Fans of art and environmentalism should take this unique opportunity to see Heffernan’s work and hear her speak about her process, her inspiration, and herself. This talk will take place at the Daniel Arts Center at Bard’s College at Simon’s Rock. Open to the public. A reception will follow the talk. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE).

Thursday, February 25, 6pm-7:30pm
NEUROSCIENCE/PUBLIC HEALTH/PARENTING
The entire community is invited to a meeting of the Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition, with a presentation by local physician Dr. Ruth Potee. She earned her medical degree from Yale University and has served as a co-chair for the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and North Quabbin. In her presentation, “The Teenage Brain: Under Construction,” she will discuss the impact of drugs on the adolescent brain. There are striking neurological changes which emerge in the period of adolescence. These changes have a profound effect on emotions and decision making. Although individual development varies, the brain is typically not fully finished developing until around age twenty-five. During this period when connections between brain regions are forming, it is crucial to encourage healthy behaviors to aid, rather than hinder, growth. Parents, teens, business leaders, community members, faith leaders, and anyone invested in teenage development is encouraged to attend. Easthampton High School Auditorium, 70 Williston Ave, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 26, 6:30pm
ICE FISHING
How thick does ice have to be for you to walk on it safely? How can you cut a hole in ice for fishing? These are a few of the questions Allen Butler will address in his “Basic Ice Fishing” class at the Pelham Library. He will outline all the important tips for safety, including what to wear, and tell you about what kinds of fish you can catch while ice fishing. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham MA. (FREE)

Thursday, February 25, 7:30pm
STORYTELLING/PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT
Relax and listen to true tales told live without notes at Valley Voices Story Slam, sponsored by the Academy of Music Theatre and New England Public Radio. Storytelling is a part of every culture and creates a unique shared experience that is uncommon in modern times. The audience picks the winner. This evening’s theme is “Strangers.” 413-584-9032. The Northampton Brewery, 11 Brewster Court, Northampton, MA. (<$)

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

  • 9:30am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 18 months through 3 years and their caregivers may participate in the Toddler Steps playgroup which meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-10:30am – STORYTIME: On Thursdays, young children and their caregivers can enjoy building early literacy skills at Richmond Reads, a weekly group sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Richmond Library, 1831 State Road, Richmond, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – STORYTIME: Storytime every Thursday at the Dalton Free Public Library. There will be stories, snacks, and a craft. 413-684-6112. 462 Main Street. Dalton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a support group for parents with infants every Thursday Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup every Thursday in Goshen Town Hall. There will be storytime, crafts, projects, and more. 42 Main Street. Goshen, MA.
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP Add some playtime, socializing, and song to your morning at Sing N Play each Thursday. Open to young children and their caregivers, and sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Bushnell-Sage Library, 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MUSIC: The Jones Library will offer a preschool storytime every Thursday. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: No child is too young to benefit from having a story read to him or her! Listening to a read-aloud story allows children to encounter new sounds and vocabulary, teaches them how to use a book, and introduces ideas about how stories are created. Share the joy of reading with your child at the Lenox Library‘s storytime every Thursday morning. 413-637-0197. 18 Main Street, Lenox, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:15am – STORYTIME: Storytime for toddlers (ages 2-5) every Thursday at the Ramsdell Library. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street. Housatonic, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME: Join the Emily Williston Memorial Library for storytime every Thursday! There will be snacks, stories, and crafts. 413-529-1605. 9 Park Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11am — STORYTIME: The Lee Library offers a parent/child program for children ages 2 ½ -5 every Thursday. 413-243-0385. Children’s Room, 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am — STEM: South Berkshire Kids
    celebrates Science! Technology! Engineering! and Math! through stories, demonstrations, songs, and tabletop activities at the Lee Library the first Thursday of each month. For ages 2-5. 413-464-5095. Children’s Room, 100 Main Street, Lee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12:30pm – PLAY GROUP: Children birth – 5 years old are welcome to attend a neighborhood playgroup at Sixteen Acres Library. Enjoy stories, fingerplays, a craft and playtime. Adult must accompany and consistently supervise children, siblings welcome. 413-263-6858. 1187 Parker Street, Springfield MA. (FREE)
  • 10:45am-11:45am – PARENTING SKILLS/SUPPORT: Would you like to meet other parents in the area and share your parenting triumphs and challenges? Would you enjoy learning sound parenting advice from a trusted source? Check out Sips & Tips, a parenting group that meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:45am-12pm – NUTRITION & CULINARY ARTS: Children ages 2.5-5 years and their caregivers are invited to Kids’ Kitchen, a fun cooking group that meets on Thursdays. Children who participate in meal preparation often show greater tolerance for a variety of foods and healthier eating habits than children who do not. The focus will be on learning basic food prep techniques and making healthy choices for everyday meals. Sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – PARENTING SUPPORT: Mothers, fathers, grandparents, and all others providing care for a child age 0-9 months are invited to Welcome Baby, a support group that meets on Thursdays, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Learn how to address the needs of infants and yourself, and address feeding concerns and other topics. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-12:30pm – GYM GROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a Gym Group at the Haskins Center for ages walking to 5 years old. 413-664-4821. 210 State St., North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm & 5pm – INTERGENERATIONAL SKILL SHARING: Dottie’s Coffee Lounge hosts two knitting groups most Thursdays. The 3pm group is open to all levels, and is led by Kay, who spins her own wool. The 5pm group, led by Caitlin, focuses on teaching and practicing the fundamentals of knitting, but all levels and projects are welcome. 413-443-1792. 444 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:30am-1:30pm – JOB SKILLS: Do you need help finding a job? Do you need assistance in creating or revising a resume and/or with interview skills? The Amherst Survival Center provides support during weekly sessions. And you can also join for lunch between 12pm and 1pm! You can ride the #33 bus right to the door. The Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Rd., North Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 12:15pm – FINE ARTS: Visit the Springfield Museums‘ Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts for their popular Thursday Museums a la Carte lectures, featuring presentations on a variety of fine art-related topics! Visitors are welcome to bring a lunch; coffee and cookies will be provided. Intended for older students and adults. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 800-625-7738. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $)
  • 12:30pm-2:30pm – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every third Thursday at Scantic Valley YMCA. Mothers of babies 12 months and under can come talk about motherhood at this monthly program. 413-583-3527. 45 Post Office Park. Wilbraham, MA. (FREE)
  • 1:00pm-3:00pm – PLAYGROUP: Too old for tummy time? Too young for toddler time? Drop into this fun social time for babies at Forbes Library! 413-587-1011. Community Room, Forbes Library, 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 2pm-4pm – KNITTING: Knitting provides an excellent base for intergenerational skill sharing every Thursday. Bring your current project or one you’ve been meaning to start! All levels of knitters are welcome at this Thursday knitting circle, hosted at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge. 413-443-1792. 444 North Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 2:30pm-4:30pm – ARTS & CRAFTS: The Hatfield Public Library holds a weekly Crafting Club for ages 5 and up every Thursday! Come to the library and get creative at this fun program. 413-247-9097. 39 Main Street. Hatfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5pm – STEAM: Kids can attend a STEAM program at the Greenfield Public Library on the third Thursday of each month. A guest presenter will cover either science, technology, engineering, art, or math using a book. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm — LEGOS: Kids ages 9-15 can use their creativity and engineering skills during LEGO Club every Thursday at the West Springfield Public Library. 413-736-4561. 511 Main Street, West Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-4:45pm – MINECRAFT: Tweens and teens can attend Minecraft Club at the Indian Orchard Branch Library every Thursday. Come make new friends and trade Minecraft tips and tricks! 413-263-6846. 44 Oak Street. Indian Orchard, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:30pm-5pm – CHESS: Every second and fourth Thursday, kids are invited to the Mason Library for chess. There will be no instruction provided, so this event is best for kids who already have an understanding of the game. This is a great place to come play with peers, make new friends, and improve your chess skills in a relaxed and supportive environment. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5pm – STORYTIME: The Hubbard Library is offering a storytime for students ages 5-8. Every Thursday. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — SERVICE LEARNING/SOCIAL JUSTICE//TEENS: At PeaceJam, teens can join their peers to study the work of 13 Nobel Peace Laureates then develop service learning projects that address the issues they care about. The group meets every Thursday at The Bridge Family Resource Center. For ages 14 and up. 413-549-0297, ext. 6512. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-8pm – GAMES/LEGOS: Families can have fun every Thursday at Gaylord Memorial Library‘s game and LEGO night! Stop by for board games, puzzles, LEGOs, and more. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30-6pm – COMMUNITY MEAL/MOVIE: The Amherst Survival Center serves a free community meal every Thursday and screens a film for the community to enjoy together. Bring your family and come enjoy an evening with your community while learning about the work of the ASC! 413-549-3968. 138 Sunderland Road. North Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4:30pm – AFTERSCHOOL & YO-YO: Not many toys can boast over 2,500 years of use worldwide, but the yo-yo has enjoyed consistent use in hundreds of cultures for nearly three millenia. The popular Northampton education-based store A to Z hosts Yo-Yo School three times a week inside their store, and their teachers are true masters. Open to all ages, although older elementary children often have the motor skills and coordination needed for it to be a bit easier to learn. Read more about Yo-Yo school on Hilltown Families. Call 413-586-1611. 57 King St., Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-6:30pm – LEGO: Kids ages 6 and up can have fun and get creative with LEGOs at the Mason Square Branch Library‘s LEGO Club every Thursday. Call to sign up. 413-263-6853. 765 State Street. Springfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-8pm — MUSEUM ADVENTURES/ART: The Williams College Museum of Art
    is open late every Thursday. Bring the family for some after-work adventures! 413-597-2429. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Suite 2, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm – PARENTING & CLIMATE CHANGE: Mothers Out Front is a group of “mothers and others” who are concerned about climate change and passionate about creating a cleaner energy future for future generations. Learn more about the group’s work and meet other parents with whom to share your stories, hopes, and fears at their monthly climate support gatherings, held every 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP via the MOF site. Sunderland, MA (Tuesdays) and Florence, MA (Thursdays). (FREE)
  • 6pm-7pm – LEGOS: The Family Resource Center is offering a LEGO group for ages 4-12 the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. 413-664-4821. North Adams Library, 4th Floor. 74 Church Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8pm – KNITTING: Spruce up your knitting skills and spend time with community members of all ages at the Dickinson Memorial Library‘s knitting group every Thursday evening. All skill levels are welcome. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm – GAMES: There will be a family game night the third Thursday of each month at Montague Common Hall. Spend quality time playing games with family and friends. 34 Main Street. Montague, MA. (FREE/DONATION)
  • 6:30pm-8:00pm – PARENTING: Parents of transgender, gender nonconforming, or questioning children, teenagers, or adults are invited to participate in TransParents, a support group that meets on the first Thursday of every month (except Labor Day). 413-695-7686. Holyoke, MA. (FREE)
  • 6:30pm-8:30pm – TRIVIA: Display your trivia knowledge the first Thursday of each month at the Jones Library‘s trivia night! There will be two rounds of 15 questions and you can either come with a team or form one at the library (teams must be smaller than 5). There will also be prizes and refreshments. Intended for older students and adults. 413-259-3090. 43 Amity Street. Amherst, MA. (DONATION $)
  • 7pm-7:30pm – STORYTIME: The Hubbard Library will have a “Tuck Me In” storytime for ages 3-7 the first Thursday of each month. Kids can come to the library in pajamas and enjoy this bedtime-themed storytime. Registration is required. 413-583-5646. 24 Center Street. Ludlow, MA. (FREE)
  • 7pm-9pm — KNITTING: Knitting Night happens at Makers’ Mill every Thursday. Free needles and hooks available for check out and discounted yarn. Bring a work in progress or start something new while making new friends. Open to all. 413-749-2073. 73 Main Street, North Adams, MA.(FREE)

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday, February 26, 10:30am-11:30am
NATURE STUDIES/ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all? We’re not really asking about mealtimes; this is the sound of the barred owl’s call! How many types of owls live in Western Massachusetts? Can we find them in their tree roosts? What other owl signs might we hear on our hikes and in our own neighborhoods and yards? Learn more about these awesome 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 26, 10:45am-11:45am
STEM/INTERGENERATIONAL
How do you use “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math” in your everyday life? Perhaps your job requires you to have technical knowledge of computers. Keeping a budget requires mathematics, and cooking involves chemical reactions. If you’ve ever fixed a problem with your car, you can understand the importance of engineering. Show your kids how STEM concepts are everywhere, and have fun, with a hands on STEM activity at the Bushnell-Sage Library. 413- 229-7004. For children aged 2 to 5 and their caregivers. 48 Main Street, Sheffield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, February 26, 1pm-4pm
CULTURAL AWARENESS
When people want to learn about a topic, they often turn to the library and find a book. But there’s one problem with books– as information-filled as they are, they can’t always answer your questions! Williams College presents a unique opportunity to not only learn from books, but to have them answer your questions, too! The 2016 Human Library is, as its name implies, made up not of actual books but of human books – human beings whose unique life experiences make up volumes and volumes of information. The Human Library offers nearly forty different human books who can be checked out for periods of up to half an hour.The participants in the Human Library have been selected based upon their life experiences and/or the context in which their lives take place, and the purpose of the event is to support the community in building a greater understanding of one another, and of what it means to identify as something (“woman of color,” “graduate student,” or “gay man,” for example). Broaden your perspective by chatting with some books! 413-597-4277. Paresky Student Center. 39 Chapin Hall Drive Williamstown, MA.

Friday, February 26, 4pm
BLACK HISTORY
In Aldon Morris’ recent work, The Scholar Denied, he recounts the history of psychology, emphasizing the role W.E.B. Du Bois played in the founding of this discipline. Previous narratives, Morris claims, give undue credit to Robert E. Park and Booker T. Washington, overlooking the work of Du Bois. In his lecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Morris will discuss his research, and copies of The Scholar Denied will be available for purchase and signing. Refreshments will be served. 413- 545-0111. Student Union Ballroom. 280 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA. (FREE).

Friday, February 26, 7pm
THEATER
Witness the final result of Bard College student Naida West’s thesis project while learning about an ethically charged political issue: solitary confinement. West’s entirely student-run play, Nowhere Land, explores the pervasive use of solitary confinement in the US legal system. West pays particular attention to the damaging impact this practice has on LGBT people and prisoners with a pre-existing mental illness. This performance is bound to challenge beliefs through the presentation of multiple perspectives. The performance will take place in the Daniels Art Center at Bard’s College at Simon’s Rock. Open to the public. Great Barrington, MA. (FREE).

Friday, February 26, 8pm
ASTRONOMY
Williams College has reinstated its planetarium series this Winter and Spring! Families are invited to experience the wonders of our universe at the Milham Planetarium located inside the Old Hopkins Observatory. Astronomy students at the college will host free shows for the public on Friday evenings at 8pm on February 26th, March 4, 11, April 8, 15, 22, 29, May 6 and 13. The Hopkins Observatory, built in 1836-38 by the first professor of astronomy at Williams College, Albert Hopkins, is the oldest extant observatory in the United States. Shows will last about 50 minutes. For reservations (recommended) contact Michele Rech at 413-597-2188 or email mcr4@williams.edu. Others will be admitted as space permits. Large groups should call for special appointments. planetarium patrons share parking with the Williams College Museum of Art. A campus map showing the Hopkins Observatory’s location can be found on the Campus Map. 829 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

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

  • 9am-10:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Community Network for Children hosts a playgroup for newborns through preschool-aged children with their caregivers at the Shutesbury Elementary School every Friday through June 30, 2016. It may not run on school holidays and in inclement weather; please call ahead to check. 413-259-1212. 23 West Pelham Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am – WRITING: The Edwards Public Library‘s Writing Group meets every Friday. Older students with a passion for writing of any style can attend this supportive intergenerational group. 413-527-9480. 30 East Street. Southampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can play, learn, and discover at a weekly program every Friday at the Becket Washington School. 413-655-0146. 12 Maple Street. Becket, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday through May 2016 for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Cummington Family Center is holding a playgroup every Wednesday and Friday through May 2016. Young kids can come play and make friends. Takes place in old Berkshire Trail Elementary School. 2 Main Street. Cummington, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Frontier Regional CFCE is offering a playgroup for kids ages 5 and under every Tuesday and Friday at Sunderland Elementary School through June 10, 2016. Follows Sunderland school schedule. 413-665-8928. 1 Swampfield Drive. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: There will be a weekly playgroup every Friday at Whole Children for children ages 5 and under. 413-585-8010. 41 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-12pm — PLAYGROUP: Children ages 0-5 and their parents are invited to a playgroup at the Belchertown Family Center every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning. 413-835-5201. 720 Franklin Street, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup/storytime every Friday at Anne T. Dunphy School. 1 Petticoat Hill Road. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – PLAYGROUP: Childcare of the Berkshires, Inc. holds a playgroup every Friday at the playground on Narragansett Avenue. 413-664-4821. Narragansett Avenue. Lanesborough, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am & 2pm – GEOLOGY: Learn about the fascinating geology of Natural Bridge State Park at their Marvelous Marble Tour every Friday at 10am & 2pm. Join a park interpreter for an easy walk around the park exploring its geologic history and the remains of the 19th- and 20th-century marble quarry that once operated on the grounds. All ages will enjoy exploring the park and learning some interesting local geology. 413-663-6392. McCauley Road. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PLAYGROUP: Child Care of the Berkshires, Inc. is offering a free baby group for babies and caretakers at the Williamstown Youth Center the first Friday of every month. 413-663-6593. School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – PRENATAL SUPPORT: Exercise and emotional support are both important components of a healthy pregnancy. Get some of both at a walk and talk group that allows pregnant women to gather, support each other, and learn together. Each session begins with a walk and ends with a sit-down talk about topics such as nutrition, health, and infant care. This group is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Childcare is provided. 413-644-0104 x 1159. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am — BABY & ME/PLAYGROUP Pittsfield CFCE hosts an interactive Baby & Me Playgroup for parents with babies ages 1 and under each Friday. Explore and connect with others, and learn from guest speakers. Pre-registration required. 413-441-0974. 480 West Street. Pittsfield, MA (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Drop-in time at the Haskins Center every Friday. Come play and make friends every week. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the Community Action Family Center. Expectant mothers and moms of infants can attend this group to discuss adjustment to motherhood. Childcare provided; babies in arms welcome. 413-387-0703. 220 Russell Street. Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: There will be a playgroup every Friday at the Hilltown Family Center. 413-667-2203. 9 Russell Road. Huntington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – MOTHER SUPPORT GROUP: There will be a MotherWoman support group every Friday at the MotherWoman Office. Expectant mothers and moms of infants through preschoolers can attend this group to discuss all aspects of motherhood. Childcare provided for ages 4 and under. 413-256-1145. 1200 North Pleasant Street. Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12noon – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for preschool-age Hilltown children at the Chesterfield Community Center the first and third Friday of each month with free play, toys, songs, stories, crafts, and a free book. 413-296-9201. Chesterfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Incorporate much-needed physical activity into your child’s day by participating in Skip & Dip, a high-energy playgroup sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. This group, which meets on Fridays, starts with an hour of playtime in the gym with assorted toys and equipment, followed by an hour of swimming in the pool. 413-644-0104. Berkshire South Regional Community Center, 15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Every Friday is Bounce and Rhyme Storytime at the Monson Free Library! Kids 2 ½ and younger can come enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes. 413-267-3866. 2 High Street. Monson, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – MOVEMENT: The Chicopee Public Library holds a weekly Music and Movement program for kids ages 5 and under every Friday. Come have fun moving, singing, and dancing. 413-594-1800. 449 Front Street. Chicopee, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Families can attend the “Family Frolic Storytime” every Friday at Gaylord Memorial Library! Enjoy stories, musical plays, and crafts. 413-538-5047. 47 College Street. South Hadley, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – MUSIC & PLAYGROUP: Children ages 2-5 with their caregivers are invited to the Mason Library‘s Sing N Play group every Friday. Please register in advance for one 4-week session. New sessions begin each month. 413-528-2403. 231 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – STORYTIME/ART/MUSIC Toddlers ages 2-5 with their caregivers are invited to the Ramsdell Library every Friday for the “Time for Tots” group. This hour of fun will include stories, songs, art, and movement. 413-274-3738. 1087 Main Street, Housatonic, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-12noon — PLAYGROUP: Socialize with other parents while your child plays at the Infant & Toddler Playgroup at The Bridge Family Resource Center every Friday. Light breakfast served. For kids ages 0-3 and their caregivers. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12pm – STORYTIME: Preschool Story Time on the first Friday of every month through the end of June 2016 at the Cushman Library. Stories, coloring, crafts, songs, activities, snacks, and more. 413-648-5402. 28 Church Street. Bernardston, MA. (FREE)
  • 11:00am – STORYTIME: The Sunderland Public Library’s Head of Youth Services, Kelly Daniels Baker, invites children ages 3-5 and their families to a preschool storytime. Includes stories, songs, finger plays, and crafts. Sunderland Public Library, 20 School St., Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-11:30am – MUSEUM-BASED PLAY: Visit the Berkshire Museum for WeeMuse Adventures, a weekly program every Friday that will feature songs, stories, scavenger hunts, playtime, and more. Intended audience is children 18 months – 3 years with a caregiver; siblings welcome. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. ($)
  • 11am-12:50pm – ICE SKATING: Want to teach a child how to ice skate but find it difficult to navigate the ice when it is so crowded? The Mullins Center on the UMass Amherst Campus offers a “just for families” skate (no college students) every Friday throughout the school year. You can borrow ice skates or bring your own. Skate rental is free with paid admission. Parents and caregivers skate free when accompanying children. Call to confirm: 413-545-2791, Mullins Center. 200 Commonwealth Ave., University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Amherst, MA (<$)
  • 12:30pm-2pm — PLAYGROUP/PARENTING SUPPORT: First-time parents with children ages 0-15 months are invited to the Welcome Baby drop-in group every Friday at Storrs Library. Enjoy reading, music, and interactive play provided by Pathways for Parents. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 1pm-3pm — CRAFTING: Sheep & Shawl yarn and fiber arts shop in South Deerfield, MA offers Knit/Crochet/Spin Circles every Friday afternoon. 413-397-3680. 265 Greenfield Rd., South Deerfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 3pm-5pm — TEENS: Get together with other teens at the Teen Lounge at Jones Library every Friday.
    413-259-3091. 43 Amity Street, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 3:15pm-4:15pm — MINECRAFT
    Kids in grades 2 and up can play Minecraft at the Storrs Library every Firday. Light snack served. Pre-registration requested. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT: Celebrate the end of the week with a movie that the whole family can enjoy at Family Movie NIght at The Bridge Family Resource Center every Friday. For all ages. 413-549-0297. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4pm-5:30pm — INCLUSION/GLBTTQQIA:
    The Bridge Family Resource Center offers a safe space for young people to be who they are, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity, every Friday at its GLBTTQQIA Youth Drop-In Time. 413-549-0297, ext. 6510. 101 University Drive Suite A3, Amherst, MA. (FREE)
  • 4-8pm — ART/ART STUDIES: Experience hands-on art-making for all ages as part of Free Second Fridays at the Smith College Museum of Art. Come with Open Eyes and join a guided gallery conversation exploring a different art object each month. Light refreshments. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace, Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 5pm-8pm – COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: The first Friday of each month, First Friday Greenfield takes place downtown. Stores and restaurants will be open late, and there will be music, activities, art shows, and more. Support local businesses and explore everything Greenfield has to offer at this fun monthly event. Downtown. Greenfield, MA.
  • 5pm-8pm — OUTDOOR ADVENTURES/TUBING: No sledding hill nearby? Enjoy tubing at Ski Butternut‘s eight-lane tubing park every Friday night. Ticket covers use of a tube and the tubing lift for two hours. One person per tube. 413-528-2000. 380 State Road, Great Barrington, MA. ($)
  • 5:30pm-8pm – GAMES: Game night happens at A2Z Science and Learning Store. Stop by on a Friday night to meet up with others and try out new games. Suitable for older children and teens. Ongoing. 413-586-1611. 57 King Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 6pm-8:30pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Parents/caregivers can drop off kids ages 3-12 at Berkshire South Regional Community Center while you enjoy date night every Friday! Kids will enjoy swimming, activities, pizza, and stories. Cost includes pizza dinner. Reservations required at least 48 hours in advance. 413-528-2810. 15 Crissey Road. Great Barrington, MA. ($)
  • 7pm-9pm — COMMUNITY CELEBRATION/DRUM CIRCLE: Join your neighbors for a musical celebration of life, love, and community at the One Love Community Drum Circle at Berkcirque the second Friday of each month. Bring your hand drums, percussion instruments, hula hoops, coin skirts, and dance shoes, if you have them. There will be an hour of drumming and dancing, followed by a short prayer and sharing, then more drumming. A drug- and alcohol-free event. 115 Gas House Lane, Great Barrington, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION <$)
  • 7:30pm – ASTRONOMY: Have you ever learned about an eclipse, comet, meteor shower, or other celestial event after it happened? Don’t miss out on another one! The “Stars over Springfield” observatory series invites the public to learn about and enjoy the night sky with the help of the Springfield Science Museum‘s large rooftop telescope on the first Friday of every month. There will be a short talk on an astronomy-related topic, followed by opportunities to view celestial objects of interest. These programs are best suited for families with children ages 8 and up, although younger children are also welcome. In case of clouds or rain, a planetarium show will replace the outdoor viewing. Borrow a free museum pass from the library. 413-263-6800 x 318. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA. (< $)
  • 8pm – TALENT SHOW: The first Friday of every month, the Valley Talent Showcase takes place at Gateway City Arts. Come watch local bands, musicians, dancers, and more perform on stage, or sign up to participate and gain experience performing onstage for an audience. This is a great chance to see some talented local groups perform or to get your name out there. 413-650-2670. 92-114 Race Street. Holyoke, MA. (< $)

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

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