Suggested Events for February 27th-March 4th, 2016

Hilltown Families List of Weekly Suggested Events

“Hilltown Families always offers such a complete listing of fun and educational events in the area for all ages… One of the great resources that make living in Western MA so family friendly. Thanks!” – Freja Joslin (Northampton, 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

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

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.

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

Open House Mar 5

Spring Street Preschool in Amherst is enrolling new students for September 2016! Open House on March 5th from 10am-12pm. Spring Street Preschool is a small school with both mixed aged and separate small group programming, individualized instruction, large art studio space, experienced and caring teachers, music program and outdoor play. Enrolling children from 2 yrs, 9 months – 5 years. Flexible schedule with hours from 8-5:30 and affordable tuition. Spring Street Preschool is independent and non- denominational, welcoming new families to their school community. Best kept secret in Amherst! To schedule a tour call 413-256-8442 or info@springstreetpreschool.org. For more info visit www.springstreetpreschool.org.

Mar 5

Independent Middle School Fair, Saturday, March 5th, 2-4pm. Find out about seven local schools with middle-school programs. Meet representatives from The Academy at Charlemont, The Bement School, The Center School, Four Winds School, Montessori School of Northampton, North Star, and Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School. The event will be held at Four Winds School, 54 French King Highway (Route 2), in Gill, MA, right off I91, exit 27. For more information please call 413-863-8055 or visit www.facebook.com/events/1507404762901618.

Mar 5

Join the Springfield Museums on Saturday, March 5 for their annual Dr. Seuss Birthday celebration! The fun runs from 10am-5pm, and features performances by Toe Jam Puppet Band and Magician Matt Roberts, read-alouds and hands-on art and science activities, plus appearances by the Cat in the Hat and Things 1 & 2, all included with Museum admission! Springfield Museums are located at 21 Edwards Street in Springfield, MA. For more information visit them online or call 413-263-6800.

Open House: Mar 5

Looking for a thoughtful approach to school? The Hartsbrook School offers a well-rounded academic program infused with plenty of outside time, a rich, hands-on curriculum, music and art in everyday learning, and a culture of compassion. These components are woven throughout the early childhood, elementary and high school programs, nurturing the creative spirit of each child. Learn more at their open house, 10am-12noon on Saturday, March 5th. Speak with current teachers and parents, visit classrooms and see student work. All ages are welcome! 193 Bay Road, Hadley 413-586-1908 www.hartsbrook.org.

Still time to apply for fall 2016. The Bement School founded in 1925 and located in Deerfield is a co-educational junior boarding and day school serving 220 students in kindergarten through grade 9. Bement’s rich, traditional curriculum motivates and challenges students with strong academics, a renowned fine arts program, and a diverse athletic program. Students participate in athletics and fine arts every day. The pervasive atmosphere at Bement is that of a family, learning and living together. Bement actively seeks an academically diverse, international, and multi-cultural student body. Applications are still being accepted for this coming fall. For information on how to apply, financial aid, or to arrange a visit to campus, call 413-774-4209 www.bement.org.

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 27-March 4, 2016

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

Donate Now Events Happening in the Hilltowns

Saturday, February 27th, 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 27, 10am
FAMILY FILM/ANIME
Welcome to the Space Show (not rated)is a family friendly movie, perfect for fans of anime and science fiction. In this film, a group of students go looking for their missing class pet and instead stumble upon a talking, alien dog. Watching this film provides a chance, particularly for fans of science fiction and animation, to compare American and Japanese films. Do both cultures have a similar approach to the making of kids’ movies? What are some universal emotions and experiences that are present in this film? Whether you and your kids are already fans of anime, or you want to explore the genre for the first time, this 2010 movie will give you a taste of modern Japanese cinema. This screening 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 27, 10am-12pm
SKILLSHARING/SEED SAVING
Want to grow your own vegetables or flowers this Spring? You can start prepping now. Meet local gardeners at the Gaylord Memorial Library in South Hadley. The organization is planning to open a seed lending library and wants your help, and input. Be a part of this growing community group while ideas are still being planted. The pioneer valley already has a rich seed saving culture. You can learn more about seed saving in this Hilltown Families post about self-sufficiency and nature based education through the act of saving seeds. There will be coffee, tea, and biscuits at this meeting. 413-538-5047. 47 College St, South Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 10am-12pm
ANIMAL TRACKING
Looking for signs like tracks, scat, dens, and nests is a fun and educational way to learn about the habits of wildlife living near you. Identifying nests together with your family can teach them a lot about the habits of each bird species, and can help them develop a greater awareness of the many animal signs present around them, even in winter. Bring your family members to the Canoe Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary for a two hour outdoor adventure in search of animal tracks. Open to families with children age eight and up. Registration is required through the Mass Audubon website. 413-637-0320. Holmes Rd, Pittsfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, February 27, 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 27, 10am-4pm
FIBER ARTS
Learn about Swedish culture and fashion through the skill of band weaving. Expert weaver Trish LaPointe will bring her small library of weaving books for those who want to explore more complex patterns than those covered in this program. Cost includes band heddle, shuttle, yarn, and charts for creating a key fob, as well as bookmark projects. Please also bring scissors, a comfortable belt, c-clamp, a shoelace, pencil and notebook, and a lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided. This class is limited to 10 participants and will take place at the Worthington Town Hall. Sign up at the Worthington Library. For more information, email Trish at trish@trishlapointe.com. 160 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA. ($$$)

Saturday, February 27, 10am-4pm
FOOD HISTORY
Interested in the history of food? Take a peak at the new exhibit in Northampton. Come see how people produced and sold food and how people cooked and ate it, through the years. The exhibition is curated by Barbara B. Blumenthal, a member of Historic Northampton’s Board of Trustees. Barbara was a museum guide and hearth cook at Historic Northampton in the 1980s and early 1990s. Her passion for local history and food history led her to poke around in our collections looking for tasty tidbits to share with the public. For more information, check out Historic Northampton. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (Admission with donation)

Saturday, February 27, 10:30am
LITERACY
From Cat in the Hat to The Lorax to Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Dr. Seuss’s books have enchanted generations of young readers. Celebrate the legendary author’s birthday with stories and skits at the Whately library. If you and your children want to learn more, plan a trip to the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield. 413-665-2170. S. White Dickinson Memorial Library, 202 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 10:30am
ORNITHOLOGY/CARPENTRY
Birdhouses of all shapes make nice decorations, but if you want to attract specific birds, you need to consider what they are looking for in a home! Bluebird houses are relatively simple and easy to make. They are rectangular with a large roof, and involve protective measures for keeping snakes and other creatures out. Learn more and build your own bluebird house at Great Falls discovery center. Registration is required. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 10:30am
FAMILY MUSIC: FOLK
Music has strong, undeniable ties to memory which we all experience in our daily lives. Listening to music as a family can help you build happy memories to keep for a lifetime. For the first installment of the Jones Library‘s Children’s Music Series, folk/country duo The Nields will perform their cross-generational tunes in the Woodbury Room. Over the twenty-four years that The Nields have played together, their music has served as a bridge between parents and children. 43 Amity St, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 10:30am-12:00pm
CULTURAL AWARENESS
At “Our Big World Culture Fest,” your child can participate in hands-on activities to learn about other cultures. Education will take place through games, stories, art and music with other community members. This event can help foster in your children an understanding that in this country and across the world, people live differently, and yet share important, universal similarities. Please call 413-664-4821 with any questions. Haskins Gym. 210 State Street. North Adams, MA (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 10:30am-12:30am
PHOTOGRAPHY
More people own cameras now than ever before. Social media paired with the pervasiveness of cameras has changed the way our culture preserves memories and interacts with them. But if you want to take high quality photographs, a camera on your phone will not suffice. Photographer Shawn Davis will be running a workshop at the Monson Free Library. He will teach visitors how to navigate their cameras’ many settings, and move beyond auto mode. Participants will discuss the creative decision making involved in photography, as well as the more objective concepts of exposure, ISO, shutter speed, aperture and white balance. With his help, you can capture your memories and beautiful images in a more informed way. The library will be closed for re-carpeting during this time but programming will still occur in the available space. 413-267-3866. 2 High St, Monson, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 11am
LIVE MUSIC/INTERGENERATIONAL
Zach Danzinger is a singer and guitarist who writes songs for children as well as adults. He studied jazz performance at Queens College, and jazz has clearly influenced his original songs. Zach will perform music for listeners of all ages at the Pelham Library. Tea and snacks will be put out at 11am, while the music will start at 12pm. Zach’s performances involve audience participation, so be ready to sing and clap along! 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road. Pelham, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 11:30am-1:30pm
STEAM//WALK
Science, nature, and art lovers are invited to the Meekins library to learn about the species of plant life which thrive in winter. A handout will be distributed to aid participants in learning to identify moss, lichen, and fungi on this winter walk. Susan Cornell will educate participants on the ways in which these plants affect us in our everyday lives. Meet at the Hayden room. Ages five and up and their caregivers. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams Street. Williamsburg, MA. (FREE).

Saturday, February 27, 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. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 2pm
RENEWABLE ENERGY
Climate change is a global problem, but you can fight it on a local scale. Representative Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington) will be giving a presentation on renewable energy legislation at the Sunderland Public Energy. This is your chance to get informed and involved in the discussion about the Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline. Come with questions and leave feeling more confident and knowledgeable about energy issues in your state. 413-665 2642. 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 2 pm
ART HISTORY
The Folly Cove Designers came together in 1941, emerging “out of the granite of Cape Ann,” as one designer put it. Members of the collective carved designs into linoleum, then printed the designs on fabric to sell as table linens, draperies, and clothing, acquiring a national reputation for excellence in block printing and for depicting their local environments with passion and humor. Join Folly Cove Designers expert and Bowdoin College professor Jennifer Scanlon, for her discussion on The Folly Cove Designers of Gloucester, Massachusetts. For more information, check out Historic Northampton . 413-584-6011. Damon Education Center, Historic Northampton, 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 2pm
FILM SCREENING:
Have you ever seen a “video essay?” This form of film is often as short as ten minutes in length or less, but can be much longer. Much like the written essay, video essays tend to be personal in nature and argue in favor a perspective or idea. With the emergence of Youtube and ubiquitous web cameras, nearly anyone with a computer can make a video essay. Williams College graduate Kevin B. Lee (English ’97) has achieved far reaching acclaim for his many video essays. He will screen several, including Transformers: The Premake. He will discuss the history of video essays and explain what he sees as the mission of this emerging genre. 413-458-5612. 50 Spring St, Williamstown, MA ($)

Saturday, February 27, 2pm-4pm
HOOLA HOOPING/HOOP MAKING
Join us at Berkcirque, the circus school of the Berkshires, for a day of skillsharing, exercise, and hands-on crafting. Hoop dance instructor Jess Kitch will co-teach a hoop making lesson and a hoop jam. Hoola hooping is much easier with a high quality hoop, and more fun when you can design the hoop yourself! All ages. 413-429-4215. 115 Gas House Lane. Great Barrington, MA (<$ to $)

Saturday, February 27, 4pm-6pm
BLACK HISTORY
Celebrate black achievers through art, poetry, essays, stories, music and quotes. Poet and artist Bob McNeil draws influence from the Beat poets and Dadaists in his writing. He also draw inspiration from the Negritude movement, a literary and philosophical movement initiated by francophone African thinkers in the 1930s. McNeil’s original performance will take viewers through the history of music including African Music, Negro Spirituals, the Blues, Ragtime, Jazz, Gospel Music, Boogie Woogie, Rhythm and Blues, Doo-Wop, Rock and Roll, Soul, Funk, Disco and Hip-Hop. Great Falls discovery center. 413-863-3221. 2 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 4pm-7pm
COMMUNITY DINNER/FAMILY MUSIC
Two activities which bring families and communities together, eating and listening to music, will be combined at the Northampton Parents Center’s family fun night. Share your favorite dish at the potluck supper, or if you’re aren’t able to make anything, simply dine with your neighbors and listen to “In The Nick of Time.” Nick Deysher’s all ages music makes educational topics fun for kids and adults. He writes songs about dinosaurs, outer space, numbers, animals, seasons, and foreign languages, setting kids’ imaginations in motion while they dance, sing, and learn. With a blend of genres (jazz, pop, reggae, funk) and a variety of lyrical topics, “In The Nick of Time” has something for everyone. In addition to free music and food, this family fun night will feature plenty of time for kids to do what they do best: play. 413-582-2636. 297 Main St, Northampton, MA (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 6pm-9pm
YO-YO CONTEST
Whether you’re a yo-yo expert or you just want to see how long you can last, you’re invited to enter the sixth annual yo-yo throwdown at Eastworks. People of all ages and ability levels can participate in the one minute freestyle contest! As this previous Hilltown Families post explains, the yo-yo is not only a fun toy, it demonstrates the principles of physics. This event is free for both participants and audience members. Revive a childhood pastime, work on your hand-eye coordination, and have a good time. 413-527-1000. 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 6:30pm talk, 8pm performance
BRAZILIAN SAMBA/CREOLE CARNIVAL
Dancing is one of the most intuitive and natural forms of exercise. Even babies will dance to the beat of songs on the radio. You can dance and learn about Creole culture at the UMass Fine Arts Center during the Creole Carnival. Musicians Emeline Michel and Bushy One String will talk about their music, their culture, and themselves. After the talk you will hear them in action. Emeline Michel’s performance will hopefully inspire her audiences to move, as she is an accomplished dancer as well as vocalist, songwriter and producer. Bushy One String’s music may prove that less is more, as he dazzles audiences on his one string guitar. 151 Presidents Dr. Amherst, Massachusetts. ($$. Five college, GCC, 17 and under <$)

Saturday, February 27, 7pm
THEATRE ARTS/POLITICS
Witness the final result of 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)

Saturday, February 27, 7pm
SPORTS: HOCKEY
Hockey fans of all ages are invited a watch the Springfield Falcons play the WBS Penguins at the Mass Mutual Center. A portion of the ticket sale proceeds support the West Springfield Parks and Recreation department. Wear your falcons gear, if you have it, or be sure to wear red and blue to show your community support. Tickets are available through the parks and recreation office: 413 -263-3284. 1277 Main St, Springfield, MA. ($$)

Saturday, February 27, 7pm-10pm
GAME NIGHT/TWEENS
Looking for a place to spend time with friends and maybe play pool, foosball, video games, ping pong, air hockey, or a little basketball? Kids in grades 6-8 are invited to SNL at the Springfield Jewish Community Center, a safe, chaperoned time for tweens. Snacks available for purchase. 413-739-4715 x322. 1160 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA. (<$)

Saturday, February 27, 7pm
FOLK MUSIC
In the tradition of Pete Seeger, the Ashfield Congregational Church will be throwing an all ages sing along night featuring local folk singers. Folk music has a rich history of drawing people together for a common cause. The term “folk music” borrows from the word “folklore.” This is not surprising considering that folk lyrics are often narrative. Bring friends and family to Ashfield and be ready to sing along. Wheelchair accessible. 413-625-2355. Ashfield Congregational Church at 429 Main Street. Ashfield, MA. (FREE)

Saturday, February 27, 7pm
MUSICAL THEATER/LITERATURE ON STAGE
Orlando. This play is based on a biographical parody of the same name, by Virginia Woolf about her companion and lover Vita Sackville-West, to whom it was dedicated. The 1928 novel was once described as Sackville-West’s brother as, “the longest and most charming love-letter in literature.” Smith College students invite you to see their theatrical interpretation of this classic, as they take you on a musical romp through time under the Big Top! Led by a rambunctious chorus, Orlando tells the story of a young nobleman who falls asleep one night and wakes up a woman. Come watch as Orlando chases after passionate love, a sense of unwavering identity, and the euphoria of being fully alive in every given moment. Student director J. Mehr Kaur ’16 explains that “The power of the play is in the scope of the ensemble – constantly fluid and unapologetically shattering our notions about identity. The story stops us in our tracks and opens us up to the possibility that we may be so much more than just our singular selves.” Performances will be held in the Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre at Smith College. 413-585-3220. Northampton, MA. ($)

Saturday, February 27, 7:30pm
COLLEGE THEATER/FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE
Fefu and Her Friends. Written by Cuban American playwright Maria Irene Fornes, Fefu and Her Friends has been recognized as a feminist play for its all-female cast, central ideas of gender roles, and its bold deviation from conventional stage presentation and audience involvement. Audiences are introduced to Stephanie (call her Fefu, please) and her seven female friends during an intimate country-house gathering. On the agenda: cocktails, discussions of love, sex, art, and philosophy; singing, kissing, hallucinations and even a water fight! The individual scenes highlight conflict in all of the women’s life thus illustrating a more communal feminist struggle. In this unique production, audiences are drawn into the unfolding action, which ponders the collective struggles of women in society. Performances will be held in the Rooke Theatre at Mount Holyoke College. 413-538-2000. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (<$)

Saturday, February 27, 7:30pm
COLLEGE THEATER/CONTEMPORARY
Love and Information. In the age of gadgets and modern technology, have we lost the reason for our communication: how to share our feelings, care for others, and love? Love and Information prompts us to see ourselves, our lives, our concerns and our longings in surprising new ways. This multi-faceted play offers something for all audiences, as the dazzling language draws out a story about humanity and connection. Every performance will be followed by a small group discussion moderated by members of the production team and UMass Theater students. This important piece allows audience members to explore their collective experience and interpretation of the material presented. Performance will be held in the Curtain Theater at the Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst Campus. 413-545-2511.151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$)

Saturday, February 27, 8pm
COLLEGE THEATER/METAPHYSICAL
Pullman Car Hiawatha. This one-act play by Thornton Wilder is set on a train traveling from New York to Chicago in December of 1930. When Harriet dies and conventional time is suspended, the only true measures of existence are life and death. The resulting metaphysical journey – with personified places, hours of the day, the weather, the planets, and supernatural beings – invites audiences to explore the concept of self and identity in a vast and enigmatic universe. Hampshire College Theatre is a student-run, faculty-advised learning-oriented and process-oriented program that allows students to present their theatrical work to the general public. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the box office beginning an hour before the show. Performance will be held in the Mainstage Theater in Emily Dickinson Hall at Hampshire College. 413-559-5824. 893 West Street, Amherst, MA. (DONATION)

Saturday, February 27, 9pm
MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ
What is your favorite musical genre? Has it been impacted by jazz or blues musicians? Musical genres tend to blend together as musicians draw influence from other groups; thus it is difficult if not impossible to talk about a single musical genre without recognizing how it fits into a broader historical context. Whether you are an avid listener of jazz already, or you are more familiar with the genres jazz has spun, celebrate black history at the Rendevous with a jazz performance and reception. Witness vocal talent in action as Kim Kalesti, who has been singing since the age of five, performs. 413-863-2866. 78 3rd Street. Turners Falls, MA. (DONATION)

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Sunday, February 28, 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 28, 10am-3pm
SNOWSHOE HIKE
Enjoy winter while it lasts! You, your family, and your riends can start Sundays off right with fresh air and exercise, followed by hot chocolate and conversation in the visitor’s center at Bartholomew’s Cobble. With snowshoes available for rent (on a first come first serve basis) you don’t have to own them or be experienced at using them. Challenge your body and mind by learning something new. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (Trustees Members FREE. Non Members <$)

Sunday, February 28, 11am
ROAD RACE
Athletes from across Massachusetts will participate in a 10-mile race in order to prepare for the upcoming Boston Marathon. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Whole Children in Hadley, an inclusive organization which seeks to empower all children, with an emphasis on enrichment programs for individuals with special needs. Get inspired by a slew of hard-working athletes and support a great local cause! The runners would love to have you in the cheering section. Or, you can register online to participate in this challenging, scenic race. The race will start at Amherst Regional High School. 21 Matoon St, Amherst, MA. (FUNDRAISER)

Sunday, February 28, 12:30pm-4:30pm
BIRDS OF PREY TALK/SWIMMING
Do your children miss swimming in the winter? Now is their chance to get some time in the pool at JFK Middle School. This family fun afternoon will also include a birds of prey presentation and a Bingo game with prizes! You and your children will meet a golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, turkey vulture, owl and more while learning about birds of prey. Golden eagles are rate in the Northeast, but some do live here. Keep an eye out next time you’re in the woods, and you just might spot one. Walk-ins are welcome at this event, but you can also register at the Northampton parks and recreation website. 100 Bridge Rd, Florence, MA. (<$)

Sunday, February 28, 1pm-2pm
DANCING/CULTURAL STUDIES: Does your child love to play with sticks? Does s/he love to dance and be active? If so, the new Border Morris Team at Whately Elementary School could be a great activity to try! Border Morris dancing is a team dance style that incorporates coordinated movements of sticks into the dance routines. It originated along the Wales-England border and was an especially popular winter pastime. No experience is necessary! This class is intended for girls and boys ages 9-13. Participants should wear sneakers and comfortable clothes. 413-626-0163. 273 Long Plain Road, Whately, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 28, 2pm
LOCAL TALENT
Before watching the Oscars, celebrate local talent at The Really Big Gong Show. This Academy of Music Theater showcase will feature myriad performers including dancers and musicians, with a range of instruments including guitar and fiddle. The local celebrity judge panel will provide added entertainment as they determine whether the performers will be gonged off the stage! What talents do you have? Would you be brave enough to perform at a gong show? 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA. (Adults $ Children <$)

Sunday, February 28, 2pm
COLLEGE THEATER/FEMINIST PERSPECTIVE
Fefu and Her Friends. Written by Cuban American playwright Maria Irene Fornes, Fefu and Her Friends has been recognized as a feminist play for its all-female cast, central ideas of gender roles, and its bold deviation from conventional stage presentation and audience involvement. Audiences are introduced to Stephanie (call her Fefu, please) and her seven female friends during an intimate country-house gathering. On the agenda: cocktails, discussions of love, sex, art, and philosophy; singing, kissing, hallucinations and even a water fight! The individual scenes highlight conflict in all of the women’s life thus illustrating a more communal feminist struggle. In this unique production, audiences are drawn into the unfolding action, which ponders the collective struggles of women in society. Performances will be held in the Rooke Theatre at Mount Holyoke College. 413-538-2000. 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA. (<$)

Sunday, February 28, 2pm-3pm
NEW ENGLAND HISTORY
In the early Americas, captive taking was one way in which Europeans and Native Americans became aware of each other’s cultures. Prisoners were taken for different reasons and to different ends. In 1704, French and Native allies raided the English settlement of Deerfield, capturing 112 Deerfield residents. Kevin Sweeney, Professor of American Studies and History at Amherst College, will discuss raiding and captive taking along the New England and New York borders between 1688 and 1748 as part of the winter lecture series at Historic Deerfield. Learn about the long term impact of raiding and capturing between British, French, and Native peoples. 413-775-7214. 80 Old Main Street, Deerfield, Massachusetts. (FREE)

Sunday, February 28, 2pm-4pm
SNOWSHOE AND YOGA
Enjoy a quick snowshoe walk around Bartholomew’s Cobble followed by a forty-five minute yoga session in the visitor’s center. The physical benefits of yoga, including increased flexibility and pain reduction, are rivaled only by the mental benefits of relaxation and a cleared mind. A chilly winter walk, alone or with loved ones, is sure to increase these benefits and leave you feeling ready to tackle the mental and physical challenges of the day. 413-298-3239 x3013. 105 Weatogue Road, Sheffield, MA. (Trustees Member <$ Non Member $)

Sunday, February 28, 3pm
LIVE THEATER SCREENING
Take a trip to the London theater without even leaving the state! The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Centerwill screen a live performance of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, featuring Rosalie Craig as Rosalind. Shakespeare-lovers will have a new interpretation to wrestle with, as director Polly Findlay has reimagined costumes, set, and even the characters in her modern retelling. Shakespeare’s cultural commentary and a crossdressing, subversive female character take on new meaning in a modern light. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle St, Great Barrington, MA. ($$)

Sunday, February 28, 4pm
FILM SCREENING: The Mike Brown Rebellion
The shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent lack of charges against police officer Darren Wilson has fueled national and international controversy, debate, and political protests. Amnesty International, a group which typically provides assistance outside of the United States, sent a team to Ferguson, Missouri, to investigate. This film’s footage of demonstrations and interviews with protesters provides a more in-depth account than shorter news segments. For that reason, screening this film at the Rendezvous provides a great opportunity to start a conversation within our community about the impact of community organizing. The film will also help viewers form their own opinions on policing, militarization, and effective resistance methods. 413-863-2866. 78 Third Street, Turners Falls, MA. (FREE)

Sunday, February 28, 4pm-6pm
FILM FESTIVAL/NEURODIVERSITY
Diversity in film and other forms of entertainment is paramount to individual self-esteem. When children and adults see positive portrayals of people in movies who look like them, have a similar background, or share personality traits, they see that they are important to the fabric of society. The Sprout Film Festival, hosted by Whole Children will showcase films about individuals with developmental differences. This screening will take place in Converse Hall, at Amherst College. 413-542-2000. 100 Boltwood Ave, Amherst, MA. (DONATION)

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday, February 29, 10am-11am
PARENTAL SUPPORT
Parents of children with developmental delays and other special needs are invited to gather at The Family Center of the Berkshires. Share anecdotes, resources, and strategies with parents who understand the joys and challenges of raising children with special needs. Special Needs Mass is one example of a web resource connecting families to organizations, recreational services, and even medical facilities speciailizing in care to children with special needs. The Family Center program is focused on parents of children ages birth to eight. Transportation and child care are available. Call 413-664-4821 to register for child care or transportation. 210 State Street, North Adams. (FREE)

Monday, February 29, 12pm-2pm
WRITING
Writers are welcome to gather in the Greenfield Public Library Levanway Meeting Room for a “writer’s lunch.” Bring a lunch and use this self-directed time to write freely on any topic. Writing is often a solitary activity, which can make it challenging for social writers. The presence of other people working hard is likely to motivate you. After the quiet writing time is over, introduce yourself to these local writers to exchange tips and prompts. 413-7721544. 402 Main St, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 29, 5pm
BLACK HISTORY
Black Girls Rock is a national organization which empowers black girls and black women through community building educational programs. This non profit organization puts together a yearly award ceremony on BET featuring activists, humanitarians, actresses, musicians and other accomplished women of color. This will be the second year that Westfield State University” hosts their own “Black Girls Rock” award ceremony, honoring women of color who are leaders in their community. This ceremony will take place in Scanlon Hall. 413-572-5300. Westfield State. 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 29, 5:30pm
LITERACY
For individuals with dyslexia, audiobooks are a great alternative or supplement to written texts. Some dyslexic adults and children enjoy graphic novels, while others find the pictures overwhelming. One thing that is certain to help dyslexic children is identifying their dyslexia and advocating for the assistance they need. Sally Shaywitz’s book, Overcoming Dyslexia, can help parents of dyslexic children improve their reading skills and boost their self-esteem. With an emphasis on success stories, Shaywitz explains why intelligent, even gifted people, read slowly. In this workshop, to take place in the Amherst Regional High School library, parents will discuss this book and the methods they use for helping their children. Please read the book ahead of time. 21 Matoon St, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 29, 5:30pm-6:30pm
AERIAL SUSPENSION YOGA
What is aerial suspension yoga? This form of yoga combines traditional (floor based) yoga poses with suspended yoga poses involving soft fabric swings. In addition to the benefits of traditional yoga, some people find that this method relieves pressure in the joints and especially in the spine. Join this class at Berkcirque to help improve your flexibility and strength. Register online. Space is limited to six participants. 413-429-4215. 115 Gas House Lane. Great Barrington, MA ($)

Monday, February 29, 6:15pm
FILM/HISTORY/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 2005 film La Noiraude, followed by the 2014 film Band De Filles / Girlhood. 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/or 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 present day and backwards in time to the eighteenth century. 413-458-5612. Images Cinema. 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 29, 6:30pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/MUSIC/UKULELE
The ukulele is one of the simplest instruments to play, with only three chords needed to play most songs. Join Julie Stepanek for a Ukulele Strum at the M.N. Spear Memorial Library. Bring your uke, or other instrument, or just come to sing along. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 29, 6:30pm-7:30pm
SENSORY PROCESSING/PARENTING
We all have sounds, sights, or textures that bother us: nails on a chalkboard, the sound of styrofoam squeaking, the texture of certain foods. But some children and adults become overwhelmed by their senses more often and easily than others. It is common for young children to have trouble with textures which adults find pleasurable, like sand between their toes or even just grass. Children need time to become familiar with sensory input. Meet other parents at the UMass Amherst student union for a discussion of sensory processing and the developing brain. This talk will cover the importance of play and ways that parents can handle difficult sensory scenarios with their child. Registration is required via the Office of Family Resources. 413-545-0111. 280 Hicks Way. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Monday, February 29, 6:45-8:15pm
MUSIC STUDIES/CULTURE
Do you like gospel music? How about South African, Syrian, Balkan and Georgian music?
The St. James Episcopal Church is providing community members with the rare opportunity to hear all of these genres in their “Greenfield Harmony Spring 2016” Monday music series. On February 29th, visitors will witness a workshop on Appalachian music. While music is played and enjoyed all across the globe, musical styles and instrumentation vary greatly. These differences can be an entryway for learning about diverse cultures. 413-773-3925. 8 Church St, Greenfield, MA. ($$$)

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

  • 9:30am-10:30am — PLAYGROUP : Weekly playgroup at Crosby Elementary School sponsored by Pittsfield CFCE. 413-441-0974. 517 West Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11am – STORYTIME & MUSIC: Families with young children are invited to the Spear Memorial Library every Monday for a “Tales & Tunes” program with Katie Tolles, sponsored by the Community Network for Children. 413-259-1213. 10 Cooleyville Road, Shutesbury, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Easthampton Family Center is open every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday for drop-in playgroup and activities for kids ages 5 and under. The Family Center follows the Easthampton Public Schools schedule. 413-527-5496. 43 Main Street. Easthampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP/MUSIC: Parent-child playgroup at the Pelham Library offers a story, snack, music, and fingerplays. “Music for Little Ones,” with Wendy Plummer, follows at 10:30am. Ages birth-5 years. 413-253-0657. 2 South Valley Road, Pelham, MA. (FREE)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Northampton Parents Center will be open Monday-Thursday from 9:30am-11:30am for playgroup, toys, books, activities, and more. Kids ages 5 and under and their caregivers can drop in to meet and play with others. 413-582-2636. 297 Main Street, Lower Level. Northampton, MA. (DONATION)
  • 9:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Children ages 3-5 and their caregivers can join the Play N Learn playgroup each Monday morning, sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. Advance registration required. 413-644-0104. 442 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am – KNITTING: The Sunderland Public Library has a knitting group that runs every Monday. The group is open to knitters of all levels and ages. Great intergenerational activity to do with young homeschoolers. 413-665-2642. 20 School Street. Sunderland, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11am – LITERACY: Young children can have fun with books and reading at Wee Read at the Worthington Library every Monday. 413-238-5565. 1 Huntington Road. Worthington, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: Playgroup for ages walking to 5 years every Monday at the Williamstown Youth Center. 413-458-5925. 66 School Street. Williamstown, MA. (FREE)
  • 10am-12pm – PLAYGROUP: Young children and their caregivers are invited to Gym Fun, a playgroup that incorporates lots of movement. This group meets on Mondays and is sponsored by Community Health Programs of Berkshire County. 413-644-0104. Town Hall, 21 State Line Rd., West Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am – STORYTIME: Kids can come to the Forbes Library for a fun storytime every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 10:30am-11:30am – PLAYGROUP: The Storrs Library offers a drop-in playgroup for kids ages 3 and under every Monday morning, ongoing. Come hear a story, sing songs, and enjoy free play. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street. Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12noon — PARENTING SUPPORT: Get out of the house and socialize with other moms and dads at the Baby and Me Group at Family Center of Northern Berkshire County every second Monday of the month. Share experiences, thoughts, and ideas. Each child receives a new board book on the first visit. For parents with children from infant to walking. 413-664-4821. 210 State Street, North Adams, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am-12:30pm – PLAYGROUP: Young kids can come to tummy time at the Forbes Library every Monday. 413-587-1011. 20 West Street. Northampton, MA. (FREE)
  • 11am – 4pm – STEM: The Berkshire Museum’s Spark!Lab is open for drop in play. In Spark!Lab, everyone is an inventor! Spark!Lab is a hands-on, creative laboratory that engages children and families in the process of innovation: try the variety of activities, from creating a wheeled vehicle to experimenting with percussion to assembling safe electrical circuits. Visitors of all ages can work together to combine skills and ideas to create inventions with real-world applications. 413-443-7171. Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, MA. (FREE with museum admission)
  • 1pm-2:30pm – 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, March 1, 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 10am-11am
LITERACY
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), children who are regularly read to at home end up performing better on a number of tasks in school, including counting, writing, and learning the alphabet. Story hours allow parents to take a break and provide children with the chance to hear another reading voice. They are also a way to associate reading with fun, due to the social aspect of these events. Bring your children aged 3 and under to the Greenfield Public Library for a story hour involving rhymes, puppets and animal sounds. This structured activity will be followed by informal visiting time. 413-772-1544. 402 Main St, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 1, 12pm-2pm
WRITING
Writers are welcome to gather in the Greenfield Public Library Levanway Meeting Room for a “writer’s lunch.” Bring a lunch and use this self-directed time to write freely on any topic. Writing is often a solitary activity, which can make it challenging for social writers. The presence of other people working hard is likely to motivate you. After the quiet writing time is over, introduce yourself to these local writers to exchange tips and prompts. 413-7721544. 402 Main St, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 1, 6pm
FILM SCREENING:THE PRINCESS BRIDE
Watch a classic family film, The Princess Bride, based on the 1973 novel of the same name by William Goldman. Kids and adults who love the film should also consider reading the book. You can use this screening as a launching off point to learn about the history of swordfighting. On Wednesday, March 2, martial arts expert Jeff Lord will teach audience members the specific names and history of sword fighting moves used in the scene where Inigo Montoya fights the man in black. Both events will take place at theGreenfield Public Library
413-772-1544. 402 Main Street Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Tuesday, March 1, 6:30pm registration, 7:30pm start time
NORDIC SKI RACE
In Nordic, or cross-country, skiing, the heel of the boot is not fixed to the ski as it is in alpine skiing, and the skis themselves are longer and narrower than downhill skis. Those interested in racing or watching Nordic ski racing can attend the Nordic Race Series at Notchview Nordic Ski Center. Throughout the season, there will be a mix of both classical and freestyle races, at both 5K and 10K distances. Participants will get a great workout and spectators can learn about Nordic race strategies and skiing techniques. 413-684-0148. Route 9, Windsor, MA. (<$ Members, $ Non-members)

Tuesday, March 1, 6:30pm
INTERIOR DESIGN/COLOR THEORY
What’s your favorite color? There may be no accounting for taste, and opinions on colors seem especially subjective. Still, being surrounded by colors you find pleasant can have a positive effect on your mood. There are some generally accepted color guidelines for interior design. At her presentation at the Dickinson Memorial Library, Kristin Nicholas can help you navigate decorative color decisions. 413-498-2455. 115 Main Street. Northfield, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 1, 7pm
TEEN VOLUNTEER WORK
Who gets to decide what programs libraries host? You could! Join the Teen Advisory Board at the Clapp Memorial Library in Belchertown and help guide the future of your library’s programming. This is a great way to meet up with friends while getting experience for resumes and college applications. 413-323-0417. 19 S Main St, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Tuesday, March 1, 7:30pm
COLLEGE THEATER/CONTEMPORARY:
Love and Information. In the age of gadgets and modern technology, have we lost the reason for our communication: how to share our feelings, care for others, and love? Love and Information prompts us to see ourselves, our lives, our concerns and our longings in surprising new ways. This multi-faceted play offers something for all audiences, as the dazzling language draws out a story about humanity and connection. Every performance will be followed by a small group discussion moderated by members of the production team and UMass Theater students. This important piece allows audience members to explore their collective experience and interpretation of the material presented. Performance will be held in the Curtain Theater at the Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst Campus. 413-545-2511.151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$)

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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, March 2, 2016

Wednesday, March 2, 10am-4pm
FOOD HISTORY
Interested in the history of food? Take a peak at the new exhibit in Northampton. Come see how people produced and sold food and how people cooked and ate it, through the years. The exhibition is curated by Barbara B. Blumenthal, a member of Historic Northampton’s Board of Trustees. Barbara was a museum guide and hearth cook at Historic Northampton in the 1980s and early 1990s. Her passion for local history and food history led her to poke around in our collections looking for tasty tidbits to share with the public. For more information, check out Historic Northampton. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (Admission with donation)

Wednesday, March 2, 12pm-2pm
WRITING
Writers are welcome to gather in the Greenfield Public Library Levanway Meeting Room for a “writer’s lunch.” Bring your own lunch and use this self-directed time to write freely on any topic. Writing is often a solitary activity, which can make it challenging for social writers. The presence of other people working hard is likely to motivate you. After the quiet writing time is over, introduce yourself to these local writers to exchange tips and prompts. 4413-7721544. 402 Main St, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 2, 6pm
HISTORY/SWORD FIGHTING
Learn about the history of sword fighting through a beloved family film and novel: The Princess Bride. Martial arts expert Jeff Lord will teach audience members the specific names and history of sword fighting moves used in the scene where Inigo Montoya fights the man in black. If you have never witnessed the iconic sword-fighting scene, come to a free screening the day before this presentation: on Tuesday, March 1st at 6pm. Both events will take place at theGreenfield Public Library. 413-772-1544. 402 Main Street. Greenfield, MA (FREE)

Wednesday, March 2, 6:30pm
HISTORY/ROADWAYS
The United States has more than 2.6 million miles of paved roads and highways. Roadways shape our landscapes and our daily lives. The history of local roads provides insight into our constantly evolving communities. Writer, editor, and filmmaker Barry Deitz will discuss the history of Route 91, at the Storrs Library. His talk will focus on the effect Route 91 had on the town of Longmeadow. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow St, Longmeadow, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 2, 6:30-8:00pm
INTERGENERATIONAL/MUSIC/UKULELE
The ukulele is one of the simplest instruments to play, with only three chords needed to play most songs. Whether you already play ukulele or you’ve never even picked one up before, you’re welcome to participate in this ukulele jam at the Goodwin Memorial Library. Expert ukulele player Joe Blumenthal will be there with his band “THE AEIOUkes.” Snacks will be provided and players are welcome to bring food. 413-584-7451. 50 Middle St, Hadley, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 2, 7pm
FILM/HISTORY/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 1965 French film Alphaville. 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 or 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 present day and backwards in time to the eighteenth century. Paresky Auditorium. Williams College. 880 Main Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 2, 7pm
FISHING
The Quabbin river is not only a beautiful place to walk, run, bike, and watch local wildlife. You can fish in the North Quabbin area if you know where to go. Fishing expert Allan Butler is well informed about saltwater and freshwater fishing, including ice fishing. He will teach participants techniques for fishing in the North Quabbin. Come to the Clapp Memorial Library to learn how. 413-323-0417. 19 S Main St, Belchertown, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 2, 7pm
READING: GRAPHIC NOVELS
Three talented cartoonists will show artwork and read from their books at this celebration of the art of graphic storytelling. Comic books were popularized in the United States during the 1930s. The term “graphic novel” emerged in the 1960s as a way of distinguishing the two genres. Whether you are mainly a fan of picture books, comics, or graphic novels, they all share in common the ability to show and to tell, drawing in avid fans of all ages. At the Coolidge Museum in the Forbes Libraryy ou will hear readings from James Strum (author of Market Day), Tillie Walden (I Love This Part) and James Lawson (Paleo: Tales of the Late Cretaceous). 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Wednesday, March 2, 7pm-8:10pm
ANIMATED SHORT FILM FESTIVAL
The first half of Amherst Cinema’s “Drawn Together” program, an animated short film festival, will focus on experimentation and character. What sort of advantages does animation allow filmmakers in creating a detailed character? What might be some drawbacks? These are questions you can entertain while viewing twelve short animated films. These films are not rated. 413-253-2547. 28 Amity St, Amherst, MA. ($)

Wednesday, March 2, 7:30pm
COLLEGE THEATER/CONTEMPORARY:
Love and Information. In the age of gadgets and modern technology, have we lost the reason for our communication: how to share our feelings, care for others, and love? Love and Information prompts us to see ourselves, our lives, our concerns and our longings in surprising new ways. This multi-faceted play offers something for all audiences, as the dazzling language draws out a story about humanity and connection. Every performance will be followed by a small group discussion moderated by members of the production team and UMass Theater students. This important piece allows audience members to explore their collective experience and interpretation of the material presented. Performance will be held in the Curtain Theater at the Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst Campus. 413-545-2511.151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, 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, March 3, 2016

Thursday, March 3, 10am-4pm
FOOD HISTORY
Interested in the history of food? Take a peak at the new exhibit in Northampton. Come see how people produced and sold food and how people cooked and ate it, through the years. The exhibition is curated by Barbara B. Blumenthal, a member of Historic Northampton’s Board of Trustees. Barbara was a museum guide and hearth cook at Historic Northampton in the 1980s and early 1990s. Her passion for local history and food history led her to poke around in our collections looking for tasty tidbits to share with the public. For more information, check out Historic Northampton. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (Admission with donation)

Thursday, March 3, 11am-12pm
AERIAL SUSPENSION YOGA
What is aerial suspension yoga? This form of yoga combines traditional (floor) yoga poses with suspended yoga poses involving swings made of soft fabric. In addition to the benefits of traditional yoga, this method relieves pressure in the joints and especially in the spine. Join this class at Berkcirque to help improve your flexibility and strength. Register online. Space is limited to six participants. 413-429-4215. 115 Gas House Lane. Great Barrington, MA ($)

Thursday, March 3, 12pm-2pm
WRITING
Writers are welcome to gather in the Greenfield Public Library Levanway Meeting Room for a “writer’s lunch.” Bring a lunch and use this self-directed time to write freely on any topic. Writing is often a solitary activity, which can make it challenging for social writers. The presence of other people working hard is likely to motivate you. After the quiet writing time is over, introduce yourself to these local writers to exchange tips and prompts. 413-7721544. 402 Main St, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 3, 3pm-5pm
DRAWING
The term “thumbnail sketch” simply refers to a small drawing. Artists, especially storyboard artists and graphic designers, use thumbnail sketches for a number of reasons. Thumbnails are usually drawn quickly, without as much care as a larger work. Drawing in this way is a little like brainstorming ideas; thumbnails allow artists to explore various directions and creations before committing to a more involved piece. Fourth to eighth grade aspiring artists, and their caregivers, can create a thumbnail sketchbook and explore their own creative brainstorming process. While you’re in The Clark Art Institute, check out the collection and see how your own ideas compare. All children must be accompanied by an adult. 413-458-2303 225 South St, Williamstown, MA. ($. Children under 18 free)

Thursday, March 3, 5pm-7pm
PARENTING GROUP
The origin of the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child,” is unknown. Some people have claimed it is an African proverb. Several African societies have proverbs which translate to a similar meaning. These proverbs argue that a child does not mature under the influence and care of a single household, and that parenting extends beyond biological caregivers to the entire community. Parents certainly benefit from the help, advice, and compassion of other parents. Meet at the Bridge Street School to meet and discuss with other parents of young children. Dinner and childcare provided free. Please RSVP and indicate if you need childcare. 413-587-1471. 2 Parsons St. Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 3, 4:15pm-5:30pm
ART TALK: PAINTING/CARTOON
Gouache is a 600 year old method of painting, similar to watercolor but with a higher ratio of pigment to water. Williams College professor of art, Laylah Ali, uses smale scale guache paintings in her work. She combines her small images into a cartoon strip format. She will be discussing her artwork in this lecture, “Relieving the Tedium: On my Attempts to Overthrow a Small Government and More Reflections from my Time as an Artist.” A reception will follow. Thompson Chemistry, 123 (Wege Auditorium) 47 Lab Campus Dr, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 3, 5pm-7pm
ART WALK/POETRY READING
As part of the Amherst Art Walk the Emily Dickinson Museum will be showcasing oil paintings, drawings, and sketches by local artist Nancy Meagher. Nancy Meagher draws inspiration from Emily Dickinson’s poetry when creating her artwork. The art exhibition will open at 5pm, followed by a poetry open mic from 6 to 7 (sign up at 5 to participate). Following the open mic there will be further readings by Lori Desrosiers, editor in chief of the Naugatuck River Review, and Nina Shallman, a student at Amherst College. Expand your knowledge of poetry with these modern readings, and reframe Emily Dickinson’s poetry in the context of the artwork her poetry has inspired. 413-542-8161. 280 Main St, Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 3, 5:30pm-7pm
PARENTING SUPPORT GROUP
Get together with other parents for the “Parent Self Care Club,” and discuss ways to take care of yourself in the midst of stressful responsibilities. Every Thursday at the Bridge Family Resource Center. Dinner will be served and childcare is available. Please call ahead to reserve child care. 413-549-0297 x 6512. 100 University Drive Suite A3. Amherst, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 3, 5:30pm-8pm
PARENTING SUPPORT
In her workshop, “No Senseless Behavior,” Jeanine Fitzgerald will provide caregivers with a new perspective on challenging behaviors, and offer methods for dealing with these behaviors in children. Her talk will focus on identifying children’s needs, and ways to meet those needs in order to resolve issues which lead to problematic behaviors. Meet other local parents at the Swift River Schooland share experiences in a non-judgmental environment. Dinner will be provided, followed by the talk from 6:30pm-8pm. Free child care will also be available. Please call 978-544-5157 to request child care. 201 Wendell Rd, New Salem, MA. (FREE)

Thursday, March 3, 6pm
CHILDRENS THEATER/MUSICAL
Shrek The Musical. Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation Film, this show is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure. Featuring all new songs, Shrek The Musical brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears. Shrek is an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got yourself a hilariously entertaining show sure to delight audiences of all ages. Ultimately, through adventure and humor, Shrek The Musical teaches us that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. The show is presented by J-ART and performances will be held in the Herbert M. Goldstein Auditorium at the Jewish Community Center (JCC). 413-739-4715. 1160 Dickinson Street, Springfield, MA. ($$)

Thursday, March 3, 7:30pm
MUSICAL THEATER/LITERATURE ON STAGE
Orlando. This play is based on a biographical parody of the same name, by Virginia Woolf about her companion and lover Vita Sackville-West, to whom it was dedicated. The 1928 novel was once described as Sackville-West’s brother as, “the longest and most charming love-letter in literature.” Smith College students invite you to see their theatrical interpretation of this classic, as they take you on a musical romp through time under the Big Top! Led by a rambunctious chorus, Orlando tells the story of a young nobleman who falls asleep one night and wakes up a woman. Come watch as Orlando chases after passionate love, a sense of unwavering identity, and the euphoria of being fully alive in every given moment. Student director J. Mehr Kaur ’16 explains that “The power of the play is in the scope of the ensemble – constantly fluid and unapologetically shattering our notions about identity. The story stops us in our tracks and opens us up to the possibility that we may be so much more than just our singular selves.” Performances will be held in the Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre at Smith College. 413-585-3220. Northampton, MA. ($)

Thursday, March 3, 7:30pm
COLLEGE THEATER/CONTEMPORARY
Love and Information. In the age of gadgets and modern technology, have we lost the reason for our communication: how to share our feelings, care for others, and love? Love and Information prompts us to see ourselves, our lives, our concerns and our longings in surprising new ways. This multi-faceted play offers something for all audiences, as the dazzling language draws out a story about humanity and connection. Every performance will be followed by a small group discussion moderated by members of the production team and UMass Theater students. This important piece allows audience members to explore their collective experience and interpretation of the material presented. Performance will be held in the Curtain Theater at the Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst Campus. 413-545-2511.151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$)

Thursday, March 3, 7:30pm-9pm
LITERATURE FESTIVAL
On March 3rd, Amherst College will kick off their three day LitFest with a talk from Angela Flournoy and Amherst College alumna Lauren Groff. Flourney has taught at several universities and her debut novel, The Turner House, reached acclaim as a New York Times notable book and a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Lauren Groff has written three novels: The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia and, Fates and Furies. This talk will be followed by a question and answer session. Aspiring writers can gain inspiration from these creative success stories, and ask questions about the writing process. Johnson Chapel at Amherst College. Open to the public. Quadrangle Drive, Amherst MA. (FREE)

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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)
  • 5:30pm-7pm — PARENTING SUPPORT GROUP: Get together with other parents for the “Parent Self Care Club,” and discuss ways to take care of yourself in the midst of stressful responsibilities. Every Thursday at the Bridge Family Resource Center. Dinner will be served and childcare is available. Please call ahead to reserve child care. 413-549-0297 x 6512. 100 University Drive Suite A3. Amherst, 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 TransformingParents, 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, March 4, 2016

Friday, March 4, 9am-9pm
LITERATURE FESTIVAL
Join students and community members at Amherst College for the second day of LitFest. This full day of literature talks will kick off at the Frost Library with a quick yet in-depth discussion of the book business and the publishing industry. At 11:30, Deborah Treisman will discuss modern fiction. Treisman has worked as fiction editor for The New Yorker since 2003. Then, round out the day with a presentation from author Michael Chabon. This event is unique in that attendees will hear from multiple viewpoints about the craft of writing, editing, publishing, and marketing. Come to think about books from many angles. Open to the public. Quadrangle Drive, Amherst MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 4, 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 an enduring impact on the English language. Shakespeare 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. ($)

Friday, March 4, 10:15am-11:15am
MUSEUM ADVENTURES/PARENTS/INFANTS
Are you a new parent who could use a little cultural exposure and social interaction? Bring your baby to the informal New Parents Gallery Talk at the Clark Art Institute. Best suited for parents with pre-toddlers. Strollers and front-carrying baby carriers allowed. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 4, 10am-4pm
FOOD HISTORY
Interested in the history of food? Take a peak at the new exhibit in Northampton. Come see how people produced and sold food and how people cooked and ate it, through the years. The exhibition is curated by Barbara B. Blumenthal, a member of Historic Northampton’s Board of Trustees. Barbara was a museum guide and hearth cook at Historic Northampton in the 1980s and early 1990s. Her passion for local history and food history led her to poke around in our collections looking for tasty tidbits to share with the public. For more information, check out Historic Northampton. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (Admission with donation)

Friday, March 4, 11am-5pm
MUSEUM ADVENTURES
North Adams residents: One of the world’s premier centers for making and showing the best modern art is right in your backyard, and today it’s free. See something new in one of the temporary exhibitions or revisit your favorite permanent works at MASS MoCA on the 4th of the month, when it’s free for 01247 residents. Bring an official ID or utility bill with your address on it. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 4, 12pm-2pm
WRITING
Writers are welcome to gather in the Greenfield Public Library Levanway Meeting Room for a “writer’s lunch.” Bring a lunch and use this self-directed time to write freely on any topic. Writing is often a solitary activity, which can make it challenging for social writers. The presence of other people working hard is likely to motivate you. After the quiet writing time is over, introduce yourself to these local writers to exchange tips and prompts. 413-7721544. 402 Main St, Greenfield, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 4, 3:30pm
MINECRAFT
Minecraft, a game of increasing popularity among children, is a little like a digital version of legos. In the game, players have to build any number of objects and architectural pieces out of blocks. When played in moderation, this game can have surprisingly positive effects on kids’ learning and motivation. Teachers have begun using this game to explain physical and mathematical concepts. The game requires complex planning, technological knowledge and even creativity. If you know a child who loves minecraft, or one who would like to learn how to play, register him or her for “Minecraft Club” at the Forbes Library.Meetings take place in the Community Room. 413-587-1011. 20 West St, Northampton, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 4, 5:15pm-6:30pm
INCLUSION/MUSIC/COMMUNITY MEAL
Join other families with kids ages 0-6 to welcome the Sabbath at Tot Shabbat, offered by Beit Ahavah Reform Synagogue. The kids enjoy music and activities led by Marlene Rachelle and Rabbi Riqi Kosovske, then share a veggie potluck dinner. Adults socialize and relax. Interfaith and GLBTQ families, nursing moms, babies and siblings of all ages, grandparents and special people, new members, first-timers, and friends all welcome! 413-587-3770. 130 Pine Street, Florence, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 4, 5:30pm
LIVING HISTORY/SCIENCE FAIR
Learn about ancient, medieval, renaissance, industrial, and modern scientists while supporting the education of elementary school students. Full Circle School is hosting its annual History of Science and Technology Fair. Students in grades one through six will portray beloved scientists, teaching audiences about these scientists’ accomplishments through speeches, songs, and dance. Local youth can draw inspiration from this performance, both from the students at Full Circle and the scientists they will be portraying. Parents and educators may walk away with their own ideas for learning about science with their kids through acting and play. 21 Parmenter Road, Bernardston, MA. (FREE)

Friday, March 4, 6pm-9pm
CITIZEN SCIENCE/HERPETOLOGY
Come to the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary to learn how you and your family members can help amphibians. Experts will teach you how to identify and report the calls of local frogs and toads. Don’t wait until Spring to get outside! Find and explore the wetlands in your community. This program will be taught at a level best suited for adults and self-directed teens, but the talk will cover ways in which you can get your younger community members involved as well. Please register by calling 413-584-3009. 127 Combs Rd, Easthampton, MA. ($$)

Friday, March 4, 6pm-9pm
FILM/CULTURAL STUDIES
The word “amancord” means “I remember” in Italian. In the 1973 film Amancord, (rated R) Federico Fellini shares memories of 1930s Italy through a series of vignettes. In this screening of Amancord at the Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts, community members can remember their Italian heritage through Fellini’s vision. Viewers who have never been to Italy or lived through any part of the 1930s can learn about this time and place in history through a comedic and nostalgic portrayal. 413-784-1492. 56 Margaret St, Springfield, MA. (Members FREE. Non-members <$)

Friday, March 4, 6pm-9pm
POTTERY/JEWELRY/WOOD CRAFT SALE
Do you like making jewelry, furniture, or home goods? Gather inspiration at the 37th annual Artspace Pottery Seconds Sale. Purchases from this event support Artspace and the Strings for Kids program. Find unique objects while supporting and trading ideas with local artisans. This sale will take place at the Greenfield Community College dining commons. 1 College Dr, Greenfield, MA. (FREE entry)

Friday, March 4, 7pm
HISTORY/COMMUNICATIONS
How do you communicate history in today’s digital world? Join prominent historians, journalists, and thought leaders from across the nation in “lightning conversations” on how we communicate history in the 21st Century. Co-hosts Jason Steinhauer (Library of Congress) and Susan Kaplan (NEPR) will moderate the event. Make sure to RSVP. UMass Campus Center. 1 Campus Center Way. Amherst, MA (FREE)

Friday, March 4, 7:30pm
MUSICAL THEATER/LITERATURE ON STAGE:
Orlando. This play is based on a biographical parody of the same name, by Virginia Woolf about her companion and lover Vita Sackville-West, to whom it was dedicated. The 1928 novel was once described as Sackville-West’s brother as, “the longest and most charming love-letter in literature.” Smith College students invite you to see their theatrical interpretation of this classic, as they take you on a musical romp through time under the Big Top! Led by a rambunctious chorus, Orlando tells the story of a young nobleman who falls asleep one night and wakes up a woman. Come watch as Orlando chases after passionate love, a sense of unwavering identity, and the euphoria of being fully alive in every given moment. Student director J. Mehr Kaur ’16 explains that “The power of the play is in the scope of the ensemble – constantly fluid and unapologetically shattering our notions about identity. The story stops us in our tracks and opens us up to the possibility that we may be so much more than just our singular selves.” Performances will be held in the Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre at Smith College. 413-585-3220. Northampton, MA. ($)

Friday, March 4, 7:30pm
COLLEGE THEATER/CONTEMPORARY:
Love and Information. In the age of gadgets and modern technology, have we lost the reason for our communication: how to share our feelings, care for others, and love? Love and Information prompts us to see ourselves, our lives, our concerns and our longings in surprising new ways. This multi-faceted play offers something for all audiences, as the dazzling language draws out a story about humanity and connection. Every performance will be followed by a small group discussion moderated by members of the production team and UMass Theater students. This important piece allows audience members to explore their collective experience and interpretation of the material presented. Performance will be held in the Curtain Theater at the Fine Arts Center, UMass Amherst Campus. 413-545-2511.151 Presidents Drive, Amherst, MA. ($$)

Friday, March 4, 7:30pm
CHILDRENS THEATER/LITERATURE ON STAGE
James and the Giant Peach
. Adapted from the beloved classic children’s tale by Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach follows the story of James, an orphan sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree. It’s there that James discovers a mysterious potion that results in a tremendous peach, launching audiences into a journey of enormous proportions! The show combines hilarious orchestrations and steampunk-style costumes with the magical sweetness of a young boy on a whirlwind adventure to find his chosen family. More than a theatrical performance about love and belonging, this event also offers families fun activities before and after the show. One hour before the performance, children have a chance to weave their own web, color in their favorite characters, and hear an abridged telling of Roald Dahl’s whimsical tale, allowing children an introduction to the story prior to seeing it come to life on stage. Show-related treats will be available and there will be a meet and greet with each character after the show. This is certain to be a fun-filled event for children and adults of all ages! Enter code “FamilyBundle” at checkout to receive discount. Performances will be held in the Mills Theatre at Bay Path University. 413-565-1307. 588 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. ($)

Friday, March 4, 7:30pm
PLANT STUDIES/BULB SHOW
Every winter, the Pioneer Valley’s greenhouses burst into bloom despite the cold weather outside. Not only do these first blossoms bring hope towards the end of winter with their color and fragrances, they present a seasonal opportunity for families to learn together about habitat, the life cycle of plants, and the structural nuances that differentiate one species from another. From Saturday March 5 to Sunday, March 20, the Smith botanical gardens will be open, displaying Spring flowers. Start off your Spring celebration at the Smith CollegeCampus Center (Caroll Room) for Thomas J. Campanella’s lecture on the origins of elm culture in the United States. 413-585-2740. 16 College Ln, Northampton, MA. (DONATION)

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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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